Monday, September 25, 2006

High Rates of AIDS Among Catholic Priests?

Professor Rasmusen points to several interesting articles that suggest that the high rates of AIDS among Catholic priests--almost eleven times the rate of the general population--are because Catholic priests are disproportionately homosexual. Depending on which survey or expert you believe, somewhere between 25% and 45% of priests are homosexual or bisexual in orientation--and the very high rates of AIDS among priests are because large numbers of them are not celibate.

I'm sure that the problem of pedophilia (and heavily focused on boys, not girls) in the priesthood is just a coincidence.

UPDATE: One of my readers takes issue with this, pointing out that the DSM-IV definition of pedophilia is sex with prepubescent children, and most of the priestly molestation was of boys who had reached puberty:
-- An overwhelming majority of the victims, 81 percent, were males. The most vulnerable were boys aged 11 to 14, representing more than 40 percent of the victims. This goes against the trend in the general U.S. society where the main problem is men abusing girls.
-- A majority of the victims were post-pubescent adolescents with a small percentage of the priests accused of abusing children who had not reached puberty.
-- Most of the accused committed a variety of sex acts involving serious sexual offenses.

The law (as distinguished from the mental health profession) uses a less precise definition on this:
The focus of pedophilia is sexual activity with a child. Many courts interpret this reference to age to mean children under the age of 18. Most mental health professionals, however, confine the definition of pedophilia to sexual activity with prepubescent children, who are generally age 13 or younger. The term ephebophilia, derived from the Greek word for "youth," is sometimes used to describe sexual interest in young people in the first stages of puberty.
I have received more than a few emails from homosexuals condemning pedophilia--but drawing this same distinction about ephebophilia, and who refuse to see the pursuit of young teenagers as a problem. You can't wait for a child to reach 17 or 18 (depending on the state)?

My reader seems to think that calling these abusers pedophiles somehow distances them from homosexuality. No, I'm afraid it doesn't. Not every pedophile is a homosexual, and most homosexuals aren't pedophiles, but there is a sizeable overlap--hence NAMBLA's presence in gay pride parades without apparent opposition into the early 1990s.

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