The Demonization of Adult-Child Erotic Love
Love or Morality: Chapter Three
“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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What is Child Protection?
From Protecting Children to Serving Children
In the present chapter, I am going to elucidate some of the main reasons for the present cultural demonization of adult-child erotic love.
We are going to see why the modern paradigm of child protection doesn’t ensure valid protection of the child against various forms of violence, educational, sexual or other, both within and outside of the family. Actually our daily news report that children in our culture are highly vulnerable to being hurt, and highly unsafe, and that the worst of the worst can happen to them virtually every day.
Missing children, abducted children, raped children, children as assault receivers in divorce trials, not to talk about children raped to their blood in all our wars and civil wars around the world, all this shows with blatant evidence that children are not protected through our modern child protection, while in former epochs of humanity, children enjoyed a much more effective protection — while one would never have talked about it in that paradigmatic manner that is today’s media tone. And myself living since twenty years in South-East Asia, I have seen here in Asia children being much more protected, while much more exposed to potential dangers, on their daily way to school, walking, or biking alone, sometimes miles to and from school. And yet, an abduction or a child rape would be a resounding sensation that happens less than once a year in all the countries I have lived in, which are Thailand, Indonesia, and Cambodia.
While children are early initiated in the work process, and not relegated to ‘eternal play’ as in Western countries, children in Asia enjoy a higher sphere of personal freedom and yet are not to that point assaulted and humiliated as it is the case in all and every Western society! This is, frankly, a shame for a culture that arrogates itself to be the most child-centered and child-protective in the world!
It has to be seen that child protection came up, not as a coincidence, with the Industrial Revolution, during the second half of the 17th century, and was a byproduct of the industrial exploitation of the child, and later, the discovery and recognition of children as prime consumers. Hence, the true reason for the present demonization of adult-child sexual relations is a cultural fear that is actively fueled by the corporate world in its eternal collusion with governments around the world. The fear is that the child as a consumer may disappear one day because of consciousness development and social realization of children’s emotional and erotic freedom. That would possibly be the end of consumer culture in its present form.
This is thus a legitimate fear, and from this perspective, all the strangeness in the present child protective paradigm can be understood — while I am probably the first researcher after French philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari to have discovered and unveiled these hidden connections in my books.
Next, I am going to elucidate in this chapter what the expression ‘sex offender’ known from criminal justice actually means.
I is quite obvious, I think, that this expression denotes something like ‘sexual heresy,’ just as it was in the times when the Church ordained what was permitted as wholesome intercourse and what was ‘intercourse with the devil.’
For example, under the Church’s doctrine, even within a couple in a valid marriage, anal copulation was judged as a ‘devilish’ form of intercourse. By the way, this archaic view is still valid today in Islam, and can be found explicated in the Koran. A similar prohibition may well exist also in Judaism.
I also show in this chapter that the one-sided focus upon the victim, while denoting the abuser as a criminal, without giving thought to the root relationship that was established prior to the abuse, is not conducive to elucidating the truth in relationships that at one point turn south through one party abusing the power he or she has over the other party.
This is so because from a scientific point of view, we need to know the whole of the story, not just the part that led to the decay, and even the destruction of the relation, or the fact it ended up in court. The present abuse paradigm renders it extremely unlikely that researchers even bother to know the whole truth, because partial truth, which is called ‘scientific bias’ is virtually planned into this paradigm. And with that, sorry, I cannot live as a lawyer and researcher; this is something that has to be attacked, in my view, until the Supreme Court renders a decision about it, and such a decision could trigger a change in the whole of the oppressive and unconstitutional system that the abuse culture has established in our originally democratic culture that considers human intimacy as protected by constitutional guarantees!
What is Child Protection?
The child protection movement is a social, political and economic union of politically conservative and spiritually orthodox circles of modern society that have achieved to receive high government and industry funding for running national and international campaigns for the so-called protection of children. Some authors also speak, in this context, of the ‘child protection industry’ since the financial power and sociopolitical influence of this movement is growing fast. While it does not shy away from interfering in other countries’ internal matters by thus violating Article 2(4) UN Charter (Non-Interference Clause), it has so far not contributed to lower the enormous child-related crime rate in modern society; this fact contributes to the suspicion that child protection is rather an ideology, or a new worldwide business that plays on the irrational registers of the human mind, rather than on factual knowledge.
Modern educators like Maria Montessori came up with the idea to tailor the child’s living environment according to the child’s age and size, thus segregating adults and children into worlds apart. Regarding the child’s natural need of a variety of contacts to grow into a sociable and kind person, it is argued by child protectors that such contacts may endanger the child’s health, physical safety or emotional balance.
However, statistics of child-related crime show that in countries that are lesser safe and technologically advanced, the number of child rape assault, violent murder, lust murder or kidnapping of children is minimal compared to the statistics for these crimes in Western industrial nations. Western crime experts, justifying the Western child protection paradigm, tend to argue that these statistics could not be relied upon since the most part of child abuse went unreported in those cultures.
So far so good. Let us look then how it developed in our own culture because here, we have more reliable data. The first idea to protect children came up at about the middle of the 17th century. Before that time, the idea of children enjoying a special status or being another vintage of humans who need special care was unknown.
Hence, when we talk about child protection, we talk about a modern paradigm, a concept that was mainly developed in the 20th century, while the idea was present already in early Christianity.
As Susanne Cho demonstrated in her doctoral thesis, the idea of child protection seems to be unthinkable before about the second half of the 17th century.
— Kindheit und Sexualität im Wandel der Kulturgeschichte: Eine Studie zur Bedeutung der kindlichen Sexualität unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des 17. und 20. Jahrhunderts, Zürich, 1983 (Doctoral thesis).
This is so because it was at that moment in human history that, for the first time, it was defined what a child is; in fact, before the onset of the Industrial Revolution, children were not considered as a separate race that obeys to different laws. It does not surprise in fact that it was exactly with the starting point of consumerist thinking that the idea came up that children had to be regulated and held tight. The underlying promise was that children represented a tremendously important consumer base. Hence, the idea of protection, which finds its parallel in slave holding, which was on the rise from exactly the same point in history. Slaves, too, had to be protected — mainly from running away!
When you consider this fundamental shift in perspective regarding children, that is after all a modern-day phenomenon, you may grasp the idea that all child protection in reality is a form of customer care, and a means to grow obedient consumers.
The direct consequence of this reality are our age of consent laws, which are based exactly upon that fictional definition of the consumer robot ‘child.’ Without a person being considered a child, age of consent laws do not apply. Child is thus a legal criterion. This is of tremendous importance for the understanding of how our child protection laws work.
So I need to dig a little deeper and find out what a ‘child’ is under the definition of the law. And when I look through existing age of consent laws I may be surprised to find one single criterion: the age of the child. No mention of maturity, no mention of knowledge about life or former experience, no mention of IQ, no mention of the will of the child. All this is considered irrelevant by modern child protection laws. A child is a person below the age of consent. The age of consent is so and so many years. And how many years it is, actually depends on time and place, and on the cultural setting.
Thus, we can conclude at this point that the ultimate purpose of our age of consent laws is to protect a certain age-group of people from experiencing sex or body pleasure.
The rationale of age of consent laws, and ultimately of child protection, may not be clear. It has to be elucidated. The answers we get from our lawmakers and from our child-protection experts are clear-cut. Sex is something for adults, we hear. Sex is damaging the child, we hear. Children are sexually innocent, we hear, and have to be protected from abuse. This is the official rhetoric.
I wonder if we are not all innocent about driving cars until we get our driver’s license? I once dated a student girl who was sexually innocent at age twenty-one. Does that mean that at age twenty-one, she was still a child? According to the laws of consent, she was an adult. Yet she was a virgin and said she had suffered from the fact that all through her childhood her mother had forbidden her to touch herself. Her mother in fact had regularly followed her up to the toilet to make sure that she was ‘not touching herself.’
This girl was an incarnation of guilt and shame, and she said she felt attracted only to old men, to men who physically looked like her father. Upon my inquiry why she did not find men of her age attractive, she replied that she found young men ‘brutal and insensitive’.
This young woman may be an exception or she may have suffered from a particularly harsh and life-denying education, but cases like hers let us question the rationale of morality. It is often argued in conservative circles of society that children should by no means be sexually awakened as this would impair their sense of morality. Now, then, let us inquire into this argument. First of all, which morality is meant? Is it the morality of good behavior, of decency, of moral conduct, of respecting others?
Does that mean so far that the child has to abstain from sex so as to learn to respect other people, so as to keep a good conduct and learn a decent behavior? Indeed, it is argued in conservative circles that children had to pass a certain time for learning, and not just for enjoying life, and that too much of body pleasure and enjoyment was detrimental to their sense of morality; that children had to encounter hardship and learn to deprive themselves of certain things that they could enjoy later on in life.
Does that mean the child must abstain from sex for the common good, for the sake of morality? Or for their own good? If the first is true, we are not talking about child protection, but about morality protection, or the protection of that strange thing that in legal textbooks is called ‘public morals.’ If the second is true, we are dealing with a paradigm of child protection that applies restrictions to the child’s life for the best of the child.
The present book will elucidate what the current state of the law is in matters of child protection and how age of consent laws have grown historically, what their rationale is, and how, or not, they serve the child’s welfare. I will also comment on some of the rather folkloristic and irrational aspects of the present public child abuse debate and the character structure of people who stress child protection with particular emphasis, exhibiting an almost obsessed focus on the protective stance in education. This is to say that in such an intensely controversial debate, to abstain from any judgment and pretending to deliver an ‘objective’ assessment of the topics at stake would be an illusory and perhaps dishonest endeavor. I want to see the person who can react cold-bloodedly to such a hot matter. Children’s fate does trigger deep emotions, and for good reason.
Yet, not only because I am a trained lawyer and therefore perhaps more detached when looking at things that shock most people, I would like to invite the reader to try hard to steer in between the extreme positions of the child protectors, on one hand, and the self-declared pedophiles, on the other. Probably on neither of these sides, truth resides, because the positions are extreme by themselves. And they have probably become even more extreme over the last few years because of an evident lack of dialogue, let alone good-willed and constructive interaction, between these groups of people. This is why I would like to expose in this book some of the absurdities that are to be found in the rhetoric of both the child protectors and the declared and organized pedophiles on the matter of loving children.
And what about listening to the children themselves? I have done so and my inquiry led to some fundamental insights that are not brought forth by both the child protectors and the organized pedophiles. In addition I would like to come up with some perhaps original ideas about how children could be protected in a way that leaves their emotional integrity as untouched as possible.
I call this idea the principle of non-intervention and it’s not a new idea, but a recurrent argument in the writings of alternative child psychologists such as the late French child therapist Françoise Dolto or the American child psychologist Alayne Yates. Besides, some women rights activists such as Stevi Jackson have taken a strong stance on freeing the child’s sex life from an overhead of paternalistic control and regulation.
The media, especially television and cinema play a major role in forging behavior by spreading the consumer value system worldwide, a value system that by suppressing and criminalizing the most tender forms of sexual interaction between generations breeds violence, hatred and hyper-aggressiveness mixed with sentimentality and an attitude twisted toward suspicion, mistrust, defensiveness and insolence.
The behavior of not only a large majority of Western children, but more or less a majoritarian part of all children in technologically advanced societies shows, as a result of emotional, tactile and sexual deprivation in childhood, the following patterns:
— Lack of kindness and lack of empathy with others
— Lack of autonomy, self-determination and responsibility
— Clinging behavior (symbiotic attachments)
— Strong egotism and difficult attitude;
— Frequent anxiety, insomnia or nightmares;
— Strong materialistic focus, dependence on labels;
— Standardized behavior patterns and role models;
— School violence such as racketing smaller ones, etc.;
— Laziness, lack of attention, sometimes analphabetism;
— Depressions, tendency toward drugs, sexual dysfunctions.
There are no quick fixes to heal these pathologies and, if there are, they cure symptoms, but not the disease at its origin. The disease is a cultural, psychological and ideological pattern; it’s a puritanical mindset that punishes pleasure and belittles violence, that roots out any spontaneous and creative behavior in favor of behavior characterized by the imitation of idealized model leaders, materialism and focus upon possession, a trend for proselytism, sadism and educational violence against children, the justification of slavery, civil war and structural violence, a revenge-oriented criminal justice and violent prison system, religion characterized by a jealous, vindictive and violent god, strong prohibition of pre-marital sex, the dominance of patriarchal values, and generally a higher esteem for males and an open or hidden discrimination of females and female children.
Modern citizens tend to believe our democratic Western nations were among all countries the most liberal and free societies, blaming the Taliban and other tiny extremist minorities for acting-out the shadow that they deny to admit. Or they even project their undesired split-selves on a whole religion such as Islam or ‘Islamic Fundamentalism’ while in American history, Christian Fundamentalism truly was leading all over the place, and for centuries without end, without any effective control of its outright fascist, persecutory, irrational, undemocratic and anti-constitutional attitude.
With regard to children, their rhetoric is suspiciously similar to the way the former apartheid regime in South-Africa talked about the black slaves and their social status.
All children’s rights for a free, uninhibited and non-manipulated emotional and sexual life during childhood and youth are countered with arguments that deny to children basic human rights such as:
— The ability to determine themselves;
— The ability to make responsible choices;
— The ability to identify what could possibly harm them;
— The ability to develop autonomy;
— The ability to make friends;
— The ability to assert oneself;
— The ability to consent to sexual relations.
From Protecting Children to Serving Children
Some more interesting parallel comes up when we look at another of those false realities, the notion of a ‘protectorate’ in international law. In this term we encounter protection thinking, and here, too, it has been in human diplomatic history a pretext for colonial occupation of a foreign territory, in violation of Art. 2 (4) UN Charter, and thus against international law. This term equally reveals that pretexting to protect another is often, even in the law of nations, a rape-like act targeting at violating the other and depriving them of autonomy and self-determination.
Democracy has so far not given us a real advantage because it has not changed the power structures. It has only given another frame of reference but we still have the totalitarian regime of the most stupid instead of a natural regime of the most intelligent.
I believe that true democracy can exist everywhere, no matter what regime a culture or nation subscribes to, as long as it has a cultural and spiritual foundation that respect human values and human life. Once we free ourselves from black-and-white judgments that divide the world in East and West, high and low, male and female, good and bad, and so on, we can gain a new and fresh regard on educating our children that acknowledges that, all over the world, education needs wisdom and patience. However, it is not given to everyone to be wistful and patient, which is the reason why, in Antiquity, teaching was in the resort of philosophers and men of high personal culture, virtue and integrity.
The problem of child safety is complex in our culture because our nation is relatively rich, relatively secure, relative comfortable, and relatively democratic, and yet, strangely enough, practices are lesser secure, lesser comfortable, and lesser democratic for its own children! To put the problem of children being potentially unsafe in most Western nations on the back of strangers, criminals, predators or a scapegoat group called Pedophiles does apparently not bring viable solutions, except longer prison miles, as the reality of erotic attraction toward children is much more complex than this simplistic scheme suggests.
Fact is that postmodern consumer culture is lesser safe for children than most native and tribal societies and developing countries.
We can also highlight the problem from another angle. When people need a captain, they are unable to steer themselves. When they need child protectors, they are unable to protect their children, as mothers and fathers, as teachers and caretakers. And if we inquire why this is so, we get some keys regarding the nature of childhood in our Western cultures. In my opinion, the reasons are:
— a genuine disinterest of many Westerners in children;
— a lack of care adults suffered in their childhood;
— transfer of tutelary power from the family to the state;
— lack of knowledge about what children really need;
— hypocrite attitude regarding the facts of life;
— lack of caring touch between older and younger people;
— lack of trust through disruption of the extended family;
— lack of freedom for alternative forms of togetherness;
— aggressiveness/egotism valued higher than tenderness/care;
— defensive emotional behavior because of lacking trust;
— neglect of children’s emotional needs; and so on.
This list is not exhaustive. It shows only the peak of the iceberg. If there is one area in modern society that is really neglected, it is education. The problem is that education is not human anymore and it does not seem to be destined for humans, but for robots. This is so because it has been rendered commercial, just as everything else in consumer culture, which means it has been standardized.
The problem is that humans are not material goods, which is why education is per se something volatile that needs intelligence, intuition, and virtue to be done in a way that really brings out the best of each and every child.
Child protection veils this fact in that it creates huge profits from the child as a victim, the child as a helpless dependent creature and not the child as a self-reliant entity or the child as a person-in-growth. That is exactly why child protection needs the child to remain a victim and be victimized and abused, so as to realize its business expectations.
And, quid est demonstrandum, that is exactly why the child abuse industry will never want to heal abuse, but in the contrary foster all and everything that contributes to more abuse in society and the world at large. Seeing this means to see that child protection really is a fake cause.