Pedophilia - FAQ

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NOTE: This is from the (now defunct) Danish Pedophile Association website, and reflects that association's (usually excellent) opinions. But some of the opinions may still be somewhat controversial, incomplete, or a biased. Still, most of the material below is factual, and therefore very useful.

Minor spelling errors/grammatical errors and other orthographic errors have been corrected by this BowWiki editor in the following text, which was originally written by non-native speakers of English. Explanatory comments have been included in references. To view the original errors in the article, please see the editing history of this article, and refer to the original version.

What is pedophilia?

Persons who feel sexually and/or emotionally attracted to children are called pedophiles. Women as well as men can be pedophile. Some pedophiles prefer children in a certain age-range, whereas others are more flexible. Some people are almost exclusively attracted to children, whereas others are also attracted to adults.

Are all pedophiles homosexual?

Approximately three fourths of the pedophiles we know[1] prefer children of their own sex, i.e. man/boy or woman/girl. The rest are interested in the opposite sex or both sexes. Some pedophiles frequent the homosexual subculture while others don't feel welcome there and feel that they have little in common with gays and lesbians.

Is pedophilia and incest the same thing?

No. Incest means sexual intercourse between blood-related persons such as brothers and sisters. In recent years the word incest has been used in particular to refer to sexual relations between a father and a daughter or a stepfather and a stepdaughter. Such relations can be problematic because the father often abuses his position of power in order to engage in a sexual relationship which the daughter does not want. The incestuous father is usually not a pedophile, but uses the daughter as a substitute, for example because of problems in his relationship with her mother.

What causes pedophilia?

Throughout more than a century and a half, numerous sexologists, psychologists, physicians, and other scientists have tried to find the reason why people have different sexual orientations, but in vain. Often somebody has claimed that he has found the cause, but these claims have always been refuted by closer scrutiny. There is not even an agreement whether nature or nurture is more important. The only thing there is reasonable agreement about, is that the sexual orientation is determined already in early childhood.

The claim that people become pedophile because they have been sexually assaulted in their childhood is not supported by the experiences of our members or by controlled scientific investigations.[2]

Is there a cure for pedophilia?

No. Officially pedophilia is regarded as a disease[3] while other sexual orientations such as homosexuality, transvestism, and sadomasochism are regarded in Denmark as what they are: sexual orientations. The reason for this discrimination is purely political. There is no scientific justification for regarding the former as a disease but not the latter. We do not believe that pedophilia is a disease, and this explains why the cause of pedophilic orientations is unknown and all attempts at curing this condition have failed. Furthermore, pedophilia involves no "symptoms" as pedophiles cannot be distinguished from the rest of the population.

For a long period of time [4], many therapists have claimed to be able to cure pedophilia and other sexual deviations, but these claims have consistently been refuted by long-term follow-up studies. Occasionally, the patients have been persuaded by the therapist [5]into believing that they had been cured. In other cases, the patients have deliberately faked in order to escape the possibly painful therapy or avoid ruthless punishments.

How many pedophiles are there?

It is estimated that pedophiles constitute between 0.2 % and 1 % of the population, but this number in uncertain.

It is impossible to count the pedophiles because they are unlikely to admit to some unknown interviewer that they are pedophiles, and they may not even admit it to themselves. Crime statistics are not useful for this purpose because only a very small fraction of pedophiles violate age of consent laws, and even if they do the children may have no interest in reporting the crime if they experience the relationship as voluntary and positive.

Is sex harmful to children?

All children have sexual feelings already before birth. These feelings can find many different ways of expression. It is important for the healthy development of the child that these feelings and impulses are not suppressed or condemned. Several [6] scientific investigations show that those sexual activities that children spontaneously engage in for the sake of pleasure and affection are not harmful (except for the rare extreme cases where the activity entails physical damage). But it can harm a child emotionally if a third party intervenes and becomes shocked by what has happened. The possibly hysterical reaction from well-intentioned adults may cause serious psychological problems for the child, who feels shameful and guilty for having enjoyed something that others regard as abominable, and possibly for causing somebody the child loves to go to jail.

On the other hand, everybody agrees that sexual activities that happen against the child's will and which the child does not feel confident about may cause severe psychological trauma.

Unfortunately, many people do not recognize the difference between voluntary and coercive relationships and therefore intervene with unnecessarily drastic means in relationships that the children have experienced as positive. Needless to say, such a drastic intervention does more harm than good.

What happens in a pedophile friendship?

Pedophiles enjoy the company of children and like to have friendships with children. Such friendships may be cherished by both parties because many pedophiles have a special patience and ability to understand children and their way of thinking. Such friendships may be quite long lasting and involve strong mutual emotions and sympathy. In most such relationships there is no sex, only ordinary playing, talk, excursions, etc.[7] The pedophile may teach the child a lot of things, and often he is the one that the child confides in when the child has problems. Often the emotional attachment and sympathy is more important than sex in such relationships.

Many pedophiles are dissatisfied with laws that do not distinguish between voluntary sexual relationships and assault. Consequently, some pedophiles choose to run the risk and engage in illegal activities if the child agrees. Maybe they are engaging in sex-play and experiments, and maybe even in regular sexual activities. The limits are set by what the physical development of the child allows, and, of course, by what both parties feel like doing.

When the child approaches adulthood the sexual attraction usually fades away for both parties. But very often the friendship lasts for life because of the strong emotional ties that have been developed.

What happens if an illegal relationship is discovered?

If a third party becomes suspicious that illegal sexual activities are taking place between an adult and a child then he or she will most probably report it to the police, believing that such activities are painful[8] or harmful to the child. This causes a lot of fuss: the pedophile is arrested and his home is searched in an attempt to find photos, letters, diaries or other evidence to support the suspicion. The child, its parents, and friends are interviewed and asked to be witnesses in court. Some pedophiles forget to think about how hard this situation is to a child before it is too late. In this situation the child most of all needs to talk with somebody who understands its feelings, but most probably has nowhere to go to find understanding. The child has no chance of talking with the pedophile. The parents may react hysterically. And the only person the child is able to talk with is a well-intentioned psychologist who has nothing but negative words to say about the adult who may be the child's best friend. The child feels guilty about causing his or her best friend to be sent to jail, and ashamed of seeing his or her most intimate secrets revealed in the newspapers in the most exaggerated and insensitive way. Obviously, the pedophile ends up in jail and probably looses his job and is abandoned by his family and friends.

How to survive as pedophile in a condemning society

The ever more hysterical witch-hunt on pedophiles makes it very difficult to live a decent life, even for the most law-abiding pedophiles. These people are forced into shame and pretense, even regarding their close family. Some of them don't make it, but degenerate into social isolation, alcoholism, and destitution. Nowhere in the official society can they find any help - only condemnation, confinement, forced treatment and dubious therapy. Therefore, it is very important to have a pedophile organization that can support these people.

Some pedophiles have found legitimate ways of engaging in social contact with children. This gives them emotional satisfaction - the sexual part of their needs must be met by solitary activity[9].

Others choose to break the law. We must of course warn against this, as it involves a serious risk of scandalizing, not only to the pedophile but also to the child.

Unfortunately, isolated pedophiles that do not get the necessary support and help in coming to terms with their own feelings and finding an acceptable life-style may gradually become weird freaks [10] Such people may occasionally[11] lose self-control and become dangerous to the children they meet, to themselves, and to everybody else. We urge everybody to support their nearest pedophile organization in order to help prevent such tragedies in the future.

Why are pedophiles persecuted?

Pedophiles, or suspected pedophiles, are persecuted, repressed, and subjected to all kinds of injustices in our society today. Not only for their sexual acts, if any, but for everything they say and think, and simply for what they are. In past times, heretics, Jews, homosexuals, and other deviants have been the preferred victims of witch-hunts. Today it is the pedophiles. And there is every reason to study why[12].

Many newspapers love to write about sex-scandals. This is something that titillates the readers and sells newspapers. Certain newspapers are even able to present a new sex-scandal almost every day. It is obvious that there are not that many sex-scandals unless the papers embellish the stories - and so they do! Scandals about children, sex, and violence are just what the newspapers hunger for because they appeal strongly to the readers. The news media usually get away with even the most grotesque exaggerations because pedophiles are the perfect scapegoats whom everybody can agree to hate and who cannot defend themselves. Only very seldom are pedophiles allowed to defend themselves against the accusations.

Many organizations fighting, each for their own cause, have discovered that arguments about the protection of vulnerable children have a profound appeal in the public debate. Numerous politicians, organizations, religious movements, feminists, etc. have shaped their arguments in such a way that protection of children becomes the issue, even though they have something completely different in mind. Likewise, many psychologists have promoted themselves by talking about child sex abuse, while their arguments are based on a very biased research that doesn't distinguish between brutal rape and voluntary and harmonious love relationships.

The emotional appeal in everything that has to do with protection of children is so strong that groups and organizations that fight against child sexual abuse have been enormously successful in recent years. So much so, indeed, that any nuances have been obliterated under the all-encompassing heading of 'sexual abuse'. The originally admirable purpose has been exaggerated to become mass hysteria and a witch-hunt. Anybody who dares go against the current trend is treated very roughly. Not even the most serious and well-respected scientists can criticize these exaggerations without being accused of collusion with pedophile criminal organizations, whose existence conveniently is invented for the occasion. Neither do the politicians have the power to go against the current trends. They have to follow the public demands, fanned by the news media, for still stricter legislation, even when they have to violate fundamental principles of justice to solve an almost non-existing problem.

Unfortunately, isolated pedophiles that have no other sources of information than the mass media may be liable to believe people's prejudices against them and identify with the bogey-image that the press has created. The result may be gruesome and senseless crimes committed in desperation by a person who does not understand his own feelings. Another front-page story for the newspapers and the vicious circle is then created. The Danish Pedophile Association aims to prevent such tragedies by reaching these people through counseling.

Is pedophilia accepted in other cultures?

Many historical and anthropological sources tell about cultures where relationships between men and boys were not only accepted but also appreciated for their pedagogical value. Other cultures had sexual rituals which boys were supposed to participate in.

Traces of these traditions are still found around the world, despite the fact that American and European humanitarian and missionary organizations do everything to impose their bigoted morals on everybody else.

Can animals be pedophile?

Sexual activities between adults and young are found among certain higher mammals, in particular the pygmy chimpanzees[13] - the species that is closest to the humans. These sexual activities have various purposes, such as sexual training and the establishment of friendships and social harmony. Behavioral biologists have no problems understanding such behaviors among animals but, paradoxically as it may seem, analogous behaviors in humans are regarded as 'unnatural' because of the fixed belief that sex is only for procreation.

Pedophilia and children's rights

Also a number of organisations which, according to their own reports, supposedly work for the rights of the child, have found it convenient recently to place 'pedophiles' among the dangers that children must be protected from. Thus the rights have been exchanged for pure oppression. The problem no longer is the exploitation of children in working situations, but the fact that children work at all; the enemy is no longer the sexual exploitation of children, but sex in itself. And this, paradoxically, is without in any way taking into account the opinion of the children in the cases in question. The word right implies a freedom of choice. The so-called right to say no is not a right but a prohibition unless you also grant the child the right to say yes. Calling a prohibition a right is pure rhetoric designed to conceal the hidden agenda of sexual oppression. In fact, pedophile individuals and organizations have often fought for children's rights, but in the true sense of the word, i.e. freedom of choice and autonomy.

Actually, the fact of the matter is that the Declaration of Children's Rights[14] (yes, exactly that piece of paper that those same organisations refer to time and time again, when they demand the strengthening of laws against the all-inclusive concept of sexual abuse) gives the children the right to partake in the decisions regarding legal cases which affect them (see the Declaration's Article 12). The present condemnation from society and law of sexual relations involving children, without giving any weight to the opinions of the children, is not only biased and hypocritical - it is also a parody of children's rights.

Notes and References

  1. NOTE: The vast majority of what are today referred to as "pedophiles" are actually hebephiles, meaning men attracted to pubescent or post-pubescent females. These females are today still legally "children" because the concept of "childhood" was, first, artificially created little by little in the past few centuries, and then the age of "childhood" was then extended to 18 years old from an earlier age varying from 10, 12, or the age of the onset of puberty.
  2. The myth of "the cycle of abuse" was created by conflating the concepts of "physical abuse" with "children's sexual activity with adults". Physical abuse (the beating of children, etc.) is may be learned by children, then practiced when the child himself matures and has own children. But, on the other hand, often physically abused children often do not abuse their own children, as they know from personal experience how distressing being physically abused is.
  3. Note that homosexuality and masturbation were considered to be "mental disorders" until very recently
  4. Original uncorrected text: "Throughout the times"
  5. The original word here was "suggestionized", which was an attempt to translate a Danish expression
  7. It is widely acknowledged among critics of adult/child sexual activity that the adult is often "the child's best friend"
  8. I believe the original author means "physically damaging".
  9. One can see here how shame regarding sexual activity is still strong within Danish society, as the euphemism "solitary activity" is used instead of "masturbation".
  10. The irony is that society, by marginalizing pedophiles, often then create the very monsters which they fear!
  11. "Occasionally" is not very precise - "very rarely" would be much more accurate.
  12. I believe the author means here that the "demonizing" of pedophiles should be acknowledged by society, as have been the other examples given have been acknowledged.
  13. Bonobos.
  14. Google "Declaration of Children's Rights" for further information

External links

  • SOURCE: Now defunct website of the Danish Pedophile Association