Humble or haughty, nasty is naughty

When New York-based journalist Paul Willis, from a newish online outfit called VICE News, emailed me early in December, I was not overly excited by his proposition.
In fact, I found it a bit depressing, albeit worthy of attention. He wanted to know about paedophiles who suffer from depression. Well, many do, of course. Nothing surprising about that given the stigma and oppression we have to put up with, even if we behave like saints. Mercifully for me, I am blessed with a generally optimistic and cheerful disposition: I may be down, but never for long. So I thought I was probably not the best person to help with this important story, and decided to pass it on to friends at the Forum for Understanding Minor Attraction (FUMA), which has mental health at the heart of its mission.
One very significant contribution they made was to give Willis an excellent article by FUMA co-founder Stephen James, which highlights how MAPs’ mental health problems are often exacerbated by unsympathetic and ignorant “therapy”.
What I did not know at the time, unfortunately, but I should have guessed, was that Willis had also been in touch with the Virtuous Pedophiles. And his article, when it appeared just over a week ago, was firmly anchored to the VP narrative. Ironic, huh? Virtue favoured by VICE! Titled “Realising You’re a Paedophile Can Make You Want to Kill Yourself”, it was fine in its sympathy for non-offenders. It made the important point that the stigma and consequent social isolation faced by many MAPs can be hugely damaging.
But what sort of damage? While a high rate of suicidality was rightly mentioned, the main emphasis was on the dread possibility that some MAPs might be radicalised and turn towards “extreme stances” like that of “a notorious pressure group called the Paedophile Information Exchange, which advocated abolishing consent laws completely”. The article also mentions support for “children’s sexual self-determination” as part of a belief system by which “most of us are understandably horrified”.
Some of this excoriation is the journalist’s own, but much of it comes straight from Virtuous Pedophiles Todd Nickerson (formerly online as “Markaba”), who may be remembered from a recent Salon article, and also a guy called “Brett”, said to be a VP moderator. Brett said he had “nothing but disdain and contempt” for “pro-contacters”, among whom he named me personally.
I have no trouble living with Brett’s disapproval but being branded “pro-contact” is another matter entirely because it slyly misrepresents those of us who would like to see cultural changes and legal reforms leading to the possibility of sexual self-determination for all. It falsely implies we favour ignoring the law in favour of sexual “contact” at any price. Others here, notably Dissident and Stephen6000, have favoured the expression “pro-choice”. Even VP co-founder Ethan Edwards, who also figures in the VICE piece, has expressed reservations over the “pro-contact” description. In a comment on Heretic TOC last year as Ethane72, he more reasonably spoke of “pro-legalisation”.
To outsiders this might seem a trivial distinction, like the minuscule differences in Monty Python’s Life of Brian between a bunch of fissiparous liberation groups in Roman-occupied Judea. When they are exhorted to stop squabbling among themselves so they can fight “against the common enemy,” the foe they first think of is not the Romans but the Judean People’s Front! Freud, in his Civilization and Its Discontents, called it  “the narcissism of small differences”.
Is there a way of avoiding such differences and fighting together for a better society? If it were down to relatively sensible people like Ethan it might be possible. In reality, though, we have irreconcilable purists on our own side, and on the VP side there are Rottweilers like Brett who prefer the language of “disdain and contempt” to seeking common cause. Referring to “pro-contacters”, he is quoted as saying:  “It’s partly because of that crowd so many people are unwilling to listen to me and paedophiles like me.”
One interesting message we may read between the lines here is that even though the VPs are clearly having it pretty much entirely their own way in the media, the battle for hearts and minds among MAPs is another matter: we pro-choice or pro-reform folk, who together identify as the Kind community, appear at least to be holding our ground in the ideological front-line against “virtuous” thinking.
And with that in mind, it’s time for a despatch from another part of the battlefield: Sexnet.
The fun kicked off when Nick Devin, co-founder of VP, posted a link to the VICE article on the Sexnet forum, which as regulars here may recall is an email information exchange and discussion group primarily for senior researchers and clinicians in the fields of sexual biology, psychology and behaviour, with a small seasoning of sexual minority activists, journalists and other odd bods in the mix – a blend whose composition is in the gift of the moderator, psychology professor Mike Bailey.
Now what y’all need to know about Nick is that like Uriah Heap in Charles Dickens’ novel David Copperfield, he is really, really humble. His shtick is to ingratiate himself with the experts at Sexnet by never, ever questioning their wisdom or expertise. He doesn’t need to, of course. The VP line is that society is right to condemn child-adult sexual relationships, so why would he argue with the big cheeses on Sexnet who do research showing what is “wrong” with paedophiles’ brains, or who test and refine sex offender treatment programmes?

“When I was quite a young boy,” said Uriah, “I got to know what umbleness did, and I took to it. I ate umble pie with an appetite. I stopped at the umble point of my learning, and says I, ‘Hard hard!’ When you offered to teach me Latin, I knew better. ‘People like to be above you,’ says father, ‘keep yourself down.’ I am very umble to the present moment, Master Copperfield, but I’ve got a little power!”

Just like Heap the Creep, Nick has learned to play his ignorance like a fiddle, making a virtue of it, as of so much else. So when he posted that link on Sexnet to Willis’s VICE piece, he did so in the most “umble” way possible, offering no comment or opinion of his own. And what a cunningly powerful tactic that turned out to be, enabling him to disseminate smears against alleged “pro-contacters”, including “disdain and contempt” for me as a named fellow Sexnet member, without so much as a word, as it were, from his own mouth.
Honour bound to reply, I rebuked VP for their smear tactics and Nick for his personal role in promoting them. Which unfortunately allowed Nick to play the “umble” injured innocent: What me? Begging your pardon, good sirs, I am just the ’umble messenger. Why are you being so ’orrible to depressed paedophiles? Why are you being ’ateful towards us VPs?
He even cited a taxonomy of MAPs devised by Ethan Edwards, ranging from “hands-on offenders” at one end to “anti-contact” at the other. Specifically praised are those near the out-and-out anti-contact end who are “humble/laid back: Leaves it up to society to figure out appropriate ages of consent, realizing that they have a selfish interest in lower ones, and maybe it actually does cloud their thinking, so they set that aside.”
I’ll come back to that question of “selfish interest”, and how supposedly “pro-contact” paedophiles “rationalise” our beliefs, another time. For now, though, I would just note that our guest blogger Lensman has a superb new blog on this theme at his own website, Consenting Humans.
Anyway, as you might expect, I replied to Nick’s ’umble observations, including his further accusations that I was ignoring data favourable to VP and misrepresenting his organisation. My riposte proved too much for the least ’umble figure on Sexnet by far, the toweringly arrogant James Cantor, who has long been a near ubiquitous presence in VP’s media campaigns.
Cantor was volcanic.

“I do not believe O’Carroll belongs on Sexnet,” he thundered. “…despite years of mere argumentativeness, O’Carroll has presented no actual information, just twisted misreadings of what someone else said, leading us to waste time untwisting it back into what we did say.  No one can or will learn anything from rhetorical games.”

Yes, well, we know James of old, don’t we? Those who have been around here a while will recall that my “no actual information” back in 2012 included a critique of his brain-imaging research, which had supposedly shown a “deficiency” in the white matter part of paedophiles’ brains. My critique was supported by a British neuroscientist who blogs as Neuroskeptic. But that didn’t stop Cantor – or Jimmy “the Screamer” Cantori, notorious hit-person of the Toronto mafia, as I dubbed him – from denouncing me as “an impostor”, with the implication that only accredited scientists should talk about science (except, of course, in an ever so ’umble way!)
As Cantor is one of the biggest of the big guns on Sexnet, it might be supposed this latest screaming denunciation would see me being shown the Red Card. But no! Purely ad hominem attack, which this was, is generally frowned upon in the forum, and Mike Bailey was not overly swayed. He wrote:

“Tom O’Carroll is on SEXNET because he knows stuff and because he has a principled position that, although I don’t entirely agree with it, is good for sex researchers to hear, if they listen. He has also sometimes been exceedingly patient with those here who clearly think he’s wrong and distasteful. (This patience, unfortunately, has never extended to Nick Devin and Ethan Edwards.)
“The intellectual divide between Tom’s and Nick’s/Ethan’s views is interesting, and I’ve learned things reading them (and I haven’t always agreed with either side). The debate invariably gets personal to some degree, but not so much that I generally need to get involved. It’s understandable, sometimes, like in the present case. I happen to know that Nick forwarded that article because of Tom’s quote, which he found striking, rather than because of what the VP member said about disliking Tom. But it is understandable that Tom thought otherwise.”

As you can see, Mike exonerates Nick from ulterior motives. He could be right, but I don’t think even a psychology professor can just “happen to know” with any degree of confidence whether a person’s stated reason for doing something is the real or only one. Neither can I, to be fair. Having watched Nick’s manoeuvrings for years now, though, it is hard not to be suspicious.
Mike closed with a call for “future examples of intellectual calmness and generosity” on both sides. Following this, one item soon arose on which there was some modest scope for agreement with the VPs. This time Nick posted a link to a new article titled “Can Child Dolls Keep Pedophiles from Offending?” I commended it as an interesting piece, and noted that Heretic TOC had blogged in similar vein last October. This piece, as I don’t think I have mentioned before, was taken up by several of the tabloids in Britain: the Sun, Mirror and Express. These stories were all of the twisted, warped, vile, sick pervert variety, as may be imagined, which suggests that the VPs and their allies in the media may be far better placed to get this particular idea taken seriously than any “pro-choice” supporters will be able to bring about any time soon.
 
RADICAL CASE IN RUSSIAN
Congratulations to the latest translator of Paedophilia: The Radical Case, who emailed today to tell me he has completed a Russian version of the book. It is now online here, although I don’t suppose many of us will be able to read it, including me. I can tell you the title, though, which is rendered as
???????????? ??????????. After that comes the “Author’s preface to the Russian translation”, which looks like this: ????????? ??????????? ? ???????? ????????. I can’t see it topping the charts for Russian reading this month, but I like the thought that after all these years someone would think it worth making such a big effort to give them the chance to give it a whirl.
 
DAVID BOWIE IN TROUBLE
Meanwhile, David Bowie’s new album Blackstar surely will be a posthumous chart-topper. But that doesn’t mean he can just relax up there in Heaven, confident his reputation is secure, oh no. Unlike Jimmy Savile, who was able to rest in peace for almost a whole year before accusations of child sexual abuse began to surface via a TV documentary, the Bowie bashers are already at work. We now have The dark side of David Bowie, a story in Salon by culture editor Erin Keane, in which she takes the vaunted genius to task for his “history of sex with underaged groupies in the ’70s”. But his one named “victim”, Lori Mattix, says it was consensual so, hey, no problem!
 

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A.

I went with the 8% because it was the high-end figure arrived at by the biggest studies I could find. This study, for example http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20110218135832/http://rds.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs05/hors293.pdf found that excluding uncertain cases reduced the rate to 2.5%, but I was trying to be conservative and so went with the original figure of 8.2%, rounding it down to 8%. FBI figures for 1996 — likely a better source as all the rest of my figures are from the US — also put it at 8%. However, that is twenty years ago now, and things have changed. The proportion of rape reports to rapes was 33%, not 46%, until recently. This study http://icdv.idaho.gov/conference/handouts/False-Allegations.pdf by David Lisak et al. — Lisak’s research on undetected rapists is the gold standard right now — is based on allegations at “a major university in the Northeastern United States” during the period 1998-2007 and came up with a rate of 5.9%. (The paper starts with a handy summary of previous such studies.) However, 2007 is nine years ago now. I don’t think anybody has done a systematic study of what is happening at the moment on university campuses.
In the original post, I added: “Furthermore, according to the FBI, if you are reported for rape you stand a 26% chance of being arrested, a 20% chance of being prosecuted and an 11% chance of being convicted. I would guess — well, I would certainly hope — that a lot of false reports are caught at some stage. The arrest is probably where your life collapses around your ears. The average man has about a 1 in 720 chance, maximum, of this happening to him.” But you are the one here who has been smacked around by the long arm of the law. I could well be talking straight through my hat in that bit.

A.

Thanks, very interesting. The main point of that article seems to be summarised in this sentence: “The respondents were older, differed in meaningful ways from ‘traditional’ college students, and may well have been mostly reporting rapes that had nothing to do with college anyway.” Sure. It would be a bad idea to treat Lisak’s paper as a good study of the typical campus rape in the US. We are still waiting for such a study. But I don’t think that Lisak’s paper puts itself forward as one: the title is simply ‘Repeat Rape and Multiple Offending Among Undetected Rapists’ (here is the paper: http://www.wcsap.org/sites/www.wcsap.org/files/uploads/webinars/SV%20on%20Campus/Repeat%20Rape.pdf). In my view its main and most important finding is that a majority of rapes are committed by a small minority of men who rape multiple times. And this finding has been replicated with a different population, in McWhorter et al.’s ‘Reports of Rape Reperpetration by Newly Enlisted Male Navy Personnel’ (https://www.ncherm.org/documents/McWhorterVV2009.pdf).

A.

So is mine, and I would be stunned if in this instance what is true of teleiophile men were not generalisable to MAPs.

A.

Oh, actually, here’s a report on a small recent study from Harvard: http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2015/10/2/reported-rapes-nearly-doubles/ Reported rapes increased from 17 in 2013 to 33 in 2014; I think that may well deserve ‘epidemic’, though with studies over such a short time period there is always the risk, however small, that we are looking at a blip. 6/33 reports, or 18.2%, were classified as unfounded.

Dissident

This is a response to A down in a lower thread, to prevent the discussion from thinning to anorexic proportions:
I crunched the numbers on here once and it seems that men are far and away more likely to be raped themselves than they are to be falsely accused of rape.
The thing is, regarding my main concern, is that more and more false accusations are likely to occur – and, in fact, have been occurring lately – if the system actually creates a built-in bias towards believing specific types of accusations made by women against men without major (or any) concern for evidence or investigation, solely based upon the sentimentally-based concern for ensuring that all guilty men are pretty much guaranteed to be punished, along with the opinion that any number of innocent men who end up prosecuted are considered the equivalent of “acceptable losses” if that’s what it takes to appease these concerns. This only serves to encourage an increasingly great amount of the less scrupulous and emotionally unstable women in the world to resort to such behavior for the purpose of hurting men they dislike or disagree with, to gain attention and sympathy (note how much sympathy the accuser in the Virginia University fiasco continued to receive even after it was revealed she lied), and to invert the power discrepancies in our society rather than alleviating them. It also creates very serious precedents for compromising the most important aspects of American jurisprudence. Further, it sets men and women against each other rather than favoring universal principles of justice that are supposed to apply to all people equally; this effectively mutates the legal system into something more akin to a game designed to send “messages” rather than putting priority upon getting to the truth of any given case or accusation.
However rare it may have been for women to falsely accuse men of rape in the past, these biased PC attitudes and trends in the system are creating a socio-political climate towards making them increasingly less rare. I think strong evidence that this is the case is provided by examples like the Virginia University case: despite the fact that sexual assault by men against women on college campuses is indeed a real and serious problem, an increasing trend towards making up such stories and false allegations rather than promoting the many annual examples of real cases to seek justice for women and to foster widespread social awareness of the problem is beginning to occur.
Also, you will note that the number of women sexually assaulted by other women on the campus environment (or elsewhere) is rarely, if ever, reported upon or made an issue of. This omission in the media strongly implies a misandrist agenda rather than one based on a sincere call for justice to female rape victims. I have personally known more than my share of women who were sexually assaulted by other women, or by a group of people that included one or more women who were directly involved (sometimes taking advantage of the fact that a woman is more likely to accept a drink from someone they do not know at a party if that person happens to be a woman).
And the matter of men who are sexually assaulted by women is routinely treated as something to joke about, including fictionalized depictions in film or TV being provided for laughs rather than serious commentary. I was once sexually assaulted by a woman who had become obsessed with me, and one of the things that angered me the most about it was my realization that I would more likely be criticized by people for rejecting her advances than her being taken to task for anything whatsoever.

A.

You are absolutely right in all you say, of course. And I’m very sorry to hear you were sexually assaulted.
You say: “…the number of women sexually assaulted by other women on the campus environment (or elsewhere) is rarely, if ever, reported upon or made an issue of…” Indeed, and prison, or other, rape of men by other men is apparently a big old joke. (I would like to point out though that there are many women on the staff and board of directors of Just Detention International.)
By the way, not only are women more likely to accept a drink at a party from another woman, it is routine to ask another woman to watch your drink for you if you have to go to the toilet etc.

Dissident

This is a response to Ethan’s last response to me in a thread down below, since that thread was getting mighty skinny.
Under such a wall of verbiage I have no choice but to offer my total and abject surrender. 🙂
You mean, my wall of verbiage in response to your own wall of verbiage? No doubt, dude! Did I expect a “surrender”? Nope, as you noted yourself, this is for the benefit of others who have yet to see us do this merry-go-round before.
You and I have been over this ground before — though with this level of self-righteousness wailing violins will not do for accompaniment — surely a full orchestra is needed.
No doubt to you, defending the principles that the American system of justice are supposed to uphold, and what liberalism is supposed to support, is nothing less than “self-righteous”, my esteemed sparring partner. So, I don’t need to borrow your violins for this 🙂
Just two points, for the benefit of other readers:
1. I recognize that society may have gone too far in diluting “innocent until proven guilty” — yet I maintain that there will always be a significant risk of sending innocent people to jail in any remotely workable system.

So, we shouldn’t try to minimize that problem/imperfection as far as possible by opposing as many laws and policies that would pretty much guarantee numerous such obstructions of justice?
This can be from judicial corruption if nothing else, and there is much else. Your ponderous exhortations for justice above all are irrelevant to that point.
In my view, Ethe, I don’t believe you can ever be too ponderous in your defense of justice, especially when there are so many individuals and platforms insisting it be torn down for some perceived “greater good.” We lose our diligence for defending the principles which the U.S. Constitution and rules of jurisprudence are supposed to be based on at our peril. I hope that wasn’t too self-righteous for you.
2. I have never proposed any relaxed standard of proof on the issue of whether sexual activity took place — I do not favor taking the word of girls over men, and I suspect we agree society has gone too far on that particular point. My support for penalties concerns only the issue of willingness, consent, and/or regret for activity that indisputably took place, and thus men have a surefire way to stay safe by not engaging in such activity.
Bingo. Isn’t that what I essentially said that you said, Ethan? If I read you right, it still seems like you are arguing that a girl’s word should always be taken over that of a man if the issue of consent for sexual activity is called into question, which you seem to fully admit acts as a strong deterrent for men engaging in such activity. In other words, as a strong deterrent to doing something that you and contemporary mainstream consensus finds thoroughly offensive.
You basically appear to come off as saying, “Offend us by engaging in such activities at your own risk, guys, because if any girl ever accuses you of anything, we’re going to take her word for it, no questions asked. And if you don’t like it, and you think that gives girls too much of an advantage, well, then it’s not the fault of the system that you were born male, and it’s not our fault you engaged in an activity that you know we will jump at the first excuse to penalize you for.” All sarcasm aside, that sounds like precisely what you are saying, Ethan. And in all honesty, I can just imagine what type of precedent that will set, considering we already have women lying about being raped, and having modern liberals of your stripe continuing to defend them even if it does turn out to be a lie because of the “greater issue” it represents. Recent case in point is the notorious Rolling Stone fiasco:
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/12/everything-we-know-uva-rape-case.html
http://abovethelaw.com/2015/08/3-lies-that-linger-even-after-rolling-stones-uva-rape-story-was-debunked/
Note that even though the above links refer to the recent Rolling Stone case as a failure of journalistic ethics, this can easily be extrapolated to the law making the same assumptions as the media, especially since the law and the media often work hand-in-hand on these matters. Just imagine if the police investigation of this case operated according to the policies you suggest.
Note also that the author of the second linked article, Tamara Tabo, is a woman who is fully egalitarian and in no way agrees that it’s okay to throw men under the bus, and not to require an investigation, simply based on a specific type of allegation from a woman (or a girl, as the case may be). Is she self-righteous for interpreting justice in this manner? I disagree that she is, and I disagree that I was being self-righteous with insisting that principles of justice need to trump laws or policies based on sentiment or sending a “message.”

stephen6000

Dissident has done a pretty good job of defending my points, but Tom has kindly given me permission to add a couple of quick things.
First, in response to my argument that punishing benign cases of adult/child sex as part of a strategy to prevent the malign ones is unfair, Ethan points out that any criminal justice system has its innocent victims, since even the best designed and best managed system is going to produce occasional miscarriages of justice. My response is that I think we HAVE to have some kind of criminal justice system, as the alternative is probably anarchy in the sense of a free-for-all in which the weak are at the total mercy of the strong and there is complete absence of security. But we do not HAVE to include within its provisions any laws about interpersonal relationships other than those directed against violence, fraud, theft and so forth. If we do so, then the best reason we would have is that we think there would be a net benefit in this and, given the general drawbacks of ‘moral’ legislation (see, for example, H.L.A. Hart’s ‘Law, Liberty and Morality’), I do not think we are justified in believing this.
Second, I want to note—indeed savour–the fact that Ethan no longer says that sex between adults and children is wrong AND ALWAYS WILL BE. I consider that progress!

ethane72

I appreciate you recognizing that flaws in the administration of justice are inevitable and we are in the land of costs and benefits.
“But we do not HAVE to include within its provisions any laws about interpersonal relationships other than those directed against violence, fraud, theft and so forth. If we do so, then the best reason we would have is that we think there would be a net benefit”
Morality beyond that of violence and the basic idea of “fraud” is not a factor in my thinking. Yet if many minors end up recognizing they were willing but nonetheless feel there was fraud, and if very few complain that laws prohibited them from having relationships they wanted, that’s the beginning of the argument for net benefit. If you add the benefit to large numbers who would not consent but yet be unable to prove they didn’t consent, I think it’s a compelling case.
“I want to note—indeed savour–the fact that Ethan no longer says that sex between adults and children is wrong AND ALWAYS WILL BE. I consider that progress!”
I believe I stopped using that expression 2 to 3 years ago, but I’m always happy to take note of agreement where it exists.

Dissident

I appreciate you recognizing that flaws in the administration of justice are inevitable and we are in the land of costs and benefits.
I don’t think that Stephen meant that such flaws should just be tolerated, or that they can in fact serve the greater good. Based on the quote of his which you excerpted below, I think he clearly meant to say that these flaws should be minimized, and controls on personal choices should be limited to personal harm that is demonstrable. I don’t think his use of the term “net benefit” was intended to agree with the way you utilize it, but I’ll leave it Stephen to confirm.
Morality beyond that of violence and the basic idea of “fraud” is not a factor in my thinking. Yet if many minors end up recognizing they were willing but nonetheless feel there was fraud, and if very few complain that laws prohibited them from having relationships they wanted, that’s the beginning of the argument for net benefit. If you add the benefit to large numbers who would not consent but yet be unable to prove they didn’t consent, I think it’s a compelling case.
And as I noted, I think it’s a compelling case that taking away the requirement for evidence, and allowing convictions based on little more than accusations and sentiment alone, sets up a very draconian precedent that only encourages the less scrupulous and/or emotionally stable individuals belonging to the minority group in question to do precisely what Tamara Tabo discussed in regards to the University of Virginia scam reported and promoted by Rolling Stone. As she noted very strongly, no group of people’s right to fairness in the courts should be sacrificed for the perceived benefit of another.
Here are Ms. Tabo’s words quoted verbatim about the UVA situation, and please note how easily it can be extrapolated to the situation we’re talking about here, which I believe are intimately connected to the campus rape concern (hence, I pre-emptively disagree with Ethan if he opines that this is a totally unrelated topic with no bearing on this discussion):
“In the bad old days, both men and women searched for ways to make a sexual assault the fault of the female victim. Even if a woman was herself the victim, she might blame herself for dressing a certain way, trusting a certain person, visiting a certain location. They internalized their own oppression.
“When men say that it doesn’t matter whether a woman is telling the truth about a sexual assault because what really matters is the “big issue,” those men have internalized their own oppression too. They’ve adopted the attitude that any harms done by a woman lying about a rape are not important. They’ve bought into the lie that “good guys” continue to focus on the suffering of women, even when facts suggest that a woman has inflicted suffering on men she has falsely accused.
“A man blaming “campus rape culture” or “the patriarchy” or whatever instead of blaming an alleged rape victim whose story unravels is no more noble than a woman telling another woman that she must have been “asking for it” if she was raped.”
As an esteemed graduate of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University and current head of the Center for Legal Pedagogy at Texas Southern University, I think Ms. Tabo’s words should be considered, as a person who takes American jurisprudence seriously. I would also point out how she is clearly critiquing the attitude of the contemporary form of PC liberals that canonizes any sentimentally perceived underdog group and demonizes men (in in our case, specifically adult men) by suggesting that the rights of the latter should be sacrificed for the perceived benefit of the former.
I believe I stopped using that expression 2 to 3 years ago, but I’m always happy to take note of agreement where it exists.
I honestly do not see that as agreement with you, Ethan, so much as Stephen simply acquiescing that imperfections will exist. From what I read, he doesn’t appear to be acquiescing to, let alone justifying, certain problems with the justice system that you don’t seem to feel are actually problems at all. But again, I invite him to clarify, just as I encourage him to read Ms. Tabo’s article.

ethane72

I am deeply concerned with the changes in the handling of college rape allegations and the tendency (as you note) to assume men are guilty. I share your worries. None of what I propose would make prosecution or harassment of men easier than it is today or has been at any time in the past 50 years, as far as I know. While I am for relaxing some laws related to this issue, there are others I am not. I am not for making any of them more stringent. So, yes, I believe the Virginia scandal is entirely irrelevant to evaluation of my beliefs.

Dissident

Thank you for presenting your opinion on the Virginia University situation.
So, yes, I believe the Virginia scandal is entirely irrelevant to evaluation of my beliefs.
I would only agree the Virginia University scandal is irrelevant to your beliefs on this matter if you didn’t agree that every time an underaged girl claimed a contact was not consensual and the man involved claimed the opposite, then former should always be assumed telling the truth with no need for an investigation, just to make sure the man goes to prison if he is guilty (in other words, guilt by accusation & assumption rather than good evidence or proof). Otherwise, I believe it’s clear we’re dealing with the same type of issue, with the only relevant difference being the age of the two participants, and the age of the girl in particular.

ethane72

In the revised law I propose, after-the-fact regret (by underagers) is also grounds for prosecution, so we don’t have to worry about who is telling the truth about what happened at the time. I know you view this as an even worse injustice, but it does put the Virginia situation further afield, as no one argues that for adults later regret is a valid revocation of consent (in practice it can lead to allegations, of course, but the point is clear in theory). The real situation today, of course, is that the underager who says it was consensual and she still loves the guy and doesn’t want him prosecuted has no say in the matter at all. Most HereticTOC readers will think the exception I propose to current law is insignificant and that I am defending a profound injustice, but I am proposing something that could result in significantly fewer investigations and prosecutions. I am not part of a move towards *greater* hysteria on the issue.

Dissident

Things are getting mighty skinny in the thread down below again, so this is my latest response to Ethan regarding his proposal for after-the-fact regret being a reason for underaged girls (only) to prosecute men they were involved in a consensual intergenerational relationship with:
I can’t speak for the majority of posters on TOC Heretic, of course, but I would guess that many of them would not, in fact, agree with you that after-the-fact regrets are justifiable grounds for prosecuting the man she was involved with, as you surmise. As pro-choicers have noted many times before in these discussions, any number of things in life can cause regrets for any number of actions, and there is no evidence to suggest that an intergenerational relationship is any more likely to cause regrets for the younger person outside of strong sociogenic factors, which can result in re-conceptualization of the relationship (e.g., friends making fun of her for the relationship, parental pressure). If that happens, it’s on society, not on the man involved in the relationship. I encourage everyone to read Chapter 7 of Susan Thompson’s Going All the Way and Allie C. Kirkpatrick’s Long-Range Effects of Child and Adolescent Sexual Experiences (which is heavy on the experiences of girls, both pre-pubescent and adolescent).
As such, I do indeed believe this is a greater injustice than before, because it makes it far too easy for a girl to destroy a man’s life for what would amount to petty reasons, and I do believe that anti-choicers would count on as many girls as possible doing this. The “likely to regret” factor is not a justified reason for a prosecution, especially not when it’s applied with such a blatant ageist bias, IMO. I do welcome and encourage all TOC Heretic readers who are interested in this thread to respond about the “regret” factor being worked into law, as I do not want to respond for them outright.

stephen6000

Further clarification on my two points then.
On the issue of miscarriages of justice:
I’m inclined to think that these are inevitable in any criminal justice system, though I agree with Dissident that we should work to minimise them. So in a formal sense, Ethan is right that we are in the realm of costs and benefits here. It’s just that the costs and benefits are so gross that we can actually make a judgement. The huge cost of not having ANY criminal justice system trumps the cost of the small number of miscarriages of justice that will occur. In contrast with this, in the debates about the involvement of criminal justice in personal morality, including sex between adults and young people, the costs and benefits are too complicated to calculate and so we are better off looking at the matter in terms of simple fairness.
On the disappearance of the dreaded four words:
Yes there is agreement with Ethan, but only limited agreement. It does not, for example, affect the above argument, which still stands as a point of difference between Ethan and me.

stephen6000

Can I just also add that there is a fundamental difference between the unfairness that is, I believe, an inevitable component of even the best run criminal justice system and the unfairness of the adult-child sex status quo. The former is merely the result of the fact that any system has to be run by people, who are necessarily weak and imperfect (come to think of it, with advances in AI encroaching into almost every field, that may become less and less true, but I’ll leave that aside). In contrast, the unfairness of adult-child sex laws is built into the system and this makes it seem much more objectionable.

A.

You mention “the attitude of the contemporary form of PC liberals that canonizes any sentimentally perceived underdog group…” One set of developments I am watching with interest have to do with child-to-parent violence. Though it can be quite serious, it is very rarely taken seriously. There are signs that this may be beginning to change just a little.
I would be quite surprised if cases like the University of Virginia one are the tip of a hidden iceberg. I crunched the numbers on here once and it seems that men are far and away more likely to be raped themselves than they are to be falsely accused of rape. I very much doubt the average man is aware of this. But of course such cases of false accusation do happen, are probably substantially more common with rape than with other kinds of crime, and can be totally devastating to the falsely accused. I was very struck by this: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/nov/29/letter-to-girl-accused-me-of-rape

A.

I tried to work them out as best I could, bearing in mind that the stats we have include a lot of guesswork, in a comment on another blog post here, Negotiating a little girls’ knickers down. Here’s what I wrote:
“According to the US Justice Department, 14.8% of women are raped during their lifetime. Child sex abuse and ‘child sex abuse’ statistics are kept separately, I understand, so we don’t have a lot of consensual underage sex inflating the numbers. Also according to the US Justice Department, for every 100 rapes, 46 reports of rape are made to the police. It’s difficult to estimate the number of false rape reports, but from what I’ve read 8% seems like a good estimate — and yes, this is much higher than the false report rate for other crimes. Let’s assume that all of the people reporting rape to the police are women who have been raped by men or claim to have been. We know this isn’t true, but it isn’t far off the truth. Let’s also assume that every report of rape concerns a different accused man. We know this very definitely isn’t true, and it will give us an overestimate of the likelihood of being falsely accused, but perhaps this is needed, because there are other ways of being falsely accused than by a report made with the police: you may lose friends, for example, if someone lies to your friend group that you raped her, without going to the police. 8% of 46% of 14.8% is 0.54464%. Thus, very very roughly the likelihood of a man’s being falsely accused of rape over his lifetime is about 1 in 180. That’s probably a substantial overestimate, actually. By contrast, the likelihood of a man’s suffering an attempted or completed rape over his lifetime is about 1 in 33 (US Justice Department again).”
I should have pointed out that this also requires us to assume the male and female populations are the same. In the US there are 1.07 females 15-64 for every male, and taking that into account brings it down to about 1 in 168. A better analysis would also take into account in some way the higher proportion of US males than females who are incarcerated at any one time, because being incarcerated surely makes it less likely, though not totally impossible, for you to be accused of rape.

ethane72

But, but, but…!
No, I understand that decision. I hoped mostly to reach Stephen6000 and “A”. If they felt like replying (and I hope one or both do), I hope you would consider that a separate discussion and be open to it. They have expressed more nuanced views of the situation than Dissident has. And if not, you guys can reach me at ethane72@gmail.com. We could keep the discussion going in my blog if nowhere else.

Dissident

Begging your and Ethan’s pardon, Tom, I think the points I expressed were important ones, including the example I provided regarding the Rolling Stone case as a likely precedent for what is in store for us if Ethan’s suggested policies were officially put into place (unlike nominally, as they are now). Ethan feels that Stephen and A (both of whom I greatly respect, and whom I am in no way disparaging here, I want to make clear) provide more nuance to arguments against him because they go more out of their way to be conciliatory with what he says, something I long ago learned is truly a battle of attrition if you have the lengthy history of exchanges I’ve had with him on GC. This is his way of seeing to it that those who challenge him the most are “cut off” from the debate. Taking this to a thread in his e-mail is a way of keeping his biggest challengers out of the discussion and hoping to forge a friendly connection with those on the pro-choice side whom he feels he can more easily persuade to develop sympathies to his way of thinking.
With that all said, I thank you, Stephen, for appreciating what I mentioned in defense of your points, and for finding value in them. I also pre-emptively thank A, who has consistently found value in what I say here and mentioned it publicly. One final note to you, Stephen, if Tom will permit it, in response to this statement of yours: “Second, I want to note—indeed savour–the fact that Ethan no longer says that sex between adults and children is wrong AND ALWAYS WILL BE. I consider that progress!” Ethan and other anti-choicers have said this in the past, but their counter-argument is famously that the activity still cannot be legally permitted “just in case” the man (always the man!) is giving the girl unwanted attention (something they always insist the man is likely to do, given, you know, his maleness and adultness), and then tries to claim that it was consensual. This is his rhetorical stratagem to appear to be acquiescing to a point the pro-choicers have while still throwing out all respect for nuance, something he criticized me for not having.
Final point: Stephen, if you and A continue to have an interest in hearing what I have to say about these matters without seeing me cut out of the discussion, the offer Ethan made you extends to me as well: contact me via my Safe-mail addy (yes, Safe-mail is now back up!). Ethan are welcome to do the same for the suggested thread, because I have no intention of making things easier for myself by cutting anyone out of that discussion to make the debate easier for me. Tom, you’re welcome to be included there too, as always, if you can medically tolerate me in an environment where you do not have to moderate (and I do still suggest that you read those links I provided to the Rolling Stone fiasco).

ethane72

“[Ethan is] hoping to forge a friendly connection with those on the pro-choice side whom he feels he can more easily persuade to develop sympathies to his way of thinking.”
Isn’t that what we’re all doing, all the time? Not wasting our time on people we think can’t possibly change? Focusing on more thoughtful people? And ones who have new things to say that we haven’t heard before? And I never sought to freeze Dissident out of the conversation — as I think you properly perceived, I was accepting your view that the Dissident/Ethan exchange was unlikely to be productive but the views of others might be of interest and they shouldn’t feel preemptively cut out of the conversation.
“Ethan has shown no indication of willingness to accommodate us with a softer wording to answers 4 and 7 or his FAQ at VP, both of which could easily be changed at no cost to VP’s credibility.”
I do think that your suggested versions would noticeably weaken our message. It’s not just that we like raspberry and you like strawberry in terms of our opinions about the competing messages. Keep in mind too that changing them in response to the hurt feelings of other pedophiles (for what I see as little cause) would itself be an act subject to scrutiny. Dante on GC at one point made a long post analyzing a set of changes we made to our FAQ in Talmudic detail. I could give goodhearted, practical reasons for all those changes, but I was aware that people are watching.
Should I be deeply offended that you think I hold my positions because it is what the mainstream people want to hear? In what way is that less disrespectful than suggesting that you all might hold yours due to self-interest?
I have recently started using “pro-legalization” instead of “pro-contact”, inspired to some extent by your criticisms. That is evidence of flexibility. You seem to figure that continuing disagreement on other issues is a sign of bad faith.

ethane72

Having said before that a post slipped through the cracks of your moderating procedure, you’ve emboldened me to ask if that might have happened in this case as well to the other post I made in reply to this one of yours.

Dissident

Important correction: In my haste to read and reply the first time, I confused Ethan’s request for Stephen and A to move the discussion to his blog to an e-mail thread outside the public eye. That would still give him the ability to cut me out of the debate, of course. I accordingly I still hold out the offer for all involved, including Ethan, to e-mail me at my Safe-mail account and have a threaded discussion there, which we can all agree to make public on a mutually agreed upon venue upon its mutually agreed conclusion. I apologize for the error due to my haste, even if everyone actually understood what I meant.

[…] Humble or haughty, nasty is naughty […]

Dissident

“being branded “pro-contact” is another matter entirely because it slyly misrepresents those of us who would like to see cultural changes and legal reforms leading to the possibility of sexual self-determination for all. It falsely implies we favour ignoring the law in favour of sexual “contact” at any price.”
As you note, I see the possible confusion with using “pro-contact”, but I don’t see any strong evidence that Brett or Todd or the public at large are interpreting this as being in favor of adult sexual contact with kids today.

I don’t believe I know Brett personally, but I think you and I both know that Todd is more than intelligent and savvy enough to know how language affects what people think by implication, without it being necessary to explicitly state this or that. I’ll believe otherwise if I ever see an article where either of them does make it explicitly clear what they mean by “pro-contact,” and why they refuse to use less disruptive but fully accurate terms like “pro-choice” or even “pro-legalization.”
Further, let’s not forget that Todd’s last words to me on GC to date was where he accused all pro-choicers of being wannabe child molesters, and that the only reason we follow the law is because we’re afraid of being jailed, that we oppose parents because they try to “protect” their kids from us (again, taking the popular anti-contact stance of ignoring the source of the great majority of genuine abuse of every kind directed at kids). I know I made you aware of that post when the two of us were actively posting there at the same time, and as a mod on GC, I can get a link to that exact post if you try to claim that Todd never said that. This is not about my being bitter with Todd because of how he also ended his friendship with me during that last heated exchange, but I think it’s only fair that his openly stated beliefs about pro-choicers be taken into full account when the purpose of words and use of terminology is being assessed.
They are sufficiently repelled by pedophiles who confidently conclude that it’s only societal attitudes and laws that keep adult-child sex from being OK — even if they do obey the laws.
Yes, repelled by MAPs who take an unpopular stance that is nevertheless not refuted by any objective scientific analysis yet conducted, and which scientists who have studied it do not have a consensus about.
“even though the VPs are clearly having it pretty much entirely their own way in the media, the battle for hearts and minds among MAPs is another matter: we pro-choice or pro-reform folk, who together identify as the Kind community, appear at least to be holding our ground in the ideological front-line against “virtuous” thinking.”
Todd and Brett rightly point out that even a few loud voices can stain those of us with moderate views.
Those who claim to have moderate views often do not turn out to be very moderate when their views are carefully examined, just as those in politics who claim to be “centrist” often turn out to be basically right-wing who nevertheless want to be accepted by left-wingers, and thus adjust their use of terminology accordingly.
And there are more than enough examples of Non-MAP individuals who are supporting the “loud” voices of pro-choicers, and they have been linked here and on Lensman’s blog several times over the past few weeks. Those who are supporting Virped mostly happen to be columnists who are connected to zines like VICE and Salon who, as Eric noted, want to come off as “hip,” “against the grain,” and “edgy” while nevertheless sticking very much to safe and socially acceptable waters as possible, so their legion of advertisers and mainstream readers are not offended. Those who are not connected to advertisers and/or those who are not overly interested in maintaining a form of career-friendly popularity that is eminently attached to a notable brand, however, are often singing a different tune. And that tune is beginning to grow exponentially now that their blogs and YouTube channels aren’t being deleted or censored to the degree they were a decade ago. The same can be said for Karin Friemond and Chelsea Rooney, who published works of non-fiction and fiction, respectively, that showed a great degree of sympathy and interest in nuance, not just a slavish interest to the common narrative above purported displays of sympathy and understanding.
But the trends seem to be against you.
Only because you continuously ignore the evidence I mentioned above, and continue to ignore the commercial and careerist interests that the bulk of those who are popularizing Virped also mentioned above, Ethan. But those who are truly objective, and the MAP community at large, are not ignoring this evidence.
“Holding your ground” seems like very much of a rearguard action. PIE and NAMBLA and “Pedophilia: The Radical Case” have roots in the distant past.
In other words, during a considerably more liberal era, where mainstream liberalism was considerably less compromised than it is now, and which you and other Virpeds fear may come about again if you aren’t diligent enough in latching onto the mainstream, commercialized press in putting the pro-choice camp down.
Meanwhile, 1,300 people have been inspired to sign up with Virtuous Pedophiles in the last 2.5 years. I don’t think there is any group where pro-legalization opinions are welcome (see how precise I’m being?) that has attracted members in anything like those numbers.
BC and GC have easily had twice those numbers over the years, Ethan, and I think you know that. And that includes a very large percentage who actually posted regularly.

A.

The full text of the Carin Friemond study Dissident has mentioned, ‘Navigating the Stigma of Pedophilia: The Experiences of Nine Minor-Attracted Men in Canada’ is available here: http://summit.sfu.ca/item/13798 I encourage everybody to read it, along with Andrew Extein’s ‘ “Apparently, I am a Pedophile”: Living and Coping as a Child-Lover in the Netherlands’, available here: http://digitalcollections.sit.edu/isp_collection/426/ Interestingly, and encouragingly, the latter was apparently done as an independent study project while its author was enrolled at the US’s highly-regarded Pomona College.

Eric Tazelaar

I will add that NAMBLA once had many hundreds of DUES-PAYING members at one time.
Now that really is “a membership”!

gantier99

I leave it to other more linguistically able types to dissect and disarm the VP position. To me, having just once again glanced through Ethane72’s blog, it still just feels so… FALSE. Didn’t James (now Jasmine) once call it “Gollum-like”?
Another big name in entertainment sadly passed away this week. The Daily Mail can hardly restrain itself:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3393190/Queen-Mum-s-favourite-DJ-wife-met-just-13-29-loved-Ed-Stewpot-Stewart-dies-eyebrow-raising-past.html
“in a twist that still raises eyebrows, given what we now know of some of Stewpot’s Radio 1 colleagues, (his wife) was a mere 13 when they met”
“Shocking as it sounds today, the relationship didn’t spark an outcry.”
If my maths is right, the relationship lasted well over 30 years.

gantier99

Yes. Very sensible!

Since there were regular announcement on a board to register at Virpeds, i did just that, twice actually. Both times i was driven off their board by their bullies. Hence reduce that membership number by 2!
When Ethan proudly posts a membership number, he forgets to tell that 1/3 of them never post, 1/3 only post a few times. Hence, his 1300 members are just 1300 registrations for login details to their forum.
One of the interesting threads on their forum centered around the definition of pro-/anti-contact. The line is drawn tight around the Virped stance, so everybody else can be thrown under the bus. Even when it is not relevant or important for the point in the article, pro-contacters are mentioned like “look they are way worse than us”. Moreover, the term “pro-contact” only appears in connection with the Virtuous Pedophiles. I wonder why.

Nor, are all who have registered with Virpeds ‘anti-choice’.
I know of those who have registered there in order to learn about their philosophy and modus operandi, but who are vigorously pro-choice.

“Both times [I signed up] i was driven off their board by their bullies.”
Very few people have been banned, and only for repeatedly not following rules after being warned. As far as I can tell, most people who make reports as you have are lacking basic skill at respectful discourse. That may not include you, of course, but I can’t address your case if you don’t give the handles you used.
Note my wording was: “Meanwhile, 1,300 people have been inspired to sign up with Virtuous Pedophiles”. We are aware of a handful of journalists, scientists, and writers who have signed up who aren’t pedophiles, and some friends and family. We also have accepted (as long as they agree not to post) a half-dozen people who say explicitly that they do not share our core beliefs.
Many people report being very nervous just writing to us initially via the website. It is no surprise that many pedophiles fearing detection do not post. There is every reason to think that they and those who make only a few posts nonetheless share our core beliefs. Yet it is an active place, with 75,000 posts since it started, or roughly 80 per day.
I count 248 people who have logged in since the start of the year, but naturally many of those who have expressed their agreement by joining will not want to spend time regularly on a particular board.
Some discount for all these other cases is warranted. Ten percent, perhaps? So we’re down to 1,170?
It’s also worth considering why people who don’t agree with us would join. It seems to be a more vibrant place than boards that allow pro-legalization opinions.
So, Tom, that is our one allotted reply. However, if you choose to approve further posts from those who criticize the VP forum specifically, it seems unfair to allow no further reply. Choosing to limit approval of their criticisms is another way of keeping the debate from going on indefinitely, right?

Dissident

It’s also worth considering why people who don’t agree with us would join.
I think Lensman responded to that point of yours elsewhere in this comments section, Ethan, when he said, “I know of those who have registered there in order to learn about their philosophy and modus operandi…” The operative phrase there may be to learn.
It seems to be a more vibrant place than boards that allow pro-legalization opinions.
Considering the limits allowed on what points can and cannot be argued there compared to public MAP forums that allow discussion on all the issues considered relevant to Kind people, I think that assessment is entirely from your own perspective, Ethan. It’s more vibrant to you, IMO, because most of what can be said there is not anything you are disinclined to hear, and you can give the proverbial Red Card to any poster who does otherwise.

Eric Tazelaar

I was approached by Vice about six months ago to represent NAMBLA’s positions in a video interview, although it was a different reporter. I made a few precautionary demands, such as the right to rebut the inevitable hysterics who were also to be included (naturally). I also wanted to review the questions ahead of time. Naturally, he took this as my refusal to grant an interview. So, no interview and, in my opinion, no loss.
Vice does not have a good history with child love, by the way, although they do have a continuing appetite for misrepresenting it. I’m not surprised that they latched on to Virped (nor that Virped latched on to them) with you being the designated fall guy/boogieman. Virped’s simple-minded, socially congratulatory message is much easier for them, and other media, to grasp and digest which is why Virped imagines themselves to be so “successful” with press coverage. If they said anything more challenging, or intellectually honest, then they would be as radioactive as the rest of us.

Eric Tazelaar

I’m certainly not criticizing your participation. I’m glad you did. In fact, looking over my correspondence with Dorian Geiger, the earlier Vice reporter who contacted me back in June of last year, I recommended that he might want to get in touch with you, although this most recent piece is probably unrelated to that earlier one which somehow morphed into a story about cartoon anime when it was finally published, without my participation.
Of course, virtually no media have been kind to us. That goes without saying. My criticism of Vice is that they have positioned themselves as a hipster/millennial ‘alternative’ and ‘edgy’ voice but fail utterly to challenge the received wisdom about pedos. So my point, I suppose, was that they are no different. For them ‘edgy’, in this case, is giving Virpeds a platform even while holding it at some comfortable and disinterested remove.

Eric Tazelaar

Rupert Murdoch’s arrival on any stage is never a good sign. The Wall Street Journal, which I used to respect a great deal, under the editorial direction of Robert Bartley and which gave us the terrific reporting of Dorothy Rabinowitz on the sexual abuse witchhunts, is now predictably neo-con and a shadow of its former self after Rupert’s acquisition.
Vice represents this emerging notion, particularly prevalent among young journalists, that objectivity, because it can never be fully realized, should simply be jettisoned as an unworthy goal and ideal, altogether.
I must say, their work, in general, puts me on edge. There is something in it that is studiously arrogant and cold and contemptuous.
This makes the old-school Rupert feel a special kinship with this younger generation of journalists, I would guess. After all, he helped to create them and most everyone else, too.

A.

‘Pro-choice’ is already took, so I’m sticking with ‘pro-legalisation’ myself. Not that it matters hugely.
Well done that translator. I think many of us tend to forget that the bulk of this stuff is only around in English, Dutch and maybe German. I once shared a French translation of some Frits Bernard (this: https://www.ipce.info/ipceweb/Library/bernard_1982.htm) with several francophone BLs and it was greeted with wild enthusiasm. I had the impression they were a bit data-starved.
The Mattix story is indeed depressing. Some women are claiming that she mixes up her dates and that this means it never have happened — or is it the papers doing that, or was it the drugs she was taking at the time? Others say they believe her, as though it were a rape case. That she has said she had a whale of a time does not seem to matter in the slightest. In 2014 Stephen Fry said, “If you want to talk about rock stars, do we have to name the rock stars that we think almost certainly had sex with 14-year-old children? But those 14-year-old girls were so proud of it that they now in their 50s wouldn’t for a minute call themselves ‘victims’.” He seems to be right about this one at least.
By the way, in that article Bernard mentions Gianni Segre’s 1969 novel La Confirmation, which apparently deals with sexual relationships between girls of 11 and 12 and two adults, a woman and a man. I went looking for a copy and discovered a furious Amazon reviewer claiming that when she (?) was at Catholic primary school in francophone Belgium she received the book as a prize and got a terrible shock when she read it. Apparently they’d picked it on the basis of the title and hadn’t thought to look inside…She does acknowledge however that the book is “very well written”.

Nick Devin

I think you are the only one who has ever accused me of being humble. You are right that I don’t criticize Dr. Cantor’s scientific findings. I am not a scientist, so i don’t have the necessary background to evaluate them. However, his findings appear to be generally accepted by other scientists,including Mike Bailey who we both trust. His work has also been confirmed by other researchers. Check out the resource section of our web site for some recent studies.
You are wrong when you say that I don’t criticize sex offender treatment programs. I have criticized things like civil commitment and sex offender registries on several occasions. I have also criticized overly harsh sentencing of people convicted of CP possession as well as laws relating to things like erotic fiction and virtual CP.
Mike Bailey knows why I posted the link to the article because he, Ethan and I had private correspondence about it before I posted it. I was intrigued by the quote that was attributed to you because it sounded like you regretted not taking the path that VP has taken. Given your hostility toward us, that surprised me.
It never occurred to me that you would be so offended by the fact that someone from our group said mean things about you in the article. Like Ethan, I would have thought that you would be accustomed to this, and that you would not be so thin skinned. You and other pro-legalization folks often say mean things about me, as do some folks in comment sections of articles where I am quoted. I have become inured to it.

Nick Devin

“On the evidence of this post, no you haven’t”
No, what you have said doesn’t bother me. I am merely responding to it..

Dissident

It seems that currently, Nick, your esteemed representatives (of Virped) Brett and Mr. Nickerson are going out of their way in some cases to bitterly excoriate MAPs on the pro-choice divide of the fence with every single outlet that wants to talk to MAPs as long as they hold a view that won’t upset too many readers, but still lets them come off as “edgy” (as Eric noted). That is inviting anyone with even a mild interest in objectivity about the topic to correctly see that as ad hominem rhetoric, and not remotely based on scientific principles. Further, you may say that you refuse to question Cantor because he, unlike you, happens to be a scientist, but I would bet the last vestiges of my savings that you would be quick to disagree with the findings of Rind, Tromovitch, Riegal, Okami, Kirkpatrick, or any other medical or social scientist whose studies are not in alignment with Virped ideology.

ethane72

“being branded “pro-contact” is another matter entirely because it slyly misrepresents those of us who would like to see cultural changes and legal reforms leading to the possibility of sexual self-determination for all. It falsely implies we favour ignoring the law in favour of sexual “contact” at any price.”
As you note, I see the possible confusion with using “pro-contact”, but I don’t see any strong evidence that Brett or Todd or the public at large are interpreting this as being in favor of adult sexual contact with kids today. They are sufficiently repelled by pedophiles who confidently conclude that it’s only societal attitudes and laws that keep adult-child sex from being OK — even if they do obey the laws.
“we have irreconcilable purists on our own side”
Who do you have in mind?
“even though the VPs are clearly having it pretty much entirely their own way in the media, the battle for hearts and minds among MAPs is another matter: we pro-choice or pro-reform folk, who together identify as the Kind community, appear at least to be holding our ground in the ideological front-line against “virtuous” thinking.”
Todd and Brett rightly point out that even a few loud voices can stain those of us with moderate views. But the trends seem to be against you. “Holding your ground” seems like very much of a rearguard action. PIE and NAMBLA and “Pedophilia: The Radical Case” have roots in the distant past. Meanwhile, 1,300 people have been inspired to sign up with Virtuous Pedophiles in the last 2.5 years. I don’t think there is any group where pro-legalization opinions are welcome (see how precise I’m being?) that has attracted members in anything like those numbers.
As for what articles Nick chooses to post on Sexnet and what arguments he sees fit to engage you in — I’ll stay out of that. And out of the controversy with James Cantor. But I should think that people hating you for your views would be very old news to you by now, sort of like background noise — it is to me. What was new news was the quote from you,
“Tom O’Carroll … told me that when he was younger he “accepted the general view that pedophilia must be harmful. Seeing only a bleak future with nothing to offer to a family or society or myself, I tried to take my own life,” said O’Carroll. “If I had received some sympathetic help before it reached that point, my life might have taken a course for the better as many would see it: not so confrontational, working with society, not against it.” ”
That was very intriguing. I realize that with your “as many would see it” you are not retreating from your commitment to your views as they actually developed. I know I would be interested in hearing you elaborate on the subject.

stephen6000

> They are sufficiently repelled by pedophiles who confidently conclude that it’s only societal attitudes and laws that keep [consensual] adult-child sex from being OK…
Could you just run it by me one more time–what IS it, apart from societal attitudes and laws that stops consensual adult-child sex from being OK?

ethane72

You are changing the subject — that is a separate question. So in that spirit I’ll offer a link instead of a reply:
http://celibatepedos.blogspot.com/2015/05/costs-and-benefits-for-prepubescents.html
The broader argument is indexed in the “Considering the Pro-Legalization (Pro-Contact) Position” section of this post:
http://celibatepedos.blogspot.com/2016/01/index-of-all-posts.html

A.

I’ve read your link and, as I read your argument, a lot of it does in fact rest on societal attitudes and laws. Certainly we must stick to the law. I don’t break the law and I don’t advise anyone else to and I would be surprised if other posters here couldn’t say the same. But what if the law, and attitudes, were changed?
I do, as I’ve made strenuously clear, feel that silence should not be taken as consent. But I am not convinced that a paedophile wanting to have sex with an eight-year-old is at more risk of misinterpreting his or her silence thus than is an adult wanting to have sex with another adult. That may make intuitive sense, but it doesn’t seem to be borne out by the data. Rüdiger Lautmann wrote in his book Attraction to Children that he got the impression that the CLs he interviewed were sincere in their wish to obtain children’s sexual consent and went to some lengths to do so. “Everything that I do with the child must not merely be tolerated, but wanted,” said one GL. I worked out the numbers once, admittedly from a pitifully small data set, and taking silence for consent doesn’t seem to happen any more often in CL contacts than in teleiophile contacts.
You write, “I suspect that among the many millions of 8-year-old girls on earth, there are a few who would really like to engage in sexual activity with another person — to give and receive pleasure.” I don’t know if many kids that age think of sex as a giving and receiving of pleasure. When I was six and playing doctor with other kids, it was about curiosity and fun. When I was ten and a ten-year-old boy and I tackled an adult male relative of ours to the ground and tried to unzip his fly, we were playing and being daring and we were curious. When I was ten and plotting to masturbate with a friend, an eleven-year-old girl, I thought of it as an enjoyable, again somewhat daring thing to do together. I was focussed on my my own sexual pleasure. I think most ten-year-olds would be. Treating sex as a giving and receiving of pleasure strikes me as something that happens in the love relationships of middle adolescence and later, rather than in childhood and early adolescence. Kids’ definitions of friendship change as they grow up, from “someone who does nice things for you” to “someone who likes the same things as you” to “someone who always plays fair and shares with you” to “someone with whom you have a bond of mutual trust and support”. I wouldn’t be surprised if their understanding of sexual reciprocity developed along roughly the same timeline.
So where does that leave CLs? Some accept that their sexual encounters will be mainly or solely about the child’s orgasm or the child’s interests and agenda rather than their own. One man Lautmann interviewed said, “Each one has done something with me; but this was more the joy of discovery, this exploration of my body. Once this thirst for knowledge was quenched, the desire to do something with me would no longer be there. That doesn’t bother me; it is not of course a woman that I have in bed with me, but a child. I can’t bring my own needs into it. In my eyes that would be oppression, which I don’t like.” Another said, “When I lick a vagina [sic!], it’s not necessary for me that my penis get sucked. Anyhow, this already brings me to climax. I don’t need to worry about my business at all. I would like only to give pleasure.” A third: “Actually, I rarely or hardly ever have an orgasm when I’m together with a boy sexually, but make up for this later on, if I remind myself about it. If the boy gets something from me pulling mine out also, and he grabs ahold of it, I have nothing against that. But it’s not like he has to do God knows what-all just to satisfy me. I say this not out of modesty, but because I simply would rather concentrate on the boy.”
Some CLs do want more sexual reciprocity and take steps to bring it about. One commented, “It was often the case that you had to take weeks and months, until everything really played itself out, also before you personally got a return on your investment, and before the boy learned to also do something for the other person’s pleasure. He was of course so timid at first; he didn’t know what he was supposed to do with it.” Is this fair, is it OK? Well, what do the kids say? Theo Sandfort interviewed a ten-year-old, Thijs, who was quite happy to masturbate his man-friend as well as being masturbated himself. Thijs had been doing this since he was eight or nine: after about a month of being frequently masturbated by Joop, then about twenty-four, he started doing it back. Joop said at the very beginning, “If you don’t like it you must tell me.” Neither Thijs nor the other boys interviewed seemed to mind reciprocity of this sort. They were probably in the ‘play fair and share’ stage of understanding friendship: he does something nice for me, so I’ll do something nice for him. Lex, thirteen, did say that sometimes he wasn’t in the mood for sex with Richard, thirty-one, but that he thought, “Well, you ought to have sex, because he does so much for me. He takes me out a lot. So I should pay him back somehow; that’s what he thinks, but I think so, too, so I’m not against it.” Questioned further, Lex added that “If you don’t feel like it you don’t do it, of course. Richard never really forces you or says, ‘Now you got to, because I did what you wanted.’ He’d never say that.” Richard cannot then be accused of exploitation. Lex’s overall evaluation of his relationship with Richard was strongly positive, so it doesn’t seem that he was being harmed. Possible iatrogenic harm later is a separate issue.
As for the Clancy book, I have a particular take on it. I think Clancy managed to scoop up a distinct set of people: those who had sexual experiences with adults when they were kids and at the time, with some exceptions, felt neither positive nor negative about their experiences, but neutral. It is much easier for societal attitudes to turn “well, that was OK, I guess, but I don’t want to do it again” into “that was abuse” than to turn “that was great!” into the same. There’s a shorter distance to travel. In this article https://www.ipce.info/library_3/files/latino_men/latino_men_text.htm one guy states that at ten he had twenty [ed: corrected by “A” from her original post, which said “three””] sexual encounters, consisting of mutual masturbation and oral sex, with a twenty-five-year-old male neighbour. He does not feel that he was hurt by the experience and says plainly that it was not abuse “because I seduced the neighbour”. Clancy’s sample did not include such former young seducers, but it did include plenty of people who as kids were left baffled by the somewhat iffy behaviour of the adults who seduced them. And I think that the iffiness came about in many cases because of the heavy weight of shame and fear and secrecy the adults were bearing. That doesn’t tend to help people ‘be their best selves’, as the phrase is.
Regarding the Rind, Dissident has pointed out (thanks D) that if you take out the cases of rape etc., the sex difference disappears: girls reacted just as positively or neutrally as boys to consensual sex with adults. The problem is that a lot more girls got raped. Lautmann wrote that in his sample, same-sex interactions tended to be “more respectful” than opposite-sex interactions. But that also is a separate issue.

A.

Penultimate para: Sorry, that should be twenty sexual encounters over three months, not three encounters. Bit of a difference!
I should also mention that I don’t think eight-year-old girls who are interested in sex play are nearly as rare as you believe. In this article https://www.ipce.info/library_2/files/talbot_99.htm Margaret Talbot mentions a 1992 study that, alas, she does not name. “[I]t asked 128 female undergraduates at a small liberal arts college whether they had ever played a sexual game as children, and if so to describe in writing what it was and how they felt about it. 85 percent of the students remembered that, with other kids, they had played kissing games, shown off their genitals, imitated adult sex, or participated in what the study called, intriguingly, ‘experiments in stimulation’. The mean age for this sort of stuff was seven and a half, and most of the women remembered it as normal and pleasurable…’At least a third,’ the study’s sober authors reported with some astonishment, ‘indicated that they engaged in genital fondling (either with or without clothing), and a few reported oral-genital contact and attempts at sexual intercourse’…In more than half the cases, no adult ever discovered what they were doing.” Yes, those games were played with other kids, not with adults. But when I was six or seven and playing pirates, I liked it when a trusted grown-up joined in. Why should sex play be any different at that age?

gantier99

Yes why should it be any different? When I was seven or eight I fell madly, madly in love with our then au-pair girl (aged around 20): Every night I would insist it must be her that put me to bed. I would make her promise to marry me, kiss her passionately and press myself against her. Had she responded in kind, would I have been scared for life? I doubt it!

A.

Reminds me of an interview piece in the book Betrayal of Youth: a twenty-five-year-old female babysitter who was attracted to kids received some sexual attention from an eight-year-old boy but was understandably too scared to take things further. Alas for so many ‘missed connections’…

stephen6000

Well, I read all those documents and first off, I have to say, I was quite impressed. I was already aware that Ethan was a clear and persuasive writer and here there are many examples of perceptive and relevant points. (The layout in bite-sized chunks I also found helpful.) He doesn’t take a ‘straw man’ version of the pro-choice (pro-contact, pro-legalisation – no term seems entirely satisfactory) position, but tackles it in its most sophisticated form and that is to be commended.
But, as he won’t be surprised to hear, I am not persuaded by his arguments. My rebuttal will be brief, but hopefully not simplistic. Ethan argues that he can show on cost-benefit grounds that society should not move towards removal of social and legal sanctions against consensual child-adult sex. He thinks the costs outweigh the benefits. In particular, he believes that there are very significant costs related to the fact that in relationships between men and young girls, the girls often come to feel ‘used’. This and some other factors are sufficient to outweigh any benefits that might result from allowing child/adult sex, in his view.
The trouble is that Ethan can’t do the cost/benefit analysis. None of us can. This partly relates to the difficulty of such analyses in general, where nothing even approaching precise numeric probabilities or precise measures of happiness or suffering is known. But it also relates to something specific to this particular problem, which is that it is no good doing a cost/benefit analysis for society as it actually is. We have to do it for a hypothetical situation in which social taboos against sex generally and against child/adult sex in particular have been removed or at least greatly reduced, since, as Ethan himself acknowledges, most pro-choice advocate acceptance of child-adult sex only if and when such a state can be achieved. I defy anyone to do that. It is bad enough trying to get all the needed information for society as it actually is, never mind for an entirely different situation of which few or no-one has had any practical experience. Ethan, I think, would argue that the negative factor on which he lays the most stress – young girls feeling used – would be unaffected by a removal of the taboo against child-adult sex. But he doesn’t know this to be the case, because he doesn’t know (and nor do I) how much of the feeling of hurt is due to a sense of expectations unfulfilled and how much due to a sense of having been involved in something ‘sordid’. And without that information no meaningful conclusion can be drawn.
So what’s to be done? One option would be to declare that we just don’t know whether or not society ought to move in the pro-choice direction. But I think there are other ways to justify a pro-choice position. One is to say that the status quo is wrong because it is fundamentally unfair. It punishes people in good relationships simply because of the existence of other relationships of a similar kind that work out badly for one or both parties. That is unfair and its unfairness is, in my view, a good enough reason for being against the status quo (while of course conforming to its legal directives).
I want to end with a couple of conciliatory comments. One is to draw attention to Ethan’s apparent advocacy in one of his posts of a de facto age of consent of 13 in certain cases. That seems an eminently progressive position (though one that I doubt would endear him much to the general public).
My other comment is about FUMA. FUMA was set up largely on the model of B4U-ACT and thus takes a neutral position on the issue of the age of consent. The reasoning behind this is that there are enough important things for MAPs to agree about without getting into this divisive issue. Thus my view in favour of a cautious pro-choice position is my personal opinion, not an official position of FUMA’s. Ethan and other VP-ers will argue that this neutral stance makes us less effective in winning over a sceptical and hostile public. They may be right. But that’s not reason enough for me to sign up to the slogan ‘Sex between adults and children is wrong and always will be’. The last four words, in particular, amount to something I couldn’t utter while maintaining any sense of honesty.

ethane72

Have you decided not to approve the other reply I made to this thread, or is it just something you haven’t gotten around to? It seemed to me short, to the point, some of it novel, and not things that have been said in recent years(!) here.

ethane72

Ah, this post by stephen6000, referred to by Tom’s next post. As I have passed the 60-year-old mark, I have more and more trouble remembering where to find things, and having been prohibited from replying at the time I read it, I might well have never gotten back to it. I’ll also confess that if I have read things by you in other contexts, I have no memory of it — all I reply to is this post in isolation.
I am glad you recognize some merit to my series of posts, and we’re not just in the land of war and hurling slogans.
“it is no good doing a cost/benefit analysis for society as it actually is. We have to do it for a hypothetical situation in which social taboos against sex generally and against child/adult sex in particular have been removed or at least greatly reduced”.
True in a sense, but I’ll note that pro-legalization advocates rarely approach the issue with this same humility, but typically argue confidently that such changes are possible and desirable. Also, to realistically argue for change, you have to see a path from here to there, to see a first step (and in fact, VP goals COULD be such first steps). The very occasional horny prepubescent girl today can snuggle with her man, then masturbate in private later — what teens are typically relegated to due to partners who don’t consent to more. (The benefit is to discourage (in my opionion, LOTS of) men who would take advantage of a girl and say she consented at the time.) There’s next to nothing from the child’s side that motivates such a change. My more fundamental recognition is that I leave it to society to figure these things out — my opinions are of interest to society mostly to the extent that they tell a “man bites dog” story.
“the status quo is wrong because it is fundamentally unfair. It punishes people in good relationships simply because of the existence of other relationships of a similar kind that work out badly for one or both parties”
Society necessarily imposes some unfairness in practice. A clear case is our criminal justice system. Some percentage of innocent people go to prison as the cost of catching a lot of guilty people. We can argue about the proper percentage. I’d hope for something like a 1% false positive rate, but others seem willing to accept numbers more like 10% or 20%. And the price for a low false positive rate is a high false negative rate — in some large percentage of guilty people staying free. Crucially, a 0% false positive rate would require a 100% false negative rate.
Here’s another example — open liquor containers in vehicles:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_open_container_laws#Open_containers_in_vehicles
Surely this is an assault on freedom. What right does the law have saying that passengers can’t drink on the road? But no, we accept it (or at least don’t think it’s outrageous) because most of the time in such cases the driver is drinking, and prohibiting that is more important.
Numbers then matter when you make your “unfairness” case. If it’s one good relationship spoiled for 100 girls protected against sexual touching against their will, then the unfairness doesn’t win.
“Ethan’s apparent advocacy in one of his posts of a de facto age of consent of 13 in certain cases”
That isn’t quite right. True consent cannot be withdrawn retroactively, but I explicitly say that if kids come to feel they were used or betrayed, men are guilty. I propose a compassionate exception recognizing human weaknesses, but in no sense an age of consent of 13. The compassionate exception does lessen the cost of the unfairness you mention.
“Sex between adults and children is wrong and always will be”
Yeah, I don’t use those last four words any more (and I don’t see them in my copy of those posts). They were an imprecise short-hand for “fuggedaboutit” — there’s no way in our lifetimes and no path leading that way. “For practical purposes.” Yes, I recognize societies change over the course of decades and centuries.

Dissident

I am glad you recognize some merit to my series of posts, and we’re not just in the land of war and hurling slogans.
As I think several of us have noted before, Ethan, one of the last things we would ever advocate is censoring your side of the issue. In fact, I don’t think your side of the fence happens to be the side that was ever in great danger of being censored or “flagged.” I know some pro-choicers have called for a moratorium on the posts of yourself and other “loud” anti-choicers, on the grounds that they find your posts upsetting, but I think the majority of pro-choicers realize that right to speak and ability to freely engage ideas needs to trump feelings in a society that purports to democratic principles. But that’s getting into a whole other area of discussion.
“it is no good doing a cost/benefit analysis for society as it actually is. We have to do it for a hypothetical situation in which social taboos against sex generally and against child/adult sex in particular have been removed or at least greatly reduced”.
True in a sense, but I’ll note that pro-legalization advocates rarely approach the issue with this same humility, but typically argue confidently that such changes are possible and desirable.

If we weren’t confident about our stance, Ethan, why would be put so much energy into advocating it? I think the majority of us do this after long and in-depth consideration of all the available evidence, including the type of society we get when these laws and attitudes are stringently in effect.
Also, to realistically argue for change, you have to see a path from here to there, to see a first step (and in fact, VP goals COULD be such first steps).
To an extent, I don’t disagree, Ethan. I do believe that Virped does serve a purpose in opening certain doors. When we see the vitriol towards pro-choicers from some of your spokesmen (either Virped-approved or self-declared, whatever the case may be), then this obviously provokes conflicts and ill will with individuals – MAP or Non-MAP – who agree that more nuance is called for when discussing these issues. This is especially the case with such a lack of consensus with the scientific data and researchers. However, I don’t agree that the Virped approach is the only approach worthy of getting those initial doors open; I think plenty of evidence suggests that a more neutral approach to the more controversial issues works at least as well, and without creating the degree of ill will and conflicts within and outside the community as one that takes a stance in favor of telling the public and various advertiser-conscious media outlets what they currently want to hear.
The very occasional horny prepubescent girl today can snuggle with her man, then masturbate in private later — what teens are typically relegated to due to partners who don’t consent to more. (The benefit is to discourage (in my opionion, LOTS of) men who would take advantage of a girl and say she consented at the time.)
Again, laws and rules that are based on a pre-emptive distrust of men because they are men, and adults because they are adults – suggesting that these two arbitrary attributes give a predisposition towards predatory behavior – while condescending to girls by presenting them as helpless victims who are predisposed towards being unable to learn how to recognize signs of abuse and avoid them. In other words, it’s both sexist and overtly protectionist against female youths, and outright misandrist against men. It also slyly suggests that a girl is less likely to lie because she is a girl; or that she should be believed “just in case” the man, who is presumed more likely to be a predatory liar simply because he is a man, may be guilty. This behavior just encourages girls and even women to engage in all sorts of predatory behavior of their own, and does not promote good character among them, since they are made aware that they will always get the benefit of the doubt by the courts no matter what they do.
That is all based on sentimental biases that are the exact antitheses of justice. The fact that so many modern liberals are quick to support such measures makes it very clear how much they are lacking compared to their truly egalitarian counterparts of the pre-1980s, before the victimology pundits and organized misandrists gained so much traction with both the Right and what passes for the mainstream Left.
Further, it’s not in harmony with democratic principles of jurisprudence which insist that evidence must be present before assumptions are made that can throw an innocent person in jail, which should be the case regardless of how difficult it might be to make a conviction. If the evidence of a case is not clear cut to get a quick conviction, then it should indeed be difficult and require stringent investigative procedures to get that conviction.
There’s next to nothing from the child’s side that motivates such a change.
That is pretty easy to say when we do not allow children a voice, and consider their rights to be only what adults in charge them feel like granting them.
My more fundamental recognition is that I leave it to society to figure these things out — my opinions are of interest to society mostly to the extent that they tell a “man bites dog” story.
Of course it’s going to come down to society to figure these things out. But different groups, with different ideologies, have a right to present a case along with whatever evidence they can find to back up that case to society, for discussion and consideration. When have we ever suggested that the decision should be left entirely up to this or that group, rather than greater society? Our respective jobs are to work to convince the greater society that our side is the more truthful side. Keeping our mouths shut and letting the more popular side have its say unopposed is hardly a way to promote progressive change.
“the status quo is wrong because it is fundamentally unfair. It punishes people in good relationships simply because of the existence of other relationships of a similar kind that work out badly for one or both parties”
Society necessarily imposes some unfairness in practice.

And this should be simply accepted and resigned to in all cases? Especially when such cases result in large amounts of oppression and systemic harm? There comes a time when the system is not merely imperfect, but outright rotten, and when such is the case, it needs to be opposed.
A clear case is our criminal justice system. Some percentage of innocent people go to prison as the cost of catching a lot of guilty people.
But that is not considered just according to the American system of jurisprudence. Throwing innocent people in prison should never be tolerated simply because it may insure that a guilty person among a group of innocent suspects go to prison. That only results in the court system itself becoming the biggest victimizer in society, and it increasingly broadens the scope of its power and the number of infractions it can throw people in prison for. Ultimately, it ends up throwing due process aside entirely and allows mere accusations alone to put people in prison, with the likelihood of a conviction being more contingent upon the nature of the accusation rather than any degree of evidence. For a true democracy to work, you have to give the accused the benefit of the doubt until sufficient evidence can be provided to throw them in prison… otherwise, everyone becomes a potential victim of the law, regardless of innocence or guilt. We end up with a system of “justice” that is more interested in convictions based on sending a “message” to the public than convicting the guilty.
Numbers then matter when you make your “unfairness” case. If it’s one good relationship spoiled for 100 girls protected against sexual touching against their will, then the unfairness doesn’t win.
That one girl has as much right to a good relationship as any girl that does not want such a relationship, and rights should never be limited simply on the basis that it’s believed only a small minority wish to make use of the choices allowed by those rights. And girls who do not want such relationships are not “protected” by laws and rules that prohibit their right to make a certain decision. Laws that prohibit unwanted advances provide that protection for them quite well. Assuming that 9 out of 10 will not want to be touched when she insists otherwise is, again, just that: making assumptions based on a strong moralistic bias that is inherently sexist, protectionist, and misandrist.
Throwing large amounts of innocent men into prison based on the assumption that he likely “coerced” or “manipulated” a girl into saying it was consensual without any degree of evidence to suggest it is not protecting the girl, it’s designed to send a “message” to adult men who violate a certain moralistic code, and to discourage girls from considering such relationships.
And in a case of a conflict of claim as to whether a certain liaison was consensual or not, a policy of always assuming the girl is the one telling the truth without seeking sufficient evidence is a malicious form of misandry and adultism that pre-emptively punishes all men for breaking this moralistically forbidden line, while encouraging large numbers of girls who may be of unscrupulous character or of an emotionally unstable nature to lie and commit acts of extortion, which is considered perfectly okay as long as it gets the following”message” out to men: this wouldn’t have happened in the first place if you didn’t offend society by getting involved with a girl under the age of 16/18; if you want to lower your risk of getting “burned” by a girl who may attempt to extort or hurt you out of spite, then simply avoid getting into relationships with them; if you happen to get accused and convicted without evidence even if you actually didn’t do anything, well, just understand that since you’re a man, we have to be “responsible” by giving the girl the benefit of the doubt just in case you may have actually done something; if we insist that she proves it, that means you may be end up away with something! If this brings out the bad side of many of these girls, well, that’s what men have to deal with for being the predatory creatures they have always been throughout society; nothing any girl does can be as bad as what men as a whole have done throughout history.
Yes, I am saying outright that I think the above is the worst type of revenge politics mixed in with a healthy dose of anti-male victimology ideology and protectionist canonization of anyone who is both female and under the age of 16/18.
“Ethan’s apparent advocacy in one of his posts of a de facto age of consent of 13 in certain cases”
That isn’t quite right. True consent cannot be withdrawn retroactively, but I explicitly say that if kids come to feel they were used or betrayed, men are guilty.
Bingo! This neatly confirms all that I said above. Misandrist revenge ideology and protectionist canonization, in a nutshell. Thankfully, there are many girls and women of egalitarian ideology who would be quick to take you to task for giving their gender such a despotic advantage over men. Nobody who actually cares about principles of justice over that of sentimental bias would support such a measure. That is why I argue that these laws, as you describe them, are inherently misandrist, protectionist, condescending to girls and women, and the exact opposite of progressive politics.
I propose a compassionate exception recognizing human weaknesses, but in no sense an age of consent of 13. The compassionate exception does lessen the cost of the unfairness you mention.
Admitted unfairness should never be supported as a “necessary evil” in a democratic institution, especially when it blatantly gives arbitrary benefit of the doubt entirely based upon gender and/or age.

ethane72

Under such a wall of verbiage I have no choice but to offer my total and abject surrender. 🙂
You and I have been over this ground before — though with this level of self-righteousness wailing violins will not do for accompaniment — surely a full orchestra is needed.
Just two points, for the benefit of other readers:
1. I recognize that society may have gone too far in diluting “innocent until proven guilty” — yet I maintain that there will always be a significant risk of sending innocent people to jail in any remotely workable system. This can be from judicial corruption if nothing else, and there is much else. Your ponderous exhortations for justice above all are irrelevant to that point.
2. I have never proposed any relaxed standard of proof on the issue of whether sexual activity took place — I do not favor taking the word of girls over men, and I suspect we agree society has gone too far on that particular point. My support for penalties concerns only the issue of willingness, consent, and/or regret for activity that indisputably took place, and thus men have a surefire way to stay safe by not engaging in such activity.

A.

You write: “The very occasional horny prepubescent girl today can snuggle with her man, then masturbate in private later — what teens are typically relegated to due to partners who don’t consent to more.” Take a look at this 2005 study on Swedish teenagers: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228874458_Teenagers'_Sexual_Behavior_in_Sweden_Europe Median age at first intercourse was 14.9 years for girls and 15 years for boys. About 80% of boys and girls aged 13-15 had had “a romance” and a little over 30% had engaged in “sexual cuddling” or “petting” that included touching below the waist. 4% of the 13-year-old girls and 6% of the 13-year-old boys had had PIV sex. For the 13-15 year olds as a group, 18% of the girls and 13% of the boys had had PIV sex. At 17, a majority of both boys and girls had had PIV. Over a fifth of the 16-18 year old group had had more than 5 lifetime sexual partners, presumably meaning partners for PIV.
Secondly, I agree that most prepubescent girls or boys of 8 or so are not likely to be horny in the way that people begin to be in puberty or perhaps a year or two before it starts. That doesn’t mean, however, that they are uninterested in all sexual activity. Again, I point to the study quoted by Margaret Talbot, which found that at least a third of college women recalled engaging in genital fondling with other children when they were well short of puberty.
You say that in your opinion, a lot of men would take advantage of girls. On what do you base your opinion? In the Lautmann study, a majority of girl-lovers said that they did not have PIV sex with young girls. One said: “We’ve kissed each other all over. Slept together properly, like adults do, and therefore I would have penetrated her, but we didn’t do it because I knew that would hurt her. This should always be a tender thing.” It doesn’t seem that he is unable to control himself. OK, that’s vulnerable to the objection that only about 20 girl-lovers were interviewed, that they came forward for the study and that we only have their word for it. But there are plenty of other studies. In the 1964 book Paedophilia and Exhibitionism, Johann W. Mohr wrote that “[t]he great majority of sexual acts in heterosexual paedophilia consist of sexplay types, such as looking, showing, fondling and being fondled.” Which is the sort of thing that the 7-year-old girls in the study Talbot quotes were doing spontaneously anyway.

A.

Sorry, that should say mean, not median. It’ll be somewhat lower than the population mean, of course, because a large minority, not far off half in fact, of the 16-18 year olds had not yet had PIV.

A.

I have a Theory about why young girls sometimes feel used after sex with men. We all know the ev. psych. explanation and likely that does play a part, but I think it may also have a lot to do with persistent, pervasive ignorance about female sexual anatomy. It’s not surprising if you feel used when sex is blah to painful for you and fun for your partner. Probably a lot of young adolescent girls put up with this because at thirteen or fourteen they don’t know it can be any better, they haven’t learned yet how to be assertive, they’re in love for the first time, etc., and then looking back in later years they think, “That was really not fun. What a jerk. I’d have been better off exploring and having fun with a boy my age. He took advantage.” I think, or hope anyway, that a lot of this could be fixed by providing better information. But, as you say, this is all very hypothetical and we can’t actually know.
I recently found this fascinating study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2866104/ A lot of the young men interviewed said that their first experiences with receptive anal sex were very painful, sometimes because they didn’t know to use lubricant. One says: “Like the first instance when I had painful intercourse, he heard me but he wasn’t listening to me. And he showed that all he really cared about was him getting off and it didn’t really matter how. But it was hurting me.” That could very easily be a girl or woman talking. And indeed, the researchers comment that as adolescents the young men had been “often ill-equipped to advocate for their own sexual preferences or health. This is similar to research with female adolescents and the idea of young women’s sexual agency…”
Among many other interesting findings of this study: “It was not unusual for young men to describe early sexual experiences such as mutual masturbation, oral sex and ‘grinding’ at the age of seven or eight. … A substantial number of the respondents reported that their early sexual partners were ‘older’ (two or three year difference); however, a smaller proportion described being young teenagers (ages 12 and 13) when partnering with men in their twenties and thirties. It should be noted that none of the young men who fit in the latter group described these experiences as rape.”

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