Perspectives on Pedophilia

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Less than around one hundred and fifty years ago, pedophilia did not exist. Neither did homosexuality. Nor did sado-masochism exist. Voyeurism did not exist, either. None of the "paraphilias" existed. Child sexual abuse did not exist either.

These facts may seem surprising to many who have not studied the history of psychiatry and psychology, two "soft" sciences which arose after the development of the "hard" (the natural sciences) began.

Everything has a meaning, and that meaning is determined by context. If one removes something from the context it exists within, the meaning may be lost. One labels and categorizes things on the basis of the similarities these things have to other objects. One cannot label or categorize something in complete isolation from other objects.

There have always been BoyLovers; they existed long before the word "pedophilia" was created. There have always been men who tended to enjoy sexual activity with other men, long before the word "homosexuality" was created. There have always been some who enjoyed sexual activity which was combined with violence, long before the word "sado-masochism" was created.

In the "hard sciences," beginning around 300 years ago, researchers became busy characterizing and labeling the things found in nature. There were certain animals which had similar external appearances, so those animals were labelled and categorized similarly. There were certain plants with similar external appearances, and those, too, were labelled and categorized similarly. There were certain rocks which had similar external appearances, so those rocks were labelled and categorized similarly. There were chemical substances which had similar external appearances and chemical properties, so those substances were labelled and categorized similarly.

The scientific method was used to identify and quantify the characteristics of these naturally occurring substances and these living creatures.

Then the "soft" social sciences were invented. The "scientific method" did not easily lend itself to the study of the behavior and the social structures of living things. Instead, intuition and armchair theorizing were employed in an attempt to label and characterize people according to their behaviors.

But there are serious problems with these approaches. The results often lacked replicability. Others can not easily examine the methods used by "researchers", and cannot easily confirm the validity of the conclusions these researchers draw. It has taken a hundred years to demonstrate that many (if not most) of Freud's "theories" were invalid.

Many of the theories lacked [Face_validity face validity] and predictive validity. They were, in fact, actually pseudo-scientific and not valid science at all.

The human brain is the most complex structure known to science. Human behavior is a function of the human brain, and, therefore, extremely complex. Attempting to accurately label and categorize the behaviors of humans is an impossible task.

But psychologists and psychiatrists have insisted that they can accurately label and categorize the behaviors of humans. These behaviors include sexual behaviors, highly complex behaviors which are culturally dependent.

Where in the past there were simply "people who behaved in certain ways in certain situations," under the influence of the "psych-professions" people instead were increasingly labelled and categorized into (invented) categories.

Did a male person sometimes have sex with other males? Then that male must fit into the category "homosexual". Did a person enjoy secretly observing others undressing or having sex? Then that person must fit into the category "voyeur". And so on.

The problem is that while in the natural sciences (the "hard" sciences) the properties of something under study can be clearly examined and measured, and then the item under study may be accurately categorized, this is not true in the "soft" sciences.

Putting labels on people because of certain behaviors they may or may not engage in is not the same as putting labels on physical objects which may share certain essential characteristics.

Eating Chinese food (a behavior) does not turn a Frenchman into a Chinaman any more than eating pizza turns a Mongolian into an Italian.

Engaging in certain sexual behaviors does not "make" someone into a "whatever-deviant-name-is-chosen". These labels are not valid, as what is being labelled are people who engag in certain behaviors, and not any intrinsic characteristics of those individuals. (unlike classifying certain kinds of plants according to certain leaf formations).

[to be continued]

See also

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