The best current research shows that the "average" child molester is young, well-educated, middle-class, sometimes married, usually Caucasian and employed in a stable job at a good salary. Richard I. Lanyon reported in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (1986), "the child molester is most commonly a respectable, otherwise law-abiding person." Child molesters look a lot like us.
Father Rossetti's remarks on the physiognomy and demography of child molesters (see also yesterday's entry) prompted a little web-browsing. Police listings of sexual offenders -- biased, in the sense that they treat only of convicted abusers -- provide an interesting counterpoint. Check out, e.g., the roster of the Cook County (Illinois) Sheriff's Office. Go to the "search by town" utility and bounce around at random. Arlington Heights, Berwyn, Burbank, Cicero, Des Plaines, Glenview, Park Forest, and Tinley Park are particularly useful for assessing Fr. Rossetti's claim that the lay response to child abuse is "hysteria exacerbated by myths."
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