Daniel Payne

The Federalist is desperately in need of a discerning editor. The current occupant of that position has permitted Daniel Payne to postIf Child Sex Is More Common Among Gay Men, Are We Okay With That?

The last time I wrote about this guy he was positing that Gavin Grimm is not a boy. Apparently without so much as a baccalaureate he was presuming to propose a treatment plan for youths with gender dysphoria. Payne’s utter ignorance is a product of having the intellectual curiosity of a hothouse tomato. 

Payne’s intellectual dishonesty might pass muster with the Trump crowd. His essay is puffed up with the pretense of a subjective inquiry. The reality is that he is asking a rhetorical question that he believes he has the answer to.

At some point we are going to have to address two horrifying subtexts
from two recent public pseudo-scandals: one, is there a child sex
problem in the gay male community? Two, is our society essentially
tolerant of it? That seems to be the nauseatingly reasonable conclusion
one could reach after the events of the past week involving provocateur
Milo Yiannopoulos and actor-activist George Takei.

Later on:

We Need to Know If These Are Outlier Experiences

To be perfectly clear, it might not be universal. Maybe Milo and Greene are both wrong, maybe Takei’s experience was rare, maybe there’s nothing to worry about on a large scale. Certainly the vast majority of adult gay men I’ve known do not seem capable, much less desirous, of having sex with 13-year-olds.

Yeah but maybe my observation is incorrect or maybe they are good at hiding their perversity.

Nevertheless, these revelations are unnerving and profoundly troubling,
and the implications of these revelations are terrible, especially
combined with many years of research showing disproportionately high rates of child sexual abuse
against young gay males. Should we not consider the possibility that
something both brutal and endemic is going on here, and that we’re
simply ignoring it?

I have left the links intact. They are irrelevant.

The first is to psychologist Warren Throckmorton who wrote a 2009 analysis of a study which asks an entirely different question: Does childhood sexual abuse cause homosexuality? There is no data from the study to demonstrate rates of child sexual abuse perpetrators. Warren concludes that the study is too seriously flawed to answer the question.

The second cite is to a study out of Simon Fraser University in Canada demonstrating that 29% of the male sample had sex at 16 or younger with someone five or more years older. According to the study: “However, the age-based criterion aggregates a
wide variety of experiences into one category and, therefore, this prevalence rate is somewhat misleading.” If Payne read that part, he didn’t quote it.

There is really nothing remarkable about this data. Overall, about 27% of women self-reported being victimized as children (estimates vary widely). There are numerous other variables including race and locale which significantly affect statistics. Black children are 50% more likely to be abused than white children (do not assume that their abusers are black men). For some reason, proportionate to its population, kids in Florida and Georgia are far more likely to be abused than kids in Massachusetts.

The third cite is to a PubMed abstract of a 2001 study out of California School of Professional Psychology which is a quasi for-profit operation (long story) and certainly not a research university. It concludes: “Forty-six percent of the homosexual men in contrast to 7% of the heterosexual men reported homosexual molestation.” I cannot find a CV for the author of the study. Apparently she is no longer with CSPP.

Let us assume, for the moment, that a higher percentage of gay men were abused as children than straight men. What does that prove? Nothing really. It is correlation rather that causation because studies suggest that children who will later identify as gay are more vulnerable to child abuse. Gay adults report that their behavior as children was different from that of children who grew up to be heterosexual adults. I was never abused but I certainly recall a physician who was overly fond of touching me as a teen. I only saw him once and he certainly did not turn me gay.

But I digress. None of this has anything to do with Payne’s assertion which is essentially that gay men are more likely to molest children. That is the intent of his rather tedious polemic. Moreover, Payne is making the assumption that an abuser of boys is gay and that is simply not the case. The male abuser is more likely to be someone like Jerry Sandusky who is heterosexual.

One of the better articles on the mythology of the gay male as molester is by Dr. Gregory Herek out of UC Davis. He informs us, for example:

As an expert panel of researchers convened by the National Academy of Sciences noted in a 1993 report: “The distinction between homosexual and heterosexual child molesters relies on the premise that male molesters of male victims are homosexual in orientation. Most molesters of boys do not report sexual interest in adult men, however” (National Research Council, 1993, p. 143, citation omitted).

Disfavored minority groups are often victimized by a sexual stereotype. For centuries African-Americans were portrayed as determined to rape white women. Gay men are frequently portrayed as a threat to children. My continuing fierce ridicule of Brian S. Brown and National Organization for Marriage was engendered by a deliberate campaign to portray gays as a danger to kids in order to win the 2008 Proposition 8 campaign in California.

Mr. Payne is simply regurgitating Anita Bryant’s bullshit. It is available in evolved forms at many anti-gay outlets — including, now, The Federalist. The second of Payne’s rhetorical question is the absurdity of asking whether or not we are okay with child molestation. Posing that query disqualifies Payne from any serious discussion of human sexuality.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.