[The original articles]
Alphabetically by author
Alphabetically by author
First reactions: 1998, 1999
First round of discussion: 1999 & 2000
Second round of discussion: 2000 & 2001
Third round of discussion: medium 2001 - 2002
Ulrich e.a. 2005-2006.
Gieles, F. The
struggles about the free will, facts and morality
debate about the publications of Rind, Bauserman & Tromovitch goes on –
bird’s eye view, 1997 - 2002,
In: Ipce Newsletter E 13, June 2002
In this article, I have tried to give an overview of the debate on the Rind et
al. publication in 1998 and earlier. It appeared that the debate was hot and
that it had several phases. People began to attack without even reading the
meta-analysis, and even politicians mixed the discourse about facts and the
discourse about morals. Gradually,
the meta-analysis was seriously studied and the debate concentrated on the
science and the facts. The science is still in debate, but some facts are
acknowledged, and the author and their publications are taken as seri
Alphabetically by author
Bauserman, Robert, Objectivity
and Ideology, Criticism of Theo Sandfort’s Research on Man-Boy Sexual
Relations; Journal of Homosexuality, vol. 20, nr. ½, 1990
Three critiques of Theo Sandfort’s research on man-boy sexual relationships in
the Netherlands are examined and evaluated. Three types of criticism -
methodological, speculative and moral - are identified. Specific criticisms of
the study are evaluated on the basis of their validity and, where appropriate,
their underlying assumptions. It is argued that moral condemnation of such
relationships, combined with a prevailing ideology of boy "victims"
and adult "perpetrators," results in efforts by Sandfort’s critics
to attack and discredit his research rather than evaluate it objectively.
to Bauserman *
, Journal of Homosexuality, 20 - 1/2, 1990
I do not believe that my views about Sandfort's research are accurately
represented in Bauserman's article*, and I will try to present them here.
Ultimately, I do continue to believe that the prohibition on adult-child sexual
contact is primarily a moral issue. While empirical findings have some relevance
they are not the final arbiter. [...]
Some types of social relationships violate deeply held values and principles in
our culture about equality and self-determination. Sex between adults and
children is one of them. Evidence that certain children have positive
experiences does not challenge these values, which have deep roots in our
Mrazek, David A., Response
to the Bauserman Critique, * Journal of Homosexuality, 20 - 1/2,
Even if this study was methodologically sound, which it certainly is not, on
moral grounds alone such "research" cannot be sanctioned. Children
are not developmentally prepared to enter into sexual relationships on an
informed and equal basis with adults. It is a basic responsibility of
society to protect children and foster their development. These children
were not adequately protected.
Bauserman, Robert & Rind, Bruce, Psychological Correlates of Male Child and Adolescent Sexual
Experiences with Adults:
A Review of the Nonclinical Literature, Archives of Sexual behavior, 26-2, 1997
Researchers have generally neglected sexual experiences of boys with adults,
assumed them to be the same as those of girls, or tried to understand them by
referring to clinical research while ignoring nonclinical research.
A review of nonclinical research allows a more complete understanding of boys'
sexual experiences with adults and the outcomes and correlates of those
Rind, B. (1998).
Biased Use of Cross-Cultural and Historical Perspectives on Male
Homosexuality in Human Sexuality Textbooks. The Journal of Sex Research
35:4, pp. 397-407. A Review by Adam.
Rind, Bruce & Bauserman, Robert, Biased
Terminology Effects and Biased Information Processing in Research on Adult-Nonadult Sexual Interactions: An Empirical Investigation; The Journal
of Sex Research Vol. 30, No.3, pp. 260-269 August 1993
Adult-child and adult-adolescent sexual interactions have generally been
described in the professional literature with value-laden negative terms.
Recently, a number of researchers have criticized this state of affairs,
claiming that such usage is likely to have biasing effects.
The current investigation examined empirically the biasing impact of negative
[...] Students' judgments were negatively biased by the negative terminology.
The students also exhibited evidence for biased processing of the nonnegative
Rind, B., Bauserman, R. &
An Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Based on
Nonclinical Samples, Paper presented to the symposium sponsored by
the Paulus Kerk, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, on the 18th of December 1998.
"The results of our reviews clearly show that the assumptions of most mental
health professionals, legislators, law enforcement personnel, media workers, and the lay
public that sexual relations defined as CSA cause intense harm pervasively for both boys
and girls are vastly exaggerated."
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Rind, Bruce & Tromovitch, Philip, A
Meta-Analytic Review of Findings from National Samples on Psychological
Correlates of Child Sexual Abuse, The
Journal of Sex Research, Vol. 34, No.3, 1997 pp. 237 - 255
We found that, contrary to the implications and conclusions contained in
previous literature reviews that were focused on biased samples, in the general
population. CSA is not associated with pervasive harm and that harm, when it
occurs, is not typically intense.
Further, CSA experiences for males and females are not equivalent: a
substantially lower proportion of males reports negative effects.
Finally, we found that conclusions about a causal link between CSA and
later psychological maladjustment in the general population cannot safely be
made because of the reliable presence of confounding variables.
We concluded by cautioning that analysis at the population level does not
characterize individual cases: When CSA is accompanied by factors such as force
or close familial ties, it has the potential to produce significant harm.
Rind, B., Tromovitch, Ph. & Bauserman,
A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using
College Samples, in: Psychological Bulletin 1998, Vol 124, No 1, pp 22-53.
"Self-reported reactions to and effects from CSA* indicated that
negative effects were neither pervasive nor typically intense, and that men reacted much
less negatively than women. The college data were completely consistent with data from
national samples. Basic beliefs about CSA in the general population were not
[* Child Sexual Abuse]
Download as a .PDF
Tromovitch, Ph., Rind, B.
& Bauserman, R., Adult Correlates of Child Sexual Abuse: A
meta-analytic review of college student and national probability samples,
Child sexual abuse (CSA) is viewed by the lay public, and by many professionals,
as one of the most psychologically damaging events that a child or adolescent
[...] The findings from this report contradict prevalently held assumptions
about CSA — assumptions that may bias not only the lay public, but researchers
studying and reporting on activities classifiable as CSA.
Rind, Bruce, PhD., Gay and Bisexual Adolescent Boys' Sexual Experiences
An Empirical Examination of Psychological Correlates in a Nonclinical Sample,
In: Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol. 30, No.4, 2001
Over the last quarter century the incest model, with its image
of helpless victims exploited and traumatized by powerful perpetrators, has come
to dominate perceptions of virtually all forms of adult-minor sex. Thus, even
willing sexual relations between gay or bisexual adolescent boys and adult men,
which differ from father-daughter incest in many important ways, are generally
seen by the lay public and professionals as traumatizing and psychologically
injurious. This study assessed this common perception by examining a nonclinical, mostly college sample of gay and bisexual men.
[From the Appendix:]
"It developed over time and was great. We became friends and I invited him
over once when my parents weren't home. I practically had to force sex on him
because he was afraid about losing his job. Ended when I went away for the
summer and he wasn't a teacher at my school no more"
quotes from this article, Ipce newsletter E 13, June 2002
Rind, Bruce, PhD., Las experiencias sexuales de chicos gay y bisexuales
adolescentes con hombres:
un examen empírico de las correlaciones psicológicas en una muestra no-clínica,
Publicado en: Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol. 30, No. 4,
Sobre los últimos 25 años un modelo de incesto, con su
imagen de víctimas indefensas explotadas y traumatizadas por adultos poderosos,
ha venido a ser dominante en las percepciones de casi todos los tipos de sexo
entre adultos y menores. Así, incluso las relaciones sexuales deseados entre
chicos gay / homosexuales o bisexuales adolescentes y hombres adultos -las
cuales son diferentes en muchos respectos importantes del incesto entre padres y
sus hijas- son generalmente considerados por el público y profesionales
traumatizantes y perjudiciales psicológicamente. Este estudio valoró esta
percepción común a través de un examen de una muestra no-clínica de hombres
gay y bisexuales, la mayoría de ellos estudiantes universitarios. [...]
Caso 1 del Appéndice:
el tiempo y era magnífico. Llegamos a ser amigos y yo lo invité a mi casa
una vez cuando mis padres no estaban. Tuve
que forzar prácticamente el sexo en él porque él tenía miedo acerca de
perder su trabajo. Finalizó cuando yo me fui por el verano y él ya no era
un maestro en mi escuela más"
Rind, Bruce, An Elaboration on Causation and Positive Cases in Child
Sexual Abuse; Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice V10 N3, 2003. Abstract
Sbraga and O'Donohue
(2003, this issue) argued that backward reasoning from
current symptomatology to past child sexual abuse (CSA), often done by experts
in court cases, is flawed in several important ways.
Backward reasoning, or postdiction, is usually based on models that assume
that CSA invariably causes symptoms and that it is always negatively
experienced. They demonstrated the weaknesses in these assumptions.
Bruce Rind: Pederasty: An Integration of Cross-Cultural,
Cross-Species, and Empirical Data
In: Journal of Homosexuality: Same-Sex
Desire and Love in Greco-Roman Antiquity and in the Classical Tradition of
the West; Volume: 49 Issue: 3/4 2005
The current article examines empirical rather than clinical data on pederasty,
and supplements this with cross-cultural and cross-species perspectives. The
empirical data show that pederasty is not only not predestined to injure, but
can benefit the adolescent when practiced according to the ancient Greek form.
Cross-cultural and cross-species data show the extensiveness of pederasty in the
natural world, as well as its functional rather than pathological nature in
these societies and species.
An evolutionary model that synthesizes the empirical, cross-cultural, and
cross-species data is proposed as an alternative to the highly inadequate
feminist and psychiatric models. The animal data suggest that the seeds for
pederasty were planted at the dawn of humanity. The human data suggest that
pederasty came to serve a mentoring function.
Rind, Bruce, PhD, An Empirical Examination of Sexual Relations Between Adolescents and
Adults. They Differ from Those Between Children and Adults and Should Be
Treated Separately - In: Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality Volume: 16 Issue:
2/3, 2004, pp 55 - 62 - And in: Adolescence, Sexuality, and the Criminal Law -
Multidisciplinairy Perspectives; Helmut Graupner & Vern L.
Bullough (Editors), The Haworth Press, 2004
For heterosexual adolescent boys involved with women and for
gay/bisexual adolescent boys involved with men, the non-clinical
empirical data are strongly at odds with the assumption of trauma. [...] In these relations, the data point more directly to
psychological benefit than harm.
Rind, Bruce & Tromovitch, Philip, National
Samples, Sexual Abuse in Childhood, and Adjustment in Adulthood; A
Commentary on Najman, Dunne, Purdie, Boyle, and Coxeter (2005); Archives of
Sexual Behavior; December 2006
Based on the foregoing analyses, a more appropriate ending to their
Abstract would be: “CSA in the Australian population is common but,
according to the data in the current study, is only weakly associated
with poorer sexual functioning in adulthood. Whether this association
is causal, however, needs further study.”
Najman, Jake; Dunne, Michael; Purdie,
David; Boyle, Francis; Coxeter, Peter; Sexual
Abuse in Childhood and Sexual Dysfunction in Adulthood: An Australian
Population-Based Study; Archives of Sexual Behavior, Volume 34, Number 5,
October 2005 , pp. 517-526(10) - Abstract.
This study examined self-reported adult sexual functioning in individuals reporting a history of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) in a representative sample of the Australian population.
More than one-third of women and approximately one-sixth of men reported a history of CSA.
For both sexes, there was a significant association between CSA and symptoms of sexual dysfunction. In assessing the specific nature of the relationship between sexual abuse and sexual dysfunction, statistically significant associations were, in general, evident for women only.
About the Meta-Analyse: 1. Explanatory
Alphabetically by author
Arbeitsgemeinschaft Humane Sexualität e.V., Archiv, Dr.
Rind, Dr. Bauserman, Dr. Tromovitch ... wo die Freiheit der Wissenschaft endet.
Eine Studie über den sexuellen Missbrauch von Kindern,
die in der renommierten, amerikanischen Psychologenzeitschrift
"Psychological Bulletin" veröffentlicht wurde, erzeugte eine
unglaubliche Kontroverse. Die darin veröffentlichte, Meta-analytische Studie
von Dr. Rind, Dr. Bauserman und Dr. Tromovitch untersuchte anhand von 59
vorhandenen Untersuchungen über College-Studenten, die wissenschaftliche
Genauigkeit des Begriffes "sexueller Missbrauch". Die Ergebnisse
legten nahe, dass die Schädlichkeit sexueller Kontakte zwischen Erwachsenen und
Kindern deutlich geringer ist, als allgemein angenommen. "Sexueller
Missbrauch" impliziert nicht zwingend Schaden und für bereitwillige Kinder
können sexuelle Kontakte möglicherweise positiv sein.
Arcados, traduction de ce site web: Un
Compte-rendu de A Meta-Analystic Examination of Assumed Properties
of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples, Bruce RIND, Philip
TROMOVITCH, Robert BAUSERMAN
N'ayant les compétences requises ni en sociologie ni en statistique pour
nous permettre de juger de la valeur de cette étude, nous ne sommes pas à même
de nous prononcer à son sujet. Notons seulement que, si l'American
Psychological Association a cherché à prendre ses distances avec les
conclusions de ces auteurs, elle a réaffirmé la validité méthodologique de
Youthful Sexual Experience and Well-being,
Important Conference in Rotterdam, in: Koinos Magazine #21 (1999/1)
Ferguson, Bob, Sexuelle
Erfahrungen in der Jugend und Wohlbefinden, Interessantes
Symposion in Rotterdam, in: Koinos Magazine #21 (1999/1)
Gieles, F.E.J., Mister President...,
The USA is shocked by the research of Rind, Bauserman & Tromovitch; chronological
overview of the critical reactions; in: Ipce Newsletter E6, July 1999
F.E.J., An Explanation of the statistics, used in the Meta-analysis, in: Ipce Newsletter E7, December 1999
Radical Reconsideration of the Concept of Child Sexual Abuse, New
Findings by Bauserman, Rind and Tromovitch, in: Koinos Magazine #20
G. G., Grundlegende
Änderung des Begriffs ‘Sexueller Kindesmißbrauch’, Neue
Erkenntnisse von Bauserman, Rind und Tromovitch, in: Koinos Magazine #20
Harris, C, Prof. Harris replies to a student
I really enjoyed today's lecture on divorce. However, I am very intrigued by
your thoughts on abuse. I was extremely concerned when you mentioned that not
everyone who is abused as a child, is scarred for life. [..]
[...] Rind, Tromovitch and Bauserman found that many other factors predicted
personality and adult adjustment, such as family conflict, parental strife,
chaotic household, low income, parent with a psychiatric disorder, and so on.
These factors are correlated with CSA (just as they are with divorce)! Once
these factors are taken into account, CSA itself has no additional predictive
validity. So we can't attributed poor adult adjustment to CSA,
because the factors which are correlated with CSA are sufficient to cause poor
adult adjustment. [...]
About the Meta-Analysis: 2. Discussion
First reactions: 1998, 1999
First round of discussion: 1999 & 2000
Second round of discussion: 2000 & 2001
Third round of discussion: mid-2001 - 2002
First reactions: 1998 &
Rainer, Paul, Schrille Fanfare,
in: Der Spiegel, 2 Aug. 1999
Rind, B., Tromovitch, Ph. &
The Clash of Media, Politics, and Sexual Science: An examination of the
controversy surrounding the Psychological Bulletin meta-analysis on the assumed properties
of child sexual abuse,
Talk presented at the 1999 Joint Annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of
Sexuality (SSSS) and the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists
(AASECT) November 6th, 1999 (St. Louis, Missouri).
Nine months after publication in Psychological Bulletin, our analysis of the college
student data came under intense attack by the radical right with assistance from
traumatologists associated with the left. This controversy recently culminated with the
U.S. House of Representatives condemning the article in a 355-0 vote. We will briefly
summarize the methods and findings of our analyses, then focus on subsequent events.
First round of discussion: 1999 &
Berry, Kenneth K. &
Berry, Jason, The Congressional censure of a research paper: Return
to the Inquisition? From: Skeptical
Inquirer Electronic Digest, Commentary in the issue dated December 10, 1999
We have taken the first large and frightening step away
from scientific freedom and toward totalitarianism in control of scientific endeavors.
Gieles, F.E.J., Science
and Morality or The Rind et al. Controversy, The
counter arguments replied, in: Ipce Newsletter E7, December 1999
[...] Science should give the facts and has the right and obligation to do
this; the media has to inform the public correctly; politicians should
honestly lead the process of decision making in moral matters. [...]
This discussion, about moral matters, is a different kind of
discussion; it differs from the discussion about the facts in every aspect of
the discourse. It’s another kind of discourse, as Habermas
showed us. The U.S. Congress has interchanged both kinds of discourses.
Ericksen, Julia A.,
liberation's last frontier, in: Society May-June 2000, 37-4.
It is appropriate to undertake such research if only to wrest the terms
of the debate from conservatives who have used pedophilia as a way to
silence all attempts at sexual tolerance.
Haaken, Janice & Lamb, Sharon,
Politics of CSA research, in: Society, May-June 2000, 37-4
Haaken and Lamb attempt to steer a middle ground between a social
constructionist or culturally relative position on sexuality on the one
hand, and an approach that emphasizes universal principles of justice and
care on the other.
Tavris, Carol, , The
uproar over sexual abuse and its findings, in:
Society, May-June 2000, 37-4
Congress and clinicians may feel a spasm of righteousness by condemning
scientific findings they dislike, but their actions will do little or
nothing to reduce the actual abuse of children.
Bullough, Vern, The Pedophilia
Smear, in: Taking Positions, 5 June 2000
Self-appointed guardians of American morality like Laura Schlessinger are
targeting sex researchers, including me.
In June 1998, Bruce Rind, Philip Tromovitch, and Robert Bausenman published
a meta-analysis of 59 studies dealing with child sexual abuse based on
college samples in the Psychological Bulletin. [...]
A year earlier Rind and Tromovitch reached similar conclusions about child
sexual abuse using a national probability sample. Their findings should have
encouraged therapists to rethink some of their assumptions since they
implied that, for a significant portion of child sexual abuse victims, the
trauma was not what many believed it was, and that treatment modalities
could be adjusted according to the individual himself or herself.
Instead the two studies led to a firestorm of controversy which eventually
resulted in a congressional resolution condemning them. Why?
Esterie, Philippe (& Hélène
Amboureux), Abus sexuel: Le rapport capital, Le rapport Bauserman analysé
et commenté dans la France de l'an 2000
Pour recevoir en qualité d'un ZIP
Html fichier ou bien d'un .PDF
The following is an open letter to Dr. Laura penned by a US resident,
which was posted on the Internet.
Dear Dr. Laura:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have
learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as
many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for
example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an
End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific
laws and how to follow them.
1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing
odor for the Lord - Lev. 1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor
is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them? [...]
Letter to the Editor, Aug.
Erica Goodes prompt response to the publication of the latest child abuse
study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, (Childhood Abuse
and Adult Stress, p. A22, Aug. 2nd) strikes of a continuation of scientific
revisonism begun after the publication in 1998 of Rind, Bauserman and
Tromovitchs Meta-Analysis of Child Sex Abuse Using College Samples in
Psychological Bulletin, published by the American Psychological Association
O'Carroll, Tom, Discussion
of the Rind meta-analysis with a British journalist
A JOURNALIST invited by Tom O'Carroll to read the famous Rind et
al. meta-analysis published in the Psychological Bulletin wrote
back with a number of criticisms of the paper and questions about it. The
following are extracts from Tom's response.
Rind, Bruce; Bauserman, Robert & Tromovitch, Philip, Debunking the false allegation of "statistical
a reply to Spiegel; Sexuality & Culture, 4-2, Spring 2000, 101-111
Consistent with his other attacks on our analyses, Spiegel
(2000) elsewhere in this volume characterized our analyses as
"statistical abuse." Despite the fact that we have already
extensively considered and refuted the Leadership Council's criticisms,
because of this inflammatory and unprofessional characterization, as well as
Spiegel's use of related emotive phrases such as "rationalization for
sleazy exploitation" and "moral outrage," we deem it important
to specifically address Spiegel in this separate reply.
Spiegel, David, The price of abusing children and numbers,
Sexuality & Culture 4-2, Spring 2000, 63-66
Sex with children is morally wrong as well as emotionally and physically
damaging, Rind et al. notwithstanding. Clear-eyed reason and common sense do
not diverge here. Statistical abuse has as many bad aftereffects as sexual
abuse. We should not tolerate either.
Spiegel, David, Suffer
the children: Long-term effects of sexual abuse, Society, 05/01/2000,
37 -4, 18-20
The "Psychological Bulletin" ignited a storm of controversy by
publishing an article by Bruce Rind, Philip Tromovitch and Robert Bauserman
that appeared to offer evidence that there are few if any lasting ill effects
of child sexual and physical abuse. Spiegel suggests that the study is
seriously flawed in its assumptions, methods, and conclusions.
Spiegel, David, Real effects of real child sexual abuse,
I will now briefly respond to Rind, Bauserman, and Tromovitch's
discussion of my critique [...]
to examine the proposition that "child sexual abuse (CSA) causes intense
harm, regardless of gender, pervasively in the general population" ( 1998,
p. 22), Rind et al. studied elite, high functioning samples, included mild
"abuse" events, excluded those events serious enough to preclude
college admission, and failed to assess the full range of possible outcomes. I leave it up to the
reader to decide who is distorting, misrepresenting, and overstating.
Zuriff, G.E., Pedophilia and
the culture wars, in: Public Interest, Winter 2000
The article gives a short summary of the research of the Rind et al. team.
Then, it will explain why the results of this research have upset many
groups in the US society, including the Congress, so that these groups will
deny the results of the research.
The author analyses the remarkable reaction of the APA, who turned 180
degrees and who published paradoxes. The author analyses the ideological
combat that's going on behind the scene.
Second round of discussion: 2000 -
Oellerich, Thomas D., Rind,
Tromovitch, and Bauserman: Politically Incorrect - Scientifically
Correct, in: Sexuality & Culture, 4(2), 67-81 (2000)
The Rind, Tromovitch, and Bauserman study of the impact of CSA among college
students is politically incorrect but scientifically correct. It has a
number of important implications for the research and practice communities.
Among the more important is the need to stop exaggerating the negative
impact of adult/nonadult sexual behavior, as suggested earlier by both
Browne and Finkelhor, and Seligman. Another important implication is for
conducting research that does not approach the issue of adult/nonadult
sexual behavior with a political ideology as often has been the case thus
far. And finally it is time to stop the common practices of 1)assuming that
CSA causes psychological harm, and 2) routinely recommending
Thomas D., Rind, Tromovitch und Bauserman:
Ihre meta-analytische Studie ist politisch "unkorrekt", doch
wissenschaftlich hieb- und stichfest; Sexualität & Kultur,
4(2), 67-81 (2000)
Die Untersuchung von Rind, Tromovitch und Bauserman über die Auswirkungen
sexuellen Kindsmissbrauchs auf College-Studenten ist politisch "unkorrekt",
aber wissenschaftlich korrekt. Sie enthält eine Anzahl wichtiger Hinweise für
Leute in der Forschung und in der Praxis. Einer der wichtigeren ist, mit der
Übertreibung der negativen Auswirkungen sexueller Beziehungen zwischen
Erwachsenen und Nichterwachsenen aufzuhören, was auch schon früher sowohl
von Browne und Finkelhor wie auch von Seligman gefordert wurde. Ein anderer
wichtiger Gesichtspunkt ist, eine Forschung zu betreiben, die das Thema der
sexuellen Erwachsenen-Kind-Beziehungen nicht mit einer politischen Ideologie
im Hinterkopf angeht, wie das bisher oft geschah. Und schliesslich ist es an
der Zeit, Schluss zu machen mit der üblichen Praxis, 1) nach SKM einen
psychischen Schaden zu erwarten und 2) routinemässig eine Psychotherapie zu
Rind, B., Bauserman, R. & Tromovitch, Ph., Science
versus orthodoxy: Anatomy of the congressional condemnation of
a scientific article and reflections on remedies for future ideological
attacks' in: Applied & Preventive Psychology 9:211-225
[<< External links >>] [PDF
In this article, we detail the chronology behind the attacks. Then we discuss
the science behind our meta-analysis, showing that the attacks were specious and
that our study employed sound science, advancing the field considerably by close
attention to issues of external, internal, and construct validity, as well as
precision and objectivity.
Next, we discuss orthodoxies and moral panics more generally, arguing that our
article was attacked as vehemently as it was because it collided with a
powerful, but socially constructed orthodoxy that has evolved over the last
Finally, we offer reflections and recommendations for fellow researchers, lest
this kind of event recur. We focus on the need for greater cognizance of
historical attacks on science to anticipate and deflate future attacks. We argue
that our research should stand as another reminder among many that sacred-cow
issues do not belong in science. We discuss nonscientific advocacy in the social
sciences and the need to recognize and counter it. We discuss the failure of
psychology to adequately deal with the study of human sexuality, a problem that
enabled the faulty attacks on our article, and we suggest directions for
becoming more scientific in this area. And last, we raise the issue of how
professional organizations might deal more effectively with such attacks in the
Rind, B., Tromovitch, Ph. & Bauserman, R.,
of a scientific article: A chronology and refutation of the attacks and a
discussion of threats to the integrety of science, in: In: Sexuality &
Culture, 4-2, Spring 2000
[<< External links >>]
The current article chronicles this whole affair. First, we provide
background, explaining why an article such as ours was needed. Then we
accurately summarize the article, given that it has been so widely
misrepresented. Next we present a chronology of the events leading up to and
following the condemnation. We then present and refute all the major criticisms
of the article, which have included both methodological and conceptual attacks.
Next we discuss the threat to science that these events portend. We conclude by
discussing the need to separate moral judgments from scientific research, the
conflation of which formed the basis for the distortions and condemnation.
Mirkin, Harris, Sex, Science and Sin:
The Rind Report, Sexual Politics and American Scholarship,
Manuscript submitted to Sexuality and Culture, Special Issue on Rind-Tromovitch-Bauserman
Many social scientists and psychologists disagreed with the article, but one
would have expected them to fight back with other articles rather than with a
call for censorship. In fact, the problem with the article wasn't that it was
methodologically weak, but that it was strong. It broke the rules of sexual
The Rind report attacked the empirical foundation of the moral claims that were
being made, and like the Kinsey Reports it was vehemently attacked and seen as
undermining the moral tradition. The anger was generated against the two reports
not because they were unconvincing but because they, each in their own way, were
too convincing. If their analyses were right it would shake the foundations of
the moral claims that were commonly made and largely accepted. To admit Rind
type arguments into the debate, and to argue shades of gray and issues of
definition, was to lose the major battle. The Rind argument didn't overtly
challenge the moral premise about adult/youth sex, but it did threaten to change
the type of argument. That was the danger.
Anderson, Walter Truett, Uproar Over Child
Sex Study Still Going Strong After Two Years, Pacific News
Service, May 30, 2001
Quarrels in academia tend to stay indoors, however ferocious they may become.
But a paper challenging conventional wisdom on the question of adult-child
sexual relations has produced resounding noises.
[...] So we now have a whole herd of arguments -- not just about the impacts of
child-adult sex experiences, but about whether the APA should have published the
Rind article or then apologized for publishing it, or should have published the
None of these arguments has been resolved. The only concrete step so far is that
Lilienfeld has reportedly resigned from the APA. And the only clear conclusion
to be drawn from it is that adult-child sex is too hot a subject for academic
Klein, Marty, APA Embarrasses
Itself Again, in: issue #16 of the electronic newsletter 'Sexual
Intelligence', June 2001
It isn't enough to learn lessons in life; you have to learn the right lessons.
Having learned to not stick its hand in the oven, The American Psychological
Association (APA) has now put its hand into the fireplace.
Memory researcher Elizabeth Loftus wins American Psychological Society
award; defends the Rind team and Lilienfeld, and criticizes the American
The FMS (False Memory Syndrome) Foundation Newsletter of July/August 2001, 10/4,
gives the text of a speech by memory researcher Elizabeth Loftus, who helped
discredit recovered memories. Loftus received an award from the American
In her speech, she mentions the Rind et al controversy and Lilienfeld.
first an introduction by a newsletter editor,
then a news flash about Loftus winning the award,
then Loftus's acceptance speech.
Paolucci, Elisabeth; Genius, Mark & Violato, Claudio, 'Meta-analysis
of published research on the effects of child sexual abuse (CSA)' ,
Journal of Psychology (2001, 135, 1, 17-36
A meta-analysis of the published research on the effects of child sexual abuse
(CSA) was undertaken for 6 outcomes: posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD),
depression, suicide, sexual promiscuity, victim-perpetrator cycle, and poor
Thirty-seven studies published between 1981 and 1995 involving 25,367 people
were included. Many of the studies were published in 1994 (24; 65%), and most
were done in the United States (22; 59%). [...]
The analyses provide clear evidence confirming the link between CSA and
subsequent negative short- and long-term effects on development. [...]
The results of the present meta-analysis support the multifaceted model of
traumatization rather than a specific sexual abuse syndrome of CSA.
Peter: Comment: The Journal of Psychology (2001, 135, 1, 17-36) carries a 'Meta-analysis
of published research on the effects of child sexual abuse (CSA)' by
Elizabeth Paolucci, Mark Genuis and Claudio Violato, which reviews 37
These covered 9,230 people who claimed that in childhood they had
experienced unwanted sexual contact from an adult in a position of relative
The review has serious limitations: welcome contacts from ordinary adults
were plainly excluded; advances from family members were very much included;
clinical and legal samples were included, rather than using only
representative population samples [...]
The authors show their size-of-effect to be about half the size-of-effect
achieved on the mortality rate of representative American physicians who
experimentally took aspirin. [...]
Rind at APS
At the program "Unpopular Results: Providing Incremental Validity at
the Price of Being Rejected" presented at the 2001 edition of the annual
meeting of the "American Psychological Society" in Toronto, Bruce Rind
discussed the treatment of the 1998 meta-analysis. Nothing new, but still
noteworthy as it shows that RBT continue to get a fair hearing in a number of
Rind, B., Bauserman, R. & Tromovitch, Ph., The
Condemned Meta-Analysis on Child Sexual Abuse; Good Science and Long-Overdue
Skepticism; In: Skeptical Inquirer July/August 2001, 68-72 PDF
file [External link to PDF file]
In July 1999, the prestigious journal Psychological Bulletin published our
review of fifty-nine studies that had examined psychological correlates of child
sexual abuse (CSA) [...] We soon achieved an unexpected honor: our paper was
unanimously condemned by Congress.
In the aftermath, SKEPTICAL INQUIRER has published two commentaries, one
denouncing Congress [...] and the other denouncing our study (Hagen 2001). We
would like to offer our own thoughts about this astonishing story of politics,
pressure, and social hysteria - the antitheses of critical and skeptical
We conducted our research in the spirit of scientific skepticism, an attitude
sadly missing in the CSA panic that arose throughout much of the 1980s and early
Rind, B., Bauserman, R. & Tromovitch, Ph., Meta-Analyse
des sexuellen Mißbrauchs; Sie wurde verurteilt, doch war sie gute
Forschung und brachte lang-überfällige Skepsis; Aus: Skeptical
Inquirer, Juli/August 2001, 68-72 [PDF
Im Juli 1998 veröffentlichte die angesehene Zeitschrift Psychological
Bulletin einen Übersichtartikel, dem bald die ungewöhnliche Ehre
zuteil wurde, vom Kongreß der Vereinigten Staaten einstimmig verurteilt zu
werden. In dieser Arbeit hatten wir die Ergebnisse aus 59 Originalarbeiten
zusammengefaßt, in denen die psychologischen Auswirkungen des sexuellen
Kindesmißbrauchs (child sexual abuse - im folgenden kurz Mißbrauch)
untersucht worden waren. In der Folge veröffentlichte der
Skeptical Inquirer zwei Kommentare, von denen sich einer gegen
den Kongreß, der andere gegen unsere Untersuchung stellte. Wir möchten
hier aus unserer Sicht die Geschichte dieser erstaunlichen Mischung aus
Politik, Macht und Hysterie erzählen, welche doch sicher alle zu den
Antithesen kritischen und skeptischen Denkens gehören.
Ruark, Jennifer K, Journal Backs Away
From Article Critical of Congress and Psychology Association, in: The
Chronicle of Higher Education, May 23, 2001
The editor of American Psychologist, a leading psychology journal, has reneged
on an agreement to publish an article critical of the journal's sponsor and of
several members of Congress.
debacle won't go away as vetoed article dispute reveals, From
"The National Psychologist: The Web Site of The Independent Newspaper
for Practitioners", vol. 10, no. 4, July/August 2001,
[...] Lilienfeld went public after learning that his article, which had once
been accepted for publication in the American Psychologist, had been
rejected. His actions elicited an indignant outcry from the
academic-scientific community, erupting in an explosion of internet e-mail
Ultimately, the issues centered on academic freedom vs. government
Chris, Rind, Bauserman and
Tromovitch won’t cave in, The adamantine
defense of a condemned study, Koinos magazine 32 – 2001/4.
The field of research into what is called ‘child sexual abuse’ has been
rocked by renewed rigorous objective inquiry into, and razor-sharp analyses of,
the current and recent historical state of affairs.
Chris, Rind, Bauserman
und Tromovitch weigern sich nachzugeben, Die
schlagkräftige Verteidigung einer abgelehnten Studie; Koinos
magazine 32 – 2001/4.
Der Forschungsbereich, der sich mit dem so genannten ‘sexuellen
Kindesmissbrauch’ befasst, ist durch eine erneute gründlich-objektive
Untersuchung und scharfsinnige Analyse der Sachlage von heute und der jüngsten
Vergangenheit erschüttert worden.
Netherlands, Dr. Margaret
Hagen's critique of RBT, summarized and commented on.
The Skeptical Inquiry of January 2001 has a critique by psychologist Margaret
Hagen of the
Rind et al. 1998 meta-analysis. Her article is not on the Web, but she
was so kind to email it to me. While Hagen is far from an unreasonable hysteric,
she berates Rind et al. for pushing an agenda in their report, as she sees it.
Hagen also says the report is weak not because it messes with figures, but
because it draws overly confident conclusions from the figures. Below I
encapsulate her article and provide some commentary.
In the famous meta-analysis of Rind et al. [RTB98], one of the aspects that
is studied are the recalled immediate reactions to child sexual abuse
experiences - were they (at the time) seen as positive, negative or neutral by
the younger partner?
The results from a number of studies is given, and a weighted average is found
of 11% positive, 18% neutral, 72% negative for girls and 37% positive, 29%
neutral, 33% negative for boys.
However, the data from the various studies differ widely - positive reactions
vary from 2% to 28% for girls and 8% to 69% for boys, negative from 52% to 84%
for girls and from 7% to 54% for boys.
I have looked at the various definitions used for CSA, to see whether this
might explain the large differences between studies for these data. The
definitions differed in various ways: [...]
O'Carroll, Tom, The Coxell
I have just come across an old request posted by Desire for information
about a paper by Coxell and colleagues that had been mentioned by RBT in a
public defense of their work.
The full Coxell paper is available free from the website of the British
Medical Journal, which published the print version. The page is at:
The paper's findings are certainly worth citing, despite the fact that
the authors were plainly more interested in non-consensual sex than
For reference, here is what Rind et al said about the paper:
Third round of discussion: mid-2001
Psychologist March 2002, Volume 57, Number 3, Abstracts
[Special issue about the Rind et al. discussion]
Dallam, S. J. (2002). Science
or Propaganda? An examination of Rind, Tromovitch and Bauserman (1998). Journal
of Child Sexual Abuse, 9(3/4), 109-134.
(Simultaneously published as a chapter in Misinformation Concerning Child
Sexual Abuse and Adult Survivors (Charles L. Whitfield, MD, FASAM; Joyanna
Silberg, PhD; and Paul Jay Fink, MD, Eds.) Haworth Press, 2002)
"The purpose of the present article is to examine whether Rind et al.
(1998) is best characterized as unpopular science or pedophile propaganda."
" [...] the authors’ views on sex between adults and children have
more in common with the ideology of advocates of “intergenerational” sexual
relationships, than the reasoned opinions of most other scientists who have
studied this issue." [...]
"After a careful examination of the evidence, it is concluded that Rind et
al. can best be described as an advocacy article that inappropriately uses
science in an attempt to legitimize its findings."
Rivas, Titus, Propaganda
[...] I have personally been mentioned in the context of one or more
articles that aim against a study by Rind, Tromovitch and Bauserman. [...]
as one of several Dutch authors who want to promote "pseudoscience"
in the cause of 'pedophilia'.
Dallam, S.J., Gleaves, D.H., Cepeda-Benito, A., Silberg, J.L.,
Kraemer, H.C. & Spiegel, D.,
The Effects of Child
Sexual Abuse: Comment on Rind, Tromovitch, and Bauserman (1998);
Psychologican Bulletin, 127, 6, 715-733, 2001
The current analysis revealed numerous problems in that study that minimized
CSA-adjustment relations, including
use of a healthy sample,
an inclusive definition of CSA,
failure to correct for statistical attenuation, and
misreporting of original data.
Rind et al.'s study's main conclusions were not supported by the
original data. As such, attempts to use their study to argue that an individual
has not been harmed by sexual abuse constitute a serious misapplication of its
O'Keefe, Mark, Some
in mainstream contend certain cases of adult-minor sex should be acceptable,
Newhouse News Service, Star Tribune [Minneapolis, Minnesota], March 26, 2002
Sex between adults and children has been a societal taboo so strong that it's
considered one of our few unquestioned moral principles. But arguments have
emerged in academic journals, books and online that at least some such sex
should be acceptable, especially when children consent to it.
Those making the case aren't just fringe groups, such as the North American
Man-Boy Love Association, but a handful of academics at mainstream universities.
Ondersma, S.J., Chaffin, M., Berliner, L., Cordon, I., Goodman, G.S. &
Sex With Children Is
Abuse: Comment on Rind, Tromovitch, and Bauserman (1998);
Psychologican Bulletin, 127, 6, 707-714, 2001
[...] Several aspects of their work have proven to be highly controversial,
including their assertion that the relation between child sexual abuse and
adjustment is quite small and their questioning of whether child sexual abuse
should be labeled abuse in scientific inquiry. In this commentary, the
authors summarize the controversy that has ensued, place it in a historical
context, discuss the limitations of B. Rind et al.'s findings, and critique the
manner in which those findings are presented. The authors also argue for the
appropriateness of the term abuse and for scientific terminology that
reflects rather than contradicts consensual public morality.
Rind, B., Tromovitch, Ph., & Bauserman, R.,
The Validity and
Appropriateness of Methods, Analyses, and Conclusions in Rind et al. (1998):
A Rebuttal of Victimological Critique From Ondersma et al. (2001) and Dallam et
Psychologican Bulletin, 127, 6, 734-758, 2001
The authors respond to 2 victimological critiques of their
1998 meta-analysis on child sexual abuse (CSA). S.
J. Dallam et al. (2001) claimed that B. Rind, P. Tromovitch, and R.
Bauserman (1998) committed numerous methodological and statistical errors, and
often miscoded and misinterpreted data.
The authors show all these claims to be invalid. To the contrary, they
demonstrate frequent bias in Dallam et al.'s criticisms. S.
J. Ondersma et al. (2001) claimed that Rind et al.'s study is part of a
backlash against psychotherapists, that its suggestions regarding CSA
definitions were extra-scientific, and that the moral standard is needed to
understand CSA scientifically. The authors show their suggestions to have been
scientific and argue that it is Ondersma et al.'s issue-framing and moral
standard that are extra-scientific. This reply supports the original methods,
analyses, recommendations, and conclusions of Rind et al.
Schulte-Stracke, Peter, Streit
um sexuellen Missbrauch; Einige Anmerkungen zum Zürcher Tagesanzeiger vom
Die Meta-Analyse des »sexuellen Mißbrauchs« durch Bruce RIND,
Philip TROMOVITCH und - last but not least - Robert BAUSERMAN
hat Furore gemacht. Nunmehr hat der Zürcher Tagesanzeiger die
Veröffentlichung zweier Kritiken und der Replik der Autoren im Novemberheft der
Zeitschrift Psychological Bulletin zum Anlaß eines Beitrages von Jochen
Paulus genommen. Einige Punkte darin sind zu ergänzen oder zu korrigieren.
Tuller, David, Sex
between teenage boys and older men is not always coercive -- and it can be
more ecstatic than traumatic; Minor report; Salon.Com July 22, 2002
[....] it doesn't take a huge stretch of the imagination -- at least not of my
imagination, nor, as it turns out, the imaginations of other gay men of my
acquaintance -- to believe that there are some men whose lives were not
destroyed, or may even have been enhanced, by adolescent sex with a priest. They
have not gone public, nor would I expect them to, especially in the current
environment. But that they exist -- somewhere -- I have little doubt.
Ulrich, Heather; Randolph Mickey & Acheson, Shawn
Child sexual abuse - A replication of the meta-analytic examination of child sexual abuse by Rind, Tromovitch, and Bauserman (1998) -
The Scientific review of Mental Health Practice 4-2, pp 37-51, Fall/winter 2005-2006
Congress Resolution 107, July 12, 1999
Statement dated March 23, 1999 by the American
"Childhood Sexual Abuse Causes Serious Harm to its
Author's Response, May 12, 1999
Controversy Regarding APA Journal Article, From: Ray Fowler, Ph.D.,
25 May 1999
other APA's Statement
America Psychiatric Association medical director criticizes other APA's
publication of pedophilia study, June 1, 1999
Hatfield, Dr. Elaine & others, Letter
to APA; 3 July 1999
We, the president and past-presidents of the Society for the Scientific Study
of Sex, members of the SSSS Executive Committee, and editors of Journal
of Sex Research and the Archives of Human Sexuality would like to
urge the American Psychological Association to take a strong stand in support of
Dr. Bruce Rind [... ... ...]
Tiefer, Leonore, PhD., Outraged;
Letter to APA; July 15, 1999
Your response to the Congressional and conservative organizations' furor, as
presented in The New York Times, seems to me to have been exactly the opposite
of what was needed. You should have taken the opportunity to rush to the Hill to
explain to Congress how peer review works [...] to explain to Congress how
meta-analysis is an excellent new tool [...], to explain to Congress that
political interference with scientific processes is exactly what won't help
children and won't help society understand complex and controversial issues, and
to offer workshops on child sexuality and meta-analytic techniques to assist
Congress in the future.
The Children, Jul 29 1999
Speech In The House Of Representatives, Thursday, July 29, 1999, condemning the
Rind c.s. research reports.
scientific body finds no reason to fault Rind report, November 17th 1999
Schlessinger, Evil among us
The Problem of Pedophilia; Adult-Child Sex Is Not Necessarily
"Abuse," Say Some Psychologists
statement: The Good news About Man/Boy Love