Love or Morality: Chapter Nine
“The Tao of Love”
“Toward a Functional Understanding of Love”
“On the True Nature of Human Sexuality”
“The Demonization of Adult-Child Erotic Love
“The Commercial Exploitation of Abuse”
“The Patriarchal Love Bias”
“The Truncated Account of Adult-Child Erotic Attraction”
“Does Pedophile Love Equate Abuse?”
“Is Pedophilia a Sexual Perversion?
“The Legal Split in Child Protection”
“The Violence of Morality”
“The Roots of Violence”
“The 12 Angular Points of Social Justice and Peace”
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Love or Laws?
When Law Punishes Life
Child Molestation and Abuse
The Legal Split in Child Protection
Overcoming the Split
The Great Sinner
Love or Laws?
What are sex laws good for? Are they regulating sexual behavior? Are they helping the state supervise what we do in bed, and with whom? Are they protecting minors? Are they safeguarding morality?
What is the reason they have been established in the first place, and when? And by whom? Are they built upon rational and verifiable principles, or upon irrational assumptions, or the dubious term ‘public morals,’ which ghosts in legal textbooks.
I guess most of us have once in a while asked some or all of these questions about the strangest body of law there is in the world: sex laws.
In my career as a lawyer I have dealt with these laws quite a bit, as they were my particular research topic, while I was not the only jurist to be disgusted by them.
I remember that in our criminal law class at Saarland University law faculty, Professor Dr. Detlev Krauß, criminologist, was long before me!
He said that none of our so-called sex laws had merited the qualifier ‘law’ as they were for the most part arbitrary injunctions, built upon extra-legal considerations, such as moral opinions, instead of being drafted as rational and verifiable deeds.
In addition, he showed us with many examples that some of these laws were flagrant violations of constitutional guarantees, especially the guarantee of Nulla Poena Sine Lege, also known as Due Process, and thus of the very foundations of democracy.
After a year of postgraduate research conducted in the United States, at the University of Georgia Law School, I was so revolted by the disturbing current sex laws that I put myself at work to draft a legal bill that intently liberates all forms of mutually consenting sexual behavior from state supervision and control and leaves the stress solely upon cases involving physical and sexual violence. In this draft bill, that I am going to publish and discuss further in this guide, I propose a law that does not punish love or life, but only violence which is something no responsible society should tolerate.
In my attempt to publish that first paper on physical and sexual violence against children, I was rejected by three publishers, one from Germany, one from the Netherlands and one from the United States. My paper was found either ‘too feminist’ or ‘too revolting,’ depending on the orientation of the publisher.
But I was encouraged to persist in my efforts, for example by Françoise Dolto (1908–1988), the late French child therapist and author of worldwide renown whom I meet and interviewed back in 1986, and corresponded with thereafter.
— In 2002, four years after her death, Éditions Gallimard in Paris contacted me on behalf of Dolto’s heirs, and asked my permission for publishing our correspondence. In 2005, the volume was published by Gallimard in Paris.
Dolto agreed with me that sex laws as they are at present, and especially the laws for the protection of minors with their legal ‘age of consent’ are really punishing life, and that their effect upon minors is all but protective, because they virtually enslave children and rob them of their body.
On the other hand, it has to be seen that most psychoanalysts, and especially those who follow the Freudian approach, are somewhat double-tongued in that on one hand they concede the child the right for self gratification in the form of masturbation, but on the other deny the child real erotic relationships outside of the family.
From the moment Freud rejected Wilhelm Reich’s activism for children to have erotic peer relations, with the argument that ‘culture has to prevail,’ psychoanalysis by and large backed Western society’s persistent denial of children’s free love life.
Sex laws seldom hit their goal because nobody is inclined to follow legal rules that are off-track, irrational, ineffective, unjust or arbitrary. This is true for whatever legislation, not only for sex laws, but equally for alcohol or drug prohibitions. And there appears to be a paradox: prohibitions contain an inherent seduction to be broken, even if there is draconic punishment waiting for the law breaker.
Democracy can be measured on the scale of its prohibitory statutes.
A system that regards its members as irresponsible wheels in a machine will tend to rule all and everything about them, leaving them little personal choice, and granting them only a minimum amount of personal freedom. Such a system will try to impose strict inflexible rules of conduct upon each individual and leave it to the judiciary to deal with those who offend the ant republic.
Anglo-Saxon terminology is in this respect revealing in that it speaks of the offender and the sex offender.
These terms show that under the present paradigm criminal law actually retaliates against people who offend the system and that victim protection is a fake concern.
Thus, we are still in the midst of the Middle-Ages.
Furthermore, the term sex offender is outright ridiculous whatever one understands under it; nobody can offend sex, and sex cannot offend the system. So who does offend what in this truly criminal legal terminology, for the so-called offender then is actually not a sex offender but rather a morality offender!
By contrast, a society that basically trusts its individuals, and regards them as responsible citizens will formulate its criminal laws only as a regulatory means for extreme, violent or extremely dangerous behavior!
In other words, such a society will only be inclined to use criminal law for the purposes of confronting violent and thus non-consensual and coercive sexual behavior.
Since violence is violence regardless of the form it takes, a truly democratic society will consider love and sexuality as basic expressions of human body communication and togetherness. Consequently, it will prohibit only behavior where violence is superimposed upon sex or linked to sex in a way that sex becomes a weapon to overpower, to subdue or to humiliate the sexual partner. Thus, the target behavior for criminal law will be violence, not sex. In other words, it is the element of violence that will qualify the sexual behavior as unlawful
From the moment we liberalize sexuality from its moralistic stigma, in much the same way as we have done for homosexuality, and children from child protection, which are both residues of inquisitory church laws and, as such, have no place in a modern legal system, we have no choice but admit that sexuality, for people of whatever age, cannot reasonably be subjected to governmental regulation and interference.
Regarding the idea of an ‘age of consent,’ it can barely be justified in a democratic society because its rationale is not really protection but rather paternalistic control and enslavement.
What I am trying to say is that the current age of consent laws are a form of imprisonment, if you will, in the sense that the lives of children are heavily guarded, supervised, controlled and spied out, and thus children’s freedom has been severely restricted. In addition, it has to be seen that sex laws are largely ineffective to prevent sexual violence against children, which is a fact everyone knows who reads the daily news.
On the other hand, there is no rationale to incriminate consenting love and sex between generations whatever the age of the partners may be. If sex laws at all protect anything, it’s morality — or what in legal textbooks is called ‘public morals,’ which is a chewing-gum clause that can be used to put behind bars all and everybody when their opinions do not please a current government. It’s really a clause that opens the door to fascism and tyranny; while such clauses have been banned throughout our modern legal system, they still do their devil’s business in sex laws.
You can justify practically all with such lofty expressions and it’s precisely because of their lacking contours, that this term and many other similar terms are not fit for being part of modern criminal law as they violate constitutional liberties and are thus unconstitutional.
What I am saying is that if only one person would fight it through our legal system until the United States Supreme Court, there is a chance that the catch-all clause of ‘public morals’ would be declared unconstitutional under the Constitution of the United States of America.
Karl Marx has convincingly shown that moral opinions in any given culture are but an overlay pattern or roof structure over the base structure that constitutes the social and economic conditions. You can also say the moralistic roof structure of any given society follows the economic root structure.
This can exemplarily be shown with age-of-consent laws. With growing industrialization, and the corresponding longer educational cycle, the child remained a child for a more extended period of time. Still within the craftsmanship-subsistence culture of the Middle-Ages, social maturity of the child generally coincided with sexual maturity, at age twelve to fourteen.
Before the shift from liberalism to fascism in the years 1986–1998 in most Western countries, the reform of age-of-consent laws was seriously discussed by various national parliaments, such as for example the Italian, the German and the Dutch parliaments. In Germany, the Green Party came up with the proposal to lower the age of consent to fourteen years of age. In Holland, the situation was even more liberal as the police did not persecute sua sponte any contravention to the age of consent, when the child was more than twelve years old. Only in case that both parents and child submitted a written request for criminal persecution, the police enforced the law.
Another point of discussion were homosexual pedosexual contacts; it was said that they should eventually be treated in the same way as heterosexual pedosexual contacts. Traditionally, even in Holland, they were treated differently.
And in most States of the United States, they are treated differently as well. For example in Georgia, the age of consent for girls is eighteen, for boys twenty-one.
As there is no rational basis for the discrimination of same-sex pedoerotic contacts, most parliament committees wanted to abolish them, as they had been abolished in Holland after the spectacular intervention of Senator Dr. Edward Brongersma who was charged with a six-months prison sentence for having had sex with a boy of sixteen years of age.
However, Dr. Brongersma fought against the judgment and eventually won the legal action against the Dutch Government, and as a result criminal law was changed to abolish any difference between heterosexual and homosexual adult-child sexual relations.
It is obvious that the lowering of ages of consent cannot qualify for a real paradigm change. This kind of liberalization rests with the old repressive patriarchal paradigm. And when we look behind the curtain, we understand that the only purpose of this so-called reform was political day-time fuss, and not a real change of basic beliefs. And now? No question to even mention it in the present fascist-repressive climate worldwide!
When Law Punishes Life
Let us have a look what ages of consent are good for, or supposed to be good for! What is the idea behind segregating age groups and why is sexuality not allowed for all age groups? Why do laws almost everywhere rigidly fix certain ages for sex, and do not ask if sexual activity was constructive or damaging, peaceful or violent, coercive or consenting?
Law experts tend to argue that strict age of consent laws were assuring legal clarity and certainty as it was not to make out if an individual child would experience sex positively or negatively.
Another argument brought forward by criminologists is that criminal law could not handle psychological questions and therefore needs to be clear-cut. I heard several of my lawyer colleagues advancing this argument that upon further inquiry reveals to be barely correct.
The true answer is that age of consent laws have no rational basis at all, and that their existence has merely historical reasons: they were the successors of Canon Law, that is, Church Law — which preceded State Law in all Western countries.
Hence, the answer can only be found if we look at legal history, and inquire into how those age-of-consent laws came about in the first place and what their original meaning was, and why they were at all introduced.
This inquiry is interesting because it will give the answer to the question why there was, and will be no paradigm change in matters of sex legislation! This is so because the socioeconomic base layer for these laws is no more existing.
I have done this inquiry regarding the criminal law of the United States which is a common law jurisdiction; criminal laws vary from State to State within the United States, and there is a large body of jurisprudence to help interpreting the statutes.
Sex laws came to exist only existing under patriarchy, they were unknown before and they are still unknown in most tribal cultures around the world.
A marking event in history that usually is associated with the beginning of sex laws is the so-called Code of Hammurabi, which, probably for the first time in legal history contained a provision for the rape of a female child.
— King Hammurabi (1792–1750 B.C.), sixth king of the Amorite Dynasty of Old Babylon, is considered as the avatar or even founder of patriarchy by most social historians. Hammurabi’s Code of Laws is by far the earliest-known example of a ruler proclaiming publicly to his people an entire body of laws, arranged in orderly groups, so that all men might read and know what was required of them. This body of law was also the first in history that contained a compulsive rule on sexual behavior which was enforced by Draconian punishments, which regularly included violent beatings, torture, forced castration or even the death penalty.
Section 130 Code of Hammurabi
If a man violate(s) the wife (betrothed or child-wife) of another man, who has never known a man, and still lives in her father’s house, and sleep with her and be surprised, this man shall be put to death, but the wife is blameless.
From the wording, two interesting conclusions can be drawn. First, it was possible at this time that men married female children and consummated the marriage with them, second, the code did not want to protect the females but their male proprietor, an interpretation which is conclusive when looking at the origin of the word ‘rape’ in English: it namely comes etymologically from Latin rapus and meant theft; the term originally had no connotation with sexuality. It was applied for the theft of human beings, as this was a common behavior in olden times for males to get a sex partner or even a spouse, just by ‘stealing’ a young boy or girl.
In most cases, those abductions however were of a temporary nature, the love child being taken back home after a fortnight. What is more, contrary to most of such cases today, they did not end in a tragedy.
In the preceding cultures of which one of the last was the matriarchal Minoan Civilization of Crete, the only sex taboo was incest in direct line, between parent and child, whereas otherwise there were no sexual restrictions.
Notably, in this culture, the sexuality of children was completely free and looked at with a permissive attitude; this is still today the case with peaceful native cultures, such as the Trobriands.
When we seriously wonder why we have sex laws and what they do in our society, or ought to do, we may realize how little our laws actually act against the madness-track that we are on as a society.
What is the use of establishing laws based upon principles that, not only being irrational and largely out-of-date, have been put up against the laws of nature, and of love?
At the end of the day we have endless prison miles filled with people who are in for their love or for having mishandled their vital energy. I am asking where the benefit is that such laws are making for the betterment of society and the advancement of humanity and culture?
In addition, it is a fact that sex laws very clearly are preventing children from receiving various forms of body pleasure, despite the fact that, in the meantime, it is scientifically proven that tactile and emotional deprivation creates havoc in their psyche and immune system.
Thirty years of research on sex laws involving children revealed to me that the rationale, or rather irrationale, behind these laws evidently is the alleged sinful character of sex, and not possible destructive consequences of violence inflicted upon a child. This is not surprising since present sex laws are the remnants of a legal body created by the Christian Church, that was founded upon moralism rather than humanitarian, let alone bioenergetic principles.
At the time when the predecessors of our current age-of-consent laws were drafted, the child as a person had no legal status; children’s legal status was derived from the legal status of their father.
It is very important to keep this in mind when reviewing present age-of-consent laws for they were drafted originally from this perspective, and not from our perspective as 21st century citizens with our focus on the child’s ultimate welfare. This is especially important when we deal with terms such as ‘sexual purity’ or ‘innocence,’ ‘decency,’ ‘modesty,’ ‘moral conduct’ or ‘moral integrity’ for these terms actually reveal that the object of protection is not the child or the child’s physical integrity, but a societal and cultural ideal or religious value such as morality — whatever this is. And whatever it is, it shouldn’t be of relevance for a modern lawmaker in a democracy that wants to mark a difference to fundamentalist regimes.
While the sexual purity or innocence of a child is historically a relatively recent idea, and while this idea may have some importance within the Christian value system, the mass media today seem to suggest that we deal in so far with a biological or psychological truth.
— See Unlawful Sex (1985), 4.3, p. 20.
And this despite the fact that progressive child psychologists such as Alayne Yates clearly state that a child’s sexual purity is a pure myth, our outdated sexual laws take it for granted that a child has to be protected from experiencing the most pleasurable side of life.
— See Alayne Yates, Sex Without Shame (1978).
Many a brutal attack against a child is performed by parents or educators exactly because children act against the innocence terror imposed upon them by an anti-life culture, and actively pursue to have sex with peers or adults they love. And how ferocious punishments tend to be for this truly innocent reason, and how disproportionate they regularly are, is a matter of common knowledge.
Alexander S. Neill, founder of Summerhill School in England reports in autobiography such an incident following sex play he had as a boy with his sister.
— See in Alexander S. Neill Neill! Neill! Orange-Peel! (1972). The traumatic effects of such early punishment for sex play and its lasting influence on the personality of the later adult have since long been discovered by psychoanalysis. This was also the case with Neill, who only through his psychotherapy with Dr. Wilhelm Reich could free himself from all the accumulated anxiety and trauma caused by that brutal punishment.
Sex laws are among the most hilarious perversities in our whole legal body. When girls were sexually mature at around fourteen in the Middle Ages, they could consent to sex from age ten. Later, when puberty occurred at about twelve years of age, the consent of girls under sixteen was considered legally invalid. Today, in the Western world, puberty happens between ten and twelve years because of highly potent and hormone-rich nutrition, but a fifteen-year old girl cannot make love with her older boyfriend without the boy risking to be charged with statutory rape.
What is the point of such legal nonsense? The fact is that there is no logic in sex laws because they are not made on the basis of rational reasoning but reflect irrational ideas that come from mostly non-legal sources: church law, folk wisdom, superstition and a more or less total ignorance about physical love as it is so typical for Western culture as a whole.
What these laws do is to kill life and pervert man into a beast that has spoiled its natural and innocent sexuality replacing it by a mix of sex-plus-violence that makes him a highly dangerous creature.
The proscription of love as defined as being mutually consenting sexual activity between humans regardless of age, is likely to cause psychosomatic disease, and generally turns man into an aggressive individual.
So, for everybody who has a bit of common sense left, it should become clear that those laws have to be revised or, best, abandoned if humanity is to survive into a less violent and more peaceful era.
Three precedents by the Supreme Court of Arkansas in 1891, 1897 and 1904 show evidently how statutory rape came to be recognized as a legal term.
While, according to an early English statute, the original rule incorporated in American common law was ‘if any person shall unlawfully and carnally know and abuse any woman-child under the age of ten years, it shall be a felony without clergy,’ the courts have extended more and more the term abuse of a woman-child.
— Wharton’s Criminal Law (1979), § 291, p. 43.
In the 1891 case, Warner v. State, the Supreme Court of Arkansas, 54 Ark 660, 17 SW 6, the court still distinguished between rape as non-consenting intercourse which was punishable with death, and the carnal and unlawful knowledge of a female child under the age of puberty which was punishable between 5 and 21 years in the penitentiary.
The court stated that ‘[t]he crime of carnally knowing a female child under the age of puberty can be committed only when the victim is under 12 years old, and has sufficient intelligence to know the nature of the act, and to consent, and does consent thereto.’
According to an earlier decision of the same court — Coates v. State (1888), 7 SW 304 — puberty was deemed to begin with 12 years of age. In the case, the girl had been 11-years old and the accused had offered proof as to her consenting to intercourse.
In the 1897 case, Bond v. State, 63 Ark 504, 39 SW 554, a new statute was considered which made punishable carnal knowledge of a girl under 16 years of age with or without her consent.
Thus, the distinction between forcible rape (intercourse without consent) and consenting intercourse, which was still a basis of the 1891 precedent, was abandoned by the new statute. The result was that forcible rape, which means sexual violence, became assimilated with consenting intercourse! Even without looking at the consequences of such an abstruse legal situation, from a legal policy point of view, it’s not only nonsense, but forbidden to do that as a legislator. It’s against all and every rule of sound legal policy!
It had two consequences. Firstly, the former ultimate punishment in form of the death penalty for forcible rape was lowered to the punishment of statutory rape (5 to 21 years penitentiary). Thus, the rapist of an adult woman was punished much harder than the rapist of a girl under sixteen!
Secondly, consenting intercourse with girls between ages 12 and 16 became, for the first time in history, a crime!
This is strange because the courts affirmed that puberty was happening at age twelve whereas under the former liberal common law maturity happened much later. Thus the question remains open what in fact the new statute was to protect if not a pure morality principle?!
In the 1904 case, Plunkett v. State, 72 Ark 409, 82 SW 845, the Supreme Court of Arkansas used for the first time the new legal term statutory rape which is per definition no rape, but a consenting sexual activity, legally deemed as being a rape-like offense.
In this case, the girl had been fifteen, had consented to intercourse and had born a baby. It was not certain that the accused was the father of the baby. But on a charge for statutory rape evidence that the girl had had sexual intercourse also with other men was not admissible!
Thus, even if the girl had had regular sexual intercourse with other men and the baby had been from another man, the accused would not have been able to construe a defense from this fact.
This again shows that what the new law of statutory rape actually protected was some dubious notion of ‘public morals,’ but not the corporal integrity of a child. This is furthermore corroborated by the fact that the statute only punished unlawful sexual intercourse, that is, intercourse outside a valid marriage.
At the time, girls could notably marry at the age of fourteen. Thus, had the accused married the girl before the intercourse happened, sex would have been lawful under the statute and no punishment had resulted from the intercourse. So what, in fact, has all this to do with rape and sexual violence?
In addition, the laws in this area are of a vagueness that must be a thorn in the eye of any sincere legal expert. We have seen that rape and statutory rape are two distinct offenses and that statutory rape has nothing to do with the forcible penetration of the female sexual organ against her will, but that it typically is a consenting sexual activity between two persons of different age. It is therefore pure sophism and against the constitutional principle of due process to classify it as a rape-like act. The annotated and revised Arizona Statutes collection notes:
Ariz Rev Stats Ann, § 13–1401(3)
Viewed conceptually, a female under a specified age is also deemed incapable of consenting and hence her apparent consent is treated as immaterial.
Not enough with this legal mess, certain states also extended the term ‘sexual intercourse’ to encompass ‘any manual masturbatory contact with the penis or vulva’ (Arizona).
— Wharton’s Criminal Law (1979), § 293, p. 65 citing Code Ga Ann, § 26–2019 and § 298, pp. 105 ff.
In good English, not only when the older boyfriend sleeps with a 15-year old, but already when he caresses manually her vaginal lips, and when they do this in Arizona, he has raped her in Arizona — statutorily, but nonetheless. Viewed conceptually!
Such conceptions have no place within a civilized and constitutional legal system which is based on an exact definition what the punishable act is about. The constitutional guarantee of nulla poena sine lege which is literally translated ‘No Punishment Without Law,’ called due process, goes back to the Magna Carta (1215) and is an essential part of the Bill of Rights, part of the United States Federal Constitution; yet it seems constitutional rights have very little practical value within the criminal justice system in the United States if only the matter has something to do with sex.
Child Molestation and Abuse
In Georgia, another rape like offense is called child molestation:
A person commits child molestation, with imprisonment from one to twenty years, when ‘he does any immoral or indecent act to or in the presence of or with any child under the age of fourteen years with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the person.
— It is equally sufficient that the child touches the clothing covering the immediate area of the adult’s intimate parts, see Wharton’s Criminal Law (1979), § 298, p. 106.
In good English, someone who touches a child’s genitals, or lets his genitals being touched by a child, or shows the child how to masturbate, even if this person is the child’s parent, in Georgia goes to prison for twenty years at maximum. For, viewed conceptually, the child has been ‘raped’ by the sex knowledge received through such teaching.
This is only one of many examples that demonstrate that it is not the child that is protected by such laws, but the perpetuation of adult sexual inhibitions. It is a crime worth twenty years of prison to show a child having sexual pleasure.
In addition, it is a crime to masturbate for hire, which means to stimulate the sexual organs of a client by a masseur or masseuse.
— Wharton’s Criminal Law (1979), § 300, p. 112.
In Iowa, the sexual contact with a child is a ‘lascivious act with a child,’ in Illinois it is ‘indecent liberties with a child’ or ‘contributing to the sexual delinquency of a child.’
— Wharton’s Criminal Law (1979), § 297, p. 92 (Iowa), § 300, pp. 113-114 (Illinois).
This latter formulation is particularly significant. Not only that human sexuality destroys children and animals, it also renders children ‘delinquent.’
The very contrary is true, as was shown by Alexander S. Neill in Summerhill School and other free schools and by Paul Goodman in their work with delinquent adolescents: it is the denial, imposed by an emotionally and sexually frigid society, to love, to live their budding sexuality in a healthy way which contributes essentially to their getting on a wrong path.
Our sex laws, our sex trials and our correction system are a modern blueprint of the Church’s Inquisition and have very little to do with a modern penal law system. T
hey are an expression of what I call legislative perversion.
And the question is if a society with such an aggression level has a mandate at all in protecting children against physical or sexual violence for it is itself based upon nothing but violence!
The perversity of these laws becomes particularly evident when one compares them with the jurisprudence on corporal punishment that reveals how little this same society cares about the pain and the suffering inflicted upon a child ‘in the name of its own good.’
To tear up the skin of a small child with a whip, to blow the naked bottom of a child with a stick is lawful; to lick it tenderly is qualified as anilingus and is a criminal offense equated with sexual penetration, deviate intercourse or sodomy, and worth twenty years of jail.
— Wharton’s Criminal Law (1979), § 297.
Wait a moment, what appears truly deviate here is the value system of a society that punishes innocent natural pleasure and worships violence, perversion and brutality!
In addition, let me mention the fact that violence against the child as endorsed by social custom that lets children fight in martial arts competitions, for which parents and educators actively encourage children. These competitions are violent, they are not just playful or entertaining. Children are fought into submission. The fact that it is in a controlled environment with rules places makes no difference.
What is more dangerous for children, receiving sexual instruction from an adult that will benefit their erotic intelligence and wellbeing, or being face to face with another child in an organized fight competition where the child risks minor, moderate to serious injuries including broken bones, blood shed, emotional and physiological trauma?
The history of sexual laws involving children can clearly be retraced in the Netherlands. It was briefly outlined by Senator Dr. Edward Brongersma, in his Berlin University course, back in 1981.
— This and the following information about the Dutch sexual law reforms have kindly been provided by Dr. Edward Brongersma, at the time Senator of the Dutch House of Lords, and himself involved in the reforms as a parliamentary member. The information was given to me as a script entitled Der Speijer-Report, 1981 (in German language) that Dr. Brongersma had originally drafted for a lecture at Berlin University, Germany.
Until 1886 sex with children of both sexes was not punishable in the Netherlands, in France until 1832. Homosexuality was punishable with the death penalty, but only in the ecclesiastical courts, which is the courts that applied Canon Law, which is, to repeat it, the body of law founded by the Christian Church. The same is true for the common law, with regard to sodomy.
— See Wharton’s Criminal Law (1979), §§ 294 ff. It is typical for the Christian Church’s act-centered mechanistic view of sexuality that sexual behavior was judged and classified by the ‘acts’ performed, and not as a physical form of human love. As a result, in common law, sodomy was defined in accordance with the former ecclesiastical laws (Canon Law) from which it had been adopted as the ‘carnal copulation of persons in other than the natural manner,’ i.e. in a way which was against nature (see Wharton’s Criminal Law, § 295, p. 77). Needless to mention that it was the Church who defined what was ‘nature’ and what was not.
Contrary to the Church’s Inquisition laws, Montesquieu wrote in L’Esprit des Lois that society should only punish behavior that is damaging to its members, not what is only against certain moral rules.
From 1810 to 1886 the Netherlands’ civil law statute was a translation of the French Code Napoléon under which nonviolent intercourse was not punishable regardless of the sex and age of the partners!
Only after 1886, in the Netherlands’ first own penal code, Het Wetboek van Strafrecht, an age of consent of 14 years was introduced. Out of the proposed fourteen years as the age of consent became sixteen years in the parliamentary discussions.
A minority in the House of Commons used the opportunity to propose punishment for homosexuality. But the majority refused: no moralizing in the penal code! But this was only until 1911. A Catholic Minister of Justice finally was powerful enough to change the situation and penalize homosexuality. This is the way laws are made.
It is interesting that a socialist M.P. remarked at that time: ‘One day we’ll have to regret this, for homosexuality is not damaging.’
But even this law was only for homosexual acts with persons under twenty-one years. It was the Nazis who, during their occupancy in the Netherlands made punishable homosexuality among adults. The Dutch parliament, according to Brongersma, did never accept this and declared later to deem this law as being non-existent.
This went on until 1968 when the Speijer-Report was drafted in which all myths about homosexuality were disproved with profound scientific references. Inter alia, it was stated that since it was eventually accepted knowledge that children are sexual, the opinion grew that the dangers from sexual encounters for children and adolescents have been overestimated.
In its conclusion, the expert commission stated that ‘seduction’ did not play the role that most people attributed to it; they said that even in cases where the adult initiated the child in the sexual activity, the child in many cases awaited from the adult to be initiated. This was found to be true for both homosexual and heterosexual encounters between children and adults.
Finally it was stated that initiation, in what sexual direction whatever it led, would in many cases contribute to mental and physical sanity, and not to depravement.
All this is stated in an official document of the Dutch government. The Minister of Justice at this time, Polak, supported the report and made it a basis for a legal reform draft. The draft was so convincing that in the 2nd Chamber of the Dutch House of Commons only 5 members out of 150 had voted against it — these were from the ultra right wing part of the political spectrum. The Dutch House of Lords adopted the draft bill unanimously.
In October 1969, the Dutch parliament, according to the Speijer-Report, abolished the law which discriminated homosexual pedophilia thus fixing 16 years as the appropriate age of consent for man-boy sexual relations, which was formerly 21 years. In most countries, the discrimination of homosexual pedophilia is still existing, yet the ages of consent differ.
In England, the Indecency with Children Act 1960 makes punishable any act of indecency, or incitement to indecency, with or towards a child under 14, regardless of the sex of either the child or the offender. In addition, homosexual relationships are prohibited with persons under 21 years of age.
The Policy Advisory Committee on Sexual Offenses (1981) has recommended that this age should now be reduced to 18.
— See Unlawful Sex (1985), 8.26 and 8.29.
It is similar in Germany where the general age of consent is equated with the legal definition of ‘child’ (person under 14 years of age), while there is a discrimination according to the nature of the relationship: 14 years (§ 176 StGB), 16 in ascendancy relations, 18 in dependency relations (§ 174 StGB) and 18 for homosexual acts (§ 175 StGB).
— Dreher/Tröndle, Strafgesetzbuch und Nebengesetze (1985), §§ 174 ff.
In France, nonviolent indecent attacks (attentat à la pudeur sans violence) on a child under 15 years is punishable according to art. 331, al. 1er and 3 Code Pénal, but also nonviolent indecent acts on minors between 15 and 18 years if ascendancy relations are in question (Art. 331–1). Equally homosexual acts with a minor between 15 and 18 years of age are punishable (Art. 331–2).
— See, for example, Roger Merle, André Vitu, Traité de Croit Criminel (1982), pp. 1510 ff.
In Denmark, the age of consent is 15 for both sexes, without any further discrimination of homosexual acts.
In Switzerland, the age of consent is 16, but there is much criticism in the literature on this age of consent and proposals are made to fix 14 years as a more appropriate age limit. Besides that, however, so-called homosexual seduction is even punishable with persons above 16 years of age.
— See Günter Stratenwerth, Schweizerisches Strafrecht (1984), pp. 28, 29. The same article (§ 191) of the Swiss Penal Code encompasses both dependency and ascendancy relations as qualifications in punishment.
The Dutch legislation, too, foresees a protection clause for homosexual relationships with minors over 16 years of age.
Such relations are still punishable when the prosecution can prove ‘relevant danger to the child’ that was a consequence of the homosexual act and that would not have occurred in a heterosexual encounter. However, such cases will be extremely rare.
The scientific research upon which the Speijer-Report was based revealed that by the 16th year of life, the sexual propensity is developed to such an extent that a youngster who is heterosexual cannot be diverted by seduction into permanent homosexuality.
— Unlawful Sex (1985), 4.17.
In practice, the prosecution and police forces from that time until the 1990s refused in about 66% of all cases to instigate a criminal trial for adults involved in an erotic relation with children beyond the age of 12. After the fundamental fascist drift in the Netherlands in 1996, as a consequence of American pressure and the worldwide public child abuse hysteria, however, the situation has changed very much for the worse.
Still in 1981, a petition of the association of the work group for pedophilia and of the greatest Dutch association of primary school teachers was presented to the Dutch government aiming at the total abandonment of all age of consent in sex laws. Another petition was presented in 1987 to the Dutch Minister of Justice proposing to specify conditions under which the prohibition did not apply, notably in those cases in which the child initiates or actively engages in the sexual activity.
The petition was signed by a considerable number of persons including law professors, lawyers, prosecution attorneys, physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, sociologists, youth workers, priests or authors, and was a representative sample of the Dutch society.
Moreover, the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Moral Legislation (Melai Committee), which were published in 1980, and the draft of a bill, presented to the Dutch cabinet in 1985 are worth to be mentioned.
The Melai-Report proposed that the prohibition of sex with persons under 16 years of age, that however excluded dependency relations, should be changed into a prohibition of sexual rapprochement of such persons, which means that the report only wanted to punish pimps or brothels, or people who engage in a sex business involving children. The draft bill of 1985 contained a prohibition of sexual contacts with below 16-year olds that have been prepared or promoted by presenting or promising gifts, abuse of ascendancy or by deception.
This decriminalization would only apply in non-dependency relations. Thus, incest with children under 16 would remain entirely forbidden. At present the age limit for incest is twenty-one.
— Dr. Jan Schujer, Ministry of Interior, The Hague, Netherlands, kindly provided this information regarding the content of those petitions and the legal draft projects.
As in the Netherlands, the debate in France, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland and other countries went on over years as to lowering the age of consent from sixteen to fourteen years of age. Compared with the previous state of the laws however, that is before the 19th century, a single lowering of the age of consent seems to be dysfunctional in that it looks like ‘propaganda for progressiveness’ rather than a real effort for drafting more rational criminal laws. After all, we have to ask where is the justification for age fourteen? Why not thirteen, twelve or eleven?
The question is if an age of consent has any rationale at all? At least, when fixing the age at the age of puberty, one could argue that puberty or sexual maturity is a biological event that can be considered a justifiable landmark for reform drafts concerning the age of consent.
After these rather tedious details, I would like to focus on our initial question Love or Laws? and ask if we were not completely mistaken to engage in law reform rather than thinking about reforming our relationship with love?
This sounds perhaps frivolous but is not meant to be; my perspective and effort for a new solution is serious and not just a leisure occupation. I have now researched on these topics for exactly 30 years, as I did my first basic research in Spring 1985, and I have invested sufficient time, energy and resources so as to get a rather precise idea of how this paradigm change in matters of human sexuality is to come about.
For most feminist authors, the idea of a basically new societal attitude regarding love and sexuality is surely a point on their agenda. Nobody doubts this. Yet, when we rest with ideological positions, a larger perspective of truth seems to be impossible, as we will stay with our particular bias, as feminists, as homosexuals, as pedophiles or as sensation-hungry journalists.
I think it is significant that my first research study was rejected by Global Academic Publishers, a boylove editor in the United States and Netherlands who namely published Edward Brongersma’s books. They thought my views were not radical enough and too much on the line of feminist ideas.
Myself not being addicted to feminism, the reply of the editor surprised me, but it showed me to what extent most people think in established categories, unable to view life, and problems, from different angles.
Why should I need to be a ‘feminist’ to correctly report what feminist authors think and write on a certain topic. And when I just leave it out from my study because I don’t like feminism, I am unscientific.
And in fact, I think we are clearly in an impasse when we begin to reform impossible laws, laws that were basically made during times of extreme irrationality and by highly violent secular or religiously fundamentalist governments of the past, and that in many respects violate our most cherished constitutional guarantees.
When we see that, we are perhaps able to do that paradigm change right now, in our own consciousness, by looking differently at the problem or our basic question. What do we want? Love? Or Laws?
What do we need in a future society that is based on rational and freedom-loving principles and that respects the individual and trusts the citizen? Is it more and more laws?
Behold, I am not preaching a gospel here and I do not talk about an idealist principle. I am in fact against idealism and ideals because they are truly destructive, as J. Krishnamurti has shown, and because they have contributed to the present chaos of violence, superficial and blindfolding entertainment, environmental pollution and the ruthless massacre of many of our most precious native cultures.
When we talk about love, we do not talk about an ideal.
Love is an energy that is all-present in the cosmos; love in all its forms, also as physical love, is part of life, of energy, and not a mental concept. And as such, it is reality, do what you will! Thus, when I talk about love, I talk about reality, the reality of nature, or of the universe. And this has been proven, in the meantime, by quantum physics, and that is by itself a major scientific paradigm shift that throws us, if we want it or not, into the holistic science paradigm of the 21st century.
When we are at all serious as scientists, or as childcare professionals or child psychologists, lawyers or judges we cannot continue to close our eyes in front of children’s emotional, tactile and sexual needs, and we cannot continue absolving society for mutilating the child’s emotional and sexual wholeness and transforming children into schizoid personalities through the collective denial of their most basic and important emotions.
And we cannot continue to justify abhorrently unjust, irrational and perverse laws with the smeary and non-verifiable argument they ‘protected’ our children. While we know for sure that the best protection is freedom, and love.
The Legal Split in Child Protection
From the moment we liberalize sexuality from moralistic stigma that is a residue of inquisitory Church laws and therefore an anachronism in a modern legal system, we have no choice but to admit that human sexuality cannot reasonably be subjected to governmental regulation and interference. As a result, we must conclude that age-of-consent laws do not fit in a democratic society because they are not rationally verifiable and therefore represent a tool for paternalistic control and enslavement of the child’s private life and desires.
In addition, they are completely ineffective to prevent the most chaotic and psychotic forms of sexual violence against children, including kidnapping and murder, which is a fact known to all of us from the daily news.
A new and democratic legal bill, if ever the criminal law system regulating human sexuality remains in place, must target upon violence and not sex, and incriminate both physical and sexual violence, not more and not less.
Since in both physical and sexual assault, violence is the determining factor of the offense, it is more effective to treat both kinds of offenses in one and the same legal bill and not, as it is now, in a range of largely diverse bodies of laws that are distinct from each other and present no congruent scheme and hardly any synergies.
As the word ‘violence’ has a rather ambiguous meaning, I suggest using the term ‘harm,’ because it is well-defined and can be verified in each and every case, using empirical methods of scrutiny, if or not there was physical, mental, emotional or sexual harm done to a child.
The second point where a new legal bill should differ from previous legislation is that harm done against adults, be it physical or sexual harm, on one hand, and against children, on the other, should be treated in one and the same bill, and not in different and divergent laws.
The reasons for incriminating violence are exactly the same whether the violent assault is directed against an adult or against a child. Violence is violence, no matter against which members of the community it is released or inflicted.
On the other hand, there is no rationale to incriminate consenting love and sex between generations whatever the age of the partners may be. What we need is a unified legal codification that leaves sex up to private enjoyment and focuses upon violence and actual harm done, and that treats both physical and sexual violence in one and the same bill. So far, many legal experts agree.
But few of them will follow me when I do the next move that in my opinion is logical and that sets out to decriminalize the whole area of human behavior when human intimacy and sexuality are concerned, and this independently of the age of the persons involved in such intimacy and sexuality.
As a consequence of thinking the matter through until the end, we should take intimacy out of the hands of all state authorities, to replace it by a system of advisory functions, effected by experts who are legally empowered and trusted consulting agencies.
I can only throw a tiny spot on the immense jurisprudence dealing with the delicate topic of legal corporal punishment versus illegal child battery.
For the purposes of this article, it will suffice to summarize the basic findings on both, to get at an integrative conclusion. Of course, the limitation on the Anglo-Saxon legal system bears no preclusion, nor prejudice or value judgment with regard to an international perspective.
It is a matter of common knowledge that so-called physical or corporal punishment as well as sex laws regarding children vary from culture to culture.
Cross-cultural studies on the practice of corporal punishment such as James W. Prescott’s paper Body Pleasure and the Origins of Violence (1975), have come to the result that it is the combination of patriarchal values, a monotheistic religion with one single male god, the early deprivation of tactile nutrition and the prohibition of premarital sex that leads to violence, and thus also to violence against children, especially in its socially sanctified form as corporal punishment which is structural violence at its best.
In fact, we are here facing customs, traditions and social mores that have become legalized, thus making the strangest body of law in human history.
Of course, because of the limited scope of my research, the legal rules presented and discussed here can only serve as examples.
In the United States, like in many other countries, the corporal punishment of children is generally accepted and more or less widely practiced.
I am conscious of the fact that in countries like Denmark, Sweden or Norway, where corporal punishment is legally prohibited, we are facing an entirely different situation. But as the United States of America are very influential worldwide through their dominance of the international media, I have started my research with the American legal situation, and still today think that it was the right way to start. For if some States of the USA change or liberalize their criminal laws, the signal function this will have internationally is not to underestimate.
In my view, such a scenario would trigger a global change of sex laws for more rationality, more equity and more real safety for children worldwide!
As for the present legal situation in the United States, criminal justice assumes the task to define the limits where lawful corporal punishment exceeds into the huge grey zone of unlawful child battery.
As the judge considers the social rules in this field as a kind of guideline, and since these social rules change constantly over time, it is inevitable that the law in this matter is constantly shifting as well.
Besides the time factor, there is also a territorial factor. A judge in a small town in Texas may rule in a different way than a judge in, say, Boston or New York, simply because social mores differ with regard to the limits of physical punishment and the values attributed to paternal correction. This is not a fault of the law nor can it be held that the Texas judge is less qualified to rule about the matter.
The fact simply is that the law in this field is not exact, but that criminal justice has that characteristics about it that it is always also to a large extent a matter of social and cultural considerations. Thus, criminal law, in this area, gives a considerable discretion to the judge, the jury and the prosecution to incriminate certain behavior, or not incriminate it. As this makes for legal insecurity, which is not desired in any jurisdiction, a total abolishment of corporal punishment of children has been suggested.
— See only Dean M. Herman, A Statutory Proposal to Prohibit the Infliction of Violence upon Children, 19 FAMILY LAW QUARTERLY, 1986, 1–52, with further references.
The general formula under the present state of the law is that corporal punishment of children by their parents or persons in loco parentis is not unlawful ‘if it is administered in good faith with parental affection, … and not cruel or merciless.’
— Wharton’s Criminal Law (1979), §§ 99–282.
If this sounds reassuring, one might doubt when reading further in Wharton’s Criminal Law textbook:
According to some courts, the punishment is unlawful only if permanent injury results; a parent is not liable for excessive or even cruel punishment if he acted in good faith.
— Id., p. 310.
This law is criminal indeed since it says ‘Thou shalt not beat them to lifelong cripples; but as long as the damage you do to them or the torture you inflict upon them can be repaired, you can impudently massacre them.’
And what does the chewing-gum clause ‘in good faith’ do here? In the precedent People v. Green (1909), the offender was charged with assault and battery of his adopted child Mabel, a twelve-year old girl. In the following case report, the offender is called respondent, and the girl complaining witness:
On the day in question, …, respondent missed a 50-cent piece, and charged the complaining witness with its theft. She, however, denied having taken the money, whereupon the girl was disrobed, partially by Mrs. Green and partially by herself, and when she was naked and alone with the respondent was whipped by the respondent with a small riding whip. The respondent then tied her hands behind her back, having placed her nightgown on her, and left her. She was kept so tied from Friday afternoon until Sunday about noon, during which time the respondent fed her upon bread and water. On the Sunday morning following the whipping, the respondent and his wife left Mabel alone and went into the country. During Sunday forenoon she made some outcry and attracted the attention of Mrs. Jennie Wilton, who lived in the house adjoining respondent’s. Mrs. Wilton notified some firemen in the engine house nearby, and the girl was taken naked and with her hands still tied from the room through the upstairs window of respondent’s residence into the home of Mrs. Wilton. From there she was taken to the police headquarters and placed in the charge of Mrs. Francis Stoddard, the matron. Her condition is described by the matron as follows: ‘From here to the bend of the knee (illustrating) was so thick with marks, and underneath the marks the flesh was dark blue, green, curdled, and over that was the lashes, every one as large as my little finger, that was raised on her body. Across the abdomen, the lower limbs, was six marks, cut, where the blood oozed out and scabbed over. Seventy marks across here (indicating) that was not cut, but these six were cut. Had broken the skin and also across the lower limbs here, until the blood had oozed out, and scabbed over, and when I bathed the little thing with witch-hazel and water she cried, and I could not bathe them any more.’
— 119 NW 1087, 1087–1088.
It should be noted that in this case the Supreme Court of Michigan ruled that the limits of lawful corporal punishment were indeed exceeded, and that the respondent was liable of child battery.
But it is noteworthy to see for what reasons the court came to this conclusion!
Contrary to what one may think, it was not the fact that the girl had been maltreated in a severe manner by her foster father, but the fact only that she had been naked during the assault. It was not the lashes big as a little finger, it was not the pain inflicted on her, it was not the fact that her skin was broke and the blood oozed out at various spots, it was not the cruel imprisoning of the child during a whole weekend, it was not the fact that she had been tied up and put on a hunger diet. It was the fact that she had been stripped before she was violently assaulted:
We think one of the most serious elements of the respondent’s offense is the conceded fact that he compelled the complaining witness, a female between 12 and 13 years of age, to stand before him nude and receive the castigation. This act is tended to shock her modesty, to break down her sense of decency and the inviolability of her person, which is the most valuable possession of a young girl.
— Id., p. 1090.
This clearly means that if she had been assaulted with her nightgown on, all would have been okay! No word about the serious wounds and all the horrible suffering the girl was subjected to. It was the extravagant component of her nakedness, a subtly sexual connotation, that was decisive for the judges to hold that she was mistreated, not the excessive degree of violence, not the sadistic brutality and merciless treatment she was subjected to by her adoptive father.
How could the authoritarian paternalistic attitude of the judges be better expressed than in the words they used — ‘modesty,’ ‘sense of decency?’
It is obvious that for these judges, the slightest sexual tenderness between the girl and her adoptive father would have been held ten times as harmful as the brutal assault and the impudent violation of her corporal integrity. This is even more apparent, although in some hidden way, in the final statement of the court:
It is not the intention of the court to in any way weaken parental authority. On the contrary, we hold that it is the unquestionable right of parents and those in loco parentis to administer such reasonable and timely punishment as may be necessary to correct growing fruits in young children; but this right can never be used as a cloak for the exercise of malevolence or the exhibition of unbridled passion on the part of a parent.
In another precedent, State v. McDonie (1924), 96 WVa 219, 123 SE 405, 37 ALR 699, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals had to deal with an action against the mother of a six-year old boy who was cruelly mistreated by his stepfather.
The mother not only tolerated the brutal assault on the little boy, but it was proved that —
… she fully and freely acquiesced in the cruel punishment inflicted on her son by the stepfather; that she brought the rods and switches used and stood by, not only without any attempt of interfere, but apparently aiding her husband in every way, as testified to by a witness present at the time.
— 37 ALR 699, 700.
Here is the case report:
It appears that on the evening before the particular occurrence which led to the arrest of the defendant and her husband, the boy had absented himself from home, and was found at the home of his grand-father, the father of Mrs. McDonie, and brought home sometime just after midnight by an uncle. Mrs. Cassler says that after the uncle had gone, Joe McDonie brought in a bundle of switches and handed them to the boy, who in turn gave them to her. She says there were ten of them, and the smallest was as large as her largest finger. That then McDonie began whipping the boy in the dining room, and slung him against the wall, while defendant sat there and witnessed the assault; that the child ran upstairs, followed by McDonie, and that she and defendant followed them up; that the husband ordered the boy to get into the bathtub and take his clothing off, which he did, and then turned the hot water on; that all the time the child was pleading with the mother to take him out, and tried to turn the water off himself, but the husband threw him back several times brutally against the side of the tub; that they tied the child’s hands behind him, and McDonie whipped him while he was in the hot water and held his head under the water until he strangled and bubbles arose to the surface; that defendant appeared to be no more concerned than if it was whipping a dog, and she would smile at me; that the child continually appealed to his mother to take him out; and that the only time Mrs. McDonie was not present was when she went after more sticks. Witness says that she afterward talked to defendant about McDonie’s treatment of the child, and that defendant said she loved Joe better than she did the child. This witness had been living in the house with the McDonies about two weeks and says that during that time Joe McDonie whipped the child brutally almost daily; and that several times defendant asked him to whip it.
— Id., p. 701.
There is hardly anything to comment on this concerted action of brutality from the part of the three adults, including the passive cold-blooded witness, against that poor little child. The witness speaks of the child as an ‘it,’ not a him or her, as if speaking about a thing and not about a person.
The Calvinist worldview of conceiving children as strange and somewhat devilish objects when disobeying becomes clear in this case.
There is a pretty list of precedents cited in the case report after the following statement of the court:
Inasmuch as defendant was the parent of James M. Gibson, she had a right to punish him, so that even if malice is presumed, in order to justify the conviction, the statute requires that the acts must have been done not only maliciously and unlawfully, but with the intent existing at the time the punishment was inflicted, either to maim, disfigure, disable, or kill.
— Id., p. 700.
These conditions evidently show that a parent’s discretion for crippling and disfiguring a child for lifetime is virtually unlimited. For how can the intention to maim, disfigure, disable or kill ever been proved at evidence for a court since it is a purely inner intention? Another case, State of Wyoming v. Spiegel (1928), 39 Wyo 309, 270 P 1064, 64 ALR 289, states the following point of departure: ‘For a parent or one standing in such place to strike a child in punishment for disobedience or other misconduct is not an assault and battery, but is the exercise of a legal right.’
One may think that, over time, the judicial and social standards for admitting battery have changed.
However, the Anglo-American legal system with its principle of stare decisis, the rigid adherence to often age-old judicial precedents does not favor flexible adaptation of legal rules to factual changes in the value system. Only statutory legislation that expressly overrides judicial precedents can bring effective change!
In addition, we have to doubt if social standards regarding parental and educational violence against children have really changed in any significant way since the 1920s. The fact that these precedents with the cited commentaries are to be found in a 1979 treatise on criminal law does not encourage a positive answer to this question!
Wharton’s Criminal Law expressly states: ‘A parent has the right to administer proper and reasonable chastisement to his child without being guilty of a battery.’
— Wharton’s Criminal Law (1979), p. 309.
In good English, a parent has the legal right to inflict violence on a child, as far as this violence is ‘proper and reasonable.’
Proper violence, proper wars and proper bombs. Reasonable violence, reasonable casualties, reasonable weapons. The structural violence in this vocabulary speaks for itself, and I spare any further comment.
As to the United Kingdom, Cross and Jones’ Introduction to Criminal Law states that ‘the use of force does not constitute an assault or a battery if the accused is acting in the exercise of the right of corporal punishment.’
— Sir Rupert Cross, Introduction to Criminal Law (1984), p. 134.
The definition is similar to the one used by American courts and the precedents cited under this judgment date from 1860, 1869, 1873 and 1934. One is from 1973. Obviously, a hundred years did not alter very much in a value system that sees in every innocent child the devil in person!
After all, educational violence against children appears to be a rather stable institution in all civilizations that share a patriarchal past. With regard to the corporal chastisement of pupils by their school teachers, the general formula under common law was:
At common law, a schoolmaster or teacher possessed discretionary power to inflict punishment upon his pupils and was not liable for battery in so doing unless the punishment caused permanent injury, was inflicted arbitrarily and without proper cause or maliciously.
— Wharton’s Criminal Law (1979), p. 311.
The more recent opinion of the United States Supreme Court in the case Ingraham v. Wright may reflect the present state of the law:
The use of corporal punishment in this country as a means of disciplining schoolchildren dates back to the colonial period. It has survived the transformation of primary and secondary education from the colonials’ reliance on optional private arrangements to our present system of compulsory education and dependence on public schools. Despite the general abandonment of corporal punishment as a means of punishing criminal offenders, the practice continues to play a role in the public education of schoolchildren in most parts of the country. Professional and public opinion is sharply divided on the practice, and has been for more than a century. Yet we can discern no trend toward its elimination. At common law a single principle has governed the use of corporal punishment since before the American Revolution; teachers may impose reasonable but not excessive force to discipline a child. (…) Although the early cases viewed the authority of the teacher as deriving from the parents, the concept of parental delegation has been replaced by the view — more consonant with compulsory education laws — that the State itself may impose such corporal punishment as is reasonably necessary for the proper education of the child and for the maintenance of group discipline.
What was abandoned as a humiliating practice against criminal offenders is still good enough for treating school children!
If we only replace the word ‘force’ in the text of the judgment by the word ‘violence,’ one of the sentences in the judgment reads as follows: ‘Teachers may impose reasonable but not excessive violence to discipline a child…’
Group discipline seems to have such a high importance that it justifies group violence!
Violence as a social sanction is thus, according to the United States Supreme Court, a proper means to regulate social relations. And a trend for elimination of group violence, and all violence, will, according to this judgment, evidently not come from American jurisprudence!
Overcoming the Split
My research on the topic of violence against children opened my eyes for judicial schizophrenia. I became aware quite early that to resolve the legal split in child protection, we have to treat both physical and sexual violence against children in one and the same legal bill.
This requires us to have a deeper look at what many still believe is necessary educational violence. As long as a majority of citizens upholds the view that violence is good when it’s educational, we probably can wait until the end of all times for a change in the law to happen here. Accordingly we can wait for the Apocalypse to bring about a more peaceful world, for our largely insane parliaments are not likely to take action in that direction!
The same people who tend to vote for upholding the physical punishment of children tend to affirm the righteousness of inflicting violence upon prisoners, and prisoners of war. They tend to justify all violence, because they belittle violence, or are not aware of the long-term damages violence brings about for society as a whole. They have violence virtually in their bones.
They have been nourished not with mother milk and love, but with father milk and the whip, which is the only milk a father under patriarchy is supposed to give to his child, namely in the form of beatings, and of spanking.
In fact, the harmful effects of spanking have only recently been recognized internationally. It was not long ago that so-called ‘positive parenting’ was recognized as something so important that it would receive government funding because it’s a social policy that works. According to a poll by iVillage in 2005, 73% found physical violence against children as a form of discipline either ‘okay, when nothing else works’ or ‘an effective type of discipline.’
This poll says more than well-sounding declarations. It says that the majority of Americans, while considering violence against adults criminal, find violence against children okay when it serves to render children obedient. This means that the concern for protecting the child against violence from the side of adults is an entirely hypocrite endeavor!
This fact suggests that most American parents are not responsible citizens, but domestically violent. Furthermore, it indicates that American culture is not a peaceful culture, but rather something like a primal horde because it does not consider the child as a respected entity, but as a slave and poison container. These people, and it’s the majority in most of our modern industrial cultures, are not aware that violence brings decay, both in the individual life and in the life of a group, of a nation, of a country.
And the subject is even more complex, for those same people who tend to uphold educational and state violence, consider sex as something highly dangerous, something highly explosive, something that needs tight control and supervision! In much the same way they belittle violence, they make of sex a myth and instead of putting their minds into the true causes of violence, they worry about the silly daily right-or-wrong of sex.
It’s silly because sex is natural. Violence not. But in their utter confusion, they are unable to comprehend this truth.
When we see that laws in a particular field are ineffective, arbitrary, irrational and silly and that they bring about more social confusion, more violence, more harmful behavior than at the time when those laws did not exist, why do we want to uphold these laws?
My answer is simple. Because we are afraid of freedom!
If there is something we are most afraid of, even abhor, it’s freedom. Yet we pay lip service to the contrary. But that only proves me right. We are prison-hungry, and like to be a slave in a group of slaves. And we try to kill each and everybody who is feeling he’s not a slave, but a king. Because, to repeat it, we, as a society, abhor true freedom.
We argue that freedom brings chaos. That’s so because we do not understand nature. Nature does not need control to be good. Nature brings about all living and maintains the sun to shine without needing governmental control or funding.
Nature has brought about sexual attraction. Man has brought about sexual violence. Nature has created pleasure, man does all to destroy it. Nature has given us freedom, man does all to do away with it and establish unfreedom as the order of the day.
Nature has instilled in children sexual curiosity, man has distilled age of consent laws — and without asking those who are concerned by these laws, the children.
Every age of consent is arbitrary in some way and dependent on the myth of children’s innocence in sexual matters, as well as ambiguous religious or cultural assumptions and customs.
Historical research shows that throughout human history, consent ages varied according to the economic and social context of a given society or community and the value system resulting from this context.
It is since long disproved that it is procreation ability that grants children competence and capacity for giving or receiving sexual pleasure.
The truth is that procreation capacity is not necessary for a child to be able to consent to body touch or for exchanging sensual pleasure with certain preferred persons whatever their age. Especially for children below the age of reason, the usual regard upon sex as a matter of ‘acts’ and their distinction into non-penetrative and penetrative ones does not make sense.
When a child is enamored with an adult, the child tends to express willingness also for a penetrative embrace, even if the child is physically not yet ready for intercourse. In the magic world of a small child, loving interaction with an adult is part of an integrative worldview that makes no difference between the nature of various pleasures, and where the sexual game is a matter of fantasy, not a factual understanding of its physical reality.
The actual willingness for full sexual intercourse often to be encountered with small girls who are enamored with an adult man is not surprising. It is not based upon what sexology calls the ‘facts of life,’ but an expression of that magical reality the small girl lives in and expresses in often poetic language. It does not bother about the size of the genitals that are going to be put ‘in each other,’ while this may funnily be expressed that way, and it has no act-centered sexual opinions. It is based upon emotions, and the flow of emotions as a vital ingredient of love. It is beyond body poetics and rooted in the small child’s encompassing magical reality.
We may not yet fully understand child sexuality, but I think I can safely say that for the child the magic anticipation of intercourse is an intrinsic element of psychosexual growth and a sane expression of small children’s fantasy world.
This psychological reality, to say this clearly, does not justify pedophilia as a political agenda, or a future political agenda!
It asks for protecting the magical space of the child by not imposing educational control and supervision of the child’s intimate sphere. It’s, so to say, a principle of non-intervention that I advocate here. Or, to use the much simpler terms of Bob Marley’s wistful song, ‘Let the children play.’
The Great Sinner
Age of consent laws truly had some rationale in times where the actual age of puberty of a child coincided with a child’s sexual and social maturity.
This is historically thus valid for the Middle-Ages where it was with around twelve to fourteen years that a young person could consent to sexuality, marry and establish a business.
In all later periods, and especially in modern times, an evident clash is to be noticed between the actual emosexual maturity of a child and his or her legal age of consent. This brings about social and legal uncertainty and actually degrades children instead of helping them to mature functionally into responsible adults and interdependent members of the community.
Present age of consent laws inhibit children from natural sexual and non-sexual life experience and hold them imprisoned in an artificial cocoon of immaturity that retards and even disables the full expansive blooming of their bioenergetic and spiritual potential.
Research has shown that a rigid age of consent barrier as legal discrimination between unlawful sex or lawful sex with children is in practice of little functional value because of the differences in the actual development and maturity of every child.
Instead, it has been seen that it is rather a matter of values why social groupings opt for more severe or else more liberal sex laws.
It became particularly evident during the reform discussions in the Netherlands that it is not in children’s best interest that reform is undertaken, but as a matter of political purpose and with the after-thought of getting through with certain political goals.
Those who share liberal social views and emphasize the autonomy of the child tend to favor a low age of consent while those with traditional views and right-wing political orientation tend to emphasize stricter sexual laws with a pronounced attitude to holding children back from autonomous decisions, thus implicitly denying children’s innate right for self-determination.
In principle children are able to give valid factual consent to sexual activities with adults, which includes being penetrated as part of a loving sexual embrace. This ability is independent of the child’s age and not related to certain biological events such as puberty or sexual maturity, or else emission capacity. It is a mere question of actual willingness.
Besides that, it is a matter of culture and education if, or not, a child only shows sexual curiosity and engages in autoerotic sex play, or shares, more actively, in a fuller range of sexual interaction with others. The assumption made by early psychoanalysis that sane children were ‘only’ autoerotic and not able for partnership, is superseded by newer sexological, psychological, ethnological and psychoanalytical research showing that children, when given freedom, will explore all that is sexually possible, including complete intercourse with both children and adults. It is not a matter of any fictive or legally recognized maturity.
Early psychoanalytic findings, such as those done by Sigmund Freud that seem to show that children tend to engage only in autoerotic sexual satisfaction were rendered under the spell of the highly puritanistic morality of the industrial bourgeoisie of that time.
On the basis of the child’s general capacity to give and receive pleasure, the child is able to decide in each instance what feels right and what feels wrong regarding sex and love with oneself and others. The fact that societal attitudes through the process of educational conditioning will influence the child’s general attitude in sexual matters cannot be a reason for letting societal interests disregard or belittle the emotional and sexual needs of children!
Besides that, even the proponents of traditional legal solutions did not generally and per se wipe the idea of a factual consent of a child to sexual activities from the table. These people usually point to the fact that under the present laws, any such factual consent of a child to any child-adult sexual activity is deemed legally invalid. We face a tautology. The reply does not answer the question. It elegantly circumvents it.
Somehow, many researchers from the strata of more traditional-thinking people have in my view not totally excluded the possibility of a socially adequate range of nonviolent sexual activities between children and adults, leaving open the possibility of a different and sexually more liberal social situation being one day realized within a different legal system that backs it up. In the commentaries on statutory rape is to be found that the factual consent of the child is legally invalid or immaterial.
This argument logically implies that such factual consent is possible!
It is inconsistent, however, to continue arguing, as many traditional criminal law experts did and do, that children generally did not know what they consent to when it regards their sexual wishes or desires. Children generally do have the ability to know what they find pleasurable and gratifying, on one hand, and what they find appalling, on the other.
Sexuality is a way of exchanging pleasure, it’s a form of nonverbal communication, and it is as such only one of various experiences that enrich our lives. And as with all other life experiences, there will be a first time when this pleasure is experienced and there will also be one or the other form of initiation to it.
That such initiation of a child, when it comes from the side not of a child, but of an adult, should be abusive in every single case has little or no factual backup. Research speaks rather for evaluating every case and restraining from general judgments because set opinions about the matter can hardly cope with the variety of possible experiences.
More recent research has repeatedly confirmed that trauma is not generally experienced through the sexual initiation itself but through behavior of the adult that the child feels is inappropriate, or that is appalling because of coercion or because the child is silenced by threat with the purpose of keeping the experience secret.
In commentaries on traditional sex laws it is often said that premature sexual knowledge and experience had to be avoided by all means or that early sexual experience would disturb the sexual development of the child. This argument evidently contradicts the truth that all in life grows and evolves as a result of experience and not as a result of avoiding experience; as such, this argument simply cannot serve as a basis for legislation.
Upon deeper regard this argument, often to be found in right-wing circles of society, appears to be an ideological credo that serves to maintain an artificial image of childhood that in little or no way cares about the real needs of children. It can be argued that in former highly patriarchal societies the sanctified power of an adult male when sexually approaching a child would regularly to be qualified as abuse. There is certainly some truth in this, but the value of this argument changes for present-day culture that has considerably restricted the power of the adult male when it goes to sexual mating.
According to modern research, violence and power abuse in sexual encounters between adults and children rarely occurs and is rather the exception than the rule of such encounters.
While traditional child rearing required from the child an almost total submission under the command and the authority of the adults raising and educating them, in modern democratic society the child is not invariably and totally subjected to authority but granted a substantial amount of freedom and personality rights that include free speech and a still expanding range of options and freedoms for self-realization as well as a constantly growing impact upon deciding about his or her own professional future.
It can even be argued, and it is rhetoric among leftist groups in Western society, that it is the authoritarian system in politics, society and family itself that brought about child abuse in the first place, and not the modern view that considers children as members of the community in their own right.
It cannot be denied that physical child abuse is to a large extent justified by patriarchal morals; while sexual abuse is a controversial matter.
Traditional circles of society tend to blind out the existence of child abuse or project it on sexual minorities; on the other hand, more progressive circles tend to overreact and exaggerate child abuse in modern society.
Whatever opinion one may personally have, it cannot be denied that our culture that is still basically patriarchal has built, over times, a high degree of structural violence that makes it very difficult to change sex laws because of a basic lack of trust in the self-regulatory systems inherent in nature.
This is why only a responsible legislator can change those laws rather than waiting for a majority of the population to be ready for this change. Modern legislation must care about the best of the subjects to be protected by the law, as is children in this case, and not or much less about ideological, religious, traditional or custom opinions of the majority of the population.
Of course, in an authoritarian system children range among slaves and abuse will occur without being called abuse. In a democratic society, however, children are partners and have choices to engage in life in ways that may be unthinkable in highly controlled social systems, but that are going along with the child’s need to grow, and also grow in autonomy.
There is no essential difference between the effects of physical and sexual violence against children. Both forms of violence can have traumatizing effects on the child’s psyche. By contrast, in the absence of violence in sexual relations, children tend to receive some form of gratification from the experience.
In addition, psychology has corroborated that children are emotionally indiscriminating, and that it is generally not the age of a possible partner or mate that is decisive for them to love this person, but other, emotional factors such as friendship, care, closeness, availability, understanding or continuity.
A study conducted by Anna Freud on children kept in shelters during the heavy German bomb attacks in London during World War II came to the result that children are not invariably emotionally attached to their parents but to anyone who cares for their nutrition and emotional needs. As a matter of fact, some of the children only unwillingly accepted to get back to their parents after the end of the war because they had emotionally attached to one or the other caretakers in a shelter.
— See Anna Freud, War and Children (1943), free Internet Archive Edition.
The study also concluded that fear is not inherent in children, not even in war times, but a result of the parent’s own fear that is transmitted to them telepathically or by implicit action. By themselves, and without parental enticement to be afraid, Anna Freud concluded, children are matter-of-fact and able to enjoy virtually any situation that arises, how dangerous it ever may be.
From all the factors that are decisive in sexual relations between children and adults, one factor has been found the least important: the child’s age. A girl of sixteen can be totally unable to consent to a sexual activity with a peer or an adult while a girl of four may feel safe and competent to agree to sex with an adult she loves.
Sexual development in fact has shown to depend much more on factual and positive life experiences than on certain biological key events.
The latter are still necessary and important to happen but relatively secondary with regard to a child’s factual love capacity.
The inherent danger that children can become victims of emotional or sexual exploitation, are equally independent of the child’s age. These dangers exist for all children, with the difference however that the experienced child will be much more able to cope with unwanted sexual approaches than children that are raised in overprotection, fear and guilt, and sexual ignorance.
Highly protected children have shown to be much more vulnerable to exploitation than children who can experience love and sexuality according to their own curiosity and the opportunities that life brings to them naturally. Children raised in authoritarian settings are generally unable to cope with unexpected situations because in the normal course of events decisions are taken for them and not by them, as in that kind of family background, they are not the rulers of their destiny.
By contrast, children from liberal families tend to develop a more or less effective self-protection that shields them against actual exploitation. The law does not have and does not want to have the function of keeping children immature but must consider children as beings-in-growth in accordance with the child’s need to build more and more autonomy as they grow up.
Effective legal protection can only be provided on the basis of equal rights for children, and it has to be seen that the abandonment of authoritarian structures in education will in last resort make the passive submission of children to physical or sexual attacks on them less likely to occur.
On the other hand, it has often been argued by criminal lawyers that a legal system with strict ages of consent bears the advantage to provide strict guidelines about what is permitted by the law and what is illegal.
There is certainly some truth in this argument. But apart from the fact that in love encounters it is quite uncommon to inquire about the exact age of a mate, I claim that for adults to assure that the sexual activity with a child they engage in is nonviolent under the definition of a statute is a legal fact easier to verify than finding out about the exact age of a child.
This being said, a future legislation should be sex-affirming, positive and rational, as well as effective for defeating violence.
It should not be moralizing, but built upon scientifically corroborated findings and experiences. As such its primary intention should be to prevent violent crime, and violent sexual crime, instead of nailing people who are confused about their limits with useless draconian punishments.
To achieve this goal, the legislation should be highly restrictive toward violence encompassing even slight forms of psychic pressure under its definition. Such an approach would then be consistent with the insight that it is violence that is to be feared, that is dangerous to a child, an adult or the community, and not sensual pleasure and sexual diversity.
Basic novelties of such a future legal bill should be the abandonment of any age of consent and the retreat of state and federal authorities to ruling and policing into the family and into love and intimacy, thus abandoning the age-old persecution of nonviolent and consenting relationships between persons of different age, regardless of their sexual or non-sexual nature.
Eventually, the most daring novelty is the establishment and authorization of special consultants to effectively deal with cases that are to be qualified as violent physical or sexual attacks on children.
The allocation of the burden of proof should be drafted as an exception to a general rule of nonviolence put up as a starting point of the bill. With regard to the criteria of the activity in question to be nonviolent, it should be legally presumed that the child consented to the sexual activity when that activity was nonviolent and that the child was generally able to estimate to what they consented to, except in those rather peculiar circumstances where consent was deemed legally invalid.
In cases of doubt, the defendant should bear the risk that consultants prove that the child was unable to consent either by showing that there was no factual willingness of the child or by proving that the child lacked the necessary ability to make an informed decision.
The burden of proof should be reversed when the activity was to be qualified a violent sexual assault as an aggravating judicial circumstance.
Research demonstrated that physical violence against children cannot effectively be dealt with by a legal dichotomy of lawful corporal punishment, on one hand, and unlawful child battery, on the other. Besides the fact that under some jurisdictions even brutal and truly harmful physical attacks on children would still be justified as lawful corporal punishment, if only the parent or educator acted in ‘good faith,’ the dividing line between the two areas is extremely difficult to draw and the legal uncertainty thus considerable.
This lack of sharpness of the pertaining laws is certainly not for the good of the child. It rather serves the perpetuation of an authoritarian, repressive and inhuman educational system that is outdated because it produces uncreative, fearful, and codependent human beings.
Whatever position one may take, there is no doubt that both corporal punishment and child battery are violence inflicted upon children. Hence, there is no rational reason to treat both forms of behavior in a different way.
Actually, the only difference is an internal factor — good faith — which is what lawyers call a chewing-gum clause because it’s very hard to prove or disprove in reality and thus serves judge and jury to get at about any thinkable outcome that serves to corroborate their feelings and that, by doing so, opens the door to all and every form of prejudice.
The intention of a democratic and childcaring legislator can only be to prohibit the infliction of violence upon children.
Moreover, it has no rational basis to give certain adults such as parents or educators a free license to violently attack a child for whatever reason, educational or other.
The general law policy behind any future legislation on prohibiting violence against children should consider that mere gifts or promises given in exchange to sexual favors are not depriving the child of their personal autonomy and do not directly impinge upon the child’s psyche.
In general, they can be said to represent, to a certain extent, socially adequate behavior in that they are only indirectly impacting upon the child’s consent ability. In the same way as a child can accept or refuse kisses and caresses already as a baby, they can accept or deny to engage in any nonviolent sexual activity, and this regardless of age.
The burden of proof should be with consultants for the fact that, in the particular case, the child did not consent to the sexual activity when prima facie such consent was given.
It is equally on the consultants to prove that the child exceptionally lacked the capacity to estimate what they consented to. If the defendant did not know about the child’s state of incapacity to consent, the consent of the child should legally be deemed to be valid.
Such a provision is important for those rather exceptional cases where the child was willing and consenting but mentally retarded without appearing to be retarded, or in any other way in a state of mental or emotional confusion or incapacity to consent, while however appearing to be normal.
It should be presumed by the statute that children do not consent to violent physical or sexual interactions. The burden of proof should be on the defendant for the fact that, beyond reasonable doubt, the child consented to the activity despite its violent character.
To summarize, what I suggest as a drafting technique for any future bill that sets out to unify the social fight against physical and sexual violence against children, commonly called ‘physical abuse’ and ‘sexual abuse,’ is to follow the principles of drafting statutes established for civil law procedures, as they are valid, still today, not only in the United States and the United Kingdom, but also in former members of the British Commonwealth called common law jurisdictions such as, for example, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Burma, Singapore or Sri Lanka.
Such an approach would be in accordance with my initial proposal to decriminalize sexual behavior for all members of society, and establish a consultancy service, which I suggest to be called ‘Pedoemotions Consultancy’ or PEC, composed of trained and experienced psychological, psychiatric and sexological advisors to deal with these matters as legally empowered professionals working for the public good and in execution of governmental duties and responsibilities.
The Code is a concept of psychoanalysis and means a codification in language of patterns of behavior that are part of human conduct — without asking if such patterns of behavior are wanted or unwanted, productive or counter-productive, legal or illegal.
It has been observed by Freudian psychoanalysis that the code sets up a structure in the human psyche that is conducive to law-abiding behavior, while uncoded desires or forms of conduct tend to bring about chaos, destruction, and crime. Hence the necessity for the social policy maker to code as much as possible desires and particularly sexual paraphilias so as to humanize the desire contained in them and render these desires conscious and subject of conscious control.
Desires that are not coded cannot according to psychoanalysis be sublimated and will instead be repressed and projected.
The term is of high importance in the present public debate about so-called pedophilia in its obsessional focus upon the few marginal cases where children are abducted, tortured, sexually exploited and killed.
The public is infuriated about these cases because the press, for obvious commercial reasons, blows these cases up with a huge international and government-sponsored propaganda in order to take advantage from the blatant level of non-information and/or misinformation of the common media consumer.
And this despite the fact that psychoanalysts and health professionals have often emphasized the fact that it’s exactly the repression of pedophilic attraction in modern consumer societies and, even more importantly, the fact that such behavior is not coded that brings about the chaotic reactions, situations and crimes.
To make pedophilic attraction part of the code is exactly what I have tried to achieve with a new scientific vocabulary that embeds pedoemotions in a larger framework of emosexual attraction as a more encompassing concept for human emotions and sexuality than the hitherto very narrow and genitalia-focused definition of sexuality.
I have created the term emosexuality in order to emphasize that sexual orientation is based upon emotional predilection and not vice versa, upon so-called sexual drives, as sexology assumes.
The term is not simply a composition of the words emotionality and sexuality. It does not only express that emotions and sexuality naturally swing together, but that this union creates the unique experience that we call Love.
The term has nothing in common with the same term used by popular culture as in the latter case it denotes a sexuality deprived of penetration, of a mere fondling nature. This is not the case in my notion of emosexuality that encompasses full sexuality but also full emotionality, as distinct from the robotic scheme of sexuality made up by modern sexology, which defends an artificial concept of sexuality that is somehow detached from human emotions and that is of an automatic, self-executive character.
Emosexuality describes the complex process of interrelations between our emotions and sexual desire that we strongly experience once we love somebody. The term sexuality has in fact very little significance because it is restricted to genital activity. Emosexuality is much larger a concept and is destined to serve sexology and cognitive psychology to better formulate the results of their research in the significance of love and of love relations between people.
Emosexual dysfunctions are pathological states on the emotional level, or on the sexual level, or on both levels at the same time, that negatively affect, or render impossible, the experience of a plentiful loving satisfaction in the hot-melting passionate loving embrace.
I speak in this context about emosexual attraction in order to denote that the healthy erotic attraction between humans is characterized by the undisturbed presence of both emotional and sexual feelings.
This is also the case between adults and children, and here I openly contradict mainstream psychology and sexology.
Emosexuality and emosexual as an adjective were the first creations of my new vocabulary that was ultimately an attempt to create a base structure for what today is called erotic intelligence. Once mechanistic scientists are beginning to accept that truth, we can go further and come up with the even more daring concept of Pedoemotions.
Whereas formerly only the mind, and even more reductionist, the brain was considered to be the source of intelligence, today we know that our emotions have their own unique intelligence, that in many ways surpasses the intelligence of the mind, and that our erotic emotions, including our sexual desires, have their own intelligence.
They in fact intelligently contribute to our holistic understanding of the world and reality; thus emosexuality is a form of cognition, and at the same time of communication.
That means that love is always erotic, and erotically intelligent.
To my knowledge, this understanding of love is novelty and has not been introduced yet as a scientific or philosophical concept. However, all great poetry implicitly expresses this truth.
Succinctly speaking, this means that I am against the splitting off of love into so-called erós and agapé, on one hand, and the further splits of the unity of love into neat concepts.
These conceptual notions of love are enumerated on the above quoted Wikipedia page as:
- parental love;
- family love;
- motherly/fatherly love;
- love of children for their parents;
- siblings love;
- love for the ancestors;
- love for one’s home country or patriotic love;
- love for tradition
- passionate love;
- love for one’s husband or wife;
- and so on and so forth.
What are these reductionist concepts of love good for? In my analysis of this question, that I asked for the first time in high school, in my philosophy class, the answer why this happens is the fragmentation of modern man and the rationalization and intellectualization of love.
What originally is a matter of the heart became a concern for the brain, and instead of letting go for love to come as a spontaneous, novelty kind of thing, people in modern societies tend to think about love and wish to be loved instead of simply loving, and without asking anything in return.
The intellectualization of love, while it’s a rather modern phenomenon, is the result of splitting love in permitted and forbidden love, which is based on the upsurge of morality through patriarchy. This occurred for the first time in human history in the form of the so-called Code of Hammurabi.
Already before industrialization, Christian life-denial has done its part in the destruction of natural love and its more or less total perversion into the love-and-sex dichotomy that today is part of mainstream sexology.
The very split of love into love, on one hand, and sex, on the other, is perverse and anti-nature. The reason why this schizoid split was created in the psyche and behavior structure of Western people is moralism and fear, and here, in particular, fear of incest.
When a father says that he loves his little daughter, people want to make sure that this father means he loves his daughter in accordance with the incest taboo, and not as a sexual mate.
However, a unifying concept of love says that love always contains the potentiality of sexual attraction. There is no need to pervert our language simply because we are afraid that parents and children may not only experience love but also sexual attraction for each other. The chances that people act out on these attractions are, according to statistics, after all not very high, and yet because of various reasons, these ideas have become group fantasies and mass obsessions for modern man and are for this reason, and for this reason only, in our daily press.
The correct way to use language, and to use the word love, is to imply in it all its potential meanings and connotations, instead of cutting them out by splitting off love into loves, thereby destroying the unity of love.
For there is no way out than the antithesis of perversion as a result of this schizoid split.
We need to accept reality instead of fighting reality. Love is like the sun. It is impartial, and the force of its irradiation does not depend on those who are bathed in the heat waves.
With language it should be alike. When I say I love children I don’t bother if you think that I also love them erotically. What you think is your business, not mine. But we have to keep language pure so that our code does not get messed up.
Moralism is a short term for a huge dilemma. It has nothing to do with morality, and I would go as far as saying that moralism is a perversion of true morality. One of the first perpetrators of violent moralism in human history was the Babylonian King Hammurabi. He was also the first ruler who used moralism as a political strategy.
Moralism is a cover paradigm and fake concern when there is in reality the most cynical indifference both in society and in government, and where there is a high level of structural and domestic violence and a strong suppression of truth and free speech. Every form of political fascism begins where these basic conditions are met; moralism is used strategically for the following pursuits:
- Denial of sexual, emotional, cultural, ethnic or racial complexity;
- Covering up uncomfortable or unpopular political reality;
- Political strategy against dissidents or free thinkers;
- Hegemonial strategy used to publicly pillory foreign states or governments;
- Fascist strategy to curtail down civil liberties for social scapegoats.
Moralism is one of the most effective shields against the soul, protecting us from its intricacy. (…) I would go even further. As we get to know the soul and fearlessly consider its oddities and the many different ways it shows itself among individuals, we may develop a taste for the perverse. We may come to appreciate its quirks and deviances. Indeed, we may eventually come to realize that individuality is born in the eccentricities and unexpected shadow tendencies of the soul, moreso than in normality and conformity.
— Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life, p. 17
Care of the soul is interested in the not-so-normal, the way that soul makes itself felt most clearly in the unusual expressions of a life, even and maybe especially in the problematic ones. (…) Sometimes deviation from the usual is a special revelation of truth. In alchemy this was referred to as the opus contra naturam, an effect contrary to nature. We might see the same kind of artful unnatural expression within our own lives. When normality explodes or breaks out into craziness or shadow, we might look closely, before running for cover and before attempting to restore familiar order, at the potential meaningfulness of the event. If we are going to be curious about the soul, we may need to explore its deviations, its perverse tendency to contradict expectations. And as a corollary, we might be suspicious of normality. A facade or normality can hide a wealth of deviance, and besides, it is fairly easy to recognize soullessness in the standardizing of experience.
—Id, p. 18.
Traditionally, in patriarchal culture and society, education was moralistic as a general rule. But even in our days of feminism and open criticism of patriarchal tradition, moralistic education has survived. It often takes hidden forms. Often concepts that are outspoken intellectual are forms of ideological pressure the child will be submitted to in the name of its own best, and for ultimate compliance with social and political dogma.
The suppression of the child’s emotions has many names and takes many subtle forms. It is manifested also in the intellectual dressage of the child. Who thinks only does not feel much, or much less. Such kind of water-head education may produce good surgeons or computer programmers.
Happy and harmonious human beings who think ecologically and can help healing the earth do certainly not come out of such educational institutions. Many of them will be active to bring about further destruction and misery to this tortured and moralism-enslaved humanity.
Pedoemotions are temporary, transient, recurring or exclusive emosexual desires and fantasies involving children.
While pedoemotions are not primarily sexual, they focus our emotional attention upon children in a way that children become more important, more attractive, more interesting to be with, more captivating and more seducing than they are for a control person with a lesser degree of pedoemotions.
Pedoemotions are present in both men and women and their love objects can be either male or female children or in a bisexual form both boys and girls.
I define as soul power primary power or self-power the natural and non-abusive power of a basically sane human being. Primary power is the natural power that the sane child develops when allowed to grow into autonomy and self-reliance.
This is namely the case when the postnatal primary symbiosis between mother and child during the first eighteen months of the newborn was a positive experience for both mother and child, and when the mother can allow the infant to gradually grow into autonomy as the child widens his or her grasp and perception of the environment and thus gradually leaves the condition of primary narcissism.
The development of primary power is however inhibited in case that the primary symbiosis was impaired and/or the mother is narcissistically fixated and projects on the child an ancestor or living parent, so as to ‘incarnate’ in the child a fantasmatic split-self, thereby obstructing the child’s emotional flow and the flowering of the child’s own individuality and intrinsic selfhood.
Soul Power, which I synonymously call Primary Power or Self-Power is a concept I have created to connote our original power, which is based upon innocence, and which is distinct from the harmful secondary powers or worldly powers, which are based upon knowledge, that profoundly mark our current society, and which are clearly violence-inducing, and in the long run damaging the human potential and natural human spirituality.
Developing soul power is conceptually linked to developing awareness of our intrinsic soul values that typically, and in the regular case, do not coincide with our accepted social values.
So there is at the starting point an inner conflict, or duality, between our soul values and our cherished and agreed-upon social values.
This inner conflict must not be silenced, but met with passive (and peaceful) awareness for this inner conflict is actually creative and brings about soul power in a way completely different from what fashionable life coaches such as Anthony Robbins are teaching and practicing, and what they use to call personal power.
By contrast, I denote as secondary powers the largely abusive powers that result from the fragmented, schizoid and overtly narcissistic mainstream individual that incarnates the core personality of our culture.
— Peter Fritz Walter, The 12 Angular Points of Social Justice and Peace: Social Policy for the 21st Century;
— Peter Fritz Walter, United Nations Report on Violence Against Children: Research at the basis of the ‘Declaration on the Rights of the Child’ which was adopted by the UN’s General Assembly in August 2006;
— Peter Fritz Walter, Creative-C Learning: The Innovative Kindergarten;
— Peter Fritz Walter, The Autonomy Quest: On the Bioenergetic Importance of Autonomy;
— Peter Fritz Walter, Parent-Child Codependencd: A Research Definition;
— Peter Fritz Walter, Autopoiesis and Autonomy: Autonomy is a Biological Function.
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Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
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A Bill of Rights for Children
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Don’t Say Yes When You Want to Say No
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The Interpretation of Dreams
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Sacred Mysteries, 2004
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Beyond the Brain
Birth, Death and Transcendence in Psychotherapy
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The Surrender to the Body and to Life
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30 Scripts for Relaxation Imagery & Inner Healing
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Whole-Body Healing Through the Mind-Body-Spirit Connection
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Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies
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Four Your Own Good
Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence
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The Drama of the Gifted Child
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Thou Shalt Not Be Aware
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The Sexual Life of the Child
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First published in German as Das Sexualleben des Kindes, 1909
The Absorbent Mind
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Care of the Soul
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The Emotional, Psychological, and Spiritual Responses that Promote Health and Healing
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A Radical Approach to Child Rearing
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A New View of Childhood
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What Childbirth Should Be
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The Scientification of Love
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Understanding the Critical Period Between Conception and the First Birthday
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First Published in 1986 with Century Hutchinson in London
Ostrander, Sheila & Schroeder, Lynn
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In Search of the Miraculous
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The Soul of Creativity
Insights into the Creative Process
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Understanding Waldorf Education
Teaching from the Inside Out
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Sex and Identity
Your Child’s Sexuality
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Affectional Bonding for the Prevention of Violent Behaviors
Neurobiological, Psychological and Religious/Spiritual Determinants
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The Significance of Psychoanalysis for the Mental Sciences
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My Voice Will Go With You
The Teaching Tales of Milton H. Erickson
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Children of the Counterculture
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The Four Agreements
A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
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The Mastery of Love
A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship
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The Voice of Knowledge
A Practical Guide to Inner Peace
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The Best Kept Secret
Sexual Abuse of Children
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Guided Imagery for Groups
Fifty Visualizations That Promote Relaxation, Problem-Solving, Creativity, and Well-Being
Whole Person Associates, 1995
Using Imagery and Imagination for Self-Transformation
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New York: Doubleday Dell, 1976
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Redeeming the Inner Child in Marriage and Therapy
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An Introduction to the Spiritual Processes in Human Life and in the Cosmos
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A Psychiatric Study of Onanism and Neurosis
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Patterns of Psychosexual Infantilism
Reprint Edition, New York, 1959
Sadism and Masochism
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Sex and Dreams
The Language of Dreams
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Stone, Hal & Stone, Sidra
Embracing Our Selves
The Voice Dialogue Manual
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The Myth of Mental Illness
New York: Harper & Row, 1984
Tart, Charles T.
Altered States of Consciousness
A Book of Readings
Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley & Sons, 1969
A Journey Into the World of Spiritual Healing and Shamanism
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Dance of the Four Winds
Secrets of the Inca Medicine Wheel
With Eric Jendresen
Rochester: Destiny Books, 1995
Shaman, Healer, Sage
How to Heal Yourself and Others with the Energy Medicine of the Americas
New York: Harmony, 2000
Healing the Luminous Body
The Way of the Shaman with Dr. Alberto Villoldo
DVD, Sacred Mysteries Productions, 2004
Mending The Past And Healing The Future with Soul Retrieval
New York: Hay House, 2005
Whitfield, Charles L.
Healing the Child Within
Deerfield Beach, Fl: Health Communications, 1987
Whiting, Beatrice B.
Children of Six Cultures
A Psycho-Cultural Analysis
Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1975
Sex Without Shame
Encouraging the Child’s Healthy Sexual Development
New York, 1978
Republished Internet Edition