"Suppose Mark Foley had been caught having sex with a dog. And it was a male dog, so he announced, 'Yes, I'm gay.' Would people go, 'Oh, well that figures?' No! They'd go 'What the hell does that have to do with it? You were fucking a dog!' And that's really what should be happening here."
That is paraphrased, but it came from a conversation I had with a psychologist friend of mine last week. We were discussing, yes, Rep. Foley, because it's what the whole country is discussing (certainly what they were discussing last week, anyway), and we happen to live in Washington D.C.
"So there seems to be an awful lot of 'Well, what do you expect? He's gay.' Coming from the real wackjobs," I said. "Which seems ridiculous, unless every gay person I know is secretly a child molester, and that's just bullshit. Something like 95 percent of child molesters are men who molest girls, right?"
"More like 90, but it's even more bullshit than you think," said the Doc. "Not only is there no connection between being gay and being a pedophile, but actually there's no such thing as a gay pedophile. There's no such thing as a straight pedophile either. You're either gay or you're a pedophile. You're not both."
"Huh? I don't understand."
"It's like this," the Doc said. "See, heterosexuality and homosexuality are what we call 'mature sexualities.' This stuff doesn't really become latent until puberty, but when it does it's assumed that people are looking for partners with the same physical maturity level. So mature sexuality means not just that the people are physically mature, but that they're seeking partners who are physically mature. Okay?"
"Okay," I said.
"And so whether you're heterosexual or homosexual, you're looking for someone on your level. You're attracted to sexual maturity, whether it's strictly your age or not."
"Aha," I said. "But is Foley a pervert, then? Sixteen is post-puberty, most of the time."