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The link between homosexuality and child sex abuse

The link between homosexuality and child sex abuse

“The link between homosexuality and child sex abuse” is the title of a report in the latest issue of LIGHT (August-October 2004) published by Festival of Light, Australia [see Special note below]. In answer to the question: “Is there any evidence that homosexuals have a greater risk of being a paedophile?” it states:

The risk is well-documented. The May 2004 report on child sex abuse in the Adelaide Anglican church by former SA Supreme Court judge Hon Trevor Olsson and child protection expert Dr Donna Chung noted that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys have been sexually abused – i.e. 60% of victims are girls [ref. 1].

Since the vast majority of paedophiles are male, the 40% of victims who are boys have been homosexually abused. This is out of all proportion, since only 2.5% of Australian men identify as homosexual or bisexual [ref. 2]

If heterosexual men (97.5%) are effectively responsible for 60% of child molestation, while homosexual men (2.5%) are responsible for 40%, then the relative risk is (40/2.5 divided by 60/97.5) = 26 times greater than the risk for a heterosexual man.

Lesbians may also be over-represented in child sex abuse statistics. A 2001 study in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour found that 46% of homosexual men and 22% of lesbian women reported same-sex molestation during childhood. This compares with childhood homosexual molestation rates of only 7% in heterosexual men and 1% in heterosexual women [ref. 3].

The homosexual/lesbian molestation may have contributed to the victims’ later sexual orientation, since 68% of the male homosexual and 38% of the lesbians did not identify as such after the abuse.

The May report on child sex abuse by Hon Trevor Olsson and Dr Donna Chung noted that victims are deeply damaged. They suffer guilt and self-blame, anxiety and depression, suicidal thoughts (especially among male victims), drug addiction and sexuality confusion.


The Hon Trevor Olsson and Dr Donna Chung, Report of the Board of Inquiry, Anglican Diocese of Adelaide, 26 May 2004, p 17.

Anthony Smith et al, “Sex in Australia: Sexual identity, sexual attraction and sexual experience among a representative sample of adults,” Australia and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, Vol. 27 No 2, 2003, p 141.

Tomeo M et al, “Comparative Data of Childhood and Adolescence Molestation in Heterosexual and Homosexual Persons,” Archives of sexual Behaviour, 2001, Vol. 30 (3), pp. 535-541.

Special note:

Reprinted from Light by permission of Festival of Light Australia, Fourth Floor, 68 Grenfell Street, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia. Website: http://www.fol.org.au

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