"...I want to cover something and I'm not going to mention it again. The alternative lifestyle. The only significance that has in this case is to show why we would have female abusers and female victims".
Mary Kay Delavan -prosecutor at second trial.
The above statement implies a direct link between lesbianism and the sexual abuse of girls.
That idea is patently and categorically false.
During the 1980's the media regularly reported that boy's were being sexually molested by "gay priests". The notion being that Catholic priests who molested (usually adolescent) boys were homosexuals. By definition a homosexual is an adult whose sexual interest is adults of their own gender. These priests were not homosexuals but rather pedophiles, as their only sexual interest was in children, and they had never had any sexual interest in either male or female adults. The tabloid media gave extensive coverage to these cases involving "gay priests" and the connection had been made in the minds of a large portion of the public.
Those who are morally opposed to homosexuality have long asserted a connection between homosexuality and child molestation. That belief has had many effects including the Boy Scouts of America barring gay men from scouting, and attempts to bar gay men from positions as school teachers. A 1970 survey showed 70% of Americans believed homosexuals were inclined toward sexual abuse of youth and should not be allowed to work with them. That percentage has decreased steadily, and by 1999 the numbers of people still holding that belief had dropped into the mid-teens with respect to gays, and approximately 7% for lesbians.(Herek, G. 2008)
There have been published reports claiming to show a positive correlation between homosexuality and child molestation. Peer-review of these articles shows a common flaw in research methodology. In these studies when a male perpetrator assaults a boy it is considered to be "homosexual" molestation and when a girl is abused, "heterosexual" molestation. In fact the majority of these assaults are carried out by pedophiles who tend to offend against a specific age group of children, and in many, if not most instances have no gender preference. What is critical to recognize is that most of these pedophiles have no sexual orientation and are therefore categorized as "fixated" child molesters. Another group of child molesters categorized as "regressed" have previously shown a capacity to form adult sexual relationships, but have returned to an earlier developmental stage in terms of their sexual interests. This regression is often associated with extreme levels of stress.
An important investigation in this area was conducted in Massachusetts by Groth and Birnbaum (1978). They studied 175 adult males convicted of child molestation. Interestingly, none were classified as homosexuals. 47% were classified as "fixated"pedophiles, 40% as "regressed" heterosexuals, and 13% as regressed bisexuals. Other researchers conducting similar studies have found very low rates (less than 1%) of child molestation by homosexuals, and no positive correlation in terms of sexual interest in boys. (Jenny et. al., 1994; Freund et. al. 1989)
Today, professionals and academics working in the child abuse field no longer believe homosexuals pose an elevated risk to the sexual abuse of children relative to heterosexuals. Regarding the relationship between lesbianism and child molestation, verified cases are so rare valid statistical inferences cannot be made.
In both Elizabeth Ramirez' trial, and the trial of the other 3 women, prosecutors inferred that their lesbianism predisposed them toward molesting girls. Sexual assault on pre-pubertal girls by adult women is a rare event. As lesbians represent a small subsample of all adult women and show no disposition toward child molestation, their involvement in these types of assaults can only be described as extremely rare. Women who assault younger children are usually seriously mentally ill and/or have very limited social skills and other problems. The four women convicted in this case are all well-adjusted and high functioning. All had shown the ability to form and maintain adult sexual relationships. Another salient characteristic of women who sexually assault prepubescent girls is that they always act alone.
While it is possible, all research findings indicate the odds of a multi-perpetrator sexual assault on prepubertal girls by four high functioning lesbians is, at best, extremely remote. Several searches have failed to find reference to another verified case. Because of this, the question arises: "Why didn't this case raise red flags, and draw significant media attention?"
Lesbian pedophiles is a myth - a figment of a homophobic imagination, and not based in reality.
Freund, K., Watson, R., & Rienzo, D. (1989). Heterosexuality, homosexuality, and erotic age preference. The Journal of Sex Research, 26 (1), 107-117.
Groth, A.N., & Birnbaum, H.J. (1978). Adult sexual orientation and attraction to underage persons. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 7 (3), 175-181.
Herek, Gregory. Facts About Homosexuality and Child Molestation. http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html. Retrieved Jan. 6, 2008.
Jenny, C., Roesler, T. A., & Poyer, K. L. (1994). Are children at risk for sexual abuse by homosexuals? Pediatrics, 94(1), 41-44.