In one of the interminable threads that devolved into endless discussions of pedophilia a couple of months ago, I raised an academic question about whether those who were commenting could come up with a reason why pedophilia was "wrong" without relying on a Judeo-Christian cultural context.   The history, I argued, was that in Greece and to a lesser extent in Rome, pedophilia in some forms was culturally acceptable; only those pesky Christians managed to radically change the culture.

For me it was just an academic speculation, but apparently I was much closer than I had ever considered possible.

In a recent interview with the Times magazine, Richard Dawkins attempted to defend what he called “mild pedophilia,” which, he says, he personally experienced as a young child and does not believe causes “lasting harm.”

Dawkins went on to say that one of his former school masters “pulled me on his knee and put his hand inside my shorts,” and that to condemn this “mild touching up” as sexual abuse today would somehow be unfair.


Child welfare experts responded to Dawkins’ remarks with outrage — and concern over their effect on survivors of abuse.


I'm just curious what people think?   Even in the midst of the groping, fondling, and raping of kids, and hiding/covering up of the crimes which occurred among clergy of my faith, it was exceptionally rare that anyone actually tried to condone it as being harmless. 

Views: 5107

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

In my opinion a LOT of the trauma of victims stems from the "therapist" (I was tempted to put a space in the middle of that word). Like lawyers, they live and thrive on animosity and conflict.

I wonder how many Greeks back in the day suffered a lifetime of mental anguish as a result of the SAME activities which, instead of being demonized, were accepted by their society as natural. My guess is that, unless the sexual activity was accompanied by violence or coercion, none.

What is it with people an their mistrust of doctors? My soon to be husband has very little respect for them, but My experience with most doctors tells me that they do their jobs to the best of their abilities. There are a few lazy ones, and I'd be surprised if many of them weren't greedy, but they tend to do their jobs to the best of their abilities, more often than not. I've seen a few therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists in my time, and the only ones that were bad at their jobs were the few christian counselors that my father sent me to, though that may be the fact that God was one of the things actually causing my depression, so I might be an isolated case.

Firstly "therapist" does NOT mean doctor. Pretty much anyone can call themselves a therapist. In our society, replete as it is with sexual guilt, when a therapist is charged with finding the harm done by early sexual activity, the therapist is not EVER going to declare their client psychologically fit and well. Their JOB is to find (or, failing that, manufacture) mental anxiety and conflict. If none can be found/instilled, they're out of a job.

I've always been amused and fascinated by the idea that the mere addition of a space turns "therapist" into "the rapist."

I've always been amused and fascinated by the idea that the mere addition of a space turns "therapist" into "the rapist."

This post might amuse more readers in the grammar nazi thread?

There will always be people facing challenges to fill the waiting rooms of licensed medical therapists. They don't need to "manufacture" problems for their clients to keep the payroll flowing. Just the amount of addiction, inborn mental illness or deficits, and assault that goes on in our society is enough to sustain therapists. Therapists do close cases and they do declare their clients psychologically well.

Do those who close case include the ones who declare prison inmates to no longer be a danger, but who then go out and re-offend?

There's probably some truth to this, but insurance companies won't helping much in that area. For the therapists that I happen to know, the low salaries are not a huge incentive, and their office or institution's goal is to make people better in order to serve others in line who need it, too.

What you're speaking of, I imagine, might be a problem in higher cost markets, like (say) Hollywood? Might there be some enlightening stories about (say) Michael Jackson victims, in (say) some of the gossip rags?

I often find myself having to remind people that, unless terminology is to mean nothing, we need to remember that pedophilia, as a disorder, applies to people who lust after prepubescent children. Once a young person starts exhibiting secondary sexual characteristics (starts to look adult-ish), we are in statutory rape territory not pedophilia territory.

That said...

I think our attitudes toward pedophilia are partly cultural and, yes, our culture, even for atheists, has absorbed some cultural values from Christianity. So what? We can NEVER agree with Christians? That's total nonsense, and anyone who believes that is suffering from a prejudice.

That said, various cultures which are wildly different from our own have practiced sex with young men and women by relatives or elders, and not as abuse, but as a way of introducing them to the sexual aspect of adult life. I'm talking about various African, Native American, Pacific Island tribes as well as others. The minors we are talking about are people coming of age, in societies where an adult may only live to somewhere in their 30's on the average and an elder who lives to 50 is regarded as phenomenally old, much the way we might regard an elder in their 90's or 100's. 

Generally speaking, in those societies, there appears to be none of the damage that's done in our society where the abused is to some extent re-abused by a society which tells them that they are marked and will be different because they are damaged for the rest of their lives. 

I might also add that I'm sure there's many an instance of some teen who had sex with an adult and came through it relatively unscathed and, dare I say, in rare cases, the better for it. 

What? You don't know how to use Google? Make it your research assignment, not mine! Prove me wrong if you can. Prove to me, for example, that a teen in an African tribe where teens are introduced to sex by elders ends up with psychiatric problems. Should be easy if I'm wrong.


Hi Unseen

 Prove to me, for example, that a teen in an African tribe where teens are introduced to sex by elders ends up with psychiatric problems. Should be easy if I'm wrong."

 if thats not enough to cause psychiatric problems - I dont know what is.

I'd also like to know:

How In your mind do you imagine that these young girls are introduced to sex within their cultures?

Do you imagine that they are romanced and dated beforehand?


Well, gee, maybe if I'd been talking about child marriage. I was talking about cultures where minors were INTRODUCED to sex, not sexually enslaved. After that introduction, depending on the culture, they may be sexually more free than young people—including young girls—are even in our own culture.

Back to google for you.

Dating (defined as two potential lovers going out on their own, without chaperones, to enjoy some entertainments together and possibly have sex) is an artifact of our culture which you'll be hard-pressed to discover much before the 1940's. It didn't even creep into most other cultures until they were exposed to ours. It doesn't exist at all in most cultures, where either weddings are arranged without much regard to the preference of either the bride or groom, or where courtships are rather strictly supervised and chaperones.


© 2018   Created by Rebel.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service