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Beware of Intellectuals Defending Pedophiles
New York Daily News ^ | 4/15/02 | John Leo

Posted on 04/15/2002 2:21:00 AM PDT by kattracks

Back in 1981, an astute writer at Time magazine (that would be me) noticed that pro-pedophilia arguments were catching on among some sex researchers and counselors.

Larry Constantine, a Massachusetts family therapist and sex-book writer, said children "have the right to express themselves sexually, which means that they may or may not have contact with people older than themselves." Wardell Pomeroy, co-author of the original Kinsey reports, said incest "can sometimes be beneficial." There were more.

My article caused some commotion, so budding apologists for child molesters' lib ran for cover. Since then, frank endorsements of adult-child sex have become rare. But pro-pedophilia rationalizations of the early '80s are still in play. Among them: Children are sexual beings with the right to pick their partners; the quality of relationships, not age, determines the value of sex; most pedophiles are gentle and harmless; the damage of pedophilia comes mostly from the shocked horror communicated by parents, not from the sex itself.

For example, take the controversy over the new sex book "Harmful to Minors: the Perils of Protecting Children from Sex." The mini-uproar comes from the fact that the author, a journalist named Judith Levine, recycles some of the old arguments that play down the dangers of pedophilia. Levine says pedophiles are rare and often harmless. The real danger, she thinks, is not the pedophile, but parents and parental figures who project their fears and own lust for young flesh onto the mythically dangerous child molester. One section carries the headline "The Enemy Is Us."

Levine opposes incest and adult-child sex that involves authorities with power over kids. That would seem to include predatory priests, but Levine thought this was a good time to endorse some priest-boy sex. She told the Newhouse papers that "yes, conceivably, absolutely" a boy's sexual relationship with a priest could be positive.

"Harmful to Minors" is a classic example of how disorder in the intellectual world leaks into popular culture. In this case, I think the leakage comes from the Rind study, which caused a national furor after it appeared in 1998 in the Psychological Bulletin, a publication of the American Psychological Association. The study's conclusion that child sex abuse "does not cause intense harm on a pervasive basis" was the highest-level endorsement yet of the no-harm rationalization for child sexual abuse.

Understandably, the Rind study is the new bible of pedophiles and their groups. The study also called for a sweeping change in language used to discuss child sexual abuse — a term the study rejected as judgmental. This delighted the pedophile movement, which favors terms like "intergenerational intimacy."

The major point about the Rind study is not whether it was intellectually shoddy (though I think it was), but that it shifted the national discussion several degrees toward the normalization of pedophilia.

It will take a great deal more to convince Americans that tots have the right to select adult sex partners. But the terrain has been changed.

Instead of virtually all Americans vs. the pedophiles, the Rind team invited us to see it as scientific and fair-minded people who believe in openness and dialogue vs. meddling, anti-scientific, right-wing moralists. It invites the left and the center to view anti-pedophilia traditionalists as the real problem, just as Levine says "the enemy is us," not pedophiles.

Intellectually respectable pedophilia? What's next?


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
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1 posted on 04/15/2002 2:21:00 AM PDT by kattracks
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: *SASU; JMJ333; Tourist Guy; EODGUY; abandon; Khepera; Dakmar; RichInOC; RebelDawg; Fiddlstix...

3 posted on 04/15/2002 2:26:57 AM PDT by Khepera
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To: kattracks
I'll say something that'll get flamed. But here goes...

Not everyone who smokes will die a horrible death from lung cancer and/or heart disease.

Not everyone who drinks and drives will kill people in car crashes.

Not every instance of sexual activity between adults and minors will result in intense emotional damage.

However, the probability of harm involved in the above activities is so great that society does have the obligation of pre-emptive sanction, or at least for the last two where the harm is towards others rather than one's self. I think the distinction is important philosophically, because attaching metaphysical certainty of harm actually undercuts the rational case for banning or discouraging certain activities which have a high probability but not an absolute certainty of harm.

4 posted on 04/15/2002 2:38:55 AM PDT by garbanzo
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To: garbanzo
Has everyone lost their minds???

The bottom line here is minors are not making choices when adults are involved in pediphilia. End of story.

5 posted on 04/15/2002 2:54:09 AM PDT by JoeSixPack1
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To: JoeSixPack1
Well the law doesn't recognize those choices (nor should it) - I'm only discussing whether or not harm occurs in absolutely every case. I'll repeat again that the probability of harm is so great that the society is oblieged to act to prevent it.

The philosophical issue raised is what can be called the democratization of virtue and vice - i.e. if something is [good,bad,neutral] for someone, somewhere, at some point in time, then it's [good,bad,neutral] for everyone, everywhere, at all times. Consequently, no one can even discuss obvious facts (like that not everyone who smokes dies from cancer or heart disease) without being accused of encouraging people to smoke.

The danger with the all or nothing approach is that one only has to find a few counterexamples to invalidate a perfectly useful moral premise.

6 posted on 04/15/2002 3:05:11 AM PDT by garbanzo
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To: garbanzo
Understood. My short rant was only in reference to the relative differences between adults and minors being able to make personal choices. Minors are a protected sector of humanity. Pediphilia by its nature shatters that protection.
7 posted on 04/15/2002 3:17:52 AM PDT by JoeSixPack1
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To: kattracks
Anyone who defends pedophiles is a pervert. This is such an outrage that no normal person could accept it.
8 posted on 04/15/2002 3:36:01 AM PDT by Dante3
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To: JoeSixPack1
I would agree with you on this. I really don't think that the percentage of concenting minors in these cases is enough to warrent any justification. It wouldbe my openion that these adults are taking advantage of the minors in all cases....
9 posted on 04/15/2002 3:36:18 AM PDT by .45MAN
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To: kattracks
Predator/stalkers who psychologically lure innocent children into having sex are the most heinous CRIMINALS. These are not intellectuals who irrationalize that not every young person who succumbs to a predator/stalker is harmed, these are idiots that need an epistomological house cleaning.
10 posted on 04/15/2002 3:56:20 AM PDT by PGalt
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To: garbanzo
The danger with the all or nothing approach is that one only has to find a few counterexamples to invalidate a perfectly useful moral premise.
The all-or-nothing approach IS the premise for law.
11 posted on 04/15/2002 3:56:42 AM PDT by jaq
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To: kattracks
One section carries the headline "The Enemy Is Us."

A bit of truth in this horrid book, I see.

12 posted on 04/15/2002 4:01:32 AM PDT by Jonathon Spectre
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To: jaq
I was referring more to the ethical principle than the legal principle, which is justifiably all-or-nothing.
13 posted on 04/15/2002 4:09:17 AM PDT by garbanzo
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To: kattracks
Judith Levine pushing "pedophilia chic?" Now there's something trendy. After all now that gay rights is mainstream, there's the next minority to bring out of the closet. Besides who is society to stand in the way of true love or sexual pleasure? As liberals are so fond of telling us, "its a private matter," and its time to move on. Indeed the Levine contingent, led by Jocelyn Elders, can't see what the big fuss is all about. John Leo is right we should all beware of intellectuals defending that which no one in their right mind would ever think of condoning between adults and children. Where's the liberal concern for "its for the children." No wonder there's a move afoot to make child molesters the Left's latest victim class.
14 posted on 04/15/2002 4:41:09 AM PDT by goldstategop
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To: goldstategop
Alas, I see a trend in the making, towards opening up this kind of thing at least to teens. I was at a Chinese restaurant the other day and saw some teen-looking kids dressed up in some kind of creepy s&m/leather-metal type outfits. The girls had leather pants with big pyramid studs and spiderweb "tattoos" on their shoulders. One boy had this huge multi-strap leather wrist cuff. It all looked like it was for a theme party. Nothing technically "obscene" but it seemed pretty obvious what it was about. This restaurant didn't seem to exactly be a weirdo mecca either -- I go there fairly often and have never seen something like this there before.
15 posted on 04/15/2002 5:10:24 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Levine opposes incest and adult-child sex that involves authorities with power over kids.

Any adult would classify for this statement. Children, especially young children are taught ALL adults are "AUTHORITIES" in their lives.

16 posted on 04/15/2002 5:52:41 AM PDT by GailA
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To: Khepera
Thanks for the ping.

IMHO, pedophilia was, is and will always be an abomination and nothing more that the blatant "use" of a child for the perverted pleasure of the adult involved.


17 posted on 04/15/2002 6:01:58 AM PDT by EODGUY
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To: kattracks
Intellectually respectable pedophilia? What's next?

Necrophilia, corpophilia, bestiality...just to name a few.

The Islamicists won't need bombs or guns to take over the West. They will just need patience.

18 posted on 04/15/2002 8:13:53 AM PDT by pollwatcher
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To: kattracks

From "On the Pedophilia Issue: What the APA Should Have Known"

" More Recent Defenses of Pedophilia

Harris Mirkin recently wrote a lead article in the Journal of Homosexuality entitled "The Pattern of Sexual Politics: Feminism, Homosexuality and Pedophilia." Using social-constructionist theory, he argues that the concept of child molestation is a "culture- and class-specific creation" which can and should be changed.

He likens the battle for the legalization of pedophilia to the battles for women's rights, homosexual rights, and even the civil rights of blacks.

He sees the hoped-for shift as taking place in two stages. During the first stage, the opponents of pedophilia control the debate by insisting that the issue is non-negotiable--while using psychological and moral categories to silence all discussion.

But in the second stage, Mirkin says, the discussion must move on to such issues as the "right" of children to have and enjoy sex.

If this paradigm shift could be accomplished, the issue would move from the moral to the political arena, and therefore become open to negotiation. For example, rather than decrying sexual abuse, lawmakers would be forced to argue about when and under what conditions adult/child sex could be accepted. Once the issues becomes "discussible," it would only be a matter of time before the public would begin to view pedophilia as another sexual orientation, and not a choice for the pedophile..."

19 posted on 04/15/2002 9:19:38 AM PDT by EdReform
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To: EdReform
Well, sure, it's just a matter of social reform. Kind of like how homosexuality went from being classified as a mental illness to a sexual orientation. Get enough folks on the board that are sympathetic to the homosexual agenda, and it gets changed. They're moving in the same direction with pedophilia.

On another note...granted, the spelling is slightly different...but here goes:


n.: false hair for the female genitalia; a pubic wig

Have to wonder if his friends call him Harry...

20 posted on 04/15/2002 9:55:18 AM PDT by Tennessee_Bob
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