Bruce Rind

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Bruce Laurence Rind (born August 3, 1953) is an American psychologist and chess player who has researched intergenerational sexual activity involving individuals below the legal age of consent. He has also written about factors that affect persuasion in advertising and tipping.

Life and career[edit]

Rind was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a teenager, Rind was a standout chess player, rising to be the top-rated player in Pennsylvania as an adult.[1][2] He was awarded a FIDE International Master title in 1979 and achieved a FIDE rating of 2335.

Rind received his bachelor's degree from the College of William and Mary. He then attended Temple University, earning a master's degree, followed by a Ph.D. in psychology in 1990. His dissertation examined factors in the persuasiveness of advertising.[3] Rind taught courses at Temple until 2007. He has since resided in Leipzig, Germany.

Sex research[edit]

In 1997, Rind and Philip Tromovitch published a literature review of seven studies involving 8,500 participants that examined adjustment problems of victims of child sexual abuse (CSA). They concluded that the general consensus associating CSA with intense, pervasive harm and long-term maladjustment was incorrect.[4] The following year, Rind, Tromovitch and Robert Bauserman published a peer reviewed meta-analysis of 59 studies using the self-reported experiences of child sexual abuse by 35,703 college students.[5] The results questioned the scientific validity of the single term child sexual abuse, suggesting a variety of different labels for sexual contact between adults and non-adults based on factors such as age and the degree to which the child was forced or coerced into participating.

Rind and his co-authors, P. Tromovitch and R. Bauserman, subsequently became the center of a controversy. The study was heavily criticized by victims of child rape and sexual assault, mental health professionals who work with victims of sexual abuse, social conservatives and religious fundamentalists. In 1999, both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate passed a resolution condemning specific published scholarship.[6][7] The American Psychological Association did not defend the peer reviewed study or note the need for scientists to be able to publish research findings even if the findings are unpopular. Author Thomas D. Oellerich called the study "politically incorrect" but "scientifically correct".[8] It has been suggested that the Rind et al. controversy demonstrates that employing the naturalistic fallacy leads to situations in which empirical descriptions of nature are seen as dictating moral conclusions.[9]

Rind has defended other sex researchers, such as Ray Blanchard, whose work also has been criticized outside the field of sex research.[10] Rind and sociologist Richard Yuill of Glasgow University have also published detailed criticism of attempts to classify the construct hebephilia as a mental disorder,[11] and suggested hebephilia be listed in the DSM V, coded as a condition that results in significant social problems today.

Rind has also studied factors which persuade restaurant customers to leave larger tips.[12]


  1. ^ Dragonetti, John J. (September 7, 1978). Chess Corner. Schenectady Gazette
  2. ^ Staff report (April 4, 1985). Today: A guide to what's going on in and around Philadelphia. Philadelphia Inquirer[dead link]
  3. ^ Rind, Bruce (1990). A Model for what Makes a Message Persuasive. Temple University
  4. ^ Rind, B; Tromovitch P. (1997). "A meta-analytic review of findings from national samples on psychological correlates of child sexual abuse". The Journal of Sex Research. 34 (3): 237–255. doi:10.1080/00224499709551891. JSTOR 3813384.
  5. ^ Bullough, Vern L (2003). "Bruce Rind the Truth Teller". Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality. 15 (1): 1–3. doi:10.1300/J056v15n01_01.
  6. ^ United States Congress (1999). "Whereas no segment of our society is more critical to the future of human survival than our children" (PDF). 106th Congress, Resolution 107.
  7. ^ Baird, B. N. (2002). "Politics, operant conditioning, Galileo, and the American Psychological Association's response to Rind et al. (1998)". The American Psychologist. 57 (3): 189–192. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.57.3.189. PMID 11905117.
  8. ^ Oellerich, Thomas D. (2000), "Rind, Tromovitch, and Bauserman: Politically Incorrect - Scientifically Correct", Sexuality and Culture, 4 (2): 67–81, doi:10.1007/s12119-000-1027-3
  9. ^ Friedrich, James (2005). "Naturalistic Fallacy Errors in Lay Interpretations of Psychological Science: Data and Reflections on the Rind, Tromovitch, and Bauserman (1998) Controversy". Basic and Applied Social Psychology. 27: 59–70. doi:10.1207/s15324834basp2701_6.
  10. ^ Rind, Bruce (2008). The Bailey Affair: Political Correctness and Attacks on Sex Research. Archives of Sexual Behavior, June 2008, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 481-484
  11. ^ Rind, Bruce; Yuill, Richard (Aug 2012). "Hebephilia as mental disorder? A historical, cross-cultural, sociological, cross-species, non-clinical empirical, and evolutionary review". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 41 (4): 797–829. doi:10.1007/s10508-012-9982-y. PMID 22739816.
  12. ^ Rind, Bruce (1996). "Effect on Restaurant Tipping of Male and Female Servers Drawing a Happy, Smiling Face on the Backs of Customers' Checks". Journal of Applied Social Psychology. 26 (3): 218–225. doi:10.1111/j.1559-1816.1996.tb01847.x.

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