MYTH: Homosexuality Equals Pedophilia
I remember having a conversation about “being out” with a masculine couple who lives together. I asked them why they hadn’t come out to their respective families about their relationship and sexuality. Both answers I received were no real surprise.
One stated he didn’t want to be associated with the stereotypes of typical gays. When asked to elaborate, he stated he didn’t want to be associated with effeminacy, drag queens and the gay pride parades with the gyrating men in speedos and leather imagery that is displayed. He felt his family would not be able to disassociate that imagery with him and would automatically assume that’s what his lifestyle consists of.
We all nodded in agreement.
The other guy stated one of the reasons he was still closeted to his family is because he has many nephews. If he revealed that he was gay, they would associate his sexuality with being a pedophile and this could prevent him from spending time with his nephews.
Once again…we all nodded in agreement.
I didn’t want to bog this post down with all the research and statistical information I came across concerning this topic, that disproves this myth. Yet as the fight for LGBT equality and inclusion continues, the anti-gay establishments (mostly from the far right or religious communities) still project the falsehood that homosexuality, child molestation and pedophilia are interchangeable with no real differences between them.
Not only has this myth been spoken upon for years; on any given day on any given news cycle, you will see and hear anti-gay pundits falsely linking gay men and pedophilia. Many times they are taken to task for the linkage; however the message and implications are still spread over the airways to the listening public and society.
Regardless of the numerous reputable medical and behavioral studies disproving the linkage between homosexuality and child molestation, the myth still persists.
I believe this could be summed up to political rhetoric and also deflection.
Lots of talking heads on the far right have been caught or called out for their hypocrisies. Most far right politicians are vocal or vote against laws that could benefit LGBT communities or same sex couples; however in the past, numerious male politicians have been exposed in compromising homosexual situations or circumstances.
Documents also suggests not only was there knowledge of the abuse but it was also facilitated and covered up by high ranking members of the church, up to and including sitting popes. Court cases and settlements are still ongoing.
A more recent example is with The Boy Scouts of America. After they announced they would ban LGBT members from active roles within their private organization and local troops in the US; thousands of documents were released detailing the decades of child sexual abuse and the attempts to cover them up by The Boy Scouts of America.
With the examples above, each group constantly professes loudly that they must help to uphold the moral fabrics of our societies. Some if it is just rhetoric to gainer support, votes and financial contributions. While other times as with the Catholic Church and Boy Scouts, it could be the aforementioned along with attempting to deflect attention away from their own child sexual abuse and molestation scandals.
Dr. Gregory Herek reported in his piece Facts About Homosexuality and Child Molestation, in a 1970 national survey, more than 70% of respondents agreed with the assertions that “Homosexuals are dangerous as teachers or youth leaders because they try to get sexually involved with children” or that “Homosexuals try to play sexually with children if they cannot get an adult partner.”
By contrast, in the late 90’s, the belief that most gay men are likely to molest or abuse children was endorsed by only 19% of heterosexual men and 10% of heterosexual women.
At any rate the myth still persists. Once again, there are numerous medical and behavioral studies that disprove the linkage between homosexuality and child molestation; however sometimes perceptions prevail over facts and logic. So there may not be any way to fully discredit this perception.
Looking at the broader picture, this myth is just another example of the many ideals used to defame homosexuality. The “pedophilia link” rhetoric and language further aids in the degrading of the LGBT psyche. It adds to the narrative that homosexual men are abnormal, deviant, and perverse. This in turn pollutes the conciseness and causes many of us to feel ashamed of whom we are.
Breaking away from this false mental bondage can be hard, but there is a sense of peace, happiness and relief when you understand and accept that your homosexuality is natural.
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