Virtuous Pedophiles has been up and running for over two years now. This key fact is right on our home page: "a substantial number of pedophiles do not molest children".
Yet despite our two years of effort, there are still many in society who don't seem to understand this simple point: Many pedophiles never molest children. (OK, I admit it. Most people in the world have never seen the <Virtuous Pedophiles website>.) There is a great deal more to say about pedophiles and pedophilia, and I have done much such saying in previous blog posts. But it all starts with that observation: Many pedophiles never molest children. If you believe instead that pedophilia is an inexorable disease process leading to child sexual abuse, then drastic measures to deal with pedophiles who have not yet offended can be justified. If, on the other hand, many pedophiles never abuse children, then they deserve civil rights, compassion, and the assumption they are innocent until proven guilty.
Alas, many people on hearing an argument once do not immediately believe its conclusion. It's especially hard to absorb if it contradicts the person's prior beliefs. They might not even remember it. Advertisers know that <repetition is required>. The <Monty Python "Dead Parrot" skit> captures the frustration in a more humorous way of trying to get an obvious point across to someone who doesn't want to hear it.
So, with that in mind, I offer today's post.
Pedophiles are sexually attracted to children. Some of them abuse children sexually. Many do not! The word 'pedophile' is often used by the media as a synonym for 'child molester'. This is wrong. They could only be synonyms if all pedophiles were child molesters. But they are not!
Sexual orientation or attraction is a state of mind -- an awareness. Most religious men and women who have taken vows of celibacy and succeed in upholding them can nonetheless be classified as heterosexual or homosexual. They will be aware that a person is sexually attractive, but they will not act on it. This lifelong abstention from sexual activity does not rob them of their status as heterosexual or homosexual. Men who are strongly sexually attracted to children are called pedophiles. A great many make vows of celibacy regarding children and uphold them, but they do not cease to be pedophiles. Pedophilia is a state of mind that often does not lead to sexual activity with a child.
If you have in front of you a particular pedophile named Joe who has never abused a child sexually, there is some chance that he will. But there is a large chance that he will not! Joe may go through his entire life feeling an attraction to children. But on his dying day, after a long life, if you add up the number of children he has molested, it is very likely to be... Zero!
Suppose you were to make one circle representing all pedophiles, and a second circle representing child molesters. Would the first circle lie entirely within the second circle? No, it would not! A large part of the circle labeled 'pedophile' would not overlap with the circle labeled 'child molester'. That part of the pedophile circle stands for real, flesh-and-blood individuals who never, not even once in their lives, molest children sexually!
Perhaps you wonder why you have never seen a news story featuring a mug shot of a man with the caption, "This man is a pedophile. It is known that he has never molested a child." This is never seen because no man wants to be known as a pedophile if he can possibly help it. He will stay hidden, for the hatred he will endure is likely to ruin his life. But why would people hate a man who has never molested children? Because they are sure that he is going to. But that is wrong! A great many pedophiles never molest children sexually.
Most boys grow up to be sexually attracted to adult women, and typically have sex with adult women. A few boys grow up to be sexually attracted to adult men, and typically have sex with adult men. Few of either group ever have sex with a partner unless said partner also wants to have sex and fully understands what they are agreeing to. A few boys grow up to be sexually attracted to children. Although no one knows for sure the exact proportion, it is likely that few of them ever have sex with a partner who does not both actively want to have sex and fully understand what they are agreeing to. As no children qualify, it follows that a great many pedophiles never have sex with children!
When a teenage boy realizes he is sexually attracted to children he is typically very distressed. Among the things he may wonder about is whether he is doomed to molest a child sexually. Is he? Why -- No, he is not! He may well go his entire life without ever sexually molesting a child.
When straight men meet women casually, they are often aware of an attraction. When gay men meet a man casually, they are often aware of an attraction. In cases where a sexual relationship would be seriously frowned upon by society, they very rarely approach such a person and make a sexual pass. When pedophiles meet a child casually, they are often aware of an attraction. If a sexual relationship would be frowned upon by society, many would never approach such a child sexually. How many sexual relationships between adults and children does society frown upon? Why, all of them! Therefore, it follows that many pedophiles would never approach a child sexually.
If you hear that a man is sexually attracted to children, you would be correct in inferring that he is a pedophile. Would you be correct in inferring that he acts sexually with children? No, you would not!
Some men are pedophiles. Some of them sexually abuse children, but -- a great many do not!
"Wait, are you saying that not all pedophiles are child sex molesters?"
Why yes, that is what I am saying! A great many pedophiles never molest children sexually.