Has SNAP studied why so many of the abuse cases seem to be men with boys and not girls?

Some experts say that the percentage of priests who are pedophiles may be as high as 8 percent, and as many as 40 percent may be homosexual. Experts take great pains to explain that homosexuals are no more likely to be pedophiles than are heterosexuals. Nevertheless, many parishioners are asking why so many of the abuse cases seem to be men with boys - not girls. Has SNAP studied this situation or does it have any answers from the organization's experience with victims of abuse?

Roughly half of our 20,000 members are women. We hear more about boys being molested for at least three reasons.

Men tend to direct their anger outward (and file lawsuits, for example), while women tend to direct anger inward (and litigation, of course, generates media coverage.)
Women deal with their pain in more private ways--such as therapy/support groups.
Male/male sex is more salacious and therefore attracts more attention.
The availability of boys is also a variable. In years past, parents of a 13 year old boy gladly allowed their child to travel or "sleep over" with a priest, but would not have permitted a girl to do so.

We believe that two factors - an insistence on celibacy, which many priests do not adhere to, and a disproportionate percentage of gay priests - contribute to culture of silence and secrecy. When priest are forbidden to engage in any sexual activity whatsoever, then many priests inevitably have something to hide. And in that atmosphere, it becomes less likely that an individual priest will report sexual misconduct by one of his peers.

Showing 2 comments

  • Michelle P
    commented 2017-11-14 01:06:27 -0600
    1. Where do you get your percentages of 8% of Priests are pedophiles and up to 40% are homosexuals?

    2. How do you say that “many” Priests do not hold to their Vow of Celibacy?

    3. What if a Priest is elderly, retired and alive when he is charged with sexual abuse, but dies before he can defend himself in court? He can’t “face his accuser(s).”
    Is he still considered guilty; or is it “innocent before proven guilty,” as our Justice system is set up? Or will his name always have the brand of guilty?
  • Bruce Ludlow
    commented 2016-04-09 17:07:32 -0500
    This answer fails to acknowledge one of the most obvious contributing facts to this disparity: that there are really that many more boys, far, far, far, more boys who are molested, and such an astronomically greater rate that, even with boys’ inherent reluctance to speak out about it (not helped at all by society’s insistence that boys and men cannot be raped), we still hear more about boys in the media.

    I don’t know why whoever wrote this is eager to skirt around these facts. Is there a reason for this?

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant