Wednesday, May 11, 2016

For Critics: Why I Discuss Some Topics

Topics I Discuss

If you have been around my blog, you know I talk about some pretty difficult and heavy topics. You know that I discuss what pedophilia is and is not, and I even discuss the idea that not all sexual interactions involving children are harmful. I have talked about pedophilia as a sexual orientation, why pedophiles deserve respect, and how attitudes towards this subject do not help. So... why do I discuss these things? Why do I wade into these incredibly difficult topics?

What I Will Never Say

Children are developing human beings. It is likely that the most challenging idea that I bring up is the idea that there can be sexual interactions involving children that do not always involve harm to the child (between children and other peers, between children and older children, or even between children and adults). I will never say that these interactions should be encouraged. Some of these interactions are a natural part of development and are completely situational. Some of them are indeed abusive. It is the child who gets to make that call. Some of these situations get very muddy and complex. There is no clear-cut answer to every single situation. That is why this blog uses a therapeuticdefinition of child sexual abuse: To account for the fact that some interactions do not cause harm, and to advocate the idea that a child has a right to how they feel, to their body, and to good mental health.

Why do I bring that up? Logic and critical thinking are increasingly becoming a value, both in adults and in younger people. If I stated that every single interaction was morally wrong, I would be ignoring logic and critical thinking. I would sound ridiculous to people who are capable of rational thought.

I will never say that child sex should be embraced, or that it is a good idea for an adult to initiate anything sexual with a child. And yes, the lines between adult and child can be complex, muddy, and complicated. Yes, there are relationships that occur between adults and children that are beneficial for both people and valuable to both people. But the reality of the matter is, with many of these situations, there is no guarantee or protection against abuse or against harm. For that reason, I will never say that sexual interactions between adults and children should be pursued. There are simply too many situations to paint all of them with a wide brush, but there are vastly too many situations that are harmful for any rational person to say that sexual interactions involving children should be encouraged or pursued.

What I Do Say

I suppose by now I have dug myself a neat little hole? No. Unless these topics are discussed, openly, rationally, civilly, and without alarm, child sexual abuse can never be prevented before it happens. Education is the key to primary prevention, and even to secondary and tertiary prevention. Trying to get everyone to believe that every single sexual interaction involving children is evil is simply unrealistic at best. Even major prevention programs, such as Stop It Now, acknowledge that some sexual behavior and questions are normal for specific ages.

Healthy sexuality is a very valuable and integral part of preventing child sexual abuse before it happens. Unless a child knows they are safe discussing a variety of subjects, they will never talk about the extremely difficult things like what to do if they are experience something new with their sexuality, like an attraction to children. They will never talk about having been abused or disclose abuse. They have to have a safe environment, and the only way they will have that is by discussing things.

Child sexual abuse is an epidemic that needs to be addressed, and prevention efforts mandate logic and rational discussion. Because it is an issue that is so harmful, we have to ensure that the policies are effective and based on fact, not on hype and fear. Legislating an issue has to be done with care. The entire point of this blog is to bring reason and facts to these discussions. If you would attack me for that, well, you are an interesting fellow.

Put Simply:
1.      Do I have an ulterior motive to make child sex more acceptable?
a.      Absolutely not. Find me one quote, in context, where I say that. Go on, search the blog. I think you will find that I directly argue against child sex in one post.
2.      Am I trying to normalize pedophilia?
a.      Pedophilia only exists in a very small minority of the population. It will never be normal. See response to question one.
3.      Do I think that age of consent should be changed?
a.      I do not get involved in age of consent conversations. So I am indifferent towards the topic. It does not matter to me. There are flaws to having a set age of consent, and there are flaws to not having a set age of consent. It is not an issue that will ever be resolved for me, so I leave it alone. It would be like discussing why the sky is blue, or why water is composed of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom.
4.      Do I think that people should sympathize with pedophiles?
a.      Define "pedophiles". If you mean people who have abused children, stop using the word pedophiles and minimizing child sexual abuse. If you mean people attracted to children, then no, I do not want you to sympathize. I want you to empathize with them and try to put yourself in their shoes. They did not choose their attraction to children. 
5.      Am I just a pedophile who wants people to accept that I like kids?
a.      See response to questions 1-3. Yes, I am sexually attracted to children. My age of attraction is around 7-19, with some attraction towards my own age. I cannot change that attraction, and all I can do is accept that I have these attractions. I am committed to never acting on my attractions, because I believe the gargantuan potential for harm vastly outweighs any chance of a minute benefit there may be to acting on those attractions. And seeing as I cannot change it, I would prefer that people would accept that fact.
6.      So I DO want people to accept I like kids?
a.      Yes, I do. I cannot change it. You cannot change it. There is no magic pill to make my attractions go away. All I can do is educate about the subject and ask people to open their minds and try to understand. I understand that is difficult. Not only do I have a sex drive primarily aimed at children, I fight that attraction every single day. If you want to condemn me for accepting that I have attractions to children, then I feel sorry for you.
7.      Why discuss pedophiles, pedophilia, and minor attraction?
a.      Sit down and grab a cup of coffee. Then read these posts: Herehere, and here. The fact is, most child molesters are not pedophiles, and mostpedophiles are not child molesters. Sharing those facts should not automatically make me a monster, and shame on you if you doubt the veracity of my claims just because they do not fit with what you believe about the subject. Facts are not true because you believe them, they are true because they are facts and are supported by research and experts.

Wrapping Up

For related information about why many arguments leveled at pedophiles and advocates like me do not work, please see these two posts. Put simply, I am not going to change my content because it makes people uncomfortable. Changing your beliefs is always difficult, but it makes you a better person if you are able to try to see other points of view besides your own. Will you give me a chance to show you the facts on these issues? Or will you bury your head because it is uncomfortable to talk about? Burying difficult issues is what enables abuse.

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