Sources and Dynamics of Pedophile Panics
Below are some quotes from professor in Sociology, Copenhagen University,
Please, read also the very informative book review of Henning Bech´s very
controversial Women and Men : Classical Feminism Continues to Create
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:
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?
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“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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|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.)
“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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"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.)