Comment

The way society treats paedophilia is ugly

Britain is not short of written pieces about paedophilia. In the wake of endless celebrity scandal (1970s’ stars now appear more frequently in arrest warrants than New Year’s honours lists), we search voraciously for causes and reasons, speculate on the latest arrests and nod at ferocious, hate-filled diatribes. So it is with no little trepidation that I put pen to paper to write in defence of the most maligned, hated and abused minority in British society. It is a feeling I have had for a long time- a sense that there was something deeply intolerable and wrong about the derision, scorn and anger heaped on those who are suspected of viewing child pornography or indecently touching children.

They are uncomfortable words, are they not? I feel a deep sense of moral recoil even as I write them. But, as Sen said, “to let our hearts be governed by anger and outrage is to refuse humanity”. I feel we must look beyond that recoil, that nauseating anger and try- in these most difficult of circumstances- to find a reserve of empathy and understanding. I will be clear on my position here. Our foremost duty must be to protect children who are at risk. The crimes are indeed horrific and horrifying; the damage is clear and deep. To jail those who pose risks to children, or who committed their crimes for ‘kicks’, for sadistic pleasure or without regret and sorrow is unavoidable.

But I would urge that we feel revulsion at the act and not the perpetrator, attack the crime and not the criminal. For- and I say this mindful of its weight and controversy- paedophilia is a disorder and not a crime. The psycho-sociological studies are clear on this point, if in dispute about causation. There are interesting (and heart rending) stories online that detail the daily struggle of those who have a sexual predilection for children and refuse to act on it. Despite difference and demonization, beneath the label of paedophile, these are just people- people who have families, friends, jobs, lives. More broadly, these are people who are more likely to suffer from low self-esteem, poor social skills and weak self-concept. In many ways, these people are victims; indeed, many paedophiles were the literal victims of child abuse when they were younger and are irresistibly drawn to it as adults. They must live in a permanent climate of struggle, self-hate and- most of all- fear of being exposed by an unforgiving and crude society whose only response is unthinking, uncontrolled hatred.

We offer them no help. Society gives no support. Instead, they are met with lacerating tabloid articles, cruel exposes that threaten their personal safety and celebrated ‘paedophile hunters’ who trap their targets before mocking them for an internet audience. Not only is this distasteful, it is counterproductive: in order to prevent abuse, we need to engage with and provide psychological care for those who are drawn to children. They will never come forward and seek it if society treats them as monsters who lack rights and respect. Indeed, we should celebrate those who, despite their sexual orientation towards children, resist their desires and live difficult, virtuous lives. Most of all, we must have a grown up conversation that talks about the causes of paedophilia and the ways of helping those who suffer from it.

How we treat paedophilia is ugly. Paedophiles have been tacitly agreed to be a unique group in society whom it is right to hate, to hurt, to hunt. To fulfil the duty of a nation justly famed as tolerant, moderate and mild, we must do the difficult thing. We must find compassion, respect and help in place of easy moral outrage and anger free from rationality or restraint. To do otherwise is not civilised, it is not justified and- most of all- it is not British.

 

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29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. What?

    6th June 2014 at 15:50

    The author completely misses the point.

    Whether in child rape, or the viewing of child abuse images, paedophiles are engaging in or supporting actual harm to children.

    Paedophiles are always convicted on the basis of actual evidence. Child abuse images are generated by child abusers, and when paedophiles view that material they actively perpetuate a culture in which child abuse may persist.

    What’s ‘distasteful’ is an essential and inseparable disregard for sexual consent. A paedophile has a sexual urge to commit rape.

    This my indeed warrant the treatment of mental health professionals. It also rightly warrants our rational and considered hatred.

  2. exInjuria

    6th June 2014 at 16:24

    What a perceptive and compassionate article; I knew a paedophile once and felt deeply sorry for him. It is necessary to distinguish between an unfortunate condition over which the sufferer has no control and actions which result from self-indulgence and a ‘disregard for sexual consent’. Many, perhaps most, paedophiles keep their urges under control and are doomed to a lonely life of celibacy.

  3. peterhoo

    7th June 2014 at 00:33

    This piece is ethically iinformed and speaks a message one might frame as a contemporary retelling of that childrrn’s story of The Emperor’s New Clothes.

  4. WT

    7th June 2014 at 01:30

    Such kind and compassionate words are so rare that living for many p. is daily torment. People with this sexuality, even if they have never acted on their romantic feelings and physical attractions, are completely voiceless and get these kinds of messages more often:

    “Kill all those dam freaks by setting them on fire and then watch them writhe in utter AGONY”

    “Someone who hurts a child does not derserve to continue living. We should limit the life span of the pedophile to a non existance. After snuffing out the million or so of deviates, the market should dry up.”

    And this kind of treatment –
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZmuXKNFIkM

    now even concentration camps – see http://www.counterpunch.org/2006/03/04/scapegoats-and-shunning/

    So no wonder some categories of pedophiles are up to 183 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population –
    http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/62072/

    Many such people (exclusive and non-exclusive paedophiles and hebephiles) have done good things and have contributed to society through art, literature, philosophy, social activism. They were not monsters. People like Socrates, Plato, Sappho, Phidias, Donatello, Sa’di, Omar Khayam, Abu Nuwas, Lope de Vega, Novalis, Goethe, Lord Byron, Walt Whitman, John Ruskin, Ernest Dowson, Andre Gide, Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, Lewis Carroll, J.M. Barrie, Paul Verlaine, Stephane Mallarme, Paul Gauguin, W.H. Auden, Wilfred Owen, T.E. Lawrence, T.H. White, Paul Eluard, Paul Goodman, William Carlos Williams, Odysseus Elytis, Benjamin Britten, Tschaikovsky, Proust, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Gandhi, Allen Ginsberg…..

    If that surprises you, these studies about the prevalence of paedophilic attractions among men (most of whom maybe manage to deny and repress them) are interesting:
    http://mhamic.org/sources/halletal.htm

    Hall, G.C.N., Hirschman, R., & Oliver, L.L., “Sexual Arousal and Arousability to Pedophilic Stimuli in a Community Sample of Normal Men,” Behavior Therapy, vol. 26, 1995, pp. 681-694.

    Hall and colleagues describe their finding that according to both self-reports and physiological measurements, over 25% of the men in their sample of volunteers were sexually aroused by pre-pubescent girls at a level equal to or greater than their arousal to adult women.

    http://mhamic.org/sources/smiljanich&briere.htm

    Smiljanich, K. & Briere, J., “Self-reported sexual interest in children: Sex differences and psychosocial correlates in a university sample,” Violence & Victims, vol. 11, no. 1, 1996, pp. 39-50.

    Kathy Smiljanich and John Briere report that 22% of their sample of male college students admitted some attraction to children (although the word child was not defined). Four percent admitted having a sexual fantasy involving a child in the past year, and 3% admitted they might have sex with a child if they were assured it would not be detected or punished.

    So, we are talking about many millions of people. And they may be your brothers, sisters, your father, your mother, your son or your daughter. People usually discover their sexuality in early puberty. Compassion and nonviolence are better than hatred.

  5. humanbeing9876

    7th June 2014 at 10:42

    The article is interesting and it is refreshing to read views which are not motivated by mindless hatred. The response of What? is, sadly, typically ignorant: the issue of informed consent is actively debated on the minor-attraction message boards, for example, and the community roundly condemns anyone who engages in coercive sex. Minor attracted people have no more of an urge to commit rape than any other human being does.

    Which leads me to a fundamental misconception expressed by Mr McHale-Maughan, that minor-attraction is correlated with “low self-esteem, poor social skills and weak self-concept”. There’s no evidence of this being true and several substantial studies since the 1980s have failed to find any substantial differences between minor-attracted men and any other category.

    I would also take issue with his assent to jailing those who “pose risks to children”. Who decides such a drastic step is necessary? Unfortunately, the UK government has chosen to go down this road, and apparently believes that any man can pose a risk to children without any proof. This year will see the introduction to England and Wales of the Sexual Risk Order. If the police believe that a man poses “any risk of sexual harm to children”, they will apply to a court for an Order to be imposed on him. This Order can include any range of restrictions – likely to include removal from working with children, banning him from using any computer or smartphone, prevented from accessing public leisure facilities – and the length of restriction is from two years to life. The worst part of it is that no offence needs to have been committed and no criminal conviction is necessary, so hearsay is enough. You don’t believe me? Google the phrase.

    Again, who decides? Your neighbour? The bloke at work who’d like your job? This has nothing to do with downloading child porn or assaulting a child, but is aimed at men who, perhaps, looked the wrong way at a teenage girl. You wanted action against minor-attracted men? You’ve got it – but don’t go crying when you lose your job, your house and your family.

  6. Gay Corran

    7th June 2014 at 11:04

    This ethically informed, perceptive and compassionate article raises many other questions in my mind. Modern research suggests that paedophiles, psychopaths, (sociopaths, narcissists, people with BPD,) alcoholics and drug addicts all have some sort of brain ‘mis-wiring’, or missing brain-parts. Dr Abram Hoffer and others researched this in alcoholics and drug addicts, and found that all were severely depleted in essential vitamins and minerals: when these were supplied in large doses, the patients not only recovered, but stayed well, as long as they kept supplying the physiological needs. They found that will-power alone was insufficient, which was why well known alcoholic twelve-step type systems have a very high long-term failure rate, and that those who relied on God and will power alone lived lives of sobriety, deep depression and constant battling to fight the urge to alleviate the need to replenish the missing substance; very like the lonely doomed life of paedophile celibacy.
    If the cruelties inflicted on paedophiles’ and psychopaths’ victims are caused by a lack of empathy and conscience in the brain of perpetrators, the ability to supply those missing parts would prevent not only the permanent damage inflicted on the victims of such people, but would also alleviate the doomed and lonely lives endured by those who have enough conscience left to control their urges.
    Meantime, how do we protect the victims?

  7. humanbeing9876

    7th June 2014 at 11:38

    To equate paedophilia, or minor-attraction, with psychopathy shows a lack of knowledg and understanding of either. There’s no evidence that minor-attracted people are in any behavioural or neurological ways any more different than anyone else. There are no “parts missing” any more than there are in homosexuals, or trainspotters, or musicians. This reply and the original article are close to middle-class patronising of the people they claim to be showing compassion to.

    I would suggest that those who still believe, against all the evidence, that minor-attaction is linked to a lack of empathy should brace themselves and visit any of the entirely legal minor-attraction message boards in which issues of ethics are agonised over to the nth degreee.

  8. Gay Corran

    7th June 2014 at 12:27

    Not so much equating, as referring to a recent article in The Times on the subject. Sorry about being middle class…

  9. pro-Galileo

    7th June 2014 at 15:29

    Combating homophobia doesn’t take courage in UK today. But fake progressives don’t want to oppose the fascist treatment of other sexual minorities by pointing to scientific research such as this
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Censoring-Sex-Research-Intergenerational-Relations/dp/1611323398/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1399831890&sr=8-1&keywords=censoring+sex+research

    -http://mhamic.org/effects/effectsintro.htm

    or this – http://mhamic.org/rind/
    or this – http://mhamic.org/prevalence/prevalenceintro.htm

    Some other sources are interesting:

    On the questions of harm, the book by the Harvard lecturer Susan Clancy, “The Trauma Myth: The Truth About the Sexual Abuse of Children–and Its Aftermath” and this book which the psychiatrist Dr Frans Gieles helped prepare – https://www.ipce.info/host/rivas/positive_memories.htm

    This was better understood in the recent past. Perhaps this also partly explains why a “who’s who” of 20th century philosophy (including Sartre, de Beauvoir, Deleuze, Guattari, Althusser, Katherine Millet, Foucault, Derrida etc.) had the courage to defend the rights of the modern-day witches:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_petition_against_age_of_consent_laws

  10. mr p

    7th June 2014 at 17:44

    hetro,pedo hebe,epo,trans homo etc is it not time we maned up on these issues and realized that it’s dehumanising
    human sexuality,and by demonizing “others”is what lead to the holocaust.as for consent it’s simple minded to brand
    all kids as being sexually naive check the testimonials as mentioned above,and to say adult minor sex is always harmful is a joke RIND1998 study of 59 study’s in a meta format.

  11. Leonard S Manowski

    8th June 2014 at 15:05

    Thanks for that.

    It’s odd, I’ve spent decades seeing myself portrayed as a monster and a rapist in the mass media and in popular discourse. Yet I’ve never broken the law, and have devoted much of my life to improving the well-being of children. I don’t recognise the monster-mask that’s forced on me.

    People like ‘What?’ above really haven’t a clue what paedophiles feel and think. Do they realise that the greatest emotion I feel towards a child isn’t sexual arousal but bog-standard, wonderful Love,that and tenderness and respect?

    Yes, ‘respect’. For me a child isn’t just a small half-formed creature on the way to becoming something better, but a rich, complex, interesting, admirable human being – I have been lucky to have friendships with one or two children whose qualities made me simply ‘look up to’ them and admire them. They were people who deserved to be loved – and not just by their parents.

    No, what defines me as a paedophile isn’t my desire but my love, and that’s what keeps me happy and sane despite all the hatred society directs at me. And I’ve good reason to think that most paedophiles feel the same way.

  12. man without a name

    8th June 2014 at 16:26

    Great post by Leonard S Manowski. I am also a pedophile and attracted to young boys. I also feel a deep love and tenderness for boys. What I think is the most beautiful about boys is their happiness, playfulness and spontaneity and the light in their eyes. I would hate to know that a boy had his life ruined because of something I did to him. This is a deep, true-felt love that I have never really felt for any category of people besides young boys.

    Still there is a lot of people out there who suggest that I would happily do nasty and unspeakable things to boys if I had the chance. The truth is that there is nothing more revolting to me than using a boy as an object for my desires.

    True – I do have sexual desires, but I have no problems keeping them in check. I am able just like any other rational human being to offset my impulses and desires in order to advance the well-being of other human beings. And the sexual feelings are mainly only an issue when I’m alone and able to obsess about them anyway. When I’m out and about with people, especially with young boys, I am overwhelmed by a deep feeling of compassion and admiration of the beautiful creatures that boys are, and the sexual feelings become but a faint echo in the dark. I love spending time with boys, learning to know them as human being and bonding with them on an emotional level.

    And I know that there is a great many pedophiles out there who feel the same way as me.

    Please try to learn and understand about us. Don’t assume we’re all like the sick bastards you hear about from time to other in media. And please understand that not all child molesters are pedophiles either. There is a great number of child molesters who are not genuinely attracted to children but who get off on inflicting pain and/or using power against defenseless beings.

  13. man

    11th June 2014 at 20:57

    Thought-provoking, but ultimately fruitless. When do we realise that someone is a paedophile? When their urges translate into action, and cause harm to a non-consenting minor. In most other cases, we don’t actually know who’s a paedophile and who’s not.

    Should we stop stigmatising child abuser? Even the author agrees that’s unnecessary.
    So what is this article seeking to change? I’m not sure.

  14. Anonymous

    12th June 2014 at 16:55

    man, you’re simply wrong. Most paedophiles don’t break the law. Most ‘child abuse’ consists of neglect or violence or emotional abuse.

    Sexual abuse is the least prevalent form of abuse yet it’s what the prurience of the public focuses on almost exclusively.

    (http://www.nspcc.org.uk/Inform/research/statistics/prevalence_and_incidence_of_child_abuse_and_neglect_wda48740.html)

  15. Leonard S Manowski

    13th June 2014 at 16:50

    If you want to read a paedophile’s perspective on his condition there’s an interesting, and quite startling, article here :

    http://pastebin.com/GPxT0zCv

  16. Tom

    14th June 2014 at 00:06

  17. rk

    17th June 2014 at 20:57

    Here are some scientific articles on stigma, especially in relation to these witches

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19317611.2013.795921#.U6CZCxVX-uY

    http://stigmaj.org/article/view/46

    and this one especially (you can dowload the entire pdf, Very interesting) – http://summit.sfu.ca/item/13798

  18. Ryan O'Brien

    21st June 2014 at 15:38

    The person who wrote ‘What?’ can retire in the evening wearing their SS slippers and night robe and fall to sleep in front of the portrait of Adolf, listening to Horst Wessel (if that is possible), and dream of what it would’ve been like if the Nazis had won the war. I ask that you really take a long hard look in the mirror. What are you afraid of?

    For you to think this topic merits such thoughts and justification of blind hatred and bigotry suggests to me that you have as many problems, if not more, than that of SOME paedophiles. I think you are too afraid to look at this topic in any rational way because it would mean that you would have to address things in detail, and you don’t care enough about the welfare of children to do this. If you did, you would accept that the only way humanity is going to ever deal with paedophilia is to understand it in it’s entirety, and you are not going to be able to achieve that by trying to create an environment in which we can’t openly discuss this with compassion, empathy and rationality. It is far easier to label everyone as the same and as bad as one another than it is for you to acknowledge that everyone is different.

    Let us not conflate paedophilia with child sexual abuse, for I fear this is what you have done, as do many. People who abuse children can do so for many reasons, and many are NOT paedophiles and do so out of some sadistic nature etc. Minor Attracted Persons (MAP) need help and support to help them NOT to offend. There is no point in trying to close the stable door after the horse has bolted. Why wait for people TO offend when you could be helping them not to? And yet what you don’t understand is that we are ALL responsible for protecting children, and that includes MAPs. If a MAP has issues involving pornography or inappropriate thoughts and feelings, what options do they have available to them, and where do they go for help? The only meaningful places for MAPs to go for help and support are in Holland and Germany, but hopefully this will change in the UK too.

    What options are we giving to people who are attracted to children? MAPs can’t ‘come out’ and talk about things as it would be crazy for them to do, their life would arguably be destroyed. Let us be clear here : CSA is wrong. Child pornography is wrong. Paedophilia on the other hand is a thought and a feeling. A part of someone. Are we now living in a time when it actually IS a crime to have one such thought or feeling? Really? Paedophilia is NOT illegal. How could it be? However, acting on paedophillic thoughts and feelings IS. Are we ready to try and accept this yet?

    The statistics of CSA and pornography crimes show that the way we are dealing with this is not working. Convictions for child pornography are 1 in 15 and only recently CEOP stated how CP is now an epidemic problem, so this figure is liable to be conservative. 1 in 4 underage girls are victims of CSA and a lot of abuse never comes to light. And for some strange reason the penny hasn’t quite dropped. The only way, the ONLY way is to offer support, online and ‘IRL’ to MAPs and to create a supportive and welcoming environment so that a person with paedophillic tendencies can manage their behaviour. If you force paedophiles to live in the shadows they’ll largely continue to do whatever they like and for the most part get away with it.

  19. Sean

    22nd June 2014 at 11:05

    Thanks for this timely article. I’ll join with the general contempt for ‘What?’ and compare the sentiment of that post with the the uniquely loathsome combination of sanctimony, sadism and cowardice with which vigilante groups in Russia ‘hunt’ gays and gay rights supporters.

    A healthy society protects it’s children, it does not exploit its protective instincts as a stalking horse for hate speech or deploy them in service of cynical political ends.

  20. Anonymous

    22nd June 2014 at 17:40

    The author is beginning to experience an awakening, but will not see the light until he sees that the problem is not so called pedophiles but those who fear them. The greatest constituency for pedophilia is children who love adults at the same rate that other adults love adults. Denying children their sexual rights is the real child abuse.

    A truly civilized society should know how to fulfill the needs of all its citizens. But the adults who now unfortunately run the store so fear children that they must perform a curious pirouette and blame that adults.

    Those adults who commit genuine acts of rape do so because in the absence of sane peaceful structures mechanisms, feel that rape is the only way to express their need. Change the laws and these horrible crimes will dwindle to the extent possible for our dysfunctional species.

  21. Dani Gearbench

    23rd June 2014 at 10:37

    Great article!

    You may be interested in my own writing on paedophilia and ephebophilia at http://dani.gearbench.com

  22. John Doe

    23rd June 2014 at 18:05

    A mistake in the article: most of paedophiles were not abused in childhood.
    Mistakes in the comments: paedophiles do differ in brain structure according to dr. Cantor researches. Something like parental and sexual needs are cross-wired. Homosexuals and lesbians differ too, interestingly in different ways.
    And by definition paedophiles are those who _sexually_ attracted to children, no matter how empathic or selfish they are. Since most people are not bad persons i guess most paedophiles are too but bad persons also exist.
    Also i disagree with today’s puritanical and hateful propaganda and newspeak used: that any sexual contact with kids is rape and necessarily harmful, that romantic feelings and romantic behavior toward kids is grooming with the only goal to have sex, etc. It all ignores science and known facts. That does not necessarily mean that it should be legalized though due to high risk of mistreatment, non-pedophile opportunists, etc. But the whole topic is obviously overheated and hate is irrational.
    Also “what?” poster mentioned other questionable topics from today’s propaganda like child porn consumption and informed consent.
    To support child porn market you have to pay for it, but how non-commercial consumption differ from consumption of other shocking content from the internet (e.g. violence with minors involved), how it is more dangerous, etc. And why banning consumption of some types of information is considered as a good thing while it makes any independent research about the subject illegal. E.g. when people talk about child porn they are talking about the subject nobody has right to see and hardly many of them know that even nudism or erotic is often labeled and prosecuted as child porn. Though in Britain even possession of “obscene porn” is forbidden (i guess you can technically be prosecuted for possession of internet meme “two girls 1 cup”) and extremist literature too (no need to know how bombs work for a law-abiding person, isn’t ot?).
    And informed consent – what is it? Why simple knowing that something enjoyable/not enjoyable is not enough to consent?
    While religious education does not require consent. Even painful circumcision does not require consent.
    I guess that if actions are enjoyable then the most harm is done by further social indoctrination and hence real abuse is done by those who persuade people that they were used, are victims and should feel bad. Again, i am not sure if such actions should be legal but current level of dogmatism draws all such cases as violent rape (while most are not), all children as victims (while it cannot be harmful in all cases) and all paedophiles as monsters (while many of them are not even violent).
    Btw interestingly zoophiles are prosecuted too. And with the same argument: informed consent. Like if it has any sense to use it regarding to animals. Like if cat owners ask consent when castrate their cats. Or animals give consent to appear cooked on the table, Why sex with animals is considered as necessarily violence then? The problem is that society still monitors anything that relates to sex much closer than anything also. And ideals that opposed to sexual repression and that were shared by LGBT-like organisations decades ago now are forgotten and worked only for gays and lesbians. I am afraid that it may be not forever and sexual repression can turn against them again in 50-100 yrs.
    If you would like to enlighten me about what is informed consent i am not informed enough to understand please email me: fvckoffallah [at] gmail com

  23. :(

    7th July 2014 at 05:47

    Professor Tromovitch and the psychologist Bruce Rind (of Temple University) in 1998 published an article written together with based on a peer-reviewed meta-analysis of 59 studies which used the self-reported experiences of child sexual contact with adults by 35,703 college students. A substantial percentage of the people in this study did not report any harmful effects of (non-coercive) sexual experiences (as opposed to victims of coercion), and a substantial minority even stated these intergenerational sexual contacts and relationships had a positive effect on their life. This article was published in the Psychological Bulletin, the prestigious, official journal of the American Psychological Association (APA).

    Predictably, this caused a storm in the mass media and in the political elite. Apparently for the first time in US history, both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate condemned this scientific paper and threatened to withdraw funding from the APA, so the APA apologised for publishing it. 12 past and present presidents of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex sharply protested against the APA’s response to the public and political pressure surrounding the study, stating that it “cast a chill on all such research”. The American Association for the Advancement of Science refused APA’s request to review the study, stating they saw “no reason to second-guess the process of peer review used by the APA journal in its decision to publish” and that they “saw no clear evidence of improper application of methodology or other questionable practices on the part of the article’s authors”.

    More recently, the Harvard lecturer Susan Clancy came to the similar conclusions in her book “The Trauma Myth”.

    Much more pleasurable to dehumanise all the paedos regardless of their behaviour, to cage them or drive them to suicide. As Felix Guattari wrote (see the book “A Shock to Thought: Expression After Deleuze and Guattari”), there is a certain “Jewishness” about paedophiles which provokes a “racist” reaction.

  24. :(

    7th July 2014 at 05:49

    Because of the social segregation of adults, especially male adults, from children, paedophilia is seen simply as sexual, but it is often also an emotional attraction. It is such a taboo rejection of traditional male roles to identify with and/or be strongly emotionally attracted to children and their personality. Dr Goldberg and Okami of (Okami, P. & Goldberg, A. (1992). “Personality Correlates of Pedophilia: Are They Reliable Indicators?,” Journal of Sex Research, 29(3), 297-328. UCLA studied the personality correlates of paedophiles which show that, apart from suffering from far higher levels of loneliness and depression than the rest of the population, many paedophiles were particularly sensitive and attracted to the warm, open and accepting personalities of children.

    These statements by a number of men on a psychology forum illustrate this common phenomenon which is completely ignored by the mass media:

    “I understand exactly what you mean. A lot of men who have expressed an attraction to little girls (including myself) have noted the same experiences. It’s not a sexual attraction per se, and as you said, we don’t even think about sex or porn when we are with them. In fact, the opposite, we only think about all the ideals and desires of a pure, innocent, loving relationship. I think the reason is many young girls embody that sort of “state” we wish to be in and have in our lives. We’re refreshed by their innocent minds, warm hearts, honest words, wonder, sweetness of everything good about life and about humanity (when these days we seem to have less faith in humanity). Little kids (in this case girls), just seem to exude the aura of everything beautiful and desirable in pure and unadulterated ways. So no matter the age, who couldn’t be attracted to someone who exudes this? Now in my case, I can’t deny there isn’t sexual attraction, but I don’t think about having sex or anything of that sort. It’s just the embedded physical affectionate intimacy every person human longs for….simply to have “contact”. Holding my hand, nudging my arm, putting her head on my shoulder, a hug, all the usual things in a healthy physical relationship, and those things rolled into one, just seem to wipe away all the pains, worries, negativity of life. Like an angel, she makes you believe again, and believe that you can accomplish and do anything in life. She makes you courageous, bold, and confident to tackle all of life’s problems and obstacles it sends your way. She fills your heart, mind, and soul with HOPE. Hope for a better life, a better future, for a love. Yes, if she invokes this in you, it is most definitely possible to be intrigued by an 8 year old adorable attractive little girl!
    ===========================
    Yes, little girls can do this to you. It’s common for me to experience romantic longing for girls without sexual arousal, and in many cases like this I do not want to have sex with them, but to share intimacy instead. Now in my case the type of intimacy I would like from them is still viewed as inappropriate between an adult and a child.

    =============================
    It seems perfectly reasonable to me. With me, I am incapable of sexual attraction to a real person unless I know them well and we’ve spent time together. When I see a cute girl, my first thoughts are “I wish I could hold her”, never “I wish I could see her naked”. Perhaps it is the same with you.

    ============================
    There is this girl that I have a big crush on. She’s about 8, I’m 29. I tried to fantasize about her sexually, like coital, but I just can’t get an erection. I just want to play games with her, hug her, watch movies with her, and just stare at her beauty. I also want to share intimacy with her. That intimacy would also be considered inappropriate.

    ========
    confusedperson812:
    Children in a nutshell:

    “At the most, i consider children superior than me. At the least i consider them equal to me. There is no way around it. I admire them. I admire them because they are my favorite age. I admire them because they wear cool clothes and have cool hair, faces, and bodies. I admire them because they are more creative than me, more active than me, more humble than me, more intelligent than me. They can read me, and i like it. I like being understood by them. I like being their playmate or older friend. I also don’t mind helping them with homework, giving of my time and experiences to them, and also listening to their dreams, hopes, desires, fantasies, and experiences. In fact, i consider it an honor.

    I don’t think it is possible for me to ever think of a child less than me.

    But at the end of the day, even if i admire a child, which i cannot change, society still will not accept it, even though i am trying like a train limit my desires of love to simple admiration. I thought admiration of children was good and wholesome. Come to find out, people do not admire children. They think themselves a tutor or authoritative figure over them. It is not physically possible for me to think that way. I give them the respect i see in them. If they go too far, i will tell them and sometimes may prevent them, but otherwise they are equal to me.

    The funny thing is when i do work with children, their parents always comment on how they love me for being the child’s playmate and example for them. Funny huh? Because they don’t see admiration for them, but that is the very thing which ties me to them through respect for them and enjoyment of their company more than anything.

    ——————————-

    Attacks in a nutshell:

    There are two types of attacks i experience

    1 – the self pity of everyday being reminded i have this condition for the rest of my life and that even if i think it is wrong, my body thinks otherwise, and society would celebrate my death. It reminds me that all my associations are superficial and concealed in the fact that they think i am normal. It reminds me that even if i succeed for 20 years working with children that only one mistake will cause my downfall.

    2 – the sheer longing to just be in a child’s presence

    When movies depict adults interacting with children, or people tell sweet and meaningful stories about their children i experience a series of emotions at once:

    Fear – that i have this condition
    Love – that i love them so much
    Jealousy – that i do not have a child figure in my life

    Sometimes this makes me have to go on long long walks and get away from it all. It tears at my soul in three different directions making me sick to my stomach, disoriented, and confused.

    One remedy i found was rushing home, pretending my pillow was a child, hugging it, crying, and falling asleep beside it. When i woke up, my longing attack was gone.”

    And here is the kind of real-life story that won’t get reported in the British media:

    Leahy, Terry (1994). “Taking up a Position: Discourses of Femininity and Adolescence in the Context of Man/Girl Relationships,” Gender & Society, 8(1), 48-72.

    “This article is based on a small-scale interview study (N = 19) of the experiences of girls who were or had been in sexual relationships with adults. It is confined to relationships that were considered by the young parties to have been voluntary and, in general, positive. […] The interviewees wanted to make their positive experiences of such relationships public in view of the widespread opinion that all such events are harmful to the younger parties involved. The interviews were taped and transcribed. […]

    Wendy met Paul when she was 12 years old. He was in his mid-20s. […
    From her account there is little doubt that Paul was in love with Wendy and showed this affection by his emotional support and understanding of her emotional needs at the time. A statement that stands as a summary of their relationship is the following:

    He was just really … he was much more sensitive than most people I’ve known. He’s much more concerned. He just had … the cup runneth over with love and affection. He was really attentive all the time and that sort of attention I’ve not had from, really from anybody. Just the depth of sensitivity and asking me how I felt about things all the time. […]

    Wendy’s account fits this theme; she claims that Paul and his friends encouraged her to see herself as capable of undertaking university study and that this had a major impact on her life. […]

    Wendy and Paul’s sexual relationship did not include penetration but was confined to tongue kissing and petting. […] In her account, Wendy describes Paul’s behavior in these terms:

    I mean he did want to. He wanted to be sexual, he wanted to be physically close and I felt that. I remember rubbing against him when he had a hard on and things like that but most of the time it felt like he just wanted to be really close and warm. … We used to cuddle a lot and kiss and things. It got vaguely sexual for a while. Tongue kissing … a great wet beard. He was really really really gentle. More gentle than I think anyone else I’ve ever known as far as that goes. He was obviously being really careful. […]
    At one point she comments on the feeling of protection she felt when Paul carried her in his arms. […]
    Whereas conservative romantic texts require that the male leads and the female follows, Wendy suggests that she prized and insisted on an equality of authority in relationship. She did not hesitate to oppose Paul. […]
    Bobbie, the last interviewee in this set of narratives, was introduced to her uncle when she was 11. […] Bobbie has no doubts about her uncle’s genuine fondness for her, and indicates a concern for her on his part which is consonant with the model of romance offered by conservative romantic texts:
    It was so caring and considerate, I s’pose, which most adult sexual relations aren’t because there’s more of an equal, supposedly there’s more of an equal power base so you don’t … I’ve never found that sort of catering for again but I treasure having been, not nurtured, but having been cared for that much and eased into it slowly and all those sorts of things. […]
    The experiences I had with an uncle whom I liked a lot and with whom I had a very important intellectual relationship were really important in terms of the development of my sexuality, like in terms of educating me basically.”

    (for more Fascinating studies see this website – http://pastebin.com/rtwHRvbW)

  25. Dave

    14th July 2014 at 23:21

    Society’s reaction to paedophilia is morally bankrupt foolery.
    We live in a time when the law is unable to even define the legalities of child images, has 100% equated anyone with this “disorder” to be criminals, and then we have the flies on the cow-pat cake: the legal knife-rape of boys. The hysteria has nothing to do with child protection, and everything to do with sexual disgust and the need for monsters and scapegoats.

  26. Anonymous

    22nd July 2014 at 10:10

    Interesting… it looks as though someone has pulled up and recycled an article from a half-century ago about the pitiable homosexual and how he’s got a “disorder” but it’s “not a crime.”

    Not very long ago indeed it was gay men who had “been tacitly agreed to be a unique group in society whom it is right to hate, to hurt, to hunt.” And it would have been a very bold statement at that time to suggest that “Indeed, we should celebrate those who, despite their sexual orientation […], resist their desires and live difficult, virtuous lives.” Thankfully there has been a significant shift in many societies around the world, and that love is often no longer seen as something tragic or to be pitied, nor as a “disorder” to be cured, but simply as love.

    How we treat paedophilia is ugly. It is not, however, without precedent.

  27. Casimir

    6th March 2015 at 21:55

    All sexualities deserve compassion and a proper hearing in the press, but a paederast is an adult male who loves an adolescent boy, whereas a paedophile is attracted to prepubescent children.

    Paederasty is the dominant historical form acquired by male love, a mutually felt yet partially separate equality of need between an adult male and an adolescent boy. If in turn enthused by his beauty and daring excitement upon the cusp of sexual, emotional and intellectual ripeness, the elder provides for formative ground under the feet of his beloved as he conducts himself toward adulthood.

    It is inseparable from the greatest flourishing of Western culture, by which I mean especially Classical Athens and the Italian Renaissance.

    Don’t be taken in by the propaganda: the vast majority of cases of ‘child abuse’ are beneficial to both participants, but ‘victims’ are forced to testify or else have their minds warped, and most historical accusations are just made up for money. Yes, in such relationships the boy is the centre, often amounting to really a kind of worship, and no boylover, by definition, could possibly harm a boy. They just love them too much !

    Luckily, there is a book called “Alexander’s Choice”, reviewed positively by the Daily Mail and the London Review of Books. Set at Eton, it goes into some detail, clearly well-researched, concerning, in the author’s words, “the inner dynamics” of such relationships.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alexanders-Choice-Edmund-Marlowe/dp/1481222112

  28. Casade

    13th August 2015 at 18:59

    That you have chosen not to engage in a populist ‘lynch them all’ mentality does you much credit however as a hebephile I’ve two comments:

    1) Pedophilia, Hebephilia, Ephebophilia are forms of sexual orientation not a disorder. The ‘disorder/peversion’ is a social construct.

    2) Weak self-concept? Poor social skills? Low-self esteem? These are consequents and not determinants. How much self esteem and belief in your own essential goodness do you need not to go and kill yourself – which is what the vast proportion of society would have you do? How much self-esteem do you need to to live your life lovingly and with courage whilst being constantly reminded that you are the vilest thing on earth?

    More than average I think its fair to say.

    Thank you for stimulating a debate though…. 🙂

  29. Samaritan

    9th October 2015 at 20:30

    A refreshing article. This woman discusses the suffering of pedophiles in a truly Christ-like way –

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