Rationalization:

“… a rational bolstering up of a belief held on irrational grounds […] When our desires lead us to believe something, our minds construct a rational set of reasons for supposing that belief to be true. The belief does not, however, follow from the reasons; the reasons follow from the belief.”
Straight & Crooked Thinking’ – R.H. Thouless


The accusation of ‘rationalization’ is frequently levelled against paedophiles advocating children’s sexual rights. Such accusations can be explicit:

[G]o to one of the pro-contacter boards and read the posts of the people there who are arguing for legalization of adult-child sex. It is chock full of just these kinds of rationalizations.
Todd Nickerson

or implied:

Because of [..] the obvious selfish nature of the pro-contacters’ ultimate goal
Todd Nickerson

An accusation of rationalization can leave you feeling that your opponent has a ‘get out of jail free card’ chance_get_out_of_jail_free_card_by_jdwinkerman-d7kx1pxwith which, on your presenting conclusive evidence that two plus two does in fact equal four, they can undermine your credibility by suggesting that you have an interest in two plus two equaling four, and thus avoid having to actually address the arguments you are putting forwards.

But the hardest pill to swallow is that someone who claims that I wouldn’t be in favour of children’s sexual rights if I weren’t a paedophile is almost certainly correct: if I’d been born an ordinary, heterosexual teleiophile it’s unlikely that I’d have any knowledge or ideas on these issues beyond that which I’d have absorbed from the media and culture, and my opinions about paedophilia and child sexuality would almost certainly fall within the range of opinions sanctioned by society. Of course the same can also be said for Virpeds: if they hadn’t been born paedophiles it’s also very unlikely that they would have grown up to be a supporter of the Virped position.

The pros and cons of Rationalization

An accusation of rationalization is essentially an ad hominem attack: the focus of its attack is the person making the argument rather the argument itself. However, books on logic and debating consistently classify rationalization alongside ad-hominems as a form of fallacy.

This means that whilst it is unacceptable to point out that your opponent is a congenital liar (an ad-hominem attack) it is acceptable to suggest that they have an interest in their stance being true (a rationalization). This suggests that accusations of rationalization are just a permissible form of ad-hominem.

Even proving conclusively that an opponent has a personal stake in the arguments he’s making does not invalidate, or even weaken, the position they are arguing for: it is perfectly possible to argue something out of self-interest and be correct: many English slave owners actually supported the 1833 Abolition of Slavery Act because domestic manufacturing was becoming more lucrative than their plantations, and the huge compensation that parliament was proposing to pay slave owners for loss of their property would allow them to cash in a failing resource and invest in that increasingly lucrative domestic industry – indeed the mills of the North of England were built on the proceeds of this compensation.

Why then are accusations of rationalization considered valid whereas ad-hominems are not?

In “Straight & Crooked Thinking” Thouless goes on to say about rationalization:

[…]we [must not] make the foolish mistake of supposing that we can settle controversies by […] labelling their arguments ‘rationalization’. Some people seem to think that it is a sufficient argument against socialism to say that it is based on envy of those without possessions for those with, and that its intellectual defence is just a rationalization of this envy. This is no more reasonable than the opposite argument that conservatism is merely based on the determination of the wealthy to hang on to what they have got, and that its intellectual defence is simply a rationalization of this determination […] But having made all allowances for the strength of whichever of these prejudices our own circumstances have given us, the question remains – which is the better system? That question we cannot settle by discussing prejudices of our opponents. A true opinion as well as a false one may owe much of its strength to irrational motives.”

From this we can take that the main value of an alertness to rationalization is a reflexive one: the person whose interests we are in the best position to know and whom we are best qualified to accuse of rationalization is, of course, ourself. An alertness to rationalization is primarily a tool for sorting out our own thinking rather than that of others.

We can suspect an opponent of rationalizing and use that suspicion to increase our alertness to any deceptions, fallacies and crooked thinking in his arguments, but to actually accuse someone of rationalization amounts to our saying “I suspect that there’s something wrong in your argument because you have a clear interest in making that argument, but I can’t say what those flaws are” – in short: an admission of defeat.

There are also benefits to rationalization:

People come to ideas in different ways: most ideas are accessed unconsciously through the prevailing culture and people hold them in a kind of ‘default’ way; some ideas are ‘inherited’ (religion), others can arise out of a perception of one’s self interest (politics). However some ideas are not accessible from the general culture and can only be accessed by people who already have a strong interest in the issues. Genuine knowledge or insight concerning paedophilia is a prime example of this.

A stake in an issue, which might lead to rationalization, is what can also make one sufficiently interested in that issue to dig beyond common knowledge and the common pool of ideas. Generally those who have an interest in an issue will simply know more and care more about that issue.

Rationalisation may give rise to false arguments more often than disinterestedness but this is not necessarily a bad thing – humans and culture are machines for generating ideas. They are also machines for evaluating and sorting them, and one could view the progress of history, culture, reason and science as a process of sorting the good ideas from the bad.

Indeed the process of sorting out good and bad ideas is a dialectic and can equally benefit both sides in an argument: though I disagree with many of the statements which anti-choicers make for the ears and eyes of those whose ‘tolerance’ they seek, those debates I have had with them ‘behind the scenes’ – when they haven’t had to self-censor – have been interesting and challenging and obliged me to develop and refine my ideas.

If radical, difficult , unpopular or highly counter-cultural ideas are to be explored and evaluated and introduced to society one must accept that those who take the first, pioneer steps into these difficult areas are often going to be individuals who have had no choice but to confront these issues through having a personal involvement in them, and thus an interest. The first people to think that homosexuality should be legal and not stigmatized were, of course, homosexuals; it took much longer for the disinterested general population to catch up.

Experience vs Rationalization

Experiences are a product of one’s situation and circumstances and will therefore tend to result in biases that align with one’s interests.

A rich man will better understand and be more aware of the problems of the wealthy than a poor person, and a poor person will better understand and be more aware of the problems of poverty than the a rich man. It should not surprise us if the rich man takes a stance against, say, inheritance tax and wealth redistribution and the poor person takes a stance in favour of them.

However this is not the same thing as Rationalization, but is rather a result of an unbalanced accumulation of evidence, ideas, experience and emotions. And despite those experiences being partial both the rich man and the poor man will bring a great deal of knowledge, experience and insights to any debates on these issues.

To automatically dismiss the experiences and insights of a rich person or a poor person in a debate over wealth redistribution, on the grounds that their opinions, if they align with their apparent interests, could be ‘rationalizationswould be to greatly impoverish the debate, and to do those two participants a disfavour. Those people who are most deeply implicated in an issue may have a stronger perception of their self-interest than someone who has no stake in it, but they also likely to care enough about the issues to do the necessary book-work, foot-work and brain-work.

Moreover there are areas of knowledge and experience which can only be accessed at great cost to the individual – a cost that disinterested participants in the debate could, or would, never willingly pay themselves. Paedophilia is one of those areas: there is a whole raft of knowledge and experience that a non-paedophile simply could never access.

This is why I think Ethan Edwards is profoundly mistaken when he writes the following:

[P]edophiles have no special knowledge of what is good or bad for children
Ethan Edwards

[T]he majority of vocal pedophiles online think adult-child sex should be OK, and they have an apparent selfish interest in that conclusion […] It is just not plausible that these pedophiles understand the issue better than everyone else.
Ethan Edwards

It is frighteningly easy for someone to maintain that child sexuality doesn’t exist in a society where children are shamed, punished or ‘treated’ for it, where its every manifestation is explained away as ‘curiosity’, or a result of ‘abuse’ or the observer ‘sexualising’ children’s behaviour.

Indeed society seems to have constructed a case against the existence of child sexuality which is incapable of being disproved, which is capable of dismissing all evidence to the contrary without actually considering it: a self-sustaining position akin to someone asserting that ‘bananas don’t exist. And those things that look, smell and taste like bananas aren’t really bananas at all but just convincing imitations of them’.

Given the above embargo on acknowledging its existence, who in our society, other than the paedophile, can be a positive witness to child sexuality? Who can acknowledge its manifestations without at the same time repressing it? Who won’t flinch, get flustered, or react negatively? Who won’t shame the child and make clear to it that sex is ‘bad’? Parents? Teachers? Social workers? Policemen? Psychologists?

Granted, the paedophile is certainly not an impartial observer of child sexuality, but nor are parents, teachers, judges, policemen &c, and given that the rest of society is bent on (paradoxically) both denying its existence and suppressing its every manifestation – the paedophile can bring new and challenging evidence to the table that could not come from any other source.

A paedophile who has engaged in an intimate, consensual relationship with a children may have knowledge and experiences which testify to the existence of child sexuality and to how a child can eagerly initiate and enjoy the sharing of sensuality, flourish from experiencing an equal and loving relationship with an adult, and look back on such experiences fondly when grown up.

Some will object that such knowledge and experience is inadmissible because it has been obtained illegally. But that would be to beg the question: the same objection could have been used under Apartheid of any evidence derived from experience that was favourable to inter-racial relationships. Or likewise of homosexuality before it was decriminalised.

Even someone of very limited experience, someone like myself, who has never gone beyond the boundaries of the law, can affirm that if you are not condemnatory towards a child who displays sexual, or (if you prefer) ‘proto-sexual’ behaviour, they will pick up on this and can quickly become very open in their behaviour and eager. A lot of children (especially children under the ages of 7, who haven’t fully internalised sexual shame yet) really seem to appreciate an adult who is accepting and appreciative of their sensuality and sexuality.

Clearly this is knowledge that society doesn’t want brought to the debate – hence the intensity with which anything that bears witness to child sexuality (i.e. actual relationships, erotica or porn, or even research) is suppressed.

So, yes, any arguments put forwards by a paedophile for children’s sexual rights, may be open to accusations of arising from rationalization, but one must also balance that against the probability that those arguments arose from those experiences and insights that come with being a paedophile.

Who can argue for children’s sexual rights?

[T]his issue isn’t really about the kids’ rights for the pro-contacters; it’s about their right to have sex with children. The fact that no one else but the pro-contacters are really demanding amply demonstrates that fact. If kids themselves ever start organizing en masse and clamoring for their right to have sex with adults, then I might begin to look at differently. Until that happens, no, kids cannot meaningfully consent to sex.”
Todd Nickerson

If pro-choice paedophiles have no right to argue for children’s sexual rights because they may benefit from them being granted those rights, does that also mean that a white man who loved a black woman in apartheid South Africa had no right to argue against miscegenation laws?

Where are the marches organised by children in the Sudan against female genital mutilation? in Britain against physical abuse and neglect? against male circumcision in the US? against child marriage in the Yemen? against indoctrination into institutionalised superstitions? Should we not act against these abuses because children are not organising themselves en masse against them?

I find no record of any children’s marches demanding that Gladstone raise the age of consent from 13 to 16 in his 1885 Criminal Law Amendment Act, though I expect that Todd Nickerson would nevertheless still approve of that measure.

If children were only granted those rights which they ‘clamored for’ ‘en masse‘ they would have precious few rights.

And what, in our society, would happen to a child who did ‘clamor’ ‘for their right to have sex with adults’? Such a march would be rapidly thinned-out to nothing by eager social workers and policemen waiting with their vans. And, if those children were in a relationship, what would happen to their adult lovers?

In a sense every child who has found an adult sexually interesting or desired some kind of intimacy with an adult, every child who has dreamed of being intimate with a pop star or sports idol, every child who has engaged in sexting, or posted videos of themselves on youtube acting ‘sexily’, and every child who has enjoyed an intimate relationship with an adolescent or adult, every child who is criminalised and stigmatised for being interested in sex, is protesting at the way society deprives them of their sexual rights.

Given that ‘child sexuality’ exists, and that the idea of ‘children’s sexual rights’ is therefore at least an arguable proposition, and given that children themselves are not going to independently organise a movement calling for their sexual rights – who in society, other than the paedophile, is exploring those ideas and arguing for them? Who else cares enough to do the necessary book-, foot-, mouth- and brain-work?

Conclusion

I had planned to conclude by looking at the rationalizations Virpeds and the lumpen paedophobes engage in, but to do this justice requires a full blog-essay.

I want to keep my powder dry, but I won’t be giving too much away in saying that, if pro-choicers are vulnerable to the accusation that their stance is a rationalization of their sexual desires, the most evident rationalizations of Virpeds result from their aspiration to be ‘tolerated’ and ‘accepted’ by those who oppress them. In their desire to present an ‘acceptable’ face to the world they often turn a blind eye to, and fail to follow up the implications of, much knowledge, experience, evidence and research.

I have already acknowledged that I wouldn’t be espousing a pro-choice stance if I weren’t a paedophile. However this is not in itself enough to justify an accusation of rationalization. And even if such an allegation could be proven it would not of itself be enough to undermine the arguments in favour of children’s sexual rights.

Rather such opinions emerge from an accumulation of evidence, research and experiences which are, for the time being, largely only available to paedophiles, and non-paedophiles with rare intellectual courage and integrity.

However, I am alert to the lure of rationalization and try to guard against it by engaging in discussions with those who disagree with me and who are in a good position to point out weaknesses in my argument – unfortunately those best qualified to test my ideas are notoriously reluctant to engage in discussions and are prolific in their use of ‘no-debate’ strategems – accusations of rationalization being one of them.

calvin-cartoon-on-procrastinating-and-rationalizing

60 thoughts on “Rationalization – Can Paedophiles Argue For Children’s Sexual Rights?

  1. In this article you can destroy point by point the fragile “argument” of rationalization …
    It’s a beautiful article, congratulations! Every post I read from ConsentingA̶d̶u̶l̶t̶s̶Humans makes me more grateful to have met this great site! 🙂

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  2. for now I would just like to make my first appearance here by conveying my highest admiration for the almost limpidly plain, painstaking and irresistible way in which the author makes his case above, and by announcing (gasp) that in this correspondent you now have the staunchest fan (if I might use such terms!), ready to read with relish (yipes) everything you might now ‘throw’ my way.. My commendations they really know no bounds, and I will find my voice to write regarding certain aspects-of-things of greatest concern to me as soon as possible…

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    1. Welcome to ConsentingA̶d̶u̶l̶t̶s̶Humans, Warbling J Turpitude (Can I call you ‘Warb’ for short? Or would you prefer ‘Turp’?). I look forwards to you sharing your thoughts with us – especially once the blog gets going again in a month or so’s time.

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  3. This ties in with something I have been thinking about lately.

    There’s an impressively compendious website called corpun.co.uk [edit – website is corpun.com – L.S.M.], containing factual documentation of the history and current practice of corporal punishment all over the world. (WARNING: The site contains videos of corporal punishment being carried out on kids; while these are quite legal, I avoid watching them and I would recommend others do so too. Call me paranoid, but you never do know what people are going to make trouble over.) Want info on judicial birching on the Isle of Man? Flogging in the Royal Navy? Prison beatings in Singapore? The tawse in Scottish schools? The paddle in Texas? It’s all there. I strongly suspect that the person who runs this website has a sexual interest in corporal punishment — though I could be wrong: there is a similarly compendious website on the history and current practice of capital punishment, and that’s a much less common fetish, to say the least! — and that the website is a form of dealing with this through sublimation, in the same way that writing and posting on blogs such as this is for many CLs. But that doesn’t invalidate the work he has done in gathering such an immense amount of information over twenty years, nor for that matter does it invalidate his arguments. School beatings had gone out by the time I was old enough for them, so I have no personal experience of them, but I had been against them as a matter of course. However, I find it surprisingly difficult to disagree with his argument that older pupils, say eleven or twelve and up, should be allowed to choose between a moderate, supervised beating and an alternative punishment such as a detention. The only effective argument against this that I can think of is that such a practice would have a gradual, subtle brutalising effect upon the society that used it. This may well be so, or it may not; data on it would be hard, though not impossible, to gather.

    Right now in the US, controversy rages over whether or not pre-op or no-op transsexual and transgender people should be allowed to use the bathroom appropriate to the gender they identify with. Trans activists almost universally state that their feelings have to do with identity, not anything sexual. For some of them this is the case, but for many such statements are disingenous, whether consciously or not. In Anne Lawerence’s collection of narratives of autogynephilia — a less medicalised word for this, preferred by many autogynephiles themselves, is crossdreaming — there are too many accounts of crossdreaming men and trans women who are sexually as well as emotionally thrilled by the idea or reality of being accepted as women in women’s spaces and by being obliged to urinate as women do for me to be in any doubt that for many trans women using the women’s bathroom is a sexual thing. But so what? This is all happening inside their own heads. They have a right to the privacy of their own thoughts. And a sexual desire to use the women’s bathroom doesn’t make it any less true that in many places a female-presenting, male-bodied person in a men’s bathroom is running a big risk of serious injury or even death, especially if she has been taking oestrogen for some time, as this will result in a loss of muscle mass and strength and of the ability to put on muscle through exercise with relative ease.

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    1. Oh, thanks for correcting the URL. The writer is English but I believe it’s hosted in the Netherlands in any case, as in 2002 someone complained about it to the US hoster.

      I should add that sometimes rationalisation can indeed lead people rght down the, well, rabbit hole. A crossdreaming psychiatrist, ‘Richard Novic’, who is Alice one day a week, wrote a book called Alice in Genderland: A Crossdresser Comes of Age, which is much beloved by many crossdressers and MtF trans people. The book is overflowing with benevolent sexism. Dr Novic is deeply attached to what he experiences as two selves, one a heterosexual male and one a heterosexual female, and thus he is heavily invested in believing in dichotomous stereotypes about men and women (some of which do have some truth to them, yes, but he takes it way too far). Many crossdreamers are the same, but most don’t have Novic’s intelligence, education, energy — or accommodating wife! And many women pick up on this stereotyping, much of it coming from privileged white men, or former men, like Novic, without being able to put their finger on exactly what they are picking up on, as crossdreaming is a closely-guarded secret. This, I think, is part of the root cause of ‘trans-exclusionary radical feminism’.

      I once read a comment by a GL saying that he had smiled to see a ten-year-old lie down with her legs spread as though subconsciously wanting to be mounted. Oh dear. Somebody’s been reading about the rat lordosis studies and drawing ill-informed conclusions. But, well, again, so what? Even if the age of consent had not existed at the time, I highly doubt this fellow would have tried to ‘mount’ the child without so much as a by your leave. Some people will always cherish half-baked ideas. To some extent all of us do. The point is to keep letting light and air in and keep debate and the exchange of ideas free.

      There is a certain tendency among some — by no means all! — admirers of the ancient Greek pederastic tradition to become quite misogynistic. This predates second-wave feminism. Henry de Montherlant was misogynisting away in the 1930s, Edward Perry Warren in the 1920s. Both, not entirely unrelatedly, had fascist sympathies. And it continues today: some BLs are driven by current oppression to sympathise with quite extreme views. I admit this pushes my buttons and I get worked up about it at times, but I really must try not to. It’s a symptom. Lift some of the oppression and by and large the oppressed will become more moderate.

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  4. Ethan, great to see you back in the fray! 😀

    The comparison to slavery is totally inappropriate.

    I beg to differ.

    In both cases, the subservient group are deprived of their ability to make their own life choices, with their destiny controlled by other human beings who have authority over them (in one case, based on financial investment; in another, a perceived genetic investment). In both cases, the subservient group are denied developing whatever their full potential may be, in order to adhere to a specific “place” in an arbitrary, pre-determined hierarchical chain. In both cases, the subservient group are denied political agency by not being considered full citizens of the country in which they reside, and not allowed to participate in any major decision-making, no matter how much it may impact their lives either individually or collectively. In both cases, the subservient group are in a state of enforced economic dependence to their owners. In both cases, the subservient group is only allowed to take on whatever responsibilities their owners expect of them, regardless of whatever their individual potential or capabilities may be (in one case, work around the plantation; in the other, standardized academic performance in the designated schooling system, assigned household chores). In both cases, the subservient group is only able to acquire or access whatever knowledge or information their owners allow.

    The parallels clearly outweigh any differences, and are thus very appropriate to make.

    Parents care deeply about the welfare of their children, even if they sometimes get it wrong.

    And good intentions justify such control? Many slavemasters grew quite close to their slaves, and sincerely believed that their position in life was in their best interests. A benevolent dictator is still a dictator at the end of the day, and there is a good reason why power and genuine good intentions are very mismatched bedfellows.

    While some kids are raised to be frightened of saying the wrong thing to their parents, a great many are not at all. These include the ones who masturbate and the parents tell them gently to do it in private. (Consider the many parents who accept a gender non-conforming child now.)

    I agree that, slowly but surely, the institution of parenthood as a whole is evolving and changing. Bringing them to an acceptance of a youth liberated society is the logical conclusion of this social and political evolution. Note again how Robert Epstein, one of the pre-eminent youth liberationists in the United States, is among the many parents who are youth liberationists. As the saying goes, “revolution is simply the culmination of evolution.” Also, the many genuine cool and open-minded parents out there still have despotic control, and their existence does not change or somehow “make up” for the fact that there are many bad parents whose power takes a much more immediate negative toll under their charges. Many slavemasters, in fact, were considerably less hard on their chattel than the truly bad eggs among them, but what passed for the good eggs were still dictators at the end of the day. As noted above, good intentions and open-mindedness do not justify control.

    Kids in these families who are troubled can lie, cheat and steal and their parents will react with infinite patience.

    Yes, parents have the option of reacting with mercy and infinite patience in these instances; they likewise have the option to react in very severe ways to their kids simply trying to make their own decisions in ways that are not negative to themselves or others. If showing respect and understanding to others is merely an option, then the power imbalance and dictatorial circumstances remain, no matter how cool the least corrupted among the overseers choose to be towards their “charges.”

    But irregardless, their kids are still unable to vote; unable to help formulate the rules governing even their own household; unable to earn money without their parents’ permission; have no control over the money if their parents do allow them to earn it; are unable to trump their parents’ wishes regarding what type of education they receive; still at the mercy of teachers and other adult staff at the authoritarian school system; and of course, still unable to regulate their own sexual lives or acquire the information and support needed to make the best decisions along these lines without parental permission and strict oversight.

    When they are young teens they will rebel against curfews and have sex with their peers. If there was a significant desire of prepubescents in this type of family to have sex with adults, we would hear about it. Would we ever hear about it!

    Mmm-hmmm, the fact that the hysteria towards child sexuality (anyone who is legally a “child”) has been one of the dominating societal and punitive factors of the past 30 years certainly has no effect on pre-pubescents speaking out publicly about this topic, and even expressing a desire to be sexual with each other, without risking punishment – not only by their parents or teachers, but by the state. Yet you say they could, and in fact, would, speak openly about any desire for sexual participation they may have for the handsome man down the street if they actually harbored the desire, with the expectation that their parents and other “authorized” adults who have control over them reacting with nothing more than an exasperated roll of the eyes? These days, kids – and increasingly, pre-pubescents, not just adolescents – are more likely to end up on the sex offender list themselves than become the victim of a stereotypical sex offending stranger or neighbor! I’m sure none of the slaves on the pre-Civil War plantations ever had the slightest desire for a white woman either, on account of the fact that you never heard any of them mention it, or insist on having that right, to their owners; I’m sure if they did, many of the cooler owners would simply shake their heads and forget they heard it.

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    1. “But irregardless, their kids are still unable to vote; Hi Dissident, As far as votes are concerned, what age are we talking? because there’s a big difference between learning sexuality (which is natural) and understanding political ideologies; At least if pubescent’s were aloud to work, and train as apprentices then they should perhaps have a stake in voting. Most would probably side with their parents political groping, Until they’ve had time to form their own world view.

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      1. Hi, Salem. Youth liberationists feel it’s important to give the vote to kids because suffrage is by far the most important right that anyone can have; it’s the foundation upon which all other rights can be established. As for understanding political ideologies, in America we allow numerous older people to vote who readily admit, and routinely demonstrate, that they understand nothing about politics. This is why older people have regularly voted against their own interests, while admitting they simply voted for this or that candidate because they felt he was nice looking, or came across well on camera, or belonged to the same religion, etc. Hence, it cannot be argued that voting rights are given according to merit. This right is given or denied based entirely upon arbitrary factors.

        In a youth liberated society, people of all ages would have full access to all information, and citizenship courses would be a regular component of the curricula in democratized education. Children would have many opportunities, and much encouragement, to learn as much about the political process as possible, and to begin participation in the process as soon as they became cognizant enough to express a willingness to learn and participate. There would be no arbitrary age restrictions. It may be true that many children would initially vote as their parents would, but interestingly, the same argument was used against giving women the vote in America in 1920: it was argued they would simply vote the same as their husbands. Whether that was true or not, however, was irrelevant to the importance of the right to suffrage. As women became increasingly independent of their husbands over time, this began to change, and I think there is every reason to believe that children would do the same as time passed and more and more of them stretched their wings towards independence.

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        1. Funnily enough, when we were sixteen another girl in my class made this very argument to me: “If we had the right to vote, we’d just vote the way our parents do. But not when we’re a bit older.”

          On balance I think that the lowering of the voting age to sixteen is a good idea, and, as you probably know, there is a UK campaign called Votes at 16 which is quite mainstream and credible and has a fair amount of support. It appears that “The European Parliament has officially endorsed a voting age of 16 for European Parliament elections, and has asked member states to consider the proposal.” Sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds were allowed to vote in the recent Scottish independence referendum, though a motion to give them the right to vote in the UK’s EU membersip referendum was, alas, narrowly defeated.

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  5. They aren’t going to clamor for, what their minds have not been opened up to, nor for what they have always been forced to lack vision of.

    Well said. The frequent insistence by antis and Virpeds that children would be all over the Internet and gathered together in street assemblies across every large city demanding their freedom “if they actually wanted it” totally overlooks the political and social reality they find themselves in. As I have often noted, that makes as much sense as traveling back in time to the pre-Civil War era Confederate States and expecting to see large groups of chattel slaves walking around on the plantation grounds with picket signs demanding the right to be allowed to read or write, or to be free citizens; or house slaves sitting on the porch with “strike” signs. In that era, black slaves were heavily indoctrinated in such a way that they thought their lot in life was as natural to the world as the force of gravity, and as inherently immutable as the Earth’s rotational period. Many of them did rebel against their situation, often quite vehemently, but they generally did this via “acting out” in various ways, not by picketing or political activism… much as children and young adolescents often “act out” in similar fashion today, e.g., running away from home, developing an intense dislike of all adults, and engaging in self-destructive behavior every time their adult overseers turn their backs.

    Do these antis and Virpeds seriously believe that Confederate State blacks demanded and won their freedom entirely on their own initiative? No, it was at first through the work of sympathetic white people, beginning with the abolitionists, whose work inspired many blacks who were freed both literally and psychologically to develop a strong sense of identity as a minority group whose destiny was not forever locked to the plantation system, any more than children and young adolescents are eternally “fixed” in a subservient position within the nuclear family unit.

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    1. The comparison to slavery is totally inappropriate. Parents care deeply about the welfare of their children, even if they sometimes get it wrong. While some kids are raised to be frightened of saying the wrong thing to their parents, a great many are not at all. These include the ones who masturbate and the parents tell them gently to do it in private. (Consider the many parents who accept a gender non-conforming child now.) Kids in these families who are troubled can lie, cheat and steal and their parents will react with infinite patience. When they are young teens they will rebel against curfews and have sex with their peers. If there was a significant desire of prepubescents in this type of family to have sex with adults, we would hear about it. Would we ever hear about it!

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      1. ” Would we ever hear about it”…But we do hear about it, In the media, who paint us all in such a favourable light! Jeremy Forest comes to mind, as an example; Or the case in Italy, where a Judge decided not to prosecute a man for having a relationship with an eleven year old girl (not sure what happened after though) because they were in love. Also i believe they raised the age of consent in Spain from 13 to 16 because a teenage girl got murdered by her ‘older’ partner. I can compare that to the owning of shotguns in UK: One nutter goes round wasting people; and were all potential mass-murderers!

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        1. One point i forgot to mention, in addition to the raising of the age of consent from 13 to 16 in Spain, It was also mentioned that parents were complaining to the Police about their children’s partners — We can draw our own conclusions about the relationships, Probably as ambiguous as the ‘norms’…So the question of parental control comes to mind; With the Police responding by stating they are powerless if they are thirteen or over.
          This is where a children’s court me be beneficial,with more emphasis on the child/youths point of view rather than the status quo.

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  6. One other comment….

    Children don’t naturally have a lot of social power, and get tossed about the political arena by others, much like MAPs do.

    They aren’t going to clamor for, what their minds have not been opened up to, nor for what they have always been forced to lack vision of.

    …That is a problem…And it is why forced ignorance, is so unacceptable…No matter the issue at hand.

    I would suggest, regardless…that many children who lack insight, foresight and knowledge…will be clamoring for our voices and support, when they’ve been swept up by the system…forced into detention, or even prison…forced to register for life…and have had their lives destroyed, because society wont let them be the sexual being, which they naturally are.

    Our voice is important…because who else is going to fight this grotesque injustice?

    This fight is not about “getting ass”…

    …It’s about protecting people, from a system which is so inhuman, that it destroys people for being human…and over things, which are even positive, necessary to growth and beautiful life experiences.

    Nothing in this entire war, has ever been so starkly clear to me than that.

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  7. As disenfranchised groups go…It always falls upon said groups, to provide the thrust of their own social betterment. Others will join in, if said groups gain enough momentum…But early on, and for a very long time, it is a lonely path.

    It is frustrating at times…knowing that your voice is one of “the few”…And knowing that because it is so “alone”, it will be especially scrutinized…and devalued…probably by most.

    …And because it doesn’t have a lot of supporters backing it up, you will often be accused of promoting self interest, just because you promote your own views and ideas.

    Thing is…if the effected community does not stand up, and say or do something…then it is almost guaranteed, that nobody will stand up and say or do anything…

    …And where is the objective good in that?

    Personally…I may be promoting things that would benefit me…But so what?…Why shouldn’t I?…My well being is just as important, as that of anyone else. If I falter, it has consequences…It is in the better interest of the world around me, that I not falter.

    If what benefits me also benefits another [child or adult]…all the better.

    I’m tired of feeling like people expect me to apologize, because I might gain something out of what I argue on behalf of.

    There is nothing scummy, selfish or bad about that…It’s all about balance, wholeness and well being…It’s about seeking to be, all that I can positively be.

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  8. The following links give mortality rates as a function of circumcision procedures applied to infants. This procedure is also known as child abuse, and what is more: legal child abuse. Shockingly, in the UK, mortality as a result of circumcision is ten times greater than that from choking.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/newborn-bleeds-to-death-after-doctor-persuades-parents-to-have-him-circumcised-in-canada-a6710061.html … and … http://www.circinfo.org/USA_deaths.html

    http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/?p=86603

    http://www.drmomma.org/2010/05/death-from-circumcision.html

    http://www.cirp.org/library/death/

    If it does not matter what we do to babies, then what’s stopping people from using babies as footballs? If you molest a baby, you go to prison; if you mutilate them after molestation, you get paid with money and are shown respect.

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  9. In terms of equity in where posts can be made, the VP forum is not an equivalent to this blog. A reasonable equivalent would be my own blog, It has been going longer and has more posts on a wider range of subjects than this one.

    http://celibatepedos.blogspot.com/
    There is no restriction in what views can be expressed in the comments section there.

    And if you’d like some food for thought, many of the things I post in my blog would not be acceptable to post in the VP forum.

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    1. You have to forgive me Ethan, but I feel more comfortable reading and participating in blogs that align with my understanding of the world – an evidence-based world. For me, the difference between what virped.org and your own are saying, and what LSMs and TOCs are saying, is rather like the difference between religious dogma – an ideology or belief system that cannot be changed or discarded without affecting the very system’s paradigm, or the ideology itself – and evolution. As LSM rightly points out, you are on a hiding to nothing, holding immutable views about childhood sexuality, and more generally cocooning yourself from criticism.

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      1. This makes me smile. I would characterize things the other way around, with this blog being largely based on delusions, and mine based more on clear thinking and recognition of complicated realities. It takes a certain cheek to espouse views that 98% of society would disagree with and dismiss those who disagree as just following dogma and not worth your attention. Staying in your own realm comes close to epistemic closure. I am at least over here engaging in debate. My views have changed over the several years I’ve been thinking deeply about these issues, though naturally there is a certain approach to an asymptote in the absence of new information. Someone suggested that circumcision is motivated by a desire to reduce sexual pleasure — that’s a new assertion, and I’m waiting for the citation.

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        1. Ethan, I do not wish to play an infinite game of tennis with you. I have said all I want to say about you and your pernicious religion.

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        2. >”Someone suggested that circumcision is motivated by a desire to reduce sexual pleasure — that’s a new assertion, and I’m waiting for the citation.”

          That was me.

          Sorry not to have got back to you sooner on this. I’m up to my neck in real-life business at the moment and am having had to hold back from joining in the interesting debates that are taking place here – you and Dissi seem to be doing just fine without me!

          But re circumcision – I’ve no especial insight into this issue – only that I have two friends who, for medical reasons, both had to be circumcised in adult-hood and they both say that they have lost a great deal of sensitivity in the penis and no longer get as much pleasure from sex and masturbation as they did before they were circumcised. The penis loses much of its innate sensitivity as the glans are constantly exposed to friction from underclothes and the nervous system tunes down its responses. The uncircumcised glans is very sensitive but because it is protected by the double layer of the foreskin, it is not in a constant state of friction.

          It maybe also explains, apparently, why Americans (a lot of whom are circumcised) seem to be obsessed with ‘lube’ – since being circumcised both these friends need artificial lubrication during masturbation to reduce the discomfort of having unprotected glans.

          I also find it very significant that people should choose excruciating pain as the first intense genital experience a baby boy experiences (of course supporters of circumcision say that young babies don’t feel pain – if that is so why do they cry when being circumcised? It’s the same self-exculpating kind of thinking that Descartes displayed when performing vivisection on dogs, when he’d tell the onlookers that the dogs’ whimperings were no more than that of a ‘whining gear that needs oil’ or anglers who say that the fish they hook don’t feel pain) – as to the effect it must have on the child’s understanding of its body and sexuality I don’t know but I think it would be an interesting hypothesis to test the correlation between an nation’s or religion’s xenophobia, belligerence or love of guns and the incidence of male circumcision (USA? Islam?…)

          Also I think it is sickening that it’s considered acceptable to circumcise a baby – slice off a part of its body without anaesthetic – but if someone should tickle its balls or give his penis a gentle suck then all hell breaks loose – if that isn’t an index of a culture’s fear and hatred of sex, then I don’t know what is!

          There are a lot of websites and research on circumcision out there – some pro and some anti – one can pick and choose here’s an anti one

          http://www.moralogous.com/2012/04/29/the-purpose-of-circumcision-is-to-ruin-male-sexuality/

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          1. Thanks for that info. It seems Wikipedia also includes the anti-masturbation reason for its rise in modern times, and no one there has seen fit to dispute that — I had thought it was health, so I am glad to be better informed on the subject. I have tended to be opposed to circumcision but I am now somewhat more opposed to it, yet still cannot condemn parents who choose it as sadistic monsters. Although the “anti” sites speak of pain, it looks like best practice is to use anesthesia if it is done. One thing I haven’t seen is any good scientific studies on whether the 19th century moralists were correct in that circumcision decreased masturbation rates or crimes of passion, or whether they were factually wrong as well as anti-sex.

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            1. The experiences of my friends suggests that it is effective in discouraging masturbation – or just makes it less pleasurable – which eventually would amount to the same thing, I guess.

              >”yet still cannot condemn parents who choose it as sadistic monsters.”

              I agree – I think people, parents included, do terrible things out of the best motives, or simply because there is a social assumption that it is the ‘done thing’.

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        3. “It takes a certain cheek to espouse views that 98% of society would disagree with and dismiss those who disagree as just following dogma and not worth your attention.”
          Again truth determined by percentage of public opinion? In the 16th century, general public opinion, confirmed by experts (such as Jean Bodin), held that witches had made a covenant with the Devil and had received in return magical powers: to fly in the air, to make women abort and men’s penises disappear, to create hail, to cause the death of cattle, and that they snatched kids to sacrifice them to the devil, etc.
          In Western Europe in 1915, while all political parties represented in Parliaments, including the Social-Democrats who had betrayed their principles of international solidarity of Labour, advocated sending young men of their country to fight to death in the trenches against young men of neighbouring countries, a handful of delegates went to a gathering of Internationalists in the Swiss village of Zimmerwald. They joked that half a century after the founding of the First International, it was possible to tansport all Internationalists from the whole of Europe in just four cars. Now with the hindsight of 100 years, who was right? The national chauvinists or the Internationalists?
          NB. At the present tiime less than 0.01% of society shares my political opinions, that is no way a reason for changing them.

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          1. Indeed, percentages don’t determine who is right. But when you are in a tiny minority, saying that your opponents aren’t worth your time and trouble is remarkable.

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            1. But oftentimes, Ethan, as Christian pointed out, that does indeed turn out to be the case. Not always, of course, but certainly often enough throughout history.

              And not just ancient history. Let’s remember, for instance, the Satanic Ritual Abuse sham, which was intimately connected to the present wave of hysteria, which was widely believed and promoted by both the media and American law enforcement wings of the government; and this goes back only to the 1980s. Belief in that horrific nonsense was very widespread as a result, and many innocent lives were callously destroyed in the process, despite not a single shred of scientifically valid evidence being produced to support it. Voices that rose up against it were heavily censored or accused of being heartless and insensitive to the many alleged victims of these Satanic ritualists, despite the fact that the former were mostly manufactured and the latter were all but non-existent outside of the rare individual psychotic nutcase. Sound familiar?

              Further, the mainstream post-70s liberals, after they allowed themselves to be compromised by Reagan and Thatcher in the hope of surviving in a conservative-dominated world – the same generational branch of liberalism you consider yourself a member of, I should add – were as complicit in the whole sordid affair as any of the fundamentalist right-wing loonies who promoted the scam. And let’s also not forget that the great majority of the manufactured victims of the ritual abuse hysteria who were genuinely suffering, were not suffering because of Satanic ritualists or “pedophiles,” but by many lauded Western institutions that are important constituents of the status quo that you support, such as the medical branch that includes social workers, and the same government employees who enforce the laws – both those you support and those connected laws that you are not fully in support of.

              So, I think it’s fully understandable that a tiny ideological minority challenges a majority view that they firmly believe to be corrupt and mostly incorrect. It’s not about dismissing your views, it’s about doing an accurate assessment of them, looking at the available evidence, and drawing a reasonable conclusion from them.

              And challenging you like we do is not to say we think you aren’t worth our time to listen to. It’s just that we’ve heard and considered that particular tune literally thousands of times, including most of the time we are away from these cyber-realms that allow for both sides to be represented and go head-to-head without the less popular view being censored or declared “inappropriate” to air. As I’ve told you numerous times before, this is why it’s no less than silly and intellectually dishonest for anti-choicers to promote themselves as an “alternative” view within the overall MAP community, when what you actually have is the majority view in the greater society. Because of this, there are likely many Kind people, as well as interested muggles, who have yet to hear and consider the pro-choice side of the coin, but it’s all but impossible for them not to have heard and mentally digest the anti-choice side of the issue literally more times than they can count, and in numerous different venues which do not allow the pro-choice side to have a voice, nor to present all the scientific evidence that shows it’s a viable argument.

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  10. Ethane (DANGER: exposure to this asphyxiating gas may cause headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and light-headedness): “For all those pedophiles who claim kids are enthusiastic about sex and have experience to prove it, get your now-grown child partner to report that, not you!”

    Kids are overwhelmingly enthusiastic about sex! For someone who has viewed and enjoyed countless videos of children aged between eight and fifteen, the usual sequence of events unfolds thus: the boy or girl eagerly strips off their clothes on cam, proudly displaying their nude selves, before, inevitably, masturbating or fingering themselves, or otherwise inserting objects anally, and occasionally to masturbate and perform oral sex on their buddies if present. Often single kids cam in this way, but frequently in the company of peers up to four at a time. On cam they usually maintain dialogue with opposite-sex or same-sex third parties via social media networks such as Omegle, who act equally lasciviously. All the while the kids are smiling or laughing and enjoying themselves to the maximum. Often the participants experience orgasm, and in the case of boys, proudly show off sticky ejaculate dripping from their fingers right up close to the cam.

    VP cowardly hide behind the laws of the land on this topic; they know full well that few will readily admit to viewing the scenarios described above – the evidence that no-one dares to present: the equivalence of adult and child sexuality and desire – and so they are perfectly safe in saying “prove it” because they know full-well few would be prepared to admit to watching or being intimate with kids that behave in this very natural and beautiful way.

    Importantly, there has yet to be any scientific evidence that proves sex is an inherently harmful thing, and no study has explained why child sexuality is psychologically damaging, but other forms of “intimate” physical contact between those of different ages, such as hugging, kissing and holding hands, isn’t. In the absence of solid, objective research devoid of confirmation bias into child sexuality, all sides of the argument are pretty much tilting at windmills.

    Incidentally, I really do not know why we are allowing VP a voice here. I read on TOC that my Kind would be banned from setting foot on the VP website. To me VP is simply an echo of a paedophobic society which does its utmost to silence us.

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    1. Thanks for you comment Feinmann0

      Yes, it seems that all convincing proof of child sexuality is illegal and, therefore, as far as the those who argue against the existence of child sexuality, inadmissible into the debate.

      >”Incidentally, I really do not know why we are allowing VP a voice here. I read on TOC that my Kind would be banned from setting foot on the VP website. To me VP is simply an echo of a paedophobic society which does its utmost to silence us.”

      You’ve got a point – I was allowed to join Virpeds on the condition I didn’t post (or it may have been on condition that I post anything pro-choice – I can’t quite remember…) and have had comments left unapproved on Todd’s blog.

      I choose to publish Ethan’s comments because:

      1/ despite my disagreeing with Ethan’s anti-choice stance I would also say that, taken globally, our areas of agreement are more numerous than our areas of disagreement, but it’s naturally that we tend to focus on the points of disagreement.
      2/ since out-and-out non-paedophile antis are not willing, or up to the challenge, of testing and questioning our ideas I value Ethan’s critical voice – a good opponent is someone of no small value!
      3/ Virpeds is an unavoidable phenomenon in the paedophile world – I’d rather engage with them than ignore them. I believe they have acheived some worthwhile things which we pro-choicers could not have acheived – and, whilst I’d rather a young paedophile seeking knowledge and an identity came across pro-choice ideas first (I believe they are more effective in promoting well-being, respect for children and self-control), I’d rather that a young paedo fell into the hands of Virpeds than into the MOARRR mentality or was left isolated and afraid.
      4/ As I wrote in n°1 above I think that on a scale of 1 to 10 – with 1 being the ‘kill all paedos’ crowd and 10 being ourselves – Virpeds and ourselves are certainly on the ‘same side’ of 5 – if I ever read on the internet of someone criticizing Todd Nickerson for being a paedophile I’ll defend Todd with as much zeal as I would defend a pro-choicer – our fundamental battle is that certain truths be known – and Todd has been brave and shown admirable integrity, and I see any ignorant paedophobe who attacks him for being a paedophile as a common enemy.
      5/ yes, virpeds do have a protective, censorious approach – I take that as resulting from the intellectual inconsistency of their position, which makes it that it’s more effective to silence criticism than to confront it. I like to think that we can field any criticisms of our position in civilised, open debate.

      I’d like there to be less hostility between pro-choicers and Virpeds, but I don’t see that happening. Strategically (and that is the bottom line with Virpeds) there would be no benefit to them in any such rapprochement- on the contrary, the more they can be seen to hate on us the more acceptable they become to the default cultural narrative. However I think we should maintain links with individual virpeds where we can – Ethan seems the most open of the lot.

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      1. Yes, it seems that all convincing proof of child sexuality is illegal and, therefore, as far as the those who argue against the existence of child sexuality, inadmissible into the debate.

        The Virpeds absolutely count on the above fact, as their entire ideological stance and accompanying belief system would collapse if such was not the case. It’s very easy to make outrageous claims that children are naturally asexual (or something close to it) when virtually any and all instances of sexual expression beyond closed doors, let alone caught on camera and then made viral in cyberspace, are legally prohibited. The rare exceptions are those that are so innocuous that they leave sufficient ambiguity that neither camp can make a clear-cut case of interpretation. But the absolute closet ban on any public expression of child sexuality can easily create the illusion that pre-pubescents are asexual, just as public censorship of all things homosexual prior to the 1970s on TV created the illusion that no homosexuality existed anywhere. Ethan and his ideological ilk take full advantage of the illusion that the law and societal cultural enforcement creates, and ignore anything they may see in real life that is contrary to the illusion.

        since out-and-out non-paedophile antis are not willing, or up to the challenge, of testing and questioning our ideas I value Ethan’s critical voice – a good opponent is someone of no small value!

        As I noted before, my good friend, you repeatedly give Ethan these accolades, yet I repeatedly see him present few, if any, examples of arguments that are more advanced or challenging than any typical Non-MAP paedophobe. Again, it’s not because he lacks intelligence or erudition, but because his ideology requires him to make a plethora of assumptions, moralizing statements, ignoring available data, outrageous claims, emotionalistic rhetoric, and expressions of wishful thinking, and as noted elsewhere, little concern for empiricism. He is fully aware, as are other anti-choicers, that they do not have to make convincing arguments, because the emotional volatility of the topic is more than enough in their eyes to sustain support from any media outlet that has concerns with keeping both advertisers and a mainstream readership (“liberal” or otherwise) happy. They likewise feel free to ignore thoughtful and objective Non-MAPs whose blogs and YouTube videos have been linked here just recently, and whose voices are not depending on keeping a strong hold on the narrative. This becomes as readily clear in his exchanges with pro-choicers on your blog and Heretic TOC as any MAP forum like GC.

        That being said, I agree with your other reasons for allowing Ethan and other Virpeds to post here. I don’t think silencing them on a blog dedicated to discussion of these issues would be ethically sound, and it’s very useful to have a place where interested parties can see the anti-choicers engage with pro-choicers, and judge each side on its merit when the former side isn’t the only one allowed to be discussed or considered. Their side may largely depend on censorship of the other side; but our side, alas, does not.

        I’d like there to be less hostility between pro-choicers and Virpeds, but I don’t see that happening. Strategically (and that is the bottom line with Virpeds) there would be no benefit to them in any such rapprochement- on the contrary, the more they can be seen to hate on us the more acceptable they become to the default cultural narrative. However I think we should maintain links with individual virpeds where we can – Ethan seems the most open of the lot.

        I agree with all of the above, though I do not believe that Ethan is the most open of the lot per se; he is simply the least hating and unreasonable Virped who loudly and consistently engages on the various blogs and forums where all sides of the issue are allowed. I personally do not think his views differ from the likes of Brett or Mr. Nickerson so much as his style does (which, in itself, is sometimes easier to engage with). There are other Virpeds who are indeed primarily interested in focusing on the areas of agreement you mention, and I’ve recently heard that several of them registered on B4U-ACT and are members of the latter org and Virped simultaneously. And they generally get along well with everyone there. They simply have no interest in vocally arguing the more controversial points in public venues, as this can understandably be viewed by them as taking a high risk of burning the bridges they have a genuine interest in building with the entire Kind community.

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        1. Dissy and I are unlikely to convince each other on this topic, as we have been over it many times before. But the VP position in no way counts on a denial of prepubescent sexuality — I argue only that it is not very strong, not generally directed to other people other than as a matter of curiosity, and just not very important. At puberty, sex takes on the central role that it has in adult life, and that is where we DO see a lot of conflict on the issue.

          The idea that I just parrot the societal line is in my view ridiculous. If you read the series of posts in the “Considering the Pro-Legalization (Pro-Contact) Position” section here: http://celibatepedos.blogspot.com/2016/01/index-of-all-posts.html.
          those who do not have Dissy’s peculiar blind spot on this issue will see that I challenge a great deal of the conventional thinking on the subject.

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          1. Dissy and I are unlikely to convince each other on this topic, as we have been over it many times before.

            Indeed.

            But the VP position in no way counts on a denial of prepubescent sexuality — I argue only that it is not very strong, not generally directed to other people other than as a matter of curiosity, and just not very important.

            That sounds like saying, “My stance in no way hinges on Pluto not qualifying as a planet — I argue only that it’s such a small celestial body that it almost doesn’t count as one, and it’s significance to the solar system is far less than Jupiter or Uranus.” I’m not sure how well that analogy worked, but I think most here will get the gist.

            But all analogies aside, I’ve said several times before that pre-pubescent sexuality is less intense than adult sexuality, and not focused on penetration of any kind (the same generally goes for pedophile sexuality, too). That doesn’t mean it’s not significant and prominent in its own way, however. I think once they first experiment sexually out of curiosity, it quickly becomes evident to them that such activity is fun and pleasurable, which is why “playing doctor” is such a past time of childhood. And not very important? Again, that is based on the illusion that it rarely happens, because the nature of the law and societal oppression of the very idea forces pre-pubescents to stay very much behind the scenes with any type of sexual experimentation.

            The idea that I just parrot the societal line is in my view ridiculous.

            Not entirely, but the bulk of your arguments when you tackle this issue in debates certainly appears to do so.

            If you read the series of posts in the “Considering the Pro-Legalization (Pro-Contact) Position” section here: http://celibatepedos.blogspot.com/2016/01/index-of-all-posts.html.
            those who do not have Dissy’s peculiar blind spot on this issue will see that I challenge a great deal of the conventional thinking on the subject.

            I’ve acknowledged your admirable challenge of CP laws and sex offender laws several times before. But when it comes to the issue of contact, you do not significantly deviate from the mainstream. And the fact that you insist on using the term “pro-contact” serves to further spread misinformation about the pro-choice stance by implication. Just sayin’, dude.

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  11. With Virtuous Paedophiles (VP), I tend to agree with Observer (elsewhere):

    “I do not use VP, I don’t respect them that much for anything other than maybe convincing a few who hated themselves to refrain from suicide for a bit longer, and I find many of their statements deceptive and question their long-term value for most people.
    VP, on the other hand, seems to be doing a great job at handling image and public relations. They can silence the elements that will hurt the movement and present people as humans. How could this be a bad thing when our approval rating would be somewhere between the cancer and ISIS? No, they are not going to work in the very long term, but the short to medium, they are our best hope for combating paranoia and even getting people to consider listening. They tell society what society is ready to hear … Good for them, in fact.”

    The key for me in Observer’s comment is: “I find many of their statements deceptive …” and I would firmly place Ethan Edwards’ quotes in LSM’s piece above in the deception category; for example: “[P]edophiles have no special knowledge of what is good or bad for children.” This is just sly, vacuous propaganda in my view, having no basis in solid scientific research. A more accurate phrase might be: ‘Paedophiles bring a range of skills and qualities to the life of children, as their focus is the well-being and happiness of the ones they love.’

    On a related topic, there exists the following (US-focused) website: consentingjuveniles.com, which aims to provide a voice for the silenced, and communicate factual information about sex laws and the effects they have on people and society.

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  12. There are other people who can testify about the reality of childhod sexuality.
    (1) Adults who have not betrayed their childhood and youth, who have retained their spirit of curiosity and rebellion and who do not adopt an authoritarian attitude towards children.
    (2) Honest and open-minded investigators. You have seen here and on other blogs non-MAP people saying how they changed their opinion after studying the subject more in depth. I am particularly impressed by Robert Epstein who, starting from a traditional Jewish point of view, found out after studying that teenagers have adult competences, including for sex. He even stressed on a TV panel that the “virgin” Mary got pregnant of Jesus at an age probably aroung 12.
    (3) Young people themselves. The roadmap to a brighter future is liberating the revolutionary energy of youth. It is pure abstraction to demand their sexual rights if you forget to demand their liberation from all forms of incapacitation imposed by society, if they cannot see themselves as competent in the face of adults, if they consider adults as all-powerful and always knowing better. Minors should enjoy constitutional rights: the right to assemble, to demonstrate peacefully, to petition autorities for individual or collective grievances, the right to publish their opinions and to strike. Such ideas are accessible to high-school pupils, but they should also enter into the heads of junior high-school ones, then afterwards those in primary school.

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  13. While we can certainly argue for the sexual rights of children, it won’t get anywhere in public discourse. Not yet at least. It’s not in the range of ideas people will accept. Sometimes you have to hide the truth from people until they are ready to accept it and they aren’t ready to accept it yet.

    When and if we get there, the biggest obstacle we will face is how we will go about legally discerning what is and is not a consenting relationship? How will we be able to tell when a relationship is abusive or not? How will we know if a child is being threatened or pressured into saying they consented? Children can easily be manipulated by adults and it can be difficult to detect.

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    1. I agree with you to a certain extent, Josh. But I think that it’s not quite an either/or situation.

      With counter-cultural philosophies have generally succeeded best when there have been two camps that co-exist, often uneasily – a radical camp that is more concerned with ideology integrity, and a camp engaged in Realpolitik – that presents an acceptable face, a watered-down, easy-listening version of the philosophy, building links with the orthodoxy, aiming for moderate but reasonably achievable goals.

      We can see this dichotomy in many social movements – Martin Luther King and the Black Panthers, Gay Liberation Front and Stonewall, the Labour party and Militant in the UK etc…

      Both are necessary for change (though they often trip each other over and can fight with each other like only siblings can – e.g. Monty Pythons People’s Front of Judea etc)- one acts as a kind of gateway – bringing a kind of cultural permeability which would otherwise not exist – the other acts as a kind of intellectual powerhouse, attracting more serious thinkers and generating and exploring ideas.

      Whilst I acknowledge that Virpeds have been very effective in introducing useful and valid ideas to the general public, the Pro-choice side have their own successes too – there are non-paedophiles who engage with and support the pro-choice philosophy – often these are people who

      Indeed commentators who label the good work of people such as Todd Nickerson and Ethan Edwards as ‘the beginning of a slippery slope’ or ‘the thin end of the wedge’ are actually right – they’ve introduced nuances into the debate which the ‘anti’ side had till now done their best to deny and suppress, and which can lead people on to thinking about more fundamental questions.

      There are several reasons why I’m not against Virpeds, though, as a pro-choicer, I disagree with their stance – I think that they probably are effective in supporting young and lonely paedophiles (though doing this out of self-loathing philosophy is, I believe, less effective than doing it out of a combative consciousness of one’s oppression), they have certainly been more effective than pro-choicers in introducing nuances into the public debate, and those virpeds I’m most aware of seem courageous people, with integrity and intelligence.

      However their ideas don’t stand up – they have to keep their thinking within rigorously policed chrono- and ethno-centric boundaries in order for it to not fall apart.

      As to the second part of your comment – you raise some very important questions and issues here which are worth my devoting a blog-essay to sometime in the next few weeks.

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      1. ” you raise some very important questions and issues here which are worth my devoting a blog-essay to sometime in the next few weeks”…I’ll look forward to that, Maybe an extract from the P.I.E may provide some good examples.

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        1. I’m working on it right now!

          And, yes, I’m planning to summarise the PIE proposals as part of this blog. I’m hoping to be able to include the actual P.I.E. proposals, but as a linked document since they are quite long and would take up the whole post if I quoted them in their entirety.

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    2. While we can certainly argue for the sexual rights of children, it won’t get anywhere in public discourse. Not yet at least. It’s not in the range of ideas people will accept. Sometimes you have to hide the truth from people until they are ready to accept it and they aren’t ready to accept it yet.

      Hi, Josh. I do not agree that hiding the truth is ever a good idea. I think at the current time, it may not be prudent to shove the truth up the proverbial collective nose of a society that is not yet willing to accept it as debatable. However, the ideas do no need to be expressed, and do need places where those of honest objective interest in evaluating the evidence and ideas can access it without concern of being censured.

      When and if we get there, the biggest obstacle we will face is how we will go about legally discerning what is and is not a consenting relationship? How will we be able to tell when a relationship is abusive or not? How will we know if a child is being threatened or pressured into saying they consented? Children can easily be manipulated by adults and it can be difficult to detect.

      This concern of yours is not without legitimacy, but I do think it’s overstated with “solutions” that result in overcompensation. Children would not be so easily manipulated by adults, I believe, if they were afforded more agency, and only conditioned to give individual adults as much respect as those adults give them. If children are at the mercy of adults, as they are with the current legal situation, then it should be seen as no wonder that kids can be coerced so easily by adults.

      But even in this situation, how easily are they manipulated by adults to say they enjoyed something they didn’t actually enjoy? Considering how kids are notorious for resisting anything they do not like, including brushing their teeth, eating certain foods, going to church, going to the authoritarian schooling units, visiting relatives they dislike, etc., it really beggars the imagination that the only time children are presumed to be “easily manipulated” into “thinking” they liked something when they actually didn’t; or participating in something they do not like just to please an adult who is not threatening them with violence or some form of extreme coercion, is when it has to do with sexual activity. This betrays the disproportionate amount of concern we place on just this one issue, due to the disproportionate amount of emotion wrapped up in it compared to literally any other imaginable concern. It’s hard to think rationally when it comes to children and sexual activity due to our negative attitude towards sexuality and heavy endorsement of the Innocent Child paradigm. Hence, a legitimate concern is blown vastly out of proportion, including in relation to other concerns that may be more legitimate or of empirically greater concern.

      Also, this needs to be taken into account: there is good reason why the great majority of genuine sexual abuse or exploitation of children and young adolescents occurs within the home, by the adults who have the most direct and powerful legal power and authority over kids, and within such a highly insular and “private” environment. There is an equally good and strategic reason why Virpeds famously refuse to acknowledge this point whenever possible. Adults who do not have such direct legal authority over children and adolescents are much less likely to be in a position to either commit an act of abuse, or get away with it if they did; and kids victimized by such individuals would certainly not be discouraged by family or friends to report it. Kids are generally able to come and go as they please from the residences or presence of adults who do not have control over their lives, but such is not the case with parents, grandparents, older siblings, etc., whom they are forced to share a household with and must come back to most nights of the year.

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    3. I would set an age of coitus (for the obvious physiological reasons)at twelve years old (it was in English common law after all) and not necessarily encourage infant sexuality in schools — But not discourage it; If kids are free to be open about their sexuality, I believe it will stop unwanted sexual attention — and teachers can help make sure the kids are not being made to things they do not want to do. But that should not just stop at ‘sexual’ stuff: In many cases, kids are free to join a Judo club, Horse riding club, climb trees, which all have dangers to health and mortality!

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  14. A few notes.
    First, you are correct that saying someone is rationalizing is not a counterargument per se. I see it as more an explanation for why people are mistaken. Someone asks, “Why do so many pedophiles think adult-child sex is good for kids, and hardly anyone else does?” A reasonable answer to that is rationalization based on self-interest. But it doesn’t settle who is right.
    Second, the main way we should find out about children who had rewarding sexual relationships with adults is by the CHILDREN, once they are grown. T. Rivas found 100-odd such cases after scouring the web. But if you restrict yourself to prepubescents, most accounts are being “OK” with the sex in the context of the broader relationship that they found rewarding. The enthusiasm is notably underwhelming. What’s striking is how very few enthusiastic reports he could gather. For all those pedophiles who claim kids are enthusiastic about sex and have experience to prove it, get your now-grown child partner to report that, not you!
    Third, although there are many prudish folks in society, there are a great many others who are open-minded. On parenting sites you can find discussions about what to do when your child of 2-6 masturbates in public. The professionals and a large number of parents urge tolerance. They are equally open-minded about any other forms of sexual interest. If there was widespread interest by prepubescents in sex with adults, this group (at least a substantial minority) would notice this and report it.
    Fourth, unless you think kids have a sexual interest directed primarily at adults and not fellow children, you would expect substantial numbers of these children to find each other, avoid adult interference, and then as adults report their positive experiences, What you get instead is kids reporting games of doctor — exploration that doesn’t stay once curiosity is satisfied. You don’t get many saying, “Wow, Sue and I discovered sex when we were 7, and we met twice a week for the next year, giving oral sex until the other one came.” Once teens start having sex, that’s the sort of regularity and frequency you’ll see, and what you’d expect of prepubescents if even a substantial minority of them had real sex drives.
    I’ve dealt with these issues in a series of lengthy blog posts. See the “Considering the Pro-Legalization (Pro-Contact) Position” section here: http://celibatepedos.blogspot.com/2016/01/index-of-all-posts.html.

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    1. Ethan’s argument “second” amounts to: in Saudi Arabia, there are no gays, no atheists, nor people who appreciate premarital sex, as no one from that country confesses such things on Internet.
      His argument “fourth” amounts to: women are naturally destined to work in household and child care, since for several thousands of years they have willingly done it; rationality is bad for human beings, since for thousands of years the overwhelming majority of them believed all kinds of irrational superstitions; and Donald Trump is a worthy politician since millions want to vote for him; and Santa Claus must be real since kids believe in him.

      I hold the Marxist variant of “rationalization”: given an opinion on a public issue, see what social and political interests it serves. In the case of VP, it is the defense of the values of US imperialism and the preservation of the status quo of capitalism. As good Americans enslaved by commodity fetishism, they think a lot of sex in the conventional form (especially penetration), thus when talking about inter-generational relations they will always say “sex” and “contact”, but generally not “love”, and never “free choice”.
      I cannot support VP, in my opinion it is bad for global climate, world peace, the health and welfare of poor people, and personal liberties.

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    2. Thank you for you for that Ethane72 – I do appreciate you coming here and taking the trouble to engage in these questions.

      > – First… Someone asks, “Why do so many pedophiles think adult-child sex is good for kids, and hardly anyone else does?” A reasonable answer to that is rationalization based on self-interest. But it doesn’t settle who is right. –

      Yes, I don’t doubt that rationalization is a significant part of the explanation. It certainly explains how someone like myself becomes aware of paedo-sympathetic ideas. But there is also the factor I mention that a paedophile may have experiences which suggest that children can be interested in intimacy with an adult, enjoy it, and not be directly harmed by it. These, in our culture, are experiences only a paedophile could access and thus opinions derived from such experiences will have the semblance of Rationalization. However I think it is important, conceptually, to distinguish Rationalization from someone drawing conclusions from their experiences.

      >“Why do so many pedophiles think adult-child sex is good for kids, and hardly anyone else does?”

      A similar question could, of course, be asked of Virpeds: “Why do so many Virpeds think that they should be treated with tolerance, and hardly anyone else does?”

      > – Second, the main way we should find out about children who had rewarding sexual relationships with adults is by the CHILDREN, once they are grown. T. Rivas found 100-odd such cases after scouring the web. But if you restrict yourself to prepubescents, most accounts are being “OK” with the sex in the context of the broader relationship that they found rewarding. The enthusiasm is notably underwhelming. What’s striking is how very few enthusiastic reports he could gather. For all those pedophiles who claim kids are enthusiastic about sex and have experience to prove it, get your now-grown child partner to report that, not you!

      You raise an interesting issue here, Ethane72, – there are several factors in this

      1/ there is huge pressure from society on adults who were in even the most consensual and caring relationships to recontextualize them in view of stigma,
      2/ even those who have positive memories can only communicate those positive memories in a context that is highly inimical to their doing so – Many sites would censor such comments or get the writer banned or ostracised. There are significant costs and risks for any adult who talks of enjoying a relationship as a child – and so, if they do, they generally have to do it anonymously and would have to do it on paedo-friendly sites – sites which non-paedos are unlikely to visit.
      I suspect also that many of those who have positive memories might still be very ambiguous about paedophilia in general, telling themselves ‘uncle Bill was a wonderful man, and, to be honest, I was a little minx too – he wasn’t anything like these paedos you see in the news – he was nice and loved me.’
      3/ this is not a numbers game – the validity of a right does not depend on the number of people who might want to make use of it – if only a small minority of children want to make use of the right to choose with whom they share intimacy – fair enough – likewise the right for a man to have sex with another man is a right which is utilized by a minority of adults, as are most rights.

      > “Third, although there are many prudish folks in society, there are a great many others who are open-minded. On parenting sites you can find discussions about what to do when your child of 2-6 masturbates in public. The professionals and a large number of parents urge tolerance. They are equally open-minded about any other forms of sexual interest. If there was widespread interest by prepubescents in sex with adults, this group (at least a substantial minority) would notice this and report it.”

      I’m not familiar with these sites, but how open-minded are they? You use the word ‘tolerance’ – but that word has strong overtones of ‘putting up’ with something one isn’t quite happy with. If you’d felt yourself able to describe them as urging ‘enthusiasm’ towards childhood sexuality then I would be more convinced that the average ‘open-minded’ parent is not fundamentally uneasy about their children’s sexuality.

      Other than when at school, children, and especially nowadays, are essentailly stranded within the nuclear family. The capitalist nuclear family is institutionally anti-child sex – given the existence of incest taboos, there is no-one in their immediate circle who can reciprocate any display of sensual interest a child may make without violating these strong taboos – hence even the most open-minded non-paedophile parent, and even, I suspect, the majority of parents who are paedophiles, will not be able to respond positively or even neutrally to those little signs of sensuality children show between the ages of 1/2 to 6/7 out of fear of violating taboos and of breaking the rules of the family, breaking the law and disrupting the family. Children pick up on this and modify their behaviour.

      The sex-negativity doesn’t have to be overt – my own parents never punished me for sexual behaviour – I just picked up in my first 6/7 years that it was a fraught and embarassing subject, they betrayed their unease in little things, omissions, things they didn’t do rather than punishments or tellings off. An example of this are those videos one can see on youtube of young children having a bath – the parent could be described as displaying a tolerant attitude towards their children’s bodies but the children will also pick up subconsciously on a slight squeamishness on their parents’ part such as when they (the child) stands up the parents consistently raising the camera in order that the child’s genitals don’t enter the frame.

      Also given that there are two parents – the attitudes of the partner with the least tolerant and open-minded attitude towards child sexuality will tend to prevail since those are the ones sanctioned by the culture, and the risks of stepping out of line with the culture on child sexuality (especially if you’re a man) and taking a stance are quite great. So there are significant pressures for a tolerant father to conform to the attitudes of a less tolerant mother.

      > – Fourth – unless you think kids have a sexual interest directed primarily at adults and not fellow children, you would expect substantial numbers of these children to find each other, avoid adult interference, and then as adults report their positive experiences, What you get instead is kids reporting games of doctor — exploration that doesn’t stay once curiosity is satisfied. You don’t get many saying, “Wow, Sue and I discovered sex when we were 7, and we met twice a week for the next year, giving oral sex until the other one came.” Once teens start having sex, that’s the sort of regularity and frequency you’ll see, and what you’d expect of prepubescents if even a substantial minority of them had real sex drives.

      This society we live doesn’t exactly provide ‘laborotory standard’ impartial conditions by which to evaluate the true incidence of children’s sexual interest, either towards their peers or towards adults – in fact can you imagine an ‘experiment’ better designed to ensure negative results.

      Also children pursuing sexual exploration depends on their levels of knowledge – I engaged in a little ‘curiousity’ stuff when I was a kid and nothing happened – the reason being is that I was profoundly ignorant – the girl’s genitals were, for me, interesting because she had a different mechanism for peeing – I had no idea about masturbation, intercourse or anything like that so I had none of the concepts that would allow me to move forwards in my sexual play. Sex was just a funny feeling I got in my pee-pee when I climbed ropes.

      Put two people together who’ve never played a guitar before and you’re not going to get much music out of the situation, put Julian Bream and John Williams together and you get a different thing.

      I honestly wish that some nice man or lady, or sexually experienced older child had taken me in hand when I was six or seven – I think I have suffered in later life from having such a sexless, unsensual childhood.

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      1. Ethan says: “Why do so many pedophiles think adult-child sex is good for kids, and hardly anyone else does?”

        Leonard says: A similar question could, of course, be asked of Virpeds: “Why do so many Virpeds think that they should be treated with tolerance, and hardly anyone else does?”

        Ethan says: A group arguing for better treatment for themselves is completely expected. The key difference is that we are talking about our direct experience that no one else has access to. Virpeds say we do not (on balance) WANT to have sex with kids, and that many of us go our whole lives without doing so. In contrast, veterans of adult-child sexual relationships can say THEY found them rewarding (old news), but they insist as well that the CHILDREN found them rewarding and wonderful. That assumes they are correct about how the children viewed them, posits arrogantly that those who have changed their minds have just been brainwashed, and suggests based on the possibility of an OK outcome that it is OK to start such relationships — when the balance of OK, bad, and terrible outcomes is what’s relevant.

        As for this massive conspiracy to suppress child sexuality, you’re looking in a fun house mirror, with everything distorted. Conservative parts of western culture suppress brutally any expression of sexuality by 16-year-olds, but once puberty has inflamed the adult sex drive, they are quite ineffective.

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        1. “As for this massive conspiracy to suppress child sexuality, you’re looking in a fun house mirror, with everything distorted.”

          Interesting how you need to use the word “conspiracy”.
          It’s an open cultural secret how child sexuality is suppressed. As a matter of fact, it’s publicly encouraged.
          Look at sex education in your home country.
          Look at laws targeting minors themselves for sexting.
          Look at cries of “sexualisation” in the media with worries that children might see it.
          Look at restrictions to certain media or technology with the same worries.
          And finally look at what happens when two minors under teens are a little “too close”.

          “conspiracy”? this says it all about you and your group.

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        2. This boils down to the question of how much credibility we give to the testimony of various participants and witnesses in an event, actions and experiences – an unavoidable question encountered in many contexts and disciplines – by psychologists, courts, sociologists, parents &c

          Let’s break this down – there are essentially three view-points concerned in the reporting of adult-child relationships – the adult partner, the child partner and ‘society’ (which can be broken down further to parents, police inquisitors, judge, psychologist, the media, the general population etc etc).

          Let’s assume an ideal-case scenario – the relationship was caring, loving and consensual(if you wish you may insert your own ‘scare-quotes’ to that word). The relationship is discovered and the parents, police, social workers, psychologists, press and public whir into action.

          Each of the three witnesses give their testimony as to what happened: the paedophile, the child, society

          Let’s assume that every participant in giving their testimony at least aspires to honesty. Which testimony is going to give the most accurate description of what happened and the nature of what happened? Which testimonies are first hand, which are second hand and which are based on a priori assumptions?

          The paedophile’s testimony will not be impartial, but he will be able to testify to his emotions, what exactly happened and what he perceived as his little lover’s responses and state of mind.
          the child’s testimony may at first be informed by loyalty to her lover and maybe an ignorance of how stigmatised their behaviour was. If that is the case interviews with the police, parents, psychologists will work to make her aware of her ‘victim-hood’ as this would be very useful, essential possibly, for securing a prosecution and ‘for the child’s own good’.
          Society will base its testimony on what it is told by the police, the press, psychologists – not what the paedophile said, or what the child said before she was persuaded that what was done to her was heinous, nasty, etc etc

          Society, I think we can agree, has an inflexible a priori idea of child-adult intimacy which it imposes on all such relationships regardless of any information. The words ‘an adult was intimate with a child’ suffices for society to make a moral judgment on what happened.

          So, it seems it comes down to the word of those who were actually involved in the relationships, who were involved in each other’s lives and histories, and cared for each other, against the word of people with an priori revulsion against child-adult intimacy, who had nothing to do with the relationship, who don’t know anything about the relationship, who don’t want to know anything but who see the word ‘paedophile’ and conclude it must have been brutal, exploitative, uncaring, a power-trip etc, who didn’t know either participant, but automatically stigmatise and victimise all participants and who create a social climate that does everything to make such relationships difficult, fraught and dangerous.

          Granted that the paedophile’s testimony is partial – he still is in a better position to evaluate the relationship than someone with an intense a priori bias against such relationships, who wasn’t actually involved in the relationship and who’s hell-bent on destroying not only ‘it’, but any positive qualities it may have had and the memory of it in the child’s mind.

          As to the child – once the police etc have got their clutches on her… well, you’ve read ‘The Trauma Myth’…

          >”As for this massive conspiracy to suppress child sexuality, you’re looking in a fun house mirror, with everything distorted. Conservative parts of western culture suppress brutally any expression of sexuality by 16-year-olds, but once puberty has inflamed the adult sex drive, they are quite ineffective.”

          Ethan – I’ve never put this down to ‘conspiracy’ please don’t try to put a tin hat on my head – it doesn’t match my paedo-glasses 🙂 – society is a complex thing, and the ways attitudes and beliefs arise are equally complex (I’ve written about this here https://consentinghumans.wordpress.com/2015/08/25/towards-the-aetiology-of-paedophobia/).

          Yes, adolescents generally have a much stronger and more determined sexuality than prepubescents. Prepubescent sexuality generally less so – but surely you’re not trying to suggest that prepubescent sexuality ISN’T repressed in the West!? Have you read ‘Harmful to Minors’? Have you seen the statistics about how many deaths a child will see on tv compared to how many fucks? Are you aware of how circumcision is an act to reduce sexual pleasure? How many parents in the USA or UK if they see their 6 year old masturbating will distract it – and how many will encourage it?

          Yes, teenage sexuality is irrepressible – but prepubescent sexuality isn’t – and I think that that is where the problem lies.

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          1. Yes, pedophiles who have been in relationships with kids can give their testimony, like any other witness. But this whole mindset wants pedophiles to be not just witnesses, but lawyers — and not just lawyers but perhaps judge and legislature too! In focusing on your good outcome (which could be drawn from T Rivas’s list) you omit consideration of the many cases where children clearly were misled or did not consent as if they had no relevance at all.

            “Have you seen the statistics about how many deaths a child will see on tv compared to how many fucks?”

            At least allow for the possibility that the kids don’t want to see “fucks”. Surely you’re aware of the kids who turn away and shriek when they see two people kissing in a movie? Nowadays, with porn widely available to young kids, they will see just as many fucks as they want to see if not more.

            “Are you aware of how circumcision is an act to reduce sexual pleasure?”

            I hadn’t heard that argument lately, no. I’m skeptical, but sure, give me a reference.

            “How many parents in the USA or UK if they see their 6 year old masturbating will distract it – and how many will encourage it?”

            You raise a very high bar here for acceptance of child sexuality. “Distraction” relates to privacy, which is valued even by most who are sex-positive. A standard response is something like, “that’s fine to do, but it’s something to do in private”. Active encouragement sounds creepy to me. “I noticed you earlier rubbing against the sofa. That can feel really good if you know how to do it right. Want to talk about it?” Blech. The enlightened sex ed parenting advice for young kids is to be willing to answer kids’ questions whenever they have them, in simple terms. It doesn’t involve taking advantage of a simple question to say way more than the kid wanted to know.

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            1. >”But this whole mindset wants pedophiles to be not just witnesses, but lawyers — and not just lawyers but perhaps judge and legislature too!

              Haven’t we all got to be ‘judge and jury’ when it comes to forming our personal opinions? And once we’ve formed that opinion are we not right to defend and promote it? Isn’t that what freedom of speech and thought amounts too? How are virpeds different to this?

              >”In focusing on your good outcome (which could be drawn from T Rivas’s list) you omit consideration of the many cases where children clearly were misled or did not consent as if they had no relevance at all.”

              The case for consensual child-adult intimacy has as much to do with cases ‘where children clearly were misled or did not consent’ as the case for the legalisation of homosexuality has to do with the crimes of Jeffrey Dahmer or John Wayne Gacy. Should heterosexuality be made illegal because some men and women beat or rape their partners, or trick the members of the opposite sex into having sex with them?

              >”The enlightened sex ed parenting advice for young kids is to be willing to answer kids’ questions whenever they have them, in simple terms. It doesn’t involve taking advantage of a simple question to say way more than the kid wanted to know.”

              Would you apply the same attitude to reading, maths, writing, learning to walk, talk, swim, socialisation etc? In what other fields of human knowledge are we unwilling to take the child’s (metaphorical) hand and lead them to a deeper knowledge and understanding than they were able to envisage for themselves in their state of ignorance?

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        3. Thank you also for arguing your points here, Ethan. Most of what you had to say here is a mirror of what you have said to me and other pro-choicers on numerous occasions over on GC and elsewhere, and the responses of Lensman and Christian were more than sufficient responses that I do not need to reiterate them here, especially since you’ve heard said refutations numerous times already as well. Just a few things:

          As for this massive conspiracy to suppress child sexuality, you’re looking in a fun house mirror, with everything distorted.

          I honestly refuse to believe that you seriously think that suppression of child sexuality is nothing more than a conspiracy theory, because I know you grew up in the same culture that I did, Ethan. In order to believe that suppression of child sexuality doesn’t actually exist, you would have to convince numerous people that they didn’t routinely see parents or other adults in charge admonish a little boy for touching a little girl’s buttocks; or teachers and social workers insisting that every time a little boy pulled up a little girl’s dress at school, that it’s a pathological action which must mean that “abuse” has likely happened to the child. You need to understand that most people are not dense enough to overlook these pervasive forms of sexual suppression, and pretending not to notice doesn’t convince the many objective people who saw such censorship on a regular basis as they grew up.

          Conservative parts of western culture suppress brutally any expression of sexuality by 16-year-olds, but once puberty has inflamed the adult sex drive, they are quite ineffective.

          The laws and societal pressure make it quite easy to suppress sexual expression of a 16-year-old. They may be tolerant of mid-adolescents dating each other, but they would intervene in a heartbeat if the 16-year-old in question wanted to date a much older adult.

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          1. Sure, there is some sexual repression, I’ve never denied that, I reject a *massive* conspiracy to suppress it. Some are hysterical and severely repressive on the subject. But many others are not (beyond a desire for privacy and some nervousness on the subject), and I see very little evidence of extensive sexual expression in those more liberal places. This in turn implies that the severely repressive folks are not really suppressing all that much in prepubescents.

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            1. Sure, there is some sexual repression, I’ve never denied that, I reject a *massive* conspiracy to suppress it.

              It’s hardly just “some,” Ethan. And it’s not a conspiracy at all, it’s a common occurrence that is done quite overtly all the time. It’s the result of a very pervasive WEIRD belief that children should not be acting sexual in any way whatsoever, as that’s something only adults (and legal adults, at that) are supposed to do. Sexual expression is believed to be inherently unhealthy for them, and there are numerous stories involving children who were treated as predators for being sexual with each other.

              I believe that Western society grudgingly accepts that young adolescents have sexual feelings, but open expression of all but the most innocuous examples are heavily punished and suppressed, and it’s likewise considered unhealthy and inappropriate for anyone under, say, 16 to be acting on their sexual desires beyond minor kissing and hand-holding.

              Some are hysterical and severely repressive on the subject. But many others are not (beyond a desire for privacy and some nervousness on the subject),

              I think it’s quite obvious that there are very few parents, mainstream liberal or otherwise, who are in any way accepting of their younger adolescent kids being sexual with each other, especially not if the kid in question is a girl, and especially not in America, the world leader of the hysteria (though Britain has tried hard to give its errant offspring a run for its money in that department). There are even some states in the U.S. where anyone under the age of consent can be indicted under fornication laws if they are caught being sexual with each other sans parental permission. And I think any parents who granted such permission would be looked down upon heavily by friends, family, and the media voices for being “irresponsible” and “unfit” guardians.

              and I see very little evidence of extensive sexual expression in those more liberal places. This in turn implies that the severely repressive folks are not really suppressing all that much in prepubescents.

              More of your famous wishful thinking, Ethan. That wishful thinking being that we live in a world where the majority of adults think it’s okay for pre-pubescents to be sexually expressive towards each other, and that the reason we don’t see it is because most pre-pubescents are something close to asexual. These aren’t even assumptions, but statements that are easily refuted by anyone who lived during the past 30 years who do not have an agenda to ignore the obvious. The fact that younger people, including pre-pubescents, are routinely put on sex offender registries for everything from mutual exposure with each other, to touching each other, to sexting, makes it quite clear that pre-pubescents are naturally sexual (to individual degrees, and typically not as intense as adolescents and adults, granted) and that your claims to the contrary actually go beyond wishful thinking. Since I know how intelligent you are, I honestly do not believe you are that naive, but simply strictly adhering to the common narrative no matter what type of belief it requires.

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          2. Also dissident; Is it not true that the average girl, In the western world, Start puberty at around nine years old, I haven’t noticed society in the western world, treating hebephiles any more favourable than those that are attracted to prepubescents!

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            1. Agreed, Salem, since pubescents and young adolescents have been absorbed into the paradigm of the “Innocent Child” due to the fact that they share a legal status. This is why pedophilia and hebephilia are not even distinguished from each other in the minds of many outside of the scientific and academic communities.

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  15. The lensman blog is on my blog roll and i get alerted if something new is published. It is one of the few i follow.

    The “you are rationalizing” attack is in my experience a two step attack. They jump over step 1 and in step 2 accuse you of self-serving faulty logic. But step 1 is “a belief held on irrational grounds”. It is not a rationalization if there are no irrational grounds. When getting accused of “rationalization” one should respond with “show me the irrational grounds my belief stands on”.

    I’m certainly guilty of finding explanations for pedophilia, but i don’t think i’m rationalizing. I’m trying to plant my assumption on firm ground. The irrational ground are underneath the masturbation hysteria and the current witch hunt against pedophiles.

    Todd Nickerson is wrong. Children have started to protest against the repressive sex laws. They protest every time they send an erotic selfie to their friends. There are teenage pregnancy with minors as mothers. If Todd were listening, he would hear that the youth thinks AoC laws are just bullshit.

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  16. Those are some really good points you make Christian – I wanted to include the point you make in your last sentence which is that when your interests accord with the dominant narrative, to defend them not considered as self self-serving or rationalzation: a parent arguing that their child shouldn’t be able to engage in a relationship with an adult she loves is not considered to be rationalizing, though that stance may be based on intense feelings of jealousy and possessivness.

    >”Another cliché is that paedophiles don’t really love children, they only love their bodies and just seek “personal sexual gratification”. ”

    It always shocks me when I come across this cliché – and it makes me wonder if norms can only envisage a child is worthy of love because they are a carrier for their genes. When they look at their children and see how wonderful and beautiful and full of vigour and life they are, can’t they imagine that someone who hasn’t got a genetic stake in them could feel the same way?

    In the end such attitudes betray a profoundly condescending attitude towards children – as if they weren’t quite worthy of being loved pure and simply for who they are as individuals.

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  17. This is an absolutely superb article, as usual – the best argument I have seen anywhere on rationalisation, and a good deal else..

    There is nothing for me to add except a small technical note.on the age of consent in the UK. Under English common law the age of consent for girls to have sexual intercourse was 12 until 1875, when it was raised to 13 by an amendment to the Offences against the Person Act 1861. It was then further raised from 13 to 16 in the 1885 Criminal Law Amendment Act.

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  18. Another term used in such debates is that an opinion is “self-serving”. Of course, anyone fighting personal oppression, discrimination and stigmatization is “self-serving”: gays, transgenders, blacks, etc. One could even suspect it in people defending other people’s rights: for a misandrist, a man defending women’s rights to contraception and abortion or AIDS prevention just wants to be able to fuck women without bearing the consequences, and a man opposed to the punishment of adulterous women just wants to seduce married women.
    One can even, in the fashion of self-styled “radical feminists”, suspect political motives in sexual orientations: paedophiles want children because they can “dominate” them, or gays are driven by misogyny (“proof”: in ancient Greece, men were misogynists and advocated boy-love).
    Another cliché is that paedophiles don’t really love children, they only love their bodies and just seek “personal sexual gratification”. Of course, heterosexuals have the privilege of being believed whenever they claim to be in love, even when in fact they just look at the body and seek personal sexual gratification. The right of heterosexuals to live as they want is not “self-serving” nor a “rationalization”, it is “natural”.

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