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The RBT Files: Index

  [The original articles]   [Explaining articles]    [Discussion]   [Some documents]

The original articles

Rind, B. (1998). Biased Use of Cross-Cultural and Historical Perspectives on Male Homosexuality in Human Sexuality Textbooks. The Journal of Sex Research 35:4, pp. 397-407. A Review by Adam.

Rind, B., Bauserman, R. & Tromotitch, Ph.,
An Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Based on Nonclinical Samples, Paper presented to the symposium sponsored by the Paulus Kerk, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, on the 18th of December 1998.
"The results of our reviews clearly show that the assumptions of most mental health professionals, legislators, law enforcement personnel, media workers, and the lay public that sexual relations defined as CSA cause intense harm pervasively for both boys and girls are vastly exaggerated."

Rind, B., Tromovitch, Ph. & Bauserman, R.,
A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples, in: Psychological Bulletin 1998, Vol 124, No 1, pp 22-53.
"Self-reported reactions to and effects from CSA* indicated that negative effects were neither pervasive nor typically intense, and that men reacted much less negatively than women. The college data were completely consistent with data from national samples. Basic beliefs about CSA in the general population were not supported."
[* Child Sexual Abuse]

Tromovitch, Ph., Rind, B. & Bauserman, R., Adult Correlates of Child Sexual Abuse: A meta-analytic review of college student and national probability samples, SSSS-ER April 18, 1997

About the Meta-Analyse: 1. Explaining articles

Ferguson, Bob, Youthful Sexual Experience and Well-being, Important Conference in Rotterdam, in: Koinos Magazine #21 (1999/1)

Gieles, F.E.J., Mister President..., The USA is shocked by the research of Rind, Bauserman & Tromovitch; chronological overview of the critical reactions; in: Ipce Newsletter E6, July 1999

Gieles, F.E.J., An Explanation of the statistics, used in the Meta-analysis, in: Ipce Newsletter E7, December 1999

G. G., Radical Reconsideration of the Concept of Child Sexual Abuse, New Findings by Bauserman, Rind and Tromovitch, in: Koinos Magazine #20 (1998/4)

Harris, C, Prof. Harris replies to a student 
Prof. Harris
I really enjoyed today's lecture on divorce. However, I am very intrigued by your thoughts on abuse. I was extremely concerned when you mentioned that not everyone who is abused as a child, is scarred for life. [..]
Response:
[...] Rind, Tromovitch and Bauserman found that many other factors predicted personality and adult adjustment, such as family conflict, parental strife, chaotic household, low income, parent with a psychiatric disorder, and so on.
These factors are correlated with CSA (just as they are with divorce)!  Once these factors are taken into account, CSA itself has no additional predictive validity.   So we can't attributed poor adult adjustment to CSA, because the factors which are correlated with CSA are sufficient to cause poor adult adjustment.  [...]

About the Meta-Analyse: 2. Discussion

Berry, Kenneth K. & Berry, Jason, The Congressional censure of a research paper: Return to the Inquisition? From: Skeptical Inquirer Electronic Digest, Commentary in the issue dated December 10, 1999 
We have taken the first large and frightening step away from scientific freedom and toward totalitarianism in control of scientific endeavours.

Bullough, Vern, The Pedophilia Smear, in: Taking Positions, 
Self-appointed guardians of American morality like Laura Schlessinger are targeting sex researchers, including me. 
In June 1998, Bruce Rind, Philip Tromovitch, and Robert Bausenman published a meta-analysis of 59 studies dealing with child sexual abuse based on college samples in the Psychological Bulletin. [...]
A year earlier Rind and Tromovitch reached similar conclusions about child sexual abuse using a national probability sample. Their findings should have encouraged therapists to rethink some of their assumptions since they implied that, for a significant portion of child sexual abuse victims, the trauma was not what many believed it was, and that treatment modalities could be adjusted according to the individual himself or herself.
Instead the two studies led to a firestorm of controversy which eventually resulted in a congressional resolution condemning them. Why?

Ericksen, Julia A., Sexual liberation's last frontier, in: Society May-June 2000, 37-4.
It is appropriate to undertake such research if only to wrest the terms of the debate from conservatives who have used pedophilia as a way to silence all attempts at sexual tolerance.

Gieles, F.E.J., Science and Morality or The Rind et al. Controversy, The counter arguments replied, in: Ipce Newsletter E7, December 1999

Haaken, Janice & Lamb, Sharon, Politics of CSA research, in: Society, May-June 2000, 37-4
Haaken and Lamb attempt to steer a middle ground between a social constructionist or culturally relative position on sexuality on the one hand, and an approach that emphasizes universal principles of justice and care on the other.

Letter to the Editor, Aug. 2, 2000
Erica Goodes prompt response to the publication of the latest child abuse study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, (Childhood Abuse and Adult Stress, p. A22, Aug. 2nd) strikes of a continuation of scientific revisonism begun after the publication in 1998 of Rind, Bauserman and Tromovitchs Meta-Analysis of Child Sex Abuse Using College Samples in Psychological Bulletin, published by the American Psychological Association

Mirkin, Harris, Sex, Science and Sin: The Rind Report, Sexual Politics and American Scholarship,  Manuscript submitted to Sexuality and Culture, Special Issue on Rind-Tromovitch-Bauserman
Many social scientists and psychologists disagreed with the article, but one would have expected them to fight back with other articles rather than with a call for censorship. In fact, the problem with the article wasn't that it was methodologically weak, but that it was strong. It broke the rules of sexual politics. [...]
The Rind report attacked the empirical foundation of the moral claims that were being made, and like the Kinsey Reports it was vehemently attacked and seen as undermining the moral tradition. The anger was generated against the two reports not because they were unconvincing but because they, each in their own way, were too convincing. If their analyses were right it would shake the foundations of the moral claims that were commonly made and largely accepted. To admit Rind type arguments into the debate, and to argue shades of gray and issues of definition, was to lose the major battle. The Rind argument didn't overtly challenge the moral premise about adult/youth sex, but it did threaten to change the type of argument. That was the danger.

Oellerich, Thomas D., Rind, Tromovitch, and Bauserman: Politically Incorrect - Scientifically Correct, in: Sexuality & Culture, 4(2), 67-81 (2000)
The Rind, Tromovitch, and Bauserman study of the impact of CSA among college students is politically incorrect but scientifically correct. It has a number of important implications for the research and practice communities. Among the more important is the need to stop exaggerating the negative impact of adult/nonadult sexual behavior, as suggested earlier by both Browne and Finkelhor, and Seligman. Another important implication is for conducting research that does not approach the issue of adult/nonadult sexual behavior with a political ideology as often has been the case thus far. And finally it is time to stop the common practices of 1)assuming that CSA causes psychological harm, and 2) routinely recommending psychotherapeutic intervention.

Rainer, Paul, Strident Attack, translated from Der Spiegel, 2 Aug 1999 with Comment.

Rind, B., Bauserman, R. & Tromovitch, Ph., The Condemned Meta-Analysis on Child Sexual Abuse; Good Science and Long-Overdue Skepticism; In: Skeptical Inquirer July/August 20001, 68-72
In July 1999, the prestigious journal Psychological Bulletin published our review of fifty-nine studies that had examined psychological correlates of child sexual abuse (CSA) [...] We soon achieved an unexpected honor: our paper was unanimously condemned by Congress.
In the aftermath, SKEPTICAL INQUIRER has published two commentaries, one denouncing Congress [...] and the other denouncing our study (Hagen 2001). We would like to offer our own thoughts about this astonishing story of politics, pressure, and social hysteria - the antitheses of critical and skeptical thought.
We conducted our research in the spirit of scientific skepticism, an attitude sadly missing in the CSA panic that arose throughout much of the 1980s and early 1990s.

Rind, B., Bauserman, R. & Tromovitch, Ph., Science versus orthodoxy: Anatomy   of the congressional condemnation of a scientific article and reflections on remedies for future ideological attacks' in: Applied & Preventive Psychology 9:211-225 (2000). 
In this article, we detail the chronology behind the attacks. Then we discuss the science behind our meta-analysis, showing that the attacks were specious and that our study employed sound science, advancing the field considerably by close attention to issues of external, internal, and construct validity, as well as precision and objectivity.
Next, we discuss orthodoxies and moral panics more generally, arguing that our article was attacked as vehemently as it was because it collided with a powerful, but socially constructed orthodoxy that has evolved over the last quarter century.
Finally, we offer reflections and recommendations for fellow researchers, lest this kind of event recur. We focus on the need for greater cognizance of historical attacks on science to anticipate and deflate future attacks. We argue that our research should stand as another reminder among many that sacred-cow issues do not belong in science. We discuss nonscientific advocacy in the social sciences and the need to recognize and counter it. We discuss the failure of psychology to adequately deal with the study of human sexuality, a problem that enabled the faulty attacks on our article, and we suggest directions for becoming more scientific in this area. And last, we raise the issue of how professional organizations might deal more effectively with such attacks in the future.

Rind, B., Tromovitch, Ph. & Bauserman, R., 
Condemnation of a scientific article: A chronology and refutation of the attacks and a discussion of threats to the integrety of science,
in: In: Sexuality & Culture, 4-2, Spring 2000
The current article chronicles this whole affair. First, we provide background, explaining why an article such as ours was needed. Then we accurately summarize the article, given that it has been so widely misrepresented. Next we present a chronology of the events leading up to and following the condemnation. We then present and refute all the major criticisms of the article, which have included both methodological and conceptual attacks. Next we discuss the threat to science that these events portend. We conclude by discussing the need to separate moral judgments from scientific research, the conflation of which formed the basis for the distortions and condemnation.

Rind, B., Tromovitch, Ph. & Bauserman, R.,
The Clash of Media, Politics, and Sexual Science: An examination of the controversy surrounding the Psychological Bulletin meta-analysis on the assumed properties of child sexual abuse,
Talk presented at the 1999 Joint Annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS) and the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) November 6th, 1999 (St. Louis, Missouri).
Nine months after publication in Psychological Bulletin, our analysis of the college student data came under intense attack by the radical right with assistance from traumatologists associated with the left. This controversy recently culminated with the U.S. House of Representatives condemning the article in a 355-0 vote. We will briefly summarize the methods and findings of our analyses, then focus on subsequent events.

Tavris, Carol, , The uproar over sexual abuse and its findings, in: Society, May-June 2000, 37-4
Congress and clinicians may feel a spasm of righteousness by condemning scientific findings they dislike, but their actions will do little or nothing to reduce the actual abuse of children.

Zuriff, G.E., Pedophilia and the culture wars, in: Public Interest, Winter 2000
The article gives a short summary of the research of the Rind et al. team. Then, it will explain why the results of this research have upset many groups in the US society, including the Congress, so that these groups will deny the results of the research. 
The author analyses the remarkable reaction of the APA, who turned 180 degrees and who published paradoxes. The author analyses the ideological combat that's going on behind the scene.

 

Some documents

The Congress Resolution 107, July 12, 1999

APA's Statement
Statement dated March 23, 1999 by the American Psychological Association:
"Childhood Sexual Abuse Causes Serious Harm to its Victims"

The Author's Response, May 12, 1999

Fowler's Statement
Controversy Regarding APA Journal Article, From: Ray Fowler, Ph.D., 25 May 1999

The other APA's Statement
America Psychiatric Association medical director criticizes other APA's publication of pedophilia study, June 1, 1999

Top scientific body finds no reason to fault Rind report, November 17th 1999

Laura Schlessinger, Evil among us

The NARTH's web page:
The Problem of Pedophilia; Adult-Child Sex Is Not Necessarily "Abuse," Say Some Psychologists

NAMBLA's statement: The Good news About Man/Boy Love

 

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