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99-117 Doc

June 1, 1999


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In a letter dated May 27, Dr. Steven Mirin, Medical Director for the American Psychiatric Association, criticized the conclusions contained in a study published by the American Psychological Association that suggests sexual relationships between adults and children are not as harmful as once believed. "It is encouraging to see the American Psychiatric Association distance itself from junk science. Children cannot consent to sex and any study that does not accept this premise should be dismissed," Janet Parshall, Family Research Council's Chief Spokesperson, said Monday. "The American Psychological Association should wake up and smell the trash it published."

Dr. Mirin's letter to FRC's Senior Director of Cultural Studies Robert Knight thanked FRC for acknowledging pedophilia as a mental disorder. He also expressed the American Psychiatric Association's disagreement "with the implications of the authors' conclusions" contained in the journal article "A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples," Psychological Bulletin, 1998, Vol. 124, No. 1, 22-53. "From a psychological perspective, sex between adult and child is always abusive and exploitative because the adult always holds the power in the relationship," wrote Dr. Mirin. Therefore, "[a]cademic hair-splitting over whether the act should be considered adult-child sex or child sexual abuse . . is not in the public interest and obfuscates the moral issues involved."

On May 12, Family Research Council joined Dr. Laura Schlessinger and a coalition of Congressmen, child protection advocates, and pedophilia victims to call on the American Psychological Association to renounce the aforementioned study. In response, the American

Psychological Association has defended the study's publication.

"Pedophilia has no presentable face," said Parshall. "We should treat it as the ugly demon it is and do everything we can to preserve our children's innocence. Adult-child sex is always reprehensible, always harmful and always forced." Indeed, Dr. Mirin stated that his organization's "strongly held position" is "that sex between adult and child can never be condoned or considered 'normal' behavior."

"The American Psychological Association should realize it stands alone in lending credence to the flawed study on 'adult-child sex' that it foolishly published in its prestigious journal," Parshall concluded.

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