Wednesday, May 18, 2011
RE-EDIT: Just Because They Couldn't Go To Woodstock?
Thanks to Boltgirl for this tidbit: study of sex abuse by priests. Unfortunately, the news reports all highlight the "Woodstock effect", the sexual revolution and the changing times as the reasons so many priests abused children primarily in the 70's. I do not think the news media, even the NY Times has reported the study accurately or fairly. (See link below to read the entire study).
After my first edition of this post I found a link to the John Jay College report itself. I've read through most of it and it is very thorough and "scientific". It is also very sad and disturbing. Nowhere did I find that the researchers concluded any such aquarian age causality for the abuses that occurred as the sensational news reports imply. If anything, the report is brutally honest. The researchers have been criticized for their definition of pedophile, but they are attempting to reflect the differing definitions of the word in the scientific literature; they are in no way excusing or lessening the offenses committed against post-pubescent children, but only making statistical analyses.
However, I think they need to go back and study the long-standing pre-seminary culture (prior to and throughout the 1960's) that brought young boys into pre-seminary schools and the why and how the priesthood was made to appeal to boys who had not yet constructed an adult sexual identity and who later became abusers. Recruiting is a word that comes to mind.
Also, the fact that Bishops transferred many abusive priests from one place to another was not an effect of the age of aquarius or of the psychological status of the abusers. This cover-up aspect of the sex abuse scandal and how it contributed to and exacerbated the patterns of abuse was not discussed by the report. In this regard, I think the report fell irresponsibly short.