Paul Cameron
Do Southern Baptists have a child molestation problem?
By Paul Cameron
June 23, 2019

Do Southern Baptists have a child molestation problem? It all depends on what is considered 'normal.' I and my colleagues examined all cases when searching for 'child sexual abuse' on Google News from 2012 through 2014. We recorded all cases in which the sex of the perpetrator and sex of the victim(s) were stated in at least one news report.

The findings concerning a member of the clergy or church official who molested children as a function of his or her position are listed in Table 1 below. These instances include molesting a child who was a member of his or her congregation, or under their supervision. Situations where a stranger molested a child in a park or similar, then the stranger was discovered to be a member of the clergy, were not included. Molestations were categorized into those which were heterosexual and those which were homosexual in nature.

The Houston Chronicle began its investigation of Southern Baptists in 2018. We also examined the cases it reported. For men, a couple of cases involved Seminarians. These were counted if the victim(s) were related to the perpetrator's status as a seminary student. More generally, for more than a few cases, it was unclear if the abuse was related to his position (e.g., if the molestation was at a playground, or not in church, it was not counted).

About half of child sexual abuse perpetrators were youth pastors/volunteers, who apparently 'fell in love' with a member of the youth group they supervised. Many were music directors or performers who mostly committed homosexual molestations. Non-sexual convictions which appeared on the Chronicle list were not counted. We also could not count or categorize cases where only the arrest record was available, so that the sex of the victim(s) was not given.

Table 1 summarizes both our Google News findings and what the Houston Chronicle found in its news search. Perps refers to perpetrators, those who molested homosexually are noted as Homo, those who molested heterosexually as Het. As an example, 69 Catholic clergy were caught molesting children: 60 homosexually for 394 victims, 9 heterosexually for 9 victims. This compares with 18 Baptist clergy, of which 8 homosexually molested 17 victims and 10 heterosexually molested 16 victims.

The Houston Chronicle data fit into the Google News pattern of vastly disproportionate homosexual molesters and proportion of victims. The numbers are too small to make much of the differences between Southern Baptists and all Baptists, or versus other Protestants. However, if we regard these stories of the 'caught' as random events from the much larger number of events that were not 'caught,' both the Houston Chronicle and Google News Baptists appear to have a lighter relative homosexual footprint than the Catholic clergy.

For comparison, Google News stories about school-based molestations are summarized in Table 2. Disproportionate molestations by homosexuals and their greater number of victims are evident in both tables. These findings jibe with historic Church concerns about homosexual interest in the corruption of children.

Do Southern Baptists have a unique child molestation problem? Not particularly, at least when indexed by our compilation of Google News Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) for the U.S. during 2012-14. Overall, we found that 33% of 743 perpetrators molested homosexually, accounting for 51% of the 4,837 victims. So Southern Baptist perpetrators – at 32% homosexual – were similar to the country as a whole, as well as to Baptists indexed by Google News.

Likewise, 61% of the victims of Southern Baptists were homosexually-molested, similar to the 54% suffering same-sex molestation by Google News Baptists, and the 67% experiencing same-sex molestation by Protestants in general. CSA by Roman Catholic clergy – at 87% of perpetrators and 98% of victims – was much more homosexual in nature.

Should Southern Baptists establish a special commission? This seems unlikely to do much good, since Baptists appear to be doing no worse or better than Protestants in general, according to Google News. Spending church money on 'commissions' has done nothing to reduce child molestation and often tires congregants from the same old 'but we've got to do something' routine. CSA under Federal, State, University, or local school district control continue even though they are all illegal. Joining the media in being 'shocked' is not particularly productive.

Homosexual clergy accounted for the majority of molestations in every religious group we indexed. As such, all religious bodies would do better in avoiding CSA if they got rid of their homosexual clergy. Of course, the same could be said of homosexual teachers and staff in public schools.

These facts put in question the claims of the American Psychiatric and American Psychological Associations and the National Association of Social Workers when they told the U.S. Supreme Court "[A]lthough gay men have been stigmatized with the allegation that they are disproportionately responsible for child sexual abuse, there is no evidence of any positive correlation between homosexual orientation and child molestation." It was a lie in 1994 and remains a lie today.

© Paul Cameron


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Paul Cameron

Dr. Paul Cameron was the first scientist to document the harmful health effects of second-hand tobacco smoke. He has published extensively on LGBT issues in refereed scientific journals. In 1978 he predicted that equal treatment of homosexuality and heterosexuality would strongly favor growing homosexuality and shrinking heterosexuality. His prediction is coming true.


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