The purpose of this article is to discuss a book, recently written, and read by guidance counselors and teachers that have caused questions to arise. The book is "Pee-Shy", written by a former resident of Staten Island, Frank Spinelli, who is a board certified internist in Manhattan, a clinical professor at NY Medical College, and a fellow at the American College of Physicians. The book discusses his own story of abuse as a boy while in the Boy Scouts in the 70s as he was attending St.Sylvestor’s in Staten Island.
The first topic discussed by all was,” Why would this renowned doctor write a book exposing himself to such criticism and possibly ruining his career? Most of those, who attended said, “It was stated in the book, by Dr Spinelli that he had discovered a book written about Officer Fox called, The Cop and the Kid, which was found online with old clippings about a NYPD officer, Bill Fox, who helped a young boy from committing suicide. Later that same boy strapped a bomb to his chest and threatened to blow up down town Brooklyn. Officer Fox had adopted about 10 boys and was considered one of the top fathers in America. According to the book, by Dr. Spinelli and court records, it was true that this police officer had adopted “at risk boys”, and was stopped by Dr. Spinelli, who when he discovered the book, tracked him down, and confronted him. With the assistance of law officers, Bill Fox was arrested; therefore. proving that the book is based on a true case.
Another point raised was that. Dr. Spinelli, the victim, was/is Gay. and then a bunch of questions had arisen:
1. Is it possible that Bill Fox was Gay, and he made Dr. Spinelli Gay” According to all research, there is no link between child sexual abuse and homosexuality, but then someone raised the point about a group called NAMBLA. NAMBLA, was known as The North American of Man/Boy Love Association, founded in 1978, whose purpose was to lower the age restriction for sexual activity between men and boys. This group was a Gay group, but around 1992 the Human Rights Campaign, a civil rights organization, advancing the rights of LGBT individuals condemned it. In addition the APA has done numerous studies concerning sexual abuse and sexual orientation, and never found any link with pedophilia and homosexuality.
2. The second point raised is that there are different forms of sexual abuse. There are pedophiles and hebaphilials. Even professionals use pedophilia and child molestation in different ways. Pedophilia usually refers to an adult psychological disorder characterized by a preference for prepubescent children as sexual partners; this preference may or may not be acted upon. The term hebephiliai sometimes used to describe adult sexual attractions to adolescents or children who have reached puberty.
3. Furthermore, a distinction was made between fixation and regression, but all studies explained the problem that arose concerning child sexual abuse had to do with gender, so men, who molested boys were called homosexuals, but those who molested girls were called heterosexual; whereas, studies concluded that it should be referred to as male- to- male contact and male-to-female contact. Numerous studies have been conducted from 1986 to the present. The most significant study was done by Dr. Carole Jenny in 1992, which concluded that Gay or lesbian in less than 1% of the cases of 352 medical charts of abused children were considered abusers. Similar studies were conducted in Canada among adult heterosexual, and homosexual men, who already had consensual sexual contact with adult partners and found that none of those studied ever were attracted to either boys or girls. It has been concluded that child abuse has no connection with sexual orientation, a supposition found in earlier studies dating back to 1950. The pedophile had no sexual orientation because they did not engage in a mature relationship with a member of the same sex or the opposite sex.
4. Due to the fact that Officer Fox was a pedophile, based upon the above research, proves that he was not Gay. Furthermore, numerous studies have shown that sexual orientation is not only environmentally determined, but genetically. Thus, the guilt expressed by Dr. Spinelli in the book and resolved in therapy, shows he was Gay before he was molested.
Both men and women were present, and they were asked about their reactions to the horrific abuse suffered by Frank Spinelli. Everyone agreed it was emotionally a roller coaster, but many were furious about the reactions of adults around him, as a boy when they discovered. Many stated, “They would have found Bill Fox, and killed him. “However, most agreed that the reason why his case and similar cases have occurred was because adults were ashamed and confused, and wanted it kept quiet. As a teacher in the Catholic Church, I raised the question about how they felt about the abuse by priests because some educators were Catholic. There were questions and statements then rose:
1. All of us were furious about what occurred, but some stated maybe nothing could be done because of the seal of the confessional. I stated,” I doubt that was the problem because child abusers very rarely admit nor seek help.”
2. Some stated that they understood that the cases involved teenage boys, and I asked, “Does that make it right?” Everyone agreed, “No.”
3. The article that appeared in The Brooklyn Eagle was mentioned whereby there was a “Memorandum of Understanding.” This memorandum stated that no case would be prosecuted unless someone brought forward charges. As a result of what was discussed in the book, many of those abused, including Frank Spinelli, were little boys or boys with mental or emotional disabilities. Everyone got the impression that it was shame, confusion, or anger repressed for years.
4. What about the authorities of the Church? All agreed that they should be put in jail including the DA or put to death. Everyone was very angry including me.
The final topic discussed, “What do we do from here on in?”
1. All agreed in lobbying that statute of limitations be removed from such cases.
2. Secondly, that Child Services and the police should be contacted when reporting.
3. Protection guidelines should include a discussion of this subject with parents and children.
4. Any adult, who fails to report should be charged with a felony.Everone should be considered a Mandated Reporter, and explain what that means in detail, which means that the requirement of teachers to take a child abuse workshop should be updated, and include not only a four hour class, but a two day workshop.
5. Finally, everyone agreed that the book written by Dr. Spinelli should be required reading material for teachers, counselors, and educational administrato