My original intention for this essay was to research the effects of stigma on the most vulnerable amongst us – young persons in the process of realising that they may be paedophiles.

Searches for relevant studies have turned up nothing that properly addresses this issue.

There are some scientific papers that address the more general issue of ‘paedophilia and stigma’. But these feel distant and unfocused, as if the researchers were investigating the psychology of insects and making generalisations whose sole purpose is to stop the chitinous critters eating the furniture. The purport of these papers generally amounts to little more than recommendations that paedophiles have better access to therapy.

This lacuna in the research literature can be explained partly by the fear of Courtesy Stigma which makes researchers, faculties, funding bodies and publishers reluctant to engage with this subject on any but the most hostile terms; and partly because, in the popular mind, describing paedophiles as ‘stigmatised’ is to commit a category error: the attribution of stigma is predicated on the stigma being seen as in some way ‘undeserved’ or ‘excessive’. If society perceives a group’s or individual’s stigmatisation as deserved, then what they suffer is not ‘Stigma’ but ‘Justice’. After all, was Rudolf Hess being ‘stigmatized’ by his trial at Nuremberg?

On finding so little useful research I set aside my original intention and instead started work on another essay, part of which required me to investigate the effects of stigma not on paedophile youth, but on homosexual youth.

There is, not surprisingly, an embarras de choix of studies on this subject. And, surprisingly, these studies have taught me more about the stigmatisation of paedophile youth than have the few existing studies that actually focus on paedophiles and stigma. Compared to paedophile studies these have an exhilarating ‘graininess’ to them that comes from an proper engagement with their subjects as human beings, not merely as vectors of a problem. They treat Stigma as an evil in itself, not (as is the case with paedophile studies) a problem only insofar as it increases the bearer’s risk of offending.

The instruction that these studies has provided hasn’t, however, been spoon-fed or linear. Rather they have confronted me with a multitude of considerations that escape the radar of paedophile studies – romance, friendship, role models, culture, happiness, school curricula and policy…

I have hesitated about how best to share all this with you. I have tried to smelt and isolate the paedophile-related insights from the LGB ore. But the resulting text lacked the urgency and impact of my original perceptions. The comparative perspective allows one to gauge the size and shape of the problem: society acknowledges that LGB discrimination is a mountain. But a little inductive wind directed at the clouds beyond this mountain reveals another mountain whose immensity makes the ‘LGB-stigma mountain’ look like a valley – the mountain of paedophile-stigma.

One becomes the measure of the other. Anyone who climbs the smaller mountain will be in a better position to experience the sublime terror proper to the greater mountain. With this in mind I have decided to show you this mountain by taking you along the route by which I discovered it. That way you can make your own observations, inferences and extrapolations, and draw your own conclusions.

But first I’d like to alert the reader to a couple of caveats, and also outline the factors that determine the age at which young people can become subject to paedophilia-related stigma.

Caveat

Tom O’Carroll has alerted me to a significant sampling error in the LGB youth studies. In Tom’s words:

the surveys of LGB youth are bound to include a number of participants who are actually child-oriented, especially men who are B[oy] L[over]s. It is to be expected that these hidden participants disproportionately contribute to the reported levels of depression, suicidality, etc. They are hidden [because] no one is keen to ask questions that would reveal their politically unwelcome presence.”

Tom then goes on, in this private message, to give a startling instance of a researcher refusing to factor in the existence of paedophile youth in a study that aims to include all sexual minorities – a refusal that persisted even after the size of the paedophile population was made clear to him, and how such an omission would weaken the validity of his study (for a more details of this ‘exchange’ see Tom’s comment below).

Given the homophilic social context of these ‘LGB’ studies, and so long as ‘P’ is excluded when thinking about LGBT+ youth, it is likely that some, maybe most, of the stigma-damage they pick up is in truth damage endured by paedophile youth.

There is a second room-filling elephant the sight of which we should never lose: you will find no references in these studies to the (fear of) prosecution of LGB youth; and few to harassment or persecution at the hands the legal system or its agents.

Engaging in intimacy with peers of your own sex and the accessing of gay/lesbian porn are both legal in the societies where these studies were conducted. And questioning or challenging homophobia is also relatively risk-free.

Compare this to the condition of paedophile youth: it is highly illegal to engage in even the mildest consensual intimacy with someone they love, as is accessing erotic material. It is also difficult and effectively illegal to seek out the society of those to whom they are attracted. And the consequences of just questioning or challenging paedophobia can be more grievous than those of actually committing certain serious crimes.

Studies into homosexuality conducted in the 1940s and 50s, when it was still illegal, would better represent the intensity and institutional nature of the stigmatisation of paedophilia today; as would contemporary studies conducted in societies where superstition and ignorance still fuel a hatred of homosexuality as intense as (and even more lethal than) the hatred of paedophiles in WEIRD societies. Such societies see stigmatisation not as a problem but as a solution to the problem of the ‘aberrant’ sexuality.

the onset of stigma

In the my previous post on stigma I mentioned two factors that determine the age at which a person can become subject to paedophilia-related stigma:

Firstly, the desirer must have reached an age at which society is willing to consider them as having sexual preferences: generally puberty. To attribute a chronophilia to a child before then would implicitly violate society’s taboo against child sexuality.

Secondly, the desirer’s age must have pulled away from the age of the desired by a significant margin.

If one accepts doctors Michael Seto and Ray Blanchard’s categorisation of chronophilias (see The seven ages of sexual attractiveness at HereticTOC) we can postulate ages at which it is possible to first realise that one has a particular chronophilia.

.

preferred ages

earliest age(s) of preference awareness

nepiophilia

0 – 2

4

paedophilia

3 – 10

7 – 12

hebephilia

11 – 14

15 -18

ephebophilia

15 – 17

19

.

‘Younger’ chronophilias (such as nepiophilia) are more intensely stigmatised than ‘older’ ones. If we factor this in, then we can hypothesise that the earlier a child becomes aware of having chronophilic desires the more intense the stigma they are likely to find themselves subjected to: an 11-year-old who realises they are chronophilic will do so out of a desire for babies, toddlers or young prepubescents; a 17-year-old discovering themselves to be chronophilic could be experiencing less stigmatised desires for older prepubescents or young adolescents.

The extracts

The extracts come from the following studies:

(1) – ‘Mental Health in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Youth‘ – Stephen T. Russell and Jessica N. Fish (2016)

(2) – ‘Adolescent sexual orientation‘ – Canadian Paediatric Society (2008)

(3) – ‘Prejudice, Social Stress, and Mental Health in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Populations: Conceptual Issues and Research Evidence ‘ – Ilan H. Meyer (2003)

(4) – Chapter 4 ‘Childhood/Adolescence’ in ‘The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People : Building a Foundation for Better Understanding‘ – the Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health Issues and Research Gaps and Opportunities (2011)

I have edited the excerpts for readability and removed references. I have kept my own comments to a minimum (they are non-indented and in Roman type): most extracts yield their full purport if read critically and with the following two questions in mind:

  •  Is the stigma faced by paedophile youth different in nature (rather than in intensity) to that faced by LGB youth?
  • If this is the experience of LBG youth in the homophilic West, then how much worse must things be for paedophile youth?

It also helps to read these extracts wearing the sardonic sneer of one who knows himself about to win a bout of misery one-upmanship (The Four Yorkshiremen Sketch).

identity formation

The challenge for gay and lesbian youth is to develop a healthy and integrated identity in the context of negative stereotypes and prejudice, often without family or societal support. (2)

The teen may experience identity confusion – being aware of same-sex attractions but in turmoil about it. This confusion is influenced by the stigma attached to homosexuality, inaccurate knowledge, lack of role models and minimal opportunity to socialize with other youth who are having similar feelings. (2)

There is even less opportunity for paedophile youth to socialise with one-another. Unlike with LGB youth there is no style (such as ‘camp’ or ‘butch’), through which they can make their sexual identity known. And if there were it would be too dangerous to adopt.

Support specifically related to and affirming one’s sexual orientation and gender identity appears to be especially beneficial for youth. Sexuality-related social support from parents, friends, and community during adolescence each uniquely contribute to positive well-being in young adulthood, with parental support providing the most benefit. (1)

The early adolescent years are characterized by heightened self- and peer regulation regarding especially gender and sexuality norms. During adolescence, youth in general report stronger prejudicial attitudes and more frequent homophobic behavior at younger ages. Young adolescents may be developmentally susceptible to social exclusion behavior and attitudes, whereas older youth are able to make more sophisticated evaluative judgments regarding human rights, fairness, and prejudice. (1)

After they accept their stigmatized sexual orientation, LGB people begin a process of coming out. Optimally, through this process they come to terms with their homosexuality and develop a healthy identity that incorporates their sexuality. (3)

Paedophilia has become very visible in the media and the popular discourse, and I suspect that consequently children are adopting society’s knowledge and conception of ‘the paedophile’ at ever younger ages. If this is the case, then this will ratchet up the intensity and damage of the stigma the youngest paedophiles will endure: they may suspect themselves of being paedophile earlier, the stigma will be of a stronger nature (see final paragraph of ‘the onset of stigma’ above) and their peers will be ready to stigmatise them at younger ages too.

stigma-damage

Gay and lesbian adults often describe their adolescence as a time when they felt isolated, ashamed and afraid of being discovered that they were different – all of which can have an impact on self-esteem and identity formation. (2)

Almost 18% of lesbian and gay youth participants met the criteria for major depression, 11.3% for PTSD, 31% of the sample reported suicidal behavior at some point in their life. National rates for these among youth are 8.2%, 3.9%, and 4.1%, respectively. (1)

The risk of suicide appears to be highest when a teen acquires a gay identity at a young age, when there is a family conflict, if the teen has run away or been thrown out of the house, if he or she is conflicted about his or her orientation, or if he or she has not been able to disclose his or her orientation to anyone. (2)

Gay teens are more likely to be kicked out of their homes and living on the streets than their heterosexual peers. (2)

Gay youth are more likely to start using tobacco, alcohol and other substances at an earlier age. Possible reasons for increased risk may include self-medication for depression and low self-esteem, or increased tendency toward risk behaviours in response to rejection by family and peers. (2)

LGB youth were 1.25 to 3 times more likely than their heterosexual peers to receive punishment from schools, police, or courts. (4)

family

Parents’ support of sexual orientation and gender expression was related to higher levels self-esteem, less depression, and fewer reports of suicidal ideation or suicide attempts. (1)

LGB youth often hate the idea that they are lying, by omission, to their parents, but also worry about how their parents will react. (2)

Many LGB youth fear coming out to parents and may experience rejection from parents because of these identities. Those who fear rejection from family and friends also report higher levels of depression and anxiety (1)

Although not all youth experience family repudiation, those who do are at greater risk for depressive symptoms, anxiety, and suicide attempts. (1)

Some parents suspect that their teen is gay, but may feel as awkward as the teen in bringing it up. Teens can introduce the subject of homosexuality by bringing up a book that they are reading or something that is in the news, and seeing what their parents have to say. (2)

Few paedophile youth will be lucky enough to need such subtle strategies to elucidate their parents’ attitudes.

Health and health-care

The teens may ask their family doctor for their advice. The teen can be helped to explore their parents’ possible reactions by thinking about how they talk about gay people, how they interact with gay people they meet and how they deal with unexpected information. (2)

LGBT youth may lack access to health care professionals who are able to provide appropriate care to LGBT patients. (4)

There appears to be some unease among physicians about addressing sexual orientation with their adolescent patients. (4)

Studies have shown that suppression, such as hiding secrets, is related to adverse health outcomes and that expressing and disclosing traumatic events, or characteristics of the self, improve health by reducing anxiety and promoting assimilation of the revealed characteristics (3)

Conversion or reparative therapy, where attempts are made to turn gay males or lesbians into heterosexuals, are clearly unethical and should not be provided by physicians, nor should physicians refer patients for such therapy. (2)

Minority Stress

Minority stress theory posits that sexual minorities experience distinct, chronic stressors related to their stigmatized identities, including victimization, prejudice, and discrimination. These distinct experiences disproportionately compromise the mental health and well-being of LGBT people. (1)

Studies show that minority individuals experience a high degree of prejudice, which causes stress responses (e.g. high blood pressure, anxiety) that accrue over time, eventually leading to poor mental and physical health.

There are three stress processes (a) actual instances of structural or institutionalized discrimination, and face-to-face victimization or prejudice; (b) expectations that victimization or rejection will occur and the vigilance related to these expectations; and (c) the internalization of negative social attitudes e.g. internalized homophobia.

Romance

Romantic relationships are understood as important developmental experiences for adolescents, but LGB youth may experience a number of social barriers related to dating same-sex partners that may have implications for their development during adolescence. These barriers include potentially limited access to romantic partners, minority stressors specific to pursuing relationships with same-sex partners, and the restriction of same-sex romantic behavior in educational settings. (1)

LGB youth who reported having a romantic partner experienced less depression over time, and the presence of LGB friends attenuated the effects of victimization. (1)

How to meet someone who may be interested, how to flirt, what to do on a date or how to introduce a sexual element to the relationship are all things that may mystify a young person. The stakes are high – if a heterosexual male teen asks a girl out and she says no, he might feel rejected, but he does not risk being labelled as a pervert or being assaulted. (2)

Some youth may have fewer intrapersonal skills and resources to cope with minority stress experiences or may develop maladaptive coping strategies as a result of stress related to experiences of discrimination and prejudice. Same-sex-attracted adolescents were more likely to ruminate and demonstrated poorer emotional awareness compared to heterosexual peers; this lack of emotion regulation was associated with later symptoms of depression and anxiety. (1)

One thing paedophile youth have to deal with is Age Apartheid. This has no equivalent in the LGB-youth experience. Age Apartheid keeps paedophile youth isolated from those whose friendship and affection they most need. LGB youth can conceal their romance under the guise of friendship. This is a much harder thing to pull-off for paedophile youth since society views friendships between adolescents and younger children with great suspicion.

internalised stigma

‘Internalized homophobia’ refers to the internalization of societal antigay attitudes in lesbians and gay men. (3)

In the absence of overt negative events, and even if one’s minority status is successfully concealed, internalized homophobia means that lesbians and gay men may be harmed by directing negative social values toward the self. (3)

Although it is most acute early in the coming out process, it is unlikely that internalized homophobia completely abates even when the person has accepted his or her homosexuality. Because of the strength of early socialization experiences, and because of continued exposure to antigay attitudes, internalized homophobia remains an important factor in the gay person’s psychological adjustment throughout life. (3)

Research has shown that internalized homophobia is a significant correlate of mental health including depression and anxiety symptoms, substance use disorders, and suicide ideation. (3)

In the absence of any positive narratives, depictions, associations or role models in our culture – ‘internalised paedophobia’ amongst paedophiles is likely to be highly prevalent,  normative and ingrained (viz. Virtuous Pedophiles). This is likely to create great problems for paedophile youth, who are corralled into adopting the ‘monster’ and ‘predator’ persona, because society makes no other identity available to them.

Adopting such identities is hardly conducive to mental health, self-respect and responsible action, and is likely to cause alienation and self-loathing, isolation and offending.

education

Concerns about their safety have consequences for the academic achievement of LGBT youth. Compared with other students, LGBT students were more likely to report low grades, to miss school because they felt unsafe, and to report less support from teachers and other adults. (4)

LGB youth living in counties with fewer sexual orientation and gender identity-specific antibullying policies are twice as likely to report past-year suicide attempts than youth living in areas where these policies were more commonplace. (1)

LGBT-inclusive curriculums introduce specific historical events, persons, and information about the LGBT community into student learning and have been shown to improve students’ sense of safety and feelings of acceptance and to reduce victimization in schools. (1)

Whether or not to come out at school is a rare instance in which paedophile youth may have it better, or at least simpler, than LGB youth, for whom the decision is something of a 50/50 gamble, with many pros and cons to be weighed up. For paedophile youth, the cost/benefit calculation of coming out is so simple – being so cost-heavy – that its hard to imagine a situation where it might be the better option.

Another factor is that homosexuality has its associated cultural markers: ‘camp’ for male homosexuals, ‘butch’ for lesbians. These markers facilitate the identification of possible sexual partners and like-minded people. Unlike homosexuals, paedophiles don’t have an existential need to meet those who share their sexuality. This means that there is little need for such markers of identity (however, if there existed markers that allowed adultophilic children to identify paedophiles, undoubtedly most of us would be greatly tempted to adopt those markers).

An LGB youth can adopt aspects of these markers and express an LGB identity without actually coming out (though even this poses an increased risk of being identified as LGB by peers).

But there is a danger that these identities be adopted unconsciously by LGB youth – I have known boys as young as 6 who are ‘camp’. This means that, unbeknownst to the child, his/her sexuality identity is already on display, ‘outing’ them to the world before they are properly ‘out’ to themselves, and leaving them vulnerable to stigmatisation.

The ubiquity of false conceptions of ‘the paedophile’ also makes it much harder for the young paedophile to inadvertently ‘out’ him or herself: people on the look-out for ‘peados’ generally assume that he is a child-scaring ‘monster’, when a much more reliable indicator of someone being a paedophile is that they are good with children and that children like them.

1695640-teenage-boy-and-little-brother-walking-at-the-beach-holding-hands-rear-view

50 thoughts on “Stigma and Paedophilia – the Early Years

  1. Also worth noting that the situation on stigma must be quite different for today’s youth than it was just 40 years ago, when few people dwelt on pedophilia but homosexuality – though largely legal by then – was still somewhat stigmatized – and there was still living memory of when it was fairly common for a 13 or 14 year old woman to get married..

    So I figured out I liked little girls before I started kindergarten … but I was almost done with high school before I noticed that the girls I liked were no longer in classes with me – and finished with college before I realized that meant I am a pedophile.

    Before that, I mostly noticed that I never understood why boys seemed to like large breasts so much. Never could quite fit in when they wanted to talk about big tits.

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  2. dear LSM, I’d like to step up to the plate here briefly to ask your advice on a matter of what I can only presume is proper etiquette. I very much wish to engage your correspondent ‘Dissident’ on aspects of what he has explicitly enough declared to be the Marxist, or at least neo-Marxist, basis of his larger conceptions and perhaps even broadest social conceptuality. I have been impressed by the great care with which he delineates the problems of SJW approaches and the like, but startled by certain ‘bigger’ and yes, reckless-sounding assertions that for me, threatened to capsize the whole boat! This is probably the last thing a person whose only real desire is to forge that thrilling and incomparable relationship with a small, unutterably vibrant-being should be channeling his energies into, but heh… Here in what has to be the most radically unsexy place on earth, I have no social life to speak of whatsoever, despite being (yes, cue Rousseau…) the most forthright, open & personable fellow on the block!… so online we must go once more.. My question then would be, where do you think the best spot to conduct this sort of exchange would be – somewhere hereabouts or at Heretic TOC? There are also regular references to other locations made here by way of abbreviations, and some of those I ain’t yet ‘decoded’. Maybe a little guide thereto might be in order? In the TOC’s comment-bloc (ha..) I find the mix-up of posts, that is, they appearing in no obvious chronological sequence, somewhat disorienting, and hardly suggestive of the best place to ‘drop in’. I do hope you can advise!

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    1. >”This is probably the last thing a person whose only real desire is to forge that thrilling and incomparable relationship with a small, unutterably vibrant-being should be channeling his energies into…”

      On the contrary, I think that whatever one’s passion, the one who seeks to understand one thing should also seek to understand and appreciate everything. We should be polymaths, interested in diverse, heterogenous things and pursue them to whether they take us!

      >”, where do you think the best spot to conduct this sort of exchange would be – somewhere hereabouts or at Heretic TOC?”

      You are very welcome to conduct it here – normally I do ask that comments be relevant either to the main essay, or to other comments, but if an exchange is interesting and fruitful in itself then I am happy to host it.

      >”There are also regular references to other locations made here by way of abbreviations, and some of those I ain’t yet ‘decoded’.”

      I try, when writing an article, to give a link to any forums or sites mentioned, usually at the first mention of that site in the article. However I may not have always been rigorous enough – but I’ll try to be more disciplined about this in future.

      Please (and I address this to all readers) if ever you come across something that is not clear on my blog – an abbreviation, or acronym, or word, a sentence or a paragraph, please don’t hesitate to ask me to elucidate it. My priority when writing is always effective communication – and whenever fail at that I really would be grateful to anyone who alerts me to the problem and thus gives me the opportunity of rectifying the problem.

      So don’t hesitate to ask about anything that’s not clear.

      I also understand, and appreciate, that I have many readers for whom English is not their first language – likewise I am always happy to help with any difficulties they may have.

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  3. I’m actually not convinced that pedophile stigma actually affects young people so directly as you assume. My reasoning here is that for the stigma to apply, one has to first internalize the label, and that’s difficult to do when the image attached to the label is such a ridiculous caricature.

    This is similar to what I refer to as the “only rapists rape” phenomenon (if there’s a proper term for it, I’d be interested to know): the vast majority of rapes (defined as nonconsensual sexual intercourse) happen in situations that don’t fit the image of violent sexual assault in a dark alley attached to the popular understanding of rape, but rather between dating or married couples. The aggressive party will often freely admit to having coerced the other, while refusing to acknowledge the event as rape. For the same reason, I’d argue, it’s easy or even natural to avoid labeling oneself as a pedophile, because it avoids the difficulty of having to reconcile one’s own self-image and nurturing feelings with the popular image of a pedophile (Somewhere between Aqualung and Peter Scully).

    In my own experience, I found myself so isolated in high school from girls of my primary age of attraction that I honestly thought I was asexual. At the time I was a vocal and vehement anti-pedophile. It wasn’t until a couple of years after I graduated that I met an 11 year old who had a short (and platonic) but profound impact on my life, forcing me to rethink my own identity and my understanding of pedophilia. Unfortunately, the result of that was internalizing the label and accompanying stigma, and the better part of a decade of virped self-hate. Now that I’ve discovered radical pedophilia I think I’ve put the worst effects of that stigma behind me, although I’m still understandably wary of coming out or arguing my case too strongly in a personally identifiable format.

    Now, I’m not arguing that my case is some sort of standard progression that all or even many pedophiles go through, but there’s a few primary factors that shaped my experience that I continue to see across society: the popular image of the pedophile as a heartless baby-raper that’s incompatible with a pedophile’s actual feelings of love and affection for children; strictly-enforced age segregation that prevents most adults from ever coming into contact with children who aren’t relatives and therefore never being confronted by their own urges; the fact that even sexually mature minors are considered to be sexually innocent and therefore not subject to the public disapproval reserved for adults engaged in friendships with children; the ease of reconciling the numerically small age differences between minors (When I’m X years old, he or she will be X – Y. That’s not an unreasonable difference.); and several others.

    Think about it: it’s easy for a twelve year old boy to realize that he’s attracted to boys and not girls. He has access to a large sample size of twelve year old boys and girls, he knows who he’s attracted to, and he has an idea of who his heterosexual peers are attracted to, and he can see the difference. On the other hand, it’s not easy for him to realize that he’s attracted to 6 year old girls, because he may only know half a dozen people that fit that criteria, and he’s probably not attracted to every one of them. Even once he’s confronted with his feelings for this 6 year old girl, he can justify it with “when I’m 40, she’ll be 34. That’s not so bad.” Even a few years on when he realizes he’s consistently attracted to 6-10 year olds, he’s not going to make the jump to “I’m a horrible monster” without a push. It’s more likely that he just thinks he’s a normal guy who happens to like kids, and start dating girls his own age, because he thinks that’s just what people do. If his relationships with that mindset go better than mine did, maybe he’ll never have reason to question his attraction to minors.

    In conclusion, I think the deck is stacked in such a way that it’s unlikely for an average minor to be affected by the brunt of pedophile stigma. However, I would argue that pedo-hate affects children even more strongly than it does pedophiles, because pedo-hate is just a side effect of what amounts to institutionalized slavery of minors.

    Damn, I’d intended to write a couple of paragraphs, but instead I wrote a novel’s worth of run-on sentences. I apologize to anyone that suffered through that, hopefully at least some of it was intelligible.

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    1. I thought this was a great post! It wasn’t “too long” for me, as I am one of those who appreciate a well-thought out post, and I’m more than tolerant of length if that’s what it requires to do it full justice. Thank you for taking the time to compose this, it gave me a lot of food for thought! 🙂

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      1. I agree – it’s a very thought-provoking post.
        If I haven’t responded to it, it is because: 1/ the next blog-essay is taking up all my available time and 2/ I’m thinking of taking [redacted]’s comment, an interesting comment left on Boychat and possibly a third thought-provoking comment, and devoting a separate post to them.

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  4. This is a very revealing piece, LSM, as I would expect from you. I have learnt a new word and a new concept. The new word, chitinous, is not one I expect to find myself using much in future but the new concept, courtesy stigma, could well crop up in my writing.

    You mentioned that I told you about “a startling instance of a researcher refusing to factor in the existence of paedophile youth in a study that purports to, even once their existence has been made clear to him.”

    The way it happened is that the researcher in question, Qazi Rahman, at King’s College, London, announced on Sexnet in October last year an online survey of UK-based “LGBT+” students, inviting their participation. The study would involve completing questionnaires “about sexuality, gender identity, beliefs, thinking patterns, coping strategies and stress levels”.

    I REPLIED THUS:

    Qazi, the rubric on your linked page says this about the scope of the term “LGBT+”:

    “Note, we use the term LGBT+ for its recognisability throughout the survey, however we acknowledge that there are other identities not explicitly represented by that term (for example, queer, pansexual and so on). As such, if you are a gender or sexual minority other than LGBT, for the purposes of this study please respond to LGBT+ as if it includes your identity.”

    I CONTINUED:

    I doubt anyone here would seriously question that paedophiles are far more stigmatised than any other sexual minority.

    Don’t you think their conspicuous omission from this list will help reinforce this stigma and, despite the attempt to sound inclusive, will actually send out the message to paedophile students that you care about everyone except them and do NOT want them to participate? A bit of courage needed on this one, surely?

    BACK TO ME “LIVE”:

    Rahman did not answer my query, leaving me with the impression that my idea had been unwelcome. Thus I would guess, but do not know, that the study went ahead with no explicit discussion of how the participation of paedophiles might affect the results. The study has not yet been published, so far as I can see. Once it appears, maybe I should raise the matter in a letter to the journal in question.

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    1. thanks Tom! I think your one-sided ‘exchange’ with Rahman is worth drawing attention to in the body of the essay – I’m going to insert a link to your comment.

      I can imagine that if Rahman were pressed to reply to your suggestion it might go along the lines

      “I’m interested in ‘sexual minorities’, not ‘perversions’! If I included paedophiles, then why not also include necrophiles, zoophiles, coprophiles…”

      I suspect that one of the connotations of ‘sexual minority’ for Rahman is that it is something he has no moral or aesthetic qualms about.

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      1. I have no figures but suspect that necrophilia, zoophilia and, coprophilia are all rarer than paedophilia. But a more important factor is that those subject to these tendencies/orientations are not as much feared as paedophiles either because it is thought they are not as bad or because people are simply less aware of them. So they are maybe less stigmatised on the whole.

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        1. I suspect that you are right, stephen6000.

          I also suspect that there’s a qualitative difference between teleiophilia, paedophilia, homosexuality etc and necrophilia and coprophilia – the former are all forms of ‘love’ whereas I suspect that necrophilia and coprophilia aren’t.

          Zoophilia is an interesting one – I think it can be a form of love. I mean, many animals, like childre,n are undeniably ‘lovable’ and undeniably respond to and need love – I loved my pet dog and she loved me back (platonically I hasten to say!) – we trusted each other, liked each other and were happy in each other’s happiness – and, yes, she was beautiful.

          I think that many of the ethical nuances that apply to paedophilia also apply to zoophilia – it can be consensual or non-consensual, consent is most clearly signaled by intention and enthusiasm. They are both sexualities whose consensual expressions to a large extent bypass social rules (does an animal worry about legality before humping your leg?) and they both involve an adult being intimate with a being that society considers as ‘inferior’.

          And they are both sexualities about which society is colossally hypocritical – we have few qualms about slaughtering more than 56 billion farmed animals each year for no other purpose than our pleasure, but if someone should engage in sexual intimacy with one of them it’s considered as immoral and disgusting. If I were a sheep I know that I would prefer to have my dick sucked by a zoophile woman than be slaughtered.

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          1. If I were a sheep I know that I would prefer to have my dick sucked by a zoophile woman than be slaughtered.

            But what if a zoophile male attempted to confer the joy of fellatio upon you, my friend? Would you, the sheep, then give the zoophile in question a double kick with both your hind legs? 😛

            Like

            1. Well, interestingly enough – the ‘double kick’ or ‘face-full of claws’ or the ‘dickfull of canine teeth’ is a very clear instance of, when it comes to consent, actions speaking much louder than words!

              Like

  5. More accolades from the peanut gallery, LSM. You outdo yourself.

    On the word ‘Queer’ Paul Christiano wrote in an essay not mentioning his actual girl-lover orientation:

    [i]”Desmond broadens the term’s commonplace referral to gay/lesbian acts and practices to include any act or practice, not necessarily homosexual in nature, which society nevertheless construes as resisting sexual norms.”[/i]

    -Paul Christiano, essay ‘BOOK REVIEW / Dancing Desires: Choreographing Sexualities On & Off the Stage, Jane C. Desmond, editor’ found at http://www.freewebs.com/paulchristiano/essays.htm

    Like

    1. Thanks Heath Synnestvedt,

      A timely reminder of Paul Christiano – a gifted paedophile who was driven to suicide by persecution. The paedo world really should do more to keep his memory and the memory of his choreography and dance alive. I remember watching his choreography to Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ for the first time and finding myself more moved than I had ever been before by dance – he clearly was communicating something that hit a nail deep down. I wish I knew more about dance – I feel so unqualified to write about it.

      I think he died on the the 29th of July 2015 – though I can’t find anything definite. In less than two months it’ll be second anniversary of his death.

      I really should write something.

      Like

      1. A quick check of a calender puts that as a Wednesday, which sounds right because i got the phone call on a Thursday while i was at work, and i think he’d ended his life the day before.

        I’ll let you know if i find-out otherwise.

        Like

      2. I fully concur, my friend. Paul was a personal friend of mine, and he was a basically gentle soul whose life was torn to shreds for being caught viewing the “wrong” type of pics, and later discovered to be in violation of the extremely strict limits on where he could live as a result of being a registered sex offender — again, because of looking at pictures (he was never suspected of, or convicted of, actual sexual contact with an underager). He thus faced almost certain jail time, and that was what finally drove him to suicide. During the decade-long interim (roughly) between being subject to the Modern Gestapo for daring to look at “forbidden” pics and finally feeling compelled to take his life, he dedicated himself to two things above all else in the chaos that his life had become during his final years:

        1) Working with the rest of the Kind community to offer an immense amount of support, taking a lot of his personal time to do this and helping forge the MAP support group B4U-ACT into what it is today;

        2) Trying his best, among a plethora of extreme opposition, to remain gainfully employed and to continue to practice the craft of dance and choreography which he was born to do but cruelly denied a lasting career in due to being outed as a pedophile for looking at sexually attractive pics of girls.

        His suicide really devastated me, as well as many others in the community, and also many in the Non-Kind community, both within and outside of the world of dance, who loved and respected him. He truly does deserve the tribute you intend to give him. His memory, all he suffered for being a MAP in today’s world, and all he did for both the MAP community and the world of dance, deserves to to be remembered by both the current and future generations of MAPs and those who make the vocation of dance/choreography their own.

        Like

        1. Thank you for that Dissident. I may need some help from you, and others who knew Paul, in writing a tribute. And also from someone who is more knowledgable about contemporary dance than I am.
          The film that was on Youtube called ‘unspeakable’ (by by Christopher Perricelli and Paul Christiano, Produced by Christopher Perricelli) in which he talks at length about his struggle, has unfortunately disappeared from youtube. I don’t think I saved a copy of it either.

          I’ll have to see if I can access a copy elsewhere – but if anyone can help, I’d be very grateful.

          Like

            1. thanks for that Heath! It’s a very powerful film and I look forward to watching it again.

              If you’ve anything you might want to mention about Paul that might be suitable for the article – something that tells us about him as a person, or his work for B4U-Act, or as an artist – please don’t hesitate.

              Like

        2. I forgot to say Dissy – if there is anything that I should mention in July’s article on Christiano – anecdotes that are revealing of who he was, impressions, about his work for B4U-Act, or as an artist, or as a friend – please don’t hesitate.

          Like

    1. Oh, I even liked the work of this inqusitive anti-paedo woman:

      https://seen.life/groups/viewdiscussion/3210-so-i-decided-to-research-my-local-phone-book-for-pedophile-symbols-and-found-these-what-do-you-think?groupid=5120

      I suppose that every organisation should refrain from using triangle-shape, heart-shape and butterfly-shape symbols and images, in case to avoid the accusation of being a forefront of a global paedophile underground ring-of-rings (meta-ring, I would call it).

      In Russia, I can recall a hilarious case when an image of rainbow on a milk bottles was found by devout morality guardians to be “covert homosexual propaganda intended to lure children into sodomy”. Some American enthusiasts seem to be taking their road.

      Like

      1. Yes, that one caught my eye for seeming particularly insane, stupid and paranoid.

        And encouraging this ‘Karen Wimm’ in her madness there’s ‘Mike Patriot’ with his:

        “are you saying these adoption companies may be part of a pedophilia ring? How reliable is this? If you stand by this, friend me for I want to investigate this further. TY”

        It’s quite comic really, and strangely reassuring to see just how dumb these people are.

        Like

        1. It does indeed make it clear how incredibly stupid a combination of runaway emotion, extreme hatred, and equally extreme ignorance can make someone appear to be, or at least make their actions. However, the tragedy behind the comedy is how many people are inclined to buy into this type of nonsense simply because it appeals to their strong inner need to believe the world is such a dangerous place that they have to confine their kids to unrestrained supervision and to become dedicated helicopter parents. Those who claim they wish it otherwise are either lying to those they tell this to, or to both themselves and the people they tell this to. The desire for control is one of the dark sides of love, including parental love.

          Believing in this nonsense also appeals to the Savior Complex within many people, not only many parents but also many who do not have kids, including many Virtuous MAPs. In order to justify this complex, they need to have victims, and if real victims turn out to be scarce, they are more than willing to manufacture huge numbers of them.

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  6. I just need to say that I am finding all this chronophilia talk more perplexing than enlightening, redolent as it seems to be with the idea that “orientation” could ever be so absurdly fixed, and never ever subject to the arrival (or new presence) on the scene of one who simply blows you out of this pious tree (taking my use of ‘piety’ there from Kenneth Burke’s ample demonstration that the term has always equated to ‘orientation’). In other words, in purely reprographic terms I am one thing – images of “3 – 10 year olds” are most often sufficiently devoid of the accursed clutter and clobber of adulthood to be far and away the most arresting – but always in actual physical space, potentially quite another.

    Like

    1. hi Warbles

      Yes, I kind of agree with you – the concept of chronophilia is a blunt tool with which to think of the issues around ‘paedophilia’ – but it is a ‘tool’ nonetheless and, used with caution, I think it can permit certain thoughts, hypotheses and conjectures to be explored and considered.

      It’s a case of using the right tool for the job. I acknowledge that the nepi – paedo – hebe classification will always tested by reality and is likely to often be something of an ill-fitting starched shirt.

      However I recognise that it fits my own case pretty well – I’m definitely ‘paedo’ – though hebe girls can be bewitching they are scary alien creatures. Whereas a sweet 7 year old boy can make me tingle, Hebe boys provoke the same feelings in me as a 40 year old man would. As for Nepis – yes, my paternal instincts for babies and toddlers are off the scale, but they really don’t turn me on. Little girls of two can be very beautiful, but I can’t remember having sexual feelings towards one.

      So – yes, I think the nepi-paedo-hebe analysis kind of applies to myself – but I fully appreciate that I shouldn’t extrapolate from myself to the rest of the paedosphere.

      Like

  7. I would like to add one more aspect to chronophilias.
    Let’s make distinction between simple and complex, or”pure” and “bilateral”.
    Pure chronophilia would be attraction to an age only, gender being immaterial.
    bilateral, or complex chronophilia would be attraction to an age with a gender qualifier.
    I happen to be a simple chronophiliac- i love boys and girls, more or less equally.

    Like

    1. >”Well researched as always.”

      Thanks Melorder Fallaburr!

      >”BTW, are you regularly making backup/export of your blog?”

      Yes…and no… all the essays are mostly written off-line, I transfer to online editing once the essay’s final look and layout starts to become a preoccupationi – so I have almost-complete copies of everything.

      But I occasionally wake up in the middle of the night and worry about the possibility that WordPress (bless them) might softened their commitment to freedom of expression and the free-flow of ideas, and pull the plug on blogs like mine.

      Yes, I should back it up or export it. I’ll look into how to do this. Thanks for giving me a necessary admonishment.

      Why do you ask BTW? Are there darker clouds than usual on the horizon?

      Like

      1. Actually, it’s very simple: see your WP admin > Configure > Settings > Export > Export All
        It has one limitation though: it does not save your uploaded images.
        I don’t see dark clouds, but they can come out of nowhere.

        Like

        1. I’ve exported my blog as you suggested. It’s not in a format that is easy to recreate, unless (apparently) you load it into a WordPress template. But I can see that everything is there (other than images) and that is reassuring to know – if the worst comes to the worst.

          Thanks again for keeping me on my toes security-wise.

          Like

  8. “There are some scientific papers that address the more general issue of ‘paedophilia and stigma’. But these feel distant and unfocused, as if the researchers were investigating the psychology of insects and making generalisations whose sole purpose is to stop the chitinous critters eating the furniture. The purport of these papers generally amounts to little more than recommendations that paedophiles have better access to therapy.”

    I think you missed some important recent studies here:

    1. “Navigating the Stigma of Pedophilia: The Experiences of ine Minor-Attracted Men in Canada” by Carin Freimond. (This study is even referenced by Cantor in his latest paper)

    2. “Minor Attraction: A Queer Criminology Issue” by Allyson Walker and Vanessa Panfil

    3. “Self-Identifications, Sexual Development, and Wellbeing in Minor-Attracted People: An Exploratory Study” by Brian Cash

    Except for the second one for which you need to go to sci-hub, they are avaiable to read online for free.

    Like

    1. Thanks very much for those recommendations, Mace – I think I’ve looked at the Freimond, but, for whatever reason, did not take notes on it. But I’ll make sure that I familiarise myself with all three studies you cite.

      I feel that I’ve maybe come across as a bit unfair on the paedophile and stigma researchers – I do appreciate their work – especially someone like Sarah Jahnke of Technische Universität Dresden who is really fighting our corner, but I also think their work is shackled by having to toe the line of the dominant narrative, and focus on offense prevention, rather than the simple well-being of paedophiles.

      (just to add – I’m downloading the studies now – the ‘queer criminology’ one looks like it could be very useful for my next essay – which is a critique of Cantor’s research into paedophile IQ)

      Like

      1. And now I feel as though I have let you down…. I have all of those on computer, but for some reason failed to send them to you. It isn’t the first time I’ve forgotten works I’ve read, (I remember leaving out important stuff in a piece of work I did for my honours, and being told to put it in or fail). Ah well, you have them now.

        Like

      2. “I feel that I’ve maybe come across as a bit unfair on the paedophile and stigma researchers – I do appreciate their work – especially someone like Sarah Jahnke of Technische Universität Dresden who is really fighting our corner,”

        “fighting” is term I’d have used as well till recently when I watched an interview with her on ZDF https://www.zdf.de/verbraucher/volle-kanne/paedophilie-kein-taeter-werden-100.html

        What she says in the interview (second half of the video) is mostly just repeating prejudices and staying in the “prevention narrative”. It was probably her first time on television and it’s understandable to be concerned about controversy. But my impression was more that she actually sees MAPs as a danger and mentally disordered instead of just being afraid one could accuse her of being too sympathetic.

        The Queer Criminology Study on the other hand (contrary to what the “Criminology”-title might suggest) is actually extremely brave. To say that MAPs are a queer population right in the title is admirable. And it’s true that MAPs are discriminated a lot in the criminal justice system (young MAPs can be forced to electro shock “therapy” by their parents; when someone attacks a MAP for their mere orientation then it’s unlikely the police will be helpful, etc.).

        The study by Brian Cash stands out because it doesn’t try to convince any readers that intergenerational relationships aren’t always harmful but Instead it simply takes the perspective of seeing these relationships as normal as a point of view that doesn’t need to be justified to the reader. It even draws parallels between gay people with internalized homophobia and MAPs who see intergenerational relationships as internally wrong and shows results that both groups have lower self-esteem than others.

        Personally, I find Freimond’s study the best one but all three of them are “flawless” I’d say in the sense that there wasn’t a single sentence in them where I felt patronized or stigmatized.

        Like

      3. For what it’s worth, I fully agree with Mace’s recommendations of the papers or theses published by Friemond, Cash, and Walker & Panfil. They are extremely brave, and unlike anything you have ever seen Cantor, Blanchard, or any other of the most commonly considered “reputable” or “creme of the crop” researchers to publish on this topic.

        The closest I can come to protesting anything in these three studies is when later in the Walker/Panfil paper, one of them states that they take it as a given that younger children cannot consent and that they do not want it implied they are saying otherwise (I admittedly didn’t feel like going through the paper for the actual quote, but you will know what I mean when you come across it, and I do not think I am misquoting; note I have immense respect for both of these courageous and open-minded queer researchers, so I am in no way trying to disparage this work; quite the contrary!). I think the “jury is out” on that question, as I have noticed younger children, even those in the toddler age group, making their feelings about how they feel about something quite clear, which in the very least is well within the realm of what mental health professionals have called simple consent.

        For instance, you really should seek to watch the long-running-but-eventually-canceled-due-to-protests-then revived-due-to-high-ratings-only-to-be-canceled-again-due-to-similar-protests American TV reality show about child beauty pageants, Toddlers and Tiaras (though the age range of the contestants mostly vary, from barely over infant to 11 years old, but toddlers seem to be most prevalent, and the great majority are girls). Despite all the justified criticisms of sensationalism that can be brought against this show and the critiques given to the concept of a beauty pageant, or whether it’s “appropriate” or not for kids to be part of beauty pageants, and the guilty pleasure entertainment value provided by the often asinine behavior displayed by the parents and coaches, etc., et al. — aside from all of that, the show itself is a fascinating psychological and sociological study guide for what younger children are capable of expressing and conveying, and whether or not — and to what degree — they are truly a slave to what their parents want in every instance despite the legal power their sires have over them. I do not want this point to be hi-jacked by a discussion of beauty pageants and whether or not they are appropriate, especially with kids, blah blah blah, despite what a ripe subject that is for discussion on its own merits, and which I plan to do an essay on in the future; so I will just say this, to bolster the point I made above:

        Many of the toddlers in that show are clearly in charge and have very strong opinions about what they want and do not want regarding most aspects of the pageants, including whether or not their parents go on stage with them, what outfits they wear, whether or not they want to practice on any given day, the nature of the act they perform and whether to perform as practiced or ad-lib, etc. And those with strong personalities, of which there are many among these pageant contestants, make no bones about expressing it and getting their parents and instructors to acquiesce. In fact, to quote what popular repeat contestant Mackenzie once said to her mother in her distinct little girl Southern accent: “I’m not doin’ what ya tell me.” Yes, Mackenzie has often been portrayed as an ill-tempered brat and a true diva, and maybe she is, but she sure as hell cannot be accused of being meek and simply going along with what her mother and her coaches tell her, or for failing to do her own thing. It should also be noted that she behaves quite amiably around her young fans, and no one can claim it’s because her mother or agent compels her to.

        I’m not saying this counts for all of these contestants, so please do not get the impression that I’m saying they’re all a homogenous group. But this does count for many of them. And it does indicate, IMO, that kids as young as toddlers can be educated to make their pleasure or displeasure with something, whatever the case may be, quite well known without any ambiguity. And those with naturally strong personalities may need no such education to make these things clear, but can still benefit from such education, of course.

        Like

        1. >”The closest I can come to protesting anything in these three studies is when later in the Walker/Panfil paper, one of them states that they take it as a given that younger children cannot consent and that they do not want it implied they are saying otherwise”

          I still haven’t got around to reading the Walker & Panfil, but I wonder – could they just be ‘covering their asses’ (as Americans so quaintly put it 🙂 ). Were they maybe being diplomatic? Or devious? After all, their paper has to be funded, approved, published and reviewed – maybe they thought that funders, supervisors, publishers and reviwers ‘can’t handle the truth’.

          >”Toddlers and Tiaras… I do not want this point to be hi-jacked by a discussion of beauty pageants and whether or not they are appropriate, especially with kids”

          Instead of mounting my high horse I’ll give the show a proper watch – I think, as you suggest, might prove to be a fascinating anthropological experience. And basically I’m in agreement with you – I think children generally know what they want very well, probably better than adults, who perceive choices as being so much more complex. It might be a reductio ad absurdum but probably those human beings most certain of what they want, and most vigorous and unambiguous in their expression of it, are the youngest.

          It’s us adults that are hesitant, look at questions from all sides, care about the grey areas between certainties, are preoccupied with accommodating our needs and desires to social niceties and conventions.

          Like

          1. Yes, it is quite possible that Walker and Panfil gave this one little bit of concession to the public and the university publishing their results, just to be “on the safe side” 🙂

            As for doing a study of Toddlers and Tiaras, two things in particular I ask you to take note of once you do:

            1) Note how strongly so many kids of even toddler age participating in these pageants are quick to protest against anything they dislike. There is one episode where a girl of about two years old was intended by her mom to perform in the pageant along with her older sister. When the day of the pageant came, however, the little girl didn’t want to do it, so she screamed and cried and struggled like a prisoner being hauled to the execution chamber when her mother tried to put her pageant dress on in the dressing room. To her mom’s credit, she then gave up, understood the little girl didn’t want to do the performance, and gave a tear-filled statement to the cameraman about how she realized that she couldn’t and shouldn’t expert the little girl to perform if she didn’t want to, especially in the face of such vehement protest. The next scene had the little girl very calmly and contentedly sitting in her mom’s arms while drinking a cup of juice as they sat in the audience watching her older sister perform, who was enthusiastic about doing so, which made the whole incident end on a positive note and calming note for the viewer.

            The point is, even toddlers are able to clearly convey if they want or do not want to do a certain thing, and this girl made her lack of desire to perform at the pageant abundantly clear despite not yet having mastered speaking in direct words. In fact, toddlers are rather notorious for such resistance when it comes to things they do not want to do, as are children and young adolescents in general. This is why I refuse to buy the frequent illogical claim by many anti-choicers and child protectionists that sexual activity is apparently the one thing that children will still do to please an adult they either like a lot or fear no matter how much they may not want the activity. If they like the adult and do not fear them, I think they will either be quick to make their displeasure with sexual activity known, or the meeker among them will resist passively by simply sitting still and not responding to the activity, hoping the person making the advances takes the hint (which anyone with half a brain and a modicum of social etiqutte should, even if they are “caught up in the moment”). If the adult in question is a truly abusive situational molester whom they fear saying “no” to, then I think they will likewise resist passively. I do not believe for one second, however, that in either case, the unwilling among these children or teens will do a convincingly accurate job of responding with a hefty degree of quasi-enthusiasm that can in any way be mistaken for willing participation.

            That is just not how human nature works, regardless of age. Such claims are thus grasping at the thinnest of straws to justify a certain belief system or set of draconian protectionist policies, and is every bit as condescending to younger people as it is to adults who may be involved with them (i.e., by claiming so many of us do not know when to take a hint and back down, no matter how “caught up in the moment” we may be; I’ve always stopped within a few seconds of being confronted with such passive resistance displayed by younger women of legal age, and I do not believe that my self-control and ability to take a hint is uniquely strong among MAPs or even people in general).

            2) Take heed of the behavior of the adults, both the parents and the coaches most of all, and particularly towards rival parents and coaches, and ask yourself these important questions as you do: Are these adults, many of whom are older and not particularly young, acting “mature” the way our society thinks adults invariably do? Do they always show the best judgment, or typically seem to know more about what their kids want or about pageant performing than their kids, who are actually doing the work involved rather than simply planning it? Is their behavior typically less diva-like than that of their kids?

            I think the answers you come up with will say as much about adults, and the societal myths we attribute to chronological maturity, as it does to children.

            Like

  9. That I know pedophilia is attraction to children under 18, where I live if you dating a 17yo youre a paedo, although I have read that until 22 or 23 children do not have fully developed their brains so until 22 or so there should be considered a type of pedophilia, I do not think a 19 year old girl is ready to date a man, it is my opinion, if I would be a man I never do it, normal men like mature woman like me because because we are more interesting that dating a 19yo kid.

    Like

    1. You, Melissa, may be more interesting to some men than a 19yo “kid”, as you put it, but you can hardly compete with the vitality and intensity of a vibrant nine year old girl.
      If I had to choose between an adult and a 9 year old girl, I would not even have to think about it.
      And I bet at least a third of the so-called normal male pop. would feel likewise (there is proof…).
      Jonathan

      Like

    2. I think, Melissa, that what you said was subjective, and true only on a case-by-case basis. People have a myriad of attraction bases and preferences, some of them being chronophiliac in nature. Many individuals, both younger and older in age, would indeed prefer an older woman like yourself, and find you more interesting than a 19-year-old “kid.” But others, like myself (I’m in my 40s, btw) do not naturally have those preferences, and would prefer a 19-year-old young woman (I won’t use the term “kid” in the derogatory fashion that you did), and would actually prefer a much younger girl. “Normal” is thus very subjective.

      I do understand why this is a difficult issue for you, and how it may be very personal for you, but that doesn’t mean I do not respect you as a person just because I may not be attracted to your age group. Your worth and value as a human being is every bit as legitimate as that of someone much younger, but as I noted, different people of various ages have different preferences on all levels (emotional, social, physical, aesthetic) in regards to age, just as there are preferences based on gender, race, etc. My attraction base is natural to me, decided by Mother Nature and possibly a host of environmental factors I encountered from a very early point in my life, and is not meant as a personal slight against you and other women your age. I have many women in your age group and likely older as valued friends of mine, and each of them know other men who find them attractive and interesting on a romantic level.

      Like

  10. This piece came together really well; you are much better at this than you give yourself credit for.

    I also have to agree concerning the academic research into paedophilia and stigma. It lacks so much in depth and understanding, all due, no doubt, because childhood sexuality does not exist, and because paedophiles..

    Paedophilia has become very visible in the media and the popular discourse, and I suspect that consequently children are adopting society’s knowledge and conception of ‘the paedophile’ at ever younger ages. If this is the case, then this will ratchet up the intensity and damage of the stigma the youngest paedophiles will endure: they may suspect themselves of being paedophile earlier, the stigma will be of a stronger nature (see final paragraph of ‘the onset of stigma’ above) and their peers will be ready to stigmatise them at younger ages too.

    This comment, unfortunately, has a large sting in it. Just a few years ago , I heard my boys (around 13 at the time) talking about another boy at their school, and calling him a “paedo”. I jumped on that immediately, and was told that “paedo” is the ultimate insult at their school, whether or not the person concerned displayed any interest in those younger than them. Needless to say, I then explained everything I imagine you would explain. They took it to heart, and stopped using the term as an insult, with the all but inevitable result that they were stigmatised in turn.

    I don’t know what solution there is to this, but it is worth noting, if only because it could lead to great difficulty for people so branded by a school yard insult.

    I need to re-read before making any other comment, so will end with another well done. You have made stigma against paedophiles an easier to approach subject. I hope some academics read this and take it to heart in their own research.

    Like

    1. Thanks for that BJ – I was particularly interested to read what you’d think, seeing as you kindly gave your advice early on in the thought-process round this essay. And I’m particularly pleased and reassured that you think it works. I really appreciated the advice you gave me and if the essay does work it is in no small part down to the fact that you alerted me to possible problems. The only down-side (for you, anyway) is that I might in future impose on your generosity and ask your advice on ever more essays I have doubts or difficulties with…

      Re- the name calling.

      It must be difficult being a parent in your position – do you do the right thing and discuss and educated your children properly on such questions, but risk them being alienated from the dominant culture? or do you just let them be part of the mob? I hope your sons weren’t too stigmatised – and that the experience was in the end illuminating for them.

      I didn’t hear or read the word ‘paedophile’ until after I actually realised I was one at the age of 16 – and a class mate, learning that I had a crush on an eleven-year-old first year girl told me that that was what I was. What might be amazing to read for younger readers is that there was no rancour or negativity in his telling me. I remember mis-hearing him as ‘a fadophile’ – and ever since I kind of get a Proustian moment when I hear Fado music – such beautiful, melancholic music at that!

      Granted that my parents were the kind not to bother with gutter media – so maybe I was protected. Can you imagine a (reasonably) intelligent, sociable, and well-informed teenager making it to sixteen today, and never hearing the word ‘paedo(phile)’?

      Like

      1. Firstly, it was my pleasure. Please feel free to send any ideas you want a comment on. And thanks: I’m glad my comments were of use to you.

        Secondly, my kids dealt with the silliness quite effectively, I think, if only because I made it perfectly clear to them that a sexual attraction to children is not a crime in and of itself. I kept the discussion at that level and, as far as I know, so did they. They also had some experience in dealing with this type of silliness after they had to deal with claims that I was a pornographer (a result of an exhibition of my nudes). They also became rather good at telling teachers that they, the teachers, were wrong, which led to some interesting discussions with said teachers.

        As for a child growing up without hearing about paedophilia and associating it with sexual assault. No longer possible, I would suspect. Certainly not possible where I live.

        Like

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