Profile Research Paper

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Professor Tucker-Gail

March 10, 2021

Profile Research Paper


Over the years, many things in the field of criminal justice have changed. One thing that has not is the view on those who sexually abuse and assault children, as it remains as negative as it can be. Many authors write and many more investigate on sexual abuse of children. The abusers that will be the main focus of this piece is are white males aging from twenty to sixty in the Catholic Church. This is a very hard topic to discuss; however, it needs to be examined because sometimes, the children cannot speak for themselves. Younger victims feel shy to come out and may gain courage as they get older. Progressively, the role of mental and psychological welfare of the victims is imminent. Rape, sexual battery, and gross sexual impositions are some of the most common forms of sexual offenses. Different states have developed multiple approaches to help keep these criminals behind bars for more extended periods.

Ryan Alexander and Michael Birzer wrote on the ongoing sexual assault against children in the Catholic churches. Changing Trajectory: An Integrated Theoretical View of the Roman Catholic Priest Sex Abuse Scandal introduces the main issue, then summarizes it. The article then goes on to talk about one of “the most current and comprehensive analysis of the Roman Catholic sex abuse scandal in the United States.” After, the authors talk about sex offenders, general life course theory, life course theory applied to priest sex offenders, implications and recommendations. They end by saying that it is ultimately the ‘most trusted’ that are the ones to commit the horrid acts.

An analysis of Dr. Larry Nassar’s case, although unrelated to church involvement, shows how a single individual could be central to multiple instances of sexual offenses (Udowitch, 2020). Nassar was in his forties when he committed his horrific offenses, which supports the profile. The need to develop proactive approaches to keep these offenders at bay is imminent. The different cases of sexual violence have long term implications for the victims. Understanding the different statutes that explain sexual offenses is critical in amassing more excellent representation techniques.

Derek Farrell wrote an article on the issue.  In his article Silenced By God: An Examination Of Unique Characteristics Within Sexual Abuse By Clergy, he says the following: “There is a high degree of dissonance in the notion that some clerics, charged with the responsibility of spreading the gospel, and whose vocation is to guide followers to the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’, can within the cause of their religious duties, abuse their privileged position to perpetrate untold sexual crimes upon children (Farrell, 1999, p.23).”  In simple terms, the author is stating that priests have been known exploit their power in the most immoral ways.

K Calitz wrote the following: The Liability of Churches for the Historical Sexual Assault of Children by Priests. In this thirty-six-page long article, the author makes several points. They first introduce the topic. They then go on to talk about a way that the Roman Catholic Churches try to defend themselves by using an employment relationship as a shield. Following that is the evaluation of cases in Canada, The United Kingdom, and South Africa.

Alissa Ackerman and Bilal Kahn back Calitz up in their article, Assessing Reporting Patterns of Child Sexual Abuse Within the Catholic Church Using Discontinuities in Model Parameter Timeseries. “After the Boston Globe broke the story about John Geoghan – a priest in the Boston Archdiocese who was accused of abusing numerous children, convicted of one count of indecent assault, and eventually murdered in prison – the Church had many questions to answer (Ackerman, Kahn, 2012).” It is a global issue apparently.

Upon reading, the authors share an easily agreeable article. They state the hard facts first, and then go in-depth. They honestly cut to the chase in their first sentence, giving a reason for this disgusting pattern: “The sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests across the United States is a direct result of access to children, and that access changes across the life-course of individual priests (Alexander, Birzer, 2016).” The authors appeared to be informed based on the number of cases against priests and the connection to scientific theories that they had prepared.

It is not difficult to agree with the secondary article because they mention something most do not. Ackerman and Kahn also talk about a responsibility of the victim. Reporting. “By isolating discontinuities in model parameter timeseries, we determine changes in reporting patterns occurred during the period 1982–1988 (Ackerman, Kahn, 2012).”

Granted, there was a lot of information to take in, they had some flaws as well as they did truth. There were many a few limitations to the rule regarding reporting sexual abuse in the churches. For example, Calitz says the following in the previously mentioned article: “Could a church be held liable for the sexual assault of children by priests when the victims claim as adults only many years after the event (Calitz, 2015)?” This is understandable because in reality, how are the churches supposed to know misconduct is going on, when it is not brought to any one’s attention?

However, another limitation is the complete ignorance to the parents’ responsibility to their children’s wellness. Farrell and Taylor mention the following story from a young survivor, and how her parents were oblivious to the abuse: “On their first evening she recalls this cleric ‘telling’ her parents after dinner, that he wanted to spend some time alone with Sarah in order to give her some ‘individual religious instruction’. Her parents seemed very flattered by this request and duly consented, appearing seemingly honoured by his thoughtfulness and attention…” Had the parents been more attentive of their daughter, maybe this would not have happened. Had the church been more attentive of their clergy, maybe this would not have happened. Although, again, blame cannot all be placed on one party.

There have been many theories aimed at the sole purpose of explaining why these sexually explicit actions are being taken by the priests and clergy in higher power. One theory that is applicable to these scenarios is gender theory. Gender theory is basically the theory of what is masculine and what is feminine applied to different areas of study. For this profile, one explanation of gender theory being shown is the lack of women in power in Catholic Churches. According to The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, “The gender theory (negation of the male/female duality as characterising element of the identity and of the maturity of a person), abortion (negation of the child’s life via his/her violent elimination after conception), and pedophilia (abuse of power over a weaker individual, a child, triggered by a sexual life disorder), all have in common the falsification of the meaning of sexuality that leads to a systematic refusal of paternity, of maternity and of filiation. To this one must add the fact that religious celibacy has been commonly interpreted as the negation of sexuality. At training level, therefore, the aspect of affective sexual life has been overlooked and the signs of deviancy in the candidates and in their instructors have been underestimated (Carola, Rotsaert, Tenace, Yáñez, year unknown).” Although, it is necessary to be noted that using gender theory can explain pedophilia in more ways than one. Another example of this is the connection of gender theory to the offender’s childhood role models (parents). f these priests were deprived of a proper childhood, this can be an explanation as to why they may feel the need to facilitate inappropriate relations with children of similar ages to when they were traumatized by a parent. To re-experience their childhood in some demented way; the only way they know how.

In addition to gender theory, there are several others. The main other theory that will be discussed comes straight from Pope Benedict XVI’s handwritten letter in response to the accusations against the church that claim there is sexual assault of minors taking place from the priests and clergy in the Catholic Churches. In the letter Benedict theorizes as to why these discretions occurred. In doing so, he mentions moral relativism theory. “Retired Pope Benedict XVI made a rare public statement Thursday with an essay on the Catholic Church’s sex-abuse crisis, linking it to a breakdown in sexual morality in the 1960s and warning against an excessive focus on the rights of accused abusers (Rocca, 2019).” Several authors come together to write on this topic for Santa Clara University: “That is, whether an action is right or wrong depends on the moral norms of the society in which it is practiced. The same action may be morally right in one society but be morally wrong in another (Andre, Meyer, Shanks, Valesquez, 1992).” Pope Benedict XVI outlined a list of solutions aimed at ending the sexual abuse as well.  Benedict XVI writes in his letter “Only obedience and love for our Lord Jesus Christ can point the way. So, let us first try to understand anew and from within what the Lord wants, and has wanted with us.” Although aren’t priests supposed to have a love for doing by God?

However, it is best to look at these two theories from all angles. That being similarities, differences, strengths and weaknesses.




Gender theory is the best theory to use when describing the profile of a twenty- to sixty-year-old, white male, abusing children. S.G Chea takes one of the founding fathers of gender theory and puts his history into simple terms:

“Dr. John Money was an influential intellectual who pioneered the gender theories that are currently cited as the basis for identity politics… One example of Dr. Money’s research is the story of a child who was raised as a girl (even though he was born a male) under his instruction. Dr. Money theorized that “gender is just a social construct,” and if the boy’s parents raised him as a girl, he would grow up and be a normal, mentally healthy girl.


The story didn’t end well for the child. The boy always thought he was a boy, even when he wore the dresses his parents bought him, until finally, the decades of abuse caught up and he committed suicide. Before identity politics took off in the culture, cross-dressing was traditionally known as a sexual fetish, so just imagine an innocent child made to cross-dress under the direction of an ‘expert’ (Chea, 2020).”

Despite the parents being just as much at fault as Dr. Money, that does not distract from the fact how disgusting his research was.

















Alexandra L. Snead & Julia C. Babcock (2019) Differential predictors of intimate partner sexual coercion versus physical assault perpetration, Journal of Sexual Aggression, 25:2, 146-160, DOI: 10.1080/13552600.2019.1581282

Australian Feminist Studies Volume 26 2011, Australian Feminist Studies, 26:70, ebi, DOI: 10.1080/08164649.2011.638365

Roberts, S. (2011), Doing Research with Imprisoned Adult Male Child Sexual Abusers: Reflecting on the Challenges. Child Abuse Review, 20: 187-196.

Carol J. Adams (2006) A Policy That Insures Failure: The Response of the Jehovah’s Witnesses to Child Sexual Abuse, Journal of Religion & Abuse, 7:4, 41-54, DOI: 10.1300/J154v07n04_04

G.S. Tsagaris, J.E. Bach & C. Cimino (2017) The Characteristics of Federal Offenders Sentenced for Sexual Exploitation of Children within a Large Urban Metropolitan Region, Journal of Sexual Aggression, 23:2, 181-194, DOI: 10.1080/13552600.2017.1307463


Ackerman, Alissa & Khan, Bilal. (2012). Assessing reporting patterns of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church using discontinuities in model parameter timeseries. Social science research. 41. 253-62. 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2011.11.004.



Calitz, Karin. (2015). The Liability of Churches for the Historical Sexual Assault of Children by Priests. Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal/Potchefstroomse Elektroniese Regsblad. 17. 2452. 10.4314/pelj.v17i6.06.



Farrell, Derek & Taylor, M.. (2000). Silenced by God: An examination of unique characteristics within sexual abuse by clergy. Counselling Psychology Review. 15. 22-31.



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