Cathy Young’s Junk Science

October 28, 2014

I do not respond to personal attacks; smearing the messenger is a tactic that speaks for itself. But Cathy Young’s recent rant about my book contains such a glaring, and revealing, misstatement of science that it is worth pointing out. According to Ms. Young, who dismisses virtually all medical evidence of sexual abuse: “It is now known that anal and genital inflammations and lacerations in young children, once believed to be clear signs of sexual abuse, also occur frequently in kids who were not abused.” There is no scientific basis for the claim that genital lacerations occur frequently in non-abused children. Quite the contrary. According to a recent article in Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology:

Hepenstall-Heger et al. reported lacerations in prepubertal girls in both penile and digital penetration, but none were found in girls experiencing saddle injuries. Myhre et al. found no lacerations in non-abused 5- and 6-year-old girls. (Price, p. 134).

Ms. Young’s position demonstrates the lengths to which proponents of the witch-hunt narrative will go to deny even the most widely accepted evidence of sexual abuse. Lacerations in children’s genitals are rare, not frequent, and controlled studies conclude that they are not found in non-abused children. Lacerations are “wounds made by tearing” (Heger, Emans, and Muram, p. 242). Acknowledging that fact, of course, requires one to acknowledge that there was solid medical evidence in the Keller case and many others where medical evidence has been unduly dismissed by those bent on telling the witch-hunt story

See, Jean Price, “Injuries in prepubertal and pubertal girls,” Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology 27 (2013): 131-139.

See also, Heger, Emans, and Muram, Evaluation of the Sexually Abused Child (Oxford University Press, 2000).