I coordinate RCIA for my local parish. In discussing Church history last week, we talked about the sex abuse scandal, and the person presenting mentioned the stat about how the incidence of sex abuse among priests has landed at about 2%, whereas the incidence of child sex abuse among teachers is as much as 8%. I’ve seen it stated as 4-8% in the past. Well, one of my class members is a college professor who followed up with me asking if I could cite the source of the “4-8%” number about teachers. He found the same article I did from Psychology Today, but it incorrectly cites a study which says 4-8% of students experience sex abuse at the hands of a teacher (a sort of mutant statistic…4-8% of students experiencing abuse by a teacher isn’t the same thing as 4-8% of teachers being abusers.)
Can anyone point me toward a reliable source for the stats on sex abuse perpetrated by teachers?
Naturally we couched this very heavily in the frame of mind that no amount of abuse among priests is acceptable, but that we shouldn’t have a disproportionate paranoia about letting our kids be around priests, because the incidence of abuse among priests is less than the incidence of abuse among other adults who have access to children (whether it be family members, teachers, coaches, scout leaders, etc.)