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Sources and Dynamics of Pedophile Panics

Below are some quotes from professor in Sociology, Copenhagen University, Henning Bech´s
Women and Men, 2005

Please, read also the very informative book review of Henning Bech´s very controversial Women and Men : Classical Feminism Continues to Create Pedophile Panic. 
[< http://www.ipce.info/newsletters/e_20/e_20_3d_bech.htm >

Bech has gotten and still gets massive media coverage in Denmark since his very controversial book "Women and Men" appeared last year.

1. What one may not say – the taboo:
The sweetness of Mother Power / Woman Power
2. When both husband and wife insist on working outside the home 
then, as certain as the most stringent logic, they'll seek scapegoats as long as the wife doesn't accept her responsibility for yielding to the husband space in the home and with the kids in his own right as a man. Wives have a responsibility to give their husbands space to be men on their own premises
3. Positive AC relations [AC = Adult-Child]
4. Flawed science 

1. What one may not say – the taboo: The sweetness of Mother Power / Woman Power:

“Is there something in the relation between men and women that is so taboo that it can't even be mentioned?” (p. 240)

“... access to the child's body yields power. And power is sweet; this we know if from nowhere else than from feminists' analysis of men's power at work. But the power over the child is not just sweet; it is related to that sweetness which is a derivative of the child’s love, compassion and gratitude, as well as the mothers own ability to give and show love. 

Mother power is not a central theme in the later years of sex research; however, the subject does appear now and then and up to this point, is not completely taboo. As we shall see a little later, this is, however, especially dealt with from certain angles, and in the most recent sex research, the depiction of the sweetness of mother power has not at all been viewed as proper. Here we are closing in on what reminds us of a taboo”. (p. 242)

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“Why is it that the child's body is so much more precarious than its soul?
A number of analyses and theories have pointed towards the way in which the body in late modern society has acquired a prominent role as a crystallization point for meaning. In [the context of] post-modern society's lack of sturdy values and reliable social guidelines, the body's philosophical materialism offers a certain fixed point of reference in one's life. At the same time, the body is [the medium] through which a person can, and should, demonstrate that she or he is master of oneself – not least in displaying a solid and well-trained body. Furthermore, the body has become the means by which a human being can become an ‘individual’ demanding individual development and individual rights. 
(Gidden 1991:99-108; Bauman 1992: 187-204; Shilling 1993).” (p. 241, do.)

- - -

“It is ... not an infringement on children's souls that is feared. ... The otherwise openly sexualized or eroticized aspects of such relations play no part whatsoever in pedophile or moral panic. ...

“In other words: The feared sexual “infringement” has to do with the direct, personal, physical access to the child's body. Certainly, the fear enumerates manifold [forms of] “psychological harm” due to misuse, but these are precisely the result of the actual cause: the encroachment on the body.” (p. 240, do.)

“It [is] not only fear for the child's sex organs that is the focal point; related to ‘sexual misuse,’ as seen in catalogue listings, is fear of the infringement on the child's entire body, including all forms of personal relations with the child that literally or symbolically have to do with its body.” (p. 240, do.)

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2. When both man and wife insist on working outside the home:

“Men must come home to the kids, so that women can work outside the home without guilt; but men must not take part in their upbringing, because then women would have to renounce power. And besides, men don't really want all that much to come home, even though they know they ‘should’.” (p. 242)

“Their is considerable public debate over the possible spreading of ‘women’s’ power into the workplace, from kindergartens to the universities, from government ministries to welfare offices ... . There is also a counter discourse which claims that women no longer wish to take responsibility for traditional female ‘care-giving’ jobs as a career (thus Sjoerup 1997; Baagoe-Nielsen 1999). But there is no equivalent discussion of mother power / woman power in the home.

3. Positive AC [Adult-Child] Relations

”It is not improbable that the vast majority of sexual contacts between children and adults in themselves have nothing to do with misuse.” 
(p. 213, “Kvinder og maend” - Women and Men, 2005, Hans Reitzels Publisher)

4. Flawed Science - Classical Feminist Research is Flawed Science

“I have examined this study [“Sexual Infringement Against Children and Youth”, Leth, Stenvig and Pedersen 1988] in such details, because it is an object lesson in a type of “research” that lays claim to the rigors of scientific inquiry but instead, produces findings that stem from the prejudicial attitudes of the researchers themselves. 

The flawed definitions, 
the uncontrolled operations, 
the biased questionnaires, 
the worried approach, 
the inappropriate moral injunction, 
the quasi-government staging, 
the phony scientific orientation, 
the researchers' presumptuous interpretation of the findings, 
the skewed choices in classification, 
the prejudicial emphasizing and de-emphasizing of different aspects of the findings, 
the undisciplined use of language – 

all of these elements are, to a very considerable degree, part of a process in which the “sexual abuse of children” is fabricated. At the same time, the children themselves never experience the sexual acts as misuse and often more to the contrary. As adults, it is only under authoritarian pressure that they categorize these experiences as 'encroachments'.” (p. 216 do.)

Classical feminist research: The kingdom of special rules and norms for reason

“A whole range of sexual contacts between children and adults could be viewed as harmless, if it weren't for being labeled ‘abuse’ and brought into the realm of hysteria. In other words, the real abuse occurs in the reaction of child care-takers, educators, psychologists, parents, journalists, and the police. 

What otherwise could be an insignificant – maybe pleasant, maybe irritating, maybe indifferent – experience for the child is transformed into a case le grande, associated with insecurity, suspicion, interrogation, dreadfulness and horror. ... 

There is no basis in anthropology and historical research for the assumption that every 'sexual' contact between adults and children is 'harmful' for the child, independent of the attitudes and reactions of those around him or her. (Compare Dover 1989; Herdt 1984; Foucualt 1984a). On the contrary, one must take into account that these attitudes play an essential role.

It is not improbable that the vast majority of sexual contacts between children and adults in themselves have nothing to do with misuse. The fact that it is taboo to advance such views demonstrates the intensity and irrationality of the passion that rules in this realm of frightful horror fantasies; and once again it becomes clear that here reigns special rules and norms for reason.” (p. 213 do.)

“We have seen when we're dealing with ”child sexual abuse” that the realm of frightful horror fantasies is quite comprehensive in scope. But also the intensity is remarkable. Rules and norms that otherwise prevail in social life are dispensed with, and others take their place.”
(p. 204 do.)

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The realm of terror that surrounds “child sexual abuse” annuls free speech

"In October, 1998, the chief psychologist in a Danish provincial town made the statement to the press that there are people who in their childhood have had free, positive and harmless sexual experiences with adults (interview in the Danish magazine Euroman, 1998, nr. 56.62). 

[As a result, under threat of expulsion, he withdrew from the Danish Psychology Union.]

Shortly thereafter, he was fired by the City by a decision of the City Council (Politiken 10-2-1999, section 1:7).

Here, we have another example of how common norms for discussion are annulled in the realm of hysteria [Bech uses the word "horror] that surrounds “child sexual abuse”.

[The psychologists name is Bent Petersen and is consultant to Lasse Nielsen's box office winning film “You are not alone”. The Danish ombudsman vindicated Bent Petersen 100%, but having no other recourse than to appeal, the City Council decision was not overturned. However, with the Ombudsman's vindication, we now do have a documented witch hunt.] (p. 212 do.)

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