Pedophilephobia

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sje46
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Pedophilephobia

Postby sje46 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:52 pm UTC

Irrational fear of pedophiles.

It seems like we (or the US, at least) are overly afraid of pedophiles lurking in every bush, so much so that we don't allow our kids to play outside without supervision, and we are suspicious of all men who even smile at cute children. And of course, while it's totally rational to tell your kids not to, say, accept rides from strangers, is it rational to tell your kids to not *talk* to strangers at all? I feel like it's alienating society as a whole. I was never babysat as a kid, because my parents heard stories about babysitters abusing the children. We barely went outside either, and didn't know our neighbors.
Here are some stories.

It should be noted that the majority of child abuse cases occur with someone the child knew.

I can't even imagine how tough it is being a male elementary school teacher. It just seems like sexism against men.
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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby Spambot5546 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:58 pm UTC

Are we going off of anything other than the experiences of you and a few Reddit users? I feel like you're taking the reactions of a few overprotective parents and extrapolating onto everyone.
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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby sje46 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:03 pm UTC

I don't have any personal experiences that I can think of. I'm only 21, really. It definitely does seem like a growing fear however.

For example: http://www.epicweird.com/dad-branded-a- ... pic-of-son
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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby SilentWindofDoom » Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:11 pm UTC

Some people have been going overboard with this, much like people have been going overboard with the dangers of gaming.

It would be cute (like the anti-gaming crusades) if this particular phobia didn't lead to innocent men and women being branded for life as kiddie fiddlers.

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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby Azrael » Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:29 pm UTC

Spambot5546 wrote:Are we going off of anything other than the experiences a few Reddit users?

In fact, no.

Let's find some real sources, statistics, or even opinion by reputable sources.

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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby sje46 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:47 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:
Spambot5546 wrote:Are we going off of anything other than the experiences a few Reddit users?

In fact, no.

Let's find some real sources, statistics, or even opinion by reputable sources.

1/8 men refuse to work with children out of fear of being labeled a pedophile. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6709313.stm?lsm
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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby Coffee Stain » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:53 pm UTC

sje46 wrote:
Azrael wrote:
Spambot5546 wrote:Are we going off of anything other than the experiences a few Reddit users?

In fact, no.

Let's find some real sources, statistics, or even opinion by reputable sources.

1/8 men refuse to work with children out of fear of being labeled a pedophile. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6709313.stm?lsm

More accurately, that that would be a study of pedophilephobiaphobia. People's perceptions of other people's perceptions are often very flawed, so I suspect you could take the actual number of pedophilephobes to be much lower. That is, if only 1/64 of people were pedophilephobes (somebody who associates male child workers with pedophilia), and males know an average of 8 people, then most males would be rationally afraid of being associated with pedophilia if they work with children.

Here are some other numbers then. Estimates hover around 10% - 22% of children experience some form of sexual abuse, with the greatest demographic of offender being in the "family acquaintance" category. I would say that parents have an extremely difficult task in reconciling fear of their children being abused with the fear of offending what they view to be a potential offender. If the average "pedophilephobic" parent (under your definition) offends 1000 people to give their child 0.1% less chance of avoiding abuse, would you consider this ir"rational"? How about 100 people at 1%? 10 people at 5%?

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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby Hemmers » Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:18 am UTC

I'll give an example.
I help with a Scout group in the UK, and also the associated Explorer Scouts (Scouts = 10-14yrs, Explorers = 14-18years - the Explorers do their own things which would be too tough for the younger scouts, but also help with the Scouts and pass on their experience.

After a high profile abduction and murder of two girls, all adults with regular contact with children have to have a criminal records check. The vast number of people that fall into this category means that with all those applications, each year on average 5000 people are erroneously told they are criminals and should not work with kids :shock: (and the school/employer/youth group also get this erroneous data).
Other aspects are that you cannot transfer this check. So if you're a CRB checked teacher, and want to help with a Scout group, the Scouts will have to run a separate CRB check on you.
And of course the check only catches people who have already been convicted of a crime. What's ironic is that the perpetrator of the crime which prompted these checks had no criminal history and would have come up clean... :shock: :?
Yeah. Go figure.

Getting back to Scouts, paranoia over who needs a CRB check means if an Explorer Scout has their 18th birthday whilst they are on Camp, guidelines state they should go home halfway through the camp, because the rest of the Explorers will be under 18.
According to our government, that person becomes a potential paedophile overnight...

Also a bunch of notable authors (Terry Pratchett and Philip Pullman amongst them) threw up a rucus when they were told they'd need CRB checks to do book-readings in schools - despite the fact it'd be in front of a group of kids with teacher supervision - not one-on-one in a private room. Absolutely ridiculous.

I mean, child protection is important and has it's place, but as someone who's worked on Summer Camps, with Scouts, as a kids Sports coach and whose mother is a teacher, I can say with some certainty that paedophilephobia is a very real phenomena.
It's at the point in the UK where if I saw a child lost and crying in a shopping centre, I wouldn't go up to them and take them to the Customer Service Desk, for fear of being accosted by an angry parent halfway there demanding to know where I was taking their child (or skipping the chat and going straight to the physical violence, or calling the Police and telling them I was trying to abduct their child).
I'd direct security in their general direction, but that's it. A sad state of affairs, but the paranoia is such now that child protection courses and sports coaching courses will include at least an hour of discussion on how to protect yourself as an adult from allegations under child protection law (never be alone with a child, stay somewhere a colleague can see you both, don't ever touch a child - bit bloody hard in the context of sports coaching, the list goes on) :cry:

It's such a shame because it puts some stellar people off of working with kids. They just can't be bothered with the hassle, paperwork and the instant suspicion directed at anyone who wants to work with kids.

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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby Berelanai » Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:23 am UTC

As an aside, I find it interesting how society has reacted so differently to pedophilia compared to other uncommon and abnormal sexual practices. Going back two hundred years, interracial or homosexual relationships revolted people. We've since worked to get over that revulsion and be more accepting because we thought that was a good goal to work towards. It's not really socially acceptable anymore to say you think inter-racial or homosexual relationships are not OK, or that they disgust you. Pedophiles, however, remain as reviled as ever if not more so, its entirely socially acceptable and even expected to be reviled by child sexuality.

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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby TaintedDeity » Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:50 am UTC

That's probably because pedophilia lacks consent where interracial and homosexual relationships generally don't.
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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby Iulus Cofield » Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:58 am UTC

TaintedDeity wrote:That's probably because pedophilia lacks consent where interracial and homosexual relationships generally don't.


This. A child doesn't have the experience, maturity, or intelligence to truly consent to a sexual relationship. The line gets fuzzy with teenagers, but public opinion tends not to demonize ephebophiles, cf. any female teen Disney star ever. I've said before that there's nothing theoretically wrong with pedophilic relationship, but there's absolutely no way there's actually a child out there who could consent to one. Being attracted to a child with no developed sexual characteristics is still pretty baffling to me though.

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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby PAstrychef » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:21 am UTC

There is a huge difference between children's sexuality and child sexual abuse/assault. And lets' not stray into the whole conversation of adult-child sexual relations and consent.
If you look in a more general way at the changes in how much freedom children are allowed-the perceived danger level in the wider world, you find that where 50 years ago kids were allowed to roam over 5 miles from home, now they are stuck within 1/4 mile. The over all feeling that kids alone are at risk, and that all such risk should be mitigated has grown, partly as the age of parents has gotten older, with more parents in their 30s and 40s. Younger parents may well remember their own resilience better than older ones.
The specific fear of child sexual assault, and the branding most men as potential offenders, are partially effects of media coverage. Stories spread much faster, and from farther away. Sex offender registries increase the fear level as well, as they fail to differentiate between the serial predator and the guy who was caught having sex with his 16 year old girlfriend when he was 18. Plenty of men have been told that they must be on those lists, even when they were found innocent of the charges.
Places that seemed trustworthy-the Church especially, are now seen as collections of abusers and their apologists. The nursery school scandals of the 80's and 90's are still mentioned, even though most of those cases were found to be baseless.
Life is big and scary and way too much of it is beyond our control. Keeping your kids safe now seems like a huge undertaking, with the world an actively hostile place. Being frightened of a seemingly manageable risk-individual men-is easier than being scared of a collapsing economy or global climate change.
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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby Enuja » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:27 am UTC

Gayle Rubin's 1984 article "Thinking Sex" (google books link) talks quite a lot about how society views sex in general, and includes a discussion of cross-generational sex. Mostly, Rubin is right on, but one sentence makes me very sad "In twenty years or so, when some of the smoke has cleared, it will be much easier to show that these men have been victims of a savage and undeserved witch hunt." People who support the current societal view of pedophilia should really, really read Rubin's article. She talks about how sex is currently regulated by demonizing some specific preferences, and about how damaging this is to a culturally healthy approach to sex.

The fear and horror surrounding "pedophilia", whose definition in lay speak has been extended past pre- and peri-pubescent people to anyone below 18, prevents realistic conversation about the actual sexual desires of actual people under the age of 18. I really do think that older people can provide younger people an excellent entry into the world of sexuality. I admit that it's very difficult in our society right now, but I blame the fear and horror around pedophilia instead of some inherit wrongness any relationships that include a young person.

Part of our cultural fear of pedophilia is a cultural fear of molestation in general: of all unwanted, consented sexual advances and activities. I agree that consent is mandatory, but I think that defining away the ability of anyone less than 18 years old to consent is truly unfair to those under 18. I get that they can't sign contracts (without a co-signing parent or guardian, anyway), but children consent to like dinosaurs or gardening or baseball or sewing or gymnastics or football (the last two which come with high risks of lifetime health consequences), and I'm quite convinced that children can also consent to sexual activities. Here is an old Savage Love column about teenagers and adult sex.

And, no, I don't think I'm "straying" into the subject of "adult-child sexual relations and consent": I think that's what the fear of pedophilia is all about. It's about a fear of children doing things the parents don't control, of child's consent really being a parent's consent, but the individual having the sex (the child, not the parent) should always be the one who consents, so "children" therefore can't have sex.

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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby sje46 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:18 am UTC

Coffee Stain wrote:
sje46 wrote:
Azrael wrote:
Spambot5546 wrote:Are we going off of anything other than the experiences a few Reddit users?

In fact, no.

Let's find some real sources, statistics, or even opinion by reputable sources.

1/8 men refuse to work with children out of fear of being labeled a pedophile. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6709313.stm?lsm

More accurately, that that would be a study of pedophilephobiaphobia. People's perceptions of other people's perceptions are often very flawed, so I suspect you could take the actual number of pedophilephobes to be much lower. That is, if only 1/64 of people were pedophilephobes (somebody who associates male child workers with pedophilia), and males know an average of 8 people, then most males would be rationally afraid of being associated with pedophilia if they work with children.
Yes, it doesn't directly show fear of pedophiles, but it shows fear of being labeled a pedophile, which is a result of the fear of pedophilia. Kinda like if you asked an Arab man when he feels most "otherized", for example, the top result may be when he's at the airport. This doesn't directly show that people have a stereotype of Arabs as terrorists, but it does indirectly show that, since that fear wouldn't be there in the first place if that stereotype weren't there.

Also, this was the only study I could find. I just couldn't think of the appropriate keywords.
Here are some other numbers then. Estimates hover around 10% - 22% of children experience some form of sexual abuse, with the greatest demographic of offender being in the "family acquaintance" category. I would say that parents have an extremely difficult task in reconciling fear of their children being abused with the fear of offending what they view to be a potential offender. If the average "pedophilephobic" parent (under your definition) offends 1000 people to give their child 0.1% less chance of avoiding abuse, would you consider this ir"rational"? How about 100 people at 1%? 10 people at 5%?

I wouldn't like, make it a formula man. Neither is it about offending people. It's about discrimination against men as well as cultivating a culture of distrust to children. If, say, one out of ten children were molested from total strangers, then, yeah, I'd watch my child like a hawk. But it really isn't that common at all, and children actually need to play outside. And male teachers are too often assumed to be pedophiles. There is always risk, in everything you do. But we still have to walk across the street to live a fulfilling life.

Berelanai wrote:As an aside, I find it interesting how society has reacted so differently to pedophilia compared to other uncommon and abnormal sexual practices. Going back two hundred years, interracial or homosexual relationships revolted people. We've since worked to get over that revulsion and be more accepting because we thought that was a good goal to work towards. It's not really socially acceptable anymore to say you think inter-racial or homosexual relationships are not OK, or that they disgust you. Pedophiles, however, remain as reviled as ever if not more so, its entirely socially acceptable and even expected to be reviled by child sexuality.
Well, as others said, predatory pedophilia deserves a certain amount of revulsion, because it is basically rape. It is sex without informed consent. I do think that pedophiles, though, are waaaayy demonized, to the point of ridiculous. I've heard people express the opinion that the rule of law shouldn't apply to pedophiles. That they don't deserve the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh amendments because they're not even human. That they should be tortured and shot immediately. They express this even for nonpredatory pedophiles. They are considered worse than Hitler. But this isn't an attitude I hear too often in regards to murderers, or non-pedophilic rapists.
Iulus Cofield wrote:but public opinion tends not to demonize ephebophiles, cf. any female teen Disney star ever.
I disagree with that. I think any man who says he watches, say, iCarly, would be received too well. Neither do I think that these shows particularly cater to ephebophiles. It's been a while since I've watched a Disney show (three years or so ago my sister stopped watching them). There's some slight sexualization, but I don't think it's exploitative, actually. Sexuality is a part of being 14 years old, and I have no problem with a bra joke or kissing or whatever. In fact, I think it's actually healthy. This random person's blog post talks about it.
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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby HungryHobo » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:28 pm UTC

I'll chime in being someone who simply avoids positions in contact with children.
I used to be in ventures(scouts, kinda like the explorers section mentioned earlier) and in my country it's being/been split in part I believe thanks to absurd child protection rules.
it used to be that ventures covered 15-21. now it's been split 14-18 and 18-21 never mind the numbers tend to be so small that it all falls apart in the 18-21 group due to lack of numbers.

you wouldn't believe the drama that occured in my old group when it turned out that 2 of the girls aged 17 and 15 were dating(they were something like 2 months over the 24 months limit for it not being illegal). they'd been dating when they joined the group but suddenly RED ALERT, had to file paperwork with the police (who I don't think really cared that much since as far as I know nothing ever came of it) etc etc. all to protect the group leaders because they could potentially be prosecuted due to failing to prevent the "rape" of a minor. the parents of the girls in question didn't care. the 2 were happy.(hell they were both a bit fragile and I'd be more worried about the effects of trying to split them up) but 26 months age gap so it comes under the heading of rape.

the ironic bit is that one of the leaders in question is married to a woman he started dating 15 or so years ago in the same group when he was 18 and she was 15. (they have kids themselves now)

the even sadder bit is that while there wasn't the same paranoia a few decades back there was a lot more institutionalised abuse.
to an extent the current situation is the result of an overcompensation for the old attitude of "but he's a priest/teacher/[insert respectable position] of course that person wouldn't do anything bad".

The teenagers who get labeled as sex offenders for dating someone a few months too young are just considered acceptable losses by most.

What I understand least is the obsession people have with "there has to be a line!".
Have these people never heard of functions?
for one there's more types of line than f(x)=mx+c and for another there's easy enough ways to define a smooth gradient so that a relationship between an 18 year old and a 15 year old doesn't end up getting treated exactly the same as a relationship between an 8 year old and a 50 year old.
Last edited by HungryHobo on Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:27 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby Zamfir » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:45 pm UTC

Enuja wrote:Gayle Rubin's 1984 article "Thinking Sex" (google books link) talks quite a lot about how society views sex in general, and includes a discussion of cross-generational sex. Mostly, Rubin is right on, but one sentence makes me very sad "In twenty years or so, when some of the smoke has cleared, it will be much easier to show that these men have been victims of a savage and undeserved witch hunt." People who support the current societal view of pedophilia should really, really read Rubin's article. She talks about how sex is currently regulated by demonizing some specific preferences, and about how damaging this is to a culturally healthy approach to sex.

The fear and horror surrounding "pedophilia", whose definition in lay speak has been extended past pre- and peri-pubescent people to anyone below 18, prevents realistic conversation about the actual sexual desires of actual people under the age of 18. I really do think that older people can provide younger people an excellent entry into the world of sexuality. I admit that it's very difficult in our society right now, but I blame the fear and horror around pedophilia instead of some inherit wrongness any relationships that include a young person.

sje46 wrote:I disagree with that. I think any man who says he watches, say, iCarly, would be received [not, I presume?]too well.

I would argue that the decreased tolerance of attraction towards and relations with young peopleis a side effect, perhaps even a somewhat unavoidable side effect, of trends that are for the most part unambiguously good trends.(Rubin's article discusses some similar points in different light, but there are for me too much pages missing in Google Books to get the entire story).

In the first place, women's emancipation has shifted the image of standard, ideal relationships towards an image of a relationship between equals. In th past, wmen were to a far greater extent than nowadays seen as inherently weaker partners in relationships, and as more passive participants in sex. That implies that power asymmetries were far more than nowadays seen as a standard part of sex and relationships. Marriages between elderly men and mid-teens girls used to more common and more accepted. Which makes sense, if you see the role of a husband as protector and provider anyway, and expect them to take sexual initiative towards a more passive woman. The current expectation has much more equality of power in partnerships, both psychological as social and economical.

In a similar vein, we have shifted away from marriage as touchstone for acceptable sex towards consensus as touchstone, with obvious benefits involved in that shift. But consensus is a much fuzzier border than marriage, and requires more care. Young, impressionable people are an area where the lines of consensus cannot be drawn sharply, and people tend to stick on the safe side of vague borders. Parents who worry about sex between a 15 year old and a 20 year old would often have had no objection to a marriage with such an age difference in the 19th century.

At the same time, these same changes in norms meant that some homosexual relationships can nowadays be very close to the standardized ideal, which clearly helped a lot to gain acceptance for homosexuality in general.

I'd say that societies are still in a long-term process of reinventing norms, examples and boundaries for sex with and among young people. i've got no idea where that process will end, or that it will end at a particularly good point.

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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby Hemmers » Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:57 pm UTC

TaintedDeity wrote:
Berelanai wrote:As an aside, I find it interesting how society has reacted so differently to pedophilia compared to other uncommon and abnormal sexual practices. Going back two hundred years, interracial or homosexual relationships revolted people. We've since worked to get over that revulsion and be more accepting because we thought that was a good goal to work towards. It's not really socially acceptable anymore to say you think inter-racial or homosexual relationships are not OK, or that they disgust you. Pedophiles, however, remain as reviled as ever if not more so, its entirely socially acceptable and even expected to be reviled by child sexuality.

That's probably because pedophilia lacks consent where interracial and homosexual relationships generally don't.


I'm not saying you're wrong, but the crux is: define child.

What is consent? How does one set an age against maturity? I know 10 year olds I'd trust with a shotgun. I know 40 year olds I wouldn't trust with a Playstation.
Some 14 year olds could probably give reasonably informed consent. Some 17 year olds couldn't.

15? 16? 18? 21?

In parts of the USA you aren't able to (legally) drink till you're 21, but you can work, take control of several tons of car on a public highway, fly a plane, etc.
In the UK you can leave school and work at 16, drive at 17, vote at 18, but sex is somehow treated differently.
In the some areas of the world you start working as soon as you can wield a machete or scare the birds off the crops.

Actually, the UK has quite a decent system. The basic premise for paedophilia is that the elder partner is 18+, and the age of consent is 16, so a 15-15 relationship is not paedophilia. Kids can have sex with each other quite legally.
Whereas an 18-15 relationship is automatically paedophilia. There's a lower cut-off at 13, so there is a provision of sorts for close-in age teenage relationships (a.k.a Romeo and Juliet laws).

Basically, upto 17 years old, you can legally have a partner as young as 14. At age 18+ (an adult), you can have a partner as young as 16 (my understanding anyway. This does not constitute legal advice, blah, blah, blah).

It leaves the question though that if a 15 year old can consent to have a 17 year old partner, why not an 18 year old partner? It leads to the classic question of a 15-17 relationship where the elder partner turns 18 before the younger turns 16. They can legally have sex, then they can't, then they can again - bizarre!
Dunno if there's precedent or if the CPS have bothered to bring a test case yet.

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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:55 am UTC

I'll post this here jest because it is the thread I was on that I remembered my idea and was relevant.

I think there should be some type of objective-at-it-gets aptitude test that grants things like the right to consent and the ability to vote, etc… That way we don't have to calcify certain arbitrary numbers into law. The only problem is that those damn Southerners (of the US) used this excuse to further racial inequality, so it could never be implemented in the states due to the bad legacy
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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby Iulus Cofield » Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:21 am UTC

Or because it's notoriously hard to quantify such things.

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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby HungryHobo » Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:13 am UTC

Hemmers wrote:It leaves the question though that if a 15 year old can consent to have a 17 year old partner, why not an 18 year old partner? It leads to the classic question of a 15-17 relationship where the elder partner turns 18 before the younger turns 16. They can legally have sex, then they can't, then they can again - bizarre!
Dunno if there's precedent or if the CPS have bothered to bring a test case yet.


I think it's written as 24 months and it can still lead to somewhat absurd situations.

aptitude test


he who writes the test decides who gets to vote. great idea.

the main problem is that a lot of tests have a strong cultural bias so you'd likely find that a lot of poor people and minorities would do remarkably badly and as such lose voting power and even the right to be considered an adult.
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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby Hemmers » Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:23 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:
aptitude test

he who writes the test decides who gets to vote. great idea.

the main problem is that a lot of tests have a strong cultural bias so you'd likely find that a lot of poor people and minorities would do remarkably badly and as such lose voting power and even the right to be considered an adult.


Yeah, I remember my Maths teacher at school did one of the national televised IQ tests. She reckoned her IQ was 40 points above where it should be, and rightly pointed out that the test that year had a noticeable bias towards maths and was a weak test in terms of comprehension and problem solving :roll:
The results are only as good as the test, and we've really only scratched the surface regarding how the brain functions, so all tests are going to be inherently limited, and biased depending on who writes them and for what purpose.

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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby Роберт » Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:30 pm UTC

They should just do the half plus seven rule. On your fourteenth birthday, you can only have sex with someone who is also having their fourteenth birthday. On your fifteenth birthday, they can be as much as half a year younger. When your 80, you can only have sex with people aged 47 and up.

This way you never have weird incontinuities where it goes from legal to illegal.
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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby sje46 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:48 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:They should just do the half plus seven rule. On your fourteenth birthday, you can only have sex with someone who is also having their fourteenth birthday. On your fifteenth birthday, they can be as much as half a year younger. When your 80, you can only have sex with people aged 47 and up.

This way you never have weird incontinuities where it goes from legal to illegal.

Uhh, no. Once you're past the age of consent, you're past the age of consent. I reserve the right to have sex with sexy 18 year olds when I'm 40. Maybe a formula is okay under the age of consent in order to prevent power differences (like a fifteen year old having sex with a 10 year old), but I'm pretty sure that's already illegal.
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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby juststrange » Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:31 pm UTC

I am not trying to be pedantic here, we all know what the other is talking about, but I find the terminology off. Pedophiles are people who are sexually attracted to folks who have not yet hit puberty. Its a mental thing. The action, which is what people are really all up in arms about, is child molestation, perpetrated by child molestors. There is not a 1-to-1 correlation between the two camps.

But, does the difference really matter? Are we OK with people who have the urges but don't act on them? Hardly. At what point do you actually become a threat? There are plenty of adult stars that obviously play up thier underage image, if thats a reasonable outlet for these folks, is there a problem? I mean, there are days I just want to do terrible terrible things, but I can seperate my urges and what's reasonable in the world I live in, and they stay that way - urges. You can't control your emotions, but you can control your actions.

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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby Роберт » Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:37 pm UTC

sje46 wrote:
Роберт wrote:They should just do the half plus seven rule. On your fourteenth birthday, you can only have sex with someone who is also having their fourteenth birthday. On your fifteenth birthday, they can be as much as half a year younger. When your 80, you can only have sex with people aged 47 and up.

This way you never have weird incontinuities where it goes from legal to illegal.

Uhh, no. Once you're past the age of consent, you're past the age of consent. I reserve the right to have sex with sexy 18 year olds when I'm 40. Maybe a formula is okay under the age of consent in order to prevent power differences (like a fifteen year old having sex with a 10 year old), but I'm pretty sure that's already illegal.

I forget the the "I'm being slightly facetious" emoticon.
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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby PAstrychef » Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:30 pm UTC

juststrange wrote:But, does the difference really matter? Are we OK with people who have the urges but don't act on them? Hardly.

While I agree with your separation of those attracted to the pre-pubescent and those who molest children, if someone does not act on their cravings, then I'm OK with them.
All we can judge people by are their actions. I know there exist people with socially unacceptable sexual attractions who remain celibate.
The question posed was: is the current level of fear of child molestation, and the subsequent branding of most men as potential molesters who are just waiting for a chance unfounded and extreme, and are many men fearful enough of being thought to have potentially molested any child they are close to that they refuse to have anything to do with children?
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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby Dthen » Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:43 pm UTC

Hemmers wrote:Actually, the UK has quite a decent system. The basic premise for paedophilia is that the elder partner is 18+, and the age of consent is 16, so a 15-15 relationship is not paedophilia. Kids can have sex with each other quite legally.
Whereas an 18-15 relationship is automatically paedophilia. There's a lower cut-off at 13, so there is a provision of sorts for close-in age teenage relationships (a.k.a Romeo and Juliet laws).

Basically, upto 17 years old, you can legally have a partner as young as 14. At age 18+ (an adult), you can have a partner as young as 16 (my understanding anyway. This does not constitute legal advice, blah, blah, blah).


I don't mean to be a dick, but can you cite a reference for that? I can't find anything saying that anywhere.
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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby Diadem » Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:39 am UTC

PAstrychef wrote:If you look in a more general way at the changes in how much freedom children are allowed-the perceived danger level in the wider world, you find that where 50 years ago kids were allowed to roam over 5 miles from home, now they are stuck within 1/4 mile.

I think this sums up the problem quite nicely.

There's nothing wrong with being protective of your kids. And child abuse statistics are scary enough to make that worry entirely rational. But there is a point where protection does more harm than good. You could put a kid in a cage his entire youth, and be sure he never gets abused. He'll also be traumatized for life though. If kids can't play outside anymore, if summer camps have to close for lack of volunteers, if sport coaches can't coach properly anymore for fear of touching the kid, if you can't pick up a lost child in the shopping mall for fear of being branded a pedophile, then our children loose a lot of their childhood. They will end up reaching the age of 18 unabushed, but also less adventurous, less experienced, less mature. It's not worth it.
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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby Mahou » Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:52 am UTC

I think one problem comes with a general fear of sex causing all sexual deviations to be lumped into one grand scheme. Because of this, any slightly sexual activity will spark a fear of the worst case scenario, which for a parent is the rape of their child. I remember a case here in Ohio not too long ago where a teenage girl had texted her teenage boyfriend nude pictures of herself, and she was charged with distributing child pornography, slapped with a felony, and now has to register as a sex offender and can't go near schools or kids.

I think in terms of pedophilia itself, it's important to recognize what it actually is. As someone with experience in the area (I won't say what due to the personal nature of it) I feel safe saying that pedophilia is a fetish just like anything else. It's not an active attempt to harm kids, it's simply a sexual preference, just like how some people get more turned on by rape scenarios. That doesn't mean that they're automatically going to rape people, and neither does pedophilia automatically mean that they don't recognize the problems with it and are able to control themselves, and it certainly doesn't mean that just odd sexual acts should automatically label someone as a pedophile. Not that I'm trying to defend people who DO act on their feelings, but it's important to recognize that there are big differences between general sexual oddity and actually becoming a predator.

I think if people gain better understanding of what pedophilia actually is, then we'll be able to actually protect kids without unreasonably harming people who pose no danger and would be of great benefit to the community.

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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby mister k » Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:59 am UTC

PAstrychef wrote:
juststrange wrote:But, does the difference really matter? Are we OK with people who have the urges but don't act on them? Hardly.

While I agree with your separation of those attracted to the pre-pubescent and those who molest children, if someone does not act on their cravings, then I'm OK with them.
All we can judge people by are their actions. I know there exist people with socially unacceptable sexual attractions who remain celibate.
The question posed was: is the current level of fear of child molestation, and the subsequent branding of most men as potential molesters who are just waiting for a chance unfounded and extreme, and are many men fearful enough of being thought to have potentially molested any child they are close to that they refuse to have anything to do with children?


Quite. I actually wonder if one aspect of pedophilephobia that is actively caustic is that those who find themselves sexually attracted to children are unwilling to seek help because they know how society will treat them. If one looks at UK tabloid media at least, pedophiles are utterly demonised, including ones who have been caught looking at child pornography (yes, it should be illegal because you are giving money to the actual abuse of children, but I'm not sure its the same scale). Indeed, in the UK it is now, thanks to the wisdom of our govt, illegal to have images of child sex which have been DRAWN (Lost girls was almost not allowed in the UK because of his ridiculous laws). I doubt anyone particularly wants the desire to be sexually attracted to young people, so if they do not act on it, demonising them is deeply unhealthy.

I think its reasonable for parents to teach their children to be cautious, because thats probably a good instinct to have anyway, but one doesn't need to live in complete fear.
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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby Hemmers » Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:35 am UTC

Dthen wrote:
Hemmers wrote:Actually, the UK has quite a decent system. The basic premise for paedophilia is that the elder partner is 18+, and the age of consent is 16, so a 15-15 relationship is not paedophilia. Kids can have sex with each other quite legally.
Whereas an 18-15 relationship is automatically paedophilia. There's a lower cut-off at 13, so there is a provision of sorts for close-in age teenage relationships (a.k.a Romeo and Juliet laws).

Basically, upto 17 years old, you can legally have a partner as young as 14. At age 18+ (an adult), you can have a partner as young as 16 (my understanding anyway. This does not constitute legal advice, blah, blah, blah).


I don't mean to be a dick, but can you cite a reference for that? I can't find anything saying that anywhere.


Um, the law? Sexual Offences Act 2003:

9. Sexual activity with a child

(1)A person aged 18 or over (A) commits an offence if—

(a)he intentionally touches another person (B),
(b)the touching is sexual, and
(c)either—
(i)B is under 16 and A does not reasonably believe that B is 16 or over, or
(ii)B is under 13.

i.e. to be pedophilia, one partner has to be 18+, and the other has to be under 16 (and the elder partner has to know they are under 16). There is a defence if the younger partner has gone to lengths to conceal their true age (there is recent case history because the 14 year old girl had gone to great lengths on Facebook to fake the school she was at, conceal her true age, used make up to look older, etc, etc. The court concluded that she knew what she was doing and he reasonably believed she was legal).

Sections 5-8 of the same act deal with sex with children under 13, which is an absolute offence and there is no "reasonable belief" clause.

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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby Hemmers » Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:43 am UTC

mister k wrote:Indeed, in the UK it is now, thanks to the wisdom of our govt, illegal to have images of child sex which have been DRAWN (Lost girls was almost not allowed in the UK because of his ridiculous laws). I doubt anyone particularly wants the desire to be sexually attracted to young people, so if they do not act on it, demonising them is deeply unhealthy.


On a similar topic, a guy has just had his conviction overturned on appeal for possessing images of "child sexual abuse". What he actually had were several books on art - which are in print and available in Waterstones (a big bookstore chain in the UK), on Amazon.co.uk and in art gallery book shops.

For some reason the Police thought it was a good idea to arrest people who'd bought these books, but have as yet taken absolutely no action against the publishers or retailers. Utterly bizarre (what's more bizarre is that a court convicted him in the first place and it had to go to appeal before they got a judge who pointed out the proper way to proceed would have been to prosecute the suppliers, not the individual purchasers).

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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby Goplat » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:23 am UTC

Hemmers wrote:For some reason the Police thought it was a good idea to arrest people who'd bought these books, but have as yet taken absolutely no action against the publishers or retailers. Utterly bizarre
Not really. The publishers and retailers can probably afford decent legal representation. If your goal is to ruin people's lives with pointless prosecutions, going after individuals is a better bet.

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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby PAstrychef » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:46 am UTC

It's also a common tactic in the War on Drugs (TM). Hit the users first and hope some will rollover on the suppliers. Pretty damn stupid when you know who the suppliers are. And it would be a much harder case to prove, that art books being sold in major stores were secret porn, where the people who bought the book, presented in court as pedophiles, with carefully chosen images as proof, could nicely increase a prosecutors conviction rate and make the local police look very tough on crime.
And this kind of thing both makes people more afraid of being seen as a child molester and increases the idea that random people are hiding this hideous secret.
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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby Diadem » Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:24 am UTC

Mahou wrote:I think one problem comes with a general fear of sex causing all sexual deviations to be lumped into one grand scheme. Because of this, any slightly sexual activity will spark a fear of the worst case scenario, which for a parent is the rape of their child. I remember a case here in Ohio not too long ago where a teenage girl had texted her teenage boyfriend nude pictures of herself, and she was charged with distributing child pornography, slapped with a felony, and now has to register as a sex offender and can't go near schools or kids.

I really can not wrap my head around this. I mean, I know it happens. I've read the news reports. But why does it happen? There's so many people involved in cases like this. Police, prosecuters, lawmakers, judges. Do none of these stop for a second and wonder about what they are doing? I understand religious zeal, I understand being a coldhearted bastard, or wanting to appear tough on crime. But cases like these are so obviously moronic, how can so many people fail to see that?

Somewhere out there is a US judge who actually sentenced this girl to a live of misery for sending a nude picture of herself to her boyfriend. How can this guy sleep at night? Why isn't he voted out of office (you guys vote for judges right?). Why aren't civil rights organizations in an uproar over this?
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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby pizzazz » Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:54 am UTC

Yeah, arresting people for having drawings of imaginary people is rather absurd, and if you can justify that, you can justify at the very least arrest for possession of practically any form of art. It's especially ridiculous because unless the illustrator intentionally gave an age, you can't even prove that the drawings actually would be illegal.
I'm not saying you're wrong, but the crux is: define child.

What is consent? How does one set an age against maturity? I know 10 year olds I'd trust with a shotgun. I know 40 year olds I wouldn't trust with a Playstation.
Some 14 year olds could probably give reasonably informed consent. Some 17 year olds couldn't.

15? 16? 18? 21?

In parts of the USA you aren't able to (legally) drink till you're 21, but you can work, take control of several tons of car on a public highway, fly a plane, etc.
In the UK you can leave school and work at 16, drive at 17, vote at 18, but sex is somehow treated differently.
In the some areas of the world you start working as soon as you can wield a machete or scare the birds off the crops.

It's usually because the laws are written by different people and at different times. For a while, in the US, you could be drafted at 16, even though you couldn't vote until 18 (now you must be 18 to be drafted (excluding the fact that all able-bodied men ages 17 to 45 may be called to the Reserve Militia)). That doesn't make it make any more sense, but that's generally how it happens.
Basically, upto 17 years old, you can legally have a partner as young as 14. At age 18+ (an adult), you can have a partner as young as 16 (my understanding anyway. This does not constitute legal advice, blah, blah, blah).

That still seems to have a bit of a discontinuity in legality--if there's a difference of between 2 and 3 years, won't they still be illegal for a year from when the older turns 18 to when the younger turns 16? I think there's a simpler system in place in a number of US states. The age of consent is still 18, but some states designate a certain age difference, usually 2-3 years or so, and if a couple's age difference is less than the designated one, they are legal, no matter actual age (essentially, age of consent doesn't apply for two people close enough in age). So the same two people will always be legal, or will never be legal until both turn 18.

Diadem wrote:
Mahou wrote:I think one problem comes with a general fear of sex causing all sexual deviations to be lumped into one grand scheme. Because of this, any slightly sexual activity will spark a fear of the worst case scenario, which for a parent is the rape of their child. I remember a case here in Ohio not too long ago where a teenage girl had texted her teenage boyfriend nude pictures of herself, and she was charged with distributing child pornography, slapped with a felony, and now has to register as a sex offender and can't go near schools or kids.

I really can not wrap my head around this. I mean, I know it happens. I've read the news reports. But why does it happen? There's so many people involved in cases like this. Police, prosecuters, lawmakers, judges. Do none of these stop for a second and wonder about what they are doing? I understand religious zeal, I understand being a coldhearted bastard, or wanting to appear tough on crime. But cases like these are so obviously moronic, how can so many people fail to see that?
[quote=Hemmers]
Getting back to Scouts, paranoia over who needs a CRB check means if an Explorer Scout has their 18th birthday whilst they are on Camp, guidelines state they should go home halfway through the camp, because the rest of the Explorers will be under 18.

I have also been active in Scouting (in the US), and there are some rather strange rules here too. The age 18 seems to be this magic barrier, and essentially you can't ever have 1 person from one side of the barrier with anyone from the other side unless they both have buddies, even though age of consent has absolutely nothing to do child molestation (regular Scouting is single-gender in the US, and homosexual relationships between staff and scouts is not really even on the radar). Further driving home this point, these same rules also seem to apply to any staff/scout interaction, even though some of the staff are under 18 (all the scouts are under 18, but they still might be older than some of the staff).
Somewhere out there is a US judge who actually sentenced this girl to a live of misery for sending a nude picture of herself to her boyfriend. How can this guy sleep at night? Why isn't he voted out of office (you guys vote for judges right?). Why aren't civil rights organizations in an uproar over this?

No, judges aren't voted on. The officials who appoint them are, but rarely is a normal judge appointment serious enough to someone make a point about including it in their platform, especially since they are so hard to remove. Sometimes "who will this candidate appoint to the Supreme Court" can be a relevant issue, but that's about it. I do agree that this situation is patently absurd, and of course on the other side there was a judge sentenced a man to 60 days for repeatedly raping a girl over a four year period. She was six years old when it started. Let that sink in.
edit--http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,181755,00.html (citation for last comment)

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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby Mahou » Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:11 am UTC

For clarification, you do vote for judges in Ohio. And clearly drawings are a very different case from exploiting kids for photographs. Pity our legal system often seems to be too stupid to see that. Prosecuting someone for drawing pictures is the definition of a victimless crime.

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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:57 am UTC

pizzazz wrote:
Somewhere out there is a US judge who actually sentenced this girl to a live of misery for sending a nude picture of herself to her boyfriend. How can this guy sleep at night? Why isn't he voted out of office (you guys vote for judges right?). Why aren't civil rights organizations in an uproar over this?

No, judges aren't voted on. The officials who appoint them are, but rarely is a normal judge appointment serious enough to someone make a point about including it in their platform, especially since they are so hard to remove. Sometimes "who will this candidate appoint to the Supreme Court" can be a relevant issue, but that's about it. I do agree that this situation is patently absurd, and of course on the other side there was a judge sentenced a man to 60 days for repeatedly raping a girl over a four year period. She was six years old when it started. Let that sink in.
edit--http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,181755,00.html (citation for last comment)


This has been one of the few times I have ever been in total agreement with Bill O'Reilly.

But, as Mahou pointed out, there are a number of places in the US that hold elections for judges (and sheriffs! W.T.F.). I've always thought that's an absurd system that puts far too much political selective pressure on a position that should be apolitical. In Washington state recently, there was a rather heated campaign over a very conservative judge who's reelection campaign received an unseemly amount of funding from lobbying groups. I am not, however, sure how widespread the practice of electing judges is.
Last edited by Iulus Cofield on Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:31 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby PAstrychef » Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:07 pm UTC

According to the Brennan Center, thirty nine states elect at least some of their judges.
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Re: Pedophilephobia

Postby pizzazz » Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:56 pm UTC

PAstrychef wrote:According to the Brennan Center, thirty nine states elect at least some of their judges.

Interesting. I was unaware of that.

Iulus Cofield wrote:But, as Mahou pointed out, there are a number of places in the US that hold elections for judges (and sheriffs! W.T.F.). I've always thought that's an absurd system that puts far too much political selective pressure on a position that should be apolitical. In Washington state recently, there was a rather heated campaign over a very conservative judge who's reelection campaign received an unseemly amount of funding from lobbying groups. I am not, however, sure how widespread the practice of electing judges is.


Judges' politics can still influences their appointment, and lobbyists can still probably influence the appointment by going to elected officials instead. And it becomes nearly impossible to remove a judge from office unless they committ a serious crime or are in fact mentally ill to the point of being unable to do their job.


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