Although some nodes on e2 seem to prefer just joking the matter
away, the fact is ignored that there are quite a lot of people out there who
are pedophiles or have pedophile tendencies. This writeup is not for them.
This writeup is for those of you who are curious about what pedophilia is, and
it tries to give some insight into why someone can be a pedophile.
I do realize that this writeup can be a bit "in the face" to some,
and I strongly encourage someone to write a writeup that is the opposite of
this one. The purpose of this WU is purely to see things from a fresh perspective
How many people are pedophiles?
It is hard to put a number on something like this. Think about it this way:
Very many homosexuals have a hard time "coming out of the closet",
or admitting they are homosexual, even though statistically as many as 1/7
may have homosexual or bisexual tendencies.
In addition to this, people are naturally protective of children. Because
pedophilia is often connected with child abuse, very few people will admit
to being pedophiles.
So, what's so great about shagging kids?
Unfortunately, most sexual preferences that are not "normal" (i.e.
everything other than heterosexuality) is met with a great deal of skepticism
and prejudice. That is all right, it is a natural part of being human. However,
if you are not willing to be open-minded about sexual preferences (including
pedophilia), you might as well go read something else.
So what is pedophilia is all about?
Unfortunately (for the sake of this node) I am not a pedophile, and I cannot
give a firsthand experience / story. I have done some research, however, and
most of the things in this writeup will be more or less a regurgitation
of the thoughts and ideas I have come across. If anyone knows that I have
made any mistakes or omissions, please do contact me, so I can correct.
Pedophilia is a controversial topic, a topic which most people have some
kind of opinion about. However, this opinion is often based on hate-propaganda
served by the media. I am not condoning (or denouncing,
for that matter) pedophilia , but one must never forget where information
comes from. The media have an agenda; Even though the media likes to project
an image of the illusion that everything they do is for the enlightenment
of the public, this is not always true. The media (in particular tabloid
media) wants to sell their programs/newspapers. To do this, controversial
issues tend to be seen from a politically correct viewpoint. Luckily, E2
is not such an institution, so I will try to let you see the other
side of pedophilia.
Couldn't quite figure out where to fit this in, but:
Another thing that makes pedophilia so controversial, is the name of the "crime";
Even if a young person consents to having a sexual relationship with someone
older, the crime is labeled"statutory rape". Rape has a very strong
negative connotation, even though the crime might be a formality.
Think back a few years. You are 12-15 years old, and are just discovering
that there is such a thing as sex. Puberty is a time of insecurity and big
changes. For some, these changes are bigger than for others (if you, for example,
are gay, you know what I mean). Imagine discovering that your
main "thing" isn't boys or girls of your own age. Imagine that
your "thing" is other young people. More in particular; People younger
than you, say children aged 9-15. The age difference isn't all that big,
and nobody really cares. However, as the years pass by, your preference stays
at children aged 9-15. That's what's called a problem.
Seen from this perspective, pedophilia is suddenly something very different
than your average child molester So, what happens if you are a pedophile,
and the only information you get about it is the legal cases that show up
in the media every now and then, about child molesters?
There have been very few (if any) truly objective studies or research
done on pedophilia. Reasons for there being no objective reports are:
- Emotional language. Words like abuse, exploitation, perpetrator,
victim, and survivor are common.
- Failure to refer to studies that disagree. Most studies refer only
to studies that agree on the same conclusion.
- Leading questions. Subjects are asked questions in a way that implies
that sex is bad or harmful.
- Structural limitations. Studies may be structured so that there is
no room for reporting positive sexual experiences.
- All symptoms blamed on sexual abuse. Even symptoms that appeared
prior to the sexual abuse or only appeared after disclosure are ascribed to
the sexual abuse. The psychological effects of disclosure, police investigation,
etc. are not discussed.
- Sample not representative. Many studies are carried out on psychiatric
patients who, of course, will show psychiatric symptoms, whether sex-abused
- Missing control group. Many studies fail to compare with non-abused
- Pooling together dissimilar events. Many studies use a very broad
definition of sexual abuse, including very dissimilar events. This tends to
exaggerate the harmful effects of the less severe forms of abuse, and at the
same time dilute the effects of the most severe forms of abuse.
- Failing to isolate significant parameters. Certain parameters are
known to have a large effect on the psychological outcome of a sexual encounter.
These include the use of force, the sex of the child, and whether the child
is related to the perpetrator. Failure to isolate these parameters tend to
muddle the results.
- Failure to control for confounding variables. Many of the sexually
abused children investigated are also victims of broken families,
physical abuse, and neglect. Ascribing all psychological symptoms to the
sexual abuse, rather than to the other problems experienced by the child,
is of course very dubious. In fact, it has been shown that most of the observed
symptoms can better be explained by the family background than by the sexual
abuse, and in most studies the effects of sexual abuse fails to be significant
when family background is controlled for.
Is pedophilia violent?
The politically correct opinion/view is that "pedophilia == child
abuse". However, this is (at best) incorrect. When scientists refer to
"heterosexual" intercourse, they do not categorize it as a form
of rape. The same goes for pedophilia.
A study written by a Mr. C.K Li (Cambridge University,
Institute of Criminology) did a study on pedophilia. From his interviews
he concluded that "many pedophile are truly interested in the child's
world and that affection and a loving relationship represent their ultimate
ideal, not just sexual gratification"
It might be about love
If you ever speak to a pedophile (chances are you won't, because the way
things are today), chances are that you get a quite different picture of pedophilia,
namely that there are two different sides to it, namely sexual abuse of
children and genuine love of children.
- Sexual Abuse: The child feels that it is impossible to withdraw from
the sexual activity. The child wants it to stop, but the adult obstructs
this. Abuse of power and other intimidation makes abuse over a long period
- Pedophilia: The child can withdraw at any moment according to his/her
desire. The adult respects the child's wish and does not blame the child for
- Sexual Abuse: The lust of the adult is the only criterion. The erotic
needs of the child are ignored. The child is a passive partner and a sex
- Pedophilia: Interplay in personal and (perhaps) sexual level. The
sexual activity, if any, is geared to the child's psycho-sexual level. The
adult joins the child in his/her sexuality.
- Sexual Abuse: Secrecy is enforced. The feelings of shame of the
child are exploited. If the sexual activity comes out, the child is made
to feel guilty, even though in fact being unwilling the sexual activity.
- Pedophilia: Trying to be as open as is possible in morality and environment.
Well-being is verbally and non-verbally expressed to each other during the
- Sexual Abuse: Oppressive atmosphere, no feelings of safety and
- Pedophilia: One aims at an atmosphere which is as safe as possible.
- Sexual Abuse: The relationship is not equivalent. In the respect
of upbringing or education, there is repression, authority or manipulation.
- Pedophilia: The aim is to create an equal partnership. In the case
of a continued relation it develops to friendship.
- Sexual Abuse: The adult is not interested in the child as a person,
at the most as an occasional sex object.
- Pedophilia:The adult expresses interest in the child's world. There
is common ground, even if the contact is only a single event.
- Sexual Abuse: There is little common ground. The child is consciously
isolated from others, also from peers. The adult lays a claim to the child.
- Pedophilia: There is a space for a youth culture and contact with
others. Interests are shared.
- Sexual Abuse: No open communication; all emotional expression is
- Pedophilia: The aim is more space to express emotions. Power is balanced.
Child and adult share the power.
- Sexual Abuse: In institutions love and attention are sparse; in
these cases there is a greater chance that the children will become fixated
on sexuality by the adults
- Pedophilia: The adult has a real interest in the sexual feelings
of the child. He wishes to join at the child's level. The relationship is
a valuable supplement to the child's life.
- Sexual Abuse: The child has feelings of fear and aversion. One can
see the child is asking for help.
- Pedophilia: Happy feelings are prevalent. Sometimes, however, the
child feels unease because of the generally accepted morals. Yet the child
tries to express positive feelings to the environment.
As you can see, the views from the two perspectives (the one of the pedophile,
and the other being the view of pretty much the rest of the world) vary
wildly. Without speculating too much about who is "right" (the
"truth" can only be found by seeing things from at least two angles),
it has to be pointed out that writing either view off as delusion is probably
The hunt for the child abuser
(or: the modern witch hunt)
The common belief that child sexual abuse is everywhere has led to many grotesque
efforts to uncover the hidden abuse, and many false accusations. In 1983
in California, a psychotic mother noticed that her three-year old son's
anal area was reddened and she became obsessed with the thought that he had
been sodomized by a teacher at the preschool. The boy denied this, but after
repeated questioning, the boy said that the teacher took his temperature.
Convinced that the 'thermometer' was indeed a penis, the mother called the
police. The police sent letters to two hundred families whose children currently
or previously attended the preschool.
All children initially denied being abused, but after repeated questioning
by parents, therapists and police under a considerable pressure to disclose
sexual abuse, many of the children told stories that became more and more
grotesque. They told about animals being tortured and slaughtered and
children being kidnapped, abused and mutilated in graveyards, hot air balloons,
helicopters, and dungeons under the preschool. As the accusations spread during
1984, seven men and women were imprisoned, including an old wheelchair-bound
grandma, and seven preschools were closed.
Police and parents were digging for several years without finding any dungeons.
No children had ever been missing, there were no adult witnesses, and no physical
evidence of anything unusual. Rather than disbelieving these increasingly
bizarre stories, the psychologists came up with the idea that the children
had been abused by a satanic cult. It took seven years and many expensive
trials before all charges were finally dismissed for lack of evidence.
A final point
Although this writeup is by and large "in favor" of Pedophilia,
it was not written to be. The main point against pedophilia has always been
(and is still) that children are not independent and mature enough to
make choices about love and sexuality. I strongly agree. However:
--- Pedophilia is not per definition child abuse ---
*) Danish Pedophile Association, http://www.danpedo.dk/
update: There have been some strong responses to this posting,
which is great - it means I've made people think. In any case: I very strongly
appreciate the wu by Segnbora-t that follows this one - it puts my
writeup into balance, by showing both sides of this very difficult topic.