Stories saying pedophilia is the “next big thing” for those who support same-sex marriage to normalize and de-criminalize are all over the web today, most of them coming from conservative news sites and blogs.
New York Times bestselling author Jerome Corsi has a rather lengthy column up bashing research and interviews from psychiatrists, who have indicated that America is doing pedophilia sufferers a disservice by planting the stigma on them that it does.
Others from websites like the National Review have played up the connection between how same-sex marriage came to be accepted and how those very supporters now want to bring the same level of normalcy to a relationship between an adult and an underage boy or girl.
After reading through some of these sites and blogs, admittedly not delving too deeply, I had to ask the question: Is this just conservatives being conservative, or is there really an element out there that wants to normalize pedophilia?
It took some digging, but I think I’ve found the core of conservative outrage, and it seems to stem from an October opinion piece in the New York Times written by columnist Margo Kaplan.
What did Kaplan have to say?
“By some estimates, 1 percent of the male population continues, long after puberty, to find themselves attracted to prepubescent children. These people are living with pedophilia, a sexual attraction to prepubescents that often constitutes a mental illness. Unfortunately, our laws are failing them and, consequently, ignoring opportunities to prevent child abuse.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defines pedophilia as an intense and recurrent sexual interest in prepubescent children, and a disorder if it causes a person ‘marked distress or interpersonal difficulty’ or if the person acts on his interests. Yet our laws ignore pedophilia until after the commission of a sexual offense, emphasizing punishment, not prevention.”
Kaplan goes on to talk about people who are acutely aware of their pedophiliac urges but choose not to act because they recognize that it would be wrong.
One group known as Virtuous Pedophiles is actively against adult-child sexual acts. This quote from the group’s home page sums up what many members of the community feel.
“I’m a 20-year-old man who has been trying to deal with an attraction to young girls since I was 13. Women just don’t interest me. I wish with all my soul that I could have a brain that’s wired normally. I know that I can never act on what I feel, but I need to speak to a therapist because I don’t think I can get through this on my own. But if I talk to a therapist he could report me, because I have to talk about my attraction to young girls. I don’t know whether he would or not and don’t even know how to go about getting more information. Even the friendships I have are in danger of falling apart because I can’t just keep saying ‘I’m fine’ and I can’t talk to anyone about my problem. I think about suicide a lot.”
Conservatives seem to be outraged by the psychology community’s attempt to understand brain wiring on these issues. They feel that any attempt to characterize pedophilia as something you’re born with would start society towards a mainstream acceptance of what is currently a criminal act.
Liberals like Kaplan hold that sexual abuse could be prevented before it happens if society made more effort to support pedophiles. But is this line of thought one of those “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” sort of things?
What do you think, readers? Should America change how it looks at those who identify sexually with pedophilia, even to the point of decriminalizing the act, or would it be morally irresponsible to do so? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
[Photo by David McNew / Staff / Getty Images]