Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Is pedophilia a sexuality?

"Do you think pedophilia is a sexuality that you dont have a choice about? (similar to not having a choice about homosexuality)"

I'm going to give a very tentative and qualified "maybe" because I don't know enough about pedophilia (and since I'm pre-writing this while packing for my Florida vacation, I don't have time to look up more information). I really have no idea if pedophilia is something you have a choice about.

If I'm just totally speculating here (can I add anymore qualifiers?), I can see it being somewhat biological. For one thing, I don't think anyone would "choose" to have what's widely considered one of the most, if not the most deviant behavior. And because it's so frowned upon (understatement of the century), I don't know how easy it could be to learn the behavior. Maybe it is learned, but you can't help it once you've learned it. Maybe it's a chemical imbalance. Who knows - I certainly don't.

Certain types may even be instinctual. Young, healthy females are still physically attractive to men. Some girls can biologically mature at 12, 11, or 10 years of age. From an evolutionary perspective, they are "adults" and potential mates. In past cultures (and unfortunately some current ones), this was recognized by females getting married at these young ages.

However, biology does not dictate morality. Even if you could come up with a scientific explanation for why someone would like a 10 year old, or hell, why someone would like a toddler or infant, that does not make it ethically acceptable. It doesn't matter if it evolved or if there's a gene or if there's some sort of chemical imbalance. Pedophilia is still morally wrong because the younger party is not emotionally developed enough to consent.

That's why I'm always so annoyed when someone equates homosexuality with pedophilia (not saying the question-asker was, just saying). Homosexuality is between two consenting partners, while pedophilia is not. Even if they had similar biological causes, that doesn't mean they should be treated the same ethically.

I freely admit I know little about the previous research done on pedophilia. If someone would like to enlighten us in the comments, feel free to do so.


  1. With all due respect to your rather very insightful take on this subject matter, I beg to disagree. Pedophilia is an abnormal condition as far as I'm concerned since it borders on an abusive behavior. It's not just some fetish to go to the likes of a Vibrators Shop for instance but on something that is very delicate and innocent. Just my 2 cents.

  2. I think you're getting into dangerous territory here, specifically:
    "Homosexuality is between two consenting partners, while pedophilia is not."

    Rape can be heterosexual or homosexual. Rape can also be statutory. I mean you are not denying the heterosexual component to rape are you, really ? This awful scourge on our society, so often unreported or dismissed, typically by _heterosexual_ males.

    I think you're trying too hard to extend in the other direction the unconvincing dubious gay party-line that there is no overlap whatsoever between homosexual activity and the manipulation and abuse of power inequalities and naivety leading to sexual relations initiated with minors by adults. In merely noting that position you've come out with the mirror image of the idea that "rape has nothing to do with heterosexuality." Does that sound right to you ? Is there no relationship between heterosexual dating practices and the never-ending problem of rape ?

    Hey if you want to deny or ignore the incidence of heterosexual rape in the USA, which seems to have sadly reached epidemic levels on campuses across the country, as though it's now merely normative rite-of-passage or running-of-gauntlet stuff to be avoided if you're careful and lucky, well go ahead.

    Just remember dear old Allan Ginsburg, defending man-boy-love until the end, he's just helping out homeless (and so, er, powerless) boys, right ? The boys would say it WAS consensual, even if they were underage and it was statutory rape, right ?

    The trouble stems from Ginsburg and his ilk growing up in times when IT WAS ALL ILLEGAL. They were sexual outlaws. Burroughs feasted on underage boys in Tangier, boys that needed a snack.

    The idealised view, the bald conclusion to all this, the false or at least dubious conclusion we then get stuck with is this: hetero men carry out rapes, many of which involve power and age difference, many of which exploit young womens' vulnerability, but only SOME of these will be statutory rapes.

    Now, tell me, what makes homosexual men en mass so much better behaved, so much less predatory and opportunist ? These are still men, testosterone is still a powerful driving hormone, and we only need to look a decade back to see older homosexual men "helping out" younger men, back in the days when it was all illegal, back when there was no need to be any less honest about some aspects of homosexual culture than the age bit.

    Go on, re-read WS Burroughs for the naked truth on that .. they were always 13 year old boys in his books, always "boys".

    Despite all that though, it's a shame seeing you dismiss the terrible rape culture of the present day in order to make your point about pedophilia. In both cases it is men that do end up prevailing and having their way with comparatively powerless youngsters.

    How can you dismiss the systematic abuse, overwhelmingly of boys, by the Catholic clergy as a very recent, endemic and institutionally concealed example of mens' bad behaviour ? Homosexual men, holier than thou ? Holier than other men ? C'mon, life isn't that simple.

    The problem is not mislabeling homosexual men, the problem is the widespread manipulation, stupefying and abuse of the vulnerable and powerless young, by men of all sexual preferences. The problem is rape. Men. Rape. Men...