Abuse not a product of culture but church policy [United States]
Edward McCarey McDonnell
Anyone familiar with criminal justice studies realizes how flawed many of them are, and the recently released "The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States 1950-2002" appears to be a prime example.
The study appears to suggest that clergy pedophilia increased drastically during the 1960s and 1970s, as this was a period in which there was an increase in other kinds of "deviant" behavior. We know that there was a significant increase in reported child abuse cases stemming from that period but we are unable to know how many cases of clergy child abuse prior to that period were not reported.
Some believe that the clerical culture allowed these actions to go unreported. We must also remember that the changing social mores of the period in question actually freed some victims to come to terms with the abuse they suffered. Most people would agree that there appears to be little connection between celibacy or homosexuality with pedophilia.
However, mandated celibacy definitely creates problems for the clergy as well for the whole church.