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Australia: most victims of abuse by Catholic, Anglican clergy are adolescent males

February 19, 2013

Most victims of clergy sexual abuse in Australia are adolescent males, according to a recent study by Patrick Parkinson, a law professor at the University of Sydney.

“Of 370 victims of abuse in the Catholic Church for which criminal convictions had been recorded since 1956, 87% of victims were male,” writes Parkinson, a Protestant. “Lest it be thought that these patterns are unique to the Catholic Church, we found a similar pattern in our Anglican Church study. Three-quarters of complainants who alleged sexual abuse were male.”

Parkinson noted that 4.76% of priests who attended one Melbourne Catholic seminary and were ordained between 1940 and 1966 sexually abused children, while 5.41% of alumni of the same seminary who were ordained between 1968 and 1971 were convicted of the sexual abuse of minors.

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