I feel a little silly asking this, because it is so obvious that I'm sure it's already been addressed (either in the John Jay report itself or elsewhere). But, based on the news accounts, the report seems to make a great deal of the spike in reported abuse after the 1960s, using it to attribute the sexual abuse problem -- at least in part -- to cultural shifts occurring in the broader society. But isn't it possible that those cultural shifts -- which, besides introducing more permissive attitudes towards sex, encouraged greater questioning of authority -- led more people to report instances of clerical abuse rather than to an increase in the abuse itself? I'm not even sure how to disentangle the two at such a great temporal distance. In any event, I'm looking forward to reading the report later today. I hope it will answer my question.
Eduardo M. Peñalver is the Allan R. Tessler Dean of the Cornell Law School. The views expressed in the piece are his own, and should not be attributed to Cornell University or Cornell Law School.