Monday, July 16, 2007

Is Trek Still Connected?

Back in mid-2005, an article in the Los Angeles Times sparked a minor controversy when it brought to light a bizarre correlation: that a number of the men busted by the Child Exploitation Section of the Toronto police Sex Crimes Unit were clearly Star Trek fans. Blogger Ernest Miller picked up the story, and thinking such a strong correlation unlikely, he began to look into it. In the meantime, Canadian publication Maclean's picked up on the story, and used "The Star Trek Connection" as a hook to discuss the work of the CES in general, and the dearth of information about pedophiles. The story found its way into the rest of the Blogosphere, finding a home on BoingBoing and the Huffington Post where Ellen Ladowsky served up an analysis of the sexuality (and lack thereof) in the original Trek, seeking an explanation of the correlation.

"We always say there are two types of pedophiles: Star Trek and Star Wars. But it's mostly Star Trek."
Detective Ian Lamond, Child Exploitation Section, Toronto Sex Crimes Unit.
But that was then. Where is this now? By the end of 2005, this was yet another burnt offering on the altar of Old News. This wasn't what you would call a major news story - it had that "news of the weird" vibe that made it an entertaining curiosity, and that was really about all that it ever had going for it. That, more than anything else, is likely the reason why we haven't heard much about it once the initial burst of interest faded. But I am very curious as to where this story has gone. Not that I think that Star Trek fans should be rounded up en masse and brain-scanned or anything, but "The Star Trek Connection," despite the somewhat misleading title (but that's another soapbox), makes a very good point - there is a lot that we don't know about pedophiles and child molesters. Therefore, you'd think that if there really is a reasonably strong correlation between certain types of science fiction fans and pedophilia, that the connection would be worth really looking in to. There are really only two stories that anyone seems to know about that deal with this - the original L.A. Times piece and the article in MacLean's, and they both deal with the Toronto findings. Most of the other coverage of this is from I'm curious to find out if any other police departments have found this same correlation. There are enough big cities that have sex crimes units that it should be fairly simple to find out if child molesters in Portland, Oregon, Glasgow, Scotland, or even Los Angeles, California have the same sort of predilection. I'd be surprised to find that it was limited to Toronto, so I wonder if anyone else has looked into this, and what they found. It would be interesting to know.

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