> If carried out; the 21 out of 800 numbers leads us
> to 2625 out of 100,000 priests. That is
"A Perspective on Clergy Sexual Abuse"
By Thomas Plante, Ph.D., ABPP
Department of Psychology
Santa Clara University
© 2010 Thomas Plante
The available research (which is quite good now) suggests that approximately 4%
of priests during the past half century (and mostly in the 1960s and 1970s) have
had a sexual experience with a minor (i.e., anyone under the age of 18).
There are approximately 60,000 active and inactive priests and brothers
in the United States and thus we estimate that between 1,000 and 3,000 priests
have sexually engaged with minors.
That's a lot. In fact, that is 3,000 people too many.
Any sexual abuse of minors whether perpetrated by priests, other clergy, parents,
school teachers, boy-scout leaders or anyone else in whom we entrust our children
However, although good data is hard to acquire, it appears that this 4% figure is
consistent with male clergy from other religious traditions and is significantly
lower than the general adult male population which may double these numbers.
Therefore, the odds that any random Catholic priest would sexually abuse a minor
are not likely to be significantly higher than other males in or out of the
Of course we expect better behavior from priests than from the average man on the
street. While even one priest who abuses children is a major problem, we need to
keep this issue in perspective and remember that the vast majority of priests do
not abuse children.
AP: Sexual Misconduct Plagues US Schools [2007 article]
"There are 3 million public school teachers nationwide, most devoted to their
work. Yet the number of abusive educators — nearly three for every school day —
speaks to a much larger problem in a system that is stacked against victims.
Most of the abuse never gets reported. Those cases reported often end with no
action. Cases investigated sometimes can't be proven, and many abusers have
And no one — not the schools, not the courts, not the state or federal governments —
has found a surefire way to keep molesting teachers out of classrooms.
The AP investigation found efforts to stop individual offenders but, overall, a
deeply entrenched resistance toward recognizing and fighting abuse. It starts in
school hallways, where fellow teachers look away or feel powerless to help.
School administrators make behind-the-scenes deals to avoid lawsuits and other
trouble. And in state capitals and Congress, lawmakers shy from tough state
punishments or any cohesive national policy for fear of disparaging a vital
Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature
[2004 Study of Public Schools prepared for U.S. Department of Education]
"9.6 percent of all students in grades 8 to 11 report contact and/or noncontact
educator sexual misconduct that was unwanted" (p. 17).
"Based on the assumption that the AAUW surveys accurately represent the
experiences of all K-12 students, more than 4.5 million students are subject
to sexual misconduct by an employee of a school sometime between kindergarten
and 12th grade" (p. 18).
Our View (allbusiness.com / LexisNexis) [2010 article]
"A federal report estimated that 422,000 California public school students would
be victims of sexual misconduct before graduation - a number that dwarfs the
state's Catholic school enrollment of 143,000."