Censoring Sex Research: The Debate over Male Intergenerational Relations

Hubbard, Thomas K., & Verstraete Beert
Place PublishedWalnut Creek CA USA
PublisherLeft Coast press Inc.
Extent368 pp
Book Review and Content with links

368 pp. / 6.00 x 9.00 / Jun, 2013

Hardback (978-1-61132-338-2)
Paperback (978-1-61132-339-9)
eBook (978-1-61132-724-3)

Available Jun, 2013

 This volume sheds light on one of the most explosive episodes of censure of academic scholarship in recent decades. Bruce Rind, a former psychology professor at Temple University, investigated sexual relations between male adults and adolescents through history and across cultures, from highly institutionalized relationships in Ancient Greece and Rome, to 33 contemporary cultures including the USA, and among various species.

His conclusions that these relations, when consensual, are not always negative was radical, but based in his research findings. Even before publication of an invited article on the topic, he was subjected to intensive attacks, censured, and censored.

This book presents a substantially extended version of Rind’s original, unpublished article, plus 12 scholarly responses to his work that argue for or against Rind’s conclusions or offer useful context on his work. For anyone interested in sex research and the academic freedom issues surrounding it, whether supportive of or vehemently opposed to Rind’s ideas, this book is a must-read.


  • "This is a very necessary book, which should be available in every university library. Far beyond its particular subject matter, it addresses fundamental issues of academic freedom.
    • Can serious authors in Western democracies still write about controversial topics without fear of censorship?
    • Will economic considerations eventually trump our cherished freedom of expression, as they have in this case?
  • We should all worry about the censorship by academic publishers bowing to non-academic pressure groups. This threat to the free exchange of ideas deserves to be discussed as widely as possible. It concerns every serious scholar in every field."

--- Prof. Erwin J Haeberle, Founder of the online Archive for Sexology

  • "Children lack adult maturity, and for that reason, society has an obligation to protect them from potential harm. Rightfully, in contemporary American society, minors below a certain age are not permitted to purchase cigarettes or alcohol, to be employed fulltime, or to engage in sexual activities with adults.
    That said, research to trace the historical roots of beliefs about childhood sexuality, and to study the impact that specific sexual acts may have upon a child can still be informative.
    For example, without condoning such behavior, what better news could the parents of a youngster receive than to learn of research documenting that although their child’s trust may have been improperly violated, he or she may not have been permanently harmed? To the extent that this text can contribute to a meaningful discussion and assessment of such issues, it can serve a useful purpose."

--- Fred S. Berlin, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Director of the National Institute for the Study, Prevention and Treatment of Sexual Trauma

  • "The forces that be have done their very best to suppress this essential book, because they don’t want anyone to be able to deny that sexual relations between someone over 21 with someone under 18 ever fail to cause trauma. Ironically, the so-called LGBT are the quickest to condemn all homosexual sex with younger males. But the inspired founder of the modern American homophile movement, Harry Hay, declared that the elders
    •  “have an ethical obligation to be there when the younger males reach out for erotic connection in order to resist hetero dominance and repression and to avoid developing self-loathing.”
  • The late Dutch authority, Dr. Frits Bernard, once called Bruce Rind’s groundbreaking 1998 meta-analysis “the bomb under the sex abuse industry.” Read his new much more broadly based synthesis and judge for yourself whether it drives a stake through the heart of the trauma myth."

--- William A. Percy, Professor Emeritus of History, University of Massachusetts, Boston


    Forword - Taboo Sex Research: Thinking Outside the Box by Daniel C. Tsang
    Introduction, by Thomas K. Hubbard
    1. Pederasty: An Integration of Empirical, Historical, Sociological, Cross-Cultural, Cross-Species, and Evolutionary Perspectives, by Bruce L. Rind
    2. More Speech or Less? Censoring Social Science, by Patrick O'Neill and Janice Best
    3. Intergenerational Sexualities: A Case Study on the Colonisation of Late Modern Sexual Subjects and Researcher Agendas, by Richard Yuill
    4. Two Personal Perspectives, by Walter L. Williams
    5. Intergenerational Relationships in Java and Thailand, by Walter L. Williams
    6. Blinded by Science: A Critique of Rind’s Views on Pederasty, by Richard D. McAnulty and Lester W. Wright, Jr.
    7. Review and Critique of the Empirical Methodology Employed by Bruce Rind, by L. Eric Alcorn
    8. Same Sex, Different Ages: On Pederasty in Gay History, by D. H. Mader and Gert Hekma
    9. “Here’s To You, Mr. Robinson”: Men Who Have Sexual Relations with Male Minors, by David F. Greenberg
    10. Harming Children in the Name of “Child Protection”: How Minors Who Have Sex with Other Minors are Abused by the Law and Therapy, by Andrew Heller
    11. The Sex Offender System: Punishing homo sacer, the New Internal Enemy, by Thomas K. Hubbard
    12. Blinded by Politics and Morality—A Reply to McAnulty and Wright, by Bruce L. Rind
    About the Contributors



Thomas K. Hubbard is Professor of Classics at the University of Texas at Austin. Among his books are Homosexuality in Greece and Rome (University of California Press 2003), Greek Love Reconsidered (Wallace Hamilton 2000), Pipes of Pan (University of Michigan Press 1998) and Companion to Greco-Roman Sexualities (Blackwell, forthcoming).

Beert Verstraete retired as Professor of History and Classics at Acadia University. His most recent book is Same-Sex Desire and Love in Greco-Roman Antiquity and in the Classical Tradition of the West (ed. with V Provencal, Routledge 2006).

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Ipce editor - For additional information on the Rind controversy, see:

The RBT Files