Expressing the sense of Congress rejecting the conclusions of a recent article published in the Psychological Bulletin, a journal of the American Psychological Association, that suggests that sexual relationships between adults and children might be positive for children.
Whereas no segment of our society is more critical to the future of human survival than our children;
Whereas children are a precious gift and responsibility given to parents by God;
Whereas the spiritual, physical, and mental well-being of children are parents' sacred duty;
Whereas parents have the right to expect government to refrain from interfering with them in fulfilling their sacred duty and to render necessary assistance;
Whereas the Supreme Court has held that parents `who have this primary responsibility for children's well-being are entitled to the support of laws designed to aid discharge of that responsibility' (Ginsberg v. New York, 390 U.S. 629, 639 (1968));
Whereas it is the obligation of all public policymakers not only to support, but also to defend, the health and rights of parents, families, and children;
Whereas information endangering children is being made public and, in some instances, may be given unwarranted or unintended credibility through release under professional titles or through professional organizations;
Whereas elected officials have a duty to inform and counter actions they consider damaging to children, parents, families, and society;
Whereas Congress has made sexual molestation and exploitation of children a felony;
Whereas all credible studies in this area, including those published by the American Psychological Association, condemn child sexual abuse as criminal and harmful to children;
Whereas, once published and allowed to stand, scientific literature may become a source for additional research;
Whereas the Psychological Bulletin has recently published a severely flawed study, entitled `A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples', which suggests that sexual relationships between adults and children are less harmful than believed and might be positive for `willing' children (Psychological Bulletin, vol. 124, No. 1, July 1998);
Whereas, in order to clarify any inconsistencies between the two conclusions the authors of the study suggest and the position of the American Psychological Association that sexual relations between children and adults are abusive, exploitive, and reprehensible, and should never be considered or labeled as harmless or acceptable, the American Psychological Association has issued a public `Resolution Opposing Child Sexual Abuse' ;
Whereas the American Psychological Association should be congratulated for publicly clarifying its opposition to any adult-child sexual relations, which will help to deny pedophiles from citing `A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples' in a legal defense, and for resolving to evaluate the scientific articles it publishes in light of their potential social, legal, and political implications;
Whereas the Supreme Court has recognized that `sexually exploited children are unable to develop healthy affectionate relationships in later life, have sexual dysfunctions, and have a tendency to become sexual abusers as adults' (New York v. Ferber, 458 U.S. 747, 758, n.9 (1982));
Whereas Paidika--The Journal of Pedophilia, a publication advocating the legalization of sex with `willing' children, has published an article by one of the authors of the study, Robert Bauserman, Ph.D. (see `Man-Boy Sexual Relationships in a Cross-Cultural Perspective,' vol. 2, No. 1, Summer 1989);
Whereas pedophiles and organizations, such as the North American Man-Boy Love Association, that advocate laws to permit sex between adults and children are exploiting the study to promote and justify child sexual abuse:
Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress--
(1) condemns and denounces all suggestions in the article `A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples' that indicate that sexual relationships between adults and `willing' children are less harmful than believed and might be positive for `willing' children (Psychological Bulletin, vol. 124, No. 1, July 1998);
(2) vigorously opposes any public policy or legislative attempts to normalize adult-child sex or to lower the age of consent;
(3) urges the President likewise to reject and condemn, in the strongest possible terms, any suggestion that sexual relations between children and adults--regardless of the child's frame of mind--are anything but abusive, destructive, exploitive, reprehensible, and punishable by law; and
(4) encourages competent investigations to continue to research the effects of child sexual abuse using the best methodology, so that the public, and public policymakers, may act upon accurate information.
Passed the House of Representatives July 12, 1999.