IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND

JOSEPH ACANFORA, III)
Plaintiff)
)
V.)
BOARD OF EDUCATION OF) Case No. 72-11364
MONTGOMERY COUNTY) Civil Action
MONTGOMERY COUNTY)
PUBLIC SCHOOLS, et al)
Defendants)

Federal Building
Baltimore, Maryland
April 14, 1973

Testimony of
Dr. Stanford B. Friedman

BEFORE:

Honorable Joseph H. Young

APPEARANCES:

For the Plaintiff:
Michael H. Gottesman
Darryl J. Anderson
Rob Ross Hendrickson

For the Defendant:
Robert S. Bourbon
Alan I. Baron

PROCEEDINGS

THE CLERK: State your full name, please.

THE WITNESS: Stanford B. Friedman.

THE CLERK: Thank you. Have a seat in that chair please.

DIRECT EXAMINATION

BY MR. GOTTESMAN:

Q:Dr. Friedman, could you tell us your profession?

A:Pediatrics.

Q:And what positions do you presently hold?

A:I am Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the University of Rochester, currently moving to the University .of Maryland where I will be head of the Division on Child and Adolescent Services, Professor of Psychiatry in Human Development, as well as Professor of Pediatrics.

Q:I show you a document which we would request be marked for identification as Plaintiff’s exhibit next.

THE CLERK: Objection?

MR. BARON: No objection.

THE CLERK: Plaintiff’s Exhibit No. 15 [Curriculum Vitae was marked Plaintiff’s Exhibit No. 15 for identification.]

MR. GOTTESMAN: This document is captioned Curriculum Vitae, Stanford B. Friedman, M.D.

Q:I would ask if you would identify that as your …

 

[MISSING TRANSCRIPT PAGES]

DR. FRIEDMAN: … For instance, if we take the matter of smoking, whether a teacher smokes or not, I do not believe influences significantly whether the children in the class would smoke. On the other hand, there is good evidence that a child’s smoking habits are influenced by whether his parents smoke or not, so that I see the overriding influence as being primarily the home environment and not the school environment in many areas that I believe are somewhat analogous to sexual behavior or homosexual behavior.

Unless one assumes that homosexual behavior is something unique, isolated, I would say that these other situations, other phenomenon, would make me question whether one teacher would have a significant amount of influence and, in fact, if you look at the recent works of Johnson and his co-workers in the book “Inequality”, you will begin to see that the influence of the school overall, even when it attempts to deliberately influence behavior, is very minimal when compared to parental and family neighborhood influences.

I think one line of argument that I would use in coming to my conclusion is that the influence of the school on behavior, homosexual behavior, is an unknown, but in areas where there are some data, I would doubt that the teacher would have a significant influence.

The second area is that whole business of the teacher as a role model. It is my opinion that young teenagers can discriminate behaviors that they wish to mimic or not mimic even in those adults that they essentially worship; that they do not blindly incorporate behaviors in those that they respect without any degree of discrimination. I think that even young adolescents do have the power to discriminate.

I think, again, in terms of other areas that we know something about, the teacher has I believe for many years been an idealized model that society tries to put up to children. For instance, it was not many year ago that teachers were not allowed to drink or smoke. In the district in which they taught, the idea being that they were to set a good example.

To my knowledge, there is no information to show that when these policies were reversed not so long ago, that it had any adverse influence on the pupils, the students in their classes. Likewise, until very recently a pregnant teacher, who was visibly pregnant, could not teach. In most school districts, to my knowledge, this has been reversed in recent years, I gather by press of legal action;and, again, the thinking was that a teacher who was visibly pregnant would be the wrong role model, would open up many questions that children would ask about sex, but this has not come to be.

When pregnant teachers are in the classroom, if anything, in talking to teachers, it seems to have had a positive effect rather than a negative effect.

Using the example of the pregnant teacher, I think it was not the teacher’s problem of dealing with the pregnancy or the children’s difficulty in dealing with the pregnancy. It was the adult world in general that could not deal with the children’s questions about sex which the pregnancy would presumably stimulate, so that I think many problems that are projected on to teachers are fears rather than real threats that the children might experience.

I guess this goes way back to Ichabod Crane -- it was not his fear of the darkness or the children’s fear, but really society projecting on to this poor teacher their fears.

I think in the area of homosexuality, the children, I believe, are equipped to discuss and deal with the problem if the adults can do so.

Another point I would like to make which has influenced me is that if one assumes that a teacher, as you have described, would adversely influence the pupils in his class, to me this sort of assumes that he is a rather unique kind of experience for the children -- that is, if he wasn’t there, they would not know about or hear about homosexuality.

In reality, I think that particularly in a district such as Montgomery County, it would be a rare child who would not hear about homosexuality, if not on a daily, at least on a weekly or monthly basis, from many sources which I think we can all agree to -- TV, newspapers, other children, adults, and so on -- so that if a child is having difficulty in his identity, his sexual identity, I don’t think it would matter whether a homosexual teacher was there as a model or not. If he was not there, there would be some other model or some other contact with the subject of homosexuality.

Having one teacher or several teachers would to me not be the deciding factor because of many things in the environment that force all children to at one point or another cope with the issue of homosexuality, usually without a great deal of difficulty, I believe.

Another point would be as to the teenager, even the young teenager developing a sexual identity, I believe that many if not all of the factors that lead to homosexuality are probably more influential at a younger age rather than in the teens. What I know -- and I am not an expert in homosexual behavior, but from what I have read -- the tendency towards homosexuality is primarily brought about by one of two circumstances, either the child in his environment has learned to degrade or not to respect women and therefore turns to men for close companionship or, conversely, has. been very frightened by women, particularly his mother, the domineering so-called castrating woman, and again the boy turns away from heterosexual relationships because they are so threatening.

If those theories are correct, then it seems to me one could argue equally well that a strong, domineering woman as a teacher for a boy of this age would be as much of an influence, or more so in my opinion, towards steering him towards homosexuality than the man that you described as a teacher.

That is, the more experiences a young boy has where women are domineering and not loving in the sense of a sex object, I think the more apt he is to turn to other boys and eventually men for close companionship, and that would include but certainly not exclusively sexual behavior.

Again, in terms of the theories of homosexuality for the ideology of homosexuality, it would not seem to me that a teacher as described would be in a particular pivotal role, and I can see that other individuals might be even more influential than a teacher as described.

Maybe I can stop at that point.

Q:I would like to ask your comments about certain testimony which we heard yesterday from Drs. Lourie and Heald and ask you to discuss them.

Dr. Lourie, in addition to suggesting that this teacher as a role model might influence and shape the behavior of students suggested also that he might serve as a sex object for the student -- not that in fact he would enter into or even be approached by the student to engage in any kind of sexual relationship but that a so-called vulnerable child, one whose sexuality was still up for grabs, so to speak, at the early adolescent age, might be turned on by him sexually and therefore induced to go out and enter into some homosexual relationships which perhaps otherwise he might not do.

Dr. Lourie was not at all emphatic about the likelihood of that occurring, acknowledged there was no data, but he suggested it was that kind of thing that possible sex object role that this teacher might play for a vulnerable child.

I would like to ask your comments about that, with specific reference to whether, number one, teachers in general play that role and, number two, if they do, whether the kind of child that we are talking about, this vulnerable child, is most likely or particularly likely to be turned on by this hypothetical teacher.

A:I would not argue with Dr. Lourie’s point that a teacher can “turn on” sexually a pupil. I also don’t know of any data to support that. However, I think one could equally well defend the notion that the “vulnerable child” that we are talking about might be very threatened by a teacher who was a known homosexual.

An individual, adult or adolescent, who is homosexual, I think might well be attracted by a teacher known to be a homosexual, or a teacher who is not known to be a homosexual for that matter, but a child who is struggling for identity is often frightened by sexuality from either sex, in my opinion, because it is indeed the struggle that makes him sort of hold off, I would think, from being directly confronted sexually or turned on sexually.

It is somewhat perhaps analogous -- I hadn’t thought this through -- about the thought that homosexuality is most threatening to individuals who may have that tendency and have dealt with it one way or another. The adolescent may be looked at that way, the kind of child we are talking about, he may have that tendency but to protect himself from going in that direction might be very threatened by frank homosexuality.

Q:If you had to estimate the consequence for that child in Mr. Acanfora’s classroom, is it in your judgment any likelier that he will be turned on by Mr. Acanfora and thus go out and commit a homosexual act somewhere else than by a heterosexual teacher or a teacher whose sexuality was unknown?

A:I don’t know whether I am answering you or not, but I would fall back on the previous statement where if that occurred due to that particular teacher, I think it would occur anyway, basically within this same time period, because the stimulation, the people are there in his environment, and I don’t see any one individual being sort of the straw that breaks the camel’s back -- if it is not one straw it will be another one -- so it is conceivable to me that a child may engage in homosexual activity and might pick this or any other teacher as sort of his image or fantasies around this particular individual, but if you are asking do I think that a child is more apt to became a homosexual because of this teacher being in the classroom, I personally don’t think it represents a real significant potential problem.

Q:Dr. Heald in his testimony yesterday said that there were two aspects of the known homosexual teacher in the classroom that troubled him. One was the question of whether it might increase a tendency toward homosexuality on the part of the “vulnerable” child -- that is the item to which you had addressed yourself -- and on that he said there was no data one way or the other, but that it was at least a possibility.

The other, as to which he was somewhat more certain was if it doesn’t influence the actual. behavior of these vulnerable children, it would add to or in some way intensify the conflict which they are emotionally going through, since they are being tugged in two directions, and thus might lead to greater anxieties than they would otherwise encounter.

I wonder if you could address yourself to that.

A:I hate to be repetitious, but I think it gets back to the same point that if the struggle, if the anxiety is there, it is going to be elicited by the environment. I just can’t see an individual having such a key role, for all of the reasons I mentioned before. If children could be so easily influenced, education would be much simpler.

There are such children, I would imagine -- speaking now again as a pediatrician, not as a psychiatrist who sees large numbers of such cases, perhaps -- I have seen some teenagers who have been very distressed, anxious about this, but it is in a global sense. They are distressed in many different situations. It is a problem they carry with them. It is a problem that in my opinion is primarily a reflection of difficulties of the hone environment rather than the school environment.

I don’t think a single episode, a single teacher, a single course, a single book changes the pathway in which someone develops sexually or in any other way.

Q:Both Dr. Lourie and Dr. Heald were very strongly of the view that but for Mr. Acanfora’s or our hypothetical teacher’s public disclosure of his homosexuality, they would have no problem whatsoever with his teaching.

In your experience, does Mr. Acanfora’s disclosure make him the only homosexual teacher which students are likely to encounter or know about in their school, assuming that there are others who have not disclosed it?

MR. BARON: Objection. I don’t see how he could - -

THE COURT: Again, it seems the answer is obvious isn’t it? The question is does the fact that one has disclosed himself as a homosexual mean there will be no other exposure to homosexuals?

BY MR. GOTTESMAN:

Q:If there are other homosexual teachers who have not disclosed this in a school system or in a school, is it likely that students will be aware of it or may be aware of it?

MR. BARON: I would object. I don’t see how the doctor could possibly know that. It is total conjecture.

THE COURT: Well, perhaps, but would you answer the question. Do you understand?

THE WITNESS: Yes, I believe I do.

THE COURT: All right, go ahead. Overruled.

A:There are no, to my knowledge, figures of frequency of homosexuals in the teaching profession, but, again from my own experience -- and this doesn’t make it true --certainly from talking to young teenagers as well as older ones, they readily identify certain kids in the class that they call queer, fairies, or what have you, from an early age, and will also wonder about or identify teachers as having certain qualities that are not completely masculine, so that this to me would not be an unusual situation for a school to have certain boys within the school population or even some of the teachers that were discussed by the kids as possibly having certain homosexual tendencies, or traits is probably a better word, even if not overt homosexuals.

I think it is fair to say that kids normally identify such individuals within the total school population; whether correctly or not, I don’t know. It is within again my limited experience not terribly unusual for a school administration to know that some of their faculty have homosexual tendencies, and when these are directed towards children overtly, then I believe we do have a problem the same as if heterosexual advances are made towards the children.

Q:I guess we should bring out in addition to your other credentials that you are a school board member.

A:I was.

Q:Dr. Lourie and Dr. Heald also both testified that even as to what they call a publicized homosexual, and they then defined that term to mean a homosexual whose homosexuality was known to his students, they would have no problem with his teaching at certain grade levels in the school system, but only at others. Dr. Lourie identified both elementary school and high school as okay places for a known homosexual to teach. Dr. Heald said he was sure about elementary school, he was a little less positive than Dr. Lourie about high school, but each of them identified junior high school as the only potentially dangerous area because that is when children are in their early adolescence, and therefore most vulnerable and most in conflict. I wonder if you could address yourself to that.

A:Well, I think I have at least alluded to that in the sense that I believe that the earlier years are as and perhaps more formative than even the child at adolescence.

I have to admit that Dr. Laurie as a child psychiatrist is certainly better versed to talk about the theoretical aspects of what happens in terms of psycho-social development in adolescence, but I have also been influenced by people like John Money who see parental and society’s expectations as largely influencing the child’s sexual identity, and this occurs, according to Money, and I gather others, at an early age, certainly long before adolescence or even junior high school age.

Again looking at the ideology or cause of homosexuality, I don’t see anything that would make a child 12 to 14 years of age so very vulnerable. It seems to me that he is also vulnerable at an earlier age in terms of his ability to form relationships towards women.

I guess I see homosexuality -- and this is a bias, I suppose -- more as a turning away from the female sex than being drawn towards the male. I may or may not be correct in that.

I don’t think that if one sets up very attractive men in front of 12 to 14-year-olds that we are going to draw them into homosexuality. I think they are drawn into it, if they are indeed, because they are basically turning away from heterosexual relationships.

MR. GOTTESMAN: We have no further questions.

THE COURT: Mr. Baron.

CROSS EXAMINATION

BY MR. BARON:

Q:Dr. Friedman, is it fair to state -- and I think it was implicit in a couple of things you said --that your experience of clinical treatment of adolescent children is a lesser part of your experience then certain other aspects of your experience? I thought at one point you indicated you had not had that much experience dealing with adolescents. I wonder if you could elaborate on that because it wasn’t quite clear.

A:Well, I spent eight years as director of the Adolescent Clinic in Rochester. That has brought me into direct and indirect contact with a fair number of kids.

Q:At adolescent age?

A:All of adolescent age.

Q:I take it we can agree that the data on the kind of situation -- that is, the specific situation we are dealing with here, the valid homosexual teacher at the junior high school level and the potential influence that he may or may not have in a certain group of children in the classroom, that that is a situation which has not been studied in the sense that we don’t have data directly related to that kind of a situation. Is that true?

A:Yes, to my knowledge, this has not been investigated, and it would be my opinion it probably won’t be.

Q:Due to the fact that it is a relatively uncommon kind of a situation to find? Do you know of any other situation which has occurred that someone has had an opportunity to study?

A:The opportunity is always there, I believe. I don’t know that it is so uncommon, but I am not sure that many people would find it a particularly high priority research problem.

Q:I am talking now not simply of the homosexual teacher, as such, whose homosexuality is his private life. I am talking about situations where it is a public fact that the teacher is a homosexual. Do you know of a number of situations in which that situation exists?

A:No, sir.

Q:It is a relatively rare kind of phenomenon?

A:It has been.

Q:Now, in your direct testimony, as I recall -- and I tried to write it down as you said it -- in response to the hypothetical question posed to you by Mr. Gottesman, you said that in your opinion this hypothetical teacher’s presence in the classroom does not represent a significant risk to the children.

Is there some less than significant risk which you find still existent in the back of your mind? In essence, what was the nature of the qualification that you left in your answer?

A:Well, I guess it is my way of thinking in terms of primarily being involved in research as a career. I have no qualifications in the back of my mind. I don’t think a teacher -- well, let me try to answer this way. I guess any teacher poses a potential risk to children in a number of different ways. I just don’t think the teacher in this kind of situation poses any more or any less risk than any teacher one could hypothesize.

Q:But you are reaching that conclusion, I take it in the absence of empirical data relating to that relative unique situation to date?

A:It is an assumption based on what I know about other areas of behavior, and I don’t know of data in this particular area.

Q:I wonder, would you agree with Dr. Money’s --you are familiar with Dr. Money’s writing -- specifically, Men and Women, Boy and Girl. Are you familiar with that work, his most recent work?

A:I know the book. I haven’t read it.

Q:I wonder if I could read the very last thing he writes in the book. It is sort of a general conclusion. I wonder if you might comment on.

“All the words in all twelve chapters of this book do not add up to give the power of prophecy as to how any given individual child will grow up sexually and psychosexually. There are many intervening variables still to be ascertained, and many opportunities for fate to let chance make decisions. Impressive as may be the growing body of knowledge on human psychosexual differentiation, no one concerned with research need feel like Alexander, crying for lack of new worlds to conquer”

Isn’t it a fact there is a great deal we don’t know about adolescent psychosexuality

A:Yes.

Q:We don’t know, don’t we, or generally assume, at least, that early and mid adolescence connotes, first of all, the biological changes that are undergone in the body with regard to basically sexual and general physical maturation, isn’t that true?

A:Yes.

Q:And, we don’t know, I take it, or at least we have certain reason to believe that kids in early adolescence undergo a great deal of pressure in trying to cope with this new sexual awareness, the new sexual pressures that are now coming to the force. Is that not generally recognized?

A:No, it is not generally recognized?

Q:You don’t think that kids are under any pressure internally as a result of the sexual pressures that are being felt?

A:For many years, it was the belief that adolescence was a very painful, very difficult period so difficult that many individuals apparently felt that treating an adolescent was pretty close to impossible. It was described as a storm, a very stormy period.

Much of this was based on the fact that the observers were seeing adolescents who had difficulties and were not non-patient populations of adolescents.

In the last five years, there certainly has be a great deal of evidence, including the work by Daniel Oeffer showing that adolescence really is not that difficult for many many kids and, again, I think adults in their way tend to project some of their problems onto the kids and the kids were doing quite well.

Many adolescents appeared to get through this period without an awful lot of psychological distress, pain or difficulty, and I think that more and more professionals are beginning to think that the concept of the very stormy distressingly painful adolescence as being applied to all adolescents was probably. incorrect as more normal, data is coming in.

It is a way of saying that I think the vast majority of adolescents -- if they don’t have other difficulties -- are able to make judgments and choices in sexual identity as well as other areas.

Q:Let’s move away from the vast majority and let’ talk about the numbers that are left over.

Is it not generally recognized, even in the light of the information you have given, and frankly I don’ think it is any different from what we have heard so far, that there is a small percentage of adolescent children who find themselves in a certain amount of difficulty in coping with the sexual pressures they are beginning to feel in their bodies and coping with in effect what they find a new situation for themselves that they haven’t had to face before? There is a small percentage left over, would you agree with that?

A:Of course.

Q:Dr. Laurie in his testimony yesterday spoke in terms of early adolescence as a period when the children, all the boys in effect had been with each other as a group, the girls in effect on the other side as a group, and this being a time when they begin to try to cross over the line, and I believe his testimony also was that for most of these children, the great majority of these children -- with a certain amount of hesitation, perhaps -- they cross the line without too much difficulty.

Would you not agree with him that for some of the children, the breaking out of this all male grouping, crossing the line over into relationships on a heterosexual basis, is a difficult transition for them?

A:Yes, I would agree, but their difficulty is not limited to just that one thing. In other words, I wouldn’t want to say that this is their only problem.

Q:Let’s say one of their difficulties.

A:Right.

Q:Would you also not agree that with the concept of the adolescent child who has been described here as bisexual -- by that I would explain to make clear we are not talking about the anatomically ambiguous child, but the anatomically normal child who is ambivalent about his sexual identity. You recognize that as a phenomenon of adolescence or a phenomenon generally?

A:I think it is a general phenomenon. I think it has been exaggerated. I am not sure I would use the word bisexual, but that doesn’t make much difference. If what you are saying is there is a bit of homosexuality in all of us, I suppose in a sense that might be true.

Q:I think I am trying to say more -- and I don’t want to mislead you when I use the term. As I understand the way the term has been used, these are kids more than Just -- I think there was a statement yesterday that there is to a greater or lesser degree some element of homosexuality in every person. I think we are talking about a different kind of thing here. The testimony has been a group of children who in effect are more ambiguous about their sexual identity and in effect are kids who I think the word was are on the fence trying to struggle through to some kind of choice, who find themselves under this kind of pressure.

Is that concept recognized or a phenomenon with which you are familiar?

A:I wouldn’t argue with that concept.

Q:Dr. Lourie also spoke yesterday; and again I want to see whether you would affirm or qualify the concept that he presented to us, that at this stage prior to the time when children cross over from the group of boys and group of girls, begin to cross the line, to some boys -- he was speaking specifically I think about boys at this time -- heterosexuality represents a kind of threat to them and therefore they stay at a kind of a homosexual relationship. He described it as a transitory normal phenomenon that gets people very upset.

Are you familiar with that idea that there is sometimes mutual masturbation or this kind of thing and because kids in effect are afraid to make that transition, that they have this sexual drive within them and the outlet becomes what he described as a transitory homosexual relationship which he said was perfectly normal? Are you familiar with that concept?

A:Yes.

Q:He also went on to say that some children never get over that kind of thing, that they become pegged, I think was the word he used, at that stage, and that later on this manifests itself in adulthood in voyeurism and exhibitionism aspects in their adult personality. Are you familiar with that idea?

A:I would not know the connection he is making there from what you just said.

Q:I think the word sometimes used is a parafiliate.

A:I have no idea.

Q:Do you recognize or is it not generally recognized that adolescent kids -- for our purpose let’s talk about adolescent boys -- do at this period in their lives begin to look for models outside the home environment?

A:I don’t know whether they look for them. I think they find them. I don’t know how volitional.

Q:Whether by volition or not, they find themselves looking at other models for conduct beyond the home, is that correct?

A:Yes.

Q:Would that include such persons as teachers, athletic coaches, people like that with whom they come in contact at school?

A:Yes.

Q:I believe in your testimony you said that children are exposed to various manifestations of homosexuality in the media, it is not a unique thing that they will encounter for the first time when Mr. Acanfora is revealed to them as a homosexual. Is that a fair statement?

A:Yes.

Q:Would you not agree, however, that the kind of exposure that a child gets 50 minutes a day, five days a week throughout a school year is different at least in quantity and quality, I would suggest, than an occasional show on television, a talk show or a little article in the newspaper that he might or might not see?

A:I would agree the stimulus is different, but not necessarily more influential.

Q:Let me at least understand this. The kinds of other stimuli that you have mentioned, the ones you have in mind I take it are not stimuli that you think they come in contact with approximately 50 minutes a day five days a week throughout a school year. They are more transitory, are they not? They are there but more transitory than what we are talking about?

A:They may be mare transitory, but I think they are often more blatantly homosexual in content. The 50 minutes a day, as I understand it, I would guess, would be largely devoted to earth sciences, which I don’t find very sexually arousing -- that is my hangup.

Q:In response to a question from Mr. Gottesman, again I want to make sure I understand your testimony -- this is going to be complicated because I will try to repeat what he said about what Dr. Lourie said.

A:As I recall it, he asked you about Dr. Lourie’s testimony that Mr. Acanfora could serve as a kind of erotic object, fantasy object by some of the homosexual kids. You recall him saying that to you?

A:Yes.

Q:And as I recall it, you said that is true. You didn’t disagree with that notion of Dr. Lourie’s, and then I believe you also said that a so-called vulnerable child that we are talking about might be threatened by a teacher who is a homosexual?

A:Yes.

Q:I think I quoted you accurately. Would you explain what you meant by that?

A:Right. My point there is that I would not disagree with what Dr. Lourie says. I am not sure I am even in a position to disagree with him, but I would also offer an equally plausible argument that the child who is on the fence in our culture, at least, would be threatened by homosexual stimuli because that is the thing he is fighting against, and my analogy was, you know, adults who fear homosexuality the most are those who have the tendency, I would think. We fear those things that we are trying to control within ourselves, so if the young adolescent is trying to control his tendency, you can argue I think equally well that he is going to ward off homosexual stimuli because they basically are frightening to him.

Now, again, that is assuming that, in our culture, at least, individuals tend to normally go into heterosexual relationships -- not just sexual, but in terms of companionship -- and that in large part those children who turn towards homosexuality are turning against that tendency, and therefore homosexuality is somewhat frightening to children in a sense, even though they may engage in it, because this is a thing they are turning away from, particularly those children that are struggling.

A joke about homosexuals is not funny to them because it is so close to~ home. A homosexual teacher -- a teacher identified as a homosexual -- may not be threatening, as you have indicated, to the large majority children but may be. threatening to those who are struggling with it, and I would offer that as likely as the fact that the kind who is on the fence would be attracted to such a person. I think we can each speculate in our own way, since there are no data to support or contradict it.

Q:So that for the child you have described who is struggling, who is on the fence, the homosexual stimulus can be one of two things or may depend on the child. You think it is probably more likely he sees it as a threat because that is what he is trying to get away from to move toward the norm, which is heterosexual, I take it?

A:Yes.

Q:Conceivably for some children he may become the object for fantasy. You are saying it could be either way but you think more likely than not they would be seeing it as a threat because that is what they want to move away from and move toward the norm?

A:I don’t know I would even argue it is more likely. I am just—

Q:It is just as possible?

A:To me it is just as possible, the same as the child who is not ready for heterosexual relationships may be very frightened if seduced by a gal. He is not quite ready for it.

MR. BARON: Your Honor, I think that is all I have.

THE COURT: Mr. Gottesman.

REDIRECT EXAMINATION

BY MR. GOTTESMAN:

Q:You used the word threatening in describing this phenomenon. That word has been tossed about a bit in the last couple of days and I would like to pin it down a bit.

When you say that homosexual- children may feel threatened by the presence of a homosexual teacher, are you saying that they are going to suffer greater anxieties, etc., etc., by virtue of his presence than they would otherwise suffer going through life with their conflict?

A:No. It is hard to stay in the abstract. In general. I think such a child would be very distressed if approached by a male teacher, a child such as we have been assuming exists, and I certainly have seen in my own experience children that have been approached by faculty who, because they are not quite sure of their own identities, have been very threatened, very distressed very anxious from this experience, whereas a boy who knows he is all male will just ward off such an approach and not be particularly concerned about it.

It is not my place to make judgments, but it would seem to me that if the teacher is talking about content that such a child is not going to keep saying that teacher is a homosexual. I don’t think people think that way, at least not for long.

Q:If I understood you correctly, and I just want to get this clear so the record doesn’t dangle with an apparent threat over kids’ heads which I think subsequently may be discussed without realizing what you meant by it, when you say they feel threatened, as I understood you -- and correct mc if I am wrong, or tell me which of these two things you meant -- the conflict which such an on-the-fence child feels any way will be intensified by Mr. Acanfora’s presence and his knowledge that he is a homosexual or did you mean the danger that he will look to him as an erotic sex object is less likely in your view than had been described by others because, on the contrast that is the whole thing he is trying to avoid and because he is trying to avoid it he would turn away from it, or maybe it is none of the above.

A:It is more the latter case, I think.

MR. BARON: He ought to at least have one more choice.

THE WITNESS: It is obviously complicated, and lack of information doesn’t help any.

Being a known homosexual is one of many factors that might make a male teacher a sex object, and I don’t know the relative importance of that versus his mannerisms, his appearance his dress, his way of talking.

If you ask me who might cause the most conflict in this kind of child, a teacher that looks like a homosexual -- whatever that means, the stereotype -- or acts like one, or one that is known to be one through a television program, I just couldn’t answer that question.

The fact that he is a known homosexual is just one of many characteristics of this particular man, and how that weighs with other things, I don’t know. The teacher in the next room might not be homosexual at all but might be viewed that way by the kids for totally inappropriate reasons -- maybe because he collects wild flowers.

Q:Is there data or do we know whether a vulnerable child, a child, in conflict, finds a male who is either known by him to be homosexual, or who manifests what he thinks are some homosexual traits, more attractive as a sex object than a really virile heterosexual male?

A:To my knowledge, and again I have not in any way systematically reviewed the literature on this, but to my knowledge there is no information that would allow to know what kind of object these young adolescents would choose.

I think more is known about the sex objects of older homosexuals. I don’t know about the young ones, particularly the kind of case we are talking about.

Q:Is it fair to conclude that fear of parental disfavor has discouraged efforts to inquire of adolescent as to their sexual preferences and interests?

A:Oh, I don’t know. I really don’t know, but my impression is that adolescence, until the last decade, hasn’t stimulated a lot of systematic research particular with “normal” adolescents in contrast with those who are in psychiatric therapy. That is why the work of Oeffer, and others, is almost a classic, because there isn’t an awful lot of other scientific evaluation of normal adolescent behavior.

There are many reasons for this, but I don’t think a main one is that parents would not consent. That hasn’t helped any, but I don’t think that is the main reason why people haven’t done such research.

MR. GOTTESMAN: We have no further questions.

Mt. BARON: One more thing I would like to ask.

RECROSS EXAMINATION

BY MR. BARON:

Q:Doctor, I believe I understood your testimony on direct to be that jokes that adolescent kids make about homosexuality are less a manifestation of wit than a manifestation of their fears about homosexuality and cop with the idea. Is that accurate?

A:Well, I think wit always reflects to some degree our problems collectively. What I meant to say was that I think the young adolescent who is truly struggling with his identity doesn’t find such a joke funny because as I said, it hits too close to home. It is very much his problem, sort of a collective problem, whereas other children, though they may -- the reason it is funny to some degree is based on the fact that it is shared experience. It is not going to be funny unless people know what the joke is, you know, so it reflects a certain shared experience, but it can’t be so threatening that the wit doesn’t come through.

All I was trying to say is that the child – I tried to use that as evidence that the child who is on the fence may find homosexuality, including jokes about homosexuality, not attractive but threatening.

MR. BARON: I have nothing further.

THE COURT: Mr. Friedman, one question. You were referring I think to the model search and making analogy to the pregnant school teacher.

THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.

THE COURT: Isn’t there a distinction there, though, in that that is the so-called norm, this is something the child is familiar with, perhaps a pregnant mother at home, and so on, so wouldn’t there be a distinction between that and the homosexual teacher?

THE WITNESS: Yes, I think there is that distinction. My point that I tried to make was that the problems that collectively we have difficulty in dealing with relative to teenagers, we often try to find their solution by drawing in an idealized image for the teacher: be it smoking, taking of drugs, alcohol drinking, sex. We try to resolve those problems by getting teachers who aren’t going to open them up, in a sense.

You know, ten years ago, a teacher in some districts -- I can’t speak for Maryland --

THE COURT: Maryland can be included.

THE WITNESS: -- who liked to drink in the neighborhood bar, not necessarily alcoholic at all, would not have a job, or who was visibly pregnant would not have a job, and I think in my own personal opinion five years from now people are going to be looking back on this in the same as we are looking back on whether a teacher is pregnant or whether she drinks in her home district.

I think it is just that as society hits each new problem, they try to solve it by making sure that teachers don’t do it, and I think we are just at another point in history, personally. I say that as a citizen; that is not a professional opinion.

THE COURT: Is there anything else? Thank you, Dr. Friedman.

[Witness excused]

 
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