I am referring to fully sexually active adults, not asexuals. There is a strong argument amongst some non-religious and lapsed Catholics that religiously influenced celibacy could very well be the cause of the sexual abuse with for example the Catholic Church.
Would you say there is any truth to this?
This is something I think about from time to time.
First off, I'm not sure that 'religiously influenced celibacy' (RIC) and 'voluntary celibacy' (VC) are the same thing. I'd consider RIC to be a form of involuntary celibacy, because the person may only choose celibacy because their religious doctrine prohibits premarital sex etc. Whereas a secular individual may opt for VC, because they aren't a fan of promiscuity or for a personal choice which is nothing to do with religion. Such a person may even give up their VC as their friends etc get married and inform them about how individuals differ in their sexual tastes, preferences, performance, and selflessness etc.
To weigh in on RIC and sexual abuse : from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11760788?dopt=Abstract, "higher testosterone concentrations were observed following the period of abstinence". Now I'm not trying to take their conclusion and directly apply it to your question - that would be bad science. But it makes sense to me that if testosterone is increasing through lack of ejaculation by externally imposed rules and regulations eg - RIC, that this increased testosterone might elicit increased aggression, and this aggression could manifest itself as sexual abuse as you mention in your example.
In my opinion the biggest problem is the stupid combination of RIC and the sinfulness of masturbation.
Do you really think most Catholic priests don't "choke their chicken?" I bet the most of them do. And the ones that don't have problems with the compulsion to take that altar boy back to their sleeping quarters.
I can't speak for the OP but I both think and hope they choke their chicken.
I can't speak for anyone else, but lack of sex sure makes me crazy.
Forced celibacy. Lack of development of normal human relations skills (with its inherent sexual dimension.) Exclusive exceptionality as an individual in all capacities with immediate accountability to no one while everyone else is accountable to you, personally. Private, privileged exposure to vulnerable, inexperienced, trusting persons when you are in a position of absolute (God and Church-granted) authority.
A match made in the Middle Ages.
It's possible, and I know that forced celibacy by way of geekness or a complete misunderstanding of me as a transsexual lesbian who is a vegan deaf musician and is "spiritually undefined" is bad for me. However, I would never dare abuse someone. I can imagine what it feels like, having been briefly touched by a man on a bus as a kid.
But yes, it is completely true in my opinion. After all, religion is about control. Anything that feels good or is natural, religion says no.
My deafness would be an example of forced celibacy, because I never and still don't have intimate relationship skills and probably never will have them. I was already past eight when I was able to understand people enough to know what was going on around me. Because I don't have these skills, people are unable to connect with me, just like they would be unable to connect with a revived cave person from the distant past. They wouldn't know how to simply be without having to talk about all kinds of things. Just simply sit next to each other and acknowledge each other. Don't speak... Simply Be.
Voluntary celibacy has saved me money, time, and countless hours of ridiculous drama (discussions) about something i might have said insensitive.
Overall i think its healthy.
The term celibacy can mean abstention from sexual intercourse, or abstention from romantic relationships, and sexual abstinence can mean abstention from all or some forms of sexual activity. I'm not sure which of those you're suggesting might be "the problem" with Catholic priests. Though romantic relationships are prohibited for them in most situations, I'm sure the vast majority of them do masturbate.
Regardless, I don't see how people with healthy sexual desires towards other adults could be put in a position of celibacy around children and suddenly develop pedophilia. I just don't. I think it's more likely that pedophiles are drawn to the priesthood. Some may be fighting an internal battle with guilt about their desires and since the law already requires them to refrain from the sexual relationships they desire, the celibacy and dedication to a "virtuous life" the church offers may feel like their only option. Others with those same urges may see it as a position of opportunity for more sinister reasons. Regardless, if priests were allowed to marry, the type of people willing to enter into the priesthood would change and I suspect that would significantly cut down on the number of pedophiles in the priesthood.
As far as voluntarily abstaining from romantic relationships or sexual activity for a period of time, depending on the reasons for this, studies have shown it can actually have health benefits. I'm not exactly sure I'd call clerical celibacy voluntary since it's a requirement people entering into the priesthood accept only because they have no other choice.
The cathoic church hates women - and, especially in catholic countries like Ireland or Italy, boys can go into seminars at a very early age, 13-14, it's kudos for the family to say one's son is a priest, and then are constantly told sex is bad, masturbation is evil, and get very twisted, and just never grow up - don't have normal relationship with any female, including sisters etc. The only people they feel comfortable with is pre-pubescant boys - I think that is why pedophilia is absolutely rampant in the catholic church.
Nuns without sex have often proven to be sadistic - no sex, no children - all her angst is targeted at children in her care, as in an orphanage, reported in, once again Ireland and Australia.
Other pedophiles, I think have the same problem - just don't relate to women, not socialized with girls or females generally, only feel comfortable with pre-pubescent boys or girls, under age and controllable, coupled with the drive of testosterone - a disaster.
Voluntary celibacy on the other hand is a choice, an adult choice. I think people would be surprised at just how many choose to be celibate, for a myriad of reasons.
Absolutely. There is ample proof that enforced celibacy, such as by imprisonment or by long ocean voyages, causes many people to go a bit crazy and start expanding their definition of an acceptable sex partner to include those that they wouldn't have considered remotely acceptable before. Sexuality plays multiple roles in human behavior and psychology. If it were just for reproduction, then we would only do it when the females are "in heat" like dogs or cats. The vast majority of sex acts, even for the most conservative, anti-birth control religious fanatics, are engaged in purely for purposes of pleasuring ourselves and satisfying our urges. The anti-birth control fanatics admit this, and implicitly admit it is permissible in their moral code, whenever they use the "rhythm method" of birth control.
A theoretical answer from a behaviorist (trying to keep the technical speak down a bit):
What you are referring to is creating a state of deprivation. Depriving someone of something that they want, makes this thing even more valuable to them. If one behavior that could lead to accessing this now super valuable thing is punished, then it is likely that the individual will learn some other behavior to access it. With regard to priests in the Catholic church, this new behavior could be, but is not necessarily, sexual abuse. In other words, were those individuals not in that same environment that created a state of deprivation and made social punishment contingent upon the more appropriate ways to access touch/sexual contact/etc, they might not have engaged in acts of sexual abuse.
The comments above about Ireland were true once about 50 years ago and before that. However the catholic church today has very little influence here anymore. It may be of some importance to the oldest generation but most people especially those between 20 and 40 years of age are not involved with it. So called Vocations are at an all time low (yippee) and soon they may have to import priests….haha.
Anyway there is nothing wrong with VC but it is wrong – against natural law as opposed to any canon law - to demanded compulsory celibacy of people, especially when they are in the prime of life. I see IRC as a form of sexual perversion and we have seen what that has done to people.