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Daily Record (Scotland tabloid) Dec 3 2004

A RESEARCHER who claimed not all sex between adults and under-16s is abusive defended his work yesterday. As Richard Yuill was awarded his PhD from Glasgow University, he attacked criticism of his thesis from child protection groups.

The work was based on interviews with child sex abusers and their victims.

Dr Yuill said:

'I interviewed young people from a range of different backgrounds and experiences.

'Some had negative experiences, some had positive experiences ... some had mixed experiences.'

He added that while the young people interviewed had been under-age at the time of their sexual experiences with adults, they were all over 18 when interviewed.

Dr Yuill said his work could challenge the law which says under-16s are unable to give informed consent to sex with adults.

But ChildLine director Anne Houston said:

'Our concern is that anything in the public domain which could be used as an excuse by abusers to persuade children that sex between an adult and child is normal is dangerous.'

Glasgow University said the thesis was approved by their research ethics committee and examined by police. A spokesman added:

'The views are those of Dr Yuill - not those of the university.'

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