The Normalization Of Pedophilia Approaches

The arguments made by Milo Yiannouplos (in a recently released and quite graphic video), that pedophilia is not what you think it is are nothing new

All that remains is to manufacture consent by re-defining it and that process is under way. This is, if you will, child’s play. Any moderately creative undergraduate freshman can deconstruct consent: “Consent is a social construct that is understood variously in different cultures. New studies suggest that children are capable of signally consent at an earlier stage than we hitherto thought” and so on. We are witnessing this process and trajectory with pedophilia.


The arguments made by Milo Yiannouplos (in a recently released and quite graphic video), that pedophilia is not what you think it is, that sexual contact between men and under-age teen-age boys is not wrong but a safe way to help young homosexuals come of age, are nothing new. According to a 2014 New York Times  op-ed essay by Margo Kaplan, the DSM (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) “defines pedophilia as an intense and recurrent sexual interest in prepubescent children, and a disorder if it causes a person “marked distress or interpersonal difficulty” or if the person acts on his interests.” She agrees with this definition and argues that there are non-practicing pedophiles. She argues that it is a neurological disorder, that therapy and medication can help a pedophile control his impulses. She wants to bring pedophilia out of the closet so it can be treated. She writes, a “pedophile should be held responsible for his conduct — but not for the underlying attraction.”

For those with personal or historical memories that extend beyond that last two weeks, this pattern should be familiar. A century ago, homosexuality was almost universally regarded as a sin. Socially it was treated as a crime. Fifty years ago, however, was treated as a mental illness. In a 1958 column in Ebony magazine, writing as a pastor and counselor, Martin Luther King (1929–1968) described homosexuality as unnatural and an indicator of mental illness requiring psychiatric care. He rejected the notion that homosexuality is innate (“I was born this way”), as a culturally acquired habit, and counseled this boy to get to the root of his problem in order to overcome it. Then, in 1973 (44 years ago), the therapeutic set removed homosexuality as a psychological disorder from the DSM.

The way the therapeutic establishment has spoken about homosexuality is analogous to the language used about alcoholism. In the 1920s alcoholism was said to be an “allergy.” This was the scientific equivalent of phrenology. By the time I encountered AA and the alcohol treatment establishment in the 1970s, orthodox dogma said it is a disease. It is a diagnosis in search of evidence. Crohn’s is a disease. Alcoholism is a way to describe addiction to alcohol that occurs because of abuse. Unhappy people abuse alcohol as a way to “self-medicate” (as they say in the alcoholism treatment business). Not only is there no evidence for alcoholism as a disease, alcoholism treatment centers recognize this by offering group therapy and counseling for the underlying issues that prompted the alcoholic to abuse alcohol initially. No one treats Crohn’s with group therapy.

So it is with homosexuality. The way we have spoken about over the last century reflects a similar process: rationalizations for deviant behavior. To be sure, that behavior is often rooted in a childhood abuse (e.g., an alcoholic parent, parental neglect, sexual abuse etc—in the video Yiannoupolos suggests that he was sexually molested by a Roman priest) but the evidence that homosexuality is “innate” is just as weak as it was when Dr King rejected that explanation in 1958. As Dennis McFadden summarized in 2012, there is no unambiguous evidence that homosexuality is innate and not learned. The defenders of homosexuality and same-sex marriage seem largely to have given up on the argument that homosexuality is natural and have increasingly conceded that it is a choice, which the choice they defend on the grounds that affection and consent are all that matter.  In 2015, a majority of the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Obergefell that marriage is fundamentally an expression of affection between consenting adults and therefore it is unconstitutional for states to forbid it.

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