7 reasons why pedophilia is a sexual orientation

This post has been a long time in coming. There is an ongoing debate about the status of pedophilia as a socio-cultural entity. Is it a sexual orientation, a fetish, or a mental illness? Is it like homosexuality or different? These questions are important, because the answers will determine how we as a society treat the issue going forward. While I am not a scientist, a sociologist or a political expert, I am a pedophile so this certainly has a direct impact on me, and I have some unique insight to offer here. Beyond that, I am fairly well-read on matters pertinent to pedophilia, including keeping up with the latest science from experts in the field.

Before I get started, I would like to point out that my friend and fellow virped Ender has already covered this topic pretty well, and I will no doubt be touching on some of the same points he made. I do want to go a bit beyond his article though and get a little more in-depth with the topic. Alright, so the title of this article should make it fairly obvious where I stand on this issue, and now I will spend some time explaining why I have come to this conclusion. I have discerned seven valid reasons why pedophilia should be regarded as a sexual orientation and will outline them all here. So let’s get to it.

(1) Experts mostly agree that pedophilia is a sexual orientation – It’s no accident that the majority of scientific experts who study pedophilia have come to the conclusion that it is a sexual orientation or something very close to it. In a 2011 Canadian parliamentary session, Dr. Vernon Quinsey and Dr. Hubert Van Gijseghem, when consulting lawmakers on the matter, both concluded that pedophilia was, like heterosexuality and homosexuality, something essentially immutable. And shortly after my Salon articles came out, an anonymous expert in criminal psychology made similar comments on Reddit. Among the most prominent of experts on pedophilia—people like Michael Seto, James Cantor and Klaus Beier—have also come out on record as describing pedophilia as a sexual orientation or tantamount to one. All of these experts did not come to this conclusion willy-nilly. I know it’s trendy for people of a certain political stripe to deny science that doesn’t accord with their beliefs, but unfortunately for them, that’s not how reality works. These are legitimate experts, and their opinions have merit.

(2) There are compelling genetic reasons for pedophilia – Setting aside the current lack of definitive genetic evidence for pedophilia (or homosexuality for that matter), there are some pretty solid reasons why a genetic mutation for pedophilia would almost certainly occur in some humans. In all societies up to about the late nineteenth century, children rarely survived into adulthood. If a child was orphaned, its chances of survival decreased even more. Thus, it would have been quite beneficial to those children for an unrelated adult to take them in. Given the costs of raising and caring for a child in societies where resources were scarce, it would’ve been unlikely for that to occur. Barring a desire to do good at their own expense, there are only three basic reasons why an adult would take on the costs of caring for a dependent child that was not their own. One, the adult wanted a surrogate for children they couldn’t have (the main reason people adopt children today), two, the adult wanted a cheap source of labor, and three, the adult wanted a youthful sexual partner.

Now, I am not suggesting that this justifies sex with children. But let’s be honest: genes are not compelled to behave according to human morality. Indeed, nature is, if anything, inherently amoral. Morality is a human invention, which helps explain why it varies from culture to culture and mutates over time. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that nature might have its own reasons for the development of pedophilia. Given what we know about the low chances of children making it to full adulthood in the past, it makes sense that a small percentage of pedophiles would appear in any society of a significant size. It also explains why sexual abuse was not much of a moral issue in past societies. In fact, their genes often had a better chance of being propagated if humans—girls especially—began to procreate early, because even if they survived into adulthood they tended to live much shorter lives on average than adults do today.

There is also another factor of relevance here: neoteny. This is the retention of juvenile traits in a species for a certain period of time. Humans maintain neotenic traits far longer than most other species. In fact, humans maintain some neotenic traits indefinitely (examples include smaller females compared to males and flattened facial features in both sexes), and these traits are often considered to enhance sexual desirability. There are a variety of reasons for this, but ultimately, with respect to pedophilia, it is really no wonder that sexual attraction to children would develop among some human adults. It’s likely a rather small mutation in a species prone to pedomorphism.

(3) Pedophilia has an emotional component – It is commonly understood that teleiophiles, straight or gay, frequently fall in love with their desired partner, but the same thing occurs with pedophiles as well. There is a grave misunderstanding amongst non-pedophiles that pedophilia is only about sex, but this is not true. Yes, there are pedophiles who don’t give a fig about children beyond their sexual attractiveness, just as there are adults who simply are out to get laid and have no emotional investment in their partners. But not all pedophiles are like this. Having encountered hundreds of pedophiles online over the twelve or so years I’ve been active on the internet, I can say that the vast majority of them have confessed to an emotional attraction as well as a sexual one.

I would even go so far as to say that it is the emotional connection more than anything else that keep virpeds like myself from acting on our desires. It may seem ironic, but it is nevertheless true that the presence of real children in their lives has the most desexualizing effect for many pedophiles. It’s much easier to romanticize and objectify kids when you only see the clean, groomed, snappily dressed, well-behaved, pleasant, quiet kids in advertisements and TV shows, but real kids tend to be messy, cranky, hyper, obstinate and so on. Also, forming a real-life relationship with a child assures that pedophiles are more invested in that child’s welfare and less likely to want to cause him or her harm.

(4) Pedophilia usually begins at the onset of adolescence – As with heterosexuality and homosexuality, pedophilia begins for most pedophiles when they hit puberty and first begin to experience sexual feelings. Some young pedophiles may not immediately notice anything unusual if they are attracted to same-aged peers, but they will begin to notice as they age and their preference does not age with them. In my case, I had the first uncomfortable taste of my sexuality at age twelve when a group of my sixth grade peers and I were talking about the girls in our class that we found attractive. The other boys pointed out how pretty the most developed girl in class was and I clammed up because the girl I happened to like was the least developed girl in class. But my real sexual awakening was about a year later when I saw a seven-year-old neighbor girl at my grandparents’ place and realized my preference was for significantly younger girls than I had first imagined.

(5) Pedophilia is not a choice – Like heterosexuals and homosexuals, pedophiles don’t choose to be attracted to children. It’s a truism with gays and lesbians that, given the stigma they face, no one would willingly choose that sexuality for themselves. Well, increase that stigma a hundred-fold at least for pedophilia. We are basically the least popular people in the world. Even serial killers have their fans, and they torture and murder people. You would have to be the worst sort of masochist to be 12 or 13 years old and say to yourself, “Hmm, I think I’m gonna choose to find 5-year-olds attractive. That will make me soooo cool with all my friends.”

Yeah, it doesn’t work that way. In fact, I spent a long time in denial of my sexuality. As a teen in the nineties I even modeled myself on a popular anti-child abuse activist, Andrew Vachss. To be sure, I was also pretty horrified by what I knew of sexual abuse, so it wasn’t really much of a stretch. In fact, I could’ve easily continued down that road if I had been better at self-denial, but I’ve never been much good at lying to myself for long. But that experience taught me something. It is my hunch that many of the most extreme anti-pedophile activists are really just insecure, self-hating pedophiles who hide their sexual insecurities by projecting them outward. I’m certain that some of them are, because I almost became one of those guys myself.

(6) Pedophilia is very likely immutable – The evidence isn’t quite definitive yet, but as the experts mentioned above have pointed out, pedophilia, as with other sexualities, tends to be fixed for life. So one cannot be cured of pedophilia since it is not a disease. Yes, in practice it is incompatible with laws and social mores, but the average pedophile is no more prone to attacking children than the average peer-attracted male is prone to attacking the adults he prefers. This myth has persisted for a long time, and it’s easy to understand why: the only time people really hear about pedophiles is when they have broken the law. So naturally there is an assumption that every pedophile can and will act out at some point. But this is nonsense. Most pedophiles can control themselves just fine and often do, which means they frequently go undetected for the entirety of their lives.

(7) Logic suggests pedophilia is a sexual orientation – Here’s where we get into the essence of the debate, I think. Bear with me because this segment will be long. When we consider what a sexual orientation is, there are at least two different factors that are at play, and where you come down on pedophilia’s designation likely depends on how you feel about those two factors. One of the factors is science; the other is politics. It’s important to recognize that homosexuals have fought a long, hard political battle to get the recognition, rights and respect they enjoy today. It’s remarkable that they have made such headway. Even so, their fight is not over by a long shot, and the critics of gays and lesbians, particularly on the political right, continue to try their damnedest to roll back everything the LGBT community has accomplished. One of the ways they do this is by linking the current fight by pedophiles for their own rights to the LGBT movement and to blame it for what the naysayers see as a future in which child sexual abuse has been “normalized”, to use their term.

To be sure, this fear is not an entirely invalid one. Given that homosexuals ultimately demanded and received the right to sex without legal interference, it is understandable that people might fear something similar happening in the future with pedophiles. However, there are some important distinctions to be made here. First and foremost, gays fought for the right to love each other. For those pedophiles who seek the lowering or removal of age of consent laws, the fight is entirely one-sided. Children are not organizing and demanding the right to love pedophiles in turn. If they were, this discussion would be a very different one. But that is never going to happen. Why? Because children, when they are even aware of it, by-and-large neither desire nor enjoy sex, and furthermore, they lack the psychological development to understand what such activism would even mean.

Which leads naturally to the other important distinction between the gay and pedophile movements: kids are unable to meaningfully consent to sex or romantic relationships. They cannot sign contracts, or vote, or drive either. These are not cruelties inflicted on kids (as pro-contacters will often argue), nor are these restrictions imposed for moral reasons the way laws against gay sex used to be. These laws and rules are in place to protect a highly vulnerable and naive segment of society from being manipulated by people who generally do not have their best interest at heart.

Thus, from a purely political standpoint, it makes sense that some would oppose the designation of pedophilia as a sexual orientation. But the term ‘sexual orientation’ is not merely a political distinction; it is also a medical/scientific one, and for me at least, science always trumps politics. Science has long been considered immune from politics, as it is a way of discerning reality as it is, not as we want it to be, and the scientific method has been perfected over time to be foolproof. It is only quite recently that well-established scientific truths have come under major attack from political factions, particularly from the right but also in some cases from the left. As the science of sexuality continues to be refined, it is important for all of us, no matter where we stand on these issues morally, that we use the correct terminology and understand the difference between a scientific designation and a political one.

Barring a definition which artificially restricts the concept of sexual orientation to refer only to gender preferences, pedophilia ticks off all the boxes that scientists have traditionally used to determine a long-term, fixed sexual preference. That this was initially limited to the single dimension of gender preference does not mean that that tradition is correct. Sexuality is a complex tapestry to which there are several dimensions, including age preferences (chronophilias), and age preference is not limited to pedophiles; it applies to all sexualities. It’s just that in the past, a preference for adults was assumed. But ask yourself this: does my sexual preference have an age dimension? The answer is, of course it does. Your preference for males and/or females, whichever it may be, does not begin at birth and end at death—your preference is almost certainly limited to a particular age range, say 20 to 40 or thereabouts. It may extend up or down a few years depending on the maturity/youthfulness of individuals, but it is not indefinite. For pedophiles it’s the same, only our preference tends to be fixed in the prepubescent years.

Logically speaking, a sexual orientation is best defined as who or what one is sexually oriented towards, and that preference is a multidimensional spectrum. Suggesting that one is simply gay or straight is not really enough information for a full picture of what one’s preferences are. You could be a gay or straight teleiophile (meaning you prefer adults in their prime), a gay or straight pedophile, or even a gay or straight gerontophile (meaning you prefer older people—yes, those do exist too). Ergo, it makes far more sense to recognize age preference as a dimension of sexual orientation since it is built into it anyway rather than designate it as something else. It may be politically inconvenient, but it is nevertheless scientifically accurate, and science trumps politics. Anyway, the moral issues surrounding sex with children are in no way impacted by recognizing pedophilia for what it is, and that is the most important point to take away from this.

Addressing Some of the Fallacies Used by Opponents of the Designation

Now that we’ve looked at the reasons why pedophilia should be labeled a sexual orientation, let’s examine some of the fallacious arguments used by opponents of the designation.

Pedophilia isn’t a sexual orientation because children are not a gender – This one goes right back to my last point, and it is ultimately a fallacy of irrelevance. (There are a lot of those in this debate.) Again, there is nothing inherent to the concept of sexual orientation which requires that it only apply to gender preferences, and there is a solid logical argument for designating sexual orientation as anyone or anything to which a person is sexually oriented.

Children cannot consent to sex, so pedophilia is not a sexual orientation – Yep, another fallacy of irrelevance. While it is relevant to the moral and legal aspects of adult-child sex, whether preferred partners can consent or not is irrelevant to the concept of  sexual orientation. These are very distinct things. A sexual orientation is, or should be at any rate, a scientific/medical designation based on a number of criteria involving the person who experiences it. External moral, legal and political factors should have no impact on the accuracy of a medical diagnosis.

Pedophilia is not found in nature – Actually, this is quite untrue. In fact, our closest genetic cousins the bonobos have been observed engaging in all sorts of sexual practices, including with juvenile females. Another interesting species that has recently been observed engaging in pedophilic sex is the black widow spider. Adult male spiders have learned to mate with juvenile females in order to avoid being cannibalized. They engage in intercourse with the young spider, planting their seed in the juvenile female, where it will remain until the female reaches maturity, at which point the female will then become impregnated.

But even if it was true, setting aside the fact that humans are still part of nature, this would still be a fallacy of irrelevance, not to mention a naturalistic fallacy. It is wholly irrelevant whether other species practice behaviors that we wish to recognize as part of that designated spectrum of human sexuality.

Pedophilia is a fetish, not a sexual orientation – Um, no. The American Psychological Association defines fetishism as a sexual fixation on a nonliving object or nongenital body part (Wikipedia). Maybe you define children as objects or body parts (at which point I must ask, who is the sick one here?) but children are, in fact, a distinct class of people, just like men and women. And, as with males and females, children have appeared in every society since the beginning of our species, so there is every reason to see them as a dedicated group to which a sexual orientation would naturally develop, and that designation would apply and be understood in every society under the sun. Contrast that with, say, an attraction to people with pink hair. Pink hair is neither naturally occurring nor universal to human societies, and an attraction fixated on pink-haired people could be viewed as fetishistic, since it is a nongenital body part (pink hair) that is the turn-on there.

Pedophilia should not be normalized – This is one of the major criticisms used not only against the recognition of pedophilia as a sexual orientation but for pretty much any sort of discussion or research of the pertinent issues that is even remotely sympathetic to pedophiles, even the non-offending sort. It’s essentially a slippery slope argument based on fears of child sexual abuse somehow gaining the same protected status as gay and lesbian sex. While that fear is understandable on some level, once you take into account all the facts, it should be fairly clear that this is never going to happen. The points laid out in reason seven above for why pedophilia is different from homosexuality are quite sound and should be convincing enough to allay those fears.

The problem is, many people are quite cynical and believe that as soon as honest and open-minded discussion of these issues is allowed, it will fling open a Pandora’s Box and we will quickly slide into a society where anything goes, including the rape of children. But there’s a vast difference between presenting an issue fairly and accurately and condoning horrific behaviors. Recognizing pedophilia as a sexual orientation does not automatically imply allowing or excusing the abuse of children. It simply means viewing it in a way that can be understood and classified in an existing medico-scientific model. The criminal and moral status of adult-child sex still would remain quite separate from that.

Indeed, such a classification would likely contribute to the lessening of abuse in the long run, primarily by destigmatizing the concept of attraction itself and making it more likely for those who fit this sexuality to come forward and seek help if needed, or to seek out communities like VirPed where they will have companionship and support in living a legal and ethical lifestyle. Destigmatizing and accurately classifying pedophilic attraction does NOT mean legalizing sex with kids. I know in this current time of “alternate facts” it is easy to be skeptical about truth and accuracy even in the sciences, but society has never morally devolved from a better understanding of an issue. If anything, it is much easier to manipulate a society’s mores and values when fear, inaccuracy and suppression of honest debate take precedence over a clear and accurate attempt to understand a controversial issue.

13 thoughts on “7 reasons why pedophilia is a sexual orientation

  1. Warm greetings from a new fan. Thanks for doing that work you shouldn’t be expected to do just to state the obvious so well.

    My grandfather got away with molesting children habitually. His abuse harmed me in several of the ways one would expect; but the simple fact that he was attracted to me, by itself, came across as a compliment, when the family’s “decent” members seemed to have reached a consensus that I was repulsive by definition just because I was younger than they were.

    I never developed a similar attraction to children, but I also never figured out how to get sociably sick to my stomach at the mere thought that someone like you exists. So, in a way, I’m lucky, because I had a chance to learn that those contests to decide which idle bystander’s bellyache is the biggest and best are really not so sociable after all. No one has ever helped me by reacting to my mention of the molester as if it were a more sickening act than the molestation. And I can’t relieve the gastric distress by explaining that, because then it usually becomes distress at the haplessly repulsive monster he must have made of me, whether with his genes or with his more prominent parts, if I lack even the common sense to hate him for what he was.

    You, on the other hand, are actually doing me some good.

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    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment, Lorelei. I’m sorry your grandfather abused you, but I’m so glad you are able to get something out of my articles. One of my great hopes is to help survivors of abuse see the complexities of our sexuality and hopefully answer some questions that have been plaguing them, and so to get some closure.

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      1. I wish you luck with that, because I think you’ll need plenty. Unfortunately, at least some of the survivors who stand to gain the most from your descriptions of those complexities are probably also some of the most likely people to be repelled from your point of view by their own emotional reactions. Some might jump to the hasty conclusion that you’re competing against them for some rationed quantity of scarce political and social validation just by seeming to lump them together with people who haven’t already been forced to notice how complex these issues and personalities are.

        I think that might be one of the big obstacles to the mutual understanding you’re promoting: people whose unconscionably best hope of validation entails a lumping-together of pedophiles and molesters are often people who struggle with intrusive memories of being lumped together with simple-minded sex objects. Any time you assert yourself as an intelligent human being with a valid perspective to offer, you risk being mistaken for an obsessive self-promoter who inflates his own importance by insulting other people’s intelligence. (Your point here about the pitfalls of emphasizing politics over science is therefore well taken, if I understand you correctly.)

        Personally, I’m not at all offended by the hope you’ve just expressed. I’m in my fifties, so I’ve had plenty of time to learn it’s not reasonable to demand that someone in your position know the perfect way to respond to all of your fellow abuse survivors’ experiences just because you happen to be a pedophile. It seems obvious to me that the social isolation you’ve endured hasn’t exactly put the rest of us where we’re easy to see through that monster stereotype that so many people shove into your face as if it could really shield anyone. I can only imagine how it must feel to have no saner choice than to go out of your way to defend people who shun and vilify you, but what my own experience does lead me to imagine makes me unashamed to want to treat you as a kindred spirit. That shared experience of social isolation is something I had in common with my grandfather, and hardly anyone has ever seemed able to tolerate even a smidgen of my compassion for his person except by jumping to ignorant conclusions about my personal nature as a notably defective byproduct of the damage he caused. You showed me that I’m not alone in wanting to debunk that nonsense.

        That’s what helped me. It wasn’t as much the complexity of what you had described as it was the simple fact that you were evidently motivated to describe it, both because of and in spite of how complex it was. I’ve been driven to write since I was a toddler, and (as you probably already suspect) I go on at length when a topic sparks my interest. I was feeling uninspired on the day I accidentally discovered that you existed, but then I saw that you had said things that reminded me of what I needed to say, just when I needed to say it. I don’t agree with everything you say, but why should I have to, just to let you be respected as a human being? The split between our two individual perspectives looks from here like nothing more nefarious than the nature of individuality.

        I live in a world where my being able to communicate peacefully with someone like you is usually used as somebody’s excuse to use one of us as a flat poster child to invalidate the other. Your gentleness in describing how you differ from me was just what I needed when I noticed some experiences that you and I have in common.

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      2. Another excellent reply! A lot of food for thought here. Hmm, I wonder if perhaps we might collaborate on something in the future. It would be interesting to tackle the same issue from our two perspectives and see where our common ground lies. Inspirational, I think, in that you could reach some people I might not be able to reach. And I really would love to have your thoughts and experiences to inform my views. Thanks again!

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      3. Well, I’m still finding that I have a lot to say about these issues, so I’ll probably set up a blog where I can give them the attention they seem to need. When I’ve said enough to be confident that my own position is clear, I’ll just let you know so you can take your time deciding whether and how to respond.

        For me, deciding on a careful approach could take weeks or months, because I don’t want to have to conceal my identity just to get a word in about my “decent” family members’ ongoing complacency with regard to their own contributions to the abuse, when that complacency looks from here like a thin veneer over potentially debilitating shame. It seems that shaming me for being the baby of the family is still their last stand against hating themselves for what they did to me when they didn’t know any better, because they react as if I were punching them in the stomach continually just by not being a famously successful genius they can trot out to show what a great family they are to have reared me so well. (So, on one level, to risk making a spectacle of myself by failing to despise you is to risk giving them exactly what they’ve demanded of me, and I’m not sure that would be such a bad idea in this case.)

        If my “neglect” to get over the abuse for the sake of the family’s reputation can’t mean that I’m a monster, then they have to be monsters for leaving me alone with a monster when they knew he was a monster. But they knew he was NOT a monster, because he was the same thing they were: a fallible human being who underestimated the harm he could do to people he could dominate. But SOMEBODY has to be the monster if they are to be a “decent” family, so they pick me because I’m the one who “makes such a big deal out of” the abuse. You know, the naughty cry baby who won’t just shut up and roll with the punches like everybody else. Never mind that the “naughty cry baby” explanation for the punches was one of the most damaging monstrosities all along. (I think that’s what flipped the switch in my head when I decided to go ahead and send “[w]arm greetings” to you: recognizing that same glaring absurdity in how people react with overblown complaints about the simple fact that you’ve complained.)

        Anyway, yeah, so I’m a cry baby in the eyes of emotionally stunted adults who’ve been taught to have no qualms about their own bellyaching about the monstrosity of my supposed bellyaching. That means I need to take care in deciding how to approach the real monstrosity (which, in my view, is that tendency to conflate the person with the behavior, thereby obscuring the influence of the latter).

        So thanks again for that encouraging example you’ve been setting for me by opening your benignly big mouth. I’ll be in touch.

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      4. Well, I wish you well in coming out and confronting the world on your own terms and speaking truth to power (even if the power is your own family and mostly there by convention)—this is never easy. You have my support. I do hope you will speak out. You clearly have something important to say, something that doesn’t readily appease the various “sides” but is nonetheless worth saying, perhaps all the more so because it doesn’t appease any existing factions. I rather prefer truth to appeasement anyway. Sometimes it’s good to make people uncomfortable in the interest of same. Good luck to you! 🙂

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      5. Heh, thanks for letting me know how I’m coming across.

        I almost wish, sometimes, that speaking truth to power were new to me in some way. The details about my family were meant only to make clear that my needing time to decide on an approach didn’t mean I was having any second thoughts about wanting to show support for you.

        My family informally disowned me about twenty years ago for confronting my church-lady mother’s habit of shaming me for having a sex drive even though she had gotten preggers before marriage (this was long after word got out about what her father-in-law had done to all seven of her children), so I’ve learned to stop using my family as a gauge to measure my self-worth. I just haven’t given up yet on having a family again one day, so I want to figure out how not to say anything that might hurt them when they have reputations to protect, because my family’s peculiar dysfunction is such a big part of what informs me that bashing pedophiles arbitrarily is a very bad idea.

        Yes, you get it: I’m not on any “side,” that I know of. I do have some strong opinions that can be uncomfortable, but people have said in my defense that I apply standards to everyone equally. And you seem to do the same, overall, so I’m happy to see that you have a voice.

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  2. I agree with your conclusion (not surprisingly). I’m not as firmly committed as you to using science alone to decide how to use words. If someone seems sympathetic to us generally and insists pedophilia is not a sexual orientation, I’ll settle on “sexual interest” the way that the DSM-5 people did.

    But I don’t think your point #2 “compelling genetic reasons” is convincing. You speak of children being orphaned in earlier times and how it would be adaptive if someone would raise them. However, it would not increase the fitness of the men who took them in, and that’s what an evolutionist would want to see. Aunts and uncles make much more sense as foster parents. To the extent an attraction to children is associated with a reduced attraction to women, that would be a very serious cost to fitness. If we were considering such a mechanism, an increase in parental feeling would be a much more direct route than a sexual attraction.

    I do think neoteny has a role to play, which is simply making children resemble the ideal mate more closely than in other species. Adult women look more similar to children than the females of most species are to the young of those species, which could explain much of situational offending. It also means that if something’s going to go wrong in terms of primary attraction, it’s not such a large jump from adult women to children.

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    1. As always, thank you for your comment, Ethan. I actually had planned to delve into the genetic argument quite a bit more deeply than I did, but in the interest of not making the article massive I stuck with the condensed version. I do have what I think is a pretty compelling reason for the point I made. Perhaps in the future I will devote an entire article to that.

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  3. On Youtube I go by shirtless psychotic rants. I insult people a lot. I’m a pretty hostile person. I’ve said plenty of good things about you though. I’ve mentioned some of the bad things too, your pro-contact past and such. I think you seem like a shining example of a human being. I respect your willingness to put your face out for a cause. I respect your rationality. I respect your willingness to discuss things everybody else wants to sweep under the rug.

    However, I think you were not being entirely realistic when you discredited potential concerns about the “normalization” of pedophelia. It’s not just crazy religious fanatics who have concerns about that. Verbal hostility and shaming has long been useful tools for society. I’ve noticed that an unpleasantly large percentage of hebephiles and pedophiles are not people I’m fond of. I talk on the discussion forums of Citi-Data.com. Even the people I dislike there don’t come close to how much I’ve disliked several of the pedophiles and hebephiles I’ve come across on Youtube. Reasons I’ve disliked some of these people I’ve seen the comments of on Youtube were things like, some self-described hebephiles talking about dancing girls they believe to be sexy that they say are 14 but look to me more like 9. Another guy believed that pre-pubescent child/adult intercourse was probably usually healthy for children. Another guy in that same comments section may or may not have agreed with him. I don’t quite remember. Another pedophile from Virtuous Pedophiles.com believed he deserves to be able to talk about the cute butts of little boys like other men discuss attractive women. I haven’t seen the comments of that many self-described pedophiles either.

    Your empathetic, intelligent manner of discourse appears to be the exception, not the rule, to me. I could definitely imagine some negative side effects from becoming less hostile to pedophiles in general because of those above sorts of mentalities. I don’t see such large numbers of people I dislike in the atheist community, or amongst homosexuals.

    There are two reasons why I’ve pretty fiercely defended pedophiles from people who believe they’re all horrible people. #1. is you, because you call yourself one, and because you call yourself one, that changes the cultural definition a bit. We can’t entirely just say “a pedophile is someone who sexually abuses a child, and there is no word for people with a romantic attraction to children who does not act on it” anymore, which is actually how I suspect a large percentage of people see the world pedophile. My #2 reason is that I find myself imagining some young pedophile not understanding themselves because the shame and fear taught by society keeps them from accepting it as something that can be calmly and reliably controlled. I see that pedophile trying to mentally hide his impulses under a metaphorical rug from himself, and failing to acknowledge it, and problems resulting from that.I suspect that pedophile would be better off if he were to see his issue as not something so much monstrous as just another one of Mother Nature’s mistakes that can be overcome and controlled.

    I’m not concerned about you or society in general collapsing into everybody marrying corpses and inanimate objects. I’m concerned about the large numbers of hebophiles and pedophiles I already know I don’t like feeling like their statements and perspectives are more accepted by society. I see it as a complicated issue of weighing pros and cons, and unless I know someone is talking about being hateful of another person despite that other person having done nothing wrong besides thinking a certain thought, I’ll tend to be fine with them being verbally hostile when discussing pedophelia, because I’ll assume they’re talking about child molesters or something, and I see some potential benefits to discouraging anything that resembles an attraction of adults to children.

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    1. Thank you for your response! Yeah, a lot of those pro-contact pedophiles really make my job harder, and unfortunately there are a lot of them. (I do my best to counteract their arguments with solid reason rather than the typical blast of hate and disgust they get from society, which just alienates them and pushes them further into their perspective–hopefully I can win them over to my side.) They are extremely visible, whereas us virpeds are not quite as outspoken on the whole. In fact, Gary Gibson and I are pretty much it for public spokesmen, though a lot of virped, including our founders, have done interviews anonymously, but those interviews are far less known than mine or Gary’s. It’s a weird landscape right now, because I’m confidant that the vast number of pedophiles (you can call us MAPs if you don’t like the term pedophiles–I’m good with either as long as people understand that there are non-offending pedophiles like me out there) are decent people and do not offend. These people almost never self-identify, which you can’t blame them for given the massive stigma. The problem is, this skews the public perception because all they ever see are the ones who have offended and gotten caught. And people got comfortable with this idea that all pedophiles are evil abusers, and then I come along and throw a wrench into the works and they hate it. Honestly, I think a lot of those haters actually resent me more for being a non-offending MAP than an offending one, because I make them reassess their simplistic black & white viewpoint on these matters.

      I’ll give you an idea of the insanity I’ve encountered. When I told one guy that a lot of abuse survivors have supported me (and continue to do so) he actually said something to the effect of, “I’m glad they were abused.” Not only that, I’ve had people tell me they were glad I was abused, failing to grasp the fact that had I not been abused, there’s a strong possibility I would not have developed this sexuality myself. Now something like 75% of the House of Representatives just passed a law making sexting by teens a 15 yr felony. Yes, the law supposedly designed to protect kids actually equates kids who send nudie pics to each other with hardened child pornographers. That’s all you need to understand to see that the moral panic surrounding these issues is not motivated by reason, nor does it have an honest moral underpinning anymore. It’s all just political smoke and mirrors at this point. Who cares if it ruins a 13-yr-old’s life if they make a bad decision about their own body? Let’s also add insult to injury by tossing them in prison for the entirety of their youth and giving the sex offender stamp for the rest of their lives. Makes total sense, right? Idiots.

      This is the level of Bullshit Mountain we have to scale now. A lot of people hate me just because I exist, regardless of whether I’ve done anything or not. Some hate me because I haven’t done anything and therefore I’m not being punished for what they see as a huge moral transgression if nothing else. Yep, I have my work cut out for me. But it gives my life meaning. I’m convinced more than ever that this is why I was put on this planet.

      Thanks again! 🙂

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