Objective. To determine if recognizably homosexual adults are frequently accused of the sexual molestation of children.
Design. Chart review of medical records of children evaluated for sexual abuse.
Setting. Child sexual abuse clinic at a regional children's hospital.
Patients. Patients were 352 children (276 girls and 76 boys) referred to a subspecialty clinic for the evaluation of suspected child sexual abuse. Mean age was 6.1 years (range, 7 months to 17 years).
Data collected. Charts were reviewed to determine the relationships of the children to the alleged offender, the sex of the offender, and whether or not the alleged offender was reported to be gay, lesbian, or bisexual.
Results. Abuse was ruled out in 35 cases. Seventy-four children were allegedly abused by other children and teenagers less than 18 years old. In 9 cases, an offender could not be identified. In the remaining 269 cases, two offenders were identified as being gay or lesbian. In 82% of cases (222/269), the alleged offender was a heterosexual partner of a close relative of the child. Using the data from our study, the 95% confidence limits, of the risk children would identify recognizably homosexual adults as the potential abuser, are from 0% to 3.1%. These limits are within current estimates of the prevalence of homosexuality in the general community.
Conclusions. The children in the group studied were unlikely to have been molested by identifiably gay or lesbian people.