Skip to comments.Is pedophilia going mainstream?
Posted on 04/16/2002 12:29:02 PM PDT by FormerLib
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, coauthor of the original Kinsey reports, said incest "can sometimes be beneficial." A Minnesota sociologist included pedophile sex among "intimate human relations [that] are important and precious." 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 (or anti-antipedophilia) 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. (The book has a foreword by former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, so don't say you weren't warned.) 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 their own lust for young flesh onto the mythically dangerous child molester. One section carries the headline "The enemy is us."
Priestly lapse. 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 Mark O'Keefe of 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 the 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." One critic of Rind mockingly asked whether the word rape should now be changed to "unilaterally consenting adult-adult sex."
The Rind study was a meta-analysis, an academic term for noodling around with other people's old studies instead of conducting your own. Meta-analyses notoriously leave lots of room for omissions and arbitrary decisions to somehow fit together different studies with different standards and definitions.
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 the American people that tots have the right to select adult sex partners. But the terrain has been changed. Instead of virtually all Americans versus the pedophiles, the Rind team (who grandly compare their case to the travails of Galileo) invited us to see it as scientific and fair-minded people who believe in openness and dialogue versus meddling, antiscientific, right-wing moralists. It invites the left and the center to view antipedophilia traditionalists as the real problem, just as Levine says "the enemy is us," not pedophiles.
Here's an example of the terrain change. For more than 20 years, pedophile advocate Tom O'Carroll has been a stigmatized outsider. Now he has been invited to address an international sex convention in Paris on the subject of privacy rights of pedophiles and their child partners (or targets). His pro-pedophilia book is on a course list at Cambridge University. O'Carroll is surprised and delighted by his new stature and thinks the Rind study brought it about. Intellectually respectable pedophilia? What's next?
Intellectually respectable pedophilia? What's next?Sensitivity classes?
Ooohhh, now it all makes sense! My being personally offended at the thought of my children being attacked by a pervert, well, thats just evidence that Im a pervert! My, to think how many times Ive embarrassed myself by being opposed to practices like this!
Well, thank you Ms. Levine, I havent felt this enlightened since I realized that the reason that I thought homosexuality was an abomination in The Lords Eyes, was because I was a homosexual.
Now, if I can just get over this thing I have with an anger towards muslim terrorists Well, time to start kneeling, anyone know which direction Mecca is in?
Guns Before Butter.
At some point is there really that much difference? Hands off the kids.
The so-called "journalistic community" has a tough time differentiating pedophilia (attraction to pre-pubescent kids) from the attraction to sexually-developed but legislatively-underaged adolescents. To lump them all together is erroneous.
There was a thread here at FR back a few weeks in which someone posted the correct term for people who are sexually attracted to the sexually ripe but legally underaged - a type of behaviour far, far removed from pedophilia. Anyone have a link or remember the proper terminology?
The Roman Catholic Church, of late, has had ITS problems with "pederasty," sex between an adult male and an underaged male. Once again, wholly different from pedophilia OR hetero-but-underaged sex. No one seems to be able to get the term right.
"...For elsewhere in the public square, the defense of adult-child sexmore accurately, man-boy sexis now out in the open. Moreover, it is on parade in a number of placestherapeutic, literary, and academic circles; mainstream publishing houses and journals and magazines and bookstoreswhere the mere appearance of such ideas would until recently have been not only unthinkable, but in many cases, subject to prosecution...
...Plainly, as the record even then showed, a surprising number of voices were willing to rise up on behalf of what advocates refer to as "man-boy love," or what most people call sexual abuse..."
For one thing, no sustained public challenges have arisen over other primal taboos. Even more telling, if nihilism and nihilism alone were the explanation for public attempts to legitimize sex with boy children, then we would expect the appearance of related attempts to legitimize sex with girl children; and these we manifestly do not see. Nobody, but nobody, has been allowed to make the case for girl pedophilia with the backing of any reputable institution. Publishing houses are not putting out acclaimed anthologies and works of fiction that include excerpts of men having sex with young girls. Psychologists and psychiatrists are not competing with each other to publish studies demonstrating that the sexual abuse of girls is inconsequential; or, indeed, that it ought not even be defined as "abuse."
It's probably a good thing that this term is coming to light as the link between ephebophilia becomes clearly documented in light of recent events in the news.
Or am I the only one noticing that the charges against those rogue priests show them overwhelmingly assaulting boys?
Actually, there IS that much of a difference. Because the behaviors are diffferent. The pedo is attracted to kids who are not sexually self-aware (or sexually sentient). Once puberty hits, the pedo has no further interest and moves on. The OTHER behavior is the perversion of being attracted to dramatically younger but nonetheless sexually sentient partners - i.e., fully-developed but underaged teen girls.
What has caused the perversion in the language is the legislative insistence that every person even one day younger than 18 is a "child." This leads to situations where a nude photo of a girl aged 17 years 364 days is "child porn" and the same photo of the same girl taken 24 hours later is "legal erotica." Whenever arbitririness enters into the picture, lines of behavior get blurred and linguistic precision goes out the window.
Oh, you wouldn't want to hear what they had to say anyway. They'd tell you that the traume these young people experience is the result of either society's "homophobia," in the case of boys, or it patriarchalism, in the case of girls!
Anything, anything but actually blaming the culprits of sexual perversion!
You're certainly not the only one noticing, but the news media is very uncomfortable in portraying these priests as pederasts, by definition the practitioners of homosexual behavior with underaged partners. As usual, the media either cannot get it right - or they refuse to.
Thanks - couldn't remember it offhand.
Of course, ephebophilia used to go by a different name here in The Colonies back about 200 years or so ago. Back then, it was called "taking a wife." Low life expectancy rates almost mandated early marriage.
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