Fact Check: NO Evidence 'Gays' Commit 45% Of Child Sexual Abuse

Fact Check

  • by: Marlo Lee
Fact Check: NO Evidence 'Gays' Commit 45% Of Child Sexual Abuse No Correlation

Do gay men and gay women make up 2 percent of the world's population but commit 45 percent of all sexual assaults against children? No, that's not true: Experts in the field say there is not a greater risk that gay people will be child molesters. Also, 3 percent of people in the world identify as gay, not 2 percent, according to an Ipsos survey.

The claim appeared on Instagram on March 16, 2023. The video shows a horizontal split screen with one person in each. The man in the bottom screen asks:

How do you feel that gays take up 2% of the world's population, but commit 45% of sexual assaulting against children?

This is what the Instagram post looked like at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-03-27 at 10.50.14 AM.png

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Mon Mar 27 14:55:17 2023 UTC)

The person in the top screen says, "Love is love." A bass-boosted, vocalized version of "Zombie Nation" by Kernkraft 400 starts playing immediately after that response. The man does not cite his sources for these two statistics and there are none in the post's caption either.

Clinton Anderson, Ph.D., the director of the sexual orientation and gender diversity office for the American Psychological Association (APA), told Lead Stories in a March 27, 2023, phone interview that he had "not heard of that statistic" and was unsure where it originated. He added:

Generally speaking, people in the field today, who study child sexual abuse, do not consider gay or lesbian people to be a greater risk of being abusers than other people.

Anderson then emailed links to resources that also debunk the claim. One of those links was the APA's amicus brief filed in the 2000 Supreme Court case Boy Scouts of America vs. Dale. In an amicus brief, a third-party organization is brought in to assist one side by offering insight, information or expertise. Section II.B. of this brief states "Gay Adults Do Not Present a Heightened Danger of Sexual Abuse."

Another resource is a website by Gregory Herek, Ph.D., a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of California, Davis. He lists multiple scientific articles that conclude there is no correlation between homosexuality and sexual abuse of children.

A 2021 Ipsos survey of 27 countries found that, on average, three percent of people identify as gay, lesbian or homosexual, not two percent as the claim states. The survey notes, however, that there were several countries with large adult populations who were unable or unwilling to define their sexual orientation, such as Malaysia or Russia. That statistic can be found in the middle panel of page four of the PDF form. A screenshot can be seen here:

Screenshot 2023-03-27 at 3.04.38 PM.png

(Source: Ipsos screenshot taken on Mon Mar 27 19:11:49 2023 UTC)

A 1994 paper studying whether children were at risk for sexual abuse by "homosexual adults" found that out of 269 child sexual abuse cases, only two of the offenders identified as gay or lesbian. That percentage is 0.74. ("In 82% of cases ... the alleged offender was a heterosexual partner of a close relative of the child.")

More Lead Stories fact checks about the LGBTQ+ community can be found here, here and here.

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Marlo Lee is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Howard University with a B.S. in Biology. Her interest in fact checking started in college, when she realized how important it became in American politics. She lives in Maryland.

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