Down and dirty in the VP basement

A confession: distaste for Virtuous Pedophiles (VP) has hitherto deterred me from undertaking a thorough scrutiny of their website. I thought I knew quite enough about them, thank you very much, from their media coverage, plus exchanges with co-founders Nick Devin and Ethan Edwards on Sexnet and here on Heretic TOC.
Their input of comments to last week’s blog, Humble or haughty, nasty is naughty, however, meant I would finally have to get down and dirty, scouring their lair from attic to basement in order to make a properly informed response. That is why I have taken a bit of time over the job and is also one reason why, having made that effort, I feel it is worth featuring this undertaking as a follow-up blog. Another is the growing salience of VP in public discourse. I believe this means there will be sufficient general interest to justify showcasing the result.
Having said that, I had better issue a trigger warning. Please understand that what follows will be longer and less humorous than usual, without any particular structure leading you through from one paragraph to the next. I will simply be responding, first to Nick’s points then to Ethan’s. As such, the text itself, as opposed to inherent interest in VP, is so dull it may send you into a coma. There is more than you might expect, at the start, on research by Dr James Cantor. You have been warned!
RESPONSE TO NICK 
Nick wrote:
“Dr. Cantor’s scientific 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.”
What Mike Bailey and I both accept, along with others who have been taking an interest, is that James Cantor is a scientist of some repute and that his findings are interesting.
It is not true, though, that all of these findings are generally accepted. Cantor, for instance, has concluded from his own research and that of others, that paedophilia is a sexual orientation. I think he is right, and increasingly this seems to be the consensus, but the position is nevertheless contested. In one of the sources (“Are paedophiles’ brains wired differently?”) listed on your website resource section, he is quoted thus:
“Paedophilia is something that we are essentially born with, does not appear to change over time and it’s as core to our being as any other sexual orientation is.”
But Dr Paul Fedoroff is quoted in the same article as an expert with a very different view who thinks paedophiles can be “cured”. As you know, he and his colleagues (lead author Müller K.) published a claim to this effect in a peer-reviewed journal. His paper is listed on your website. Mike Bailey rebutted it, and Fedoroff et al. rebutted the rebuttal.
How are non-scientists like you or I supposed to know whom to believe? As responsible people, I don’t think it makes sense just to latch onto the first scientist who comes along who seems to know his stuff. We need to think about the evidence for ourselves, just as a lay jury must think about the evidence-based claims made in court by an expert witness (or possibly by competing experts on opposite sides).
Having said that, I have never personally disputed any of Cantor’s findings or claimed to have grounds upon which to do so. That may surprise you. It may even surprise Cantor, because his own reaction to my sceptical questions has always been one on knee-jerk hostility towards anybody coming from an “advocacy” position. He simply has no interest in patiently addressing such questions when it is easier just to hurl abuse.
Please understand that what I have disputed (but only through questions, not assertions) has never been Cantor’s findings but rather his interpretation of those findings. For instance, he wrote a paper about the “deficiency” in paedophiles’ brains of white matter.
There is a huge presumption in that word deficiency. It suggests that something is wrong. But it ain’t necessarily so. A post mortem examination of Einstein’s brain showed (or so it was reported in Neuroscience Letters in 1996) he had a smaller brain than average for an adult male: 1.2kg as opposed to average 1.4kg.  Does that mean he had a “deficiency” of brain power? Clearly not. Even when brain size is different on average between two entire classes of person (men’s brains are on average larger than women’s), it is unwise to leap to conclusions about superior functionality based on size alone.
Indeed, even where brain differences have been associated with a dysfunction, such as lack of social skills of people with Asperger’s, that brain style may also go along with exceptionally high cognitive functioning: there are plenty of geeks around with Asperger’s, and they make a huge contribution to the advancement of science, engineering, etc.
Cantor is well aware of the dangers of assuming inferiority based just on evidence of difference. He must be. He is gay. He knows there are research findings showing that gay men have subtly different physical development at the foetus stage, which is associated with disproportionately high left-handedness (as with paedophiles!), a different ratio between the length of one finger to another, etc. But he does not leap to the conclusion that gay people are inferior; nor should he.
That is exactly what he does with paedophiles though. He uses the word “deficiency” in relation to paedophiles’ brains and then, talking about brain development of the foetus, he speculates:
“A possible cause may be maternal stress or malnourishment.”
He continues:
“The more we can zero in on exactly what’s going on and when it’s happening, the greater chance of being able to prevent it from developing in the first place.”
Who could argue against such sympathetic common sense? Who would not wish to eliminate maternal stress or malnourishment?
Well fine, let’s do research on that.
But note the unexamined assumption that paedophilia is caused by an undesirable condition, and the scientist’s job is to find a way to eliminate it.
If Cantor is really being objectively sympathetic and humane, why doesn’t he apply the same logic to the gay population, given that they too are the product of in utero developmental anomalies? If he is really clever, he might be able to stop people being “born gay”, including any future Cantor clones! I doubt he will be applying for research grants along those lines though.
And here is another dodgy assumption, in the very same short passage from your own cited  resources. He claims it is as though paedophiles have cross-wiring in the brain. And, on this basis:
“It’s as if, in these people, when they perceive a child, it’s triggering the sexual instincts instead of triggering the nurturing instincts.”
The assumption here is that when the sexual instinct is turned on, the nurturing side is switched off. What Cantor does not seem to have considered, or does not wish to examine, in the possibility that for paedophiles (or for those of us who love kids as opposed to raping them) erotic and nurturing feelings towards children are not in opposition to each other. As with many mothers, they go together. In male paedophiles such feelings could well arise from a slight feminisation of the brain in utero.
As for what I think of Cantor’s findings, as opposed to his interpretations of them, I have often entertained sceptical thoughts but I have never had strong enough evidence to contest them, or not until recently.
For instance, Cantor reported that paedophiles tend to have a significantly lower IQ than average, based on forensic sampling. It would have been easy to rubbish such work on the basis that most paedophiles in the community are likely to be more intelligent than those who get caught committing offences. In fact, though, Cantor’s research is quite sophisticated and takes this possibility into account. Rather than making a weak criticism of his IQ claim on Sexnet or elsewhere, I have held my tongue.
Recently, though, I see there is a new forensic study which comes up with completely different findings, showing paedophiles’ IQ is normal:
Azizian, A. et al., 2015. A summary at the Paraphilia Research website begins “This new study joins previous research in finding that pedophiles have normal IQ.” A separate link to the previous research in question is extensively referenced. I have yet to read and assess all this, but we are talking about peer-reviewed studies.
One further point about research, before I move on. You proudly point to your resources section, which includes academic papers. I would point out, though, that it is a rather loaded selection, notably excluding work showing lack of harm associated with adult-child sexual contacts (notably the Rind et al. 1998 meta-analysis) or with positive outcomes.
Moving on from Cantor, and from research, you write:
>You are wrong when you say that I don’t criticize sex offender treatment programs.
I did not quite say that, but I accept that I inadvertently implied it. My apologies for that.
Also:
>Mike Bailey knows why I posted the link to the article [i.e. the Vice News piece discussed last time] 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.
I do not doubt any of this. What I find harder to accept is that you had no further motivation, of a less charitable kind. You use the media, at every opportunity, to badmouth “pro-contacters”. Why would your approach be any different when trying to influence people on Sexnet?
>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.
That’s a bit like punching a woman in the face when you see her, then excusing yourself by saying,  “I know your husband often beats you up, so I guess you are used to it and won’t mind me hitting you as well.”
It also ignores what I said in this latest blog:
“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.”
Let me emphasise those first words: “I have no trouble living with Brett’s disapproval”. You are right to say one becomes inured to “mean things” that are said. If I were to lose sleep over insults on Twitter, or get desperately upset over routine tabloid vilification, I wouldn’t last long as a heretic.
The general rule, I think, is that bad-mouthing from those who are either ignorant, or just hired guns, is pretty much like water off a duck’s back in terms of personal impact. It can be much more wounding to hear unwelcome “home truths” from a close friend, or anybody one respects.
Or, indeed, from anyone whose views are likely to be respected by others because they appear to have some special knowledge. That would include scientists such as Cantor, and also you and Ethan (and Todd and Brett) because you are insiders to the experience of being MAPs. When you are nakedly hostile it is thus likely to influence a lot of people; also, your lack of solidarity with your fellow MAPs feels deeply treacherous.
I am sure you are aware of this. So the fact that you twist the knife at every opportunity does you no credit. It merely confirms you as vicious rather than virtuous.
I have no power in this matter though. Neither do any of us here so far as I can tell. All I can do is implore you not to abuse your own influence in the world. You can make your case on behalf of the non-offending paedophile quite effectively without resorting to incredibly offensive (especially to anyone less inured than me, and that will include most of the Kind community) anti “pro-contacter” propaganda.
You can simply choose to speak for yourselves and for other non-offenders, a category which I would think includes many of us heretics here, especially these days. Oh, and by the way, as long as you, Ethan and others go under pseudonyms we only have your word for it that you are non-offenders. Not that I am saying you ought to give your real names, nor am I accusing you. Just saying. As for your forum members, there will surely be former offenders among them who are now sincerely trying to stay “virtuous”, but not all will necessarily succeed.
While I am at it on the matter of pseudonyms, I would add another matter that should give the media some grounds for wondering just how kosher you are: VP has no constitution. You and Ethan are answerable to no one in the way you run it. You say you have “members” but there appears to be no democratic structure. You cannot be voted off the executive. This is perhaps not a great problem at the moment, especially as you do not seem to be asking anyone for money. Of course, a similar criticism could be made of Heretic TOC. However, like other personal blogs, this one is openly focused on my personal views and those of others I choose to host – usually fellow heretics but sometimes not, as in the present case. An organisation such as VP, by contrast, which aims to help distressed paedophiles (though curiously this is not listed in your official aims, which are very restricted and tucked away as FAQ Q5) arguably should be more accountable.
If VP continues as at present, successfully attracting publicity and further “members”, it will become increasingly difficult to monitor and moderate interactions on the forum on a purely volunteer basis, which will in any case have its downside in terms of quality control – as we have seen when Brett has been let loose.
If you feel the need to present a distinctive VP brand, I don’t think we heretics could have any objection to your doing so in a slightly different way. If you are going to set yourself apart, let it be from those who abduct, rape and murder kids, or who trick and exploit them: people who do real harm.
Nor would I object to you saying you do not think kids can consent, and that present laws should remain. That is certainly an arguable case and I have no quarrel at all with you saying you subscribe to it. Where I think most of us here would part company with you is when you collude with the tabloids and others in vilifying those of us who take a different position. That is just plain wrong, as wrong as the KKK used to be in attacking “dirty n……s” who “lust after our womenfolk” and seek “miscegenation”.
So please, I politely implore you, just stop it now!
RESPONSE TO ETHAN
Attempting to justify use of the term “pro-contact”, Ethan wrote:
>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.
As Dissident wrote earlier today, it is a safe assumption that many will take it that way.
>”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.”
But don’t expect Kind folk here to be happy with your efforts to reinforce how “repellent” we are. As Stephen6000 implied with his short sceptical question, you are going out of your way to reinforce prejudice based on whipped up emotions, not facts.
>“we have irreconcilable purists on our own side”
There are people whose views I respect who perhaps take an even dimmer view than I do of dealings with mainstream media such as Vice News, and who likewise might see no point in any sort of negotiation with VP over language such as “pro-contact” versus “pro-choice”, or whatever. Is that being a “purist”? Perhaps “realist” might be an expression more favoured by some.
>Todd and Brett rightly point out that even a few loud voices can stain those of us with moderate views.
Neither Todd nor Brett sound moderate to me, I have to say. Their denunciation of “pro-contacters” is rabid in its ferocity, and the VP website is likewise fiercely partisan.
Yes, I’ve taken a potshot or two myself against you guys, notably in my last blog, but only because there are limits to turning the other cheek. None of this antagonism would have started without VP setting out deliberately, right from the outset, to aim at making yourselves look good at Kind expense. It’s all there, quite clearly on your website, in your public pronouncements and even in your name: you are “virtuous” and lose no opportunity to define yourself against the “selfishness”, “self-serving rationalisations”, etc of the despised Other i.e. anyone with a different view to you, no matter how principled and indeed moderate it may be.
While our views are indeed a long way from the mainstream I don’t think we can be accused of extremism in our methods, which have always been peaceful, democratic and inclusive, which is why you are allowed to participate on this forum. We are reasonable, and as Mike Bailey says, principled. There is nothing immoderate about that.
We give no cause for you to talk in public about us in the extraordinarily hateful way you do, making us out to be all but sub-human, just as the worst of the tabloid media do. And then you, and more especially Nick, have the gall to claim we are being hateful. The hypocrisy is so naked and extreme it beggars belief that you can expect to be taken seriously.
>But the trends seem to be against you. “Holding your ground” seems like very much of a rearguard action.
Yes, it is. As you rightly point out, we have been losing ground for decades, since long before VP came along: victim feminism and “respectable” gay politics have steadily gained ground at our expense in mass culture. This does not, however, mean we are wrong or should give up. The early Christians had to fight for centuries before the tide turned in their favour.
Where I think we are holding our own and have some prospect of doing better in the near future is in the extent to which we MAPs begin to see ourselves as Kind rather than Virtuous. Bear in mind, it is not just Heretic TOC versus VP: other websites, such as those listed in the Blogroll here, offer good information and thoughtful analysis, with Consenting Humans as a recent very impressive addition. Dissident has given other examples earlier today.
There are also organisations which do not support the “heretical” perspective seen here but which are truly moderate where VP is not: notably B4U-ACT in the US, which I see has its annual workshop coming up in April, and FUMA, its fledgling UK equivalent, as mentioned in Heretic TOC last time.
>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 we have seen from Samuel, there are grounds for scepticism over the meaning of these numbers. Also, it is not comparing like with like because Heretic TOC has not offered membership. This site scores hundreds of hits every day (over 500 yesterday). If we were to go down the membership route it is entirely possible we would get as many sign-ups as VP,  and with much less chance of people leaving through disillusion over the fact that you offer help (well, you offer your forum) that may not be experienced as all that helpful.
About your forum, you say:
“A forum provides a community to reduce isolation and desperation. The Virtuous Pedophiles forum provides a place where pedophiles can discuss living with their attraction, but with the shared understanding that sexual activity with children is wrong and that we are not trying to make it more acceptable.”
I find myself wondering exactly what this discussion amounts to, and whether many or most forum participants end up feeling they have been helped. Nick referred on Sexnet to data  I have supposedly ignored. Trawling the VP website in response to this accusation, though, I do not see anything that fits the bill, except perhaps for the “First Words” section of “Who We Are”. This showcases “…the initial messages we have received…. Reading them will give a flavor of our diversity, the themes that come up over and over again…”
These messages are interesting, and worthy of study, but they are indeed first words, which tell us why the writers came to VP in the first place. But they tell us nothing of how these people feel about VP after they have been around for a while, or why they leave if they do – perhaps because Brett has trashed their posts or they have not found the sense of community they had hoped for, or any real sense of how they can live with their paedophilia.
I may be wrong about this. Perhaps there is a lot of satisfaction. If so, VP would do well to ask members for their thoughts after they have spent some time on the forum, and when they leave, or go silent. Is there, indeed, any formal procedure for leaving? People register, but do they de-register? If not, then as time goes by your “membership” is going to be increasingly inflated by lost souls looking for a way out, a bit like the Hotel California:

“Relax,” said the night man,
“We are programmed to receive.
You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave!”

Much better than just VP’s own survey, though, would be to encourage formal independent research for a peer-reviewed journal article. My call for this on Sexnet has so far gone without a positive response.
 

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[…] Acting virtuously can also be a dissimulate way to receive approval by bashing others. […]

Salem21

Hi Tom…just thought I’d share this, diverting slightly off topic: This is about a migrant boy (15) suspected of murder — Pushing the vulnerable perpetrator narrative again: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3416343/Sweden-asylum-worker-22-stabbed-death-frenzied-attack-CHILD-migrant-centre-refugee-boy-15-arrested-murder.html?ito=social-twitter_mailonline

Nick Devin

Sorry to be late in responding. Dealing with some family health issues. Ethan has already said much of what I wanted to say. I’ll just cover a few points that he did not.
First, I do not agree that it makes sense for lay people to judge the work of scientists by analyzing the data for themselves. Your reference to juries judging expert testimony is apt, though not in the way you intend. Juries are notoriously poor at doing this; witness the breast implant cases and countless other instances. Personally, I do not have the requisite expertise. I think it makes far more sense to rely on trusted experts and scientific consensus.
Second, like Ethan, I do not really care whether pedophilia is in-born, though I do find the question interesting. For VP, the key point is that it is not chosen. Having said that, it is my understanding that most experts agree with Cantor.
Third, I think you read far too much into Cantor’s use of the word “diminished.” It simply means less than is typical.
Fourth, I think Cantor and I both believe that pedophilia is undesirable. I think that most pedophiles would agree. To me, the simple test is whether you would want your child to be a pedophile. I think most pedophiles would say no. I agree that there is an analogue to homosexuality; most parents would not want their children to be gay either. But the difficulties faced by homosexuals are much less than the difficulties faced by pedophiles. You should review our FAQ on whether pedophilia is a mental illness as it bears on this discussion. Mike wrote it.
Fifth, James has been a leader in reducing stigma towards pedophiles. He has done far more than you have in this respect. I think he deserves a great deal of credit for this.
Sixth, I take issue with your comment about my taking every opportunity to twist the knife. I don’t believe I have ever said anything about you in public at all. On one occasion very early on I went a bit overboard in an interview as relates to harm. Mike chastised me and I have been far more circumspect since. If you look at what I have said in the press, you will find that I say very little about harm. I don’t go beyond what we say in our FAQ.
Last, you and I have had sharp exchanges on sexnet. I blame you for virtually all of this. As you will no doubt recall, I tried very hard to befriend you both when I started VP and before. Each time you responded by kicking me in the teeth. Eventually I gave up and started responding in kind. If you go back over the exchanges, you will find that it is always you starting things by making snide remarks about me and VP. Even this last is not an exception. Although I know you won’t believe me, I did not post the article to denigrate you.
I would be happy to try to interject more civility into our interactions. I have offered this previously and you have always taken it as a sign of weakness and proceeded to kick me in the teeth.

A.

You write: “First, I do not agree that it makes sense for lay people to judge the work of scientists by analyzing the data for themselves.” Myself I feel it is important for laypeople to be equipped with at least a basic understanding of the scientific method and of statistics. I recall that my school started attempting so to equip us when we were twelve. Professor Trisha Greenhalgh’s book How to Read a Paper: The Basics of Evidence-Based Medicine was written for lay readers as well as for medical and nursing students and has been recommended to lay readers by doctors, who are about the least likely group to approve of laypeople messing around with stuff they don’t understand. Not long ago the scientific consensus was that homosexuality was a mental illness. Early gay activists were not willing to accept this consensus, and a good thing too.
I agree with you that it doesn’t matter whether paedo/hebephilia is inborn or not. I would also argue that though sexual orientation is not chosen, it wouldn’t matter if it were, because there can be nothing wrong with simply having a particular orientation. However, it would be politically unwise for e.g. gay activists to put forward such a viewpoint. Many people believe that if homosexuals weren’t born that way, their orientation must be chosen and/or changeable, and can only accept homosexuals if they are told that they were indeed born that way.

Salem21

To add to that…People who have diseases can sometimes study them to such a degree, that they have more knowledge (on that particular disease) then their general practitioner.

A.

Yes, I’ve heard of that. And then there’s the open access movement. Latest development: https://pascophronesis.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/montreal-neurological-institute-goes-full-open-science/

Christian

“First, I do not agree that it makes sense for lay people to judge the work of scientists by analyzing the data for themselves.”
Why do you suppose that people posting comments here are necessarily without scientific training? (on top of having selfish opinions!)

Heath Synnestvedt

An aside which represents a helpful (if paradigm-rocking) perspective on the issue of experts:
http://dragon-in-a-fez.tumblr.com/post/156857257381/a-friend-of-mine-is-a-science-educator-not-a

Christian

When a MAP gives his opinion about the sexual competences of minors, it is “selfish” and “self-serving”. Nothing as such when hetero- or homo-sexual teleiophiles defend their rights. When parents want to raise their children in their own religious creed, or to control their sexual expression, or to choose their activities, it is not “selfish” nor “self-serving”, it is their “natural right”.
When a man has an affair with an underage girl, he is called a “predator”. But when a banker raises his interest rates then throws on the street those who can’t anymore pay their mortgages, he is never called a “predator”, because it his his “right”. When a group of wage workers enjoys some advantage, it is called a “privilege” and it is considered unfair. But when advantages are given year after year to employers, it is not a “privilege”, it is fair, it means just “making the economy competitive”.
Moral discourse is ideologically slanted to serve the interests of the ruling class and to uphold the social norms that suit it, to crush the interests of the lower classes, and to stigmatize those who do not follow the norms.

Dissident

Fully agreed, Christian. With all of those specific examples you cited, in fact. This is why I have often stated that I believe the primary purpose of the anti-choice camp is to protect the status quo and the specific power hierarchies of our contemporary institutions. Their purported goal to “protect” children basically translates as protecting the enforcement of their “place” within that hierarchy. If you mention to many of the contemporary liberals about the inequalities of the system that you pointed out, they will often retort with something akin to, “Well, we never said the system is perfect. No system would be.” This is, of course, blatant apologies for the draconian aspects of the system by describing them as mere “imperfections” that should be tolerated and resigned to, if not outright supported as “necessary evils” that may in fact support some “greater good”.

A.

I totally agree with you but you’ve put it much better than I could :).

gantier99

Amen. We are still in the lobby really, waiting to be allowed to fight. “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”. Thank you Gandhi!
Oh and as it can be cold in the lobby, a song to spread a little warmth 🙂
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7NifFA4QkE

Sapphocidaire

The most virulent haters of child-love are leftists. It is feminists above all who detest boylovers and girllovers. This is becuase
an older man in a relationship with a young girl is a power imbalance, and socialism is all about equality and self-empowerment. I can imagine it is difficult for you to
admit this to yourself, but it is the values that came in with the Enlightenment concerning equality and individualism that are incompatible with the love of boys or girls. The greatest
power-imbalance of all is that of a parent and their child, which is why the left did everything it could to destroy the privacy and special strenght of the family by dissolving parental control, leading to a social-workerisation
of society where children are encouraged to actively inform on their own parents regarding abuse and so on. By all means have socialist views, but I shouldn’t waste time
deluding yourself that such a society would be friendly to the love between an adult and a child.
If Noam Chomsky is one of the framers of the views held by they antiestablishment left today, he hasn’t spoken out once against the paedohysteria or the persecuation of children for
“abusing” other children of a few years younger when they are just fooling around or loving each other. ANONYMOUS is the voice of youth anger at the ‘system’ and corporations
and on their downtime they try to silence online discussion among ‘pedophiles’.
Boylove and girlove existed in the olden days in feudal societies, when the idea of a rich man wooing a poor girl or boy with gifts
was seen as a nice thing to do, and it ain’t coming back ! So by all means if it makes you feel like you are a fighting spirt continue to spew this garbage about
true liberty and how great the seventies were, but the rest of the world has moved on, and VirPed are RIGHT about ONE THING! Whereas there is a recognisable online community
of adults wanting love with children, there is NO EQUIVALENT community of children ! And don’t say they are incapable to taking the initiative. I know for a fact there
are a number of online LGBT social networking sites run by children themselves. They are EXTREMELY HOSTILE to adults above eighteen going on them. The number of children
interested in relationships with adults is in fact very small. Young people ARE liberated now! They are free to mess around with CHILDREN THEIR OWN AGE! They don’t want
bearded men in their beds! And gay boys in particular don’t want to be pestered by ADULT MEN! Trust me!

Christian

I never trust people who use gross misogynist pseudonyms such as “Gynocide Prophecies” or “Sapphocidaire”. It is the same old “men’s rights” stuff: disgruntled men who, having seen the alliance between misandrists and anti-sex bigots cloaked in a so-called “feminist” discourse, take that “feminist” cover at face value, and deduce that women’s liberation means the oppression of men. First men are not oppressed by women (which gender gets higher wages and makes the majority in places of power? and which gender does the majority of unpaid home labour?). Anti-sex bigots, under the guise of denouncing male sexuality, are in fact attacking sexual rights of everyone: men, women and children. They attack foremost men’s sexuality in order to finish the job, as the repression of women’s sexuality has already been implemented for 500 years
I always use the words “feminist”, “progressive”, “left” and “far left” with quotes, because they don’t mean much; the majority of political currents which get such labels strive for maintaining the present capitalist society. That includes Chomsky and many other “radicals”.
What do you want, Sapphocidaire? To return to antiquity or to feudalism?
You have not understood the meaning of “equality” that is demanded in labour, society and politics, it has nothing to do with the identity of love partners, otherwise everyone would be requireed to be homosexual. See in my article “Components of love” (https://agapeta.wordpress.com/2015/11/16/components-of-love/), the discussion of Eros.

stephen6000

Yes, attacking feminism on the grounds that some so-called feminists are misandrists is like attacking socialism on the grounds that North Korea isn’t a nice place to live. North Korea isn’t socialism, nor is misandry true feminism.

Salem21

Sorry i don’t understand “or everybody would be required to be homosexual” statement; Maybe I’m just dull. On another note, the gender pay gap you mentioned….There is a pay gap between men and women for many reasons, to simplistic to blame ‘the patriarchy’…Men work longer hours than women, take more risks (I’m guilty of doing that)…Also men do the most dangerous jobs on average — More men are Bin-men, Roofers, scaffolders. There are gender discrimination laws in place; You cannot employ a man and pay him more based on his gender, that’s been illegal since the 1970s — Not so many
women rushing to be bin-ladies, it doesn’t fit the ‘white male privilege’ narrative

Salem21

Young people certainly are not liberated; They are just as much victim to these harsh sex offence laws as adults:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYt-3fai-PI

Dissident

You can’t discuss the pro-legalization position there either, but the difference in atmosphere and vision of the organization seems to make all the difference. B4u-act remains a small forum with few posts, while we are far larger.
That old saw again, Ethan? I happen to know many MAPs of all ideological positions, including members of B4U-ACT, and they make the following clear:
1) The B4U-Act forum does not endorse a combative atmosphere, and does not endorse any particular moral view. It is more about support, as Tom noted here, and bad-mouthing Virped isn’t allowed there.
2) I’ve also been told that there has been an influx of posters from Virped to B4U-ACT, many of whom post simultaneously on both boards. Clearly, the method and atmosphere of unification and support regardless of one’s moral position on the various issues is appealing to many Kind people, including anti-choicers, who have no interest in vilifying pro-choicers like some of your main spokesmen seem to do. Maybe, as Tom also noted, you should be more considerate over who you “let loose” on the media. That will prevent you from being put on the spot and in the uncomfortable position of having to frequently distance yourself from their vitriol, try to sugar coat it (as you have done with Todd and Brett), or simply act as if you don’t notice it (which you have done during Todd’s infamous last discourse with me to date on GC). It seems that the more MAPs come to learn of B4U-ACT, the more interested they are in finding out what it’s all about itself.
While Brett’s distaste is clear, if you read Todd’s quotes, he does not say terrible things about you or other pro-contacters; all he says is basically that he disagrees.
Seriously now, Ethan? Again, do I need to get a link to my last conversation with Todd on GC, which was fully public until it slipped into the archives a few months ago? There are numerous people in the community who saw it, and will continue to trust their own eyes no matter how much you try to ignore it. These are also Kind members of the community who are very familiar with Todd’s posting history on BC and GC over the years. In other words, even if he did speak out mostly in anger, he has said no end of very nasty things about pro-choicers in the past.
If you want to say that he doesn’t do that in his media interviews, I will respond with these two reminders: 1) It still doesn’t change the things he has said on public forums that were not controlled by mainstream media outlets; and, 2) I guess that depends on how one interprets his statement that “pro-contacters” (that loaded term again!) support “crazy” ideas in his first Salon article. That term doesn’t exactly sound value-neutral or non-pejorative to me, especially since he could have said “ideas I just couldn’t come to agree with.”

feinmann0

“A confession: distaste for Virtuous Pedophiles (VP) has hitherto deterred me from undertaking a thorough scrutiny of their website. I thought I knew quite enough about them, thank you very much, from their media coverage, plus exchanges with co-founders Nick Devin and Ethan Edwards on Sexnet and here on Heretic TOC.”
and …
“We give no cause for you to talk in public about us in the extraordinarily hateful way you do, making us out to be all but sub-human, just as the worst of the tabloid media do. And then you, and more especially Nick, have the gall to claim we are being hateful. The hypocrisy is so naked and extreme it beggars belief that you can expect to be taken seriously.”
Quite so Tom and thank you for making me more aware of the background and modus operandi of VP. You have highlighted a very interesting point: Are VP the real deal or are they subversively masquerading as paedophiles, albeit virtuous and duplicitous, simply to undermine us? If the latter scenario be true, it would explain an awful lot.
I admit that up till now I have used a metaphorical bargepole to distance myself from the VP forums and blogs. I imagine to view them, might be rather like an atheist passing through the bible-belt in the deep-south for the first time, and being shocked at just how gullible and deluded society can be in their support for sham corrupt religions.

A.

OK, here goes. I am treading on very boggy ground here. Let me make this clear: I’m not accusing anyone of masquerading as anything. But I have thought for a long time that, as someone who according to his own statements discovered his paedophilic feelings relatively late in life, Ethan hasn’t gone through the same experiences as those of us who realised that we were attracted to younger children when we were children or adolescents ourselves (I for instance was thirteen) and that this may influence his standpoint. I am aware that the same cannot be said of Nick.

feinmann0

Hi A
I admit my mention of masquerading was a little tongue tucked in cheek, but being minor-attracted in this world does tend to precipitate a smidgin of paranoia, and in turn causes one to question everything.

A.

Quite!

ethane72

In sum, Nick and I make clear our clear and strong disagreement with the pro-legalization position, but we go no further than that.
“You use the media, at every opportunity, to badmouth “pro-contacters”. Why would your approach be any different when trying to influence people on Sexnet?”
I think you are reading very selectively. The vast majority of what we say has nothing whatsoever to do with the pro-legalization position. I think it is Sexnet more than any other place where Nick states his disagreement with you.
“VP has no constitution”
Virtuous Pedophiles started as a website Nick and I put together (the initial vision and idea was his). It’s a lean organizational structure, and the views are ours alone. We offered a support group too. The key conditions for joining (membership in the forum) are a commitment to never act sexually with a child in the future, and an agreement not to talk about legalizing adult-child sex or making it more acceptable. However, judging from the introductory emails we get, a key condition for most people’s willingness to join is that they don’t have to listen to or associate with pro-legalization views. The peer support forum that is most comparable to ours (and out of which we emerged) is b4u-act. You can’t discuss the pro-legalization position there either, but the difference in atmosphere and vision of the organization seems to make all the difference. B4u-act remains a small forum with few posts, while we are far larger. Have all 1,300 VP forum members sworn an allegiance to all our positions? No, they haven’t. But the circumstantial evidence, based on the posts and initial emails of inquiry is that the vast majority do share our basic vision.
“the VP website is likewise fiercely partisan”
Oh? The most divisive quote people usually come up with is this one — buried in a FAQ: “We believe that sexual activity between adults and children is wrong. Some pedophiles argue it should be accepted, but we disagree and think their arguments should be greeted skeptically due to the self-interest involved.” I just don’t read anything to support “despised other”, “extraordinarily hateful” or the other extreme characterizations you have used. Do you have some other passage in mind?
“You can make your case on behalf of the non-offending paedophile quite effectively without resorting to incredibly offensive… anti “pro-contacter” propaganda.”
It is true that Nick and I reject the pro-legalization mindset. That is at the heart of Virtuous Pedophiles and why we came into being. Yet we have often recognized that pedophiles who have pro-legalization views qualify as (lowercase) virtuous if they do not do sexual things with kids. We believe that most such people who are vocal online do not in fact abuse kids and we say so. We patiently engage “you all” in civil debate. In a series of blog posts here (http://celibatepedos.blogspot.com/2016/01/index-of-all-posts.html) indexed under the heading “Considering the Pro-Legalization (Pro-Contact) Position”, I consider the pro-legalization position carefully, and agree with that position (in contrast to most of society) on many points.
In short, Nick and I object to the pro-legalization viewpoint enough to make clear that we have different beliefs and think your opinions are not helpful for the cause of pedophiles in general, but no further than that. If, as many people claim, we had a craven desire to get maximum approval from the powers that be, we could do a far better job at trashing the pro-legalization people and position. Really. Just think about it a moment. Asserting you’re all raping little boys and girls would be a cheap and easy start, right?
Now, sometimes Nick and I are accused of insisting on everyone in VP parroting our beliefs. But the Vice article reveals people in the VP support group who have harsher judgments about pro-legalization people. “Brett” and Todd are both passionate people, and they do not agree with us on some things. While Brett’s distaste is clear, if you read Todd’s quotes, he does not say terrible things about you or other pro-contacters; all he says is basically that he disagrees.
It’s the Vice author Paul Willis who brings up you and your position rather late in a long article, and he then quotes Brett’s strong opinion and Todd’s muted opinion on the subject. Yet you focus with great intensity on those two quotes as if that’s what the whole article is about.

ethane72

As for your complaints about how our wordings could be improved, I don’t buy it. If readers reject our idea that self-interest weighs on how to evaluate pro-legalization views, they will quickly figure out where to find you and judge for themselves.
My main conclusion is that those of you who are distressed about this (after seeing how muted our criticisms actually are) are just extraordinarily touchy.
There’s a bit of the tone of the McCarthy era “fellow traveler” allegations. If VP does not repudiate the added emotion of displeasure made by two of our moderators towards pro-legalization people, then we are therefore vicious?
Whereas posts like “Virtuous Pedophiles Burnish Their Halos” and “Virtuous Turkeys Vote For Christmas” are just all part of respectful discourse?

Dissident

Bingo! Note his recent request in your previous essay’s comments section that I am less willing to accept nuance than Stephen or A because at this point in our history of debate I may come off as less conciliatory than they are. I thank you for noting this here, Tom, and accordingly, I will not respond directly to Ethan and risk another merry-go-round ride that grates on you as the sole moderator of this blog.

A.

By the way, Dissident, thanks for your kind remarks on the other thread. Sorry to you and Ethan both for not replying to you there: I have just now caught up with the posts on it and I see Tom has called off the fight.

A.

The Consenting Humans article you link to argues that CLs may be uniquely well placed, better placed than parents or other adults, to offer positive testimony about children’s sexuality. This study, using data from 1995, offers support for that idea. It found that 78.1% of the mothers of kids aged 11-13 who had been sexually active, meaning PIV, reported that their children were not sexually active: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/256609722_Maternal_Underestimation_of_Child's_Sexual_Experience_Suggested_Implications_for_HPV_Vaccine_Uptake_at_Recommended_Ages

A.

May also be relevant: “28-32% of adolescents reported an age at first intercourse inconsistent with the information they provided up to seven years later as adults.” http://www.jstor.org/stable/2953398?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

ethane72

This first response has a bunch of “miscellaneous” points. The second one will be more focused on the key issue at hand. Nick may be a while responding as something has arisen in real life to require his attention.
The whole topic of Cantor’s research doesn’t interest me too much. Yes, he’s just one scientist, and we have to make judgment calls about who to believe. It’s complicated.
“What Cantor does not seem to have considered, or does not wish to examine, in the possibility that for paedophiles (or for those of us who love kids as opposed to raping them) erotic and nurturing feelings towards children are not in opposition to each other.”
Nick and I have this same reaction and have mentioned this to Cantor a number of times. He doesn’t claim any evidence that pedophiles have reduced nurturing. His position seems to be that in the “sound bite-length” moments of the public’s attention, it’s close enough (and attention-grabbing). I have speculated that it’s also easy for him to “feel” this conclusion is right as a large proportion of pedophiles he has encountered are child sex abusers, who have by that fact shown questionable nurturing skills (for reasons of iatrogenic harm if nothing else).
“as long as you, Ethan and others go under pseudonyms we only have your word for it that you are non-offenders”
That is true regarding public accusations. But no one can prove he’s not secretly an offender, whether he’s publicly out or not.
“I would finally have to get down and dirty, scouring their lair from attic to basement” … “I find myself wondering exactly what this discussion amounts to, and whether many or most forum participants end up feeling they have been helped”
Aside from the website, you can ethically join Virtuous Pedophiles forum if you’d like. I’ll send you the link by email. We openly welcome people who disagree with our basic beliefs on the condition they do not post, and when giving our membership numbers, we recognize the existence of a few people who disagree with us. You may be surprised by the broad range of opinions expressed and topics covered.
“your official aims … are very restricted and tucked away as FAQ Q5 … do not include helping pedophiles?”
Our website has evolved. I believe FAQ 5 is old, dating from a time when our peer support group hadn’t even started. If you look at that bottom of the home page, in the paragraph that starts, “The goals of our organization…” you will see a more up-to-date explanation.
“An organisation such as VP, by contrast, which aims to help distressed paedophiles … arguably should be more accountable.”
The world is open to anyone else who wants to form a membership organization of pedophiles. Nick and I have limited time and no interest in that. Besides, since neither we nor most of our members are “out”, it’s hard to see how that would work exactly. We have no way of discounting sock puppets, for instance, in some democratic process.
“…most of the Kind community”
Is there a history to the use of “Kind” to represent those more sympathetic with your position? I only recall hearing it in the past month or so. Is it meant to play off “Kind” as the German for “child”?
“As Stephen6000 implied with his short sceptical question…”
I don’t know where this is so I can’t reply to it.
You ask if we systematically ask people about whether they are happy with what VP provides. We could do a poll, but it would mean little. We can’t do a systematic survey. Our membership is not “tight” like that — as noted, 2/3 of those who sign up make at most a couple posts.
Occasionally people make a post when they are leaving. The most common one I recall is, “I’m happier when I don’t think about my pedophilia so much”, often after we have helped them through a crisis. We also get pro-legalization partisans who join and then complain about the rules and say they are leaving, but that’s to be expected.

A.

This is of pehaps dubious relevance, but I thought everyone might like to know. Psychforums.com, which provides support for people with mental illnesses, had a paraphilias subforum. The overwhelming majority of the posters there were MAPs, though there were some with other orientations that can be very emotionally distressing, e.g. necrophilia, some with multiple personalities, and some with ‘paedophilic OCD’: that is, people, usually very young, who were obsessively afraid they were sexually attracted to kids but in fact weren’t. The latter group always received kind reassurance. I liked to give Paraphilias Forums a read sometimes. While most posters there were not pro-legalisation (the clue is in the name!), there were some who were. Unusually and interestingly, quite a large minority of MAP posters there were female.
Well, Psychforums decided to close the paraphilias subforum. Apparently it got really hard to moderate the place because a few people were posting vivid fantasies of e.g. murdering women. However, some posters there seem to believe the forum was closed because the people who run Psychforums are prejudiced against sexual minorities. That certainly wouldn’t be a shocker. One such poster, who is necrophilic and says he first fell in love with a dead person when he was ten, has set up a new board, Paraphilia Support Forum, with subforums for paedophilia, necrophilia and miscellaneous paraphilias.The guy who set it up writes in the rules: “This website takes the position that…it is not supportive to encourage other members to believe that illegal activities are harmless.” In extreme cases, he says, he is willing to report posts and IP addresses to the police. Apart from that there appears to be no coercive party line, just a bunch of people chatting, and free to leave at will. The board has a lot of posts already, especially in the Paedophilia subforum. Shows how much of a need there is.
Vice recently ran an article on necrophilia, incidentally.

A.

I wasn’t aware of the Seto research discussed in that article. V. interesting.
Do you know anything about Prevention Project Dunkelfeld in Germany, by the way? Is it more or less like B4U-Act?

A.

I see. Thanks. I’ve just found the YouTube channel ‘Kein Täter werden’ and there is a video there explicitly stating that breach of confidentiality regarding past sexual offences is itself a criminal offence in Germany. There are also several short videos that were apparently shown as ads on TV. I can’t imagine anything similar running on anglophone TV. Though perhaps there has been something?

A.

I watched my way through KeinTaeterWerden’s YouTube channel and when you do that one of the videos that pops up in the suggestions sidebar is the trailer for The Year my Parents Went on Vacation, a 2006 Brazilian movie starring a beautiful boy actor of ten or eleven (his name’s Michel Joelsas and I am smitten). I guess that shows they are reaching the people they want to be reaching.
I’ve mentioned here before the German TV film Guter Junge, which is on YouTube with optional English subs. It’s one of the best portrayals of a BL I have seen, and the young BL’s relationship with his still younger friend is depicted positively. On this BL blog there’s a lengthy and excellent discussion of the film: http://ganymed.blogsport.de/2008/04/10/der-vater-und-die-arme-sau-ueber-guter-junge/ The writer mentions a trend for German TV programmes to depict MAPs as human beings rather than monsters, but points out that “nur ein therapierter Pädophiler ist ein guter Pädophiler lautet das Motto…” He is, I think, spotting implications in the film that get by me, as I’m not very familiar with German culture. The whole piece is excellent and I recommend making your way through it even if you have poor German like me.

Salem21

I don’t wast my time reading those; Like someone mentioned further back…”its rather like an atheist passing through the bible-belt in the deep-south for the first time, and being shocked at just how gullible and deluded society can be in their support for sham corrupt religions”….I’m sure those blogs (mainly be V-peds) commenting on why paedophiles should be free to buy a sex doll, are well written…But then having to read ‘if it helps stop paedophiles from ‘harming’ real kids etc’..Just like when someone brings god into the equation, That’s when i lose interest — NO OFFENC.-)
[TOC: Adds: Think this is appearing in the wrong place. Not sure why. Guess it is supposed to follow my link to Vice article on sex dolls.]

Phil

‘Paedophilia is something that we are essentially born with’
I have 2 reactions to that.
1) It’s nonsense, in that it can quite easily be an acquired taste, for example in my own experience of feeling erotically unfilled yet blessed/cursed with a strong libido and aesthetic eye for beauty. Over time I’ve explored steadily younger and younger in my fantasies, as I’ve never been able to attain the adult relationships I would like, until now at 45 paedophilia is at least a 50% part of my libido. I enjoy feeling that way, I hasten to add (no self-tortured guilt here). It’s my feelings, my eroticism, my aesthetic.
2) If we are ‘essentially born with it’, then I say EVERYBODY is essentially born with it (not just the unfortunate or despised minority which the article no doubt refers to). I see it as a quality which anybody could learn or ‘descend to’ (depending on your moral outlook), given the circumstances. It’s latent in anybody with a libido, even without perhaps, although admittedly it would take a lot more to draw it out than others. Would love to stage an experiment: a ‘normal adult’ male (whatever that is) placed on an isolated island with only a pretty child for company, say aged 7, together for the next 5 years. THAT would get me watching reality TV btw. Obviously you’d have to remove the variables of incrimination, stigma and vigilante fears for the experiment to be valid.
‘does not appear to change over time’
I refer to my point 1 above. I have changed steadily and hugely over my adult years, for the worse some would say (I do not)! I believe a person could change in the other direction too – reneging on/overcoming their paedophilia, (depending on your moral outlook) – although not ‘cured’ as such. This is because of point 2 above: no such thing as a cure, because it is latent in all of us. It’s a type of addiction, if we’re to compare a sex drive to addiction (as many folk do) and as such can be reduced or indulged, but not entirely disappeared.
‘and it’s as core to our being as any other sexual orientation is’
No argument there, if taking the statement at face value. I apologise I haven’t time to read on, but I suspect from the tone that this type of sexual orientation is to be regarded as a kind of cancer amidst the ‘acceptable’ orientations. If so, that’s BS, except in the sense that any taste whatsoever, sexual or otherwise, could potentially lead to addiction or abuse.

A.

Have you seen this study https://www.ipce.info/ipceweb////Library/97-048_article.html? “Subjects who were highly arousable, insofar as they were unable to voluntarily and completely inhibit their sexual arousal, were more sexually aroused by all stimuli [i.e. including paedophilic stimuli] than were subjects who were able to inhibit their sexual arousal.”
Quite a lot of MAPs say that their attractions have shifted over time: they have become attracted to people older or younger, or both older and younger, than those they originally liked. Many others do have the same AOA all their lives, though.

A.

Following my exchange with Tom about Prevention Project Dunkenfeld, I found this on their Twitter feed: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jsm.12927/abstract “Results [from a survey of 75 people] displayed that the AOO [age of onset of sexual interest in children] ranges from 6 to 44, and has a mean value of 17 and a median of 15 years…the earlier participants recognized their SIC [sexual interest in children], the less change they have experienced over time.”

Aethenic

You have hit upon an important point, in that except for social repression, most people would be paedophiles. But once the mechanism of repression is in place (and it is, in 98% of the population) “they” find it impossible to channel their sexuality towards that which is obvious: sexy kids!

A.

To accompany the Tromovitch presentation, there’s this study https://www.psychologytoday.com/files/u47/Henry_et_al.pdf which found that 24% of a sample of 29 nonhomophobic heterosexual men “showed definite [penile] tumescence” to a gay porn video. I wonder if there could be significant overlap between this group and Tromovitch’s “well over 20%” with significant paedophilic arousal. Is it that about a quarter of men have a pretty flexible sexuality, perhaps partly due to high general arousability, and the rest are much more category-specific, or are we looking at two different groups? It’ll be a long time before *that* study gets done. Michael Bailey did do a study which appeared to indicate that male bisexuals don’t exist, then did another (‘Sexual Arousal Patterns of Bisexual Men Revisited’) with more stringent selection criteria that found they do, although their arousal to men and women respectively is more 60-40 or 70-30 than 50-50. Then there are these two studies http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301051113001981 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886914002037 which found that male bisexuality is correlated with sexual curiosity and sexual sensation seeking, though the correlation with sexual excitability that I’ve wondered about only held good for bisexual women. I wouldn’t be surprised if paedophilic interest in men who aren’t actually preferential or exclusive paedophiles were so correlated also. Though perhaps, as indicated by the study I linked in reply to Phil below, it’s correlated with sexual excitability only, because paedophilic sex is such a taboo thing to be curious about.

A.

Oh, and then there’s this: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/12228205_The_subtlety_of_sex-atypicality Of particular interest to men attracted to boys may be the finding that at least 3.7% of the male sample claimed to have engaged in homosexual activity without ever having felt any same-sex attraction.

A.

And there’s this: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24215791 “Males and females with any sexual interest in children reported higher likelihoods of engaging in other antisocial or criminal behaviors…” Which should not of course be taken to mean that paedophiles are antisocial. It simply indicates that people who are willing to contemplate, and admit anonymously that they have contemplated, doing taboo thing X are likely also to be willing to do the same for taboo things Y and Z. Not too surprising. I therefore suggest that some of this self-reported sexual interest can be put down to novelty-seeking tendencies rather than true paedophilia. 4% of men surveyed said they were sexually attracted to “little children” and/or had fantasies about sex with “a child”, while 6% said there was some likelihood of their having sex with a child if they were sure of getting away with it. The extra 2% may be the novelty seekers. Of course, some of them may just have been thinking of 17-year-old ‘jailbait’, given that the age of consent is 18 in many US states and a lot of the participants were only undergraduate age themselves.
Neuroskeptic breaks down this particular study here: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/2013/11/18/one-ten-men-sexually-attracted-children/#.Vp77G1IivIU The massive flaw in it is this: “The authors classed people as ‘endorsing’ or ‘admitting an interest’ in a particular behaviour if they gave any answer other than ‘Strongly Disagree’ on a 6-point scale”, including “Moderately Disagree”. Which renders the data…not totally useless, but a whole lot less useful than they might otherwise be.
Here https://www.researchgate.net/publication/280980327_Sensitivity_and_Specificity_of_the_Phallometric_Test_for_Hebephilia are some data from, guess who, James Cantor (and Ian McPhail) on the sensitivity and specificity of phallometry for sniffing out people who claim to be teleiophiles but are in fact MAPs. For the sensitivity and specificity stats given in the abstract, the people described as paedophiles, hebephiles or teleiophiles on the basis of their sexual history were the ones with the greatest number of sexual victims plus sexual partners: 5 or more if the partners and/or victims were under 15, 61 or more if they were 17 or over. A very small proportion of the offenders and ‘offenders’ against children were in the 5+ group, a majority having only one (known) child partner or victim, but quite a high proportion of the offenders against adults were in the 61+ group. It is very unusual for heterosexual men to have 61 or more sexual partners. It’s not made clear what proportion of homosexual men were included in the sample, but we are almost certainly safe in assuming they were not a majority. The modal number of partners/victims was 11-25: also somewhat unusual for heterosexual men. So we must bear in mind that these men constituted a group that was very sexually promiscuous, and/or very sexually violent, and/or very given to showing off their penises to strangers, making nuisance sexual phone calls, etc. They were not sexually typical men, in other words. Or else they were just inflating their reported numbers of partners – the study doesn’t make clear the proportion of partners to victims (or the type of sexual offences). However, the proportion of men showing teleiophilic arousal patterns did increase with increasing adult partner/victim counts, which suggests they may well have been telling the truth.
For men who had 1-5 victims and partners aged 17 or over, and none (known) under 15, test specificity on the paedohebephilia index was 74.5%, meaning that 25.5% were incorrectly or ‘incorrectly’ flagged as MAPs because they showed the most arousal to images of under-15s. For the 61+ adult partners/victims group, the equivalent percentage was only 9.3. 9.8% of men in the 1-5 group, but none in the 61+ group, were incorrectly or ‘incorrectly’ flagged as being preferentially attracted to prepubescent children under 11, specifically. Of the men with 1-3 child victims/partners, a majority displayed the most arousal to images of adults. The majority was larger if the children in question were under 11. So seems like we’re looking at a lot of ‘opportunistic offenders’ against children, especially in the cases of offences against small children, who are generally easier to manipulate and to overpower physically. Cantor and McPhail did take steps to ensure they would be netting true MAPs, not opportunistic offenders: they excluded intrafamilial offences and also excluded from the MAP pool anybody with a history of sexual offences against people 17+. Even so, a quarter of the 5+ child victims/partners group showed teleiophilic arousal patterns, suggesting that they too may well have been opportunistic offenders. Or is it just that a quarter of men aren’t easily pigeonholeable on these things? A quarter of teleiophiles with paedohebepile readings, a quarter of paedohebephiles with teleiophile readings, a quarter of straight men with significant gay arousal…that number keeps coming up.
Also noteworthy: ‘credible accusations’ were included in the partner/victim count; 5% of cases had to be discarded from the data because they showed no significant penile tumescence to anything presented or because they showed more tumescence to photos of landscapes than to photos of people.

A.

It should be downloadable at that link. The authors have made it freely available. If you scroll down past the abstract, the full text is there (preceded by some electronic proof correction pages!).

ethane72

An interesting post, and of considerable personal interest to me. 🙂
I’m drafting a reply, but before I get too far into it, what sort of limits are you going to make on our response in terms of length? My draft, for instance, has two parts, a “miscellaneous” section and one devoted to the key issue (to maybe keep follow-up comments more localized). I don’t know what Nick will want to do.

fightback385

I just wanted to comment on the beginning of your post about Cantor’s and Federoff’s research. Personally Federoff’s claims come across strikingly like the archaic wishful thinking research which claimed cures for homosexuality (seecomment image?w=474). But that may be neither here nor there.
What’s really needed is a scientific consensus, and this is what Nick seems to completely unaware of. Science does not operate based on “trust” or authority, as he seems to think. Instead, scientific consensus results from lots of scientists scrutinizing each other’s work and conducting more studies to see if they replicate results, and using those studies to build and test theories. That means, for example, Cantor’s work would have to hold up under the scrutiny of mainstream neuroscientists. That’s the way science corrects errors and develops understanding.
Scientific consensus also requires scientists working from a perspective that seeks knowledge and understanding, not one that is distorted by a narrow focus on controlling or eliminating undesirables, based on preconceptions that certain behaviors are bad. Until such a scientific consensus develops, Cantor and Federoff are working in a bubble, and their findings will never be on solid ground. They’re like a tiny number of scientists debating whether harmful climate change is a reality caused by humans. Climate change is now recognized as real by scientific consensus, despite what a tiny number of “scientists” funded by corporations say. To get to such a point regarding Kind people, there would need to be a large number of mainstream scientists (not sex offender controllers) studying them.

A.

Archaic wishful thinking, yep, but not dead yet. NARTH and PFOX are still bowling along.

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