Censorship usually refers to the policy of removing parts of or, prohibiting the circulation of books. Works addressing the issue of boylove have been often censored throughout the 20th century. During the last ten years, however, we have witnessed a deliberate attempt, especially in the United States, to censor the work of scientists and independent researchers through slander campaigns and personal attacks that have little to do with scientific criticism.
Early attempts to censor and intimidate researchers 1960s-1980s
The first comprehensive study of boylove Eglinton's Greek Love (1964) was banned in Australia, Ireland and South Africa the following year. Its publishers in United Kingdom had several problems as well and the book appeared only seven years later.
In 1978, in Canada, Gerald Hannon and the gay liberation magazine in which he worked, The Body Politic came under fire after the publication of his article "Men loving boys loving men" which took a positive look on boylove leading to a legal battle that lasted many years.
When Theo Sandfort's research on sexual relationships between men and boys in the Netherlands first appeared in English in the early 1980s, it was widely criticized and dismissed, even though critics have not actually read it (Bauserman 1990), as they have done with Daniel Tsang's edited volume The Age Taboo (Tsang 2005).
Apart from unfair criticism, independent researchers were also harrassed when the police searched their houses and confiscated research material (books and articles) as in the cases of Gerald P. Jones and Tom O'Carroll.
In June 17, 1996 an article by Mary Eberstadt with the title "Pedophilia chic" appeared in Weekly Standard outlining the public challenges to the taboo of pedophilia. This article further fuelled the censorship and intimidation attempts and a host of conservative organizations and journalists took the role of watchdogs, ready to denounce what they considered as "innapropriate research".
From 1997 to date their targets included:
- Chris Brand, professor of psychology at Edinburgh University who lost his position in 1997 after publicly defending Nobel Prize winner physicist Daniel Gajdusek whom was facing a sentence for sexual relations with a boy.
- David Buchanan, barrister in New South Wales, Australia, Richard Guilliatt, senior Writer in Sydney Morning Herald, Lex Watson, senior Lecturer in Government in University of Sydney and others whose papers were "purged" from Australian Insitute of Criminology publication Paedophilia: policy and prevention (1997). In their papers, Buchanan, Guilliatt, Watson and others challenged conventional wisdom regarding recovered memories of child abuse, sex between adults and adolescents, and the age of consent.
- Ellis Hanson, professor of English at Cornell University who has been teaching a course on “The sexual child”. In 1998, "Accuracy in Academia", a conservative group that, according to its mission statement “wants schools to return to their traditional mission-the quest for truth” called Cornell University to cancel the teaching of the course. Their evidence against Hanson was only their highly innacurate reading of the course's syllabus.
- Bruce Rind, from Temple University, Robert Bauserman, psychologist at the State of Maryland and Philip Tromovich a (then) PhD student, after the publication of Rind et al. (1998) article in American Psychological Association journal Psychological Bulletin. After the National Association for Research and Treatment of Homosexuality denounced the study in their website, radio-host Laura Schlessinger attacked the article as being "junk science" and finally, the U.S. Congress unanimously condemned the scientific article. Rind et al. (2000, 2001), however, exposed the political motivations of their critics and Lilienfeld (2002) identified the multiple errors of analysis, reasoning, and logic evident in the arguments of many of the more vocal of their public critics. In addition, one of the two congressmen whom abstained from condemning the article explained why the condemnation was ridiculous (Baird 2002).
- Harris Mirkin, Associate Professor of Political Science (University of Missouri, Kansas City) for publishing his article "The Pattern of Sexual Politics: Feminism, Homosexuality and Pedophilia," in Journal of Homosexuality in 1999. The Missouri House of Representatives voted 102-29 to eliminate professor Harris Mirkin's salary from the higher education budget in the coming year.
- The late Vern Bullough, Distinguished Professor of State University of New York and Emeritus Professor of California State University was attacked for being in Paidika's editorial board (Bullough 2000).
- Judith Levine for her book Harmful to minors: the perils of protecting children from sex (2002). The book was turned down by several publishers, due to its controversial topic but finally was published by the prestigious University of Minnesota Press. The book was denounced by several religion fundamentalists months prior to its publication. Robert Knight the spokesperson of the anti-homosexual, anti-evolution and anti-abortion propaganda organization “Concerned Women for America” threatened that “if the Regents of the University of Minnesota do not act quickly to fire those responsible, the people of Minnesota and their elected representatives should move quickly to replace them.”
- Scott O. Lilienfeld, professor of psychology at Emory University for his article "When Worlds Collide: Social Science, Politics, and the Rind et al. (1998) Child Sexual Abuse Meta-Analysis". When Lilienfeld submitted the manuscript to American Psychologist (a journal of the American Psychological Association), the journal's editor overruled the ad hoc editor and its decision to publish the article because it did contain much criticism he personally didn't like. Under pressure from the scientific community, the article was eventually accepted for publication.
- The late Ralph Underwager, psychologist member of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. Ralph Underwager was attacked for giving an interview which was published in Paidika: The Journal of Paedophilia and was presented by reporters as "a known pedophile".
- Richard Yuill, who was awarded his PhD in Sociology from Glasgow University in December 2004. His research topic “Male adult-youth relationships in the United Kingdom” Scottish Mail on Sunday and the Scottish edition of News of the World tabloid published articles slanting him. Glasgow University decided to place his PhD dissertation on a 5-year access ban.
- Bruce Rind, from Temple University (again!) for his article "Pederasty: An Integration of Cross-Cultural, Cross-Species, and Empirical Data" in a special 2005 issue of the Journal of Homosexuality. The article was accepted for publication and appeared in the pre-publication list but was later withdrawn after pressure to its publisher, Haworth Press.
In addition to the attacks to particular scientists and researchers, science came under attack when the Brongersma Foundation archive was seized by the Dutch police in 2000.
Censorship on the web
- MCI Canada, upstream provider for Epifora (ISP for Free Spirits, operator of BoyChat and BoyWiki, among other sites) has sent Epifora a notice of termination on the grounds of violation of Verizon's acceptable use policy. (Verizon is the parent company of MCI Canada.) Epifora's president, Camper, has suggested that this action is due to pressure brought to bear on Verizon by the anti-pedophile vigilante organization Perverted Justice. []
- Media Design, once host of the Netherlands party Naastenliefde, Vrijheid en Diversiteit (NVD), is ending its contract to host their website.[]
- Search engine Ask.com is blocking searches containing terms pedophile, pedophilia, and child sexual abuse. Searches including terms bestiality and necrophilia are also blocked.[]
- CafePress shut down a site established by Rookiee on the grounds that it violated their acceptable use policy.[]
- Slashdot rarely removes user comments, relying instead on an algorithmic moderation system based on user ratings.[] Comments critical of policy established for protection of children are frequently seen there. BoyChat poster ILGO successfully published a front-page story entitled State of Ohio Establishes "Pre-Crime" Registry, which recieved hundreds of user comments, many supportive of the boylover position.[]
- Baird, B. N. (2002) "Politics, Operant Conditioning, Galileo, and the American Psychological Association’s Response to Rind et al. (1998)," American Psychologist 57(3): 189-192.
- Bauserman, R. (1990) “Objectivity and ideology: criticism of Theo Sandfort’s research on man-boy sexual relations,” Journal of Homosexuality 20(1/2): 297-312.
- Bullough, V.L. (2000) "The Pedophile Smear," The Position: An online journal, June 12.
- Lilienfeld, S. O. (2002) "When worlds collide: social science, politics, and the Rind et al. (1998) child sexual abuse meta-analysis," American Psychologist 57(3): 176-188.
- Rind, B., Bauserman, R., and Tromovitch, P. (2000) "Science versus orthodoxy: Anatomy of the Congressional Condemnation of a Scientific Article and Reflections on Remedies for Future Ideological Attacks," Applied & Preventive Psychology 9: 211-225.
- Rind, B., Bauserman, R., and Tromovitch, P. (2001) "The Condemned Meta-Analysis on Child Sexual Abuse: Good science and long-overdue skepticism," Skeptical Inquirer 25(4): 68-72.
- Tsang, D. (2005) "Moral Panic and the Age Taboo," Paper presented at the International Association for the Study of Sexuality, Culture and Society conference.