So, earlier in July, 2018, I came across a tweet that piqued my interest:
To my surprise (showing you just how jaded I am on social media at this point), many of the questions were very good. So, without further introduction:
To the first question, I am not entirely sure how natural homosexuality is, nevermind minor attraction. Is it a choice? No, absolutely not. Does it occur due to biology or environment? The evidence says it could be both: Some MAPs have trauma within the age they are attracted to, some do not. There is some evidence that pedophilia exists in the white matter of the brain.
As for our attractions, as most of us do not have urges to do anything with children, I have no idea how you can normalize an attraction affecting less than 10% of the population. I am familiar with the Tumblr MAPs, and I believe they would be wondering the same thing. If the question is whether we would like to act on our attractions, for the most part, the answer is no. While there are some pro-contact pedophiles out there who wish to make the sexual abuse of children legal, and think that children can consent to sex, it is my experience that their voices are much quieter than the anti-contact community, or those who are against acting on their attractions in any way. This answers the next questions:
Most of us have no desire to change the age of consent, though we are largely just as against child marriage being allowed in parts of the United States as anyone else is. While a pedophile’s views do vary from person to person, on the whole, we care about children too much to want to risk causing them harm.
My fantasies exist within my own head, and I do not act on them in any way. I do not stare at children I see, I do not try to get to know them, etc. So, in no way am I sexualizing children except within the privacy of my own brain. That does not bother me, because I am vehemently against acting on it in any form. I was sexually abused, I would not wish that pain on anyone. As to the second question, I do not force myself on anyone. There are plenty of harm-free outlets available that do not exploit or abuse children in the process, such as fictional imagery generated by artist drawings, rather than pictures of real children.
This is a question that is quite long to answer, and I have already taken a stab at it once.
Today, I believe there is nothing I need a therapist for regarding my attractions. I choose to continue seeing my therapist because I believe she helps give me perspective and process significant events in my life in healthier ways than I might otherwise. To me, seeing her is like performing regular maintenance on a car or bike. It keeps me healthy.
If your question is, can therapy change pedophilia, the answer is no. No amount of therapy can do that. The goal of therapy is to accept myself without stigma, shame, or self-hate, and see that I never chose the attractions. For the most part, I have accepted myself and my attractions, while understanding that having them does not put me at risk to harm children.
I first noticed my attractions when I was about 13 years old, and again, I have no urge to be sexual with children. I would not describe my attractions as urges, because they are a feeling, not a compulsion. Many pedophiles feel the same way. This is closely related to the next question:
I noticed when I hit puberty that the ages I was attracted to stopped at about 11 years old, and as I grew into adulthood, they settled to ages 4–14. I would certainly describe it as something I “never outgrew” because as I aged, in some ways, my age of attraction reversed.
Some of us would, some of us would not. Personally, I would not, because my attractions have been a part of me for so long that changing anything would be disorienting. Since no such therapy exists, I have not given it much thought.
No, I do not. The difficulty that can arise from having the attraction can be a problem, since it can fuel self-hate, depression, etc. which can interfere with one’s ability to form relationships and lead an otherwise fulfilling life. It can also drive people away from friends and family, into isolation, which is likewise unhealthy. Some do see it as a problem with forming intimate relationships with adults, some when they first discover their attraction are afraid of themselves for awhile.
It is not itself a mental illness, the difficulty it can cause is mental illness. In other words, the attraction itself is neutral, it is the thoughts and feelings around the attraction that can lean towards mental illness, such as shame and stigma.
I recently wrote about “LGBT+ inclusion” here.
The word pedophile itself carries the stigma of someone having molested a child. This stigma must be challenged, since there is an obvious difference between someone who has molested a child and someone who has not.
Yes, I do think I would be able to have children. In most human beings, the people they form close relationships to, particularly in the first few years of life, they develop zero sexual attraction towards them. This is known as the westermarck effect. It is the experience of other pedophiles with children that they are not sexually attracted to them.
Further down, someone asked if pedophiles were abused. I was sexually abused by a daycare provider when I was three years old, again by a local teenager when I was 8, and again by my mother when I was 12. This is not the experience of all pedophiles, however.
No, and no. I understand this is the experience of many pedophiles, if not the majority. I have no opinion on sex robots. There is not enough research to know whether they would be helpful to adult-attracted adults, let alone pedophiles, or whether they should be restricted by prescription.
As for question four, I have no idea what videos you are referring to. I agree with the tone of the following three videos:
So, essentially, yes, there are some pedophiles who identify as children in their age. In other words, where some might identify more as male, or as nonbinary, or as homosexual, these pedophiles feel they are a certain age range of child, rather than a mature adult. I do not identify as such. I used to be particularly attached to the idea of innocence, because I thought I was inferior because of my attractions, somehow less innocent because of being attracted to children. Since accepting my attractions as an unchosen trait, I do not get particularly attached to innocence.
I am perfectly comfortable with who I am. I do not believe it is acceptable to be with a child sexually or romantically, and I am also married to another man my age. While there are areas of my life, unrelated to my attraction, that I am always seeking to improve, I am comfortable with my identity.
1- Excellent question, I am not completely sure, but I explore this question in this article.
2- Children are capable of giving and denying consent, though they are not capable of understanding all that sex entails. It is possible to teach children to ask permission before hugging someone, etc, but they are not mature enough to understand the complexities of sex.
3- I have not acted on any urges, because throughout my life I have not had any urges. Sexually abusing a child is a choice, not a compulsion, and by treating it as an urge, you automatically assume that child molesters somehow “cannot help it,” where this is not the case.
4- Yes, I am married, and (5), yes, he knows about my attraction to children. He loves me and accepts me all the same, and supports the advocacy that I do.
These questions have already been answered at this point.
I think MAP positivity is wonderful, and a much better contrast to “go kill yourself,” or, “fuck you,” or, “a bullet is the only cure for pedophilia.” As for dangerous, absolutely not. Dangerous would be someone deceiving themselves to think that they can change their pedophilia, where there is no evidence that this is possible, because it means they are clinging to false hope and not developing healthy ways to cope with their sexual attractions.
Talking about matters related to pedophilia and child sexual abuse is much better than burying one’s head in the sand and pretending these issues do not exist. The number one thing we can do to prevent sexual abuse is be aware of the facts around it: 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls will be abused by age 18. Of their abusers, only 20% are attracted to children, 90% are known and trusted figures in their community, 95% have no criminal record, and 35% are children. Given that, it makes no sense to ostracize and stigmatize pedophiles, who are not the main culprits of abuse.
A pedophile is literally defined as someone with an attraction to prepubescent children. Since I am attracted to prepubescent children, the label of pedophile fits. The attraction to children is not reviled for good reason, child sexual abuse is reviled for very good reason. An attraction I never chose is not positive OR negative, it just is, much the same way I have freckles or a particular color of eye or hair.
As for why I have gone public with how I feel, and how I feel about child sexual abuse, because if I do not do so, how will any young pedophile know they are not alone? What will teenagers look to when they discover, as I did, that they have attractions to children that are not going to change? The news, which constantly conflates pedophile and child molester? Broader society, which thinks they should die or be castrated? How will anyone know the facts about child sexual abuse, including the ones we would rather ignore, if someone does not tell them? That 95% of abusers have no criminal record, or that 80% of abusers have no attraction to children, or that 35% of abusers are children?
I covered part of the answer to this here.
Essentially, all of the important people in my life know I am a pedophile. They do not view me any differently, including my husband.
I am almost exclusively attracted to boys, and I am married to a wonderful man. I do not make a conscious choice to stay away from children, I simply do not have the time to be around children, between advocating against sexual abuse, working a full time job, being married, etc. I do not believe I have a potential to harm children. Harming children is a choice, and it is a choice I refuse to make.
An account that later got suspended asked, “how do you think watching child p*rn or actually doing something inappropriate with a child should be treated by the law?” My answer:
I think that entirely depends upon what the circumstances are. Did they try to seek help? Did they turn themselves in? Were they outed in some way? As with any crime, the circumstances play a huge role in what kind of sentence they should receive. Generally speaking, most are wanting help and do not ever act again, so it is perfectly appropriate to give that majority a probation sentence with incentive to keep their nose clean. For the few that have multiple offenses, or show a propensity to reoffend, they should receive a stricter sentence.
It is worth noting that many of the questions being asked seem to confuse the idea of attraction with the act of sexually abusing a child. Not only are these not the same thing, most child sexual abusers have no attraction to children:
In other words, most pedophiles do not abuse children, and most abuse is actually fueled by something other than the sexual attraction to children. Some is situational, some is perpetrated by juveniles, some is about an unmet psychological need, some is simply about the availability of the child, etc. There is no one stereotype for why people choose to molest children.