Most Americans would agree that the life of a child is precious and worthy of extra protection through rule of law. Stories of violent abuse against children tend to conjure up rage for many of us as we struggle to understand the complexities involved that drive someone to commit violent acts against kids. Whether it is neglectful parenting that may lead to the death or serious injury of a child, or it is a willful attempt to injure by battery, child abuse could be one of nation’s biggest stigmas. As disturbing as these incidents are there is another form of abuse we are familiar with that is likely to do nothing less than leave a gaping hole in the hearts of those who experience any aspect of it, child sexual abuse. This can range from all out sexual intercourse with a child to fondling, making sexual comments or exposing them to explicit sexual acts such as making them watch pornography. The thoughts of children having to experience this type of abuse whether it is from a relative or a stranger is appalling to most of us and is likely to have our stomachs twisting in knots. Unfortunately there is not an easy explanation for child sexual abuse and there are even those who advocate for the right to freely engage in sexual activity with children. These groups believe that age of consent laws should be repealed, young boys should be free to engage in sex with men, and that it is beneficial to them. They are involved in trying to turn this issue into something that can be viewed as normal. While we do not want to categorize the entire “gay” community, we cannot ignore this neither.
One of these groups advocating for the repeal of age of consent laws is known as NAMBLA, or the North American Man Boy Love Association. For decades NAMBLA has sought to get acceptance from mainstream society on their radical views concerning sex and children. They believe that young adolescent boys should have the right to express sexual freedom and that they should be free to choose their own sexual partners, (Thorstad 1990), which is also a key underpinning of the gay rights movement in which NAMBLA is a part of. (Thornstad) NAMBLA has sought to have laws concerning the legal age of consent repealed because they believe that today’s societal norms concerning sexuality are out of date and irrelevant (Thorstad). This attempt to lower this age of consent has been successful in other parts of the world such as the Netherlands where the age of consent between two same sex partners has been dropped to 16. (Thornstad) If NAMBLA is successful in its advocacy for repealing age of consent in the U.S. how would it change our legal structure, and how would it change the way we view child sexual abuse? Would it become something that is accepted simply because some radical group claims it as part of their culture? This paper will try to answer why this is occurring and who is behind the effort as well as the possible consequences for overlooking it.
In social work it is well understood that we are here to serve the underserved community who are often times suffering from discrimination or some form of income inequality. It could be argued that in terms of equality issues like rights to marry and the benefits associated with it the homosexual community falls under the category of an underserved or under privileged population. It is also understood that bias on the part of the social worker is just not tolerated and we should not be letting our personal opinions get in the way of the manner in which we serve our clients. If your main clients are children however then there are certain things that should not be ignored. There has to be a balance where a skilled worker understands that not everything is viewed from a collective lens and things should be pursued on a case by case basis. With this being said it is safe to argue that the homosexual community has made tremendous strides in gaining a more “accepted by the mainstream” foot hold in our society. Many churches have subsided their preaching of the view that homosexuality is wrong (Baldwin 2002)so one would be pretty hard pressed to say that our society is not making concessions in an effort to be a little more tolerant of something many find difficult to understand.
There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that radical elements of the homosexual community such as NAMBLA are actively targeting children for not only sexual pleasure but for recruitment into their ranks as a means to grow their movement. (Baldwin) If this evidence proves to be credible does this mean it applies to all homosexuals? Of course not, it would be bigoted and biased to make such an assumption. When it comes to our children however, the evidence should definitely be taken seriously or else 20 years from now what we find to be a horrific act of child molestation, something like the recent Sandusky incident for example may be viewed by the mainstream as something completely normal and those questioning the validity of such an ascertain would be considered the radicals. Just food thought as we move on to view some of the evidence.
The family research institute has concluded an interesting study in which they set out to determine the proportionality of homosexual vs. heterosexual molestation of children. It is indeed something that occurs among both populations of people. Using the fact the homosexual population of the U.S. is roughly 2% (Cameron et, al 1989)) this research concluded that seven percent of gay males have admitted to having sex with boys that were younger than 13 years old. (Cameron et,al) The percentage of same sex molesters compared to the percentage of the population is huge, nearly 40% of all molestations are same sex molestations and given the fact that over 90% of molesters are adult males (Cameron et,al) it appears a great many of them may be homosexual. Somehow, groups like NAMBLA have been able to detract attention away from themselves and convince people that same sex molestation is a hetero sexual issue. (Baldwin 2002). How does that make sense? Another study was concluded by a Dr. Gene Able concerning the rates of child abuse perpetrated by homosexual males. His findings are supportive of the previous study. He compared the rates at which pederasts (homosexual pedophiles) were molesting young boys to the rates at which young girls were being molested by heterosexual molesters. Dr. Able has concluded that out of 153 pederasts they had a total of 22, 981 victims! That means that each member had admitted to molesting a total of 150 victims per offender. The rate at which young girls were molested was much lower, only 19 per offender. (Sheldon) Again, those serious about alleviating child sexual abuse must at least take these findings into consideration. It also should be remembered that the intent here is not to prove all gay people want to have sex with children, rather that there is an element within this community that wishes to see age of consent laws repealed.
There is another phenomena occurring across the country that has parents outraged. Once again the political pressures of the issues forces one to step back and evaluate which way the topic will be described. It should be noted that public schools should be a place where all people regardless of ethnicity, religious belief, sexual orientation or any other stigma that could be attached can be free of harassment. There are no doubts that social workers as well as society as a whole have an important role in ensuring that this is the case. Unfortunately there seems to be an overlooked issue here. It is one thing to actually teach tolerance for people who are genuinely gay and are coming to this conclusion of their own freewill, however there seems to be an effort by those same people interested in repealing age of consent to teach kids “how” to be gay. (Sheldon) Gerald Hannon is one of these people. Who is Gerald Hannon? He is an individual heavily involved in turning the issue of “age of consent” into a human rights struggle and has expressed some pretty interesting ideas of how to bring the issue to children in public schools. (Sheldon) In fact, Hannon can be quoted as saying that there are not enough children involved in the homosexual movement and attracting young people to it should be the movement’s next big challenge. (Sheldon) This should be concerning to all of us. Once again a person genuinely coming to the conclusion that they are gay is different than being pushed into exploring the possibility. Many activists argue that bringing awareness of homosexuality to our schools is necessary to alleviate the discrimination faced by homosexual students. (Sheldon) While most people can agree on this statement because nobody wants any children to face harassment in a learning environment, there again seems to be some misleading things going on here. One of the issues concerning homosexual youth and the need to raise awareness is the rate that so called homosexual youth commit suicide. Using the issue of suicide and school safety, a paper written by a Paul Gibson entitled “Gay male and lesbian youth suicide” falsely cited the number of homosexual teen suicides to keep critics quite of the methods used to teach homosexuality to children. (Sheldon)He put the number at about 3000 for the year 1985. Specializing in teen suicide Dr. David Schaffer, psychiatrist for Columbia University was able to debunk that number because the total number of teen suicides alone was less than 2000. (Sheldon) Even the head of National Lesbian and Gay Health Organization does not recognize the research cited by Gibson because she admits that the connection between teen suicides and homosexuality remain unknown. (Sheldon) It is not untrue that teens of a homosexual orientation commit suicide, however it appears it is not because of harassment but because of sexual confusion resulting from a “self identified” homosexuality too early in their development. (Sheldon) Dr. Gary Remafedi has discovered that there is an inherent danger in children self identifying as homosexual too early. (Nicolosi,1993) According to Remafedi of the University of Minnesota there are several contributing factors that lead to suicide among homosexual teens, two of which are gender non-conformity and early childhood sexual experience. (Nicolosi) He concludes by saying that teens that are turned on to homosexuality at an early age end up with the belief that they are born that way and it becomes increasingly different to change their behavior. According to Remafadi the internal conflicts these teens face as they explore homosexuality without being ready to explore sexuality at all are the real reason why gay teens commit suicide. (Nicolosi)
Another alarming issue surrounding the controversy of teaching homosexuality in our public schools is the explicit nature of the actual curriculum. Again the point must be stressed that there is a difference between teaching children the importance of values such as being tolerant or accepting of those that are different and some of the things that are occurring across the country. For instance, in a public school in Montana parents were a little alarmed to find out that the issue of homosexuality was actually being introduced to school children as early as the first grade. Remember the study cited above about children self identifying as homosexual too early? If the intent is not as age of consent advocate Gerald Hannon suggests to introduce young people to the homosexual movement because there are not enough children involved, then what is the intent of teaching first graders that two people of the same sex can love one another? (Lindevaldsen, 2011) If the findings of Dr. Remafadi are accurate then could this not be considered unsafe activity and potential abuse, or neglect? Furthermore, in the same school in Montana this curriculum progresses through each grade in elementary school with fifth grade concluding with detailed descriptions of explicit sexual positions, anal and oral sex and explanations of benefits of swallowing certain bodily fluids. (Lindevaldsen) That is inappropriate no matter what the circumstances. Children should be taught factual biological aspects of sexual reproduction, period. This description of teachings in this elementary school in the opinion of this author backs the findings of Dr. Remafedi concerning his suicide study. First graders are not mentally capable of understanding the complexities of same sex relationships, period. It would almost be acceptable to introduce them to the idea that some people are gay if they weren’t following with the inappropriate education on the physical acts of homosexual sex and the other issues discussed.
Another example of groups claiming to be teaching homosexual awareness but using their platform to actually recruit kids to the movement was when the Gay Lesbian and Straight Educational Alliance held their conference at Tufts University in March of 2000. (Sheldon) This conference was intended for youth age 14-21 and covered the topic of “fisting.” (Sheldon) This is a great example of many occurrences across the country where inappropriate sexual information is given to young children. This conference actually was designed for the purpose of teaching this explicit homosexual act of fisting. The details of this act will be spared the reader for obvious reasons. Again, the age group targeted here goes along with the belief that organizations such as NAMBLA have towards young males. It should be noted that all the teachers of this conference were certified AIDS awareness instructors for the state and held this conference under the guise of teaching AIDS awareness. (Sheldon) What is even more disturbing about some of this is some of the other names that are associated with the Gay Lesbian and Straight Educational Alliance. For instance many people have never heard of Kevin Jennings, however other Americans recognize Kevin Jennings as an advocate for repealing of age of consent laws and an appointee by The Obama administration to the position of safe school czar. (Lindevaldsen) Jennings was quoted as admitting that they were able to put their opponents on the defensive by using terms such as homophobia, and using the false suicide statistics that were cited by Paul Gibson earlier in the paper. (Sheldon) Sheldon also indicates that Jennings advocated the same methods be used to introduce homosexuality to other public schools as were used in the conference at Tufts University. Just to show where his mindset is.
Thus far the focus has been on the people and the techniques employed in introducing radical sex education to schools in the name of promoting safe school environments. The issue has revolved around the idea that no one wants to think of our public schools where there are children being discriminated against or being pushed to commit suicide. The traditional belief has been that gay teens are committing suicide at extremely high rates because of school harassment. The research conducted for this paper shows that there are other, legitimate explanations that paint an entirely different picture. It has been suggested that it is the introduction to and experimentation with homosexuality that is indeed creating internal conflict that is causing these suicides. We have seen admissions from people in powerful positions of advocacy for the movement where less than honest methods were employed for the purpose of introducing young kids to homosexuality, and most importantly we have seen that some people believe there are not enough children involved in the homosexual movement, and that recruiting them should be the next big challenge. None of this was cited for the purpose of attempting to paint all homosexuals as being dangerous child predators, because that is not true, nor would it be professional to categorize in such a way. The intent is simply to show that the idea of repealing the age of consent is a dangerous one and is being implemented by a radical element of the homosexual movement who seems intent on turning sex with children into a human rights issue. It cannot be stopped if attention is not drawn to it, or if it continues to be ignored for the sake of being politically correct. Gay rights groups would do themselves well by discrediting groups like NAMBLA and GLSEA, unfortunately however NAMBLA openly admits to providing financial assistance to other groups fighting for so called sexual liberation (Baldwin) and regrettably for those who are innocent of such charges The Archives of Sexual Behavior has concluded that 86% of pedophiles have identified as being homosexual. (Erickson et,al 1988). These are alarming statistics for a world where there is an intense push for homosexuals to be considered a normal part of society. No one is advocating in this paper that gay people should not be free to live their lives, however law is law and we are talking about the safety of our children. It is one thing for a child of his own freewill to decide they are gay and to ensure that they can be free of undue harassment, and it is quite another for a group like GLSEA to publish and distribute material that labels heterosexuality as merely a presumption that promotes the idea that a gender role system based on birth assigned sex is actually normal and desirable, which is something this organization is known for doing. (Lindevaldsen, 2011) It is one thing to teach kids to be tolerant of those that are different than them, and it is another to force kids to participate in activities promoting the homosexual lifestyle like GLSEA has been noted as doing earlier in this paper.
If all of this is not alarming enough, rest assure there is more. There is an effort by age of consent advocates that child sexual abuse should be defined is different ways and that the term should only be used if the child has experienced some negative outcome of the encounter (Rind et, al 1998) or did not engage freely in the act. (Rind et,al) Otherwise, sex between adults and children should be considered just that, adult child sex.(Rind et, al) Furthermore, Rind and his colleagues suggest that the term child sexual abuse not be used at all when dealing with adolescent children because they are more likely to be interested in sex, should be free to choose their own sexual partner and they point to the idea that sex between adults and children has been frequent throughout many cultures and should not be considered un-normal human sexual behavior. This goes along with the earlier stated idea that today’s societal norms are out of date and irrelevant. Bruce Rind and his colleagues seem to think that sexual abuse is not harmful to the child at all, only if they are already predisposed to having emotional problems because of some other familial issues or if they have determined that they were not participating freely. In other words Bruce Rind and his associates are suggesting that adolescent children freely engaging in sexual activity with adults can yield more positive results if the child is educated on sex and engages in this behavior of his own freewill. These findings are being published by prominent organizations such as the American Psychological Association. It should be noted that the research conducted by and Rind and associates was used for a legal argument for the legalization of sex with children.(Sorotzkin, 2002)
This move to legalize sex with children has got to be stopped somehow because if does not it is only a matter of time before sex with children is legalized for the purpose of recognizing what one group of people consider to be their “human right.” No matter how ridiculous this statement sounds let’s remember the statements made earlier about the great strides the homosexual movement has made and how several churches for the purpose of tolerance has revised their teachings on homosexuality. Homosexuality is certainly more accepted now than 20 years ago. In fact it can be argued that many things, incrementally, become more accepted over time. Some things of course should be because what two adults do in the privacy of their own homes and their own lives is one thing, but what is being demonstrated here is something entirely different. Nobody has the right to influence what type of sexual decisions children will choose for themselves as they get older. Nobody has the right to expose our children to things that would be considered explicit and inappropriate in any sexual context except the parents. There is a huge difference between teaching children of an appropriate age the biological functions of sex and encouraging them to engage in sexual activity. According to the sources used for this paper it does seem possible that a group of people have hijacked the moral narrative and are hiding behind issues such as school safety and Aids education to infiltrate and expose children to their lifestyle for the purpose of trying to normalize what they have to know can never be, child sexual abuse. We have read admissions by people seeking to get young people involved in their movement, people using false statistics and labels such as homophobia to silence opposition and we have witnessed what type things they are actually seeking to teach children. “Fisting” and describing oral and anal sex to 5th graders is enough to outrage any parent. We have explored some alternative explanations of what may actually be causing gay teens to commit suicide and finally we have shown that there are people attempting to validate research that actually suggests sexual abuse can be beneficial to some kids under certain circumstances. It seems reasonable to argue from the perspective of this research that the methods being employed here are in and of themselves harmful enough to be considered child abuse and any school administrator needs to sit down and evaluate all evidence available concerning this issue and tailor a program that explicitly focuses on teaching tolerance for those that are different while leaving opinions, agendas, sexual positions, techniques and experiences behind. The goal of education should be to develop a thinking individual, not influencing their sexual desires.
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