If we had some sort of plague or epidemic which affected one in four girls, one in eight boys, there would be a national outcry about it and we would be setting up national coordinated efforts to deal with the problem as we have with modern day epidemics such as HIV.
There are some who say that we are becoming unnecessarily panicky about child sexual abuse. The evidence is that we have not panicked enough.We first wrote about Benjamin Radford here after he appeared on a podcast with a sex offender and a sex offender defender to commiserate about sex offender laws and what he refers to as a "predator panic".
I tried to clarify some of his errors, but that's a lot of information for such a small space and I suppose I failed to enlighten him. Still, I was rather disappointed recently on another podcast when I gave him the opportunity to explain his position and he once again did not want to be "confused with the facts". Only this time it was worse. In the intervening years he has forgotten his material and he confused the sex offender registry with community notification laws then argued against them both using residency restriction arguments. My head was spinning as Radford - puffed up and full of himself with delusions of superior intelligence and thinking skills - wove a web of lies, myths, half-truths and utter nonsense.
"People say there's no cure and that's simply not true"
Benjamin Radford said.
There's a cure? Even the most rabid pedophile apologists like Fred Berlin don't make that claim. Benjamin Radford must know something that experts who study sex offenders don't know because Benjamin Radford said the facts were there. He said they were clear. He said they were crystal clear. In fact, he said it at least 5 times in less than 5 minutes. I don't know if he was just trying to convince himself or not but he's surely convinced me. Now I know beyond any shadow of a doubt that he's a lying cockroach. Most importantly, he's intellectually dishonest.
Benjamin Radford has made his faulty conclusions based upon the DOJ recidivism report which showed a small percentage of recidivism after a three year period. At first I thought I would explain to Benjamin Radford why the DOJ report doesn't prove anything. I thought I might ask him why he believes it's proof when 80% of sex crimes go unreported. I thought I might ask him why he believes it's proof when almost 30% of those men in that report were ALREADY repeat offenders - sometimes multiple times. I thought I might ask him why he believed it was proof when almost half the men couldn't have committed another sex crime anyway considering that they were back in prison for another crime or a parole violation before the three year mark. I thought of asking him these things which he clearly failed to consider but he wouldn't be able to answer. He couldn't answer because he lied. He was intellectually dishonest. He read a report - not a study - and failed to question what the data actually meant.
Benjamin Radford says that to analyze information in his "investigations"
"critical thinking, critical reading and comprehension are essential"He claimed to "thoroughly research" his topic. He claimed to "investigate" the issue. He claimed to analyze the information he found. But Benjamin Radford didn't actually analyze anything. He read it, didn't comprehend it, didn't question it and stopped looking. Why? Because it was what he wanted to hear. That is intellectual dishonesty.
Benjamin Radford has referred to the DOJ report on recidivism and a faulty Megan's Law report each time he has spoken of this issue. But that's it, that's all he got from his "investigation". If he had "thoroughly researched" and analyzed and comprehended he would know the report he references didn't even study the topic it claimed to have studied. He would know that it was rejected for inclusion in a meta analysis for its inferior methodology. He would know that the report he references said that sexual recidivism was lower in the time frame they studied but they didn't think it could be due to Megan's Law which may be effective but cost too much, they said they didn't know why recidivism was lower they just didn't think it was Megan's Law. So while Benjamin Radford claims "Megan's Law doesn't work" and that it is "crystal clear" - based on that study - he's either lying or ignorant. In either case - to attempt to persuade people on a topic such as this - or indeed any topic - while either lying or being ignorant is intellectual dishonesty.
The truth is, of course, that the answer is not crystal clear. Consensus has not been reached and the only conclusion most experts can agree upon is the fact the registry and community notification has been around for a relatively short period - not long enough to determine its effectiveness. He has written about this, spoken about this, written letters to lawmakers and journalists informing them that they have "inaccurate information". "It's a MYTH!", he says. He's tried to influence people with information he knows nothing about, information he failed to properly research, failed to analyze and failed to comprehend. For a self-hailed "critical thinker" I'm almost embarrassed for him.
I could explain to him that the registry is not important because it tells you where a sex offender "gets his mail" but because it tells you who he is. The vast majority of sexually abused children know their offender in some way. This includes parents, siblings, grandparents, uncles, neighbors, coaches, family friends, etc. The registry doesn't give parents a false sense of security when they should be looking at Uncle Joe and the soccer coach. No, it empowers the parents to know not to let Uncle Joe around the kids, or not to let Susie sleep over at Mary's house. It keeps known risks from coaching soccer or luring kids in the neighborhood to their home. It helps young single mothers know not to become involved with that terribly nice guy at church who just happens to be a child molester of 5 year old girls when she has a five year old girl. It brings them out of the shadows and adds one more tool to try to help keep our children safe.
This study offers evidence that suggests broad community notification has a deterrent effect on sex offense recidivism, thus providing support for rational choice theory as a framework within which to explain, predict, and control sexual offending.Radford didn't read that report. There are a lot of reports he didn't read. He only read the ones that appeared to prove the position he set out to prove. So why does he care anyway? Radford said that the "sex offender panic" was important to him because
Why does broad community notification appear to have a deterrent effect on sexual recidivism? Sexual offending and, more narrowly, sexual recidivism frequently involve offenders who know their victims. To a large extent, then, sexual reoffending is about social relationships. Existing research reveals that when sex offender recidivists victimize someone they know, it is often a collateral contact victim whom they met through a friend, acquaintance, or loved one.
Examples include an offender who victimizes his girlfriends son or daughter, an offender who molests the daughter of a friend or acquaintance, or an offender who baby-sits the children of an acquaintance or co-worker. In all of these examples, the offender is able to gain access to the victim by first establishing a relationship with the victims parent, guardian, or family member.
Sex offenders often operate under a veil of secrecy, which enables them to obtain access, either directly or indirectly, to unwitting victims. By lifting this veil, community notification may severely limit their opportunities to form the types of relationships that facilitate sexual offending.
"if you don't understand a social problem you can't fix it"
But he didn't try to understand the problem, he merely tried to prove there wasn't a problem at all and that none of our tools were helpful to combat it.......if there were a problem. He was intellectually dishonest.
I believe Benjamin Radford ran out of mythical monsters to disprove and decided to try and disprove real ones. He was ill equipped to do so and fundamentally misguided. Not only is this a complex issue beyond his mediocre "critical thinking" skills which he didn't even attempt to apply but only skimmed the surface and declared it was "crystal clear". He had already made up his mind. He's not a skeptic. Not really. A skeptic would have delved deeper, a skeptic would have eventually realized that the answer is not in that DOJ report. The answer is not so simple as all that.
Benjamin Radford is only "skeptical" about certain things. Things that will get him attention mostly. He doesn't believe in God, ghosts, psychics or Big foot. He doesn't believe in monsters who damage our children's hearts and their souls. I suppose he doesn't believe they even have one.
I issue a challenge to Benjamin Radford to actually do some real research in earnest on this topic otherwise he should apologize for being intellectually dishonest and retract the uninformed statements he's made. This is not Bigfoot. This is very real. You see, unlike Big Foot there are living, breathing witnesses to the monsters that do exist in this world. Benjamin Radford has become a victim-denier.
Personally I don't think he has the ability or the integrity to do either, so my expectations are low. I believe Benjamin Radford should stick with what he knows best: taste-testing gourmet monster dung
"On average most sex offenders are never caught again for a new sex offense, after five years, between 10 and 15 percent of sex offenders are detected, often convicted, of committing a new sex offense. If you follow them for ten years the rates go up somewhat, if you follow them as long as we’ve been able to follow them, which is about 20 years, the rates go up to somewhere between 30 to 40 percent of the total sample will eventually be caught for a new sex offense."Dr. R. Karl Hansen