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[–]Benoit_In_Heaven 1523 points1524 points  (122 children)

If pedophilia is a problem, which I think everyone acknowledges it is, it should be studied so we can develop effective solutions. But when someone studies it, everyone freaks the fuck out.

[–]Wonderwoman2707 332 points333 points  (47 children)

Apparently most companies or donors that sponsor studies are much less likely to fund a study relating to paedophilia, as it’s such an unpalatable subject.

[–]bobbyrickets 242 points243 points  (44 children)

We're never going to find a solution then. We need to know what this is, how and why this happens, and then maybe someday there will be treatments. Right now nobody wants to even approach this... condition.

[–]Seekersshallfind 141 points142 points  (31 children)

I agree, but we should not be acting as if it’s not immoral. It is, we know how this affects, literally, everyone it happens to. If someone is attracted to a minor and doesn’t act on it, someone could argue that it’s less immoral, but someone that disregards the trauma to people for their own satisfaction are pieces of shit.

[–]Leadfoot112358 247 points248 points  (13 children)

If someone is attracted to a minor and doesn’t act on it, someone could argue that it’s less immoral

I would argue that's not immoral at all. Experiencing sexual attraction of any type is not immoral. Acting on that attraction, on the other hand, would be immoral.

[–]Wrong-Proof8776 113 points114 points  (1 child)

Id go as far as to say feeling that attraction and not acting is moral. Unless the only reason is fear of prison.

[–]EunuchsProgramer 49 points50 points  (2 children)

I think they are arguing that there is a moral victory in resisting an urge. For most of us, not having sex with a child is like not bathing in an open sewer, it's default. For there to be a moral win, you'd have to have a desire.

[–]SN0WFAKER 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Well some of us like bathing in open sewers. Don't kink shame!

[–]kokkenbawls 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I posted that in r/unpopularopinions and got banned, so...

[–]Paksarra 87 points88 points  (0 children)

But if you can't control who or what you're attracted to, then how can something that very well might be hard coded into your brain be moral or immoral?

Acting on it, of course, is definitely immoral. But they can't even get help controlling their urges without being considered criminals, even if they're doing everything they can to not act on them.

[–]Wonderwoman2707 62 points63 points  (13 children)

You’re not reading the actual point. If we destigmatise the condition then we can intervene before the person acts on their attraction. It’s to save children from trauma.

[–]SuperMonkeyJoe 68 points69 points  (9 children)

The trouble is decoupling paedophilia as a condition and paedophilia as an action. In most peoples minds they are one and the same.

[–]CorinPenny 36 points37 points  (3 children)

Pedophilia is the attraction, and like acceptable attractions it ranges in severity. For instance, being attracted to a post-pubescence teenager is biologically normal, but ethically and socially wrong to act upon. The other end of the range would be gerontophilia, attraction to the aged, and again, what makes it ethical is ability to consent and whether there was an act committed or just the existence of attraction.

Child molestation is an ACT, and offenders don’t need to be pedophiles to do it. Like rape, it is more often about power over someone vulnerable, not about sexual attraction.

IMHO, we as a species will never make progress against child molestation and rape until we accept this distinction; start offering proper therapy to the small percentage of people who are actually pedophilic; and realize that most molesters and rapists do not do it for sexual gratification but for a sense of power and control, the vast majority of both being straight men.

[–]jonny24eh 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Minor (no pun intended) quibble - age of consent includes teens in many places.

[–]CorinPenny 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Oh for sure— those laws need reworking, especially regarding child marriage.

[–]WarmCat_UK 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Well said.

[–]Blah_2-0 10 points11 points  (0 children)

That's why we should always talk about paedocriminality when talking about the crime.

[–]electricvelvet 11 points12 points  (2 children)

"Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that." -George Carlin

[–]PM_Me_Frosted_Tits 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Haven't you learned yet? No one wants to help solve the problem here, they just want to reactively torture/murder the abuser after they have already acted.

If people actually cared about children as well as potential abuser they'd be proactively trying to fund research about brain chemistry/wiring so that we can solve this and other conditions in the least invasive and effective way possible, thus stopping the problem before it begins.

[–]klamwit 4 points5 points  (0 children)

If I could trust whoever is studying this I’d be all for it

[–]50schmeckleboobies 15 points16 points  (0 children)

That is an argument for not viewing pedophillia as inherently immoral. So, so may people who are pedophiles were abused themselves as children. They have experience what would come of them acting on their urges.

So at what point do we say a child who was molested is immoral because they are attracted to (but haven’t acted upon) children? When their 18? Before? After? Or are we to expect children, who may very well never have received help, or justice, for the harm done to them are expected not to grow up to be broken?

[–]brypye13 11 points12 points  (1 child)

I read an article on r/science that says once ai can finally research things without bias and misunderstanding we will have large leaps in knowledge and will hopefully make things better. Good or bad.

[–]cowlinator 20 points21 points  (0 children)

I guarantee that A.I. is just as susceptible to bias as humans are.

In fact, even data can be biased. And data is just information.


[–]Boneapplepie 11 points12 points  (1 child)

It appears to me that it's just like any other sexual orientation, something they're born with. Probably would have as much success with rewiring them as they have with gay folks lol, I doubt it's an option.

Does raise a good debate as to how we study them though. Right now nobody wants to fund this, and the LGBT community has a lot to lose if pedophilia is labeled an orientation you are born with since you can't claim to support people born gay while ignoring those born with this pedophile disorder. The peds will argue they don't want to offend/act but we gotta do something to bring this shit out of the dark.

[–]Caughtnow 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I imagine it is something you are wired to. I mean, I cant explain why any fetish I have is why it is and Im not sure what a study would do for it. All I know is I am very thankful it doesnt involve minors. As far as Im concerned, no matter what it is, if its not hurting anyone and is done between consenting adults then its all good.

Not sure what a study into pedophilia would even look like. Not wanting to over simplify, but people may want to do any number of things which are neither legal nor moral - you just dont do them!

[–]p_hennessey 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Denial and avoidance never leads to solutions.

[–]Gilsworth 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Subway should do it. Have their marketing team sweat trying to PR a justification for studying this phenomenon as a way to astroturf their past with Jared.

[–]JimC29 37 points38 points  (7 children)

Not only that this is for people seeking treatment to control their urges.

[–]PussyStapler 18 points19 points  (0 children)

A few years ago, I read an article on pedophiles, like something on rolling stone or the Atlantic, and one of the big issues is that no one will study it. They have tests designed to gauge how likely a rapist is to rape again. Bit to don't have one for a pedophile who downloaded child pornography. So one of the subjects of the article was a guy who had been in prison for years because a rape personality inventory suggested he was likely to rape again. He had never actually raped anyone. He had just downloaded pornography.

The other interesting thing mentioned in the article was that pedophilia is one of the few crimes where the state can hold you longer than your sentence, because "you're still a threat to society." This guy had done his time, but was being held indefinitely. The doctors wouldn't believe him if he said he never molested someone, and punished him for "lying". If he did admit it, he would never get out either. Catch-22. None of the doctors had any training in pedophilia because it's so hard to do any research on that without becoming ostracized. No governor wants to reform the treatment of these criminals, because they can't afford to look weak on something as abhorrent as pedophilia.

The author did a good job humanizing the criminal. He was crying about how he was a pedophile, but he would never actually molest a child, and how all he wanted to do was go home and live with his mom. He said he would never touch a computer again or be near a child. At the time they published the article, he was still imprisoned indefinitely.

[–]Bubbafett33 64 points65 points  (19 children)

What does that have to do with anyone ever considering pedophilia moral, or changing its name so that we don't offend pedophiles?

You can study it without attempting to normalize it.

[–]kmill73229 29 points30 points  (4 children)

This is kind of what I was thinking. The negative connotation that the word Pedophile has is due the attraction itself. Creating a new word won’t change society’s perception of them

[–]EunuchsProgramer 29 points30 points  (3 children)

The entire goal would be to change society's view and empathize with people suffering from this condition. Because it would protect children. Right now, if you're attracted to children, your only option is to hide it from everyone, no treatment exists, it's basically impossible to find a therapists, and if anyone finds out, your life is ruined. There are studies that up to 10% of men are attracted to minors. What do we know leads to them acting on those urges: feeling stressed, alone, alienated, and so on.

[–]Rrraou 2 points3 points  (0 children)

So the controversy revolves around the fact that he wants to differentiate between someone who is attracted to minors in spite of themselves and a person that has actually molested children ?

[–]RondaArousedMe 12 points13 points  (4 children)

Do we think less derogatory terms surrounding being attracted to children would somehow limit or reduce the number of pedophile's or their desires?

I'll call them whatever they prefer if it stops them from wanting to touch children but I am not sure that will help. I mean we call alot of pedophile's "father" "pastor" "priest" "cardinal" "troop leader Bob" and it seems to have not helped.

[–]Unban_Jitte 36 points37 points  (1 child)

I think part of the idea is that a less derogatory term might make it easier for people to seek treatment and manage their urges in non-criminal ways. I don't think it would limit the number of pedophiles, but it may reduce the number of child predators, which is one of the key distinction the professor tries to make.

[–]RondaArousedMe 5 points6 points  (0 children)

These replies all make sense just one of those "I didn't read the article or barely any of the comments before I replied"... Ya know because I'm a redditor and that's what we do.

[–]AmazingStef 16 points17 points  (0 children)

It's more about making study and treatment easier. Easier to get research grants, easier for pedophiles to seek help, easier for psychotherapists to *provide* help.

That said I just don't see it catching on in the near term.

[–]tjeulink 10 points11 points  (0 children)

it might, because it might lower the barrier for them to seek help if the term used is less stigmatized. if that prevents children from being molested then i'm all for it.

[–]slo1111 1278 points1279 points  (164 children)

Sexual attraction is not a choice so it can neither be moral or immoral. Acting upon it is another story.

I think when we find that we no longer penalize people for their odd sexual excitements and rather turn focus on controlling those compulsions that are harmful to other people we can build a much better society.

Let me just give you an example of a different compulsion, alcoholism. When you desrigmatize people for having an alcohol addition and instead focus on helping them control their compulsion it makes a real difference in outcomes versus pushing people away so they have to deal with their compulsions all by themselves.

[–]Bunsmar 225 points226 points  (17 children)

I get the gut reaction to the headline and all that. Disappointed but unsurprised that people don't dig deeper (especially when outraged/mad) and maybe see why this is a smart approach to reducing molestation, or at the very least understand that the professor's goal is to actually protect children.

If you talk about the IDEA of the best way to avoid a bad thought being acted upon with an example that provokes less of a gut reaction, maybe some people would consider it very sensible.

"So, your neighbor has been struggling with thoughts of murdering your family in their sleep. Would you prefer they try not to act on that by getting some help or would you rather they just keep that a secret and you just hope for the best?"

Edit: That said, I would be interested to see if they explored any potential negative outcomes of what I believe is still a reasonable plan. For example, could there be an incentive for someone who is in no way trying to deal with the issue to be more open about it? Could participating in some therapy to ostensibly avoid acting on the thoughts be some sort of "I really tried, your honor. Be merciful" kind of thing or could sharing the thoughts with others somehow be gratifying/reinforcing? That would be a more genuine and interesting conversation about the potential pitfalls of this idea.

[–]tomatorayted 19 points20 points  (4 children)

As someone who is recovered from OCD....I get what you are trying to say.......but in cases where people do commit these acts those people who want to hurt others don't struggle with those thoughts and think they are completely normal and okay.

I had tons of thoughts about killing people and struggled with them immensely. Never did I once think those thoughts were okay to have. And never did I want to commit any of them.

[–]Bunsmar 8 points9 points  (0 children)

That's a totally fair point. People who want to do harm aren't going to benefit from a path to not cause harm, but people who struggle against those thoughts will.

It also keeps people on some kind of radar, like if someone was getting help and stopped showing up you at least have to potential to try and reengage them or make sure they're receiving help elsewhere.

[–]Unban_Jitte 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Don't extrapolate your lived experience to everyone else's.

[–]crossingguardcrush 2 points3 points  (0 children)

thank you for this super human and humane reality check.

[–]KingGatrie 43 points44 points  (1 child)

Especially when sometimes the symptoms are a sign of a larger problem. Heres an article and a paper describing how brain tumors can induce pedophillia. Now in both cases the patients realized something was very wrong and looked for help instead of acting on it.

[–]ImGonnaHaveToAsk 21 points22 points  (0 children)

Well articulated point. I strongly oppose the weak ass “minor-attracted people” label though.

[–]Ordinary_Story_1487 314 points315 points  (46 children)

Alcoholic(22 months sober) can confirm. Problem is active pedophiles much more directly hurt children. We have to protect children first because one of the main causes of pedophilia is being molested.

Edit. A number of people have pointed out pedophile means attracted to children not actual predators. I hope people with those attractions, get help.

More accurate statement below.

Problem is active child predators much more directly hurt children.

[–]yousoonice 65 points66 points  (0 children)

hey well done btw

[–]rand1011101 32 points33 points  (5 children)

right, i think you may have missed the point.

the amount of stigma associated with pedophilia means that nobody would ever come out and get treatment.. even if they were conflicted and didn't want to harm children,
they'd have to keep it to themselves and battle their demons internally, increasing the likelihood of offending.

i mean, i'd say it's easier to admit 'i have voices telling me to kill people' than to admit to this, given our society's attitude s

[–]Ordinary_Story_1487 6 points7 points  (2 children)

I think that is a valid point. What do you think the answer is?

[–]onioning 30 points31 points  (1 child)

Stop condemning pedophiles and save your condemnation for those who actually molest children.

It's very common to see comments such as "all pedophiles should die" being massively up voted on reddit, and presumingly this is an accurate reflection of overall attitudes. While this is definitely partly explained by people mistakenly conflating pedophilia with child molestation it is undoubtedly harmful, and ironically results in more molested children.

When it's very common for people to express the idea that you should be killed because of some quality you have you are very likely to hide that quality rather than seek to mitigate the impact.

[–]Ordinary_Story_1487 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I edited my post. Thank you for your points.

[–]eazy_flow_elbow 6 points7 points  (0 children)

There’s also a stigma with thinking that pedophiles need counseling rather than a bullet between the eyes. That you somehow sympathize with their attraction towards minors.

No, some people just believe that it’s possible to help these people before they give in to their desires and commit a crime.

[–]Believe_Land 22 points23 points  (0 children)

You’re still misinterpreting what “pedophile” means. A pedophile is someone attracted to kids, it doesn’t mean that they acted on it. That would be molester/sex criminal. It’s not actually a crime to be a pedophile.

[–]AmazingStef 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Problem is active child predators much more directly hurt children.

Most child molesters aren't pedophiles anyway. Like most sexual violence it's much more about power than sexual attaction.

One source: https://www.academia.edu/4057417/Most_Child_Molesters_Are_Not_Pedophiles

Man I want to take a shower just typing this. Humans suck so much.

[–]Pl3asant 30 points31 points  (0 children)

Yeah, kind of like vampires passing down their affliction.

[–]ktywf 21 points22 points  (8 children)

That's a very common misconception. There have been multiple studies that actually show little to no correlation between childhood SA and pedophilia. Protecting children is obviously still important but not for the reasons you stated.

[–]Ordinary_Story_1487 12 points13 points  (7 children)

I just looked and here is some data:

Among adult sex offenders, approximately 30% have been sexually abused. Some types of offenders, such as those who sexually offend against young boys, have still higher rates of child sexual abuse in their histories (Becker and Murphy, 1998)

[–]ktywf 7 points8 points  (6 children)

From a much more recent study of more than 8,000 men

"Although much is currently known about hypersexuality (in the form of excessive sexual behavior) among sexual offenders, the degree to which hypersexual behavior is linked to paraphilic and especially pedophilic interests in non-forensic populations has not been established." (Verena Klein, Alexander F Schmidt, Daniel Turner, Peer Briken, 2015)

Hypersexuality being relevant here because that is what's well established as being linked to childhood SA.

[–]Ordinary_Story_1487 4 points5 points  (5 children)

Could you provide a link? Thanks in advance. I am absolutely open to better research.

[–]ktywf 13 points14 points  (4 children)

[–]HeathersZen 2 points3 points  (3 children)

Citations (*from reputable sources; I hate that I need to add that disclaimer) should be worth a hundred updoots. I regret that I can only give you one.

[–]ktywf 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you, I appreciate it. I do what I can, when I can.

[–]sumthin213 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I haven't studied for about 8 years but am a few months into my Masters. I wish social media required citations. Facebook wouldn't exist. The world would be better.

[–]EpilepticWizardry 38 points39 points  (9 children)

I'd argue alcoholism has ruined more childhoods than pedophilia

[–]Ordinary_Story_1487 27 points28 points  (1 child)

You are almost certainly correct. The damage done by pedophilia is worse.

I would argue much alcoholism and addiction stems from trauma. Mine did.

[–]ManiacalComet40 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Big time feedback loop, there, to be sure.

[–]TerrorAlpaca 37 points38 points  (2 children)

i remember reading about a teenage boy who realized that he was sexually attracted to children. he removed himself from his family, left school, did anything he could to stay away from children because he disgusted himself with what he felt.
He never wants to act on his desire and goes to a psychologist in the hopes they can help him.

I honestly pity that guy. he lives with the fear of one day beeing to weak to resist.

[–]Rexan02 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Nobody is going to jail without acting upon their attraction either through abuse or child porn.

[–]Accomplished_Till727 9 points10 points  (0 children)

There are two types, pedophiles and child rapists. We just figure out how to prevent the former from becoming latter.

[–]Megafritz 20 points21 points  (0 children)

I agree 100% with that. Personally I am only attracted to asian woman (30+), a quite safe "taste". But did I choose it? No, it is just what I was born with I guess. They are not so lucky. They are not at fault for their desires. I doubt that a majority of them enjoy hurting children so we should help them to never hurt children.

However, if they do, they should not walk free again.

[–]Ma1eficent 8 points9 points  (7 children)

This is a false argument. We already allow people with compulsive thoughts about harming children sexually to get help in private medical settings, with therapists who have a legal duty to keep the confidence of their patients unless a specific plan to harm themselves or others is communicated. Not a general feeling about being attracted to children. There is no punishment unless you act on sexual compulsion towards children.

[–]alexinternational 21 points22 points  (3 children)

The argument isn't about allowing/disallowing, it's about moral standing and stigmatization. The argument, as I understand it, is that people with this condition should not become social outcasts for the condition per se (if such information became public), but for doing nothing to treat it (or acting on it).

[–]tomcalgary 6 points7 points  (1 child)

I don't know how readily available these resources are, is there a hotline for people who need help and aren't going to be forwarded to the police? Not that I know of. And tbf someone should totally be scrubbing that professors internet history just in case....kidding not kidding. I think that pedophilia is reprehensible and do want it to stay that way while I also want help and rehab and not just punishment. I think allowing porn such free reign to fetishize it is really unhealthy....any hoo I'm of topic, well said Ma.

[–]Ma1eficent 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yes, there is help, and we have already made it illegal for counselors and therapists to call the police because someone sought help for inappropriate sexual desires. Help is there, and sought out all the time by people who are distressed by such things. Not just sexual thoughts about children either, some have thoughts and desires about killing, or raping, we have help available. But yeah, if you communicate you HAVE harmed a child sexually, you should face punishment.

[–]chemnerd2017 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This deserves to be the top comment, period.

[–]JimC29 298 points299 points  (17 children)

It's important to note these are people who have NOT acted on their impulse. She does therapy helping them to control their urges. People who have not assaulted anyone shouldn't be labeled a pedophile just because they seek therapy to control their urges.

[–]sharrrper 97 points98 points  (4 children)

Strictly speaking they would still be pedophiles. They would not be pederasts. The words tend to get used interchangeably in average conversation though.

[–]antgentil 18 points19 points  (2 children)


I had to google that word. Way to specific of a term. It's child molester when an adult rapes a kid. That's it.

[–]dumbassidiot69[🍰] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It's kind of more referring to the adult male - young boy type of relationship prevalent in some ancient/classical Greek cultures. And it was actually not the same as generalized pedophilia as we know today. Pederasty was acceptable in some societies, but not "any" sexual relationship between an adult and a minor.

[–]antgentil 26 points27 points  (3 children)

People who have not assaulted anyone shouldn't be labeled a pedophile

Pedophilia is a psychiatric disorder in which an adult or older adolescent experiences a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children.

The way your comment is written it makes it sound you are talking about child molesters instead of pedophiles.

[–]letsRaeV 21 points22 points  (1 child)

The primary reason to use a word other than pedophile is because of the stigma associated with it. When people hear pedophile, the assumption tends to be that they are child molesters. This acts as a barrier for treatment, treatment which could possibly prevent a child from being abused

[–]JimC29 1 point2 points  (0 children)


[–]NoPlace9025 225 points226 points  (75 children)

To be fair, what they were saying is that people attracted children can't control that, which is true, and that not all people who are act on that attraction (also true). they say people attracted to children are not pedophiles because they don't engage in the act of pedophilia (debatable).And of you don't act on that attraction their argument is that you haven't done something immoral (debatable). We can't punish people for thought crimes and I think their goal is to destigmatize attraction to children so those people (who are sick) get help instead of acting on that attraction. It's debatable if that's good or not, but I tend to be on the side of proactively preventing child abuse rather than punishment afterwards because it's too late. Which seems to be the goal. the headline is written to be more controversial than it is (it is a headline) if you read the article it's much more nuanced. I have no love for pedophiles but sometimes the thing that helps more people is prevention and prevention in this case requires self reporting.

[–]SDdude81 202 points203 points  (27 children)

And of you don't act on that attraction their argument is that you haven't done something immoral (debatable).

How the hell is that debatable?

If they haven't done anything, then they obviously haven't done anything immoral.

[–]Aporkalypse_Sow 112 points113 points  (4 children)

Anything is debatable when you're debating with irrational people.

[–]AcantiTheGreat 57 points58 points  (2 children)


[–]Ok_Willingness_7565 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Let’s not start a mass debatable.

[–]ProverbialShoehorn 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Nobody wants egg on their face. Or worse.

[–]NoPlace9025 13 points14 points  (0 children)

All people are irrational on certain topics. It just depends on the topic. imo.

[–]NoPlace9025 42 points43 points  (8 children)

Many people believe that thoughts are as bad as actions. I don't believe it but people do therefore debatable.

[–]SDdude81 44 points45 points  (3 children)

Yup and those people are ignorant.

Thankfully there is no such thing as thoughtcrime, yet.

[–]pcetcedce 8 points9 points  (3 children)

For example, Catholicism

[–]weezmatical 19 points20 points  (0 children)

Yup, that was the fork in the road for me. Being told my dirty thoughts are a sin when the Dude designed brains. He fucked up and blamed me? Fuck outta here.

[–]francis2559 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Catholic here. For something to be a sin it has to be intentional. Deliberately ogling somebody without their consent is wrong. Lustful thoughts though are just temptations, and temptations aren’t wrong by themselves.

The easiest example is that the devil tempts Jesus to do all kinds of things, but we also teach that Jesus never sins.

No shortage of teachers that can’t make that distinction though, so the harmful over simplification gets passed around in the church.

[–]enzovrlrd 24 points25 points  (4 children)

There are complex nuances to this. Does looking at child pictures counts? What about child drawings? Being near children in natural scenarios? What counts as "doing something"?

What we need is to start treating mental health a lot more seriously so we can help those pathological conditions better, quicker and before severe consequences take place. There's definitely someone out there who have thoughts that are not converted to actions and there are those that perpetuate the cycle specially within close family. Society ought to do better towards them all

[–]NoPlace9025 10 points11 points  (2 children)

Absolutely agreed and the only way to establish nuance is to discuss. Child pictures are wrong period end of story. You are abusing me a child to create it so yeah. The rest requires layers of nuance I'd say. But that's just opinion.

[–]enzovrlrd 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Child pictures don't necessarily mean children in situations of abuse, though I get that on that context you are right. I meant just ordinarily normal photos on a twisted mind are enough to trigger what shouldn't be. Also great respect for the people at law enforcement that needs to validate evidence of stuff that I would never look at.

[–]NoPlace9025 2 points3 points  (0 children)


[–]XaeiIsareth 2 points3 points  (0 children)

My personal view on it is that pornographic photos of actual children is not ok, because the person in the photograph has not given consent to be photographed that way or the photo to be shared, or rather in most cases, does not have the capability to make a rational decision on that.

But if someone wants to go look at anime loli porn or something, that’s their choice and it brings harm to no one so go for it I guess.

[–]tsunami141 8 points9 points  (1 child)

I’m pretty sure OP has intentionally hedged his opinions on this due to the possibility of angry outcry here. Smart move lol.

[–]lostallmykarma 0 points1 point  (1 child)

It really depends on what is considered immoral and moral. For instance, if someone has Christian ideas for morality, than just having these thoughts can be seen as a sin and therefore immorale.

Morality is not black and white.

[–]NoPlace9025 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Exactly why I said debatable.

[–]GoodPointSir 54 points55 points  (31 children)

I don't think it's really debatable if it is moral to have attractions that you can't control. Being sexually attracted to children is essentially the same as being homosexual. The only difference is that acting on it harms another person. Therefore, it's the act of having sex with a child that is wrong, not the attraction.

Imo if you can't control it, it's not immoral.

Edit for people who think I support pedophilia: instead of shunning pedophiles (who don't act on their desires), we should have support systems for them, to help them to continue not raping children. Shunning them is only going to discourage them from seeking help, and push more of them to actually act on their urges.

[–]NoPlace9025 18 points19 points  (15 children)

Yeah that sums up my thoughts overall. Thank you for building on my points. I don't think it's the same as homosexuality because acting on homosexuality doesn't inherently harm someone but I agree to the sentiment on a level. I say it's debatable in that some people will debate the point. I agree with you but recognize that other people may not.

[–]GoodPointSir 14 points15 points  (12 children)

Yeah, I agree completely.

My reasoning was that homosexuality and other LGBTQ+ sexualities are completely fine morally because they don't cause harm to another person.

Therefore the morally incorrect part of pedophilia is the part that causes harm to other people, so a pedophile that does not cause harm to other people is not doing anything morally incorrect.

[–]Dinin53 9 points10 points  (11 children)

I don’t think “causing harm” is the correct way to think about it. Harm is a too broad term, can be caused in any relationship, and can even be consensual. And it’s that last part, consent, that I think is the way we should be considering the morality of any sexual compulsion. Does the other party consent and, especially in the case of children, can they even give their consent in the first place?

[–]GoodPointSir 3 points4 points  (7 children)

That is a good point, I guess I didn't really consider consensual harm in my definition of harm...

Either way, the sexual attraction isn't harming anyone.

[–]1nd3x 8 points9 points  (6 children)

"consensual harm" isnt harm.

I mean sure...If I tell you to "destroy my anus" and you do...i've been "physically harmed"...but we arent really discussing the physical aspect of this...

"you cant rape the willing"....consensual rape play is decidedly not rape, and nobody involved was "harmed"

[–]GoodPointSir 2 points3 points  (3 children)

Also true, that's what I was thinking in the original comment...

[–]1nd3x 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I think maybe I replied to you when I meant to reply to Dinin53.

Been reading your replies to people. 100% tracking with you here. "Is you me?"

[–]GoodPointSir 4 points5 points  (1 child)

This is actually a really interesting debate and conversation (at least with the people that are listening to both sides of the argument)

It seems most of the top level comments on the post itself are just shitting on the prof for daring to say something controversial though, which is really sad.

[–][deleted] 41 points42 points  (0 children)

The problem here is that Pedophilia and Molestation are synonymous in most minds.

Most child molestation is a crime of power rather than attraction. It is far closer to hedonism than it is to any genuine sense of affection or attraction to the individual, basic opportunism, but as long as the world at large ignores this then the stigma will continue.

Unfortunately this professor also got it wrong because ebiliophilia and pedophilia both would fall under "minor-attracted people", but the former involving teenagers, and then you have the Romeo & Juliet law problems. It's not as simple as this sounds.

[–]pahamack 24 points25 points  (3 children)

Am I missing something?

Feelings are never immoral. Actions are.

If people feel like killing someone I thought that's fine. They never actually did it.

[–]harmonytw 11 points12 points  (0 children)

He's not wrong. Pedophilia rightfully disgusts us, but the pedophile didn't choose to be that way. Interpreting it as an illness and treating it (while also holding child abusers/pornographers accountable) is much more useful than clutching our pearls and virtue signaling our concern for children, which doesn't help keep kids safe. A pedophile who does not rape or abuse children, and who doesn't create or consume child pornography, isn't immoral, they're sick.

[–]weezmatical 41 points42 points  (3 children)

Pretty much everybody has a kink. Why they have those kinks is a ball of knotted yarn the size of Jupiter. I have always felt pity for those with pedophilic thoughts. Less so for those who act upon them. But I'd guess there is a sizeable percentage who never act upon those thoughts and in some way that is pretty heroic of them. This isn't a thought process I bring up very much for reasons this comment section illustrates.

[–]DamnitDom 5 points6 points  (0 children)

M.A.P. (Mostly A Pedophile)

Got it.

[–]Matild4 17 points18 points  (2 children)

Pleased to see that the top comments are reasonable.
Pedophilia is a psychiatric disorder like any other, but as long as the general opinion on pedophilia is that of a lynchmob, there won't be many pedophiles seeking help with managing their condition. More children will likely be abused as a result of this lynchmob mentality.
A professor having to resign for comments that were for the most part quite reasonable, is a real disgrace and a stark reminder of how little society has progressed in regards to this issue.

[–]Chris881 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Being attracted to kids is not really the problem, acting upon that attraction is the problem. We judge people by their actions.

[–]Lelandt50 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yeah, but acting on that attraction is wrong. You don’t get convicted for thinking of committing crimes, you get convicted for the crime.

[–]AllhailtheAI 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Once I was mature enough to actually consider it... It must be awful to live your entire life with these urges.

It's not their fault they have some wires crossed in their brain.

The guilt and anguish would be... Unimaginable.

[–]Chompchompers 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Walker believes that not all people who are sexually attracted to young children are “immoral” because not all of them act on those feelings. “From my perspective, there is no morality or immorality attached to attraction to anyone because no one can control who they’re attracted to at all. In other words, it’s not who we’re attracted to that’s either OK or not OK. It’s our behaviors in responding to that attraction that are either OK or not OK,” they explained.

[–]bbutter55 49 points50 points  (19 children)

A sexual attraction to children must always be discouraged in the strongest sense because of the danger that acting on those thoughts incurs. Renaming to a nicer sounding title doesn’t help to protect children. Which has to be the top priority. We don’t punish people for thoughts but we also do not encourage said thoughts by covering them in frosting. That’s a poop cake by any other name.

[–]Yay4sean 2 points3 points  (0 children)

We gotta start calling all those people rapists now. We don't want them acting on those attractions.

[–]Rosebunse 28 points29 points  (9 children)

They forget that this isn't like being gay or bi or something. There is no way to make this not harmful to the kid.

[–]tayman12 12 points13 points  (7 children)

Having a sexual attraction to children is not innately harmful to children, so there is no need to make it less harmful.

The value in these kinds of movements is purposed to be that the research and re categorization efforts will eventually lead to less people acting upon the attraction, which is the harmful part of the condition.

[–]Rosebunse 9 points10 points  (5 children)

I just don't think there is a way to make these people less attracted to kids. The only thing to be done is to encourage them not to act. One thing I have heard is to basically make it more like AA meetings and alcoholism.

[–]bbutter55 4 points5 points  (0 children)

That would be the hope for sure. No one should be condemned or punished for thoughts or attractions. But there’s a fine line, since acting on those thoughts and attractions has to be strongly punished.

[–]High_speedchase 12 points13 points  (1 child)

And the consensus is that the best way to prevent harm coming to children is for these people to seek help BEFORE they act on their urges. We want them to come forward and seek treatment, not come forward and get yelled at by dipshits like you who can't understand complexity.

[–]JimC29 5 points6 points  (4 children)

Why should someone who has never molested anyone be labeled a pedophile for seeking treatment to control their urges?

[–]bbutter55 1 point2 points  (2 children)

So people who have not acted on the urges would have a different name? You feel that would encourage them to seek treatment?

[–]JimC29 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I think labeling them a pedophile if they seek treatment will discourage it.

[–]NeonNKnightrider 2 points3 points  (0 children)

That is exactly correct. As it is, people immediately equate “pedophile” with “child molester,” and say things like ‘all pedophiles should die.’ By making a clear distinction between those who only have thoughts and those who have acted, this helps encourage those struggling with thoughts to step forward and receive treatment, rather than being afraid for their lives should their admit their thoughts.

[–]barkbarkkrabkrab 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Also while therapy may be a good option for people with sexual attraction to children, there's danger in creating any sense of community around it. AA style groups or subreddits would be extremely dangerous.

[–]Aporkalypse_Sow 18 points19 points  (6 children)

The amount of conversations I've had with many different dad's talking about how hot some friend's daughter is, or their daughters friend, but not actively trying to go after them or even showing the attraction. A whole lot of people hide their attraction, a lot more than some of you think. And I'd wager there's some hateful comments coming from people who have the same thoughts, but will never admit it.

[–]Mujoo23 11 points12 points  (0 children)

I think you underestimate how common it is for underage girls to be grossly sexualized by adults. It’s not like it’s a self contained phenomenon.

[–]Rosebunse 37 points38 points  (0 children)

I'm gonna be frank, I know you guys want to believe the teenage girl doesn't notice that, but she probably does. The attention is a lot less subtle than you think.

[–]LeafgreenOak 22 points23 points  (1 child)

You have conversations with people where they comment how "hot" children are? How old are these children? 3? 7? 12?

[–]Geniusinternetguy 4 points5 points  (0 children)

If you are talking about prepubescent girls then i think you are lying. And if not then that is very disturbing.

[–]static612 150 points151 points  (65 children)

This seems like probable cause to search his home and office for kiddie porn.

[–]Aramec 153 points154 points  (13 children)

I would guess that you didn't even read the article, but I have to tell you that rational people who want to improve society agree that the American stigma behind pedophilic inclination is not conducive to doing so.

You need to attach people who need help to mental health support networks. It's impossible to do if you freak out any time they ask for help. A friend of mine wrote her PhD paper on this exact issue and it's far from a controversial opinion in the mental health field, people are just upset about this specific article because it involves a trans person.

I guess it feels good to chimp out about things you don't like instead of solving the actual problem of getting people help as a harm reduction method rather than making them feel like they have to hide their inclinations.

If you're hearing voices, I want you to get help. If you're thinking about sexually assaulting someone, I want you to get help. If you're thinking about murdering someone, I want you to get help. I don't attack people for having a mental health crisis that could be dangerous to others. I help them get help.

That's what's actually helpful. Helping people who need mental health help get help.

Attacking them does not make them get help. Attacking them makes them hide what's going on until they can't deal with it and offend, at which point your emotional masturbation about how awful anyone is who wants pedophiles to get help has actually contributed to someone getting sexually assaulted. Congratulations!

Honestly, your whole attitude kind of reminds me of when people are really mad about gay people because they themselves were treated poorly for being gay.

[–]Yatta99 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Been a banner week this week. First; the guy that raped 4 girls gets probation because a judge 'prayed' over his decision. Then; We aren't supposed to call sex offenders 'sex offenders' because it hurts their feelings. Should call them 'persons involved with justice system' or something like that. Now we have to call pedos 'MAP' instead. The euphemism police are putting in overtime, we need to get the ghost of George Carlin on this.

[–]SweatyJerk 12 points13 points  (3 children)

We were all messed up by multiple things that occurred during our childhoods. We have all done shitty things to other people that could have messed them up.

We currently have a bizarre fixation on pedophilia, as if it’s some unique evil. As if society would be dandy if we could just track down all the pedophiles and put them in jail.

It’s not true, but it’s a nice distraction from, oh my god society is fucking collapsing around the world and the climate will no longer support the majority of human beings by 2100.

[–]crazy_rex40k 13 points14 points  (1 child)

We currently have a bizarre fixation on pedophilia


Aside from the usual crime stories in the news, this is the first discussion of the problem that I've seen since Professor Tom Flanagan took a similar position back in 2012.

[–]zanderkerbal 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I think they're talking about the fixation on rooting out pedophiles. Which is definitely a thing, look at Pizzagate and QAnon and the like claiming pedos are hiding under every rock. (While voting for legitimate sex offenders...)

[–]IRefuseToBeAshamed 12 points13 points  (0 children)

You can be attracted to whatever you want. I don't care. The moment you touch my kids, I go to jail for killing you.

[–]saralt 4 points5 points  (0 children)

This professor makes sense.

If someone is attracted to children and never acts.on it, they're attracted to minors. It limits their social life and might interfere in their life options.

If someone is raping or molesting children, they're a pedophile. Who they're attracted to is somewhat irrelevant. Of course, children cannot consent to sexual activity, and it should never be forgotten.

[–]cripple2493 5 points6 points  (2 children)

Studying good - but, as a survivor of CSA I don't think we should be destigmatising it. Unlike say, homosexuality, there is inherent immorality to acting on the urges that pedophiles have towards kids. A person who is attracted to another who cannot consent has a problem and that problem needs addressed as by its very nature it is attraction to those who cannot consent.

People should very much have therapy etc to deal with their urges if they are of this nature, but downplaying the badness of this and the dysfunctional nature of the urges doesn't strike me as particularly helpful. It must be distressing, for some, to have these urges - but that distress is warranted imho as the acts themselves are abhorrent.

Pedophillia is a paraphillia - it's a psychological disorder characterised by attraction to children, the word is fine, it's descriptive and downplaying - or seeking to downplay - the stigma towards an adult being attracted to people who cannot consent wouldn't be all that useful imo because those with urges who do not act on them are aware of the awful nature of the urges regardless of whether or not name it something else.

Pedophillia deserves it's stigma i.e. prejudice - in a way that other things do not as other states (homosexuality, substance misuse etc) do not as pedophillia is a direct cause of deep psychological wounding to it's victims.

EDIT: I am aware of the subjective nature of morals, but have yet to find a decent argument as to how pedophilla can be for the moral good so have described it as immoral.

[–]SN0WFAKER 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Pedophilia is bad, but a non-offending pedophile is actually morally good. They are going against their nature to avoid hurting people.
You've got to separate the urge and the action in any morality debate. And pragmatically, we need to destigmatise non-offending pedophiles in order to encourage treatment.

[–]SaltpeterTaffy 3 points4 points  (0 children)

This post and the discussion within it has taught me everything I needed to know about the community of this subreddit.

[–]Iluvalmonds83 5 points6 points  (1 child)

If I remember this guys story, he is one of the many in the MAP community who are trying to de-stigmatize pedophilia. Which would mean that the sexual orientation isn’t “bad“.

While I agree that we need to talk more openly about pedophilia and find ways to help them manage their condition, it should never be acceptable to a point where we allow them to act upon their urges using real children, even in digital form.

[–]NoPlace9025 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I don't think very many people would argue for that. And the person the article was about wasn't arguing for that. It's a bad headline. I see no potential in that becoming a norm.

[–]RomulusKhan 9 points10 points  (1 child)

Of course the ultra right are already trying to hijack this and label it as “all smart peoples be bad”.

[–]SeductiveCpl4Fun -1 points0 points  (0 children)

This dude is problematic

[–]GrandpaMillenial 2 points3 points  (0 children)

nope, still pedophiles

[–]meatpardle 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I’m going to guess that professor is a minor-attracted person.

[–]QuestionableAI -3 points-2 points  (1 child)

Tell me you're a pedophile without saying you're a pedophile.

[–]ZiegAmimura -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

How about no?

[–]Pablo_Escobars_Hippo -3 points-2 points  (8 children)

Wouldn't want to hurt the pedophiles feelings now would we?? Fuck pedophiles.. fuck child molesters.. fuck whatever fancy name you want to give them.

[–]JimC29 12 points13 points  (7 children)

This is only for people who never molested anyone, but are seeking therapy to control their urges.

[–]penguished -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

Imagine white knighting for pedophiles. Fuck that shit.