Any discussion of child sexual abuse is difficult enough. In today’s moral climate, add homosexuality to the mix and the conversation instantly turns pricklier, and it’s tempting to just shut up. Hardly anyone wants to touch this baby, not with a ten-foot pole. But silence doesn’t solve anything, and can even make things worse, as the history of BSA shows.
In 2012, the Boy Scouts of America was ordered by the courts to release information on 1200 abuse cases that occurred under BSA’s watch between 1965 and 1985. Those files were hidden for decades, and the BSA reportedly destroyed many more to keep things under wraps.
A majority of those, if not all, were cases of homosexual abuse, but the word “homosexual” never made it to mainstream media. We all instinctively know that child abuse is abhorrent, but conditioned by LGBT propaganda over the years, we immediately recoil at any hint of labeling male-to-male abuse as “homosexual”, lest we be accused of being homophobes or bigots. These abuses were presented to the public under the blanket term “child sexual abuse”, pedophilia, or simply “child abuse”. The only homosexual abuse that ever counts as far as the media and the LGBT crowd are concerned, are those where homosexuals are the victims.
By helping to bury the reality about these cases, the BSA effectively accomplished two things: 1) they retained a reputation for being a moral stronghold for boys growing into manhood, and 2) they made themselves unlikely protectors of this particular kind of abuse, and hence vulnerable to eventual pressure from the very people the secrecy protects. But any type of male-to-male abuse, while classifiable as pedophilia depending on the age of the victim, needs to be classified homosexual as well, since homosexuality by its very definition pertains to attraction to and engaging in sexual activity with people of one’s own sex. The CDC refers to any male-to-male sex as homosexual or bisexual: never heterosexual. Note also that by definition, most Boy Scouts would be past the age where abuse could still be classified as pedophilia. Many of these victims weren’t necessarily seen as children by their abusers.
Psychotherapist Kali Munro offers a defense of the victims that most of us can agree with: Victims of homosexual abuse aren’t necessarily gay. He takes great pains to make readers understand the depth of injustice that victims face. We can agree: prejudice of this sort is unacceptable and does nothing but victimize these children a second time. However, in referring to homophobia, Munro cleverly leaves perpetrators out of the picture. While it’s true that we shouldn’t be labeling the victims homosexual, what about the perpetrators? [cue crickets]
For decades, the BSA reputation was given priority over the protection of scouts. It wasn’t until 1987, when the Youth Protection Training program was established, that changes were made in the right direction. All scout leaders today have to go through it, and the program is comprehensive, to a point. It still only addresses adult-to-youth contact, touches only ever so briefly on the very real danger of youth-to-youth abuse. It also hasn’t been able to prevent abuse completely, as recent cases show:
The previously private records show the Boy Scouts have ejected at least 5,100 adult leaders nationwide for sexual abuse allegations since 1946. And the files reveal that despite efforts to keep potential abusers from joining, the problems persist: In the past 15 years alone, the organization has kicked out leaders for such allegations at a rate of once every other day.
With the policy that takes effect in January 2014, the BSA took two giant steps back and renounced the commitment they made to protect boys. Several items crying out for attention:
1. Youth-to-youth abuse happens.
2. There is such a thing as a cycle of abuse.
What steps are we taking to ensure that none of our boys even get initiated into that cycle?
3. There are predators who were just waiting for the policy change to happen.
4. Grooming is a valid concern and can involve either adult-to-youth or youth-to-youth interactions, or both.
Many suspected molesters engaged in what psychologists today call “grooming behavior,” a gradual seduction in which predators lavish children with attention, favors and gifts.
The organization released a prepared statement by Mike Johnson, the organization’s national youth protection director, who underscored the difficulty in identifying predators before they strike.
Beginning in the early 1990s, some experts on the Scouts’ youth safety advisory panel urged the organization to study the files for patterns, but they were ignored, according to two of the experts.
The problem here is that the LGBT crowd has built up such a fortress around themselves as to make themselves virtually untouchable! There isn’t a Child Abusers Pride Parade. Hiding these abuses under an umbrella term of “child abuse”, when there are clear connections to homosexuality being hidden from view, serves neither the boys who are abused nor the homosexual abuser who needs help.
Whatever it was the BSA decided they needed to protect the boys against has not ceased to exist. There is no legitimate reason to relax on the rules they’ve decided were necessary to protect boys. Inasmuch as the BSA saw fit to provide for separate sleeping facilities and latrines for boys vs. girls and youth vs. adults, they should foresee that introducing a third sex/gender (for those self-identified, “open and avowed” homosexuals) presents the same situations that were inherently problematic to having shared facilities between opposite sexes in the first place.
In addition, there are important points to consider:
- Pornography use is up, even among youth.
- Sexual abuse isn’t going away.
- There exists a link between pornography and child sexual abuse/molestation.
- And a sobering one especially where Boy Scouts are concerned: One in six men have experienced abusive sexual experiences before age 18. Add to all that the fact that we live in today’s oversexualized culture, where few things are considered immoral or unacceptable, and it isn’t difficult to see the pitfalls we as a society and BSA as an organization are choosing to ignore.
Once a child is abused, that’s innocence lost forever. No, we can’t be hating on the gays, especially since we know that many of them were abused to begin with. But that doesn’t mean we should welcome with open arms any situation that puts our boys at risk, especially, I would argue, these days when there is HEIGHTENED risk for not only physical harm but spiritual harm. Those of us who chose to disassociate ourselves and our families from Scouting may be labelled paranoid nutsos, but the continuous degradation of morality in this country calls for us to make necessary judgments, even if it means we make errors on the side of caution.
Where does the cycle of abuse begin? It takes just one misguided individual.
Where does the cycle of abuse end? It ends with us, if we have the courage to stop it from taking place.
Sexual Abuse of Males: Prevalence, Possible Lasting Effects and Resources from Dr. Jim Hopper, Researcher and Therapist with a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.
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Next up: The BSA Policy change and the Catholic response.