They were at least eleven

Miranda did a close reading of the US Conference of Catholic bishops’ report on child sexual abuse.

Feast on this one item:

One of the most egregious aspects of this report is that the researchers arbitrarily redefine “pedophilia” as sexual abuse of victims that were ten years old or younger at the time, despite the fact that the DSM sets the cutoff age at thirteen.

And guess what the result of that is? It changes the stats! Radically. It makes the problem seem a whole lot smaller than it is.

 if the researchers had used the DSM‘s guidelines, the percentage would jump from 22% to almost 73%.

Extraordinary, isn’t it? Just arbitrarily change the definition and poof, the whole mess all but disappears – and the report gets the fun of scolding the media for using the unchanged definition:

Media reports about Catholic priests who sexually abused minors often mistakenly have referred to priests as pedophiles. According to the DSM IV-TR, pedophilia is characterized by fantasies, urges, or behaviors about sexual activity with a prepubescent child that occurs for a significant period of time. Yet, the Nature and Scope data indicated that nearly four out of five minors abused were at least eleven years old at the time of the abuse. Though development happens at varying ages for children, the literature generally refers to eleven and older as an age of pubescence or postpubescence (53).

At which point children simply long to be raped by priests.

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