(This is the second half of a longer essay. Unless you are already familiar with the methodology of Cantor’s paedophilia research, much of this essay won’t make sense if you haven’t read the first part )


A doctor who specialises in smoking-related lung cancer notices from his patients’ health records that during their childhoods (defined as the period from birth to the end of secondary education) they consulted their GPs for bronchopulmonary problems at a significantly higher rate than average, many of the consultations taking place during their infancy.

The doctor is, of course, aware of the link between smoking and lung cancer – but these patients’ increased rate of childhood bronchopulmonary problems presumably occurred at a time before they had started smoking.

The doctor concludes from this evidence that a propensity to smoke (and consequently develop lung cancer) must stem from genetic or gestational predisposition to smoke. How else explain the fact that those adults who go on to develop lung cancer had a greater incidence of bronchopulmonary problems before they started smoking?

The doctor is of course wrong. He has not properly grasped the complexity behind the rubric ‘rate of childhood bronchopulmonary problems’. There are many factors other than ‘genetic or gestational predisposition’ that could contribute to the perceived correlation (the most notable being, of course, having parents who smoke).

Moreover the doctor has used a definition of ‘childhood’ that is inappropriate to the phenomenon he’s dealing with. By defining childhood as ‘the period between birth to the end of secondary education’ our doctor has introduced a crucial overlap between the notionally non-smoking ‘children’ and his adult group of smokers. The average age for taking up smoking is variously reported as being between 13 and 16. This means that a significant number of the ‘childhood’ referrals for bronchopulmonary problems of his cancer patients occurred at a time when they were already active smokers.

Let’s quickly revisit the problem with Cantor’s Grade Failure research as outlined in the first part of this essay.

Cantor found that in samples of sexual offenders IQ and brain-functioning diminished as the Age of Attraction got younger. He also found the same pattern with self-reported grade failures that had occurred during their compulsory education.

On the basis that –

grade failure and identification as having special education needs during primary or secondary education [are] indicators of early developmental pathology”
(Cantor 2006)

Cantor concluded that the low IQ and other brain-functioning deficiencies must have been either genetic or gestational.

I hope it’s reasonably clear what (to use the scientific terminology) a crock of shit this is.

Try making the following substitutions to the Lung-Cancer Doctor scenario:

– ‘sexual offending against children’ ↔’having lung cancer’,

– ‘grade failure and other signs of childhood brain deficiency’ ↔ ‘childhood bronchopulmonary problems’,

– ‘being a paedophile’ ↔ ‘smoking’.

The seductive label of ‘childhood’ has led Cantor into assuming that his ‘grade failures’ are uncontaminated by the very factors that would cause functional deficiencies in adult paedophile offenders, most notably Stigma.

Cantor fails to take into account the likelihood that over 50% of paedophiles in his sample knew they were paedophiles whilst still in secondary education, and a significant proportion of these may have known they were paedophiles before the age of 14 (the Visions of Alice survey suggests 20%).

Secondly, because paedophiles become subject to stigma the earliest of the four groups in the study (teleiophile non-offenders, teleiophile sex offenders, hebephile offenders and paedophile offenders), and also endure the most intense stigma, that stigma’s effect on their developing brain, on their social development and on their education will be the most marked.

Thirdly the reporting biases associated with the four groups are such that grade failure which occurred because of paedophile stigma will be best remembered and reported.

All this means that grade failure etc can not be taken as a reliable indicator of “early developmental pathology”, since the stigma associated with paedophilia could be causing, some, most or all of the grade failure reported by the paedophile offender sample. If Dr Cantor had focused exclusively on grade failures that occurred during primary education, when children are much less likely to be identified as ‘paedophiles’ (and thus suffer the associated stigma and stigma-damage), his findings would be more credible.

stigma regained

Confirmation of the role of Stigma in my critique of Cantor’s research has come from a somewhat unexpected quarter:

”One main ramification of having a sexual interest in children, even if one does not act on it, is that these individuals are likely to face intense stigma due to their pedophilic interests and because of this stigma-related stress, be at increased risk of negative mental health and interpersonal outcomes. Stigma for non-offending pedophiles is an important area to research, because the negative outcomes associated with stigma-related stress (e.g., social and interpersonal problems; emotional dysregulation; limited life opportunities) are also theorized to be central risk factors for the initiation of sexual offending.”
(James Cantor in ‘Non-Offending Pedophiles‘ – 2016)

Last year Dr Cantor published a review of recent studies into non-offending pedophiles which appears to mark a break in Cantor’s thinking.

For the first time Cantor acknowledges the existence of non-offending paedophiles. This is quite radical – all his previous work and thinking has focused on offending paedophiles. Indeed, he has, either advertently or inadvertently, eliminated non-offending paedophiles from his samples:

Patients were also excluded if there was no available information regarding their sexual history or inclinations beyond their own self-report at the time they presented at the Laboratory.” (2)

“[some] patients who came to the laboratory were not included here, such as […] those for whom there was no information available regarding their sexual behavior or interests beyond their self-report. (3)

The […] sample excluded [those] for whom there was no sexual behavior or interests information available other than self-report.” (4)

Another ‘First’ for this paper is that it contains Cantor’s first use of the word ‘Stigma’ (or any equivalent word or phrase) in connection with paedophilia.

Indeed he veritably binges on the word – making up for lost time maybe? – using it a grand total of 53 times, making it the 20th most common word in the paper, coming in just ahead of ‘sex’ and ‘is’. (he however used the word several times in connection with homosexuality in his 2012 paper “Is Homosexuality a Paraphilia?”)

BlindMen&theElephant-medium

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that one gets the strong impression reading this paper that Cantor is a man confronting something big that, if viewed in its entirety, would oblige him to wholly re-evaluate not only his views on paedophilia, but also over a decade’s-worth of published, much-cited research.

So in order to best preserve as much he can, he acts like a pachydermophobe locked into a small room with our tusked friend Jumbo. He can only contemplate Jumbo through fearful fingers held over his eyes and, like the blind men and the elephant of legend, notices only disparate, contradictory things.

As the quote at the top of this section indicates, Cantor acknowledges that stigma can be immensely damaging both mentally and socially. But he extends this acknowledgment no further than to ‘non-offending paedophiles’.

He writes as if ‘offending pedophiles’ and ‘non-offending pedophiles’ were two completely separate species, with no permeability between them.

“Non-offending pedophiles are a unique population of individuals who experience sexual interest in children, but despite common misperceptions, have neither had sexual contact with a child nor have accessed illegal child sexual exploitation material.”
(Cantor 2016)

Every ‘offending pedophile’ was once a ‘non-offending’ pedophile, of course. And every non-offending paedophile has somewhere in him or her a strong desire to become an ‘offending paedophile’.

Cantor unwittingly acknowledges this fact since throughout the paper he maintains a close focus on the risk factors that can turn the non-offender into the offender. He also asserts that the principal risk factor is Stigma (I would disagree – I think the principal risk factor is ‘temptation’, but acknowledging this has even more subversive implications than acknowledging Stigma as a risk factor ).

But Cantor also resists this fact. Nowhere in this paper does give any indication of applying the concept of Stigma to offending paedophiles – either after they have committed an offense or before (i.e. when they were still non-offending paedophiles).

It is as if at the moment of their first offense, all the stigma the individual previously experienced (stigma which Cantor acknowledges as being the principal contributing factor to them offending) loses its status as ‘stigma’ and becomes, what? Justice? Pre-emptive Justice?

This is the kind of profoundly sloppy thinking that can only remain erect if supported by a rigid, strong and unshakeable scaffolding of prejudice.

This paper is too little, too late, too narrowly applied.

But there is another significant problem with Cantor’s research…

Berkson’s Bias

Berkson’s Bias can occur when two attributes that are independent of one another (i.e. un-correlated) in the general population appear to be negatively correlated when measured in a subsample that has been constituted through a selection process based on those two attributes.

If the above paragraph makes as much sense to you as it would have done to me when I first started trying to get to grips with Berkson’s Bias then maybe a simple example will be of use:

A university’s admissions criteria asks that their students either have exceptional academic achievement or exceptional musical talents.

A survey of this university’s student population found that the attributes ‘academic achievement’ and ‘musical talent’ appeared to be negatively correlated, despite them being uncorrelated (or even positively correlated) in the general population.

This is because any candidates accepted with poor exam results could only have been accepted because they were musically talented, and students who had good exam results had no need to be musically talented.

univ admissions neg corr

Let’s map Cantor’s methodology onto the above example.

The first part is simple: replace the subsample ‘university student population’ with ‘paedophile offenders’.

But what are the selection criteria for inclusion in the subgroup ‘paedophile offenders’? At first there appears to be only a single criteria: ‘being convicted of for a sexual crime with a child’.

“But, surely”, I hear you protest “Berkson’s Bias requires there to be two independent variables!!”

Well, hush your protests, good reader, and join me in elucidating the variables that lie behind ‘being convicted of for a sexual crime with a child’.

Given a particular level of temptation (let’s imagine a dark-eyed, golden-skinned girl of 7 demanding that you to get into the bath with her and give her a good soaping…) two broad variables will determine whether a paedophile is likely to comply with that child’s request (and thus ‘offend’) or not:

– Propensity to Offend (PO). This measures an individual’s readiness to yield to temptation or engage in illegal activities. High PO correlates with poor impulse control, brain-deficiencies, poor long and short-term memory, and criminality, and has an inverse correlation with IQ and academic success.

[edit 12/06/17 – the ‘Propensity to Offend’ variable is not just applicable to the ‘sexual offender’. It can equally be applied to all ‘offenses’ – tax evasion, murder, stealing paper-clips from the office, illegal parking, burglary…]

– something I’ll describe as ‘Intensity of Paedophilia’ (IP). This measures just how much of a raving paedo you are. It increases in proportion to the youthfulness of the objects of attraction, the exclusivity of the desire, and the intensity of the desire. Someone with a IP of zero is a die-hard geruntophile, who hates children and doesn’t even find them ‘cute’. Someone with a maximum IP might be an exclusive nepiophile who’s overdosed on Viagra.

If we assume that PO and IP are independent variables in the general population (an assumption that Cantor would of course reject…) we get the following graph in which each dot represents an individual in the general population of paedophiles (indeed I suspect that the graph would be valid for the general population of all people, not just paedophiles).

paedo graph blank

Let’s (crudely) divide this graph up into four quadrants.

paedo graph quadrants

The paedophiles in the top-right quadrant with a high PO and a high IP are the most likely to commit a paedophile offense and end up in Cantor’s sample.

The paedophiles in the bottom-left quadrant with a low PO and low IP are the least likely to offend and end up in Cantor’s sample.

The remaining two quadrants (high PO/low IP and low PO/High IP) lie somewhere between the two in terms of risk of offending.

Factors that discourage offending (fear of being caught, of stigma, of damaging the child &c) will push the ‘offending’ area up towards the top right corner of the graph, giving the following negative correlation between the two independent variables.

paedo graph simplified

However Cantor’s analysis of his sample of paedophile offenders does not directly measure ‘propensity to offend’ or ‘intensity of paedophilia’, but instead uses proxy measures: ‘IQ’ for the former and ‘age of attraction’ for the latter. This is not a problem. But since ‘propensity to offend’ is negatively correlated to IQ, as is ‘Age of Attraction’ to IP, the scale of values in the following table are inverted.

So, despite IQ and Age of Attraction being independent and randomly distributed in the general population, the biases in the selection process by which the subgroup of ‘paedophile sex offenders’ is constituted means that a strong negative correlation appears between intelligence and attraction to younger children.

The following table is what Cantor’s research proposes as the distribution of IQ and Age of Attraction in the general population of paedophiles (not just of ‘offenders’).

cantors view

stop press

Who says good things don’t happen to good people?

Out of the blue, as I was working on this essay, I was alerted to research that has come fresh off the press with the title ‘Gray matter anomalies in pedophiles with and without a history of child sexual offending‘ (B Schiffer & al) and which seems to confirm the validity of the ‘Propensity to Offend’ variable I introduce in the ‘Berkson’s Bias’ section above.

I’m not going to go into detail on this paper, partly because it is heavy going and partly because, though its findings support my arguments here, it takes the same stigmatising approach to paedophiles as Cantor does. Nevertheless – the paper concludes that:

“The present study substantiates the idea that CSO [Child Sex Offending] in pedophilia rather than pedophilia alone is associated with changes in GM [Grey Matter] integrity, particularly in the right temporal pole”

This implies that ‘perturbations of neural development’ do not cause paedophilia per se, but rather contribute to a propensity to offend. In other words, that ‘IP’ and ‘PO’ are indeed independent variables.

It may be the case that more intelligent paedophiles are not just less likely to be caught, but are also less likely to offend. The greater impulse control associated with high achievement in education serves to reduce the likelihood of committing crimes of impulse and temptation. This would tend to exclude paedophiles with higher IQ from Cantor’s samples of paedophile offenders.

A letter to James Cantor’s from his research supervisor…

Rummaging round amidst the bags of Cheetos, cans of beer and half-eaten Big Macs in Dr Cantor’s trashcan the other night I came across the following letter. I think it may be of interest to the readers of this blog…

Dear little Jamie-Pooh (I’m sure you won’t mind me calling you that, especially after what happened the other night…)

re your research:

Good show! Ten out of ten for effort!

But I’m afraid I’ll have to mark you down for letting your prejudices run away with you.

Why not look on your research on pedophilia to date as a ‘false start’ from which you can draw valuable lessons? You know, boy, sometimes you have to walk a short path heading East to catch the plane heading West. If you learn from your mistakes I’m sure that you will one day do some really top quality research on pedophiles.

Here are some bullet points for you to think about:

– you know, that ‘Sisyphus Mann’ fellow is quite right: you really should have limited your grade failure data exclusively to primary school grade failures. Surprised that you didn’t spot that one.

– going forward, you should work on accessing samples of pedophiles from the general population. I know that this isn’t easy, but ‘per ardua ad astram’…Using offenders, especially for a condition as stigmatized as pedophilia really sucks – just too many confounding factors – elucidating reliable facts from such a sample is like searching for a stick-insect in a big pile of sticks.

– focus on the factors that make for ‘offending’, rather those that make for ‘pedophilia’. You’ve made a cracking fresh start with the ‘non-offending pedophiles’ study, boy! Now go off and do some research! But don’t forget that every ‘offending pedophile’ was once a ‘non-offending pedophile’.

– if you have difficulty overcoming feelings of contempt and hatred towards those you are studying, try in future to include a pedophile in your team. They will bring a different perspective and may spot errors your prejudice has blinded you to. Also why not try actually talking to one of these perverts? I don’t mean with a clip-board in your hand and your recorder whirring away – but down the bar/pub/café. Or on a park bench by the children’s playground (ha ha ha)…You might be surprised – these pedo fellows may not all be slathering monsters, a straw’s-weight away from jumping the nearest child.

I heard somewhere that Lewis Carroll was a pedo. Maybe you should take a biography of his on vacation. And why not the Alice books? Heard he was a decent chap, despite his lips going a bit dry at the sight of a pink bicycle…

– fools rush in where angels fear to tread &c, but have you given any thought as to what you might find if you treated ‘consensuality’ as a variable of pedophilic offending?

The issue of consent effectively distinguishes your ‘teleiophilic sexual offender’ from the ‘teleiophilic non-offenders’. It sorts the rapist from the normal caring, decent, husband/boyfriend.

Between you and me and the lamp-shade (by which I mean: don’t tell the Dean I’ve said this – this is strictly off-record. He’d have my guts. Especially after the Fresher’s Ball debacle. In fact do us both a favour and eat this sodding letter once you’ve done with it – some extra fibre will do you some good…) if it makes sense to place a man who rapes women in his cellar in a different category to a loving husband who woos his wife with flowers, choccies and Barry White – then maybe you should be making a similar distinction for these pedophile johnnies.

I mean, it should be obvious that a man raping a struggling, crying three-year-old boy is an entirely different kettle of crisps to a man who treats some brat nicely, helps them with their homework, teaches them to ride a bike etc etc and whom the child maybe really quite likes and wants to be intimate with (I have rather fond memories of one of my masters at boarding school)…

‘Effective consent’ may be a valid variable in this paedophilia business. I know that the implications of acknowledging this might be too offensive to the sensibilities of some delicate souls – but, by god Jamie! you’ve got the letters ‘D’ and ‘R’ before your name! You can’t be squeamish when you’re a doctor! What if someone came into your surgery with gangrene? Or industrial-size haemorrhoids? Or an eye-ball hanging down their cheek!?

Last bit of advice: watch out for that Berkson; he’s a tricky johnny!

all the best

your supervisor

PS don’t forget that fiver you owe me

35 thoughts on “Dr Cantor And The Case Of The Missing Stigma – Part Two

  1. It seems quite wild to me that Cantor, being a homosexual, find obvious delight in dehumanising and pathologising people in the exact fashion homosexuals were – just a few decades ago.

    Looking at him and other anti-paedo types from LGBT scene, I feel sad: why all these people have such a short memory? Don’t they recall similar – if not almost identical – repressions against themselves? Or do they want to show the ruling order the gratitude for accepting them – with the demand to sacrifice any radical positions, which many of them did eagerly? Or do some of them enjoy being among the strong ones now, and desire to replay the persecutions to which they were once subjected, but now in the role of persecutors?

    In such situation, my respect is for Harry Hay, who refused to give up the radical ideals of early Gay Liberations and submit to “moderating” force of the dominant order, and were remarkably courageous to remain in public friendship with NAMBLA:

    https://nambla.org/hayonmanboylove.html

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  2. Lensman you wrote somewhere that you are looking for IQ-studies with incarcerated “homosexuals”. In the article from 1978 “Nonreproduction, homosexuality, transsexualism, and intelligence: I. A systematic literature review” is a list of 14/16 studies about IQ and “homosexuals” and about 7 studies or so of them were done with “homosexuals” in prison. It would need some time to google those 14/16 studies and find the relevant studies but anyway it would be a way to find the studies you were looking for.

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  3. I’m no expert on Cantor’s work but didn’t he use a control group of non-paedophile offenders? If his conclusions were valid the members of this control group would not have shown the same reduced IQ levels as the paedophiles.

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    1. Hi stephen6000

      You raise a significant point in your comment and one that needs addressing.

      First of all I see no grounds on which to question the data Cantor gathered concerning diminishing level of IQ, height, handedness along the continuum of teleiophile non-offender – teleiophile offender – hebephile offender and paedophile offender. It appears that paedophile offenders have lower IQ etc than teleiophile offenders. I accept that those patterns were present in the samples of offenders that Cantor has studied.

      In the essay I don’t really try to substantiate anything more than the following two criticisms.

      1/ the sample of ‘offenders’ can tell us nothing about the population of ‘non offenders’ – not least because of Berkson’s Bias and

      2/ his use of ‘Grade Failure’ as a covariate admits too many ‘corruptions’ for Cantor to draw those conclusions which he does from it (that paedophilia is down to gestational, genetic or early developmental factors).

      But the diminishing capacities along the Teleiophile – paedophile continuum need to be addressed…

      The short answer is that the teleiophile offenders were selected by the same criteria as the paedophile offenders (x-axis – ‘intensity of desire’ & y-axis – ‘propensity to offend’) – however both these criteria operate in ways that select more extreme cases from the paedophile ‘general population’ than they do from the teleiophile ‘general population’…

      Imagine a survey of which takes people serving a day in jail for stealing a box of paper-clips from the office and compares them to murderers.

      Both crimes can be measured according to ‘intensity of need/desire’ that impelled the act, and ‘propensity to offend’.

      Given the low stigma and low penalty of paper-clip theft I suggest that the sample of paper-clip thieves will have characteristics that approach those of the general population much more closely than the sample of murderers – to murder takes exceptional circumstances, and/or requires rare or unusual characteristics in the person – to steal a box of paper clips (I confess to having done this!) doesn’t.

      Every crime has a kind of threshold that needs to be crossed before committing it – with stealing paper clips the threshold is so low that it includes pretty much everyone except for saints. At the opposite end of the offence-range the threshold for murder is very high indeed.

      Likewise – teleophilic sex offenses (other than rape) are not systematically stigmatised, penalised or associated with an identity in the same way as homosexuality, paedophilia and hebephilia are. Voyeurism, toucherism, froteurism, etc are just what most of us would quite like to do, but don’t. Sadism is legal provided it is consensual.

      What I suspect is happening in the different IQ etc results in Cantor’s sample is that he has attributed the differences to the wrong axis of the graph – that he has attributed to ‘Age of Attraction’ that which shouldbe attributed to ‘propensity to offend’ – to commit the more highly penalised crimes associated with paedophilia the individual has to cross a higher threshold on the ‘propensity to offend’ continuum – needs to be more tempted, more disoriented, more desperate – than the teleiophile who engages in all but one of the Teleiophile offenses (the exception being Rape).

      What Cantor has measure is not the mental functioning of paedophile offenders, hebephile offenders and teleiophile offenders but the levels of stigmatisation and the severity of punishment of the crimes associated with each chronophilia. In short you have to be more stupid, more criminal, more severely tempted, and/or more disoriented to commit a highly stigmatised crime than to commit a low stigma crime.

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      1. Yes, that’s well argued. It sounds plausible to me. IQ may be related in a further way too, which is that less intelligent people are more likely to be indiscreet.

        In another comment you mentioned that you might try and get Ethan Edwards involved in this discussion. I think this is a good idea, as he can debate these matters in quite a sensible and well-informed way..

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        1. >”IQ may be related in a further way too, which is that less intelligent people are more likely to be indiscreet.”

          Yes, this certainly could be a factor – there’s the argument that the more intelligent ‘offending’ paedophiles are the one’s that don’t get caught, and likewise the more ethical and consensual ‘offenders’ get reported less, or later. But I also think that intelligence, or certainly academic success, tends to correlate with impulse control, which correlates negatively with criminality or ‘propensity to offend’ – which would strongly bias both ‘grade failure’ and ‘offending’. And, again, I suspect that the more stigmatised an offense the more extreme will be the characteristics of those who offend (taken over a large enough sample).

          >”In another comment you mentioned that you might try and get Ethan Edwards involved in this discussion. I think this is a good idea, as he can debate these matters in quite a sensible and well-informed way..”

          Yes, Ethan and I had an interesting exchange by email.

          He voiced some of his objections on BoyChat (a quite long multi-person discussion resulted, which goes all over the place) and Visions of Alice.

          I’ll let you judge, but I don’t think that Ethan at all addresses the ‘grade failure’ criticism. And his comments on the Berksons tend to reveal a poor understanding of the nature of this bias. I’m no expert myself and Berksons is a tricky one to really get one’s head round. I found that the only way for me to really get to grips with it was to work through a lot of examples, sketching out diagrams for each step, for each new piece of information. That’s why in part 2 I try to have a diagram for every step of the explanation. So it’s no slur on Ethan that he didn’t quite get to grips with it.

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          1. Do you know how Cantor gathered the people on his sample? I mean, I don’t think that every single pedophile that he contacted was compelled to participate, so couldn’t it be that only the most stupid accepted to participate, while the intelligent pedophiles stood alof?

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            1. I don’t think they had much choice. They were all recruited from offenders who were being treated or assessed at the Kurt Freund Laboratory at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, in Toronto, Canada.

              It is not clear from reading his papers what kinds of incentives, pressure or compulsion were exerted on these offenders in order to get them to cooperate – but I think with a lot of these prisoner-based kinds of things there’s quite a bit of compulsion involved – they might get reduced sentences if they cooperate, or more favourable conditions of incarceration.

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    1. Hi Morissey!

      Welcome to my blog! What a pleasant surprise to have you here – I remember dancing to that ‘I’m a miserable bugger now’ song back in ’84 – the days when when we felt like a million dollars. And looked like a bag of shite.

      I agree that ‘meat is murder’. Top marks on that one! But I hope that a thorough read of my blog will disabuse you of the ideas that paedophiila is rape, violence and murder.

      all the best

      LSM

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  4. Excellent blogpost…..As for ‘offending’ did he separate ‘hands on’ offenders from ‘image offenders’…This is the Rabbit-Hole, prepubescents, Teens, consensual, coercive etc. As for my personal experience, I never experienced stigma per se, Before fourteen I didn’t know what a P was, But I grew up in the 80s when the shit was just starting to hit the fan. Doubt I could claim the same if I grew up later though.

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    1. Thanks libertine! Cantor doesn’t distinguish between hands on and image offenders. There are so many variables he’s overlooked in his headlong rush to dehumanise us – most of all ‘consensuality’ – but, yes, people convicted of CP offenses – in some sense they are such ‘low hanging fruit’ and consequently may serve to make his sample slightly more representative of the general population of paedophiles.

      But I’m not sure that that actually works – the reductio ad absurdum would be to imagine a jurisdiction where it was illegal for a non-related man, who is not a doctor or surgeon, to look at a naked or partially-clothed child for more than a second. Yes, such a law would probably ‘net’ a lot of paedos who would otherwise escape the law – but would it make for a representative sample of paedophiles? It would probably be more representative than a sample of ‘hands on’ offenders – but it still would be very strongly selective along the variable of self-control.

      >”But I grew up in the 80s when the shit was just starting to hit the fan. Doubt I could claim the same if I grew up later though.”

      Yes, me too. As you say, the shit had not quite hit the fan back then. I got to 16 without hearing the word ‘paedophile’ and, whilst there was the ‘stranger’ archetype out there – it was only loosely connected to sex in our minds. I don’t think kids nowadays have any doubts as to the sexual nature of ‘paedophilia’.

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      1. On the subject of CP, Tonight I just watched a documentary about the murder of the Welsh girl ‘April Jones’….Of course the word paedophile was used in the usual sweeping terms; But I was just as horrified at what happened to her as the next man. They started ‘April’s Law’ calling for harder sentences for those that look at CP , Somehow taring all CP viewers (and there are a lot) with the child killer brush; I understand they want to leave a legacy, But its a blinkered one.

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        1. It’s terrible that they use the word ‘paedophile’ for what Mark Bridger did to April Jones.

          I remember being very affected by the whole thing – she looked so sweet in that ‘ordinary little girl’ kind of way – not a great beauty, just the average little girl next-door whom you get talking with, make friends with and who fills your life with happiness.

          I guess, strictly speaking Bridger was a paedophile, in the same way as Peter Sutcliffe was a heterosexual. But no-one would describe what Peter Sutcliffe felt or did as typical heterosexual behaviour.

          I came out to a friend about a year ago (by email!). A couple of weeks ago we saw each other for the first time since. He was the father of a little girl with whom I’d been very close (she’s well into her teens now).

          The father was very supportive, but had a lot of questions as this was the first time we could really talk over things properly – and we spent hours in a quiet café just talking things over.

          It was quite emotional for me – and I actually found myself crying at one point. I broke down when I was talking about the “paedophiles just want to have power over someone and pick children because they’re vulnerable” argument – and he absolutely recognised that my friendship with his daughter was the absolute opposite of that, that everything in our relationship had been based on mutual respect and equality.

          Somehow this point about power and equality felt so important – and when I remembered how I’ve felt about his daughter and other little friends, and what I’d hoped for them and our friendships, the ubiquity of the ‘power myth’ seemed so unfair, so out-of-tune with reality, and it felt so satisfying to be able to speak to someone, a ‘normie’, knowing that he had witnessed the truth in the way his daughter and I had been close…. well, it was an emotional moment…it felt that, for once, ‘Virtue’ would get its due.

          (if there is to be a movement called ‘Virtuous pedophiles’ maybe this points us to what it should be: paedophiles who, by their actions and deeds, show that our love can be a positive thing in children’s lives: that if we are not guilt-ridden, fearful of our own love, we can, whilst obeying the law, have close and loving relationships that enrich children’s lives – and at the same time be open about being paedophiles. We should be proud of the good that can bring into children’s lives – we are so misrepresented, so lied about that, yes, maybe we should put aside our modesty and be boastful about the beauty of our love…)

          It’s been a good coming-out with this friend. He’s an exceptional person in many ways, very intelligent, very humane.

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            1. hahaha – your wish is my command Libertine.

              But I have to agree with you. I have been regularly checking her out for a couple of years already. She just turns my mind to custard – that mouth! those legs! that hoofed mammal of the horse family, which is typically smaller than a horse and has longer ears and a braying call!

              There should be a law against girls like her! ;-p

              (4:38!)

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  5. hi MR L.
    I’ve had couple of reads of both parts, and it is clear that you have taken on Cantor’s views successfully, and on his own terms.
    But I continue to wonder just why when his bias is so clear and obvious. Of course, that is the answer in and of itself. The problem, then, is how to show other researchers that Cantor’s bias (let alone his samples) provides research that is somewhat useless. I have no answers as to how to do that, though I suppose Tom may have some suggestions.

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    1. Thanks MR Bj for giving the essay your serious attention.

      >”But I continue to wonder just why when his bias is so clear and obvious.”

      I’m quietly confident that my criticisms are sound. Moreover that the Berkson’s Bias – being a criticism of his SAMPLE – will apply to any conclusions which extrapolate from a subsample of offenders to the general population of paedophiles. That includes his left-handedness studies, and shortness studies.

      But as you say – how can it happen that his research is still taken seriously?

      Wasn’t Cantor alert to this problem? Why has the scientific community not jumped on his research?

      Ultimately it boils down to two facts:

      the fact that no scientist will have his reputation damaged by being nasty about paedophiles. Someone who criticises a scientist whose research paints paedophiles as subhuman will appear to be defending paedophiles and paedophilia.

      During witch-hunts, those citizens who say witches don’t exists, or who try to moderate the paranoia, tend to end up being burnt as witches themselves.

      And the corollary of that is that it is up to the paedophile community to do the job of the scientific community. On the stigma and grade failure question I just don’t think that Cantor would have the empathy required to realise that secondary-age students who are paedophiles may have their ‘grades’ adversely affected by stigma.

      >”The problem, then, is how to show other researchers that Cantor’s bias (let alone his samples) provides research that is somewhat useless. I have no answers as to how to do that, though I suppose Tom may have some suggestions.”

      I think you’re right – I’m confident that Tom will be able to help.

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      1. I suppose, to be honest, that I was being a bit of a devil’s advocate. Which is to say that, yes, your criticisms of his sample (Berkson’s Bias) seems to me to be something that cannot be avoided, except by a determined ignorance.

        At the risk of being psychoanalytic, it would not surprise me if Cantor is not running away from the previously criminal nature of his own sexuality i.e., that his sexuality would have been subject to the same type of research he is now doing on paedophilia results in his demonizing paedophiles as a form of self-protection for what might have been done to him. (Ok, clumsy sentence, but you get it, I am sure.)

        And yes, no one will have their reputation damaged by being nasty about paedophiles, or those who may think it is not the worst behaviour around.

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      2. the fact that no scientist will have his reputation damaged by being nasty about paedophiles. Someone who criticises a scientist whose research paints paedophiles as subhuman will appear to be defending paedophiles and paedophilia.

        The interesting thing is, many researchers have indeed challenged Cantor, Blanchard, and their Toronto crew on several of these points. And they were willing to deal with the moralistic backlash they received in the process. However, their words and research ends up being marginalized and rarely cited or referred to as much as Cantor’s and the rest of his crew. This is because most media outlets that have sponsors will only use material from writers who are very careful about who they cite, to make sure that the sponsors, or their customer base, do not get upset. This makes them directly beholden to appeasing public sentiment rather than reporting the objective truth, or at least the whole truth. Cantor’s research does that. The many others who have reported contrary to him– like Rind, Bauserman, Tromavich, Riegal, Green, Okami, Walker, Penofil, Sandfort, Brongersma, Cash, Burns, Freimond, Kirkpatrick– do not (sorry if I misspelled any of those, but I’m writing with a bit of haste here). This easily creates the illusion that Cantor and those who follow his basic methodology, and are thus regularly cited by him, are the “top” experts in the field, and that their research is state-of-the-art in objectivity.

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        1. Hi Dissident, You are correct in what you say about the views of other researchers. But, I have never seen a paper that is directly critical of Cantor and his methodology. I Think that was what LSM was talking about. If you have seen work critical of Cantor, I’d love to have the references.

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          1. Cantor, Blanchard, and their team actually had a lot of controversy and criticism launched at them when they were arguing for hebephilia being incorporated into the newest edition of the DSM, and they ultimately lost. I think research needs to be conducted to see if his papers have been truly criticism-free by other researchers.

            One of those critics, Karen Franklin, provided a list of links to the articles that critiqued their attempt to pathologize hebephilia, however: http://www.karenfranklin.com/resources/hebephilia-2/

            Yes, they are behind those annoying paywalls, but you can often get around those by entering either the title of the article, or its URL, into a search engine.

            If no single paper specifically criticizing the conclusions of Cantor that Lensman was talking about in this post, then this should be read as an invitation for Non-MAP researchers in the fields of psychology and sociology to do so.

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            1. Thanks for that, I shall look them up.

              I usually use google scholar, and none of these have turned up in the results. Perhaps they would have if I had researched the whole DSM debate, but I’ve barely looked at that issue. And yes, more research needs to done by unbiased researchers.

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  6. Thanks for being a badass writer and a badass pedophile. You had me laughing out loud by the second act. One day these fools will figure it out. 😉

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  7. Thank you for providing the critique that ought to have come from peer review. Your elephant metaphor is apt, and I’m taking it on a tangent. Research on this topic is shackled in many ways, not least by the perception or need for researchers to submit into custody those people who admit to unpunished criminality, resulting in exclusion from study, or at the very least masking this status in study. Therefore, the studies are limited perhaps entirely to the cloistered and the convicted, and likely do not include in any significant way those involved in such happy and healthy relationships with minors as former minors tell us do exist. Nor can meaningful studies likely include anyone who is no longer offending for any reason other than being convicted, including those whose relationships have grown into legality, or have ended naturally. To see the whole elephant, head, trunk, torso, legs and tail, consider the apparent growth in the gay population after the end of sodomy laws and bans on marriage. This represents not an increase in gay people, but an increase in openness. It shows how the gay population had earlier been underestimated and misjudged (again often as criminals). It’s reasonable to assume a similar, possibly larger, closet applies in the case of those attracted to minors, and that the current studies are therefore covering only the elephant’s skinny tail, perhaps aligning with some fascination with the production of feces and farts, and a terror of the front end with its long wiggly snout (fear of the giant clam is much less prevalent…). The study that is required, and which nobody will perform, is a longitudinal study of entire relationships (continuing past any dissolution) rather than just snapshots of the older partner, or just the younger, in isolation and after the fact. Given the high stakes involved, with the ending of young lives on the one hand (a claim cast into doubt recently by several celebrity recollections of their happy youthful experiences), and what is quite plainly the ending of not much older young lives on the other hand, and the collateral damage this fear has done to the more mundane interactions between minors and adults across multiple societies, is there not an ethical obligation to perform such a study? It seems today’s research is merely fiddling around the edges, while the important questions go unasked and unanswered. We must want to know how the relationships that are looked back on fondly by all parties differed from the negative ones. We must want to be able to encourage positive outcomes, even when the legal system is not involved. Yet absent a legislative exemption to permit research in this area, a study of criminals would require a researcher and subjects willing to go to prison upon publication, regardless of the results. When I read the news, there are indeed the horror stories of abuse we’ve become familiar with. But more often, to the extent any information is available at all, I read of relationships that both parties had wanted to continue, being torn apart with the trial and conviction of the older partner. I read of people being bashed and sometimes murdered in the street and behind bars. And I read of people of all ages killing themselves over accusations. It seems evident that the elephants are being collectively abused, for the bad actions of others. But who will prove to scientific standards whether or not this is true? And if true, who will save them? This is an ongoing crisis, and there seems to be a bankruptcy of ethics in this field of study that allows it to continue.

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    1. Thanks, Jonathan! I’ve been trying to imagine ways ways of getting these essays under Cantor’s eyes. I can’t imagine him condescending to read criticism written by any one so vile and subhuman as a paedophile, especially as I guess I blotted my copy-book by repeatedly taunting him and teasing him (I don’t think Cantor is the kind of person who takes kindly to being teased – he’s too meticulous and self-satisfied – but those are the people whom it’s most fun to rag).

      I’d also like to get this essay onto the Virpeds forum. I used to have access to it, but was told I had to sit at the back of the bus, make no posts and caused no trouble – which I did, but despite that I appear to have been blacklisted. I’m also like hoping to hear from Cantor’s pit-bull, Ethan Edwards. Maybe I’ll drop him a note at his blog.

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      1. You do realize, Lensman, that you’re asking for an epic battle of the ages if you invite Ethan over here for a discussion on the subject of this blog, right? :p

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        1. the battle has already taken place, Dissy!

          But (un?)fortunately it took place mainly by email correspondence, and also on Boychat and a little on Visions of Alice.

          It’s a shame that it didn’t take place here though – I suspect that Virpeds have a policy of not posting on ‘pro-c̶o̶n̶t̶a̶c̶t̶choice’ blogs – VoA and boychat are probably sufficiently non-sectarian for a Virtuous One to be able to take part in, provided that they did so only in a proselytizing capacity – like the missionaries going out amongst the heathens.
          It’s a shame that the exchange was in private – it would have been interesting to have had you, and other readers, contribute.

          I think the exchange mainly goes to show just how hard it is to really get a handle on Berkson’s Bias. I had the advantage over Ethan in having spent months trying to get my head round it, getting through reams of scrap paper, sketching out graphs and diagrams, till the think started to make sense…

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          1. All those insights we are deprived of by not seeing the contrasting points you two slung at each other!
            Since when do either you or Ethan hang out on BC, though? I’ll have to check that out, and on VoA, since I’ve been hanging out there lately.

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            1. hi Dissy,

              >”All those insights we are deprived of by not seeing the contrasting points you two slung at each other!”

              Well, Ethan made a lot more points privately than he did public – I think he tried out various attacks in the email exchange and discarded those that were too weak in the subsequent public exchanges.

              >”Since when do either you or Ethan hang out on BC, though?”

              I like to keep an eye on the little boy side of things… though BC is a bear pit compared to VoA, and I find BC a bit hebephilic for my taste – into ‘boys’ rather than ‘little boys’…

              You can find the two discussions here:

              https://alicelovers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=83030

              https://www.boychat.org/messages/1498371.htm

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