Ted Strickland’s 1999 ‘Present’ Vote on H CON RES 107 — Part 2: The Resolution, and the One-Minute Speech
Other posts in the series:
Index — What It Means, Why It Matters, and Overview
Part 1 — Why It’s Being Brought Up
Part 3 — The Reason Why He Said He Opposed It (and My Conversation with Him about It)
Part 4 — What It Reveals about How He Might Govern
Part 2: The Resolution, and the One-Minute Speech
H CON RES 107 was a “sense of the Congress” resolution condemning the 1998 publication by the American Psychological Association (APA) of a report (actually a “study of studies”), and the report’s authors, for suggesting that “adult-child sex,” i.e., pedophilia, might be beneficial ….. for the child.
The Weekly Standard’s January 1, 2001 article, “Pedophilia Chic” Revisited,” (link is to second page of article) summarized the content of and the agenda behind the APA publication (entitled “A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples”) very succinctly:
The density of its professional jargon and 30-plus pages aside, the argument of “Meta-Analytic” was straightforward enough: that the common belief that “child sexual abuse causes intense harm, regardless of gender” was not supported by the studies the authors cited; that, to the contrary, “negative effects [of child sexual abuse] were neither pervasive nor typically intense, and that men reacted much less negatively than women.” The article also criticized the “indiscriminate use of this term [child sexual abuse] and related terms such as victim and perpetrator,” suggesting instead that the child’s feelings about sex acts with adults should be taken into account, and that “a willing encounter with positive reactions would be labeled simply adult-child sex.”
….. In retrospect, there were two significant and little-noticed facts in all this. One was not so much the schism that this controversy revealed between elite-therapeutic and popular thinking about pedophilia, but rather that the schism itself had gone unnoticed for so long. For shocking though it may have been to the general public, “Meta-Analytic” was in fact only the latest in a very long series of professional attempts to revise therapeutic conceptions of boy pedophilia, attempts of which most lay readers remain quite ignorant.
Professionals in the field know better…..
H CON RES 107 was drafted within a few months of when talk-show host Laura Schlessinger, followed by many others, including many prominent “conservatives” and “liberals,” raised a hue and cry over the APA publication. By the time the July 12, 1999 House vote took place, APA had, in an extremely rare move, withdrawn “Meta-Analytic.” The Roll Call vote was 355-0 supporting condemnation of the study (“Expressing the Sense of Congress Concerning the sexual relationships between adults and children”). Ted Strickland and a dozen other congresspersons voted “Present.”
What has been overlooked in what I have previously read about this vote is that Ted Strickland must have been one unhappy guy, someone with a LOT of pent-up emotion to unload that simply would not go away. Why? Because fully 15 days later, on July 27, 1999, long after the House had in essence put the matter behind it, Strickland delivered this intense rebuke on the floor of the House to 355 of his colleagues (saved at blog host because of the use of temporary links at relevant web site; the House did get the Resolution back on July 30 from the Senate for a perfunctory final approval without a Roll Call vote; bolds are mine):
(Mr. STRICKLAND asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. STRICKLAND. Mr. Speaker, it troubles me that sometimes in this Chamber we stand and say things that we ought not to say. We criticize people that we have no right to criticize.
We recently voted to condemn a scientific study and an organization, an organization that has done as much as any organization in this country to fight child abuse.
I wonder how many of us read the study before we were willing to vote to say that the methodology was flawed. I wonder how many of us were technically competent to make that decision.
I believe that we ought to observe the Ten Commandments. One of those Commandments says, you ought not to bear false witness against your neighbor.
When we say things about an organization or about an individual scientist that are untrue or unsubstantiated, in my judgment, we have violated that Commandment.
We ought to have the decency not to vote to condemn something until we know what it is we are voting to condemn.
Wow — Does this statement ever call for serious dissection:
- “We criticize people that we have no right to criticize.”
This is an outrage. His colleagues had no right to criticize a study that tried to advance the “cause” of pedophilia? My goodness, what CAN be criticized in Ted Strickland’s world?
- “I wonder how many of us read the study …”
Oh, this is a real knee-slapper. Am I supposed to believe that Ted Strickland himself has read every word of every bill brought before Congress in its final form before voting on it? Call Guinness — He has to be the only congressman on earth who can make that statement.
- “I wonder how many of us were technically competent to make that decision.“
Strickland is being so disingenuous that it’s breathtaking. Has Ted Strickland never placed at least partial reliance on expert testimony before voting on a bill? And did his colleagues really need to understand all of the nuances of “the methodology” to know that any study which concludes that
adult-child sex pedophilia can benefit a child is dangerously flawed? I’ve reviewed what his colleagues had to say (also saved to the blog host’s hard drive), and they seemed quite eloquent and on-point. But I will have to come forward and admit that I’m biased against adult-child sex pedophilia, so I suppose you’ll have to take my evaluation with a grain of salt.
- “One of those Commandments says, you ought not to bear false witness against your neighbor…. we have violated that Commandment.”
This one really could occupy its own post, but in the interest of space — What’s with “we,” Ted? YOU voted “Present.” No one is fooled by the misdirection. More on point — Isn’t it obvious that in this instance, after having 15 days to think about it, Ted Strickland is calling 355 of his colleagues, including over 160 in his own party, a bunch of liars? Are, you, kidding, me? No wonder after 12 years in Congress his Power Ranking is 402. I suppose the only reason it’s not in the 430s is that some current House Members weren’t there when old “non-judgmental Ted” delivered his judgmental broadside.
* * * * * *
As hard to take as Mr. Strickland’s speech was (and is), it still doesn’t go into Ted Strickland’s stated reason at the time for not voting for the Resolution. In that sense, the speech is at least as noteworthy for what isn’t there as for what is.
Ted Strickland’s stated objection to the Resolution, the one he “somehow” didn’t mention in his one-minute floor speech, plus the conversation I had with him about that objection, are covered in Part 3.
UPDATE, Dec. 28: Right Angle Blog found an endorsement of the study in question by a very questionable group here, with the following text (note: this is NOT the original posting; the referenced link says that the original was taken down) –
A newly published analysis of 59 different studies of youth sexuality has just appeared in the prestigious Psychological Bulletin. Using a powerful technique called “meta-analysis”, the analysis shows that the current war on boylovers has no basis in science, (sic)
The scientists find that:
- Basis beliefs in the general population about the sexual experiences of children and adolescents with adults (such as the belief that they typically cause intense harm) are not supported by the evidence.
- Most youthful sexual experiences with older partners do not involve force or threats.
- Family environment factors are 9 times as important as sexual experience for predicting bad outcomes. Studies from the “sex abuse industry” consistently fail to recognize bad family environments as the main source of abuse and harmful experiences.
- There is no association between boys’ sexual experience and emotional problems unless the experience is unwanted. The correlation between girls’ sexual experiences which can be classified as “abuse” and poor emotional “adjustment” is very small and cannot be assumed to be due to any cause-effect relationship.
- On average, nearly 70% of males in the studies reported that as children or adolescents their sexual experiences with adults had been positive or neutral.
The Strickland floor speech took place on July 27, 1999. The above was issued, as best can be determined, sometime in July. The odds are very high that the above was released by the very questionable organization before Strickland’s floor speech. It would also seem fairly likely, given the firestorm of controversy surrounding the study, that Strickland would have been aware of its backing by this very questionable organization, but chose to deliver the one-minute barnburner criticizing his colleagues, not the study or its supporters.