Childlove Movement

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(NOTE: This is an archived copy from 2005 of an article which has been deleted from Wikipedia, the "free" encyclopedia -- one which doesn't allow for opposing views (in the English version) when it comes to the "child sex abuse" agenda held by the senior editors (one of the most vocal of which is -- you guessed it -- a psychiatrist!.)

Members of the childlove movement seek societal acceptance of their sexual or romantic attraction to children, and often also of sexual relations between adults and children (see pedophilia). The movement seeks to eliminate legal and social obstacles to pedophilic activity, such as legislation criminalizing adult-child sexual activity; the classification of pedophilia as a mental illness; the public perceptions of pedophilia; and the use of the term "pedophilia" over the relatively unknown terms childlove and childlover.

The movement has been met with intense opposition. While some in the field of psychology have proposed declassifying pedophilia as a mental illness, the greater medical and scientific community continue to reject the movement's self-proclaimed definition of pedophilia as a sexual orientation, and has also censured the movement's claims that sexual relations between children and adults are not inherently harmful, basing their rejections on scientific evidence which reputedly demonstrates children are cognitively and developmentally incapable to give an informed consent to any kind of sexual activities with adults as partners, and that all forms of such activities have more or less negative effects on children's further psychological development and are therefore defined as sexual abuse (see: Dallam, S. J. 2002). Contents

Brief history of the modern childlove movement

There have been varying degrees of pedophile activism since the 1970s that can be traced to the social changes that occurred during the 1960s and 1970s. Encouraged by the increased tolerance for minorities and alternative lifestyles, underground pedophile groups began to go public in an effort to garner greater social acceptance (Schuijer, 1990). Simultaneously, however, several child-protection groups were established with the aim to warn of the perceived danger of what they referred to as child sexual abuse.

In the 1970s, most activity occured in the Netherlands and to a lesser degree in Western Europe as a whole. Here, a number of researchers, among them Frits Bernard, Theo Sandfort, Edward Brongersma and Frans Gieles wrote a significant number of papers on the topic, both from a theoretical and a practical standpoint. A number of papers were produced discussing the effects of adult-child sexual interactions, using data from pedophiles as well as from adults and young people who had been involved in relationships with adults as children or adolescents.

In the late 1970s, the center of activity briefly shifted to the United States and Britain with the 1977 formation of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) in London and the 1978 formation of the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) in Boston. Both of these groups achieved relative notoriety in the early 1980s due to a public outcry against them. The PIE capitulated to public pressure and disbanded in 1985. NAMBLA still exists today.

In the 1980s, a number of other childlove advocacy groups were created. The most significant of these were MARTIJN in 1982, situated in the Netherlands, and the Danish Pedophile Association (DPA) in 1985. This was followed by the formation of IPCE, an umbrella organization and repository for pedophilia-related research, in the early 1990s. Of these groups, both MARTIJN and IPCE are still functioning, while the DPA decided to disband in early 2004 due to socio-political pressure and lack of support from other parties.

The primary medium for childlove advocacy changed in the mid 90s to the Internet. In 1995, BoyChat, a message board for boylovers, was established. In 1997, participants on BoyChat and other online resources formed Free Spirits, an umbrella organization with the mission of raising money and providing secure Internet hosting services. The Montreal Ganymede Collective was formed in Montreal by Free Spirits members in 1998 as a forum for boylovers to meet in the real world. In 2000, girllovers started their own message board funded entirely from contributions, known as GirlChat.

In early 2001, the first boylove broadcast media source, Sure Quality Internet Radio, was founded by Jeffrey Gold in Florida, USA.

Views and strategies of childlove movement activists

Sociologist Mary DeYoung (1989), for example, reviewed the literature that pedophile organizations published for public dissemination. She found that pedophiles sought to make their unpopular philosophy more palatable to the public by using the following strategies.

  • Adoption of "value-neutral" terminology. According to Herdt, an anthropologist who has studied sex between adults and children in other cultures, pedophile advocates need to replace "dull and reductionistic" terms like pedophilia and abuse when discussing sex between "a person who has not achieved adulthood and one who has". Moreover, words like "child" or "childhood", which have psychologically developmental meaning, should be "resisted at all costs".
  • Redefining the term "child sexual abuse". Another recurring theme among those seeking to normalize pedophilia is the need to redefine or restrict the usage of the term "child sexual abuse". For example, Gerald Jones (1990), an Affiliated Scholar in the Institute for the Study of Women and Men in Society at the University of Southern California, suggested that "intergenerational intimacy" should not be considered synonymous with child sexual abuse: "The crucial difference has to do with mutuality and control" (p. 278). Jones suggested, "Intergenerational attraction on the part of some adults could constitute a lifestyle 'orientation', rather than a pathological maladjustment" (p. 288). However, before society could come to recognize the potential benefits of intergenerational intimacy the use of the term "child sexual abuse" must first be limited to behavior meeting a strict definition of abuse (i.e., behavior that is demonstrably harmful).
  • Promoting the idea that children can consent to sex with adults. The reconceptualization of children as willing sexual "partners" along with the decriminalization of consensual sexual relations is perhaps the key change sought by pedophile advocates. To counter developmental arguments that children cannot give informed consent, for example, David L. Riegel (2000) stated in his book Understanding Love Boys and Boylovers, "Anyone who holds to the idea that a young boy cannot give or withhold informed consent has never taken such a boy shopping for new sneakers" (p. 38). Many activists in the childlove movement, amongst them Tom O'Carroll, Frans Gieles and Lindsay Ashford, actively campaign against the idea that children are unable properly to consent to sex—a belief held by the vast majority of people, cultures, experts in child development and legal authorities.
  • Questioning the assumption of harm. One of the greatest barriers to the decriminalization of sex between adults and children are the hundreds of studies demonstrating a consistent association between CSA and negative outcomes. Advocates of pedophilia have attempted to deal with this problem in a variety of ways. For example, they often attribute the negative outcomes on parents or professionals who seek to prevent or intervene in the abuse. Riegel (2000), for instance, asserted: "The acts themselves harm no one, the emotional and psychological harm comes from the 'after the fact' interference, counseling, therapy, etc., that attempt to artificially create a 'victim' and a 'perpetrator' where neither exists" (p. 21). Similar arguments are made by SafeHaven Foundation, an organization for "responsible boylovers". On their website, they wrote, "The child abuse industry . . . takes a boy who has enjoyed pleasurable and completely consensual sexual experiences with another boy or man, and traumatizes him in an attempt to convince him that what he did was 'wrong'". In addition, SafeHaven argues that, "many of the supposed traumas elicited by psychotherapy turn out to be nothing more than the result of the False Memory Syndrome" (SafeHaven Foundation, 2001).
  • Promoting "objective" research. Those who advocate normalizing pedophilia often argue that investigators of CSA have biased views, distorted by our culture (e.g., Brongersma, 1990). As such, they frequently call for a less emotional and more non-biased approach to the subject (e.g., Geraci, 1994, p. 17; Jones, 1990). A study that is frequently cited as embodying the type of "objective" research needed is Theo Sandfort’s (1987) research on boys’ relationships with pedophiles, although not published by a peer-reviewed scientific review. The study was considered the epitome of "objectivity" by some advocates of intergenerational sexual relationships (e.g., Brongersma, 1990, p. 168; Jones, 1990, p. 286), but critics have pointed to strong strong evidence which suggests that the study was "politically motivated to 'reform' legislation" (Mrazek, 1990, p. 318). Ethical concerns have also been expressed over the apparent lack of human subject safeguards and the fact that the boys were studied without the permission of their parents, many of whom were unaware of their child’s (often illegal) relationship with the pedophile (pp. 317-18).
  • Declassification of pedophilia as mental illness. Activists reject the notion that pedophilia is a mental illness, believing that its classification as such is a political attempt to stigmatize a socially unacceptable sexual preference. Members of the movement quote Moser and Kleinplatz (2003), who suggest that all paraphilia be removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). They write that "objective", non-culturally-biased criteria for classifiying sexual behavior as abnormal is exceptionally difficult generally. For example, topless sunbathing, they note, is legal in some countries and treated as exhibitionism in others. However, in the only section of the paper dealing with pedophilia, they write that “our suggestion to remove the paraphilias, which includes pedophilia, from the DSM does not mean that sexual acts with children are not crimes. . . Any interpretation of our work as supporting adult-child sexual interactions is misguided and wrong.” [1] Members of the childlove movement seek to avoid the stigma of the term pedophile, which carries connotations of illness (Fagan, 2002), exploitation, perversion, and criminality. They promote the terms childlover, boylover and girllover to replace pedophile. The term has been popularized among pedophiles through the Internet. Lindsay Ashford in the Human Face of Pedophilia writes: Many have problems with the word pedophilia since its meaning has been so warped by society and the media. [It] has grown to take on the meaning and connotations of an evil person who lurks in parks. Many of us simply do not resemble or relate to this stereotype, so we have chosen to adopt terminology that better describes what we are. [2] Ashford says that childlove is "an emotional and spiritual attraction to young children that transcends a simply physical or sexual attraction to them." [3] There is a certain ambiguity in the term pedophile, claiming a clearer distinction should be made between people who are attracted to children and people who act on that attraction. For example, in a paper entitled Special Problems with Sexual Abuse Cases, Underwager and Wakefield write, "Although the terms are often used interchangeably, a distinction must be made between 'sex offender against a minor' [a prepubescent child] and 'pedophile.' The former refers to a criminal sexual behavior and the latter to an anomalous sexual preference". Many ephebophiles object to the term childlover since they are attracted only to adolescents, whom they consider to be physically and emotionally adults rather than children. However, those attracted to adolescents also often use the more specific terms boylover and girllover.

Self-professed objectives of the movement

While there is a wide range of views amongst childlovers about the objectives of the movement, most agree on at least some of the following objectives:

  • Change public perception of pedophiles
  • Assert a difference between childlove and child sexual abuse
  • Push for the decriminalization of child pornography possession
  • Push for the abolition or revision of age of consent legislation
  • Increase awareness of medical evidence of sexual activity in young children
  • Support movements and organizations that push for increased children's rights

Similar arguments have included the following into the reasoning and purpose of the movement:

I. To seek the advancement of the children’s declaration of autonomy, that they may learn and experience through their own initiative. To seek the necessity for appreciation of Childlovers and the end to the prejudice and discrimination of their kind by the progressively homogenous crowd. To carry out forthcoming, responsive, and deep relationships with children who appreciate or need affectionate attention.

II. To uphold and maintain consenting and mutual relationships with children for the causes of liberation of the youth mind, and fostering the youth mind for revolution against all that seek to harm them be them society, legislatures, molesters, corporations, rapists, as well as parents. To educate, not assimilate, and cultivate appreciation for the youth perspective. To uphold and maintain the youth voice and mind on the highest.

III. To protect and nurture the growth of the child. To insist our governing body to lower the age of consent laws and allow the youth the complete freedom of expression of self. To encourage society to see the child as a whole. To assist in the proper and healthy development of youth, and the free expression thereof in harmony with the realm and personal experience of the youth. To love the whole child.

Those who advocate the legalization of sexual contacts with children claim that the inequality in the relationship is not, by necessity, a negative thing. In Pedophilia: The Radical Case, Tom O'Carroll writes:

The disparity in size and power between parent and child creates a potential for abuse. But, on the basis that parent–child relationships are generally positive we accept that inequality is simply in the nature of the thing. I would like to see paedophilic relationships looked at in a similar light. [4]

Some pedophiles also say that sex is not the raison d'être of childlove relationships. Edward Brongersma, in Boy-Lovers and Their Influence on Boys, where he reports the result of interviews with participants in adult–child relationships writes, "within a relationship, sex is usually only a secondary element." [5]. Loving relationships between adults and children are considered desirable—it is only when the affairs become sexual that the relationships are considered criminal.

While society in general believes that children are unable to consent to sexual relationships, Ben Spiecker and Jan Steutel, in a paper entitled Paedophilia, Sexual Desire and Perversity write that consent is possible, even in older prepubescent children. (However, they also conclude "Paedophile sex is a form of exploitation because it endangers the long-term welfare of the child. Consequently, paedophilia involves desires towards behaviour that is morally wrong, but only in some forms of paedophilia are these desires perverse.") [6]

Furthermore, childlovers claim that sexual contacts with adults need not be harmful for children. They cite the widely criticized 1998 meta-analysis Rind et al. and other works to support their claim. In one such study, Intergenerational Sexual Contact: A Continuum Model of Participants and Experiences, Joan Nelson writes:

Clinical populations reveal nondamaging intergenerational sex. De Young (1982) reports that 20% of her "victims" appeared to be "virtually indifferent to their molestation!" Instead, they tended to be traumatized by the reaction of adults to its discovery. [7]

Childlovers want to change the public perception that sex with children must lead to vaginal sex or anal sex, emphasizing that they do not support any physical harm to any of the participants. To this end, they do not normally advocate penetrative sex with very young children. In a 1981 pamphlet entitled Pedophilia, the Dutch Protestant Foundation for Responsible Family Development writes "especially in the case of young children, sexual activity seldom includes any kind of sexual penetration. Children are not yet physically big enough for this." [8]

Many childlovers argue that children are innately sexual from their infancy. They point to the research of several researchers, including Alfred Kinsey, Floyd Martinson, Alayne Yates and William Masters, that show evidence of sexual response, masturbation and sex play with others in young children. They argue, therefore, that since children are sexual and that some seek sex play, they should be able to consent to sexual activity with any other partner, regardless of age. Thus many childlovers argue against age of consent legislation. Alfred Kinsey is a controversial figure, however, and many leading psychologists of his day, such as Abraham Maslow, were highly critical of his methodology.

Many childlovers are also opposed to the current state of sexual education in many countries. They argue that enforced ignorance and abstinence only forces those young people who wish to explore their sexuality to do so in secret, making them more susceptible to unsafe environments and coercive relationships. John Coleman of the Trust for the Study of Adolescence says:

In societies in which there's more sex education, more openness, there's a far lower rate of teenage pregnancy. Parents always fear that talking about childhood sexuality will lead to children experimenting earlier. But all the evidence shows that the more you talk to young people about sex, the more sensible they are. [9]

This view does not take into consideration the research that shows that in the early stages of a child's development they are unable to make informed and clear decisions. Many psychologists view teaching young children about sex as being damaging to children, and it is only later in life that they are mature enough to handle these concepts.

Ephebophiles are also largely opposed to consent legislation. They argue that in former times, puberty was considered to be the threshold of adulthood in many societies and that it is a natural indication that the body is sexually mature. They say that ages of consent are legal definitions that are both arbitrary and discriminatory. Instead of a set age of consent, they argue that each individual who wishes to engage in sexual activity should make such decisions. This view ignores the question of whether a person is mature enough to fully appreciate the consequences of their action, a view which is common in other areas regarding consent of minors.

In most countries and places, the age of consent is different from the age of puberty - often there is a gap of many years between them, during which someone may be at the same time a sex offender but not a pedophile.

Ethics proposed by the movement

Cover of CLogo's Pedophilia brochure Enlarge Cover of CLogo's Pedophilia brochure

Rejection of pedophilia is ingrained in most of the world's cultures, especially in Western ones. Despite this societal rejection, many pedophiles claim to understand children's sexuality, and have proposed an ethical framework that could allow acceptance of their desire for sexual interaction with children.

In a 1998 newspaper interview, Dutch psychiatrist Gerald Roelofs suggested the following five guidelines for relationships between adults and children:

  • There should be no coercion
  • The child should be free to stop at any moment
  • Sexuality should be compatible with the psychosexual development of the child
  • The parents should know about [the sexual aspect of] the relationship
  • The child should be able to openly discuss the relationship without fear of disapproval

About the same time, Frans Gieles, in conjunction with the JORis workgroup of the Dutch Association for Sexual Reform (NVSH) proposed the following four guidelines:

  • Self-Determination: Children must always have it in their own power to regulate their own sexuality, their relationships with others and their own lives.
  • Initiative: Even in a later stage of the relationship, it is always the children who make the choice to have sex.
  • Freedom: At any moment within the relationship with an adult, children must have the freedom to withdraw from the relationship.
  • Openness: The child should not have to carry unreasonable secrets. [10]

More recently, subsequent discussions about these guidelines have produced a synthesis of these earlier proposals. The following four guidelines have now been officially adopted by MARTIJN and form the basis of the ethos of the Human Face of Pedophilia:

  • Consent of both child and adult
  • Openness towards the parents of the child
  • Freedom for the child to withdraw from the relationship at any moment
  • Harmony with the child's development [11], [12], [13]

Most of the people involved in these efforts realize that such ethical guidelines can only work in jurisdictions where adult–child sex is not illegal and therefore do not address the ethical issues of having an illegal relationship with a minor. Instead, illegal activity is discouraged, such as in the Boylove Code of Ethics [14] which states that the pedophiles should "do everything possible to protect his young friend from any harm, including exposure or embarrassment from arrest," even if this means refraining from consensual activity considered illegal in their jurisdiction. MARTIJN's statement is unequivocal: "MARTIJN Association advises everyone to observe the law." [15]

Not all groups associated with the movement support these ethical boundaries. For example, the group Krumme 13 ("Crooked 13") [16] counsels convicted pedophiles to continue their activities once released.

A more in depth and broader code of ethics of moral pedophiles had been penned, no observation of such has been recognized. It states explicitly that, "Any violation, extension, or limitation of the code will be considered an act worthy of investigation, and possibly grounds for removal, by the local legislature, of the Childlover from the child depending on the child’s suffrage, and other individual case circumstances resulting from relationship on a case-by-case basis..." and that "Any breach of these terms is not considered an act worthy of the Childlove movement. The movement will uphold these terms and these terms alone, as guidelines for consensual relationships with children should any adult choose to label them self a Childlover and carry out any relationship with a human child."

The terms outline in more detail the Boylove Code of Ethics, but are more inclusive to accommodate a Childlove collective.

While members of the childlove movement claim that, within an ethical framework, these relationships can be mutually beneficial, society remains generally unconvinced and regards all child sexual activity as unethical and criminal.

Objections to the ethical framework are that a child is not mature enough to be able to have the freedom to withdraw from an abusive relationship and can be very easily coerced into maintaining this relationship with a pedophile. In most Western countries, the consent of parents and ongoing communication with them is not a consideration when prosecuting child abusers. Also, many child psychologists would not agree that a child's relationship with a pedophile is in harmony with that child's normal development.


The primary activity of the movement is support for pedophiles. They attempt to provide support to others who would otherwise be reluctant to discuss their attractions for fear of being ostracized. To this end, some organizations provide online counselling and suicide prevention services.

MARTIJN, as well as publishing OK magazine and providing support for pedophiles, is also involved in overt activism, distributing flyers and pamphlets at public gatherings and gay pride marches.

Some pedophiles labelling themselves boylovers and girllovers celebrate their sexual preference. "International BoyLove Day" is celebrated on the first Saturday after the summer solstice. This is the day male pedophiles attracted to boys celebrate their attraction, often by lighting blue candles discreetly in public. "Alice Day", April 25, is a day of celebration for pedophiles attracted to girls. This is the day Lewis Carroll met Alice Liddell, the girl for whom he wrote Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, on April 25, 1856.

Robin Sharpe, a Canadian pedophile, successfully challenged some aspects of child pornography laws in the Canadian Supreme Court in 2002, arguing that his fictional writings were not illegal because they had artistic merit. [edit]



GLogo GLogo

A blue spiral-shaped triangle symbol, or "BLogo" was designed by an individual using the online nickname "Kalos" in conjunction with Free Spirits.

A similar logo, a heart within a heart, or "GLogo" was later developed by some pedophiles attracted to girls to symbolize a "bond of love" [17] between adults and girls.

Another logo, the "CLogo", was proposed by the CLogo team in the Netherlands as a logo that could be used to represent the aspirations of child lovers. Pedophiles have mixed opinions on this logo. (This image is shown on the cover of the CLogo pamphlet, pictured above).

Controversy and public reaction to the movement

Members of the movement claim that they do not support child abuse or illegal activity; public reaction to this claim has been skeptical. This skepticism has been reinforced by publicized incidents linking members and groups associated with the movement to actual sexual child abuse and by the similarity of the movement’s views to the views used by sexual child abusers to justify their abuse [18], [19].

The movement has sparked intense opposition and its political progress has been limited or minimal. Nearly all national governments conform to United Nations protocols for age-of-consent legislation and the criminalization of child pornography. From 2000 to 2004, over 130 nations signed a United Nations accord to criminalize child pornography. [20] The U.N. convention on age-of-consent has been in force for forty years. [21]

Skepticism that the movement doesn’t support child abuse

Many child abuse prevention advocates, law enforcement officials, and journalists note that the movement’s claim of separating advocacy from abuse does not always hold true. Members of the movement often respond by claiming that high-profile child abusers were not members of the movement, or that the movement could have even helped them avoid crossing the line into abuse [22]. Some claim that dwelling on these arrests attempts to smear the movement through guilt-by-association. Nonetheless, mainstream observers remain skeptical that ardent advocates of adult-child romance and sex do not act on the desires they claim are legitimate and harmless – citing these arrests as evidence. [23]

Many of these incidents involve NAMBLA, the movement organization most widely known to the public. Some claim that these activities are limited to this organization and are not representative of the larger movement. Nonetheless, for most mainstream observers, these incidents remain the public face of the movement and symbolize the problems with its mission.

Many opponents of the childlove movement believe the term childlove to be a misnomer since they view any and all adult–child sexual contact to be abuse.

Recent incidents include:

  • Rev. Paul Shanley, a priest accused of abusing children as young as six years old over a period of three decades, allegedly participated in early movement workshops and advocacy, according to contemporaneous accounts of the events obtained by the Boston Globe. [24], [25]
  • Charles Jaynes, also allegedly a member of NAMBLA, was convicted of murdering a 10-year-old boy then having intercourse with his body; the parents of the boy sued NAMBLA and its steering committee, alleging that Jaynes wrote in his diary that participating in NAMBLA and reading NAMBLA publications helped him overcome his inhibitions about having sex with young boys [26], [27].
  • John David Smith, a San Francisco man convicted of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy he was babysitting, met an undercover investigator through his activities as a NAMBLA member; according to the investigator, Smith used his contacts with NAMBLA to trade child pornography and arrange sex with children [28], [29].
  • Johnathan Tampico was convicted of child molestation in 1989 and paroled in 1992 on condition of not possessing child pornography. After moving without informing authorities of his new address, he was found after a broadcast of America’s Most Wanted. He was arrested and convicted on child pornography charges. In his sentencing, the court found that Tampico was a member of NAMBLA, that NAMBLA supported a foster home in Thailand that sexually exploited children, and that Tampico and others traveled to Thailand in order to have unlimited access to young boys at the foster home, as evidenced by a number of Polaroid pictures, provided by Thai officials, depicting Tampico with young Thai boys sitting on his lap [30],[31], [32].
  • James C. Parker, a New York man who, according to court records, told the police that he was a member of NAMBLA, was arrested in 2000 and convicted in 2001 of committing sodomy with a young boy [33].

Publicity regarding these incidents -- in addition to deeply felt opposition to the movement's views -- have led to extreme controversy surrounding the movement's activities and members. Many in the movement have professed that they don't uphold or support the ideals of NAMBLA due to the controversy attributed to its doctrines and the crimes involved with it.

Medical community reaction to the movement’s scientific claims

Current medical literature documents a high incidence of profound and grievous psychological harm caused by sexual contact with children (for example, [34], [35], [36], [37]). The movement has several disputed scientific papers to cite. To date, the greater medical community remains unconvinced of the movement’s claims that adult-child sexual contact is not harmful in a high percentage of cases; no peer-reviewed study of actual psychological outcomes supporting the movement's view has been accepted by the greater scientific community. [38] However, there is still no research available that looks at adult/child sexual abuse and compares cases where the child is willing to cases where the child is unwilling.

That said, the scientific community does acknowledge the difference between an adult who desires sexual contact with a child and one who acts on that desire, and that the understanding of the nature of and treatment strategies for pedophilia are inadequate. Fagan, Wise, Schmidt and Berlin, in their 2002 paper on pedophilia write:

"Pedophilia is a diagnosis applicable to only a portion of individuals who sexually abuse children. Information has been drawn from published research about pedophilia and child sexual abuse in general to present the current state of knowledge. Despite a sizeable body of published, peer-reviewed articles about topics such as child sexual abuse, child molestation, and sexual offenders, data and our knowledge base about pedophilia have significant limitations." [39]



See also

External links

Please note that some of these links may lead to sites which are banned or considered controversial in your area. Use at your own risk.