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A research paper that analyzed the trends of sexual molestations committed by male priests in the US concluded that a celibate life and homosexual behavior did not result to the scandal. Instead, the five-year study said that the abuses occurred because of the social and sexual revolution during the 1960s and 1970s.
The study authored by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and was commissioned by the US Roman Catholic Church said the bulk of the priests who were involved in sex offences were ordained in the 1940s and 1950s—a time when they did not receive adequate training on how to live a life without engaging in to physical intimacy, the AP said.
During their priesthood in the 1960s when openness to increased sexual freedom was gaining popularity, these priests were not fully competent and monitored to resist the social challenges, according to the authors.
The report, which will be released on Wednesday by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, was conducted in order to recognize the patterns of abuse and how the church responded to the issue and to better protect the minors who are at risk.
Partly funded with a grant from the US Department of Justice, the study reviewed sexual allegations since the 1950s from over 10,000 victims versus thousands of priests.
The authors claimed that less than five percent of the accused clergy could be labeled as pedophiles—an adult who has intense sexual attraction to children before they reach the age of pubescence.
They also said that the peak of the abuse was in the 1970s and immediately declined thereafter. During the time, only male priests were appointed and there were no changes in the celibacy mandate that made them conclude that celibacy training and gender were not contributing factors in the scandals.
The researchers also belied the widely-held belief that gay priests were the culprits because majority of the victims were boys. They said that molesters chose young boys because they are more accessible.
Critics rejected the study because they did not trust the data of the bishops.
Details of this report here.