Start Omhoog


Laura Schlessinger

A new pseudo-scientific study attempts to normalize pedophilia, claiming that "adult-child sex" is not necessarily a bad thing. This is the most dangerous assault yet on our children, our families, and our society.

Unless you've been in a cave for the last several weeks, you've heard me on the air lambasting a recent article published in the Bulletin of the American Psychological Association, called "A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples."

In short: The three researchers claim that child sexual abuse does not necessarily cause intense, lasting harm-and go on to suggest that when there is a "willing" sexual encounter between an adult and a child, it be given the "value- neutral" term "adult-child sex"!

I've read and re-read this report until I'm sick to my stomach, and still, putting these words into print leaves me practically speechless-and you know how rare that is.

When I first heard about this, I wanted to disbelieve it. But I've done my research, and I cannot stress strongly enough how deadly serious this is.

This study is the first step on the road toward normalizing pedophilia - just as homosexuality has been mainstreamed, to the point where tolerance is no longer sufficient: We now have to "embrace" it.

I want to recap for you my own journey of discovery in this horrifying story: as I first learned of this study, examined it further, spoke with experts in the field who have excoriated the authors' methodology and their conclusions, and as I received hundreds of outraged, appalled and heartbroken letters from listeners who know all too well the "lasting, pervasive" harm of child sexual abuse-and that it is never a "willing," "value-neutral" experience.

THE WARNING BELL SOUNDS It began with a letter.

I was in the middle of my show one day when I received a fax from Don, a father of two, who had just heard Dom Giordano, morning talk show host on my Philadelphia affiliate, WWDB, interview one of the authors of this study. Don wrote:

"[The author] stated that not all children who engage in sexual contact willingly with an adult show any lasting damage. He further stated that to call this sexual contact 'abuse' is a mistake, because it’s consensual..." [I believe the researchers had] an agenda that should scare all decent people. The next time some pervert gets caught with a child, I'm sure this is the first study his scum lawyer will drag out to defend his actions."

I immediately thought, "This is a very intelligent letter, but this can't be happening." I didn't believe it. So we started to track it down.

Next we received a fact sheet from NARTH, an organization I respect: the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. The name of NARTH's report was: "The Problem of Pedophilia: Adult-Child Sex Is Not Necessarily Abuse, Say Some Psychologists."

The NARTH article pointed out that one of the authors of the Bulletin article had earlier co-authored an article in a special issue of the respected Journal of Homosexuality entitled "Male lntergenerational Intimacy." That issue was essentially an advertisement for the "benefits" of pedophilia-asserting that the loving pedophile can offer a child "companionship, security and protection" that neither peers nor parents can provide, and that parents should look on the pedophile "as a partner in the boy's upbringing, someone to be welcomed into their home... "!

Here are some excerpts from NARTH's report; I'd like to thank Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, director of NARTH, for giving us permission to quote from it.

"The American Psychological Association did not denounce the positions advanced within the Journal of Homosexuality. In fact, just recently, the APA published a new major study written by one of those same Journal of Homosexuality writers. The latest article appears in the APA, its own prestigious Psychological Bulletin. It provides an overview of all of the research studying the harm resulting from childhood sexual abuse.

"The authors' conclusion? That childhood sexual abuse is, on the average, only slightly associated with psychological harm, and that the harm may not even be due to the sexual experience, but to the negative family factors in the children's backgrounds. When the sexual contact is not coerced, especially when it is experienced by a boy and enjoyed, it may not be harmful at all....

"In fact, the authors of the Psychological Bulletin article propose another way of understanding pedophilia: That it may be abuse if the child feels bad about the relationship. They are in effect suggesting a repetition of the steps by which homosexuality was normalized.

In its first step toward removing homosexuality from the Diagnostic Manual, the, APA said the condition was normal as long as the person didn't feel bad about it...

'According to the latest diagnostic manual (DSM-IV), a person no longer has a psychological disorder simply because he molests children. To be diagnosed as disordered, he must feel anxious about the molestation, or be impaired in his work or social relationships. Thus, the APA has left room for the psychologically 'normal' pedophile. "

Now, I have to reiterate a point here that I've tried to make several times on the air. Psychology has become some kind of holy writ to the general public. It's not. Psychology is not hard science. Just because a bunch of psychologists make intellectual-sounding pronouncements about the way things are-it ain't necessarily so!

So, let me ask a question of the psychologists and psychiatrists of the world: If pedophilia is not a mental disorder, then what is it? Is it normal?

When homosexuality was dropped from the DSM, the agenda became, "Homosexuality is normal." If you said anything to the contrary, that meant you were hateful and bigoted. Deviance became- redefined as diversity, and tolerance became defined as acceptance, then celebration. It sounds like we're taking the next step with pedophilia.

To return to the NARTH fact sheet: "If Psychology indeed recognizes consensual pedophilia as harmless, then civil law and social norms will be under pressure to follow the lead of so-called social science, as indeed they did in the issue of homosexuality. When psychiatry declared homosexuality normal, our courts and theologians began to rewrite civil law and moral theology based upon what psychiatry said it had discovered through empirical science. "

Later, Joe Nicolosi sent me a memo that makes some very salient additional points:

"1. The study used a college-age sample, which implies that most subjects were likely single. Would the results of this study have been different if they had been conducted with these same subjects ten years later? Would those subjects have been more prone to divorce, alcoholism, and child abuse? Would their spouses agree that they were well adjusted, sexually and emotionally? We doubt it.

"2. The authors of the study try to make a case for separating 'wrongfulness' (social-moral norms) from 'harmfulness' (psychological damage). We believe that social norms of wrongfulness are not arbitrary, but they evolved out of the great religious philosophers’ time-honored observations of 'harmfulness'-i.e., their finding of psychological damage to the person and society.

"3. The study makes a distinction between forced and consensual child-adult or adult-teen sex. What minor-age child can make an informed decision to consent to sex? "


Much as I still didn't want to believe this could be happening, I realized it was time to examine this for myself.

So I got the actual article, published last year by the American Psychological Association, in their Psychological Bulletin. This is a peer-reviewed publication, which means that some number of clinicians had to read and approve this article for publication. While this may not be a statement of the APA's official position, I hold them accountable for what I have been told by numerous professionals is garbage research.

First of all, let's look at the title of the report: "A Meta-Analytic Examination...": Meta-analysis means you don't do any of your own work; you go into the literature, grab a lot of papers, all done by different people, put them all together, do a lot of math, and publish.

The researchers chose 59 studies to review. Of these, 38 percent have not been published. They are unpublished master-degree or doctoral dissertations. So 23 of the 59 studies used were not even subject to any kind of peer review-that is, to the technical scrutiny of the psychological community.

These 59 studies all used self- reporting from college students, who were questioned about the effects of child sexual abuse as they felt them. Think about that term, "self-reporting": That's a brilliant way to do research, right? You have a lot of objectivity there.

The researchers claim that according to some of these college students' own descriptions, the negative effects of child sexual abuse "were neither pervasive nor typically intense, and that men reacted much less negatively than women." Is this anybody's personal experience? Does this bear any resemblance to anyone you know who was molested as a child?

According to their findings, two- thirds of sexually abused men and more than one-quarter of sexually abused women "reported neutral or positive reactions." So even in their own study-again keeping in mind the dubious nature of their methods-one- third of the guys and 75 percent of the women were harmed. Aren't statistics a wonderful thing?

What really frightens me is the idea that this study will now be used to normalize pedophilia-to change the legal system, and further destroy what I feet has been an ongoing plot against the family.

I'm not alone in this view. I had a discussion with Dr. Gerard van den Aardweg of Holland, who has seen firsthand the inroads made in his country by pedophilia activists.

Dr. van den Aardweg has a Ph.D. in psychology, did his dissertation on homosexuality, has been in private practice for many years, and has written several books and articles on homosexuality, pedophilia, neuroses and family issues.

"Their argument is that scores on some tests do not indicate harm-that if harm is not demonstrated by their way of testing, then harm does not exist," Dr. van den Aardweg says.

"I think these people are so eager to propagate the normality of adult-child sexual contact that they are blind to the obvious alternative: 'If my test did not show harm, maybe my test did not measure harm.'

"These tests are sample questionnaires or short interview questions. At best, they can give a very rude indication of subjectively perceived discomfort. But in very many cases they not even do that. Harm is much more than 'I do or do not feel okay,' or 'I didn't like that experience.' Harm after child sexual abuse is often an increased distress with respect to adults; a distorted and unhealthy view of sexuality; a distorted view of their own or the opposite sex. It can be subsequent sexual abnormalities.

It can be marriage and other relational problems later in life; problems functioning as a parent; sometimes later promiscuity; and in many cases, inferiority complexes, because children who have been misused often feel worthless.

"In short, what these psychologists offer us here is an insult to any really credible scientist of true scientific thinking. It is bogus psychology."


Now here's a further discussion that Dr. van den Aardweg and I had on the telephone:

Dr. van den Aardweg: I think the sexual reform movements of the Western world have as one of their goals to liberate sexuality in all its forms. And so there is a silent - not so silent here in Holland -cooperation of the sexual reform organizations with the cause of the militant pedophiles. Here it is very clear. For example, our Dutch Association for Sexual Reform has special meetings for pedophiles every week in most Dutch cities.

Dr. Laura- This is scary. In this country, such groups gain power and authority by attacking the opposition as phobic, intolerant of diversity, bigoted and mean.

VDA. You will do a wonderful thing if you make people aware of this, and say to them, "Don't let yourself be intimidated. Don't doubt your own common-sense judgment of these things' " Because people are overruled and overwhelmed with all kinds of pseudo-science. They think, "Who am I? Perhaps I'm wrong, I'm old-fashioned, I'm a victim of my Western culture." But they have to be supported as to their own convictions.

DL: So the point of liberating the sexual mores in general is, ultimately, to have access to kids.

VDA- Yes.

DL: That's what it's for: getting the kids sexually active and then getting sexually active with the kids. So there are a number of ways for people to take our kids. They can recruit them for the Fatherland's master race, they can take them out of villages and force them to become soldiers, or they can support safe-sex education in schools starting in kindergarten, and have them become active and liberated and available and open to new sexual experiences-like sex with an adult.

VDA. Pedophiles have an obsession. It's not a normal kind of sexual drive, it's a pathological obsession. It is the nucleus of their whole life. Like many disturbed people, their attitude is not that "I have to change," but that "the world has to change." And so, they are the ones to crusade to change the world, and really think that they can eventually get normal fathers and mothers to give their children to pedophiles for educational or enlightenment motivations.

Here in Holland, one of the advocates of pedophilia who just died had received royal distinction some years ago for his work to "liberate" homosexuality, as they say. He was in the Dutch senate as a very esteemed and respected senator.

Be aware: The public does not know what is happening. The pedophile network is worldwide.

You can imagine the firestorm I set off by devoting an entire hour of my radio show to this topic-as well as follow-ups on several subsequent days.

I hadn't even finished speaking when the faxes began pouring in. Listeners were horrified by what they were hearing, and I'll share some of these comments shortly. The article-and my outspoken opposition to it-received a great deal of media attention, as you can see in "What the Media Are Saying" on page 12.

And, what a surprise, the American Psychological Association was quick to disassociate itself from the article in its own publication, according to a press release they put out:

'As a publisher of psychological research, APA publishes thousands of research reports every year.

"But, publication of the findings of a research project within an APA journal is in no way an endorsement of a finding by the, Association...

"Unfortunately, the findings of this meta-analysis ... are being misreported by some in the media. The actual findings are that for this segment of the population (college students) being the victim of childhood sexual abuse was found to be less damaging to them than generally believed. However one overall statement of the results was that students who were the victims of child sexual abuse were, on average, slightly less well-adjusted than students who were not victimized as children....

"Those who are reporting that the study says that childhood sexual contact with adults is not harmful to children are misreporting the findings."

Perhaps they hadn't read their own publication: The researchers specifically say that "this poorer adjustment could not be attributed to CSA [child sexual abuse] [italics mine -DL] because family environment was consistently confounded with CSA... ."

Furthermore, the authors clearly state at the end of their report: 'A willing encounter with positive reactions would be labeled simply adult-child sex, a value-neutral term ... Moreover the term child should be restricted to nonadolescent children"-as if a non- adolescent child has the intellectual, psychological or emotional maturity to "willingly" engage in a sexual encounter with an adult!

I'm still flabbergasted by this logic.

Finally, these are but a few of the comments that flooded in from listeners:


"I am a victim of sustained sexual abuse-and one who has been convicted of sexually abusing kids. I am still in intense therapy. I know how both sides feel, and I want to share with you some of my thoughts.

"Emotionally I stopped developing at the first incidence of abuse as an 11-year-old. What followed were years of role confusion, emotional outbursts, intense isolation and an endless search for normalcy.

"Sexual abuse renders the victim helpless, and this process of being a professional 'victim' and reacting to my ,emotional' quirky thinking led me to rationalize that it was okay to traumatize young boys because I knew how it felt to be traumatized, and I would be careful to take good care of these boys. I KNEW IT WAS NOT OKAY! I knew the damage that I was inflicting, and I didn't care because my needs were more important.

"I have spent the past four years in therapy, I am on five years'probation, and I am registered as a sex offender with a felony conviction. I do not whine about this; in fact, I deserve all of these consequences. I know we as a society are disgusted by perverts like myself, but there is help out there."


 I am a recently retired Federal Agent, with over 16 years of law-enforcement experience, having investigated numerous cases of child sexual molestation and child rape by pedophiles. For over a year I worked in a semi-covert capacity in the homosexual (not gay) community, gathering information on pedophiles who were actively recruiting young boys and luring them into sexual relations. I have personally investigated so many pedophilia cases that I was granted expert-witness status in court.

NAMBLA lives by the creed "Sex before eight, or it's too late," and has lobbied for several years to lower the age of sexual consent to eight years old. Imagine for a moment a 50-year-old male being given the legal right to have sexual relations with an eight-year-old child, and a parent being able to do nothing to stop it.

The males who engage in this type of activity with children are engaging in criminal activity that is vile and deviant. Instead of calling this "adult-child sex '" it should be labeled as what it is: child rape and child molestation. I resent that somehow this is being convoluted into a "lifestyle choice." For the eight-year-old there is no choice involved.

It is my general observation that when the American Psychological Association redefines a deviant behavior as an abstract lifestyle choice, it's usually prompted by their inability to devise an adequate treatment program to "cure" the problem. In other words: If it's no longer deviant, it's no longer a problem. It's the APA’ form of denial. This is due, in part, to the fact that there is no current treatment plan or medication that will stop a pedophile from offending again. A pedophile will be a pedophile as long as he lives.

One constant in the laws of physics is that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. In this case, for every group of people that gains a right, another group must lose a right. Do we really want to take away the right of a child to be protected from sexual predators, and give child molesters the right to prey upon children?

The APA should be viewed with nothing but contempt for their concessions to molesters and deviants. What they should be doing is lending their support for lifetime incarceration of pedophiles so that they won't offend again. To deny the basic truths of pedophilia is to do all of society a grave injustice. Please continue your fight for truth.


 "Those in the field of psychology did not have any trouble taking my money seven years ago when my world fell apart due to the effects of molestation when I was four. For how many years was this a cash cow for their field? Now they are telling me it was possibly a positive experience in my life! I think that it is quite obvious that we are only pawns used to fulfill someone's agenda."


 "A family friend, retired after 35 years with the FBI, told me a number of years ago that the term 'gay' was a carefully thought-out marketing plan to make that lifestyle acceptable (or, as you say, ,normalized'). Homosexuals found the terms faggot, queer, etc. offensive, so they set out to come up with a name for themselves that would roll off the tongues of the public. Well, it pretty much has worked.

At the time of this discussion, my friend also told me that child molesters were taking a page from the book of the homosexuals, and were in the midst of a campaign to 'normalize' their behavior."


"As a man who was sexually abused as a child by two different heterosexual, married adult men, I can testify to the lasting effects and damage. As a gay male, I am, and always have been, disgusted and offended by ANY organization that even suggests that children enjoy or somehow benefit from sexual contact with adults. In fact, the majority of the gay community, and every gay person I know, is appalled by NAMBLA. I am disgusted that ANY group (whether psychological or homosexual) could suggest that adult- child sex can be healthy in any way. Children are incapable of making such decisions, and I know firsthand that this behavior is destructive and long-lasting."


"I don't want you to miss out on a real silver lining to the removal of pedophilia from the DSM IV. I am an attorney and have been disgusted over the years by child molesters and their shrinks claiming that the molester's acts were a product of a mental disorder. This has entitled them to reduced sentences (in some cases, no jail time at all!); and state-financed therapy programs, among other perks. Even worse, it has perpetuated the false concept that these people are ill rather than evil. Such a belief makes it easier to molest again, easier to forgive a molester, and easier to believe that the molester has been 'cured' and therefore able to be near children again."


The number of letters and phone calls I've received from people desperate to do something about this most disturbing effort to destigmatize pedophilia has inspired me to start a movement called "Dr. Laura's Warriors." See Dr. LauraLand on page 16 for more information about this campaign.

To all of you who've written, called or taxed me, you have my unending thanks for committing yourself to upholding the strong values, morality and ethics that are our only hope as a society and a civilization.


Start Omhoog