The-Gay-Left-Collective; Paedophilia Examined
For convenience we define a paedophile as someone who is emotionally and sexually attracted towards children, that is towards pre-pubertal people.

The Gay Left Collective, like many others in the gay movement, has had many discussions about paedophilia. We do not feel it would be a justified position to discuss adult-child sexual relationships simply on libertarian grounds. It is no good merely to say, people feel like that, feeling is valid, let it all happen, right on. We know that feelings are socially constructed and we must view all feelings with great suspicion and scrutiny.

There is an argument that has been developed from some quarters of the gay movement and the left which suggests that children are sexual beings like adults and that since they are oppressed by parents, teachers etc and no paedophile experience could be any more harmful, therefore paedophilic relationships are alright. This is a false and idealist arguement.

Conservative thought dismisses any idea of childhood sexual feelings and experiences and much public opinion is reticent in acknowledging their existence. At the other extreme are those who see childhood sexual feelings as being identical to adult ones. Both are wrong.

Paedophilia in many cases is a matter of identity rather than actual sexual activity, and many of those adults who have sexual experiences with children would not in fact identify themselves as paedophiles.

It is important to stress that the paedophile issue is not one of molestation. No-one can defend sexual violence in any situation where one party is unwilling. It is in a crucial sense an issue of consent — an appallingly difficult concept to define in this particular context.