Don’t cry wolf about “pedophilia”

June 29, 2012

Are all men “pedophiles”?

I dare you. Show me even one heterosexual man who has NOT felt sexually attracted to at least a few teenage girls who happened to be under the age of 16, or under whatever the age of consent happens to be in the particular state where he lives.

But do all men act on such attractions? I would hope not. After all, most people don’t actually have sex with all the many people they have ever felt sexually attracted to. Being sexually attracted to at least some people under 16 does not necessarily mean you will inevitably have sex with at least some people under 16.

Also, by strict definition, “pedophilia” means being attracted to children who have not yet reached puberty. Being attracted to underage teenagers who have reached puberty is either “hebephilia” or “ephebophilia,” not “pedophilia.” Furthermore, all three of these words (“pedophilia,” “hebephilia,” and “ephebophilia” are properly used to refer only to people with a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to people of the age group in question.

So, are all men “pedophiles”? Only if you use the word “pedophile” VERY loosely.

A recent Satanist soap opera

In a recent soap opera within the Satanist scene, one Satanist has been accused of being a “pedophile.” The grounds? (1) When he was 18 (“almost 19”), he allegedly had a girlfriend who was “13-14”. (This might be technically in violation of age of consent laws, depending on what state you live in, but, morally speaking, a 18-year-old having sex with a “13-14”-year-old is surely NOT the same thing as a 50-year-old having sex with a 5-year-old!) (2) More recently, he had a brief affair with a young woman who was not under 18, but, at some point during or after that affair, he told her he had felt attracted to her earlier, before she had reached 18, without having acted on it in any way back then. Alas, since the latter woman happens to have been his wife’s sister, his understandably enraged wife is now insisting that he is a “pedophile.”

Obviously, having a fling with one’s wife’s sister is not a good idea. I also don’t think it’s a good idea to have sex with people who are just barely legal — or who are emotionally immature, no matter how old they are. If you do so, you are likely to get burned, one way or another. But it’s not illegal, and it’s not pedophilia.

Also, there’s no such thing as thought crime — it is not illegal just to feel a sexual attraction to someone under the legal age of consent, as long as you don’t act on it. If merely fantasizing about something were the same thing as coing it, then probably every person in the entire world would be guilty of murder.

Alas, some Satanists who don’t like the man in question are joining in the “pedophilia” slander.

Taking a stand against witchhunt mentality

It behooves us Satanists to take a stand against people who cry wolf about “pedophilia.” Remember the “Satanic ritual abuse” scare? All Satanists should read up on it if they have not done so already. See “Satanism” scares and their debunking – a brief introduction and my list of resources about The “Satanic Ritual Abuse” scare of the 1980’s and early 1990’s on my website Against Satanic Panics.

Of course, we must also keep in mind the opposite problem — real child sexual abusers not being brought to justice. The “Satanic ritual abuse” scare was, in part, an overreaction against the vast numbers of real child abusers who have gotten away with their crimes. Surely it is a good thing that real child abusers are now more likely to be punished than in the past, and we should support efforts to bring real child abusers to justice.

But that’s no excuse for a witchhunt mentality. We need to take a stand against clearly unjustified accusations of “pedophilia.” Crying wolf about “pedophilia” is a dangerous incitement anywhere. It is especially dangerous among Satanists, given popular misconceptions about Satanists.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this post constitutes legal advice. If the matters discussed here affect your life in any way, please consult a lawyer if you can.

5 Responses to “Don’t cry wolf about “pedophilia””


    hmm . I’m 50 . I’m an informed admirer of your writings. I’m a Satanist. I prefer older women. But I’m British , so Orkney Satanic scare aside, I find it had to take these panics seriously. But … I accept the’ only in America’ label may apply ?

  2. Wendy Bird Says:

    Newspapers and law enforcement do not make this age distinction, but place all occurrences under the hot-button blanket term, pedophilia, further increasing public overreaction. The general consensus in society seems to be to deny the sexuality of “minors”, which, in the name of “protecting” them, causes crime where there is none. It is not unusual to hear an adult refer to sex with a 16 or even 17 year old as pedophilia, even if the other person is only a year or two older. Besides people not even wanting to discuss the sexuality of minors, it produces a rabid reaction in them. A drastic revolution in the Victorian mindset regarding sexuality in general is in dire need. Our Christianized society still has irrational responses to sex between adults, especially in the same-sex category. Who know how or when their twisted and backward attitudes will ever even approach this issue with reason.

  3. Diane Vera Says:

    Comment policy for this post: Please do not bring up the names of specific people involved in the current soap opera. Please confine discussion to the larger issues.

    • Diane Vera Says:

      P.S.: Also, in this particular comment thread, please do not post links to blogs slamming people involved in the current soap opera on either side.

      I am trying to keep this blog out of the current specific soap opera as much as possible. Please focus ONLY on the larger issues, not any specific people.

      Two comments, from people on both sides, have not been allowed through here because of their inclusion of identifying details (or links to same).

  4. Diane Vera Says:

    I’ve been accused (elsewhere) of “supporting pedophilia” and approving of sex between adults and children as long as the adult isn’t 50 years old.

    That’s an inflammatory misreading of what I wrote.

    My points were these:

    1) Sex between TEENAGERS, one of whom happens to be just a little bit above the age of consent and one of whom happens to be below the age of consent, is relatively normal. Such a relationship may or may not be abusive, depending on how the sexual activity came about, and also depending on other aspects of the relationship. It is not ipso facto a reason to regard the older teenager as a monster.

    2) The word “pedophilia” has been used way too broadly by many people.

    To the man who accused me of “supporting pedophilia,” I have one question: When YOU reached your eighteenth birthday, did you rigorously refrain from chasing, or even fantasizing about, any and all girls who happened to be even a day under eighteen?

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