Keywords: Pedophilia

Paedophilia is not a crime

Willet, M.
Type of WorkEssay Unlimited

Paedophilia (in America pedophilia) is a sexual orientation, a predilection, a pattern of thought. It is not a behaviour, thoughts cannot, in a decent free society, be crimes. Therefore paedophilia cannot be considered a crime.

  • The media all too often these days use the word paedophilia to mean serial rape and murder of children. This is an abuse of language that seems designed specifically to render understanding impossible. A man who has sexually abused children on two occasions is described as a dangerous man, who might graduate to become a paedophile. That is ridiculous. If you mean child killer, use the words. They are quite simple and clear. Paedophile means lover of children like anglophile means lover of things English. It does not mean child killer.

There are people who are not sexually attracted to adults of either sex but are sexually attracted to children. These people are paedophiles. This is what paedophilia is, the sexual attraction towards children. Just as many Christian churches draw a distinction between people with homosexual tendencies and those who indulge in homosexual activity we should be quite clear that there is a fundamental difference between being sexually attracted by thoughts of children and chopping up children and burying the bodies. The criminal law does not punish people for wanting to have more money, but it does have sanctions against people who act on that desire in ways which infringe the rights of others. The same is true of paedophilia. Being sexually attracted to children is not a crime, it can't be, thoughts alone cannot be criminal.

Children can be sexually abused by people who are not paedophiles, people who are not largely or exclusively sexually attracted to children. There are many people who are situational abusers, who abuse children when the situation arises. These are the really dangerous people because they can have quite normal sex lives, they don't obsess about children, they don't show any clues. They could be your husband, son, brother, mother, wife, or you. A situational abuser is somebody who is inclined to take advantage of opportunities to sexually abuse children without paedophilia being their prime sexual orientation.

It can be helpful to consider homosexuality as a model to help understand the spectrum of child sexual attraction and activity. We all know about straight-forward homosexuals who are only sexually interested in members of their own sex and who follow these urges through into behaviour. We also know about men who can live perfectly normal lives who indulge in a bit of sex with men on the side, some of these men do not identify themselves as gay, they are just men who have sex with men. In addition we know of people who are sexually attracted exclusively to members of their own sex but who remain voluntarily celibate. There are even men who are not in the slightest bit homosexual by inclination who will use sexual violence against men as a power trip. All of those patterns can be mirrored with regard to sexual activity and attraction toward children.

Homosexual activity that is consensual does not have any victim and is rightly regarded by most civilized countries as being of no concern of the state, the community or the criminal law. However this is where the model breaks down. Children are not able to give fully informed consent to sexual activity. Any relationship between an adult and a child is so fundamentally unequal that we judge that no child can make certain commitments such as marriage, consent to sex or opening a Mastercard account. Also children have growth and a huge potential for regret built into their circumstances.

While adults can and do choose to do things that they will regret we recognize that the capacity to do things that may be regretted bitterly later is so high in children that the law needs to protect them from their own naivety. The law should protect children from getting tattoos, from signing up for the French Foreign Legion, from selling a kidney, from watching a horror film that might give them nightmares and from consenting to sex.

Children grow up, childhood is a temporary state, protecting them from the negative consequences of their own actions is legitimate in a way it is not in regard to women, the lower orders or “the lesser races”. This is not going to change, the liberal tide is not going to sweep on and emancipate children and give them all the rights and lack of protection as adults. If you are a child and you feel hard done by just wait, adulthood comes along.

There are people who have paedophile desires and they will never be allowed free legitimate expression.

  • How can it possibly help anybody to make these people into pariahs who dare not voice the nature of their predicament?
  • How can it be sensible to have people who have not abused children condemned as if they were incapable of not acting on their urges?

It doesn't make any sense at all.

My job involves me handling money on behalf of the company I work for who have structured my remuneration package on the basis that I have a desire to have more money. How can they possibly allow somebody with my kind of urges near their money? Simple. People recognize that an inclination does not result in inevitable behaviour. Heterosexual people do not fling themselves on the first person of the opposite sex. You can employ swimming instructors who drink water, barmen who like the odd beer, cooks who eat food and bankers who like to take money home. And you can live next door to somebody who is sexually attracted to children.

Is a francophile a dangerous criminal madman who has an unquenchable desire and irresistible urge to rape and murder French people? Is francophilia a universally recognized crime? Of course not. And yet somehow paedophilia has come to mean instead of a love of all things childlike an uncontrollable desire to murder children for sexual kicks.

Whenever the media goes out of their way not to understand, to make understanding and empathy unthinkable and treasonous then the mob has been set up to be used as a weapon. The hysteria whipped up against paedophiles is exactly analogous to the hysteria generated in Nazi Germany about Jews.

A kernel of truth gets reinforced with layer after layer of lie, far more heat than light is generated, people are encouraged to work themselves up into a fury of righteous indignation and to avoid any form of analytical thinking, any form of empathy with the target only with the victim. Victims of child murderers (incorrectly labeled as paedophiles) are portrayed as angels, paragons of virtue, classic examples of innocence and opportunity, every one of them destined for greatness, every single one of them the sole light and brightness in the lives of their families and communities.

Why should anybody in the plutocrat-owned media want to whip up hysteria and channel the frustration of the lower classes towards scapegoats? What could they possibly hope to gain by doing that? It is always in the interests of the rich right wing politicians and their media interests to channel the frustrations of the mob against scapegoats rather than allow them the possibility of recognizing their true interests or their potential power. Mobs exist to attack vulnerable minorities such as witches, communist sympathizers, drug dealers, criminals, treehuggers and television producers who allow swearing or nudity. That is what they are for. Those mobs are “good mobs”. For plutocrats. They act as lightning conductors, sucking down the people's surplus frustrations and sending them safely to earth. If you look around the city you will see lightning rods prominent on churches, factories and palaces.

The gutter press and in America the right wing talk shows exist to channel the concerns and the interests of the lower classes towards safe targets well clear of the interests of the rich people and corporations who support them. When has Rush Limbaugh ever attacked somebody who is truly powerful and used the power of his rabble-rousing to achieve something for the common man?

What could possibly be safer as the target for The Two Minutes Hate than child murderers? What kind of a martyr stands up for the rights of child murderers? The wonderful thing about child killers as a lightning conductor is that they never wear out. Even if you haven't got a fresh one to galvanize the mob you can trot out an old one. In Britain the press have been getting mileage out of the Moors Murders for over forty years. I suppose that the media in Belgium might eventually be able to break that record. What's it worth? Sweet Fanny Adams.

Children are not protected by ever more extreme reactions to the idea of adults having sex with children or by ever more draconian and stupid laws. In Britain you can marry and engage in any form of sexual activity you fancy if you are over the age of sixteen but to possess a photograph of a seventeen year old naked makes you a danger to society who should be imprisoned and made to sign the sex offenders register for life. That is simply absurd. But at least it isn't as absurd as the case in America where the average age of first intercourse is nearly four whole years below the age which is considered by many states to be the minimum to avoid an automatic charge of rape regardless of mutual consent.

Having this ridiculous over-protective attitude to children and complete refusal to understand or empathize with those who feel attracted to the idea of sex with children is dangerous. It is like our crazy attitude to body shape, if we set our standards so high many will fail to achieve them and stop trying to. Paedophiles (real paedophiles, that is people who are sexually attracted largely or exclusively to children) will stop asking for understanding, support and help in avoiding acting out their inappropriate urges if we offer them nothing but revulsion, scorn and threats of violence and will instead retreat into cliques where they can obtain affirmation for their deviant ideas in exactly the same way as anorexics have set up their own pro-ana websites.

We should be clear about this, children may not always be damaged by sex with adults but any fair-minded person should be able to see that precocious sexual activity with adults is as likely to be a positive life-affirming experience as getting hooked on heroin or dropping out of school at the age of nine. No child has ever grown up into a psychopath because they weren't properly screwed as a child. Not even Ann Coulter.

Is the lack of reports from normal well-adjusted women that sex with an adult when they were a child did not harm them evidence that such experiences are always harmful? Perhaps it is evidence that our society doesn't want to hear such a tale, even if it is an uncomfortable truth, and that such women have nothing to gain (and their “good reputation” to lose) from revealing a story without an ending that allows them to be called a victim.

No paedophile can have a proper loving relationship with a child because of the fundamental asymmetry, while the child could spend the rest of her life with the adult the adult cannot make that same commitment because of the nature of their sexuality.

There can be no circumstances in which sex between an adult and a child could be considered appropriate. That is not to say that an adult cannot fall in love with a child and wait, but that is a long-shot, only a possibility if the adult concerned is young. We also have to consider what a child special enough to be worth waiting several years for would see in any adult who would wait for them to grow up. Having paedophilic tendencies doesn't make you a great artist or prophet any more than being left handed makes you Leonardo da Vinci or being gay makes you Michelangelo.

Paedophilia is not a crime but it does present problems. As a society we should have the strength to accept that some people simply do have urges we (and probably they) would rather they didn't have. But simply getting very annoyed, unreasonable and violent isn't going to help anybody. Being violently bigoted didn't stop people having homosexual urges either. No problem is ever solved by a refusal to understand it as if that alone would make it go away.