Inclusion, acceptance, welcoming, understanding, equality and affirmation: These are the words we often hear in support of the LGBT community. But should all sexual preferences and orientations be accepted, welcomed and included?
What about attraction to minors?
Allyn Walker — an assistant professor at Old Dominion University in the department of sociology and criminal justice who identifies as “non-binary” — wrote the book, “A Long, Dark Shadow,” to look more deeply into “Minor-Attracted People,” address the stigma around them and discuss how they should be treated.
To be clear, though, Walker is not condoning child sexual abuse in the book.
“And I want to be extremely clear that child sexual abuse is never ever okay,” Walker said in an interview discussing the book with the Prostasia Foundation.
However, Walker did clarify that “having an attraction to minors as long as it isn’t acted on, doesn’t mean that the person who has those attractions is doing something wrong.”
“I think we have a tendency to want to categorize people with these attractions as evil or morally corrupt … From my perspective, there is no morality or immorality attached to attraction to anyone because no one can control who they’re attracted to at all.”
This immediately brings into question the meaning of morality. In the simplest terms, morality is understanding what is right and wrong. But more specifically, morality is intricately tied to natural laws and what is innate in rational human beings.
It is not natural to be attracted to a child. That is why pedophilia is treated as a disorder.
“Because it causes harm to others, it is considered a disorder,” medical information reference Merck Manuals noted.
Walker, however, wanted to distinguish between those who act on this impulse and those who simply have it but do not act on it.
“And then just as importantly, many MAPs never commit a sexual offense against a minor. And that difference is important because when we don’t understand that distinction, we make incorrect assumptions about the likelihood of offending amongst MAPs,” Walker said.
“This leads to people believing that just because someone is attracted to minors, they’re likely to commit an offense. And we start to criminalize a population just because of their attractions. Not only is this a problem in terms of criminalization, but it also serves to heighten stigma against MAPs in general, which is a huge problem.”
However, Walker is wrong in equating pedophilia with crime. Pedophilia, of course, can lead to sexual activity with children, but attraction, arousal and behavior all fall under the definitional umbrella of pedophilia.
“Doctors diagnose pedophilia when people feel greatly distressed or become less able to function well because of their attraction to children or when they have acted on their urges,” Merck Manuals explains.
Psychology Today also lines up with Merck Manuals, defining pedophilia as, “recurrent and intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children — generally age 13 years or younger — over a period of at least six months.”
Walker is attempting to make a distinction that flies in the face of medical information, trying to differentiate between attraction and action. But there is great danger in doing so.
If “MAPs” are just people who are attracted to children, but do not abuse them, why should they not be accepted in a society that is seeking to be inclusive and welcoming to all sexual orientations?
When transgenderism became a newly accepted sexual orientation, the American Psychiatric Association removed “Gender Identity Disorder” from “The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.”
Following the same reasoning, this could happen with defining and diagnosing pedophilia. And there is a push to view pedophilia as a sexual orientation.
Toronto psychiatrist Dr. James Cantor has tweeted in the past, “Speaking as a gay men, I believe we SHOULD include the P. To do otherwise is to betray the principles that give us our rights.”
Speaking as a gay men, I believe we SHOULD include the P. To do otherwise is to betray the principles that give us our rights.
— Dr. James Cantor (@JamesCantorPhD) December 8, 2018
Cantor’s reasoning is correct. If our society keeps operating on the principles that give LGBT members the rights that they have, the same has to extend to pedophiles. If we follow that train of thought, attraction to children is just their sexual orientation.
There are even sites dedicated to pedophiles who are celibate, non-offenders. “Virtuous Pedophiles” is a social support group for pedophiles that promise to live celibate, non-offending lives.
The problem is that pedophilia is dangerous to children. Even if a person who is attracted to minors is determined to not act upon the impulse, having that attraction takes them one step closer to the potential of becoming an abuser.
So if pedophilia is accepted as just another sexual orientation and not treated as a disorder, that would also widen the door to “acceptable” abuse of children. If a pedophile has sexual interactions with a child, and the minor claims that they were abused, then the pedophile could hide behind their accepted, no longer termed as a disorder, sexual attraction.
As shocking as it may seem to talk about adding pedophilia to the spectrum of sexual orientations, it should be no surprise. By throwing out the conception that morality must align with what is natural, our society just opened Pandora’s box. This is just the fallout that we have to deal with now.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.