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SENSE OF CONGRESS REJECTING NOTION THAT SEX BETWEEN ADULTS AND CHILDREN IS POSITIVE -- (House of Representatives - July 12, 1999)

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   Mr. SALMON. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 107) expressing the sense of Congress rejecting the conclusions of a recent article published by the American Psychological Association that suggests that sexual relationships between adults and children might be positive for children, as amended.

   The Clerk read as follows:

   H. Con. Res. 107

   Whereas no segment of our society is more critical to the future of human survival than our children;

   Whereas children are a precious gift and responsibility given to parents by God;

   Whereas the spiritual, physical, and mental well-being of children are parents' sacred duty;

   Whereas parents have the right to expect government to refrain from interfering with them in fulfilling their sacred duty and to render necessary assistance;

   Whereas the Supreme Court has held that parents ``who have this primary responsibility for children's well-being are entitled to the support of laws designed to aid discharge of that responsibility'' (Ginsberg v. New York, 390 U.S. 629, 639 (1968));

   Whereas it is the obligation of all public policymakers not only to support, but also to defend, the health and rights of parents, families, and children;

   Whereas information endangering children is being made public and, in some instances, may be given unwarranted or unintended credibility through release under professional titles or through professional organizations;

   Whereas elected officials have a duty to inform and counter actions they consider damaging to children, parents, families, and society;

   Whereas Congress has made sexual molestation and exploitation of children a felony;

   Whereas all credible studies in this area, including those published by the American Psychological Association, condemn child sexual abuse as criminal and harmful to children;

   Whereas, once published and allowed to stand, scientific literature may become a source for additional research;

   Whereas the Psychological Bulletin has recently published a severely flawed study, entitled ``A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples'', which suggests that sexual relationships between adults and children are less harmful than believed and might be positive for ``willing'' children (Psychological Bulletin, vol. 124, No. 1, July 1998);

   Whereas, in order to clarify any inconsistencies between the two conclusions the authors of the study suggest and the position of the American Psychological Association that sexual relations between children and adults are abusive, exploitive, and reprehensible, and should never be considered or labeled as harmless or acceptable, the American Psychological Association has issued a public ``Resolution Opposing Child Sexual Abuse'';

   Whereas the American Psychological Association should be congratulated for publicly clarifying its opposition to any adult-child sexual relations, which will help to deny pedophiles from citing ``A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples'' in a legal defense, and for resolving to evaluate the scientific articles it publishes in light of their potential social, legal, and political implications;

   Whereas the Supreme Court has recognized that ``sexually exploited children are unable to develop healthy affectionate relationships in later life, have sexual dysfunctions, and have a tendency to become sexual abusers as adults'' (New York v. Ferber, 458 U.S. 747, 758, n.9 (1982));

   Whereas Paidika--The Journal of Pedophilia, a publication advocating the legalization of sex with ``willing'' children, has published an article by one of the authors of the study, Robert Bauserman, Ph.D. (see ``Man-Boy Sexual Relationships in a Cross-Cultural Perspective,'' vol. 2, No. 1, Summer 1989); and

   Whereas pedophiles and organizations, such as the North American Man-Boy Love Association, that advocate laws to permit sex between adults and children are exploiting the study to promote and justify child sexual abuse: Now, therefore, be it

    Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress--

    (1) condemns and denounces all suggestions in the article ``A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples'' that indicate that sexual relationships between adults and ``willing'' children are less harmful than believed and might be positive for ``willing'' children (Psychological Bulletin, vol. 124, No. 1, July 1998);

    (2) vigorously opposes any public policy or legislative attempts to normalize adult-child sex or to lower the age of consent;

    (3) urges the President likewise to reject and condemn, in the strongest possible terms, any suggestion that sexual relations between children and adults--regardless of the child's frame of mind--are anything but abusive, destructive, exploitive, reprehensible, and punishable by law; and

    (4) encourages competent investigations to continue to research the effects of child sexual abuse using the best methodology, so that the public, and public policymakers, may act upon accurate information.

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. SALMON) and the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. KILDEE) each will control 20 minutes.

   The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. SALMON).

   Mr. SALMON. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume. There are no lower life forms than adults who sexually abuse children. Child molesters rob children of their innocense and subject them to a lifetime of nightmares. Those who engage in this activity deserve the harshest punishment.

   Those who excuse this evil conduct, particularly those in positions of influence, are also pretty low on the food chain and deserve the harshest possible condemnation.

   Towards this end, we are here today to consider House Concurrent Resolution 107, which condemns and denounces all suggestions in an article published in the Psychological Bulletin, a journal of the American Psychological Association, that sexual relationships between adults and ``willing'' children might be positive for children.

   The resolution also stresses that Congress will vigorously oppose any public policy or legislative attempts to normalize child sexual abuse.

   The study in question, ``A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples,'' escaped public scrutiny until talk host Dr. Laura Schlessinger brought this matter to the attention of her listeners.

   Dr. Laura denounced the study, which reviewed 59 earlier studies of dubious validity, as ``flawed pseudo-science.'' She reported that 38 percent of the studies were never subjected to peer review or published, and that all of the studies were based on self-reporting.

   Also unsettling, no follow-up analysis occurred on the college students examined in the studies.

   We should all be indebted to Dr. Laura. While the mainstream media ignored what some call the ``emancipation proclamation of pedophiles, the article did not escape the attention of groups such as the North American Man/Boy Love Association, which highlights the conclusions of the article on its web page, and for defense attorneys who have been encouraged to cite the article in closing arguments in child sexual abuse criminal cases.

   It was irresponsible for a respected academic journal to publish a study which implies that adult-child sex could be a positive experience. But I applaud the APA for responding to the recent public uproar over the study by clarifying its opposition to any adult-child sexual relations, and for promising to consider their social responsibility when making publishing decisions in the future.

   The APA's actions will help to deny pedophiles from citing the study in a legal defense. House Concurrent Resolution 107 has been revised to include language praising the APA for its commitment in fighting child sexual abuse.

   While I am delighted that the Congress is considering this resolution denouncing attempts to normalize child

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sexual abuse, our work is not done with the passage of this resolution. Words alone will not protect children from the monsters who prey on them.

   Typically, sexual predators who victimize children receive light prison sentences in this country. On average, a convicted child molester, that is, not one who plea bargains down to a lesser offense, serves less than 4 years behind bars, and recidivism rates are quoted as high as 70 percent. Those are just the ones who get caught. In other words, they get out of prison and they prey on children again and again. The next time, the pedophiles may end up killing the child to make sure there is not evidence so they can be put away again.

   In my opinion, the average sentence is about 96 years too short. The Congress took an important step in addressing this problem recently when both the House and Senate voted with huge bipartisan majorities for Aimee's Law, otherwise known as the No Second Chances for Murderers, Rapists, or Child Molesters Act.

   My initiative would encourage States to keep child molesters and other serious criminals behind bars for longer sentences, which would prevent literally thousands each year of 100 percent preventable offenses, either child sexual assaults or other crimes that occur each year by those who are let out of prison for committing exactly the same crime.

   Before I close, I would like to thank the distinguished majority whip, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. DELAY), and the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. GOODLING), the chairman of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, for their assistance in moving House Concurrent Resolution 107 forward.

   I also would like to thank the gentlemen from Pennsylvania, Mr. PITTS and Mr. WELDON, for all of their work on the resolution.

   Finally, the Family Research Council should be commended for their efforts to educate Members of Congress about how the public release of the Meta-Analytic study is an assault on children.

   Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to make a strong congressional statement in opposition to efforts to normalize child sexual abuse, and vote in favor of House Concurrent Resolution 107.

   Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

   Mr. KILDEE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

   Mr. Speaker, I join those who rise to condemn child sexual abuse. Too many of our children fall prey to sexual abuse, often by those whom they know and too often by those whom they trust.

   Statistics show that 90 percent of all sexual abuse cases go unreported, and worse, unpunished. Nevertheless, child sexual abuse can have devastating consequences on a victim's future employment, health, and familial relationships.

   We need to continue to reach out as a Nation and as a society to ensure that our children are free from abuse and neglect. This involves a three-pronged approach of education, prevention, and treatment.

   We need to continue our educational efforts with young children to teach them what is and what is not appropriate behavior by adults. We need to continue prevention efforts aimed at reducing the likelihood that our children will find themselves in inappropriate situations that can lead to abuse.

   We also need to provide treatment for those who have been the victims of abuse so they can recover and lead successful, productive lives.

   Mr. Speaker, in closing, I join those who have and will rise to condemn child sexual abuse. Child sexual abuse not only has devastating consequences for its victims, but also for all of society. It is important to remember that no amount of legal or professional legerdemain can detract from the inherent evil caused by child sexual abuse.

  • [Begin Insert]

   Mr. DELAY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the American Psychological Association for clarifying its position on pedophilia. Without question, sexual abuse of minors is child abuse. Child abuse is a plague on this country that cannot be overlooked or obscured by pseudo-scientific doubletalk.

   In these times--with so much talk about victimization and harassment--it amazes me that there is any confusion regarding the patently perverse nature of sexual abuse of children. There simply can be no equivocation about the obvious emotional devastation that is caused when adults have sexual relations with children.

   Sexual activity between an adult and a child is always abusive and always criminal in all cases--period.

   The fact that this obvious reality has been clouded recently is an indictment of the liberal secularization of the culture. Too many of us today worship the self and the moment with no regard for future consequences.

   Well, our children are our future and both should be safeguarded. The days ahead will be dark indeed if our society turns a blind eye to abuse of innocent ones.

   There can be no compromises in the war against child abuse. We must all be eternally vigilant in this most important cause.

   Every so often, trendy social theories and politically-motivated psychological hypotheses creep into the mainstream. At first, such ideas go unchallenged because they seem too crazy to be taken seriously. But after awhile, the momentum shifts against common sense.

   Bad ideas have bad consequences and the damage to society must always be combated in every field.

   The American Psychological Association made a mistake by publishing a study that used pseudo-scientific jargon to advise that sexual relations between adults and children are not always abusive.

   Such a study by such a prestigious institution gives credibility and potential legal defenses to pedophiliac sickos.

   After the controversy was exposed, the APA admitted its error in publishing the report and underscored its position that pedophilia is harmful criminal behavior and that all sexual abuse of children should be exposed.

   Mr. Speaker, organizations, like people, make mistakes. The test of integrity is the ability to admit a mistake and correct it. The American Psychological Association has shown great courage in doing just this. In the battle against child abuse, the APA is fighting on the right side.

  • [End Insert]

   Mr. KILDEE. Mr. Speaker, I have no further requests for time, and I yield back the balance of my time.

   Mr. SALMON. Mr. Speaker, I have no further requests for time, and I yield back the balance of my time.

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. SALMON) that the House suspend the rules and agree to the concurrent resolution, H. Con. Res. 107, as amended.

   The question was taken.

   Mr. SALMON. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.

   The yeas and nays were ordered.

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX and the Chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed.


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