This piece is a companion to the Dean-O-Files podcast #41, published 6/18. It can be found on Alternative Internet Radio.
This article is probably going to be as hard for you to read as it was for me to write. The topic herein is dark, scary, and real. I believe the best way to deal with dark, scary, real topics is to detach, intellectualize, and attempt to understand them on a logical level before making emotional arguments. And this topic is highly emotional.
I have recently seen people I consider friends online fighting against a very real cultural threat. My views on the best way to fight this cultural threat depart from many of my friends, so I’m primarily writing this to provide insight into what I think will be an easy, rational, and (most importantly) effective way to wage this particular war.
Deep, calming breaths.
Let’s center ourselves.
Here we go.
The normalization of pedophilia is happening, and I am against it. Full stop.
There are a number of online activists, bloggers, and public intellectuals who are pushing for the acceptance of those who call themselves Minor Attracted Persons (MAPs). The most frightening and prevalent motivation for this movement seems to be the assumption that pedophilia is a sexual orientation belonging in the same context as LGBT+. These MAPs see themselves as no different from The Gays™ and feel that their sexual proclivities should be accepted as such. Primarily, these activists call themselves “Non-Offending MAPs,” meaning that they don’t touch kids.
I am going to be very honest here. At the end of that last paragraph, I had an overwhelming desire to type the word “Yet.” I say this because I’m sure some of you filled it in for yourself. Like I said, I wanted to. However, part of my approach to this is to accept the arguments on their own merits. In order to remain intellectually honest, I have to assume that “Non-Offending MAPs” are telling the truth. Let me tell you what that means to me.
“Non-Offending MAP” translates, in my mind, to “a person who has an urge to hurt a kid, a desire that is tied to core human instincts, but doesn’t act on that urge because they know there would be consequences.” This operates in much the same way that highly functional sociopaths often learn what empathetic human behavior is without feeling the motivations for those behaviors. They can operate in society, but not for the same reasons as those who are more neurologically average.
Let's pause here and get a couple of things out of the way.
The first is what exactly I’m talking about when I say “pedophilia.” There are numerous paraphilias that involve development, called chronophilias, and they are largely broken down into three types. Pedophilia, hebephilia, and ephebophilia. Pedophilia is the sexual attraction to prepubescent children, hebephilia is the sexual attraction to early pubescent children, and ephebophilia is the sexual attraction to late-stage or post pubescent children, typically ages 15-19. That last one is where the conversation can get grey. I have no problem calling a 40-year-old’s attraction to a 16-year-old gross, but the ethical implications of that can be argued, especially across cultures.
I want to be very clear. When I say “pedophilia,” I’m talking about pedophilia primarily, and hebephilia secondarily. I am not addressing, and will not address, ephebophilia here.
The second thing I have to discuss is the origin of pedophilia.
To put it simply, we’re not sure where pedophilia comes from. More than likely, the causes are numerous. Some variations have been linked to pedophilia, though. Pedophiles, like many serial killers, have a higher probability of having sustained a head injury in childhood which caused the loss of consciousness. Many male pedophiles have been found to have a lower volume of white-matter in the brain, and neuroimaging studies have shown several variances in neurological activity among pedophiles that are different from the neurologically average.
The possibility of a genetic component exists as well. This does not necessarily mean there is a “pedophile gene.” Genetics is more complicated than that. It could, however, mean that an interplay among various genes may predispose someone to pedophilic attraction. One, some, or all of these factors may be present in specific pedophiles, but I’m explaining this to make one thing perfectly clear: it is possible, even likely, that pedophiles are born, not made.
Try not to be resistant to this notion on the basis that the LGBT+ community claims the same thing. LGBT+ relationships that are consensual are no one else's business, but kids can't consent. Pedophilia can not be viewed in the same context as LGBT+ relationships. That said, the simple fact remains: neurology and genetics play a commanding role in every single aspect of human personality and behavior. I’m not defending pedophilia, I’m presenting the facts.
Now that this is contextualized, what comes next? Remember, I am solution focused, and...
I think there are two things that can be done to arrest the normalization of pedophilia.
The first requires me to call on my friends in the LGBT+ community, such as it is. I am aware that many of my LGBT+ friends are averse to the idea that their sexual orientation or gender identity should be seen as the totality of who they are. I agree with you all. The simple fact, though, is that a refusal to accept pedophilia into the LGBT+ community would mean nothing coming from me. It would matter coming from you. I ask this because the avenue I am seeing pedophiles take in pursuit of normalization is through the LGBT+ movement. They want to insert themselves among the letters, such that a refusal to accept their “preference” would be tantamount to homophobic bigotry. The only people who can stop this are LGBT+ people themselves. With the understanding that it is not fair of me to do so, I ask my LGBT+ friends to do what they can. This needs to be a concerted effort because I think that, if the LGBT+ community accepts this, it will never be beaten.
(Quick side note: most LGBT+ people will likely agree with the above, but SJW culture, collectively, is a different thing entirely. It will be interesting to see if the SJW ethos draws the line at a desire to hurt children.)
The second thing we can do to stem this tide is directed at everyone. We need to be smarter. The way I see it, genetic and neurological disorders are not best left untreated, nor are they to be accepted or encouraged. When someone presents a genetic or neurological disorder, it is expected that the disorder will be addressed, treated, or (if there is no treatment) studied. Additionally, I believe sunlight is the best disinfectant. This is why I am against censorship, in all its forms. We have to understand that the fact that these people are coming up for air is a good thing. We can not, then, attempt to shove them back into the shadows. If we do that, pedophiles will stay hidden, victims will stay hidden, and the science regarding this harmful disorder can never advance.
However, if this issue becomes a public conversation, we can point these people to treatment. We have an opportunity help sick people. The biggest problem with mental health in our society is that we stigmatize the people who go get help. As a sufferer of depression and anxiety, when I say that I like to go to therapy every few years, people look at me like I’m a serial killer. That has to change. We have to make it ok to get help. We have to encourage getting help. When a person argues for the normalization of pedophilia, we have to make it clear that this is a sickness, a dangerous disease, a desire to hurt a child, and getting treatment is not only good, but expected. This is the only rational way to solve this problem.
I am aware that many people, even people who I consider friends, may disagree with me. I am sure I will be accused of defending pedophiles, simply because I see the disorder for what it is. A disorder.
And I. Don’t. Care. This is how we fix what's broken. This is how we win. Anything else is counter-productive.