Target: Fox News host Bill O’Reilly
Goal: Stop O’Reilly from continuing to infer that a correlation exists between male homosexuality and pedophilia
Notoriously conservative TV host Bill O’Reilly recently invited Mark Potok, a representative of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), to come on his show and discuss the SPLC’s recent designation of an anti-gay group called the Family Research Council as a hate group similar to the KKK. When Potok brought up the FRC’s claims that pedophilia is a “homosexual problem” as a reason for the designation, O’Reilly asked whether the FRC counted as a hate group because of their pointing out that there is a higher percentage of homosexual pedophilia than heterosexual pedophilia. Then, when Potok insisted that this was factually incorrect and attempted to move onto a second point, O’Reilly openly stated that he believed statistics show homosexual, male-on-male pedophilia to occur at a higher incidence than heterosexual, male-on-female pedophilia.
O’Reilly’s statements ignore two key realities. One, pedophilia is a problem unrelated to sexual orientation, as psychiatrists have stated for years. Two, what statistics do show is that female children are more likely to suffer sexual abuse than male children. However, sexual abuse of boys is more highly publicized, probably because of the cultural taboo against homosexuality still present in U.S. society. This is not the first time Bill O’Reilly has demonized the GLBTQ community by conflating it with pedophilia, and will probably not be the last. Ask O’Reilly to apologize for his statements and stop allowing his personal biases about homosexuality to influence his content when reporting on the serious issue of pedophilia.
Dear Bill O’Reilly,
Recently, you invited Mark Poltak, a representative of the Southern Poverty Law Center, to appear on your show and discuss the SPLC’s recent designation of anti-gay group the Family Research Council as a hate group. The interview ended up being derailed when Poltak brought up the connection insinuated by the FRC between homosexuality in men and pedophilia. After Poltak explained that it was not right for the FRC to make such an insinuation due to it being untrue, you replied that you believed it was true that homosexual pedophilia had a higher incidence than heterosexual pedophilia. This belief runs contrary to reality. Psychiatrists have long contended that the psychological preoccupations which result in pedophilia are completely unrelated to sexual orientation. Additionally, young girls are actually more likely to suffer sexual abuse than their male peers. The conception of abuse of boys is a larger problem likely stems from the fact that it receives more media coverage. Additionally, most men convicted of sexual abuse of boys actually identify as heterosexual, and sometimes have adult female partners.
Please apologize for your misinformed and incorrect statements about the supposed correlation between homosexuality and pedophilia. In this matter, you are misdirected by personal bias, resulting in false and inflammatory reporting on a subject that should be taken with the utmost seriousness. In addition, please discontinue making any insinuations about a connection between homosexuality and pedophilia in the future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: World Affairs Council of Philadelphia