Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The More Things Change...

The California Supreme Court recently upheld the Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage. It's a perfect example of the difference between law and justice - the court is correct that the change to the state's constitution to ban gay marriage was done properly and was completely within California's legal framework, but that doesn't make it morally correct. Whereas no law was broken at all in the passing of Proposition 8, it still represents an act of discrimination against homosexuals and is thus morally odious.

I've talked about gay marriage on here before and thus I'm not going to copy and paste my same old talking points. However, in (dis)honor of today's decision I've dredged up a crazy anti-homosexual propaganda film from back in the day. Ironically, considering that today's blow to gay marriage came from California, this film was created in cooperation with the Inglewood, CA police department. The film embedded below are entitled Boys Beware and the basic message is "homosexuals = child-raping murderers".* Not exactly nuanced.

Looking around on the web, you're likely to find numerous pages by such groups as the Traditional Values Coalition that echo the long-since debunked claims of Boys Beware by intentionally attempting to mask the distinction between homosexuality and pedophilia/child sexual abuse. Sexual assaults, according to the Arizona Crime Victims Services website is not about sexuality per se. Rather, "[t]he major motive for sexual assault is power - to overpower and control another person."+ That is to say that men who sexually abuse boys often do so not because they're especially attracted to them, but rather as an act of anger and a display of power. Heterosexual men who would never seek a sexual encounter with another grown man nevertheless sometimes sexually abuse young boys because of this - The sex act is more about hurting and humiliating the victim (and making the offender fell like a big tough guy) than actual sexual gratification.

Furthermore, since most sexual abuse of children is at the hands of a family member or a trusted acquaintance (source), with strangers accounting for something in the 10% of child sex abuse perpetrators. Finally, having been the victim of sexual abuse oneself is a far greater predictor of becoming an abuser than one's sexual orientation. Therefore, the likelihood of a child being abused ex nihilo by a homosexual stranger is essentially nil.

But I prattle on. For a more thorough treatment of the subject, I refer readers to the the website of Dr. Gregory Herek and what amounts to a point-by-point refutation of the claims on display in the film and on the TVC wesbite.

* This film also has a sister film entitled Girls Beware that doesn't have the same anti-homosexual component.
+ This echoes the findings of John Douglas, Robert Ressler, and Ann Burgess, as discussed in their landmark Crime Classification Manual.

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