Navigation: Previous Page | Contents | Next Page
CHAPTER 2: Definitions and Background
2.1 In addressing the extent to which organised
paedophile networks have become established in Australia, the meanings
attached to "organised", "paedophile" and "networks" are all of critical importance. As will become clear later in this report,
if very stringent definitions of these terms are adopted, it is possible
to conclude that there are few if any organised paedophile networks operating
in Australia. Different conclusions are possible if less stringent definitions
are adopted. However, the words have no agreed meanings. Neither the NCA
Act or any other authoritative instrument obliged the Committee to adopt
one set of definitions rather than another.
Definition of 'Paedophile'
2.2 To be a paedophile is not, as such, a crime. [note #11] There
is, therefore, no common law or statutory definition in Australia of the
word, or of the related word "paedophilia". Paedophile offences
are framed in terms of rape, sexual assault, indecency, making or possessing
child pornography and so forth.
2.3 The Macquarie Dictionary defines "paedophilia"
as: "sexual attraction in an adult towards children". The Concise
Oxford Dictionary defines the word as: "sexual love directed towards
children". The term "pederasty" is sometimes used in popular
discussion as the equivalent of "paedophilia". The Macquarie
Dictionary defines "pederasty" as: "homosexual relations,
especially those between a male adult and a boy". The Concise Oxford
Dictionary defines the word as: "sodomy with a boy". [note
2.4 The diagnostic criteria for paedophilia set
out in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders are often referred
to, although of course they have been devised for medical, not law enforcement,
purposes. These criteria are: [note #13]
A. Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent, intense sexually
arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving sexual activity
with a prepubescent child or children (generally age 13 years or younger).
B. The fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors cause clinically significant
distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas
C. The person is at least age 16 years and at least 5 years older than
the child or children in Criterion A.
Note: Do not include an individual in late adolescence involved in
an ongoing sexual relationship with a 12- or 13-year-old.
2.5 All the definitions of "paedophilia"
involve the concept of "child". So the question then arises:
what age range is covered by "child" in this context? There
is no consistent answer to this. In the medical and sociological literature
phrases such as "true paedophilia" and "genuine paedophilia"
are used to refer to biologically pre-pubescent children. However the
distinction between pre- and post-pubescent is not readily transferred
to the sphere of law enforcement: the age of puberty varies from person
to person, and cannot always be readily determined on the spot by an investigating
police officer. Therefore the definition of "biological paedophilia"
is often replaced with what has been called "socio-legal paedophilia".
This includes post-pubescent children until they reach an age where the
particular society no longer regards them as children under its laws (eg.
when they reach the age of legal consent to sexual acts, or the minimum
age for marriage, or the age of majority). [note
#14] This age, of course, varies considerably
from country to country. It also varies within Australia, due to the impact
of various laws in the States and Territories defining "child"
differently for different purposes. The examples in the following paragraphs
indicate something of the diversity of approaches which are possible to
defining "child" in the context of paedophilia.
2.6 If the term "paedophile" is used
formally by Australian law enforcement agencies at all (as opposed to
a phrase such as "child sex offender" or "child abuser"
or "child molester") it seems generally to be used to refer
to offences involving children up to at least the age of 16. [note
#15] The 1994 Commonwealth legislation against child sex tourism operates by reference to offences
against persons under 16. [note #16]
Legislation in Australia against possession of
child pornography likewise does not distinguish between pre- and post-pubescent
children, but covers all persons under the age of 16. [note
#17] The statistics gathered at a national
level on child sex abuse in Australia use either under-17 or under-18,
according to the State or Territory from where the data comes. [note
2.7 The Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence
report in 1993, Paedophiles and child sexual abuse: a national assessment,
used "child" to mean a person under 18 years, although it noted
that this definition might not be satisfactory for all purposes. [note
#19] The National Association for Prevention
of Child Abuse and Neglect also uses "child" in this way, [note
#20] as did another recent report on child
abuse. [note #21] The
NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption's interim report, referred
to in paragraph 1.6 above, said that for "the purpose of the Commission's
working definition [of paedophilia] 'children' includes at least young
adolescents". [note #22] The United Nations'
efforts to tackle child prostitution and child pornography are based on
the definition of "child" in UN Convention on the Rights of
the Child: "every human being below the age of 18 years unless, under
the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier". [note #23] Most popular discussion
in the media and elsewhere uses "paedophile" without any clear
definition but seemingly to refer to acts against children of up to at
least 16 years of age.
2.8 The National Crime Authority, as a working
definition for its strategic intelligence assessment, defined "child" to be a person who is below the age of consent in the Australian jurisdiction
from which the data comes. [note #24]
This has the advantage, in a law enforcement
context, of linking the meaning of "child" to the criteria in
each jurisdiction's definitions of child sexual offences, and hence facilitating
the collection of data. However it results in a different ages being applied
in different parts of Australia because the age of consent for male homosexual
relations varies between 16 and 21, [note #25]
and in some jurisdictions differs from the age for heterosexual relations.
[note #26] Moreover,
within jurisdictions the age of consent can vary according to whether
or not there is a special relationship or minimal age difference between
the perpetrator and the child. [note #27]
The Authority's approach also recognises that
in some jurisdictions the definition of "child" for the purpose
of child pornography offences differs from that for other child-sex offences.
[note #28] Thus no one definition
of "child", and hence of "paedophile", has governed
the collection of data by the Authority.
2.9 The Committee has given these illustrations
and comments not by way of criticism, but merely to illustrate that there
is no simple solution to the problem of defining "child" in
2.10 For the purposes of its inquiry, the Committee
has chosen to focus primarily on offences relating to pre-pubescent children
and to children in early adolescence - up to about the age of fourteen.
It considers that there is a distinction between offences involving pre-pubescent
children and those in their mid-teens who are close to biological sexual
maturity and may in fact possess a degree of sexual sophistication. However,
in adopting this focus it did not exclude any allegations of organised
paedophile activity relating to older children.
2.11 Expert opinion seems to favour the view
that the term "paedophile" should not be used to cover all adults
who commit sexual offences against children (of whatever age). [note
#29] For example, under the American Psychiatric
Association criteria (quoted in para. 2.4 above), a person can be a paedophile
without ever having sexually molested or abused a child, and can sexually
molest a child without being a paedophile. [note #30] The categories
of child molester and paedophile overlap, but are not identical. Some
paedophiles simply fantasise or act out their fantasies in ways that are
not illegal. [note #31]
Conversely, some persons sexually abuse children without having any sexual
attraction to them, as the Victorian Government's submission explained
Offenders who commit offences in the family setting are generally considered
to be situational child molesters. Situational child molesters may not
be driven to offending against the child because of a primary sexual
preference for children but rather they find themselves in a situation
where the child is available, they have power over the child and engage
the child in sexual activity.
2.12 In the context of child sex tourism to Asian
countries, it is sometimes said that some tourists seek out under-age
partners in the belief that they are less likely to be carriers of AIDS
or other sexually transmitted diseases, rather than because of any paedophile
preference for children. [note #32]
2.13 The distinction between situational and
preferential child molesters is commonly made in the literature. [note #33] However, it is
by no means universally adopted in Australia or
overseas, [note #34]
and the dividing line between the two categories may not always be clear.
[note #35] For example, a
preferential molester detected sexually molesting a child may claim to
be a situational child molester to avoid further investigation of his
or her activities or to avoid admitting his or her true preference. If
detected offending in an intra-family situation, other, possibly long-continuing,
sexual offences against children outside the family may go undetected
if it is accepted too readily that the offender is a situational molester.
2.14 Nonetheless the Committee found the distinction
between situational and preferential child molesters a useful one. Because
situational or non-paedophile child sexual abuse is largely opportunistic
it seldom involves any degree of organisation or networking. Hence it
largely fell outside the scope of the Committee's inquiry.
Profile of Paedophiles
2.15 It became clear to the Committee that it
is simply not possible to describe concisely and accurately the behaviour
traits and characteristics of paedophiles. There are, it seems, always
exceptions to any general statement or profile that may be put forward.
Although there is a large body of academic research relating to child
molesters and paedophiles, it is difficult to draw concise consistent
conclusions from it. [note #36]
In part this is due to the complexities of the human behaviour involved.
In part it is because the many different studies have used differing definitions
of such key terms as "child" and "sexual abuse". A
further problem is the location of willing research subjects, given the
illegal nature of much paedophile activity. If incarcerated paedophiles
are studied, any conclusions reached may not be valid in relation to non-incarcerated
paedophile offenders. Locating willing research subjects in the latter
category is obviously not practical. [note #37]
2.16 It seems to be agreed that paedophiles come
from virtually all social, income, racial, ethnic and age groups. [note #38] The following
is part of the description of the characteristics of paedophiles contained
in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders: [note #39]
Individuals with Pedophilia generally report an attraction to children
of a particular age range. Some individuals prefer males, others females,
and some are aroused by both males and females. Those attracted to females
usually prefer 8- to 10-year-olds, whereas those attracted to males
usually prefer slightly older children. ... Some individuals with Pedophilia
are sexually attracted only to children (Exclusive Type), whereas others
are sometimes attracted to adults (Nonexclusive Type).
2.17 Surveys report that well over 90 per cent
of perpetrators in child sex offences are males. Some suggest that there
is serious under-reporting of female child-sex activity. [note
#40] It is not clear on the information available
to the Committee whether those females who do commit offences are preferential
or situational offenders (see paragraph 2.11 on this distinction). Some
suggest that female paedophiles (ie. preferential offenders) do not exist.
[note #41] Where
paedophile activity is organised in any way, the organisers seem invariably
to be men. If women are involved at all in such activity, their roles
seem invariably to be subordinate ones, typically assisting their male
partner. [note #42]
2.18 Most paedophiles become aware of their sexual
orientation during adolescence, [note #43]
though some say that they did not become aroused
by children until middle age. [note
#44] A characteristic of some paedophile
offenders, not shared with other types of criminals, is that they offend
throughout their lives. The Victoria Police told the Committee: "somebody
offending as a paedophile at age 23 is more than capable of still offending
at age 73 ...". [note #45] Conviction and
imprisonment often does not deter from re-offending. [note
#46] The Committee was told that many paedophiles
who commit offences rationalise their conduct and do not believe that
they have done anything wrong. [note #47]
2.19 Most paedophiles, it seems, do not act aggressively
or violently towards children. [note #48]
Rather they attempt to gain the child's affection and interest by being
friendly, often fixing on children who are otherwise deprived of affection.
A small percentage, however, do not fit this description. [note
#49] It is not uncommon for paedophiles to
go to great lengths over considerable periods of time to place themselves
in situations where they can access children. [note
#50] Because paedophiles are, by definition,
attracted to children, often of a fairly narrow age range, their attraction
to any one child is only of limited duration. As the child grows older,
the paedophile ceases to be attracted and seeks a younger replacement.
[note #51] Thus there is
an in-built tendency to commit offences against a large number of victims.
Number of Paedophile Offences and Paedophiles
2.20 There is no precise information on the number
of paedophiles in Australia, or on what proportion of those having a paedophile
orientation actually commit paedophile offences. Still less is there precise
information on what proportion of paedophiles who offend do so through
some sort of organisation or network. Given the secretive nature of paedophilia,
this absence of precise data is not surprising.
2.21 There is statistical data on reports of
child sexual abuse in Australia, and the data includes some limited information
about the perpetrators. However, there are many difficulties in trying
to interpret this and other statistical data that is available. The major
sources of statistics are based on reports to police or welfare agencies
of child-sex offences or child abuse. [note #52] These figures
are not complete because child sexual abuse is not reported in all cases.
Yet the extent of under-reporting is difficult to pin down and may be
quite large. [note #53]
2.22 The children, for example, may not report
the activity for a variety of reasons. [note
#54] Under-reporting of offences involving
children who have left unsatisfactory homes in their early teens (the
so-called "street kids") may be due in some, or even many, cases
to their acquiescence in sexual activity with adults as a means of obtaining
money or accommodation. This may be combined with a distrust of police.
[note #55] The children may
not see themselves as victims. [note #56] Paedophiles are
said to be adept at persuading or pressuring children into not complaining.
It was argued to the Committee that for this reason the suggestion that
there were secret paedophile groups operating should not be dismissed
out of hand.
2.23 The most up-to-date statistics available
to the Committee were those for the 1993-94 year. [note #57] These cover neglect,
emotional and physical abuse as well as sexual abuse, and therefore place
the incidence of sexual abuse in the context of other harms to children.
The definition of "sexual abuse" used in compiling the statistics
is not tied to offences defined in the criminal law. Rather the definition
is "any act which exposes a child to, or involves a child in, sexual
processes beyond his or her understanding or contrary to accepted community
standards". [note #58]
2.24 These 1993-94 statistics show that there
were 74,436 reports of child abuse and neglect during the year, and investigation
of 64,787 of these, involving 54,738 children, was finalised during the
year. [note #59] Of those finalised,
the reports were substantiated in regard to 24,845 children (45% of the
number subject to investigation). "Substantiated" in this context
is defined as meaning that "there is reasonable cause to believe
that the child has been or is being abused", but it does not mean
that there is sufficient evidence for a successful prosecution. [note #60] Of the 24,845
children involved in substantiated cases, 4,932 (20%) involved sexual
abuse. The children were males in 1,281 (26%) of the sexual abuse cases
and females in 3,647 (74%) cases, with four cases where the gender was
not reported. The children involved in substantiated cases of sexual abuse
represented 1.1 per thousand of the Australian population in the 0-16
age groups at the time.
2.25 Of the 4,932 children involved in cases
of sexual abuse, the age of the victim was not stated for 111, and a further
54 were over 16 years old. By year of age, the largest number of children
were in the fourteen-year-old group (455 children), followed by thirteen-year-olds
(421), twelve-year-olds (383) and then fifteen-year-olds (356). However,
over half the children (2,667 or 56%) were under the age of eleven. [note
2.26 Although from popular discussion one might
think that most child-sex offences involve anal/vaginal penetration, this
is not in fact the case. For New South Wales for 1993-94 only 20 per cent
of substantiated cases were of this type, while the largest single category
of activity was "sexual fondling" (43%). Two of the less prevalent
types of reported activity involved no physical contact with the child
at all - "genital exposure/voyeurism" (3%), and "threat
of sexual abuse" (2%). [note #62]
2.27 The statistics do not attempt to address
the question of what proportion of the cases of child sexual abuse were
committed by paedophiles or what proportion involved any organised paedophile
activity. Often this information would not be known at the time the report
was first made, and may not be known even following the degree of inquiry
necessary to determine if the report is substantiated. However, the 1993-94
statistics do provide incomplete information on the person believed responsible
for the abuse. Of the 2,873 substantiated cases of child sexual abuse
reported during the year for which this information is available, the
parent (natural, adoptive, step, de facto or foster) was believed responsible
in 994 (34.6%) of the cases and a guardian in 2 cases. [note
#63] A sibling or other relative was believed
responsible in a further 656 (22.8%) of the cases, and a friend or neighbour
in 794 (27.6%) cases. In only 427 (14.9%) of the cases was the person
neither a relative, guardian, friend or neighbour.
2.28 These figures illustrate that the main perpetrators
of child sexual abuse are not strangers, but are family members or persons
well known to the family. [note #64]
The Committee considers it important that this
point is not lost sight of in concerns about organised paedophile networks.
2.29 From the figures in the paragraph 2.27 is
it is possible to draw some broad inferences. In terms of the distinction
between preferential and situational molesters noted in paragraph 2.11
above, most of the family perpetrators would be situational molesters
(ie. not paedophiles), although there have been cases where paedophiles
enter into family relationships to gain access to the children. Similarly,
intra-familial child sex abuse is unlikely to be "organised" paedophile activity in any meaningful sense, [note #65] although again
there are reported cases in which parents have co-operated in making their
child available for organised abuse. Abuse by family friends and neighbours
is unlikely to be "organised" paedophile activity in many cases
either. Even if one is prepared to make the rough assumption that the
15% of cases falling into the "other" category involved preferential
molesters (ie. paedophiles), [note #66]
only a proportion of these would involve organised activity.
2.30 Thus, the statistics suggest that organised
paedophile activity accounts for only a small proportion of child sexual
abuse, although regard has to be paid to the incompleteness of the information
on reported cases and the unknown number of unreported cases.
2.13 The Committee asked police forces for their
estimates of the number of paedophiles in Australia. The Victoria Police
told the Committee that the number was simply unknown and unable to be
determined, [note #67] but offered a
very tentative guesstimate of around a thousand or more in Victoria. [note
#68] The South Australia Police estimated
there were about 300 known or suspected paedophiles in South Australia.
[note #69] The Western
Australia Police have set up a data base containing about 700 names of
suspects in Western Australia. [note #70] Queensland Police
estimated there were about 200 or 300 suspected paedophiles in Queensland,
in addition to the 150 convicted offenders. [note #71] The
Northern Territory Police have identified 45 known or suspected paedophiles
in statistics gathered since mid 1990. [note
2.32 In putting these State and Territory figures
together, allowance has to be made for the fact that they are merely estimates,
very tentative ones in some cases, and that the methodology and definitions
underlying them are not identical. In addition the Committee did not obtain
figures for New South Wales. Subject to these qualifications, a total
for Australia of known and suspected paedophile offenders in the low thousands
seems reasonable. [note #73] This accords with
the estimate given to the Committee by the Australian Federal Police:
"The number of paedophiles in Australia is not known but is believed
to be probably in the order of the low thousands, based on best estimates".
Navigation: Previous Page | Contents | Next Page
11. Evidence, p. 61 (South Australia Police). See
also I.D. Hopley, "Advances in Combating Child Sexual Abuse in Victoria",
Victoria Police, Melbourne, 1994, p. 43: "... there is no criminal
offence of being a paedophile in Victoria ...".
12. In recent years, some have suggested using the
term "pedosexual" to describe relations between adults and children
of whatever age that involve actual sexual conduct, and using "paedophile"
as a broader term that describes a sexual orientation that may or may
not involve actual sexual conduct with children: see for example the "definitions"
section of the Pedosexual Resources Directory accessible via the Internet
at http://ftp.casti.com/PRD/home.html. Some writers use the term "inter-generational"
to describe the adult-child relationship, to avoid what they see as the
negative connotations of "paedophile".
13. Fourth edition, Washington D.C., 1994, p. 528
("Diagnostic criteria for 302.2 Pedophilia").
14. Some academic writers who use "paedophilia"
to refer to pre-pubescent children use the word "hebephilia",
or sometimes "ephebophilia", to refer to the sexual attraction
of an adult to an adolescent (ie. to someone between the stages of puberty
and adulthood). However, these terms appear to be rarely used outside
15. Evidence, p. 57 (South Australia Police): "...
involves any child 16 or under ..."; p. 109 (Victoria Police): "our
definition is a person who has a sexual preference for a child under the
age of 16 years"; p. 207 (Queensland Police): under the age of sixteen.
But contrast p. 129 (Australian Federal Police): "The AFP accepts
the working definition that a paedophile is 'an adult who has a preference
for achieving sexual gratification with pre-pubescent children'."
16. See now the Commonwealth Crimes Act 1914,
17. See for example Queensland's Classification
of Publications Act 1991, s. 14; and Western Australia's Indecent
Publications and Articles Act 1902, s. 2A.
18. G. Angus and S. Woodward, Child Abuse and
Neglect Australia 1993-94, (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare,
Child Welfare Series, No. 13) AGPS, Canberra, 1995, p. 44:
The definition of a child is based on the age at the time abuse or
neglect is reported. The age differs across States and Territories as
follows: for New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania a child is aged
under 17 years; for Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia,
the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory, a child
is aged under 18 years.
19. Paras. 1.7 and 1.8.
20. Evidence, p. 4 (National Association for Prevention
of Child Abuse and Neglect).
21. M. Rayner, The Commonwealth's Role in Preventing
Child Abuse: A Report to the Minister for Family Services, Australian
Institute of Family Studies, December 1994, p. 16.
22. NSW, Independent Commission Against Corruption,
Interim Report on Investigation into Alleged Police Protection of Paedophiles,
Sydney, September 1994, p. 4.
23. See for example, UN, Economic and Social Council,
Commission on Human Rights, Rights of the Child: Sale of Children,
Report submitted by Mr Vitit Muntarbhorn, Special Rapporteur, E/CN.4/1992/55,
22 January 1992, para. 169.
24. NCA, "Organised Paedophile Activity: National
Strategic Assessment: Information Collection Plan", July 1995, p.
25. The Western Australia Criminal Code,
s. 322A defines a "juvenile" in this context as someone under
21 years of age. However, the Commonwealth's Human Rights (Sexual Conduct)
Act 1994, s. 4, which defines a person of 18 years and over as an
adult, may operate so as to over-ride the Western Australian legislation's
26. This difference was criticised in several submissions
and letters from private individuals received by the Committee.
27. For example, under the Victorian Crimes Act
1958, s. 48(1) a "person must not take part in an act of sexual
penetration with a 16 or 17 year old child to whom he or she is
not married and who is under his or her care, supervision or authority"
(emphasis added). Under s. 47, a person under the age of sixteen can validly
consent to sexual acts if the partner is not more than two years older
than the child.
28. Thus the Western Australia Criminal Code,
s. 322A defines a juvenile for homosexual acts as someone under 21 years
of age, but for the purposes of child pornography offences, the "child"
is someone under the age of 16 years: Indecent Articles and Publications
Act 1902, s. 2A.
29. But for a contrary view, see Evidence, pp. 4-5
(National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect).
30. See for example the judgment of the Victorian
Court of Criminal Appeal in Flynn v R (1993) 68 Australian Criminal
Reports 294 in which the applicant had pleaded guilty to 4 counts
of actual and 2 of attempted penetration of a child under 10 years. The
counts were "representative" - that is, they were a sample of
the applicant's conduct over a six-month period. The Court noted that
the examining psychologist had concluded "that the acts in which
the applicant had indulged were not those of a paedophile and that the
applicant did not possess paedophilic tendencies" (p. 296).
31. The criminal law is concerned with sexual behaviour,
not sexual orientation or preference as such. See for example, K.V. Lanning,
Child Molesters: A Behavioral Analysis for Law Enforcement Officers
Investigating Cases of Child Sexual Exploitation, 3rd edn, National
Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Arlington Va., December 1992,
Some pedophiles might act out their fantasies in legal ways by simply
talking to or watching children and later masturbating. Some might have
sex with dolls and mannequins that resemble children. Some pedophiles
might act out their fantasies in legal ways by engaging in sexual activity
with adults who look (small stature, flat chested, no body hair), dress,
or act (immature, baby talk) like children. Others may act out child
fantasy games with adult prostitutes.
32. See for example A. Santoli, "Fighting Child
Prostitution", Freedom Review, vol. 25(5), September-October
1994, p. 5. See also Evidence, p. 29 (End Child Prostitution in Asian
Tourism), referring to sex tourism "organised by the average non-paedophile
guy going on a sex tour which involves under-age persons. And, to us,
that is just as concerning as the paedophile groups."
33. For more on the distinction see P.E. Dietz,
"Sex Offenses: Behavioral Aspects" in Encyclopedia of Crime
and Justice, S.H. Kadish (ed.), New York, 1983, vol. 4, pp. 1489-90;
S.L. Goldstein, The Sexual Exploitation of Children: A Practical Guide
to Assessment, Investigation, and Intervention, New York, 1987, pp.
76-81; K.V. Lanning, Child Molesters: A Behavioral Analysis for Law
Enforcement Officers Investigating Cases of Child Sexual Exploitation,
3rd edn, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Arlington
Va., December 1992, pp. 6-9.
34. For example, the South Australian Police do
not place much weight on the distinction: Evidence, p. 55.
35. Submission from the National Association for
Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, 29 March 1995, para. 6, and Evidence,
p. 5 (NAPCAN).
36. For one critical survey of some of the academic
studies on paedophilia, see P. Okami and A. Goldberg, "Personality
Correlates of Pedophilia: Are They Reliable Indicators?", Journal
of Sex Research, vol. 29(3), August 1992, pp. 297-328. At p. 320 the
authors state: "The clearest finding of the present review is that
relatively little may be stated about the personality or phenomenology
of pedophiles and sex offenders against minors ...".
37. One study was made of a sample of the members
of the Paedophile Information Exchange (on which, see para. 3.7 below):
see G.D. Wilson and D.N. Cox, The Child-Lovers: A Study of Paedophiles
in Society, London, 1983. However, this study is open to the criticism
that the subjects were political activists who had chosen to "come
out" as paedophiles, and therefore were not a representative sample
of the wider paedophile population.
38. Submission from the Victorian Government, 22
March 1995, p. 7; Evidence, p. 139 (Australian Federal Police). See also
US Senate, Report of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the
Committee on Governmental Affairs, Child Pornography and Pedophilia,
US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1986, p. 6.
39. Fourth edn., Washington, D.C., 1994, p. 527.
40. One hypothesis on why under-reporting might
occur is that, for cultural reasons, adult female sexual activity with
boys is often not regarded as wrong. As an anecdotal illustration, in
1986 a journalist asked a senior Victorian police officer what the reaction
would be to non-coerced sexual activity occurring between an under-age
boy and an adult female. The response was a chuckle and the observation:
"The kid'd probably be as grateful as hell". See "The Men
Who Love Children", National Times, 8-14 November 1986, p.
19. Another suggestion is that there is a strong cultural aversion to
the idea that women sexually molest children. A third suggestion is that
the sort of close bodily contact that might raise suspicions of sexual
abuse if it occurred between a male and a young child is regarded as normal
motherly caressing when the adult is a female. See also "Betrayal:
when women sexually abuse children", Sydney Morning Herald,
19 October 1993, p. 11.
41. Evidence, p. 111 (Victoria Police): "Female
paedophiles, in the opinion of the Child Exploitation Unit, do not exist".
42. See for example, Evidence, p. 65 (South Australia
Police); p. 111 (Victoria Police).
43. See "Paedophile, 19, jailed", Advertiser,
2 September 1995, p. 12 for an example of a teenager pleading guilty to
child-sex offences who was, according to the sentencing judge, "assessed
as suffering from paedophilia".
44. American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic
and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth edn., Washington,
D.C., 1994, p. 528.
45. Evidence, p. 110.
46. See the review of the various studies on recidivism
by extra-familial child-sex offenders in the USA which indicates rates
of recidivism of up to a third: American Bar Association Center on Children
and the Law, Effective Screening of Child Care and Youth-Service Workers:
A Review of the Literature, Washington, D.C., May 1993, pp. 11-12.
47. Evidence, pp. 92-93 (Western Australia Police).
48. See for example the research cited in P. Okami
and A. Goldberg, "Personality Correlates of Pedophilia: Are They
Reliable Indicators?" Journal of Sex Research, vol. 29(3),
August 1992, p. 298 and pp. 317-20.
49. In 1986 a Melbourne psychologist, Ronald Conway,
was reported as saying that aggressive paedophiles "only make up
about 10 per cent of paedophiles, but I'm not under-rating the damage
they do": "The Men Who Love Children", National Times,
8-14 November 1986, p. 19.
50. Evidence, p. 83 (Western Australia Police).
See also Evidence, p. 42 (World Vision Australia) for an example in which
a paedophile spent more than two years creating a situation in which he
could have access to a child.
51. See for example K.V. Lanning, Child Molesters:
A Behavioral Analysis for Law Enforcement Officers Investigating Cases
of Child Sexual Exploitation, 3rd edn, National Center for Missing
and Exploited Children, Arlington Va., December 1992, p. 8:
The biggest problem for ... [the paedophile who seduces children] is
not how to obtain child victims but how to get them to leave after they
are too old. This must be done without the disclosure of the 'secret.'
Victim disclosure often occurs when the offender is attempting to terminate
52. The alternative approach is to survey adults
from the general population, or some sub-set of it, to determine whether
they experienced any child sexual abuse during their childhood. For an
example, see R.J. Goldman and J.D.G. Goldman, "The Prevalence and
Nature of Child Sexual Abuse in Australia", Australian Journal
of Sex, Marriage and Family, vol. 9(2), May 1988, p. 94.
53. See for example Evidence, p. 197 (Association
of Children's Welfare Agencies): "If we have got 30,000 notifications
[of all types of child abuse] in New South Wales at the moment, it is
difficult to know if we have now reached 100 per cent of incidence or
whether we are still at 10 per cent of incidence". See also NSW,
Independent Commission Against Corruption, Interim Report on Investigation
into Alleged Police Protection of Paedophiles, Sydney, September
1994, p. 9.
54. For example the submission from the Australian
Federal Police Association, 31 March 1995, p. 1 identifies fear of exposure,
ignorance, and the sophisticated nature of the seduction strategies used
as some of the reasons why children may not report. A separate problem
is that children may only report the conduct long after the event, when
they have become adults: ibid., and see also Evidence, pp. 79-80
(Western Australia Police). From the information available to the Committee
it is not clear whether the extent of under-reporting differs between
cases of organised and lone-offender child-sex abuse.
55. See for example, Evidence, p. 58 (South Australia
Police): "... not many of them [street kids] report their matters
to police ..."; p. 115 (Victoria Police): "... some of them
are very wise to what is going on and are not prepared to help us in any
way ..."; p. 214 (Queensland Police): "... we find it very difficult
because the [street] children do not always want to give you that information
56. See for example D.G. Sturgess, Q.C., Director
of Prosecutions, Queensland, An Inquiry into Sexual Offences Involving
Children and Related Matters by Mr Sturgess, Q.C.: Report, 28 November
1985, Qld. Gov't Printer, Brisbane, paras. 4.43 ff where the case of Alister
John Carroll is discussed. Carroll admitted to sexual contacts with between
100 and 200 children over a 28 year period yet the children complained
to others in only about five cases during that period. The most famous
Australian example is that of Clarence Henry Osborne, who committed suicide
in Queensland in 1979. A search of his home revealed files and photographs
of over 2,000 adolescents with whom he claimed to have had sexual contact
over a 20-year period. None of the adolescents had complained to the police.
See P.R. Wilson, The Man They Called a Monster: sexual experiences
between men and boys, Cassell, Sydney, 1981.
57. G. Angus and S. Woodward, Child Abuse and
Neglect Australia 1993-94, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare,
Child Welfare Series No. 13, Canberra, 1995. Unfortunately for the Committee's
purposes, these statistics do not include those cases in Queensland and
the Northern Territory in which the investigation was carried out by the
police rather than the relevant welfare agency (p. 3).
58. ibid., p. 46. See para. 2.6 above on
the meaning of "child" in this definition.
59. All basic figures in this paragraph are taken
from ibid., pp. 9, 35-37. Some children were the subject of more
than one report during the year.
60. ibid., p. 43. See also Evidence, p. 198
(Mr Eric Scott, Association of Children's Welfare Agencies):
I think around about 44 per cent of notifications [in NSW] will not
be shown to be confirmed to a level of satisfaction which can be documented.
That is not to say that officers, either in the Department of Community
Services or the police, are not pretty certain that something happened,
but [not] to the point where they are prepared to be accountable on
paper or through a court.
61. All figures in this paragraph are taken or derived
from the table in G. Angus and S. Woodward, Child Abuse and Neglect
Australia 1993-94, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Child
Welfare Series No. 13, Canberra, 1995, p. 36.
62. ibid., p. 40. The remaining categories
were "oral sexual behaviour" (5%), "child's inappropriate
sexual behaviour indicates abuse" (4%), "other sexual"
(19%) and "not stated" (4%).
63. ibid., p. 28.
64. See also the report of the Victorian Parliament's
Crime Prevention Committee, Combating Child Sexual Assault: An Integrated
Model, May 1995, p. 38, which analysed the Victorian data and observed:
"the vast majority of children are offended against by someone close
to them, often their parent or another relative".
65. Evidence, p. 110 (Victoria Police): "Almost
unequivocally you will expect the preferential paedophile ... to be, if
anyone is organised, the type of person who will be organised".
66. cf. the submission from the Northern Territory
Government and Police, 9 March 1995, p. 4 stated that its statistics since
mid-1990 had shown 304 persons involved in known or suspected child sex
offences. Of these, 124 were related to the child. Of the remaining 180,
only 45 (ie. 14.8% of the total) had "been identified as paedophiles
or suspected paedophiles, with all the classic indicators".
67. See similarly Evidence, p. 21 (End Child Prostitution
in Asian Tourism): "I think it would be impossible for anyone to
be able to tell you how extensive paedophile activity is in Australia
68. Evidence, pp. 110, 119. See also "The exploiters
who prey on children", Herald Sun, 3 September 1995, p. 44:
"Police believe there are more than 1000 active paedophiles in Victoria,
but no one knows the exact number".
69. Submission from the South Australia Police,
8 February 1995, p. 1.
70. Evidence, pp. 78, 94.
71. Evidence, p. 208.
72. Joint submission from the Northern Territory
Government and Police, 9 March 1995, p. 4.
73. By way of comparison, in Britain, with roughly
three times the population of Australia, a national law enforcement intelligence
index is reported as having about 5,000 names of persons known or suspected
as paedophile offenders: "Police link with Thailand to end trips
for child sex", Times (London), 5 March 1994, p. 8. Another
report gave the number of names in the index as "about 4,000":
"Experts build data on paedophiles", Times (London),
31 May 1994, p. 3.
74. Evidence, p. 129.