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Paedophilia is not progressive Social justice campaigns have given up on morality

Paedophiles don't need their own Pride(Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images)


November 25, 2021   5 mins

Now that safe spaces and universal acceptance have become the norm, it is fashionable to tolerate all kinds of proclivities and inclinations in the name of diversity. But until recently, we respected the nebulous line that faintly dissects the parameters of what we consider to be good and evil. Not so today, where there is a growing campaign to destigmatise everything, even if doing so requires us to unpick the moral fabric of our society.

How else are we to explain the two most disturbing causes trumpeted by modern progressives: of paedophilia and of polygamy? To some extent, they can’t be compared. Polygamy remains legal in a number of countries — from South Africa and Malaysia to Iran and Morocco. Paedophilia, on the other hand, has long been considered beyond the pale, and is effectively banned across the world. Most countries have an age of consent — and those that don’t, such as Sudan and Afghanistan, require a couple to be married before sex is legally allowed.

And yet, in America of all places, activists are now campaigning for the destigmatisation of paedophilic desires. To remain horrified is bigoted; we need to feel empathy for the “suffering” that paedophiles face. What makes this movement even more disturbing is that its advocates are not confined to some progressive fringe: even those whose jobs it is to end child sexual abuse now support it.

Only last week, Elizabeth Letourneau, Director of the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse at John Hopkins’s Bloomberg School of Public Health, tweeted: “Many adults with sexual attraction to children want help to control it, hate the feeling, don’t want to act on it. Helping them prevents #childsexualabuse. Stigmatizing the conversation puts kids at risk. #prevention.”

She was responding to the debate sparked at Old Dominion University earlier this month, after word spread around campus that one of its professors, Allyn Walker, had released a book over the summer titled A Long, Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity. The book, according to its blurb, “offers a crucial account of the lived experiences of this hidden population”. In reality, all it offers is a disconcerting defence of paedophilia.

Walker, whose preferred pronouns are they/them, is concerned for the well-being of ‘minor-attracted people’ or MAPs, the new preferred term for individuals attracted to children. When asked about the use of MAPs in a recent interview, Walker responded: “I think it is important to use terminology for groups that members of that group want others to use for them. It is less stigmatising than other words like paedophile.” In other words: let’s not hurt the paedophiles’ feelings.

Throughout the interview, Walker deploys terms taken straight from the social justice playbook — as if paedophilia were just another sexual preference in need of its own Pride. Activists talk of “lowering stigma”; of a minority that is “at-risk” and “universally maligned”. As far back as 2017, in a PhD thesis titled Understanding Resilience Strategies among Minor-Attracted Individuals, Walker notes how “child pornography as a harm reduction technique has previously been theorised to be a potential strategy for MAPs to maintain abstinence from sexual contact with children”.

Although A Long, Dark Shadow was published in June, Old Dominion did not place Walker on leave until November 16th, after students began to protest. A petition was launched, making clear that paedophilia “should not be considered a sexual preference” and Walker should be fired. It has received more than 14,000 signatures.

Yet despite such overwhelming condemnation from the student body, the university’s statement regarding the situation was short, vague, and inadequately critical of Walker’s views. For Walker, however, the university’s action reflected the “gravity of the threats to me and other people on campus”. Walker’s critics’ disapproval was part of a “coordinated effort” against the LGBTQ community and academic freedom.

I am a firm defender of academic freedom. And I believe the problem of paedophilia needs to be studied. But that does not mean that we can ignore the danger destigmatising paedophilia poses to children. We should not be normalising the idea that it is tolerable to fantasise about sex with children. A university and a university press should not be pushing this kind of harmful material.

And yet this dangerous tendency to tolerate every and any proclivity, no matter how wicked, has become widespread: along with paedophilia, polygamy — a practice which should have ended centuries ago — is making a comeback as an acceptable form of relationship. Last year, Utah enacted Senate Bill 102, which lowers the penalty for polygamy from a felony to an offence on par with a traffic summons, as long as the new spouse consents to the marriage. Even pop culture is embracing the trend. Just this week, millennial influencer Lauryn Bosstick posted her thoughts on polygamy to her 1 million Instagram followers: “i am in to freedom of choice. i don’t waste my energy worried about what people’s relationship choices are – everyone’s different. if not hurting anyone & it works for you, go for it.”

But polygamy is harmful — to women, in particular, but also to society in general. Earlier this year, I interviewed Dr Dan Seligson on my podcast about its harms and dangers. He explained that polygamy actually breeds poverty in societies. It turns the human female into a commodity, destroys trust in society, and produces unhappiness in families. Growing up in Somalia, I have seen this all first-hand: my father had four wives. Not one of them was happy; not one of them thought their union was empowering.

And yet proponents of polygamy in the US today model their movement on the successful (and legitimate) campaign for same-sex marriage, pretending it is a similar form of liberation. Two practising polygamists summed up this tactic in a peculiarly supportive recent New Yorker profile: “I wish people would be as accepting with us as we try to be of everyone else.”

Here is where the slippery slope becomes a terrifying cliff face. Ingeniously, ‘minor-attracted people’ and polygamists are seeking the protection of the progressive umbrella. They want recognition as ‘maligned’ minorities who have been marginalised and overlooked by society. They want the freedom to love whomever they want, regardless of a person’s age or number of other partners. And it is working. The social justice movement is heeding their calls.

At the core of what we are seeing today is an assault on Western civilisation. In the West, we have a general moral framework. We share a broad understanding of right and wrong. But our norms and values are under attack. We have abdicated our responsibility to make moral judgements — and evil has started to seep in.

There will be some who claim that I am overreacting; that those arguing in favour of destigmatising paedophilia and polygamy are small groups who live in the dark corners of Twitter and will never have any real staying power. But the first steps have been taken. The path ahead is clear. As activists like Allyn Walker insinuate themselves into the social justice fold, the ranks of their warped campaigns will swell.

I have been a vocal advocate for women, children, homosexuals, apostates, and religious minorities for the past two decades. I believe in giving the voiceless a voice. I have also been a free-speech fundamentalist. But there must be a red line. No matter the context, there will never be anything progressive about paedophilia or polygamy.


Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an UnHerd columnist. She is also the Founder of the AHA Foundation, and host of The Ayaan Hirsi Ali Podcast. Her Substack is called Restoration.

Ayaan

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William Jackson
William Jackson
2 years ago

I am in my mid sixties and as a person who was sexually abused as a child, both by a priest when I was 4, and later by a tutor when I was 11, am here to state that that abuse has led to a life sentence of mental health issues, and relationship failures.

Pedophiles, ruthlessly, without a shred of remorse ruin the lives.

There are no psychological interventions that take away their harm, there is no cure (although versions of CBT would have you belive otherwise).

If we fail to attend to the most vulnerable in society, our children, and to safeguard them we fail as a society.

I do not believe that advocating empathy and understanding of pedophiles will make a single child safer. On the contrary any acceptance of their behaviour will be utilised and manipulated by them to their advantage, a cost children will have to live with.

Last edited 2 years ago by William Jackson
Lindsay S
Lindsay S
2 years ago

One thing we know paedophiles are good at, it’s grooming. This should be considered an attempt at societal wide grooming!

A S
A S
2 years ago

Absolutely. Most children suffer in silence and never speak of abuse. It does lead to life-long suffering and self-loathing that gets baked-in.

Andy Martin
Andy Martin
2 years ago

My deepest sympathies William.
I’m sure your opinion is informed by experiences that no one should ever have to endure.

Last edited 2 years ago by Andy Martin
Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago

If we know about them and treat them (how I’ve no idea) they are surely less likely to be able to act on their feelings? I’d rather that than they stay in the shadows, increasingly likely to act out their desires and hurt kids. If we DON’T seek to treat them and manage them what do we go? Let them run amok?? That’s not legitimising them it’s protecting kids from them isn’t it?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Everyone one has a choice on whether they do something. First we need strong laws against it. Then if they cannot control the urge they should be locked away from the temptation and given help if they want it. If we just put up with it then surely we are an evil generation.

Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

It’s about to get a lot trickier, which may have been the idea in the first place – ‘Conversion Therapy’ looks likely to be banned in the near future. Attempting to treat paedos for their paraphilia would probably fall foul of that law.

Marcia McGrail
Marcia McGrail
2 years ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

You are so right – CT (the violent and abusive elements of which are already illegal) has such an emotive yet vague definition that prayer, pastoral care and the ordinary work of churches is getting caught in their deliberate net.

William Murphy
William Murphy
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

See my comment on the Lucy Faithfull Foundation. I do not know how effective their therapeutic work has been.

Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

There is no evidence that pedophilia can be cured, only controlled. One of the best ways to help pedophiles to suppress their desires and refuse to act out is to continue to stigmatize pedophilia. The last thing we want to do is loosen their internal behavioral controls by making them think that wanting to rape children is “not so bad”.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago

I agree that it can and does wound a child mentally and emotionally, but I wouldn’t say there is no cure. I was abused as well and have found answers in forgiving the perpetrator and finding faith in Christ.

Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

I hope forgiving the perpetrator helped you heal, but I also hope that “forgiveness” wasn’t used as an excuse not to seek justice and prevent your perpetrator from harming more children. My fear is that the concept of “forgiveness” is exploited by predators to protect them from accountability – which leads to more vulnerable people being harmed.

Karl Francis
Karl Francis
2 years ago

Brave post. Much respect is due to you sir.

Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
2 years ago
Reply to  Karl Francis

There is nothing “brave” about forgiving sexual abuse. Try being a survivor who refuses to forgive.
Forgiveness is for the perpetrator and for people who don’t want to deal with the hassle of holding predators accountable.
It’s also for those who don’t want to deal with the uncomfortable feelings of rage that so many survivors suppress and turn against themselves.
Holding predators accountable and being honest about the intense rage caused by sexual violence (rather than turning it against oneself or others) is brave; forgiveness is neither brave nor cowardly, it is simply a neutral expression of what works for some survivors, but not for others.

Marcia McGrail
Marcia McGrail
2 years ago

You have my sympathies and I pray that you find peace. Abuse of any child by people in positions of power is abhorrent & should be prosecuted with every fibre of the (albeit presently puny) law – which I hope has happened for you – how much more abhorrent is the parental paedophile?

Andrew Walker
Andrew Walker
2 years ago

Please accept the sympathy of a fellow sufferer.

JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago

Cultural relativism has degraded public morality and helped pave the way for more of this. The toleration of child sexual abuse on US military bases in Afghanistan is one example. Closer to home, we have the abject failure to protect children in Rotherham. The prevalence of polygamy, pedophilia, and female genital mutilation within certain communities are concerning but we are denounced as racists for daring to mention.

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
2 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

Trans ideology also results in female genital mutilation.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago

Good point. And MGM too.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

It’s like the government turn a blind eye to it. I am encouraged by the majority on here who are against it.

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago

There has to be a distinction made between sympathy and accommodation.
Certain people deserve our sympathy because their situation is tragic. Paedophiles, for example, are lumbered with desires which society cannot possibly allow them to enact. Trans people are lumbered with a desire to be something they simply cannot be.
This situation is quite different to that of gay and lesbian people who can enact their desires consensually and without harm to others. Nor do they require us to believe something that is simply not true.
Sometimes we must be sympathetic, but clear that we will go this far but no further.

E H
E H
2 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

‘Are lumbered with desires’… But where might such desires have arisen from? With the rise of internet porn and social media, the numbers of those who’ve developed a taste for paedophilia, and for all manner of paraphilias, has surely risen enormously.
Similarly, regarding gender identity or ‘trans people’, a 5337% increase – an OVER FIVE THOUSAND PERCENT increase – has recently been reported in under-18 girls coming to believe they need gender ‘treatment’ (Tavistock GIDS, UK) over circa ten years, i.e. since the advent of social media. Teen girls and younger, now persuaded that they are not girls, led instead to desire wrong-sex hormones and disfiguring surgeries such as having their healthy breasts cut off.
That social contagion via the internet is integral to these developments is clear to all but those most in denial.
Sympathy is one thing, and yes about the importance of distinguishing between sympathy and acommodation, but there needs also to be clear-eyed, unwavering examination of causes and effects, and better acknowledgement of who the main victims are – children and young people – and the suffering which ‘desires’ fed instead of questioned can bring.

Kathleen Stern
Kathleen Stern
2 years ago
Reply to  E H

Ultimately this brainwashing by social media and ‘progressives’ over reach will lead to colossal misery and indirectly to low birth rates which greens and others seem to want. The end game for many and society is misery and destabilisation.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Kathleen Stern

The low birth rates are here. The white birthrate in the UK is dropping fast against a background of an abortion rate of 9.5 Million since the 1967 abortion act.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  E H

In a nutshell evil communications corrupts good desires.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

Some people want to torture and murder people but this is kept secret. In times of communism or Nazism we see these desires manifest openly. Our sympathy should be with the children. Presumably there is a choice on whether to molest a child or not. If they cannot help it they should be put away out of harms way.

Alex Tickell
Alex Tickell
2 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

If that were the case, I might agree with you, unfortunately they are now being given babies to be brought up in their relationship, with some terrible results. As ever there is also the possibility of STD infection especially in an “open” SS relationship.
Children are the key, Males are naturally promiscuous but natural children and the extended family is the braking system to the male mating urge.

Karl Francis
Karl Francis
2 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

Amen.

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago

to some degree its already happening, Aimee Challenor, has been failing upwards through elite circles, Libdems , the green party, Reddit management. for those unaware:
http://www.uncancelled.co.uk/tie-world/gender/what-does-the-aimee-challenor-case-teach-us/

Last edited 2 years ago by George Glashan
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

I followed the link and went into a rabbit hole of utter depravity. Not only do these people mingle with us, they are given positions of respectability and power. It beggars belief.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago

It turned my stomach.

Terry Davies
Terry Davies
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Yes, it was a difficult read.

Alison Tyler
Alison Tyler
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry Davies

I did not get to the end

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
2 years ago

And of course, had anybody said some ten or twenty years ago that the underlying “liberationist” agenda of the left would lead to the acceptance of child abuse, that person would have been howled down as paranoid. And yet, it is coming to pass; just as migration is turning into replacement – undeniably, statistically, visibly.

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
2 years ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

I – and a few others – commented at the time that same sex marriage was a watershed. I suspected that polygamy would be next and so it has come to pass. Also, note that Stonewall, having achieved SSM, moved on to the next great social-structure destroying cause – transgender ideology.
This isn’t really about polygamy or transgender or any other edgy cause. It comes from hatred of social structure and the language describing it. That’s why so much effort is put into subverting language. Branding SSM as ‘equal marriage’ was clever but it was really a gateway to queering society, that is, a society without norms, therefore without the ‘normal’ and so without structure – just isolated individuals sunk in their personal fantasies and personal language. The enemy was at the gates and we threw them wide open.

Last edited 2 years ago by Judy Englander
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

I have no problem at all with same sex marriage between two consenting adults and I think it is VERY important that we keep a clear distinction between celebrating gay people’s rights and blaming this union for ‘queering’ society. I am also not anti trans people either, as long as there is a considered process involved and very importantly, as long as no-one else’s rights are affected.
Many LGB people and some trans people are actively fighting against the dangerous and extreme actions that are encroaching on and assaulting the rights of other people and groups.
Further, polygamy has been around forever.

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
2 years ago

Yes, polygamy has been around forever but not in western society. It’s a dreadful institution for women that pits one wife against another. It dilutes a wife’s power by making her one among several. It prevents the special, devoted relationship that can build between one man and one woman. Monogamy was a great step forward for western women because – in ideal at least – it bound men into a committed relationship.

Alan Bright
Alan Bright
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

Another drawback is that it leads to men who can never be married since other men have multiple wives

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan Bright

Usually the rich ones.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

I think the Left is embracing polygamy because they’re falling over themselves to pander to Islam. I bet they wouldn’t be so keen if it were about Mormons or something.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

If that is true there will be a kickback as homosexulas are thrown off roofs in the middle east.

David Bell
David Bell
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

In Tibetan society a woman can have multiple husbands.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago

That doesn’t make it right. So has paedophilia been around forever.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

I didn’t say it was right, just that it wasn’t recently introduced during the queering of society.

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
2 years ago

Marriage should have been abolished for everyone as an equality measure. It was only ever intended to attach men to the care and upkeep of their children and creates legitimate and illegitimate children who have different legal rights. We can now attach children to their genetic father by DNA testing. Single people are also discriminated against. It’s all about the pensions etc. Women no longer sacked or excluded from some occupations and most are in paid employment now. Why should one adult agree financial responsibility for another one except by separate choice. And it’s only recently it was ever seen as about love!! More about property!!

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
2 years ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

Can’t imagine what’s wrong now.

Last edited 2 years ago by Simon Denis
Simon Denis
Simon Denis
2 years ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

Property is the foundation of liberty. Anyone who fails to take it seriously opens the way to totalitarian control – a risk raised exponentially by the attack on the family implicit in your remarks.
Fathers should help in the care and upkeep of their children. If they do not we raise a feral, brutal, feckless generation – as can be demonstrated time and again from experience and statistics. 
As for choice, marriage in the west has been free for a long, long time – but once made it has been and should have remained binding – for the sake of children, for the sake of society and for the sake of the married themselves. 

Last edited 2 years ago by Simon Denis
Jean Nutley
Jean Nutley
2 years ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

If you really believe that children should only have a relationship with their fathers through an “attachment” of their DNA , as you imply, I feel very sorry for you.
Completely missed the point of a joyful union or rearing children.

Terence Fitch
Terence Fitch
2 years ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

For the vast majority without lots of wealth, bringing up kids is pretty draining. It takes two parents. I taught a few thousand teens for 40 years in different social contexts. There is little doubt in my experience that kids from single or multiple families struggle emotionally. Very many boys with a missing father are in turmoil and angrily take it out on others or withdraw into destructive internal worlds. Dismiss this as anecdote all you like then look around you at urban male violence and crime. Absolutely no doubt that this has hugely increased in the UK over the past 60 or so years.

hugh bennett
hugh bennett
2 years ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

gee whizz… and here i am a happily married man for 42 years through thick and thin, rough and smooth, to one lovely woman ( biologically from birth), 2 great kids, one of each, a girl and a boy and six grandchildren on my knee… lucky old normal me i say. Never felt the urge to write an essay about it ever…
only thing is one of the grandchildren is definitely a bit woke and gone vegan i told him we are off to Mount Taygetus if it carries on !

David Tomlinson
David Tomlinson
2 years ago
Reply to  hugh bennett

Great to read of your affirming approach to your grandchilds choices.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago

Most people in the West had no issues with two people being gay, and staying with or sleeping with each other.

The problem was that this was forcibly equated to marriage (otherwise you would be accused of being “homophobic”)
Even though the institution of marriage has little to do with the right to choose someone to sleep with and cohabit with.

Marriage was a relatively modern construct designed to ensure that if you had children (and therefore by definition heterosexual) you would be forced by society to be bound to your family and care for them.

Homosexual marriage was not about homosexuals, it was about marriage – or rather a first step, along with feminism of the 50s onwards, towards destroying this pillar of civilised society.

Last edited 2 years ago by Samir Iker
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

I am married and have no children. Many gay couples I know have children.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago

A small minority of gay couples have children – and if they do so, the concept of marriage requires that they get married first and accept the obligation of supporting them.

If those gay couples didn’t want children, they still have the right to live together, just like any heterosexual couple.

And yes, some married couples were unable or (in the modern era) choose not have them.
Just like some people with a driving license do not own cars or drive

Andrew Walker
Andrew Walker
2 years ago

They don’t have children in the same way that heterosexual couples do, nor can they.

Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago

Perhaps then the entire globe should all simply rely on what you believe to be moral or not? If not you, then who? Everyone wants to draw their own boundaries and be their own god. This has been the case since the Garden.
If absolutely anything goes, then anything will go, like so many times before. We had better brace ourselves for what is next. I pray that another revival brings us back towards the center.

Jonathan Couchman
Jonathan Couchman
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

I am conflicted about SSM. It certainly removed a taboo against sexual desires and activities other than adult heterosexual ones, opening a door to potential legitimisation of all sexual proclivities. On the other hand, same sex attraction exists and it is oppressive to ban same sex activities and marriage between consenting adults.
But if SSM between consenting adults is permissible, how do we resist the argument that anything goes between consenting adults? I suppose that Lesley van Reenen’s below argument is deployed, as to not affecting the rights of others, in the way that polygamy takes away the possibility of marriage from the men thus rendered partnerless. (I am not sure that “rights” is the correct word in this context: as soon as the hard line between heterosexual marriage and the rest is destroyed, it is hard to determine a rationale for its site of redrawing.)

Andrew D
Andrew D
2 years ago

It depends on what you mean by marriage. Christian marriage is between one man and one woman, to provide mutual comfort and support, for the avoidance of sin and should be open to the gift of children (not always possible of course). However, there are other, in some cases earlier, versions of marriage, which include polygamy and, now, SSM. There’s no logical reason why this non-Christian version should not in principle be extended to any imaginable combination of humans (and possibly non-humans). Personally I prefer the Christian version.

Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Agreed. Marrying your dog or cat will be next.

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
2 years ago

I’m about to go for my booster jab so just a quick response – I wasn’t suggesting for one minute the banning of same sex activities between consenting adults. I’ve always been appalled by the way gay people were treated when they were second class citizens. I believe there should be the same age of consent between gay and straight people. And I have no problem with civil partnerships. But I believe that marriage is the ‘standard’ and is between a man and a woman. That’s its definition. SSM undermines the definition and is subversive of language which, for a minority, was what it was designed to do.

Last edited 2 years ago by Judy Englander
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

The point is that marriage ensures certain legal rights. Certainly where I come from the legal spouse calls the shots in an ICU, funerals, rights to inherit, and the like. Why would heterosexual people want to prevent gay people from having this? This seems outrageous and truly far right wing.

Last edited 2 years ago by Lesley van Reenen
Judy Englander
Judy Englander
2 years ago

Civil partnerships should provide all the legal protections of marriage.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

They do not – certainly in most countries, civil partnerships do not confer the same weight as marriage. In order to approximate marriage, you have to jump through hoops – drawing up many contracts all of which are easily contestable in law (and all of the money that that entails). I was in a very lengthy civil partnership with a contract in place and lost all my money in middle age when I decided to leave the relationship.
Besides that, marriage confers a certain weight that ‘common law’ or civil partnerships do not and I take a very dim view of heterosexuals thinking that homosexuals should be denied equal rights – they are not impinging on your rights.

Kate Heusser
Kate Heusser
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

Why ‘should’ Civil Partnerships provide all the legal protections of marriage – but not be marriage?

In essence, marriage is not a religious but a civic institution. It exists, and has always done so since the dawn of most known civilizations, as a social contract between the partners, recognised and supported by both families and the wider community. In many countries, including ours, a ‘marriage’ conducted in a purely religious context is not recognised at all. By historical accident, the Anglican Church is licensed by the State to conduct legally binding marriages – but other denominations and religious institutions are not. Perhaps the confusion between the Christian and the legal concepts would be easier to distinguish if that historical accident were corrected by statute.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

Why should anything not go between consenting adults? Ruling out criminality of course.
Personally I not support polygamy because I don’t think the women are treated well and I don’t think they truly ‘consent’
.

Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago

Who decides what is criminal? Sodomy used to be a crime.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

I think you are absolutely right. Evil will wax worse and worse at the end said a famous prophet.

Alison Tyler
Alison Tyler
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

sadly have to agree with both of you

Patrick Martin
Patrick Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

I agree, except that the pass was sold much earlier when the link between sex and procreation was broken. As society becomes increasingly dysfunctional, the sad victims of sexual disorder will become more transparent and hopefully there will be a turning back.

Alex Tickell
Alex Tickell
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

Absolutely true Judy and brave of you to say so, even amongst friends here.
I too saw Gay “marriage” as the Rubicon and so it has transpired, but I fervently hope that this abomination does not come to pass as that will signal the true end of civilisation.
In America 50% of same sex marriages and partnerships are “Open” relationships with each member having any number for sexual partners, adding to the horrific STD figures amongst homosexuals.
The networking which exists in same sex relationships has also resulted in huge overrepresentation in politics and media, leading to promotion of lifestyle as healthy and acceptable.
I can see the same tactics being adopted by the degenerates who are sexually attracted to children.

Amy Malek
Amy Malek
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex Tickell

Interesting stat that 50 percent of same sex marriages and partnerships are open to multiple partners. Lesbians are notoriously monogamous (not all, but many).
Perhaps we need to winnow down the discussion to men in general and monogamy.
Surely you don’t think that heterosexual marriages in the US have a stellar rate of fidelity, do you? I wouldn’t be surprised that the straying rate is greater than 50 percent.
But, let’s go with 50 percent for both the men and women (for the sake of equanimity) in straight marriages.
How much *better* is it to discover that your partner is on the sly?
I will never forget the story that a General Practitioner Doctor friend of mine told me. He had to break the news to an older lady that her husband had given her AIDS by his seeing a prostitute.
In the best of all worlds there would be fidelity.
Surely you cannot say that straights were given the green light to cheat by taking their cue from gays.
They have been running through intersections of infidelity for time immemorial.

Alex Tickell
Alex Tickell
2 years ago
Reply to  Amy Malek

It’s not a matter of “straying” in hetero marriages Amy, most of which are reasonably stable mainly because of the family structure.
The open relationships which are common in homosexuality are agreed by both partners to allow as much sexual freedom as possible. it is simply licenced promiscuity with the resulting horrific STD rates. Around 80% of all new syphilis cases are within 1.5 of the population.
I take your point regarding Lesbians, but the divorce rate for “married” lesbians is much higher than the hetero divorce rate.

Amy Malek
Amy Malek
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex Tickell

Alex, thank you for replying.
I am a bit curious as to where you glean your numbers.
I take it that you disapprove of *any* homosexual relationship, regardless of stability and commitment. I will venture a guess that is due to a religious conviction on your part. Fair enough.
But with the divorce rate in the US (we are talking US?) – heterosexual divorce rate having climbed to 50 percent in the not too distant past – I find it a bit disingenuous to complain about lack of stability in gay relationships.
Perhaps we could cite some statistics on promiscuity among heterosexuals to balance and compare these claims.
Again, I am going to assume that you are familiar with the all too common, nay, accepted practice of what was once called unwed mothers. Today they are called “single” mothers and society – at least US society – celebrates this phenomenon.
Surely this does not play into your argument for heterosexual stability.
I am in no way encouraging or condoning promiscuity for any couple – gay or straight.
But, sadly, I think there is far less fidelity in “traditional” marriages than we have been led to believe.
The news of HIV infection delivered to my doctor friend’s patient is probably more common than imagined.
Again, I am quite open to hearing statistics, but as we are taught in high school for term papers:. endnotes and footnotes, please. The paper is not worth a tinker’s dam without sources.

Alex Tickell
Alex Tickell
2 years ago
Reply to  Amy Malek

Thank you Amy, but you appear to have taken a little too much for granted. Just for clarification I am an atheist, I do not believe in the criminalisation of homosexuality, but neither do I support the promotion of what I see as a very dangerous and unhealthy lifestyle.
I believe that in common with other self harm like smoking or gambling, homosexuality is strongly associated to addiction, a state of mind which has not yet been properly understood by the medical profession.
Divorce rates for homos/heteros can be found in the Office of National Statistics and health statistics in Centre for Disease Control(US) and PHE in UK The demographic is MSM. Prepare to be shocked and do not confuse “percentages” with “real numbers”. For the last couple of years, the MSM demographic has been purposely omitted from the UK figures but can still be gleaned by carefully reading between the lines.

Amy Malek
Amy Malek
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex Tickell

Alex, thank you for the civil discourse.
As an American I have found my Unherd membership to be interesting on a number of levels and not just Freddie’s fantastic interviews.
In reading some of the responses to essays, particularly when they involve sex, I can see that the attitudes would rival any Bible Belt fundamentalist gathering in “purity”.
This essay focused on polygamy and pedophilia, and yet it went far afield In the comments into everything from homosexuality, 50’s feminism, procreation, etc… Even veganism!
Quite a divergence – at least IMO.
This is as revealing to me as to how topics are processed as to the very topic itself – its innate merits.
But, oddly, you don’t want to address the failings of heterosexuality and its impact on culture.
And you are not defending on a religious basis.
It seems that this discussion on pedophilia and polygamy opens up a proverbial can of worms and yet only certain worms are deemed acceptable for inspection.
Okay. LOL.
I’m ready to call it a day, but I am genuinely appreciative of your civility. We Americans could certainly learn a lesson on that.

Last edited 2 years ago by Amy Malek
Alex Tickell
Alex Tickell
2 years ago
Reply to  Amy Malek

I love civil discussion Amy and I completely concur with your views on that. Of course heterosexuality has its failings, in the UK 200.000 babies are killed annually mainly on grounds of convenience, attack on family from politicians and media abound, but the main difference is that heterosexuality and the survival of the species is our natural raison d’etre.
Have a nice Christmas and it has been a pleasure to talk with you …A

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

Once polygamy becomes legal Pakistani heritagers will be able to bring 4 cousins over as spouses for each of their kids .
There will be a multi-cultural defence of polygamy . The great replacement will obviously be mainly by Muslims but with a burgeoning minority of old-Skool Mormons .

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
2 years ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

Even further back (In the days of ‘Dial-up) I can remember a certain female leading light of the PLP trying to get PIE affiliated to the Labour Party. There were ‘a few good people’ in the PLP at that time (As I suppose there is today) and the plan was scotched. The lady said later that she had not realised what PIE was truely about.

Marcia McGrail
Marcia McGrail
2 years ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

Unfortunately it is too often the enthusiastically ignorant that foist their ‘leading light’ prostitution on the rest of us.

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago

its pretty shocking, the other aspect thats disturbing is the covert nature of it, both on Challenor part for concealing his fathers crimes, but also the organisations supressing any dissent. I don’t think its mentioned in the linked article but what happened at Reddit is fascinating. The reddit management completely closed ranks to defend Challenor in full knowledge of his past, they seemed to set up Challenor with some kind or super moderator privilege that flagged any reference to Challenor on the site so it could be banned if negative.
sorry i lost my thread of thought as i was typing, what i was trying to convey is I can see where there is a (uncomfortable) free speech argument, podophiles should be allowed to freely express their ideology (vomit) and there is a corresponding right of free speech to criticise the paedophile ideology however in practice that’s not what happened at Reddit, the Libdems or the Greens . Those with power to control what was allowed to be said used that power only to proactively support Challenor . so it wasnt a free speach issue for them its something else, is it a conflation with that trans / BLM mantra , “words are violence” so they are saving him from (verbal not actual) harm. But then none of these organisation applied that same principal of “words are violence” to the violent paedophilic fiction Challenors husband was writing.
i dont have any good answer, in a way its worse, as it only confirms to me my already biased position against Greens, Libdems , and lefty’s as weirdo pedo enablers. I dont want to hold hated towards lefties but when they do things so worthy of being hated…..

Last edited 2 years ago by George Glashan
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

I suppose one should hate the sin but love the sinner. It is not loving to let them get away with it though as it will get worse with them not forgetting their victims.

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

*Challenor … in case anyone wants to Google him….

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

good catch, ive corrected now, all the previous posts ere written before the coffee had kicked in.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

Wow!! Can reasonable people fight back by constantly using his ‘real’ name and referring to him as HE?

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

i dont put Challenor’s trans name in the post in any way to validate that identity , its only there as if people want to google him, that’s the name that will get hits to relevant information.

Last edited 2 years ago by George Glashan
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

Poor America has her/him now. That’s not kind of Britain.

Kathleen Stern
Kathleen Stern
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

This link is a devastating expose of how the decency and morality of the western nations is being undermined and supported my so many organisations unsuspected by the general public. Just shocking!

Karl Francis
Karl Francis
2 years ago
Reply to  Kathleen Stern

Agreed!

Marcia McGrail
Marcia McGrail
2 years ago
Reply to  Kathleen Stern

Decency and morality used to have a name. Now, what counts as D&M is whatever the loudest voice wants to call it…truth, logic, reason and sanity having been sacrificed at the progressive post-modernity altar no one wants to stand in the way of for fear of being ‘cancelled’ or labelled ‘old-fashioned’, ‘bigot’, ‘homophobic’ etc
Buckle up and enjoy the ride as there is plenty more where PIE leaves off…

Mirax Path
Mirax Path
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

Google Prostasia and Noah Berlatsky. You will fall into a rabbithole. These organisations are stoutly defended by transactivists who also advocate puberty blockers for children. It is established medical practice to offer puberty blockers pretty much without question these days.

Last edited 2 years ago by Mirax Path
George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago
Reply to  Mirax Path

thanks will look into these

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

Thank-you for this link, a very interesting and prescient essay.

Emre Emre
Emre Emre
2 years ago

This may be progressive but certainly not new. Here’s a very public attempt at decriminalising sex with minors:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_petition_against_age_of_consent_laws
The signatories are an A-list roster of leftist luminaries including: Foucault, Derrida, even Beauvoir and Sartre. I think it’s too much of a coincidence that the list contains some of the most influential people in leftist and wokeist thinking.

Last edited 2 years ago by Emre Emre
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Emre Emre

Your list of names are absolutely Satan’s little helpers, given the societal evils and degeneracy their philosophies and arguments have wrought. Basically Post-Modernism and its nihilist and evil foundation. Naturally those names would be linked to anything truly destructive and degenerate, they have loosened more misery on the world than any other ideology in history, assuming the Capture of the West intellectuals by their twisted thinking continues..

I have been watching some Peter Hitchens videos, and they have a despair about them. A great thinker and conscience – and he declares he has ‘Given Up’. That thinking and morality have lost, and there is no force in the background he can identify which could bring society back to thinking and ethics. “Peter Hitchens | “I Have Given Up” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSgK_DHPBfU

Maybe not interesting unless you know Hitchens, but sad if you do, there is such a weary dispair in him; brought on the world by those 4, and their ilk.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I wonder if we’re not seeing the apex of the pendulum swing. We went from perhaps a rather too austere and rigid society, like the Victorian era, then 2 terrible wars, to a time of plenty and liberalism and now we’re seeing what happens when liberalism goes too far. My hope is that the pendulum will start to swing back again and we hit another sweet spot between the 2 extremes like we had between the 50s and the 00s.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

The stuff we have to watch now is bleak. Amazing visually but very bleak mostly. There will come a time when the era of the Victorians will seem like the good old days in spite of their problems. So much of their great truths are consigned to the dustbin by the Left.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

We need to overcome no matter what. The shield of faith will cause us to have the victory. It is sad about Peter. He has been battling for a long time. I hope that he can renew his strength.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Emre Emre

Lines 113-148 from my heroic couplet satire The Wokeiad alludes to the notorious proclivities of one of the signatories. The Wokeiad is my current project – 930 lines so far, planned total of 1600:-
She tarries not, but spreads again her wings,
Spangling the welkin with brown stinking things.
This time the demon’s course is Eastward set,
Faster than snail but not as quick as jet,
O’er snow-capped mount, o’er desert vast and numb,
O’er palace, project, piggery and slum:
Terra incognita between the coasts
His ignorance of which the wokist boasts.
Wokeness now glides over Miami Beach
Where wellness gurus pseudoscience preach
To geriatric dentists and their wives,
Those wan asthmatic martyrs to the hives.
As whale road supercedes the prairie fields,
The nimbus builds and vanquished Helios yields.
Aeolus loosens now his knotted bag,
And the Anemoi from their prison drags.
Mild Zephyr cedes to Boreas the stage,
And Auster vies with Eurus in his rage.
Zeus flings his bolts and furiously raves,
And Lord Poseidon’s trident moils the waves.
Wokeness remorselessly through wind and rain
Grinds o’er first Lusitania then Spain,
Where Helios in triumph late restored
Is by his sky-clad acolytes adored,
Then left at Benidorm and up the coast,
Where basting nudists on the playas roast.
Over the Pyrrenees to soaked Camargue,
The hinterland of France’s nouvelle vague.
Next Paris, pantheon of po-mo spells,
A shrine to Foucault and to Foucault else:
The Tunis Gary Glitter, Humbert of
Bedouin boy, the freshman’s Nabokov,
White polo-neck, bald head, perverted grin:
Glans peenniss peeping from its peeled foreskin,
Wokeness’s Baptist John or SalomĂ©
Traducer of epistemologé.

Last edited 2 years ago by Drahcir Nevarc
Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Ha! Love it. ‘basting nudists’ LOL

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Haha, thanks!

William Murphy
William Murphy
2 years ago
Reply to  Emre Emre

Don’t forget another ludicrous and embarrassing relic from the glorious summer of ’68 – our old friend Danny Cohn-Bendit, who was obviously fond of little children.

https://www.dw.com/en/pedophilia-accusations-haunt-green-politician/a-16791213

William Murphy
William Murphy
2 years ago
Reply to  William Murphy

Looking at the background of various Nazis, Greens, Communists, Socialists, religious zealots, etc, I get the impression that their ideologies are just a function of their pelvic urges, whatever pompous verbiage comes out of their faces.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  William Murphy

There is probably some truth in that. We are sexual creatures and if we cannot keep it in marriage it will influence some of our decisions in other areas to it’s detriment.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Emre Emre

That says it all doesn’t it.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago

“paedophilia should not be considered a sexual preference”

Unfortunately that’s exactly what it is. I very much doubt the nonces choose to be attracted to children, but there’s obviously something in their brain that makes them that way, the same as homosexuals are attracted to those of the same sex.
Now this isn’t to equate the two in the slightest, two gay consenting adults hurts nobody, whereas child abuse destroys lives which is why we don’t allow it.
However I think those that do find themselves being drawn to kids should be able to ask for help, be it therapy or drugs that stop them from acting on those impulses. Those that do abuse children should be dealt with much more severely than they currently are

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Good post.
The only thing I would add, is that some paedophiles are simple opportunists. They target children, not because they are specifically drawn to them, but because they make easy victims. I suspect Saville fell into this category.
While I can find some sympathy in my heart for those struggling in silence with desires they cannot and do not act on, I can find none for opportunist predators, to whom the word evil is appropriately applied.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

I agree completely, I’m sure for some it’s almost a power dynamic as much as anything else. As I say those that harm children deserve to be severely punished. I also think people that ask for help before they do something evil should receive it

Tim Knight
Tim Knight
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The internet changes everything in this regard. Let us say pictures of red fire engines are legal and yellow one aren’t. Internet pornographers will note a repeated search for pictures of red fire engines and will encourage this habit. Then, exploiting the brains propensity to explore the new, may slip an occasional yellow fire engine picture into the image search. Sooner or later the yellow fire engine is clicked on and low and behold yellow fire engines become part of the habit.
Whether this escalates to actually going out to drive a yellow fire engine is contentious, but the evidence is suggestive that it does.
My point is paedophillia, at least web based paedophillia can be learnt.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Tim Knight

Learnt? I cannot imagine watching any porn that would make me fancy kids. The very idea makes me want to puke.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

But it does happen. Mostly be men but not exclusively.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Tim Knight

I’m not sure so much that it is learnt, I think there must be something there originally for it to manifest itself, but I agree the internet can make it a whole lot worse. Something that starts off as knowingly immoral can become almost normalised (if that’s a word) in the head of abusers

Karl Francis
Karl Francis
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Anyone who harms a child in a sexual way should be banged up forever!
Zero tolerance. No ifs, no buts, no parole, no name changes, no well meaning vicars.
Off our streets, GONE!!

Last edited 2 years ago by Karl Francis
Jonathan Gibbs
Jonathan Gibbs
2 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

Sorry, no, don’t agree. Nobody chooses a child over a sexually mature “adult”, unless they prefer the child.

Paedophilia is at least more understandable from an evolutionary point of view than its opposite, gerontophilia. I’m looking at you, M. Macron.

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Gibbs

What, not even when sexually mature adults are not available to them, not attracted to them, forbidden to them or over whom they have less coercive power etc. I’m thinking priests, sports coaches, teachers, parents and relatives here.

Andy Martin
Andy Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Is pedophilia a preference?
Or is it a fairly fixed orientation like the three mainstream orientations; opposite sex attraction, same sex attraction, or bisexual?
Perhaps both Billy Bob and Milos are sexually orientated towards, women, so you are opposite-sex attracted, or you may be same-sex attracted, or bisexual. These are the mainstream orientations. If one of you is attracted to blondes with large b_ _ bs, then this is a preference, but not an orientation.
Sexual orientations are generally defined as fairly stable.
Homosexuality is not as you suggest a preference but larley a sexual orientation that is fairly stable over time.
Note that I’m qualifying my definitions with words like “generally,” or “fairly.”
I’m not an expert, but I thought I’d just put this out, hence my opening question.
Perhaps pedophilia can be both a preference and an orientation, – and one of the eight paraphilia. or in plain English a sexually deviant perversion that most people find abhorrent – especially pedophilia
 (exhibitionism, fetishism, frotteurism, pedophilia, sexual masochism, sexual sadism, voyeurism, and transvestic fetishism,

If anyone can add anything, feel free.

Last edited 2 years ago by Andy Martin
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Andy Martin

That response struck me as being rather pedantic for the sake of it, presumably to allow yourself a sense of smugness.
I think it was reasonably clear that preference/orientation was more or less the same thing in my post, to most people the words are interchangeable despite the exact meanings in the dictionary.
Why not respond to my general argument rather than nitpicking the sentence structure?
Do you believe paedos choose to be attracted to children, or is it something that they’re born with (to use an unfortunate phrase). If so should those who ask for help before they’ve committed a crime be helped?

Andy Martin
Andy Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Do you think the content I posted was to allow myself a sense of smugness?
I certainly was not “nitpicking your sentence structure, I was simply trying to understand your meaning, and add a few points of my own.
Pardon me for missing your point that “preference/orientation was more or less the same thing,” but on a very topical current issue, I think a lot of people especially the women, mostly lesbians who are being labeled TERFs because of their ‘genital preferences in refusing to want to have sex with ‘women with ï»żp _ _ _ _ _ s’ are understandably upset when their same- sex orientation ( not preference) towards other women gets them labeled transphobic TERFs because they prefer vag _ _ _s to p _ _ _ _ _ s .
The flaw in the argument used by trans women / women with p _ _ _ _ _ s ( biological males / autogynophiles is precisely that they are conflating sexual preferences with sexual orientation. Whether this is deliberate because they understand the difference hoping no one will call them out on it, or they simply haven’t thought it through, is not clear.
The results can be seen here.
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-57853385
If however, you subscribe to the belief that Trans women are women and lesbians who find Trans women’s male bodies, genitalia etc. repulsive are vile transphobic TERFs who deserve all the threats as set out in the following.
https://terfisaslur.com
and
https://lesbian-rights-nz.org/shame-receipts/

then, you are entitled to your opinion, although I would vehemently disagree.
Ps.
all the P_ _ _ _ _ about with inserting dashes, is because when using what I thought were straightforward word, my posts were modded out.
At least I think this is why my posts were modded out.
Who knows?
Comment is no longer free at the Guardian and it also appears to be ‘Unfree’ and as a result ‘Unseen,’ or ‘Unread,’ at Unherd too, or as is sometimes the case, ‘Unheard.’
Or is an automated feature that deletes any comments with four letter words, biological terms for certain body parts etc.?
Who knows?

Last edited 2 years ago by Andy Martin
Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
2 years ago
Reply to  Andy Martin

They’re probably using off the shelf software for the comments section that will have pre-moderation mechanisms integrated into it. This is a problem that a lot of sites have who don’t wish to implement their own software for comments sections or forums.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
2 years ago
Reply to  Andy Martin

defintely automation that deletes posts that contain certain words. Also posting links can get you moderated, though which links and why those and not others is still a mystery to me.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
2 years ago

Probably using other 3rd party software that collates lists of sites that should be blocked. Initially these lists would be fairly obvious in terms of what they blacklist, like p__nography* or security threats but have slowly expanded in remit. It wouldn’t surprise me if they now include sites deemed to be “misinformation” by “fact-checkers.” Quotes for cynicism.

*I’m assuming that’s a potentially blocked word, as though the word’s very existence is something to censor.

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago
Reply to  Andy Martin

Andy – thanks for the clarification.
As I understand it, paedophilia can be both. Some people are exclusively attracted to children, some are preferentially attracted to them and some only prey on children because they are easy victims.
Of course, within fetishism too, there are those who can only be aroused via the fetish, those who prefer it, and those for whom it is just an exciting option.

Andy Martin
Andy Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

Good point made David.
Thanks

Last edited 2 years ago by Andy Martin
Andrew Walker
Andrew Walker
2 years ago
Reply to  Andy Martin

Homosexuality is strictly not about sex, because it can never result in procreation.

Tom O'Carroll
Tom O'Carroll
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

> I very much doubt the nonces choose to be attracted to children, 
Would you use the “n” word in a racial context? This other n word is also dehumanising hate speech. Not helpful.

AC Harper
AC Harper
2 years ago

I have some sympathy for paedophiles and transpeople who find difficulties living their lives… but I have much more sympathy for children who cannot give consent to sex or people (mostly women) who desire safe changing rooms, bathrooms, and sports events.
The Woke methodology appears to be prioritising the wants of the individual over the expectations of the general population – and although this shtick has worked for them in securing their power to control others the Woke are running out of victims to support. Hence their more and more desperate flailings. I guess they will eventually have to stomp off into the garden and eat worms. Soy based meatless worms, of course.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Don’t be so sure. Evil knows no bounds. That’s why we need laws.

Kathleen Stern
Kathleen Stern
2 years ago

The decaying of western civilisation and the constant pushing against the Christian morals that defined it. The attempted cancellation of reason,and the attempted destruction of sexual boundaries. Just depressing and abhorrent.I really fear for the future of my grandchildren. It isn’t ‘progressive’ but corrupt.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Kathleen Stern

It’s only happening because we are allowing it. We’ve been cowed by these people into accepting their narrative, their language and their validation. We all self censor, and qualify everything we say, to ensure were not called a racist or a transphobic – as if calling someone a ‘bad’ with is the worst thing that could ever happen. Personally I’d rather be called an islamophobe than accept the gang rape of kids, or a racist than get rid of the police or stop and search.
It’s like the modern day version of medieval priests, heresies and torches avd pitchforks mobs.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

How do we not allow it? Where is our power when even government flirt with it.

Karl Francis
Karl Francis
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

As usual, right on the money!

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Kathleen Stern

I fear for mine as well but I can influence them to a certain extent, but the choice is theirs. Unfortunately the parents are not fully aware of what is happening and I have been shocked a few times.

Alison Tyler
Alison Tyler
2 years ago
Reply to  Kathleen Stern

I fear for mine as well, as it is impossible to predict how things may develop . I do live in hope of reason and sanity.

Cristina Bodor
Cristina Bodor
2 years ago
Reply to  Kathleen Stern

Authors like Aayan Hirsi Ali keep us from losing all hope. Very grateful for their work!

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago

I agree with the general tenor of this article, but people seeking treatment for these filthy urges so that they don’t act on them deserve consideration.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

However, to say that watching child porn stops them from acting upon their desires ignores the harm done to the children used to make it! (The professor’s answer to the problem).
Personally the only treatment I think they should be receiving is chemical castration!

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

If that worked then why not?

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

What works? Child porn? What about the children abused to make it? Driving the demand for more of it to be made and leading to more children to be abused to make more of it! Or the chemical castration? Please say the chemical castration!

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

The chemical castration of course!!!!! If it works, and it stops the abuse of kids we should do it!!! I think most people think the only cure is to put them down but unfortunately we don’t have that as an option so the question is what DO we do with these people? I am sure some of them don’t want to feel those feelings and would welcome attempts to ‘cure’ them.

Karl Francis
Karl Francis
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Damn straight!
I’m off to watch Robocop.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

Watching pornography only feeds the desire to act upon it in reality. That is the nature of porn. It is a stupid suggestion to suggest otherwise.

Emre Emre
Emre Emre
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Well said – I meant to say something similar but hadn’t found a good way to put it.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Whatever works but as a last resort they must be locked away until it is known that they are healed.

Milos Bingles
Milos Bingles
2 years ago

I’m not sure you can compare polygamy and paedophilia.
Paedophilia is a sexual preference but it’s one that society rightly has issue with. Children cant give consent. In my view we need to get to a place where these unfortunate men, and is usually men, are able to access treatment for their “condition” I really don’t think giving them child pornography is the way to go. Thats like showing a serial killer snuff movies.

A S
A S
2 years ago
Reply to  Milos Bingles

If that ever happens, I can guarantee, there will be a many thousand-fold increase in people who think they are attracted to children, just as with people who believe they are transgender.

Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
2 years ago

Activists talk of “lowering stigma”; of a minority that is “at-risk” ….

‘At risk’ of or from what? Surely the only risk to them is if they’re caught acting on their nasty desires.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
2 years ago

There was a great scene at the end of the South Park episode “Cartman Joins NAMBLA” that I think says all that needs to be said.
FBI Agent[to NAMBLA leader] We’ve been after you for a long time, buddy! Do you know your rights?
NAMBLA Leader: Rights? Does anybody know their rights? You see, I’ve learned something today. Our forefathers came to this country because…they believed in an idea. An idea called “freedom.” They wanted to live in a place where a group couldn’t be prosecuted for their beliefs. Where a person can live the way he chooses to live. You see us as being perverted because we’re different from you. People are afraid of us, because they don’t understand. And sometimes it’s easier to persecute than to understand.
Kyle: Dude, you have sex with children!
NAMBLA Leader: We are human. Most of us didn’t even choose to be attracted to young boys. We were born that way. We can’t help the way we are, and if you all can’t understand that, well, then, I guess you’ll just have to put us away.
Kyle[slowly, for emphasis] Dude. You have sex with children!
Stan: Yeah. You know, we believe in equality for everybody, and tolerance, and all that gay stuff, but dude, f*** you.
Kyle: Seriously.

E H
E H
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

NAMBLA Leader: We were born that way.

“Born that way” has a lot to answer for. An effective claim, much-copied.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  E H

Yeah we have heard that a lot. It obviates the need to change or have a conscience.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

I never cease to love South Park.

Tim Knight
Tim Knight
2 years ago

How does Professor Walker suggest the harm reduction porn is manufactured without harming the subjects?
They / Them – one of these professors is too many.

John Riordan
John Riordan
2 years ago

This view may provoke violent disagreement I know, but I do think there is something in the position taken by the social justice side of this argument. Not, I hasten to add, everything described above: paedophilia is NOT merely another sexual preference and it is emphatically NOT something for which child pornography should be prescribed as a harm reduction strategy or indeed tolerated for any reason at all.

Paedophile tendencies are quite certainly a form of mental illness, and I take this view in part from a story related in one of Matt Ridley’s articles in which a man started to develop a sexual attraction to his nieces, went to the doctor in huge distress about it (understandably, I should imagine), and after an array of tests was discovered to have a brain tumour. This was operable, removed in due course, at which point the paedophilia attraction vanished. It was then possible to use that symptom as an early warning sign, because when the unwanted attraction returned, the man was able to go straight back to hospital for another scan and sure enough, the tumour was growing again, and was again operated upon, this time with permanent effect, happily for all concerned.

The point here is that paedophiles are not evil by merely possessing such tendencies, they only become evil when they act upon them, and not all of them do this. They suffer from a neurological defect which alters the normal operation of the part of the brain that governs sexual attraction. We do not, in other circumstances, regard sick people as automatically evil, nor do we seek to punish, condemn and outlaw them, as is the present default social attitude which paedophiles experience. This is something, I suspect, which makes the social problem of paedopilia worse, because there is such stigma attached to the illness that paedophiles have little option but to hide their sickness and that inevitably means they’ll end up part of the dark web/underground network in which their sick tendencies are gratified and fed, instead of medicalised and treated.

Yes, I know that there is presently no cure for paedophilia, but there are systems by which we can socially manage the problem at least, if only society would regard it as a medical problem instead of a moral problem. Our collective unwillingness to recognise this means, I suspect, that more children become victims of this horrifying reality than would otherwise be the case, and that, surely, has to be the most important moral consideration here?

To be very clear, I do not propose that paedophilia is legitimised in any way beyond medicalising it. I absolutely do not support any measure that would use children for the purposes of gratification in any way at all, as suggested by some of the people referred to in the article above, including indirectly in the form of using pornographic images of them. All I’m saying is that we are collectively not operating the most effective system for keeping children safe from this danger: as a society we are invoking condemnation, judgementalism and moralising as a placeholder for alternative forms of action that would be far more effective and reduce more harm than the present course we have chosen to adopt.

Last edited 2 years ago by John Riordan
Richard Slack
Richard Slack
2 years ago
Reply to  John Riordan

That is absolutely correct.

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Thanks for sticking your neck out. I know it takes a bit of courage.
I think the concern is that paedophilia should become normalised. Many things were considered a sign of mental illness in the past – masturbation, female promiscuity, homosexuality etc – and these are now considered normal. Gender fluidity is undergoing a similar process, and some fear that paedophilia is following a similar trajectory.
Not everyone thinks that paedophilia is a sickness in need of a cure. Indeed, following Foucault, that sort of thinking is seen by some as a hallmark of oppression.

John Riordan
John Riordan
2 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

Good points, but this is where I revert back to agreement with Ayaan Hirsi Ali above: there is an in principle difference between paedophila and everything else on the list of things whose moral status has been emancipated in recent years: the principle of informed adult consent. Children simply cannot satisfy this condition, there is no way I can foresee that any politician would get away with enacting law that says they can, and paedophilia therefore cannot attain legitimacy by the ongoing process of social change you otherwise accurately describe.

Last edited 2 years ago by John Riordan
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Good and evil are still facts though. Not all of them have a brain tumour.

John Riordan
John Riordan
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

You’ve missed the point I’m afraid. Paedophilia in ALL cases is the result of defective brain chemistry, and it is never the fault of someone afflicted in such a way to possess that defective brain chemistry. It might not be discernable on a brain scan, but it’s there whether it can be diagnosed neurologically or not.

Good and evil is relevant to the question of how a person with this affliction chooses to act. If children become a victim of their behaviour, that is a good vs evil question (and yes, it’s evil).

Last edited 2 years ago by John Riordan
William Murphy
William Murphy
2 years ago
Reply to  John Riordan

For a therapeutic approach, perhaps the Lucy Faithfull Foundation would be one valuable resource. As I noted in another comment above, they ran their own treatment centre in Surrey from 1996 to 2003. But it treated only a small number at any one time and it was very expensive, especially for a small charity. Each patient stayed for an average of nine months secure residential care.

And there was no pretence of a “cure”, just a reduction in the strength of the illegal impulse. I do not know if any independent researchers evaluated the effectiveness of their work.

https://ecsa.lucyfaithfull.org/ratings

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago

Why is it not possible to help people with paedophilic tendencies whilst still keeping the stigma? It is stigmatised because it is morally wrong (and illegal) and if a people want help then they need to accept that it is wrong, desigmatising tends to say “hey, it’s not so bad” – how does that help them resist these terrible impulses?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago

Exactly.

Tom O'Carroll
Tom O'Carroll
2 years ago

The earlier sex offender treatment programmes in prisons, and for those on probation, took exactly the approach you suggest: they “helped” offenders by shaming and humiliating them. It turned out to be counter-productive.
Better results are obtained when a “therapeutic alliance” (to use the professional jargon) has been built between the offender and the therapist. For this to succeed the offender certainly has to agree that a crime has been committed, harm has been done and it must not happen again. Beyond that, though, there needs to be more emphasis on the individual’s potential for a better life, and how achieving it will actually help them as well as society.
The danger with the shaming approach is that people come to believe they are intrinsically bad, or that they will always be branded as such. In that case, there is a tendency to give up, and not even try to do better.

John Riordan
John Riordan
2 years ago
Reply to  Tom O'Carroll

“The danger with the shaming approach is that people come to believe they are intrinsically bad…”

Exactly, and to be honest how can we be surprised that this would be the effect? We’re talking about sexual attraction here, which none of us control, so if a certain type of attraction is deemed morally reprehensible, that moral judgement must apply to the person intrinsically.

John Riordan
John Riordan
2 years ago

Because the stigma ought to be carefully and selectively applied only to paedophiles who have acted out on their impulses. That may be most of them for all I know, but I have read elsewhere that there are many people in possession of these impulses who do not gratify them – and by that I mean nothing, not even the aberrant use of innocent images of children.

What is morally wrong here is strictly related to the potential harm of children – or at least it should be. No moral judgement should be relevant to the possession of impulses which are not under the control of those who have them, only the practical question of how to ensure such individuals do not harm others.

Sean McGrath
Sean McGrath
2 years ago

Ayaan Hirsi Ali absolutely nails it. She is spot on. The latest bit of Wokery is MAPs.. minor attracted people. They’re paedophiles. That’s the name for adults who want to interfere with and molest children. It’s illegal to do so in the West and majority of countries in the world. It needs to stay that way, as well.

Last edited 2 years ago by Sean McGrath
R S Foster
R S Foster
2 years ago

…I assume we are all familiar with the link between PIE and the NCCL (now Liberty)…at a time when Harriet Harman was their Legal Officer? These horrors have very deep roots in the left in the UK, and strong connexions with the Labour Party…

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  R S Foster

I remember Harriet Harman advocating paedophilia where there is consent, but where people have authority over you it is very difficult to withold your consent. It happened to me by a homosexual housefather. I had no recourse to anyone else who would listen without possibly opening the way to make my life hell with no obvious way out. He kept telling me I was a monster if I didn’t enjoy it. That is very powerful when you are young. Yes I think these things reside in the left including Labour but especially amongst the Lib/Dems.

Marcia McGrail
Marcia McGrail
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

I do hope that you have had recourse to justice for this vile person’s crimes?

AEC AEC
AEC AEC
2 years ago

From Michel Foucault’s entry on the progressive site that is now Wikipedia @ 12.26 UK time on 25th November 2021:

Views on underage sex and pedophilia

ï»żFoucault was a proponent of adult-child underage sex and of pedophilia, considering them a form of liberation for both actors;[185][186][187] he argued young children could give sexual consent.[188] In 1977, along with Jean-Paul Sartre, Jacques Derrida, and other intellectuals, Foucault signed a petition to the French parliament calling for the decriminalization of all “consensual” sexual relations between adults and minors below the age of fifteen, the age of consent in France.[189][190]

Words fail me. Only “Thank you Ayaan” is left.

Last edited 2 years ago by AEC AEC
Sarah H
Sarah H
2 years ago

Hannibal Lecter: “As a cannibal, I merely want the same tolerance and respect shown to me that I extend to others who don’t share my murderous taste for long pig.” NO! NO! NO! Our politicians are rolling over and accepting this crap.

JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  Sarah H

Not only that. They would tell us that we are reactionary bigots and that cannibalism, like veganism, is just a dietary choice.

Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
2 years ago

The left do most of the screaming. Ask Kyle Rittenhouse.

John Riordan
John Riordan
2 years ago

Nobody is “screaming” about the Left, though frankly I’m surprised it doesn’t happen a lot more often.

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
2 years ago

Paedophilia needs to be studied and understood, with the aim of preventing it being acted upon, but it certainly does not need to be de-stigmatised or accepted. Child porn is images of children being abused by someone, if not the person watching.
Polygamy and paedophilia go together. Men in polygamous societies often marry very young women when they are bored with the first, older one.

Martin Akiyama
Martin Akiyama
2 years ago

Ayaan Hirsi Ali writes:

‘As far back as 2017, in a PhD thesis titled Understanding Resilience Strategies among Minor-Attracted Individuals, Walker argued that paedophiles should be permitted to view child pornography as a “harm reduction technique”. Providing “easy access to a wide variety of engrossing and high-quality child pornography” could, Walker wrote, “serve as a substitute for involvement with actual victims”.’

I followed the link in the article to Walker’s PhD thesis and had a look. Nowhere in the thesis does he say that paedophiles should be permitted to view child pornography as a harm reduction technique. He also didn’t write the quote that Ayaan Hirsi Ali attributes to him.
Here is the relevant paragraph from his PhD thesis, from the section entitled “Existing Research on Minor Attracted Persons”:

‘Child pornography as a harm reduction technique has previously been theorized to be a potential strategy for MAPs to maintain abstinence from sexual contact with children. Taylor and Quayle (2003, p. 90) have suggested that individuals who view child pornography may partly choose to do so as a form of therapy, “as a way of controlling their interests,” “as a form of personal survival,” or as “a way of dealing with emotions such as anger that had no other outlet.” Similarly, Wolak, Finkelhor, Mitchell, and Ybarra (2008, p. 120) have theorized that “among some groups of predisposed individuals, easy access to a wide variety of engrossing and high quality child pornography could serve as a substitute for involvement with actual victims.”’

Walker isn’t saying that paedophiles SHOULD be permitted to use child pornography. He’s saying that OTHER PEOPLE have suggested, NOT that paedophiles SHOULD be permitted to use child pornography, but that people who DO view child pornography might do so “as a way of controlling their interests” or that for these individuals it “could serve as a substitute for involvement with actual victims”. As far as I can see, NO-ONE is saying that paedophiles SHOULD be permitted to view child pornography.
The PhD thesis does have a section entitled “Recommendations for Research, Policy and Practice”. That paedophiles should be permitted to view child pornography is NOT one of the recommendations.
The quote that Ayaan Hirsi Ali attributes to Allyn Walker is actually from the paper by Wolak, Finkelhor, Mitchell, and Ybarra.
It’s not right that Ayaan Hirsi Ali should attribute to Allyn Walker a controversial view, that he doesn’t hold, and that is likely to negatively affect his reputation and his career. I have all of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s books, and frankly, I am shocked that she would do this.
EDIT: I also emailed support@unherd.com about this, and they have now re-written that paragraph. Good for them.

Last edited 2 years ago by Martin Akiyama
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Akiyama

10 + upticks for bothering to follow the breadcrumbs so tenaciously.
I just wish more people on UnHerd would take the time and energy to expend this sort of effort.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago

Excellent article.
There used to be an organization known as NAMBLA–North American Man Boy Love Association. They made similar arguments. Turns out they were not a lobbying organization for an oppressed minority, but an organized group of paedos. FBI ultimately took them down.
Perhaps FGM should have been added to the list–this is practiced in America and the West, and the West facilitates this with a wink and a nod when young girls are shipped back to their countries of origin for this procedure.
If all cultures are equal, what’s the problem?

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

I’ve never understood why we tolerate such disgusting practices being imported into this country. How many of us had heard of FGM, honour killing, halal slaughter, beheadings, stonings, voodoo sacrifice etc etc etc 30 years ago???

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

When a “Swede” wearing jeans from Somalia falls off a balcony in the presence of her brother, it’s because the balconies are very slippery, NOT because he pushed her to uphold family honor!

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

It has come in like a wave. Even some of their their children groom and rape the white girls in Rotherham and in a lot of the big cities. Why are we so passive about these things? It went on for years whilst the police did nothing.

Last edited 2 years ago by Tony Conrad
Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
2 years ago

I’m surprised it is even under discussion. There is already an answer to arsonists, kleptomaniacs, serial killers etc to remove or “treat” their tendencies. Is wife beating or vice versa to be destigmatised? It must be natural, it happens. Unfortunately no cure yet for the disease of woke.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago

Personally, I am all for pedophiles getting help so that they don’t act on their feelings and hurt a kid. That kind of discussion doesn’t legitimise it at all IMHO. It’s if there are attempts to make it a natural normal sexual preference or ok or consensual then No No No.

William Murphy
William Murphy
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

There is an organisation, the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, which looks at ways of treating pedophilia. From 1996 to 2003 it ran its own specialist treatment facility in Surrey. I suspect it is not generously funded.

https://ecsa.lucyfaithfull.org/ratings

Last edited 2 years ago by William Murphy
Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago

As opposed to screaming what? ‘Tory scum, Nazi, fascist, racist, sexist, not my Prime Minister’?

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Maybe just not screaming! We all have political preferences but to scream about those with different preferences is simply adding to intolerance; we are all entitiled to our political views.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
2 years ago

The celebration of paedophilia advances almost daily amongst the self-proclaimed social justice warriors.

Their latest hero-victim is the serial child-molester Rosenbaum, who in spite of several convictions for sodomising boys under 12, now has his name chanted at BLM marches.

And why? Because he is their useful martyr in the campaign to demonise the now acquitted Rittenhouse as a “white-supremacist murderer” for defending himself against attack by Rosenbaum – the white BLM supporter who screamed “Kill the n-word (sic)” as he assaulted the minor Rittenhouse.

The only morality respected by such people is the advancement of their nihilistic cause.

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago

that’s a great point Douglas. i think from their perspective its actually more virtuous to have a paedophile as a martyr, than an innocent man. its a greater affront to dignity and reason for them to do so and so the team loyalty signal is even stronger for doing so.. the principal is something like “Look how noble we are we even up hold the dignity of dead paedophiles” but in realty they have compromised their personal morality a bit further in their desire to stay within their team. the truth of it is something closer to “i reject reality because my team tells me too”
some will be ignorant of the facts of Rosenbaums history or dismiss it as Fake Fox news, so they don’t all have the same motivation.

Last edited 2 years ago by George Glashan
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago

That’s not all. Back in the 1970s senior Labour Party figures fell in to the trap of supporting and giving a platform to PIE in order to burnish their left wing credentials. We should not forget who they are.

Last edited 2 years ago by Ethniciodo Rodenydo
David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago

A lot of the arguments for tolerance of minority and disadvantaged groups seem to be based on an analogy with race. Any less tolerant attitude is assumed to be analogous to a blind prejudice based on something akin to skin colour.
I’m not sure this argument has ever been a good one. It is not even clear, for example, that the idea that there are significant average differences between men and women is a blind prejudice.
i think it’s clear that if we use this analogy too easily it will lead us to places we simply do not want to go.

Sam Wilson
Sam Wilson
2 years ago

“I think it is important to use terminology for groups that members of that group want others to use for them. It is less stigmatising than other words like paedophile.”

Suppose for a minute we accept this bizarre idea – the vaguely Foucauldian notion that language is often manipulated to maintain traditional power structures and increase stigma – and allow this to become a guiding principle. We’ll now call people by what least offends them.

What’s more, let’s suppose that this goal is good – that we should be reducing stigma around minority groups in such ways.

If we accept both of these things, the quote starts to look a bit silly, doesn’t it? How does swapping the terms for the minority group do anything but continue to compartmentalize people? How do we achieve this all important goal of self-defining by breaking through constructed categories if all we’re doing is redefining our categories along the lines of “oppressor vs oppressed”?

Even if you agree with the aim, it’s hardly coherent.

JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  Sam Wilson

Foucault was himself a pedophile. He didn’t go to Tunisia for the tagine!

Tim Knight
Tim Knight
2 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

I am not sure Foucault knew what he was or indeed what anything was. But even he recognised freedom had limits. He said as much after a particularly hedonistic and ultimately, I presume, unsatisfying binge in either Switzerland or Sweden, I can’t remember which.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Sam Wilson

Can we make murder less stigmatising? We must remember there are victims here.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
2 years ago

Polygamy is a driving force behind war and slavery. By marrying more than one wife, the wealthy force the poor to find a wife through warfare and enslavement.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago

I think you are under re-acting Ayaan. The attack on marriage as between one woman and a man continues. As for the paedophilia, it is just horrific that anyone can defend it. I was subject to a homosexual paedophile for about a year or so who was supposed to be our housefather in an orphanage. Some housefather. He should be strung up in my view. The orphanage vicar was also into it to a certain extent. The damage done to children and their sexuality by these selfish people is inestimable. A spade should be called a spade. The action is evil in the greatest degree. As for watching child pornography done to children against their will is obviously very wrong. In a way the west has had more light than some other nations but their judgement will be much worse because of that. People using their authority for evil to young children is unforgivable although the children might have to forgive them to get healed. But for society to forgive them would be adding insult to injury. There needs to be serious repercussions so that justice is achieved.

Last edited 2 years ago by Tony Conrad
A S
A S
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

That is awful – I think most people don’t understand how much children suffer through such incidents – it warps your mind. I’m sure people will suggest making animated porn videos – but what of those producing such videos, thinking up concepts, editing, distributing. What is wrong with society? Some terribly wrong turn has been taken at a critical juncture and ignored ..

Gunner Myrtle
Gunner Myrtle
2 years ago

The real problem is that there is an entire rights industry – think how many professors and administrators at universities have built careers on activist causes. As they actually win the culture wars they need to find new causes. That is why trans activism is conducted with such fervour. I doubt pedophelia will be adopted – but polygamy for sure.

Charles Lewis
Charles Lewis
2 years ago

It wouldn’t take much to persude me to vote for the execution of those who abuse children sexually.

Karl Francis
Karl Francis
2 years ago
Reply to  Charles Lewis

Yep, fine with that! Guess I must be some kind of barbarian. Oh well.

A S
A S
2 years ago

Honestly, I’ve come to the conclusion that Americans (and modern culture by extension – as the US is a powerful cultural driver) are utterly obsessed with sex or sexual things so much that any endless number of subjects relating to sexual relations of any sort are seen as critical and serious matters of the highest order. I mean everyone in the world is somewhat obsessed with it, but here its at another level seeming to be *extremely* important from a very early age.

I suppose I can expect this from some backward culture organizing child marriages and concocting oppressive customs to keep the less powerful folk under dominion. My grandmother was married off at 14, a few months after my mid-forties grandfather’s second wife – her own older sister – died. My uncle was born before she turned 16. When she was married, my grandfather already had teenage and adult children from his first wife, who had also died in some childbirth event, most likely (no one remembers). My grandfather was viewed as a “nice man” but absolutely my grandmother was a disposable and exchangeable commodity. It’s clear why it’s done .. your 14-year old wife will look upon you as a superstar or be utterly dependent on you and your whims. Simple mantra – Man requires sex and power and woman requires child and protection.

New age mantra – everyone *requires* sex and power and protection. Cannot have children? It is required that you should be able to somehow have one. Whatever idea you conjure in your head – it a requirement that you should be able to act on it with full support of the entire planet or else you may get depressed and god forbid that should happen. To do without is a ridiculous notion.

I don’t know .. just step back with a ”Martian view” .. it’s absurd.

Last edited 2 years ago by A S
Jane Bray
Jane Bray
2 years ago

Walker and his like need to understand that the creation of child pornography is, in itself, an abuse of children. Who, would he suggest, is on the end of a camera instigating this kind of debasement of a child? It could only occur to someone so self-obsessed, perverse and morally corrupt to think that a child would not suffer by being made to perform any acts which could be considered ‘pornography’.
How this guy ever became a university professor is beyond comprehension, he should be in prison and chemically castrated so that he stops thinking this is “OK”. Who’s children does he honestly think we should be using to satiate is perverted desires? The University needs new management at the very least and a root and branch assessment of staff to ensure this view is stamped out and sanity returns!

Rafi Stern
Rafi Stern
2 years ago

There should be zero tolerance of people who harm others and the greater the harm the more absolute that zero tolerance must be. Woke acceptance is not what is needed, but if we do not recognise that some people have such desires and don’t want them and want help to tackle them, we may be drawing a clear moral line but the price may be preventable tragedies if only we knew who who the paedophiles were before they offended.
And the idea of providing them with child pornography so that won’t offend seems totally off as well. Computer generated images I presume. But whatever, since when has pornography prevented violence to women? So why should it help children?

Ken Charman
Ken Charman
2 years ago

We have been here before. The Paedophile Information Exchange was affiliated to the Labour party and vigorously defended by Patricia Hewitt and Harriet Harman at the National Council for Civil Liberties when it hitched a ride on progressive gay campaigns. The NCCL became “Liberty” and dropped its support in 1983. It was bound to return.

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
2 years ago

Whether, or not, child pornography reduces other paedophile acts is irrelevant: child pornography requires the abuse of the child appearing in the pornography!
While we’re on with it, let’s stop dissing sadists. Is that next?

Lucy Browne
Lucy Browne
2 years ago

“The two most disturbing causes trumpeted by modern progressives: paedophilia and polygamy
 To some extent, they can’t be compared”
No, they really can’t. So why did you compare them throughout the article?

William Murphy
William Murphy
2 years ago

This discussion keeps coming up like the bad penny. Here is Mary Eberstadt in 1996 (she wrote another article in 2009 as a sequel).

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/weekly-standard/pedophilia-chic-2623

There was the Paedophile Information Exchange in
England in the 1970s. And, as another comment below notes, there were some over liberated French intellectuals in the 1960s and 70s who wanted to abolish the age of consent.

The best article I have seen on this horrible subject was in Touchstone magazine. “Dare we get real about sex?” asked Carson Holloway. His conclusion was no, most of us dare not. Especially nice, respectable, conservative, Church going, middle class Americans. Given the moral assumptions of most of the citizens of Western countries, they have no coherent objection to paedophilia or any other perversion, inside or outside the dictionary.

They might have an almighty “yuck” reaction to the idea. But that is an unprincipled way of arguing. They accepted contraception decades ago. Then they accepted gay sex for their family members…. Er, er, maybe transgenderism isn’t so bad….

But children can’t “consent” to such a grave matter. Who says? What if nine year olds enjoy it, as Saint Peter Thatchell unwisely claimed, before backtracking….

Last edited 2 years ago by William Murphy
William Hickey
William Hickey
2 years ago
Reply to  William Murphy

Exactly. When a society holds up consent as the only bar to any kind of activity — except racial solidarity — the best strategy for those who chafe at the society’s prohibitions is to keep pushing, keep attacking.

There are no consequences for those doing the pushing, the attacking. To the contrary, funding is available.

Plus, studies show — I love that prefix as much as “experts say” — that once an individual starts to give in to the demands of others, each successive act of “consent” is given easier and easier.

The MAP-ers and their allies know what they’re doing, because they know the weaklings and appeasers they are dealing with.

Pascal Bercker
Pascal Bercker
2 years ago
Reply to  William Murphy

I followed the link in your comment. I generally agree with much of what they have to say, but I did run across this claim about to people involved:
“Bateman denied Caven’s most damning charges–that he had molested Caven from the age of 16, and that he had taken pornographic pictures of him as a legal minor.”
What does this mean exactly? When I was 16 I ran away from a completely dysfunctional home, which was in Louisiana, and went up north to another state, more than 2500km away. I was running away from the psychological abuse of my mother, and had quit high school. By the grace of god I found a family willing to take me in and I returned to high school in Massachussetts. Under NO circumstances could I have been “molested” at 16 for any length of time by anyone. At 16 I knew exactly what to do to repel unwanted touching. How can you be “molested” at 16 for any length of time – stretching into months and even years? At what age are you partly responsible for your own life? Is a 16 year old boy so bereft of agency that he can be “molested” as if he were merely a child?
I think that a distinction should be made between “child porn” and “underage porn” – and indeed the penalities for “child porn” – especially its production should be even MORE severe than it is now. But “underage porn” should be dealt with in a different way. If you put into the same category porn that involves a 15 year old as if it were porn with a 5 year old, you cannot have useful conversation because the terms of the conversation are not clearly spelled out.
Let me be clear. I believe the penalties for the production of genuine child porn should be MORE severe than they are now. But a conversation needs to be had for what constitutes genuine “child porn” as opposed to “underage porn”. Both should be illegal – but are they morally and legally equivalent?

Alison Tyler
Alison Tyler
2 years ago

What about polyandry, are there those who wish to pursue it, I never hear any interest in why this might be a positive option?
What about existing spouses who do not want to share the original husband? I have never heard of any women who have valued the experience of several competitors, Only from those who have escaped from it .
Destigmatising paedophilia or even changing its name removes the shock value and raises the disquietng prospect of it becoming completly acceptable for young children to be groomed and bullied, usually but not always by men for adult gratification. I have worked in criminal justice all my adult life and I was continually picking up those abused by adults whose lives were destroyed. There is no possibility of mutuality when the adult has the monopoly of both the power and the strength – and a position in society that a child cannot attain.
Has anyone queried the apparent increase in girls self identifying as men as a response to the vast increase pornography, in order not become victim fodder, and thereby gain a licence to behave as aggressors?
I am glad my children are adult and understand who they are.

Last edited 2 years ago by Alison Tyler
Pascal Bercker
Pascal Bercker
2 years ago

Presumed pedophiles like me do NOT seek to “normalize” pedophilia, but we do wish at least to understand it from a scientific point of view. Let me explain. 
I am writing from France, a country to which I was deported in 2018, after spending 5 years in an American prison. Though I had lived in the US for more than 50 years and had a green card, all that was revoked after my conviction. I had descended into drug addiction, alcoholism, and amphetamine abuse. My behavior became highly erratic. To this toxic brew was added chronic addiction to porn, and spiraled into despair. 
Something had gone terribly wrong. But what? It’s a long complicated story, but at the heart of it was a failure. I had failed to complete my Ph.D. thesis in 2010 when I finally gave up in despair. From 2001 to 2010 I had lost 3 teaching jobs, even an online gig with Phoenix University. Amphetamines, alcohol, GHB, despair. My drug-addled brain could not keep up. I cracked. I gave up. And then came the porn. First the legal stuff. Then the barely legal porn. And eventually the underage porn. I needed help but did not know where to turn. 
 I had been locked in an addiction-relapse cycle, familiar to drug addicts, but not just drug addicts. In moments of some clarity, as if I had woken up, I recognized what I was doing. I erased everything. Deleted the Peer-to-Peer program that I used to download this stuff. And I seemed to be more or less “cured”. Or so I thought. But the underlying issues were not resolved, and I was on my own, with no professional counseling available. My psychiatrist saw me once a month for 15 minutes, just long enough to renew my medication. I could not speak of it to him, and he just kept prescribing me Adderall for my underlying ADHD. That made things worse to the extent that it further dysregulated my Dopamine system. I started abusing Adderall and even started writing my own prescriptions until I got caught by the pharmacy. I was in the process of losing my mind to drugs, and my soul to pornography. 
The scope of the problem of underage pornography is enormous but linked, I believe, to the larger problem of pornography generally, and the consequences of porn addiction, a worldwide phenomenon. Last year, on his Making Sense podcast, philosopher Sam Harris interviewed Gabriel Dance on this epidemic of child pornography. Underage porn is consumed by tens of millions of people on a regular basis. 
I tried to stop; and did; many times. But the underlying addiction to pornography was still there. The underlying issues just festered. I was leading an utterly meaningless life. And I started downloading again, more or less indiscriminately. Files by the hundreds. Impossible to know what you get until you open the file. That’s how many get caught. Some of those files have been through the FBI system and have a Trojan horse that can get in the system and track your ISP, or your IP, or whatever. The internet-savvy know how to avoid this. I am not particularly internet savvy. I got caught and went to prison for 5 years. An inmate next to me in jail got probation for exactly the same crime. Such is the legal system in the US. He had a lawyer and a better judge. I was too poor to afford a lawyer. And my judge was also a well-known (and Christian) elected official. I had no chance. 
And then I got deported to a country I had not seen in 50 years. And my police profile is forever publicly available on google. I am unemployed and essentially unemployable at this stage, and that all seems rather draconian punishment. In my view, it is some sort of neurological and mental disorder and should be treated as such.  
I was unaware of the Challenor case until this article, and it’s a horrific read. I don’t know the details, but there’s something very clearly wrong with this person.  
 There’s much more to say about all this, but this is meant to just be a comment section and not a space for an essay, so I stop here.  
Again, I am NOT trying to normalize pedophilia, but a more nuanced discussion of what it all means might be in order so as to know what to do about it. 
If anyone is interested:  
https://pascal794.substack.com/p/reentry-work-death-space-

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago
Reply to  Pascal Bercker

And then came the porn. First the legal stuff. Then the barely legal porn. And eventually the underage porn.

Why this “progression” from legal to underage? Was your need to be more and more transgressive? And why were you not repulsed at some point, as I think most people would be? Perhaps even repulsed by your own arousal? Did you not feel self disgust? Or were you in such a place that you were almost seeking out self disgust?

Pascal Bercker
Pascal Bercker
2 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

I was repulsed … but also could not look away … once your mind is taken over by addiction, you lose your ability to reason yourself out of it. The problem is that plenty of stuff had 17-year-olds – and 16-year-olds – and 15-year-olds – and after a while you cease seeing those bright red lines you used to see. I was also alone and isolated – I had no peers to steer me back to sanity – and I was in free fall.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Pascal Bercker

That was brave to write and I am interested to see the reaction here which could be intense
. but probably not to the same extent as someone who acted on a desire. That said, the horror many people feel at the thought that people watch child porn is palpable, as the watching of it obviously creates the industry.

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago

Seconded

Pascal Bercker
Pascal Bercker
2 years ago

I should note that I did not pay for any of it – not a dime. It was all peer-to-peer file sharing. Insofar as an “industry”, I’m not sure what that really means. The vast majority of stuff I ever saw were mostly self-made – or so it seemed to me. There is very little reporting of its contents because reporters are absolutely NOT allowed to view any of it for obvious reasons. So they go with descriptions provided by the FBI. They understandably report the most horrific cases. It’s worth noting that by the FBI’s own estimate there are at least 5 or 10 million (or more) computers in the US that have material that – by law – can be classified as “child porn” – and could be grounds for prosecution. I highly recommend Sah Harris’s podcast THE WORST EPIDEMIC – about a year ago – interviewing the NYT reporter. There is a reason why pornhub massively deleted nearly 1/3 of its millions of videos recently.

Pascal Bercker
Pascal Bercker
2 years ago

Let me reiterate this fundamental fact. I met others like me in prison. But none of them paid for any of it. That’s the whole point of P2P sharing. Indeed I would never have paid for any of this. In my case, many of these videos were ancient videos that have been circulating for years. That was nearly 10 years ago in my case. But the internet has evolved while I was in prison. It seems that VPN is being used by everybody these days – why is that? Internet privacy? From what? What internet surfing habits are people trying to hide?

A S
A S
2 years ago
Reply to  Pascal Bercker

People use VPN to protect financial/identity data and credit cards from being stolen.

Ian French
Ian French
2 years ago

A surprising amount of pontification below about this subject. But generally absent is any concern for childrens’ feelings about being sexualised early by their adult guardians. Not many of who have experience of it will look back fondly on it, if they haven’t managed to supress the memories.

kevin austin
kevin austin
2 years ago

All we need to know is this:
passive homosexual (also: catamiteboy concubine)
Ù…ÙŽŰŁÙ’ŰšÙˆÙ† [maÊŒbĆ«n] {noun}
is prevalent throughout Muslim Culture. The ACTIVE partner is not considered homosexual. Most boys are treated as such until they reach puberty and “become a man”.