Pedophiles and their prey by Louisa Hatfield

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Pedophiles and their prey by Louisa Hatfield is a newspaper article which appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald [1] on 20th March 1996, page 13. Though written from an pedophobic perspective and riddled with hate speech and derogatory terminology, it does show some limited insight into the dynamics of intergenerational romantic relationships.

In 1996, sociologists did not often differentiate between pedophilia and hebephilia and the article attempts to clarify when they are talking about young children and when they are discussing teens.


The "victims" of pedophiles are often children who feel unloved by their family. And some, say experts, are unharmed by the experience.Louisa Hatfield reports.

"Not all children are victims; some of them pick the men". So says feminist and sociologist Beatrice Faust [2], who has launched into a controversial debate on the victims of paedophiles. The author of "Women, Sex and Pornography" believes many children who end up having a relationship with a paedophile actually went out looking for it.

She told the Herald that not only do they often precipitate the relationships, but also enjoy them.

Professor Neil McConaghy, professor of psychiatry at the University of New South Wales, an expert on child abuse, also believes many of those who end up in such situations are not harmed by them and in fact some do initiate them. Faust, who began studying the subject when it was embraced by feminism in the 1980s, believes the experts on child abuse have known this to be the case for at least 15 years but just refuse to talk about it. "My views are not controversial in the sociological area", she says. "People are just to frightened to speak out. They don't want the fuss and harassment, and that is most unfortunate". [3]

* * * *

Faust believes that "Many of the 11 to 14 year old kids are looking for sexual adventure. It probably depends on the children, but there is some element of cruising for sex with boys".

Faust is not talking about very young children. She says children as young a four or five are the minority of victims.

"Paedophiles like a relationship; they like conversational relationships. There was a survey in England on paedophiles, and the younger the children the less interested they were. Many of the men go looking for a boy who is looking for adventure. They do not force themselves onto a boy who will be shocked or hurt. It is like flying a kite, testing the water to see if they are interested. If it is not happening then they will back off."

"Some of the lonely children can actually benefit from a relationship. The guy will be kind to them, interested in them; they give the child security. Often the children enjoy it because they get so much from it".

"I have spoken to men who admit they had a relationship with a schoolteacher, a scoutmaster and say 'it didn't do me any harm'. They don't appear to be harmed. They appear to be normal and appear to be functioning well", says Faust. [3]


Exturnal links