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White Papers | Posted: July 29, 2006

OJJDP Flawed Decline in Child Sexual Abuse


Key Flaws in the OJJDP Report

 “Explanations for the Decline in Child Sexual Abuse Cases”




Even as the nation is flooded with pornography as never before, a 2003 Crimes against Children Research Center (CACRC) report by David Finkelhor and Lisa M. Jones to OJJDP emerges to provide flawed government “science” that supports the economically and politically powerful sex industry’s claim that it is socially benign. 


The CACRC inflates data on “Explanations for the Decline in Child Sexual Abuse Cases” by ignoring contrary data explanations for the increase in child sexual abuse. The CACRC study ignores the dramatic reduction of children’s freedom as a function of parental fears of abduction and abuse, when, circa 1990, cautious parents began chaperoning their children everywhere. CACRC ignores child sexual abuse among roughly 58,000 annually abducted children, over 350,000 prostituted children, plus runaways and throwaways, or among foster children—who doubled from 1995 to 2000—not to mention the continually increasing numbers of murdered juveniles.


Moreover, just as CPS data are suspect because several agencies have covered up child rape and murder under their watch since the 1990’s, so also ever more mothers hide spousal or child sexual abuse because they fear the loss of child custody in the courts. As the use of pornography chemically restructures the brains/minds/memories of millions, sexual exploitation becomes so normal that the percentage of complaints decreases as a function of the increase in abuse.


 In this eroticized atmosphere, children often view sexual battery as common and adults justify their polluted environment by redefining children as sexually experienced versus sexually exploited. As in other CACRC reports, biological parents are reduced to “parent substitutes,” while the CACRC simultaneously ignores the fact that mainstream pornography in the home teaches domestic (child) sexual abuse. Meanwhile, the alleged mission of OJJDP cited here suggests a reactive instead of proactive policy of ending child sexual abuse.



“Explanations for the Decline in Child Sexual Abuse Cases”


David Finkelhor and Lisa M. Jones (CACRC)


Key Points:

 OJJDP? Mission Statement Implies a “Victims’ Aid” Versus a Proactive Protection Model

§         OJJDP statement to “better serve child victims” neglects goal of rooting out major causes of child sexual abuse.

§         OJJDP statement may discourage causal research or challenges to laws that encouraged child abuse.

 CACRC Redefinition Taints Biological Parents as “Other Parent and Parent Substitute”

1.       In 1990 CACRC (Missing, Abducted) use “Family” for one having “a romantic or sexual relationship with a parent.”

2.       In 2001 CACRC (Child Abuse Reported to Police) use “Caretakers” forparents’ boyfriends or girlfriends.”

3.       In 2003 CACRC (Decline in Child Sexual Abuse) use “Parent” for adoptive, step-parent and “parent substitute.”

 Decline in Sex Abuse by a “Parent Figure

§         A “Parent Figure” allegedly reduced sex abuse and a “biological father” is allegedly “responsive to treatment.”

§         This suggests the increasing eroticization of the home with mainstream pornography may be benign.

 Were There 844,320 or 314,400 New Child Sex Abuse Victims Circa 1997?

§         CACRC data exclude the under age-12 sex abuse victims, “about half” (NIBRS), without comment.

§         Prevent Child Abuse America cites “844,320 new” child sex abuse cases versus CCRS at 314,400 (circa 97-98).

§         This failure to count roughly 529,920 child sex abuse victims in one year requires clarification.

 Excerpts From Reisman’s “How the FBI and DOJ Minimize Child Sexual Abuse Reporting” (July 2002)

§         Juvenile murders in 1997, and other juvenile disorders were substantially above the mid-1980’s levels.

§         CACRC ignores runaways, prostitutes, boys who are seldom reported as “forcible rape” or “forcible sodomy victims

§         NIBRS is the first Justice agency to begin collecting data on under age-12 victims.

 Cyberporn Child Victims, Child Homicide Lowered Due to the “Hierarchy Rule”

§         CACRC ignore solicitation of minors for sex online even though it is growing over 1000% per month.

§         CACRC ignore “Pot and porn outstripping corn;” and “less than a minute” to get a child solicitation online.

§         CACRC pornography report implies “modest” online child solicitations; ignores “hierarchy rule” in murder.

 Sex Crime Reports Decrease as Society Becomes Sexually Disinhibited; Law Enters The Brain Chemistry Debate

§         Pedophile blames “tumor” for sex crimes alleging pornography is a tumor symptom not causally involved.

§         As culture is more erotically charged, sex crimes increase, are reclassified as “sex,” and complaints decrease.

§         As pornography use alters the brains/minds/memories of millions, child sexual abuse becomes frequent.

The “Backlash”--Against Children’s Freedom of Movement--58,200 “Non Family” Abductions In 1999 

§         58,200 children abducted from streets, playgrounds by non-family members in 1999; CPS, police limit reports.

§         Fearful parents restrict children, teenagers from freedom of movement enjoyed by children in the past.

 The Parental Alienation Syndrome [PAS] Backlash Against Reporting Child Sexual Abuse

§         Parents, especially mothers, are told not to report incestuous abuse fearing PAS, and loss of their children to offender.

§         Mothers, nationally organized, hide incestuous abuse in custody cases, fearing loss of custody.

 CPS Triaging: Habituation and Trivialization of ‘Lower Level’ Child Sexual Abuse

§         CPS Data Discredited by Massive Child Sex Abuse Cover-ups.

§         Children in Foster Care Increase From 250,000 (1995) to 550,000 (2000).

 CPS Exclusion of Sexually Exploited Children Cases that Do Not Involve Caretakers;

Sexually Exploited Children Redefined as Sexually Experienced Children, Additional Data Collection IssuesBased Based on Hard Cultural Data, Why Would CACRC Conclude That Real Child Sexual Abuse Had Declined?





“Explanations for the Decline in Child Sexual Abuse Cases”

Critique of

David Finkelhor and Lisa M. Jones

Crimes against Children Research Center (CACRC)

University of New Hampshire


 The following informal peer review of the Finkelhor/Jones paper, “Explanations for the Decline in Child Sexual Abuse Cases” is designed only to address those methodological flaws immediately evident to this reviewer. Any claim of a dramatic decrease in child sexual abuse has significant legal, educational and economic ramifications because the commercial/pornographic sex industry, sex education and their satellites will eagerly claim that such a “reduction” proves both that their activities are nontoxic and that OJJDP researchers consider their product to be therapeutic. The Crimes against Children Research Center (CACRC) introduce their “decline” analysis by citing to the mission outlined by their governmental funding agency:

 The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) is committed to improving the justice system’s response to crimes against children ….The purpose of OJJDP’s Crimes Against Children Series is to improve and expand the nation’s efforts to better serve child victims by presenting the latest information about child victimization, including analyses of crime victimization statistics, studies of child victims and their special needs, and descriptions of programs and approaches that address these needs.

 1.      OJJDP or CACRC Mission Statement Seems Resigned to a “Victims’ Aid” Not Proactive Protector Model[2]


                Stepping outside the frame momentarily, note that instead of a proactive strategy energized to stop the victimization of children, OJJDP seems to analyze statistics, study victims and work to “better serve child victims,” rather like offering a program of “aftercare” for the unendingly extensive abused child population. Where is any statement about OJJDP’s commitment to locating and exhuming the root causes for our post 1950 epidemic child victimization rates—whatever those causes may be? 

Instead, whether consciously or subconsciously, CACRC presents OJJDP and/o OJJDP child abuse researchers as ideologically depressed and resigned to a “victim aid” versus a “stop the victimization” model, the end result of which is to escalate the probability of harm to children. In the 1940s, elitists often claimed that child sexual abuse was largely due to the failure of religious or conservative parents to sexually inform their children. Considering the escalation of child sexual abuse since 1940, it is now incumbent upon those critics of “repressive” parents to identify the role of “permissive” parents, and the permissive sociosexual environment, upon current pandemic rates of incest and child sexual molestation.  



                 This informal review focuses on key methodological problems arguably misleadingly described by CACRC as “Explanations for the Decline in Child Sexual Abuse Cases.” Just as the “Crimes against Children Research Center Reports” by Finkelhor/Ormrod on “Pornography Crimes Involving Juveniles” was a misleading title for a monograph that identified some obscenity crimes involving juveniles, it will be argued that an accurate title for the CACRC report could be “Some Possible Explanations for the Alleged Decline in Child Sexual Abuse Cases.”




Family: “people living together: a group of people living together and functioning as a single household, usually consisting of parents and their children.(A PC definition already, but still focused on parents and children). (Emphasis added) (Encarta® World English Dictionary 2003 Microsoft Corporation)


  1. Systemic Re-definition of “Family” in “Crimes against Children Research Center” Reports


Before addressing some of the problems in the CACRC “Decline in Sexual Abuse Cases,” this reviewer will note a systemic flaw in “Crimes against Children Research Center” reports. That is, the public is mislead about the nature of the biological family when government reports collapse various non biological persons into a critically important and legal homogeneous category of “family,” and “parents” leading to additional confusion regarding “caretaker” of a child or children.


1990: “Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Throwaway Children in America.” This Finkehor, Hotaling and Sedlak report redefined “family member” as “anyone” sexually involved with a parent. A “family member,”in addition to the usual meaning, included anyone with a romantic or sexual involvement with a parent.” (p. ix) 


2001: “Child Abuse Reported to the Police.” Eleven years later, in their report on “Child Abuse Reported to the Police,” Finkelhor and Ormrod quietly abandoned the above “family” definition. Instead CACRC shifted to the less graphic definition of “Parents and other Caretakers,” (see chart at left) including “boyfriends or girlfriends.” Both definitions, of course, allow for a wide range of heterosexual, bisexual or homosexually promiscuous “relationships,” up to and including prostitutes and their pimps as “parents and other caretakers.”[1]   

2003: “Explanations for the Decline in Child Sexual Abuse Cases.” Redefining “Family



In “Explanations for the Decline in Child Sexual Abuse Cases,” CACRC again redefine “family” offenders, uncritically citing the flawed NIBRS category where “parent” is collapsed into, “Other Parent and parent substitute” or “Two biological or adoptive parents” or “One biological or adoptive parent and one stepparent.” (p. 4).  


How do CACRC define a “parent figure” (below) or a “parent substitute” (Figure 3 at left)? Are these boyfriends, girlfriends, babysitters or neighbors who have a “romantic or a sexual involvement with a parent?” And while adoptive parents are largely fine people, anecdotal data suggest that adoptive parents are more sexually risky than are biological parents. Moreover, all non biological parents, adoptive or step, bring a multitude of other non biological intimates into the child’s normally guarded private and thus “sexual” space. These were the “coterie of friends and acquaintances who are not so protective toward a” non biological daughter or son earlier described by Finkelhor. 


  1. Decline in Sex Abuse by a “Parent Figure 

Nowhere do CACRC or CACRC, etc., define parents as “biological father and mother” and biological siblings” together as a “family.” Page 7 in the CACRC report cites claims of a major reduction in sex abuse by a “parent figure.” But what are “parental perpetrators,” or a “parent figure?” Apparently this includes biological, adopted, step parents, etc. (Table 8 left) or “parent substitute.” Before moving on to other issues in this report, note that CACRC make some rather loose observations, unsupported to this critic’s knowledge, by real evidence) about “biological fathers” abuse, their responsiveness to treatment and such. This is especially strange since none of these data reflect anything specific about “biological fathers.”


[A] true decline in sexual abuse would be expected to occur differentially among biological fathers in intact families. They tend to be the least compulsive offenders with a lesser tendency to recidivate, the most responsiveness to treatment, and a considerable stake in conformity (Hanson, 2001). State data confirm a particularly large decline in sexual abuse by biological fathers in intact families. Figures 3 and 8 show a decrease in sexual abuse by parental figures and in families with two biological or adoptive parents present (p. ).

4.      Question: Were There 844,320 or 314,400 New Child Sex Abuse Victims Circa 1997?


Jones and Finkelhor claimed a “decline of 31 percent” in “substantiated” sex abuse cases from 1992 to 1998.[3] However, while NIBRS documents that “[i]n each sexual assault category except forcible rape children below the age of 12 were about half of all [sex] victims,”[4] J/F exclude theage and sex of these victimsAbsent age and sex victimization data, said “decline” is misleading. Also, “substantiated” abuse cases, as the authors admit, do not mean that the unsubstantiated reports were untrue.[5] Elsewhere HHS notes that roughly 34% of their referrals are just never investigated.[6] [7] Moreover, while Jones and Finklehor assert 314,400 child sex abuse cases in 1998, Prevent Child Abuse America [see excerpt above] cites “844,320 new cases of child sexual abuse accepted for service” in 1997.[8].[9]  The absence of 529,920 child sex abuse victims in the Jones/Finkelhor study – in roughly one year – requires clarification.[10]


5.      The Caldwell Analysis of Child Abuse Increases


Professor Finkelhor:

….While child abuse "reports" are up since 1980, in fact reports have stopped their sharp increases since the early 1990s, sexual abuse reports are actually in decline, youth crime and youth homicide have started to decline, child abuse fatalities have been fairly flat for the last few years….It's a serious problem, we don't have to exaggerate its importance, and we don't "need" continual increases to justify prevention. In fact, we might be better off claiming some progress for all we've been doing for the last 25 years. [Emphasis added]


Professor Caldwell responded:

How, then, should we make sense of the following two quotations taken from documents on the web page of the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information?


Only 28 percent of the children identified by the study as harmed by abuse and neglect in 1993 were investigated by State child protective services (CPS). [Emphasis added]

*              *              *              *              *

In 1996, State child protective service agencies reported to NCANDS that:

Almost 1 million children were the victims of substantiated or indicated child abuse and neglect in 1996, an approximate 18 percent increase since 1990.


The national rate of victimization was 15 victims per 1,000 children in the population. An estimated 1,077 child maltreatment fatalities occurred in the 50 States and the District of Columbia in 1996."


Professor Caldwell concludes:

It seems difficult to claim "progress" in child abuse prevention by pointing out that substantiated and indicated CAN cases "only" increased by 18% since 1990 [to 1996]. The truth of the matter is that prevention efforts remain woefully underfunded, reaching only a small fraction of the families who could benefit from the intervention. [Emphasis added].[11]


6.      Excerpts From “How the FBI and DOJ Minimize Child Sexual Abuse Reporting: (July 2002)”[12]

Moreover, in conflict with the CACRC claims about juvenile violence and homicide, May 2000, the DOJ report “Children as Victims” cited ballooning juvenile violence from 1980 to 1997: “Unlike the pattern of all murders… juvenile murders in 1997 were still substantially above the levels in the mid-1980’s when about 1,600 juveniles were murdered annually.”[13] To suggest that juveniles are assaulting each other in record numbers but they are not doing so sexually flies in the face of scientific, empirical, anecdotal and historical data. This is confirmed by in-school violence and sex abuse data and other measures (see the white pages for 

In 1997 white juveniles comprised 56% of the juvenile arrests for “forcible rape” and 40% of the juvenile arrests for murder.[14] .[15] The DOJ/OJJDP reported data state that all races were classified as “white” or black. If these arrest data are accurate, “white” juvenile rapists have increased by roughly 10% in three years (2000) and are now 65% of all reported juvenile rapists.

That juveniles are increasingly sodomizing and raping other juveniles and younger children—including siblings--is significant information indeed. Yet, while white juvenile murder and forcible rape rates rose significantly during the years Jones and Finkelhor claim child sex abuse decreased, DOJ agencies continued to largely ignore rape and violence to children under age 12.[16]   “Violent attacks on teachers in New York City's public schools increased by more than 20 percent over the last year, the president of the teachers' union said yesterday,” with indications that this is a national pattern.[17]


            The FBI “Crimes Against Children” office confirmed to this writer that runaways and prostitutes (especially boys) are NOT commonly reported as victims of rape, “forcible rape” or “forcible sodomy.” The “decline” in child sexual abuse reported by J/FS report, “Children as Victims,” ignored these “paid” child victims of the sex industry.   Moreover, if victims were under age 12, the FBI data MAY NOT reflect the “estimated 1,077 children [who] died as the result of maltreatment in 1996” and what % of the roughly 700 girls murdered each year from 1980 to 1997 were rape victims?[18] Neither FBI representatives nor the Uniform Crime Report provide a clear answer to these queries.[19] 


7.      Cyberporn Child Victims and Homicide Lowered Due to “The “Hierarchy Rule


The FBI states that any situation that results in children living with a single parent, usually the mother, subjects children statistically to a significantly higher rate of abuse.[20] That which undermines patriarchal responsibility, parental guidance and control adds to the child’s injury. The danger to unsupervised children is heightened by “cyberporn.” Internet pornography may be the key element that has provoked a rising toll of sexual abuse and abduction.[21] In Table 18, a 13,509%, or 136-fold increase from 1995 to 1999 (11 to 113 to 1,497) of child Internet sex victims is on record. Internet-pornography is also on record as provoking incestuous abuse by children on younger siblings, friends and neighbors. The increase in children violated by cyber-predators has led law enforcement to create whole new departments to deal with the problem of kidnapped girls, and boys.[22]


Eroticized violence by and to children and juveniles continues to explode as more youngsters obtain on-line access. In fact, The National Coalition for the Protection of Children & Families, in its brochure “Tips and Talking Points: An Age-Appropriate Guide Book for Discussing The Harms of Pornography With Your Family” states “The San Diego Police department in California reports that solicitation of minors for sex online is growing at a rate of 1000% per month.” This increase in child sexual solicitation should be seen in concert with the fact that “stealth” sites abound to seduce children into viewing pornography and that “80% of [children’s] first time hits on pornography sites are accidental.”[23] 


The Internet acts to trap children into pornography where pedophiles recruit them into deviant conversation and too often later, into injurious, even fatal sexual conduct. Writing in "With pot and porn outstripping corn, America's black economy is flying high..."Duncan Campbell, (May 2, 2003, The Guardian) notes “Marijuana, pornography and illegal labour have created a hidden market in the United States which now accounts for as much as 10% of the American economy…hardcore porn revenue is equal to Hollywood's domestic box office takings” while inAgents Wade in Filth to Find Predators” The Washington Post (January 20, 2003) notes “"It often takes less than a minute [posing as a minor] to get a response in an adult chat room -- no matter the time of day." That the Finkelhor/Ormrod pornography report announce law enforcement is not "finding" pornographically associated cases (as seen in the un-located NIBRS data) is remarkablesince “Within minutes, at least eight people [adults] sent Timberlake [child] messages."


 “MURDER VICTIM”Stanton, California
July 15, 2002”

[FBI “Seeking Information” July 2002]

It bears repeating that 5-year-old Samantha Runnion was an abducted rape-murder victim, not just a “Murder Victim.” For example, the official FBI “Murder Victim” status (above) on the FBI website classified Samantha as a murder victim, excluding abduction and rape. The proper attribution to the crime must implicate the mainstreaming of pornography as playing a role in this crime and pandemic sexual assault on children. While children have certainly been sexually molested in the past, the increase in child victims of rape, sodomy, mutilation and/or murder is a statistic that requires disclosure.


It also requires legal reassessment of pornography as a victimless crime. Recalling the predator’s video rentals of normal child movies and pornography to create his own images of child pornography, consider the following statement by James Comey, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. The FBI “announced that 10 defendants were charged today with possessing child pornography…” The false perception is that only officially designated child pornography and not adult pornography could harm children, that simply arresting child pornography users could somehow stop the child sexual abuse epidemic. Said Mr. Comey, “ We will remain vigilant and will continue to use every available resource to identify, investigate and prosecute child pornography cases to the fullest extent of the law.”[24]

8.      Sex Crime Reports Decrease as Society Becomes Sexually Disinhibited and Law Steps Into The Brain Chemistry Debate

 Recently “a schoolteacher a husband, a father,” convicted of child molestation, that “started with a fascination of pornography” was found to have "a brain tumor that was damaging the part of the brain that controls impulse…[A] s the tumor grew the symptoms worsened, said Dr. Russell Swerdlow, a UV associate professor of neurology….this is the first known case to link damage of the frontal lobe with pedophilia,” (see Archives of Neurology, March 2003).


The following excerpt, taken from my monograph, The Psychopharmacology of Pictorial Pornography: Restructuring Brain, Mind & Memory Subverting Freedom of Speech (July 2002), is enclosed here to draw attention to decreased reporting of sexual crimes as a function of pervasive reprogramming by mainstreaming sexually graphic materialSince all mainstream pornography (including Playboy, Penthouse and Hustler) were fully documented via my OJJDP research as promoting child sexual abuse, incest, sadomasochism, oral and anal sodomy, transvestism, bestiality, communal masturbation and the like, these media, when used for any period of time habituate and urge consumers toward similar views and actions, often resulting in copy cat crimes. The reader can find reference to my OJJDP grant as well as the full text on the brain on


       Behavioral endocrinology has long established that castration “reduces aggression in species after species.” In considering the recent criminal case discussed above, note that although testosterone does not cause aggression, abnormal increases in testosterone levels, caused by pornography, will contribute to brain “highs” and structural brain change. Neuropsychiatrist Gary Lynch of the University of California at Irvine notes that what we see and experience alters who we are at the neurophysiological and behavioral level.


What we're saying here is that…an event which lasts half a second within five to ten minutes has produced a structural change that is in some ways as profound as the structural changes one sees in [brain] damage…. [and] can…leave a trace that will last for years.[25]


Indeed, pornographic stimuli create “an unpleasant feeling of fear” attached to “uncertainty about the nature of things” and paranoid “seeds of suspicion.”[26] Eventually it will be basic knowledge that pornography reshapes the human brain by triggering an internal biochemical release of “drug highs.” We are entering a new era of knowledge about “human development” as neuroscientists increasingly uncover hard, visible proofs; the brain in Technicolor, of how certain environmental stimuli will alter the generic human brain. It may just turn out that brain damage results as logically by assaults upon ones “soft” brain tissue as by assaults upon ones “hard” head.