Talk of Naija



Pedophilia Now Classified As A SéXual Orientation

Date Posted: 29/10/2013

People can classify themselves as heterosexual, homosexual, asexual, metrosexual. There are endless s*xual orientations under the sun, and now, pedophilia can be added to the list.

In the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V), the American Psychological Association (APA) drew a very distinct line between pedophilia and pedophilic disorder.

Pedophilia refers to a s*xual orientation or profession of s*xual preference devoid of consummation, whereas pedophilic disorder is defined as a compulsion and is used in reference to individuals who act on their se*uality.

APA’s decision has given rise to numerous pedophilia-advocacy groups, the chief of them being B4U-ACT, a non-profit grassroots organization based in Maryland.

Created in 2003 primarily as a means for “minor-attracted persons” to be open about their s*xual preferences in a supportive atmosphere, B4U-ACT is now widening the scope of their organization.

According to spokesperson and registered s*x offender Paul Christiano, the pedophilia-advocacy group is “working towards de-stigmatizing the mental health community.”

Christiano explained that negative societal attitudes towards minor-attracted persons “trickle down to policy-making and the mental health community.”

“Policy-making” is used chiefly in reference to the s*x-offender registry. Christiano is not alone in advocating change within the system.

Caitlin Myers, a doctorate student in Sociology here at the University of Southern California, says the registry needs to be “more senstitive to the nature of crime.”

Myers explained that the chief problem within the s*x-offender registry itself is the “one size fits all” viewpoint it bears towards s*xual offenses.

“There could be a man who committed 20 consecutive r*pes and a 19-year-old boy who had s*x with his 17-year-old girlfriend and they would be punished in the same manner.”

Change to the system is understandable, yet B4U-ACT’s grounds for such change remains murky.

When questioned about the most responsible way in which a pedophile could manage his s*xual preferences, Christiano answered that while B4U-ACT encouraged minor-attracted persons within the organization to openly acknowledge their feelings and desires, such s*xual preferences must remain purely a mental exercise and therefore entirely unconsummated.

In other words, pedophiles must be allowed to fantasize about minors, as long as such acts are never consummated. “B4U-ACT does not condone illegal activity,” Christiano insisted.

Yet how can we be assured that such behavior remains entirely in the mind and not carried out in the bedroom? Answer: we can’t. Myers confirmed that it is “scientifically impossible to settle the question of whether or not a minor-attracted person will act on their compulsion.”

In an essay written for his senior thesis as a graduate student, Christiano argued for the “s*xual autonomy” of children, citing that children “should not be left in the dark about their own se*uality.” With more education about their se*uality, reasoned Christiano, comes more knowledge of boundaries and what they do or don’t want.

However, there is an underlying suggestion that with s*xual knowledge comes s*xual consent. If children were permitted to be more sexually autonomous, would they then be able to fully consent to a s*xual relationship or more importantly, a s*xual relationship with an adult?

While Myers agrees that open discussion and acknowledgement of se*uality is something our current society is lacking, she emphasizes that children cannot give consent. “In theory,” Myers says, “pedophilia as a practiced s*xual orientation walks a thin line. There is no possibility of pedophilia becoming an accepted s*xual orientation in current culture.”

According to Christiano, people must be allowed to celebrate s*x and se*uality, “one of the few freely-given pleasures in life.” The community of minor-attracted persons is, as a whole, “denied their complexities.”

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