“Paedophilic interest is natural and normal for human males… At least a sizeable minority of normal males would like to have sex with children … Normal males are aroused by children.”
These horrific statements were made just last July at an academic conference at the prestigious University of Cambridge, UK, before key experts in the field, during a discussion of sexuality in the DSM, a standard international psychiatric manual.
Other presentations included “Liberating the paedophile: a discursive analysis” and “Danger and difference: the stakes of hebephilia.” (The latter refers to sexual attraction to children in early puberty.)
It was Telegraph journalist Andrew Gilligan who uncovered these statements following an investigation into the conference, entitled “Classifying Sex: Debating DSM-5.” According to Gilligan, the meeting featured a number of speakers who spoke in favor of sex with children.
Tom O’Carroll, a child sex offender and campaigner for the legalization of sex with children, wrote on his blog that the conference had been “Wonderful.” “It was a rare few days when I could feel relatively popular!” he added.
And it was Professor Philip Tromovitch of Doshisha University in Japan, who stated in a presentation on the “prevalence of paedophilia” that the “majority of men are probably paedophiles and hebephiles.”
Horrific Child Abuse in the UK
Last week, the UK saw the conviction of Rolf Harris, a popular children’s entertainer, guilty on 12 counts of indecent assault on children and young women, a verdict that comes in the wake of several other such convictions, most notably that of Jimmy Savile, with incidents most prevalent in the 1970s and 1980s. With new claims of an establishment cover-up to protect a sex-offending minister in the 1980s, Prime Minister David Cameron on July 7 announced an inquiry to look into how a variety of public bodies, including the police, the National Health Service and social services, have handled allegations of child sexual abuse.
But in light of statements made at the Cambridge conference last year, this is clearly an ongoing issue in 2014. Since when is being a pedophile a normal condition for men?
An Abnormal Attraction
Here’s how Psychology Today defines pedophilia:
Pedophilia is considered a paraphilia, an “abnormal or unnatural attraction.” Pedophilia is defined as the fantasy or act of sexual activity with prepubescent children. Pedophiles are usually men. Perpetrators often delude themselves into viewing their actions as helpful to children. They might tell themselves they are contributing to a child’s development or that the child is enjoying the act; however, they do tell their victims not to alert their parents or authorities.
It’s uncertain what percentage of men are pedophiles, but according to Sarah Goode, honorary research fellow at the University of Winchester, UK, the best current estimate is that “one in five of all adult men are, to some degree, capable of being sexually aroused by children.
Being aroused by children is, of course, very different from acting on that arousal. But according to Psychology Today, an estimated 20 percent of American children have been sexually molested. Offenders are usually family friends or relatives. Types of activities vary and may include just looking at a child or undressing and touching a child. However, acts often do involve oral sex or touching of genitals of the child or offender, and complete penetration.
Abuse of Power
The sexual assault of children is disgusting. It is just one more expression of the abuse of power, of the strong over the weak, of the dominant over the vulnerable. Just like rape, it’s not about the sex, it’s about control and violence.
As living, breathing human beings, we are all subject to desires; it doesn’t mean we have to act on them. Aren’t we humans supposed to have self-control, values to guide our behavior, so we don’t just follow every instinct?
Didn’t human beings evolve to something more than animals because we managed to construct ways to resist or discourage following our base desires in order to rise above them and achieve other things?
The long-term effects of child sexual abuse are horrendous, as we know from hearing those victims who have been brave enough to step forward and denounce their abusers.
Pedophilic interest is neither natural nor normal, and should never be described as such.
Photo Credit: Thinkstock