A comment on the English translation.

The original part Pedofobi was written in Norwegian in 2011. It was aimed at a Norwegian audience with links to Norwegian pages (and Swedish ones which can be understood by Norwegians). It included examples that may be little known to English readers. I have tried to change the Norwegian and Swedish links to English ones as far as I have been able to (or put in some extra explanation). My goal with this translation was not to write a totally new part for an international audience (which would have involved too much work), but rather provide an English version of the original part that is clearer than a Google translate. A few dead links have been updated.

On a website about love, I had to write a part about hate.

Let us look at this hate. Let us put a name on it. Let us define it, analyze it and show its face.

I invite the reader on a journey through pedophobia. You will not like what you read here. I didn't like writing it. But it is important because it shows currents in our time. It is a time document. This part will describe a phenomenon that has come to dominate our time, much like racism in Germany and Europe dominated the 1930s. Hatred as a phenomenon is not history. It is alive and well, in countries we look up to and admire, in societies we call enlightened and civilized, also in Norway.

This is the first time anyone has attempted to define the term pedophobia. I beg patience from the reader. This part is long and sometimes complicated with many new ideas and concepts. It is my hope that the reader will eventually get a better understanding of a relevant social phenomenon.

The part will of necessity touch upon a lot of negatives. Out of all the negative there might emerge a new understanding of childhood sexuality and pedophilia, which might help to counteract what is described here.

To the reader
The word pedophobia
The term pedophobia
The child
The stranger
A culture of abuse. A history of violence.
Everyday pedophobia
The pedophobe
The outcasts
A way out of the impasse

Anonymous e-mail to

Excuse me but do you have the rights to publish the images on your website? Supporting sexual abuse just shows how perverse and sick you people are. You should be locked up and isolated from society. Children should be protected and pedophilia hurts more than it does good. For children don't have the ability to be aware of their actions as adults do. And I am considering finding out how you stand in relation to Norwegian law. I can understand that some have a pedophile orientation, and there is nothing wrong with that in itself, but sexual abuse of children is never okay, even in cases where the children themselves wish it.

[the original e-mail contained a lot of (untranslatable) typographical errors which made it even more comical]

To the reader

You may already have read a bit of and reacted to its contents. Yes, yes, you say, it's okay to love children (I also love children) but what has that got to do with sex? I love my mother, but I don't want to have sex with her. When I love children, I love them by virtue of they being mine, because they depend on me, because they are vulnerable and helpless. Sex has nothing to do with this.

More specifically you may wonder about this: have the children on this website agreed to have their pictures shown here? For that is what it's all about, isn't it? Children can not consent. Children have no idea what sexuality really is. Children are not sexual. Children do not want sex with adults. It is sick.

Children and adults are not equal, you say. Sex is connected with love, but only between people who are equal. Sex is more like a power struggle between equal partners. Children are vulnerable and weak. Sex with children is not love but violence and abuse. To love children means to shield them from sex.

Agree? Not agree? Think about it.

If you believe that children must be protected from sex, that sexual children make you afraid, if you merely by the thought of sex with children feel something disgusting well up in you, if you are furious at these pedophiles who want children, then by all means read on, for this part will be about you. [you now need to register an account on this Swedish forum]

LookNoSkywater: For me it had sufficed that the pedophile had stopped molesting children and stopped supporting documented child abuse. Straight away the phobia would have been cured! Had the pedophile's abuse even continued to be absent, the risk of a recurrence would have dropped to zero.

To put the phobia in context, I can say that the same goes for my phobias against those who mistreat, murder, steal, punish or harass. If they only keep their impulses in check they will cure my aversion to them too.

Fishy: Phobia - unfounded, irrational fear of something.

I am thus no pedophobe. I have no phobia. My "fear" is not unfounded.

If I had the chance to shoot all Swedish pedophiles, without any risk of getting caught, I would have done it. I promise.

An AK5c, a couple of boxes of 5,56x45mm steel core projectiles, a football field, me and the Swedish pedophiles and no one else.

That would have been something.

[I must add this: Norwegians and Swedes have a relationship a little like the one the British and Irish have, so the comment 'to shoot all Swedish pedophiles' has an extra comical overtone; in reality Norwegians and Swedes are very good friends and share a long common history]

The word pedophobia

Today the word pedophobia means something like fear of or great animosity against children, see here.

It is useful to define a word for what this part will be about. The word pedophobia is well suited. It is not without historical parallel. The word homophobia originally meant fear of sameness, or more literally, based on the meaning of the Latin word homo, fear of people. In 1969 the American psychotherapist George Weinberg used the word for the first time in an article to describe the fear some heterosexual men had for being perceived as gays, see here. Today, the word homophobia has come to mean all fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuals. The word has become a generic term for all negative attitudes to homosexuality.

I therefore define the word pedophobia to mean fear of or strong animosity against sexuality in children.

Children in this definition is both a cultural and legal concept. They are people who are defined as children by society (not older than 18 years).

Fear of or strong animosity against can be understood both as a medical-psychological term (a phobia) in an individual and as a psychosocial (culturally) determined concept of a whole society. I'll get back to exactly what I mean by these two terms and give many examples.

Sexuality in children is broad. It can be physical development in children, sexual utterances from children or actions of a sexual nature in which children participate. It might reside in the individual (masturbation). It might occur between children (play doctor). It can be between children and adults. Sexuality in children can be directed towards adults. The word pedophobia therefore includes the fear of or animosity against children's sexual advances towards (and any sexual acts with) adults. As an extension of this, the word means fear of pedophilia.

The word pedophobia will hereafter often be used to mean 'fear of or animosity against pedophilia', but I shall show that pedophobia is a much broader concept, and can well be a general anxiety about sexuality and sexual development in children. The word pedophobia will generally be related to everything negative with regard to childhood sexuality, more specifically to negative attitudes towards sexuality between children and adults, and negative attitudes toward adults who are sexually attracted to children.

The term pedophobia

To better understand what pedophobia is, it is first necessary to say what it is not.

Pedophobia is not to have different opinions on the subject of children and sexuality.

As a pedophile, I am the first to realize that sexuality between children and adults can be a difficult question. Different views may well exist on what can be done together, with whom one can do things with and under what conditions it can happen. In the part [link in Norwegian] about relationships between children and adults an attempt was made to illuminate some of these questions and provide some answers. One can certainly discuss on what grounds sexuality between children and adults can take place. Pedophobia is not to have different opinions and conduct a factual discussion.

Generally, pedophobia is not to feel uncomfortable with or wonder about a child's sexual expression, development or acts. We live in a culture where children and sexuality do not belong together. This we learn from we are young. To spend time accepting that children are sexual and obtain knowledge on the topic is therefore permissible. have received many positive inquiries from people who seek such knowledge.

Pedophobia is to fear and deny the existence of childhood sexuality.

Pedophobia is to regard any expression of childhood sexuality as sick. Pedophobia is to react to sexuality in children with disgust and loathing. Pedophobia is anxiety and fear of sexual acts that involve children. Pedophobia are sanctions against children who are sexual. Pedophobia is to deny the very idea that children can consent to sexual acts. Pedophobia is censorship. Pedophobia will on principle prohibit any act and expression of a sexual nature where children are directly or indirectly involved. Pedophobia is to fear and hate pedophiles as a group, where the very idea that adults can find children sexually attractive is a sign of illness. Pedophobia is aggressiveness. Pedophobia is to marginalize and expel people from society. Pedophobia is zero tolerance and harassment. Pedophobia is agitation, hatred and persecution.

Pedophobia will in this part be defined by a number of assertions. As assertions, they can be made likely but they can not be proved. Together the assertions will define and elaborate on what I mean by the term pedophobia.

The assertions will tell us something about pedophobia as a cultural-social concept. But they will also say something about the pedophobe, the person who suffers from pedophobia, then as a psychological-individual concept. The pedophobe is always a product of his/her environment, of the pedophobia in society, but the pedophobe also has individual traits that will be described in a separate section.

Generally a phobia (from the Greek word phobos, meaning «fear» or «morbid fear») is an "irrational, intense and persistent fear of certain situations, activities, things, animals or people." A phobia will not necessarily be identified as a problem, especially if the object of the phobia is a taboo in society.

You pedophiles do not understand how afraid we parents are for what can happen to our children. Alice is starting school this fall. She is so small. Should a grown up man emerge on her way to school, pull down his zipper and afterwards say she wanted it? Do you really want us to believe that? And Sandra who is now eleven, she shows such promise with her schoolwork and swimming, should she somehow say to a man just come home to me? Should the man move into her room and have his jollies there? Should he continue with this until he thinks she is too old and move out again? And our oldest son Henry who is in puberty. He is so insecure. Poor boy. Should an adult men have the liberty to exploit this insecurity? Do you pedophiles really want us to believe that this is right and proper? We do not hate pedophiles. We are just so afraid of what you can do. We want to protect our kids. They are young and vulnerable. Can't you understand that?

The child

Central to pedophobia is the notion of the child.

It is not easy to find a clear definition of what a child is. Children may be people in the phase between birth and puberty, see f.ex. here. The interesting thing about this definition is that children are regarded as individuals, in that different children end puberty at different ages.

Children may be defined as a negation, i.e. as a non-adult. A child is "one who is childish or immature", see here. This gives us a hint that children are primarily understood for what they are not. Childhood is a state of insufficiency and incompleteness.

But often children are simply defined as people under 18 years of age. Article 1 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is a good example of this. We may adopt different physiological or mental characteristics of childhood (lack of self-awareness, lack of speech skill, lack of reproductive ability) but children are defined primarily by their age. That makes them a separate and clearly defined group. Their status is assigned to them collectively. This leads to the first assertion about the being and nature of pedophobia:

Pedophobia assumes that children are a uniform group.

Group, because age does not depend on the individual. Uniform, because by virtue of belonging to this group they are assigned a role that determines what is expected of them.

The group is a legal and political tool. Members of the group are in a decisive way treated differently by our society. The group is without authority. Children are the ones without authority, whom non-children have authority over. This allows children to be viewed as a class by themselves in terms of status, rights and the ability to decide over their own bodies. Childhood is a state of shortcomings, weaknesses and foolishness. Children are judged by what they can not do, do not know and are not. Children are incompetent. This leads to the next assertion about pedophobia:

Pedophobia assumes that children are inferior to adults.

Inferior, in the sense that, by virtue of belonging to the group 'children', they are assigned the same inferior (negative) abilities, which in turn makes adults think they have the full right to decide over their lives in general, and their sexuality in particular.

Over the past 150 years there are many examples of how children have suffered as a result of their inferior status, including corporal punishment, child labor and banishment to institutions, see here [a page in Norwegian which sums up the history of child corporal punishment in Norway and Scandinavia]. Traditionally, child inferiority expressed itself by the fact that they were victims of adult power abuse. The bourgeoisie took the abuse a step further. The children of the bourgeoisie went from having an independent being to become a project. They were to be shaped according to the wishes of their parents. This necessitated a total availability to the adult. The whole life of the child was opened up and filled with adult precepts and principles. Children became in practice young adults, but 'adults' belonging to a class apart. They had obligations but no rights. They had responsibilities but no freedom.

Children were to be exposed to what was right for them and protected from what was wrong for them. The child project consisted of shaping children to what adults wanted. Their sexuality was particularly important. Children of the bourgeoisie were supposed to have a sexuality that was directed towards the bourgeois marriage. All other expressions of it were distorted, suppressed, denied or decreed sick.

Today it is unpopular to say that adults should exercise power over children. Instead an alibi is used: children have such a great need to be shielded and protected. This leads to the third assertion about pedophobia:

Pedophobia assumes that children must be protected.

The need to exercise power over children and the need to protect them are interconnected. Vulnerability, powerlessness, inferiority, protection and the exercise of power are different aspects of the same phenomenon. They legitimize each other and they reinforce each other. A child's powerlessness requires that the adult exercise power on the its behalf, but the exercise of power makes the child powerless. The child's vulnerability allows the adult to protect it, but protection increases the certainty of its vulnerability. The exercise of power and protection justify each other.

This can be compared to how we once regarded women. The woman was, just like the child, weak and vulnerable. Therefore she needed protection by men. No man would admit that he considered women inferior, only that they were vulnerable. Women were to be protected against the employer who wanted her cheap labor, the seducer who wanted her honor and innocence, and the procuress who wanted her body. She should dress in a way that did not tempt men, given that the problem was her vulnerability, not a man's exercise of power. Today we know that the role of women do not exist in some kind of natural state, but is culturally determined. The position of women in society is not a matter of powerlessness and protection, but to what extent we create a society in which she holds power and can live unprotected.

The pedophobe will never admit that he exerts power over children, only claim that children are powerless. The pedophobe will never admit that children are inferior to adults, only argue that children must be protected. Children belong to a specific and limited group. This group is assigned a 'natural' role. The assumptions that children belong to a homogeneous group, that children are inferior to adults and that children must be protected are central when it comes to how the pedophobe imagines child sexuality.

A blog : [in Norwegian]

Sexual abuse of children and animals

For normal people it sounds completely crazy, but abuse of children and animals occur more frequently than one would think. Every 5th girl and every 10th boy have been sexually abused. For animals the figures are also frightfully high, but it has been difficult to determine a specific number. On January 1 of this year a law luckily came into effect that prohibits sexual abuse of animals.


I just feel so sorry for those who are exposed to something they do not want, especially children and animals as they are the weakest and can not protect themselves. It is obvious that very many have been abused, and therefore there are many who might need someone to talk to. It is important to be open about this subject, so that people might recognize the signs of abuse quicker. It is important that society do what they can to avert such situations in the future.

Safety for children and animals!

The stranger

Most adults have a peculiarly twofold view of children.

On the one hand, children are young people, not unlike themselves, only with less knowledge and experience. This is the positive attitude to children, the glass as half full, not half empty.

Then we have the second view. Children are an odd group of intermediate or half humans, talking pets, items of expenditure, a vegetating mass with no economic value, screamers with a sound volume not in proportion to their body volume, self-absorbed, irresponsible, spoiled brats who constantly demand more without providing anything in return, mindless and ruthless bullies, pests who do all sorts of mischief at home and at school, someone you can even be afraid of when their bodies at 15 and 16 are big but reason lags behind and still belong to a small, irresponsible child.

Children are too many adults strangers. The view of them can be compared to the view one has of animals or the mentally retarded, i.e. someone you can not identify with, not relate to, something distant, unaccountable or also frightening.

The view of children will often depend on the view of one's own childhood. If one's childhood is estranged, so will children be strangers. If one suppresses childhood memories, children will awaken unpleasant associations. If one experienced adult power abuse as a child, the way one relates to children as an adult will show signs of a lack of parity, either because one does everything to protect them or because one mimics the way adults once treated oneself.

The notion of the stranger gives rise to the notion that children belong to a group. Children are without individuality. Age takes precedence over everything. Age determines position, rights, status, abilities, etc. Children are uniform. The image of the child is the image of the group, where everyone smiles, everyone is equal to the next child and have adults above them.


Pedophobia may well be rooted in xenophobia, the fear of what is percieved as strange or foreign. A big reason for why adults treat children with incomprehension stems from a total lack of understanding of them, which in turn is a reflection of the alienation, disrespect and fear adults have towards children. This can be compared to how some people react to dogs. Children like dogs are 'unpredictable', 'reckless' and have no conscious (controlled) knowledge of what they want. This stresses the adult and causes anxiety. Children may threaten the sense of authority adults think they have over children. Children can confuse adults. Children can challenge the adult self-image and make the adult uncertain. Adults may feel that they run a risk with children and this feeling may arouse uneasiness and mistrust. The blame for the uneasiness is placed on the child, but is in reality the adult's own problem. We can sum it up with this assertion:

Pedophobia is related to the alienation towards children.

An article in Wikipedia says something about fear of children. Alongside the well-known idea that people under 18 years of age may wreak havoc, disorder and crime, we read this interesting insight:

One author suggest that the cause of the fear of children in academia specifically extends from adults' distinct awareness of the capacity of children as she wrote, "Children embarrass us because they point ever too cleverly and clearly to our denial of human, material, and maternal history."

Adults like to think of their adulthood as a condition of free will, independence and self-realization. They think that such characteristics are precisely what distinguishes them from children. A conflict occurs when adults eventually understand how much effort is put into making children think and behave like adults want. This puts their own freedom and independence in perspective. The ultimate consequence is to regard adult freedom as merely an illusion, and that adults are better perceived as mindless products of their own upbringing and history. The real ability to control one's own life and have independent ideas is put into question in the face of and in the treatment of children.

The real horror of the child appear when they behave against what is expected. This can be in a positive sense, with feats that can be compared to anything an adult can do, like when Magnus Carlsen became Grandmaster of chess only 13 years old or when 10 year old Jackie Evancho sang in America's Got Talent.

But more often this horror appears when children behave against the expected in a negative sense. A recurring motif in horror movies are supernatural or paranormal children (or dolls). Horror movies deliberately utilize the notion that self-assertive, active children arouse anxiety.

The ring 2002
The exorcist 1973
The shining 1980
The children 2008

One can draw many interesting conclusions based on how children are featured and used in such movies. Horror movies deliberately use cultural, religious and sexual taboos to conjure up fear. The devil in popular culture always dwells in a small body, like a dwarf or a child. The child turned into a devil is an allusion to the precocious child, also in the sexual sense, an allusion that more than anything else arouses fear in adults. The pedophobia can be expressed by this assertion:

Pedophobia is the fear that children possess skills and abilities we do not think they have.

The attitude to the adult pedophile is a kind of mirror image of the attitude to the self-assertive, active child. Just as with the child, the pedophile possesses abilities not thought of. Just as with the child, adult pedophiles awaken fears of what they can do. And as with the child, such adults are outcasts. Pedophobia makes pedophilia into something alien and inhuman.


The media has a great responsibility when it expresses and communicates society's pedophobia. The cause lies in the various roles media often play.

Media is typically assigned the role as the fourth estate. In a democratic society the media is supposed to be independent. It monitors and criticizes the other powers, the legislative, executive and judicial power. The media should strengthen democracy by giving its citizens broad and impartial information. This in turn is the foundation for making right decisions. The media should actualize topics and bring them to light, with the proviso that injustice is an aberrant phenomenon that can be rectified by making it known.

All actors in the media pretend to take their role as monitors and critics seriously. Even the [Norwegian] menfolk and porn magazine Aktuell Rapport considered itself a guarantor against 'big brother' and injustice, read here [a part in Norwegian that recounts the history of the only Norwegian group (NAFP or Norsk arbeidsgruppe for pedofili) that worked for the rights of pedophiles in the late 70s and early 80s; Aktuell Rapport published an article in 1982 with vile exaggerations and lies about NAFP under the pretext of 'exposing truth', an article which in itself is a good example of pedophobia; ironically, in same issue you find a so-called readers' contribution that describes a relationship between a 15-year-old boy and a man!].

But the media are also commercial enterprises. Newspapers have to be sold. Shares of viewers must increase. The enterprise must make a profit. This is not a problem as long as it does not interfere with the role as monitor and critic. But as a rule, the content in the media is determined by what is sellable. And there is no guarantee that truth and criticism sell. As with other enterprises, media often have great knowledge of what is commercially acceptable. The media may be critical, but only as long as it does not criticize its own commercial foundations.

There are topics where the media do not live up to its principles of independence and impartiality. The double role as critic and seller contains a fundamental conflict. The conflict may guide what topics can be referred to or in what way they can be referred to. Modern media have become professional content producers, where topics are created and angled in a way the reader wants. Today's media business is designed to give us what we pay for.

In the 1980s the media were involved in uncovering sexual abuse. This followed a tradition where the media monitors and discloses wrongdoing in society. There is no doubt that the attention these cases got made it easier for those concerned to identify themselves as sexually abused and come forward with their problems and get help. It is reasonable to assume that the attention in the media increased the number of convictions for sexual assault.

When we read old news stories from the 1970s, we notice a difference in how sexual offenses are described. A good example of this is a note in VG [a Norwegian daily newspaper] from December 7, 1976:

VG 7 desember 1976

Translation of the newspaper article.

Little girls in sex-orgies

The police in Sandefjord have charged two men in their 30s for having brought two girls under 14 years of age to the purest sex-orgies.

The girls were served porn films — and besides intercourse porn pictures of one of the girls were taken while there were several persons present.

One of the charged have confessed to the police, the other is presently at sea and is not yet interrogated by the police.

The sex-case came to the attention of the police when one of the girls confided to her mother, who at once alerted the police.

The girls have told the investigator that the intimate relations were initiated this summer when one of the girls was only 13 years old. The affair continued until the end of September this year.

The statement of the girls have been confirmed by one of the two charged who have been interrogated, and who have thus confessed and admitted guilt.

One can interpret the angle of this notice in several ways. Some would say that the media at the time did not understand the seriousness of sexual abuse. Or to put it another way: when children and sexuality are mentioned together, the angle is abuse. Media participates in a campaign in which they reveal the 'truth' when it comes to children and sexuality.

An alternative interpretation assumes that the media always gives us what we want. The notice from 1976 is just a reflection of what we then wanted to read about such cases. When we today do not read about little girls and sex orgies, it is because sexuality in our age has become alienated, objectified and brutalized. We want to read about sex in connection with violence and abuse because there is a demand for it. We do not read about girls age 11 to 14 who seek out adult men for sex. It is the grown up men who seek out little girls for abuse.

The notice shows us how the interpretation of children and childhood sexual acts change. The media is at any time a reflection of our society. Today pictures of naked children are not just pictures of naked children. They are abusive images or depictions of child abuse. The media participates in conveying this sense of reality. In Aftenposten's A-Magazine [a Norwegian weekly magazine, part of the daily newspaper Aftenposten] of October 4, 1986, we see a two-page advertisement for Soft Soya margarine:

Aftenposten Oktober 4 1986

In the top right corner we see a picture of a naked girl around 6 years old. At the time it was just a picture of a naked girl 6 years old. The image was meant to illustrate health and fitness. Such an advertising image would never have passed today, and this is because such images are now regarded as abuse. The big difference from the 1970s is that we today always consider children to be sexual, or have within them a latent sexuality, or (which has come to be the same) have the potential to be abused. This is what we mean when we say that pedophobia creates children as passive sexual objects. We can never again see them as neutral and asexual.

We can accuse the media for not giving us a broad and fair representation of children and sexuality. The pedophobe will say that there is only one representation of children and sexuality, and that is abuse. The link between pedophobia and the media emerge when the media violates their own principles of independence and impartiality.

The media will of course maintain that they are just taking their role as monitors and critics seriously when they spotlight abuse. Abuse is not something 'people want' but is a serious social problem. By focusing on the abuse the media is doing something with the problem. They put the spotlight on abuse, not because there's a demand to read about it, but to reduce the abuse in society. By featuring abuse in the media, we will get less abuse in society, as if the media and society were separate - and not mirror images of one another.

Do we get less abuse by reading about it in the media? In the 1980s the media contributed to the awareness of incest. More could come forward, get help and report cases. But did this have any impact on the abuse in society? Crime statistics show a surprisingly steady level of such cases in the past 25 years, see here [a part in Norwegian about sexual abuse, that among other things give Norwegian statistics for investigated cases of sexual acts with children from the 1990s to 2011; since then we have seen the same steady level]. To believe that a detailed preoccupation with violence-sexuality decreases the violence-sexuality in society is much like believing that the coverage of divorce cases decrease the divorce rate, or if we only got to see pictures of all the mutilated bodies in car accidents this would reduce the number of traffic fatalities. There is nothing to support such links.

One can argue that a detailed preoccupation with violence-sexuality in the media increases the sexual violence in society. No matter how repulsive the reports are, they legitimize violence by virtue of the attention they get. Pedophobes use such stories to justify their existence and undertake increasingly harsher sanctions against 'the pedophiles'.

In a media-fueled reality, where all attention is good attention, there is a delicate distinction between condemning abuse and presenting, utilizing and promoting abuse. The pedophobia in the media - where one at the same time condemns and utilizes the abuse - tells us something important about the nature of pedophobia. Pedophobia needs the abuse to legitimize itself. This can be expressed by the following assertion:

Pedophobia always seeks the abuse, needs the abuse, is the true face of abuse.

Do not think that the media are not serious when they condemn abuse. That's not the point. The point is that pedophobia, abuse and the media exist in a relationship with one another. They shape each other. They condition each other. The picture of the abuse, of 'the pedophile' and of 'the innocent child' are created by the media, for the media. The media always seeks the abuse, always wants to tell us about it down to the smallest detail, because it covers a need. The media presents the abuse, describes the abuse, expresses the abuse, is familiar with the abuse, shapes the abuse, is the face of abuse, its content and reality, the true face of abuse.

In a media world where the presentation and promotion of abuse glide subtly into each other, one might ask why the media could not show responsibility and accept that children are sexual and that there are pedophiles who do not rape children. But then it would not have been such a demand to read about abuse. Abuse in such an alternative reality would cease to be of interest, not because serious cases of real rape and abuse would not happen, but because such cases would not cover any need. Pedophobia and the abuse need each other.

A detailed description of sexual acts in abuse cases seem to have become more common. In November 2009 an article appeared from the trial of the so-called Pocketman [Lommemannen in Norwegian, a man who traveled around Norway and made boys insert their hands into his pocket to touch his genitals; he also in one case forced a boy to oral sex; he was sentenced to nine years in prison]:

TV2 News: [in Norwegian]

– I was about to take shampoo in my hair. It was then he asked me if he could help. I answered yes. He began to wash my hair, and rubbed soap into my eyes.

Then the seven-year-old was forced to perform oral sex on the man.

The boy explains that he panicked when it happened and failed to call for help.

– I reacted with shock, and became very scared, the boy said in his statement.

This description has similarities with pornography. Note the alternation between the subjective and objective point of view (... I was about to take shampoo in my hair ... then the seven-year-old was forced ... etc ...). We are part of the action, while standing aside and watching it. Here we are amused and horrified. Pornography has this duality, both the alluring and the repulsive. Here is 'help me' and oral sex, but also shock, horror and cries. A feature of pedophobia is precisely this duality in relation to sexuality, in that it both searches for and describes sexuality, while at the same time makes us deplore and condemn it. We are ashamed, so we project our anger on the Pocketman. The media facilitates this for us. The media channels our anger. One can say that pedophobia is a way of dealing with sexuality.

Under the title '—Some pedophiles think they are kind to kids' this was served by Dagbladet [a Norwegian daily newspaper like VG and Aftenposten]:

Dagbladet 07.01.2011: [in Norwegian]

- If you use violence and force you risk bursting the vagina. It can cause a rift backwards towards the anus. If there is a connection between the vagina and the anus, you have trouble keeping the stool.

- The same happens if you push something too big through the anus so that the anal ring is destroyed, says Borgen.

But he emphasizes that there are few cases of this in Norway ...

Here not even an attempt is made to connect the sexual description to a specific event. The description appears as free sexual fantasy. There are "few cases of this in Norway" but that doesn't matter. The sexual description stands for itself and serves its own purpose.

The relationship between the media and abuse do not go unnoticed by those who are genuinely concerned about the welfare of children. Aftenposten published an article with the apt title "The media commits abuse". It criticized the "intimate details" and "detailed descriptions" in the coverage of the Pocketman-case. A psychologist from the Centre for Crisis Psychology said:

It is hard for me to understand that this treatment of children/youth do not violate the Convention of Children's Rights. Why should all of Norway take part in the details made public? It should be possible to place the needs of the children ahead of the needs of the public. I would go so far as to claim that we by this treatment inflict trauma on children.

The article raises an interesting question regarding abuse in general. Can the damage children get from sexual acts more be a product of social reactions (peers, parents, psychologists, police, the media) than the private, subjective experience of what happened? Is there a more direct link between "public needs" and the existence of abuse? And seen from the opposite angle, does an increased awareness and a detailed preoccupation with violence-sexuality make fewer dare come forward with their problems. Pedophobia is the shape and face of abuse. Pedophobia has nothing to do with the welfare of children. We have never gotten less abuse by reading about it in the newspaper. Pedophobia uses the idea of the child's welfare to justify itself. The pedophobe will hail children and say he/she works for the child's best, but pedophobia is always a matter of the pedophobe's own interests and needs. In the Alvdal-case it was expressed like this [the Norwegian Alvdal-case involved the sexual acts with four children from autumn 2003 to summer 2007; the mother and former step-father of two of the children were convicted under the main charge; another pair of parents and a neighbor were convicted for collaboration; films of the acts were also made]:

VG 27.01.2011: [in Norwegian]

The Ombudsman wants to throw the press out of the courtroom. But yesterday it was perhaps more important than ever that we were attending. If the doors had been closed, it would have been the former child protection manager [the step-father], not the children, who would have been granted protection. So it shall not be.

How can the press believe that the children got protection by showing pornographic movies of them in open court? If these movies could be downloaded from the websites of our newspapers, would the children then gain more protection? And did the children consent to having the films shown?

Ironically, those who are set to enforce the laws against abuse have been accused of leaking details, see here [in Norwegian; a newspaper article about how the police face investigation for leaking details about the Pocketman-case to the press; later a policeman was actually convicted of giving the press confidential information, also in the case of the Pocketman; he lost his job and had to serve 90 days in prison, see in Norwegian here]. But if we understand the relationship between pedophobia, the media and abuse, this is not such a contradiction as we might first expect.

The frontpage of Swedish Allers in 1954.
In the original the boy is not censured.

The media has set the premise for sexuality (and now I am speaking about the media in general, also the entertainment industry and advertising). The child's potential as a sexual object is almost limitless. Gone are the days when children could be naked in the press and public. Pedophobia sexualizes children. But I repeat: do not think that the media are not serious when they condemn abuse. That is not the point. When the media condemn abuse, they do two things at once: they obscure the fact that children are sexually active, while at the same time make them into passive victims. Pedophobia is a way of letting children and sexuality appear in the public sphere. Children are granted a number of external sexual characteristics, while their bodies and sexuality are suppressed and obscured in a collective unconsciousness. This can be expressed by the following assertion:

Pedophobia conceals the child as an acting subject, while at the same time creates the image of the child as a passive object.

The media is present when children participate in beauty contests or other public events where their outer self is rewarded and praised as an accomplishment. In pedophobia this is no contradiction because pedophobia is a regulated way of letting children appear in public. Children always have in them a latent sexuality, but it is either visible or invisible ('natural' or 'unnatural') depending on the context. Is the image below sexual? When did the image become sexual?

Kresent barn
Has this girl consented to have her image shown here?

We read public warnings [an article where parents are warned against publishing photos of their children bathing] about letting snap-shots of bathing children appear online, but when did these pictures become sexual and who actually makes them sexual?

The treatment of children has a parallel in the treatment of pedophiles. Just like children, pedophiles are stripped of individuality and their sexuality is made insignificant. Instead we are presented with an object.

Retrieved from here.

Who is the person shown in the picture above? Not a pedophile. It is a journalist who for the occasion undressed and brought some props into the bedroom. The picture is part of a series of similar pictures that were made for the media around 2007-2009, see Aftenbladet, NRK Brennpunkt, Sport, Nyheter og TV2.

In these pictures children are only present as dolls or teddy bears. Children are made anonymous and turned into objects. Children are not portrayed as acting but as passive and without identity. Ironically, the pictures therefore reinforce the attitude to children that leads to abuse. Pedophobia will at the same time make children sexual and create an attitude towards children that promotes abuse. In this regard, the pictures are a pedophobe fantasy.

The picture above is interesting in another way as well. We get from the media what we want, never anything else. The picture covers a need. It is a projection of sexual shame, anxiety and aggression onto a hate object, here materialized by a fat middle-aged man. The man in the picture is obviously a pedophobe, how else explain this bizarre photo shoot. But perhaps precisely because of that, there is this need to be the form and face of abuse. Pedophobia is a way of dealing with one's own sexuality. The picture is in fact a self-portrait. It is a portrait of a man's contempt for his body and his sexuality.

The object of hate is often an adult man, i.e. the abuser, but can also be women or children themselves. It is not important who the object of hate is, only that it is someone different from oneself. The media's relationship to abuse is to draw a face for us, create an image of the other, the stranger, the one who is not me, the one we can not live with, who is to blame and can be prosecuted. Pedophobia is an ideology of hatred. Pedophobes derive their existence from hate. The pedophobe can be a very aggressive and hateful person (more on this later). This leads to the following assertion about the relationship between one's body, sexuality and pedophobia:

Pedophobia is a projection of sexual shame, anxiety and aggression
onto a hate object.

The media gives this object a form. In 2008, the US television program To Catch a Predator was shown on Norwegian television. This program used fraud to entice men to meet minors. Read more on wikipedia. Afterwards they were caught by the police while secret cameras recorded what went on. This could take place because there is a law prohibiting adults to seek out minors. Norway got a similar law in 2007.

Before the program was shown, even the media themselves raised some doubts as to the suitability of the program for Norwegian television.

VG 26.11.2007:

- «To Catch a Predator» utilize methods that are not only questionable, but totally unacceptable. That is not how the media works or should work. Even though the public thinks it's laudable that one catches pedophiles, that is the responsibility of the police, and not the media's job, says Secretary General of the Norwegian Press Association, Per Edgar Kokkvold, to the journalism-magazine Campaign.

Any decisive criticism of the program never came, and the program was also shown on TV Norge in 2008. The media's job is to give people what they want.

NRK 25.11.2007:

Sales Director Helge Flemmen in TV Norge says this series is going to get immense attention.

- It is the viewers we live by, and we're going to experience the same outcry as before Big Brother and Temptation Island.

- So you don't fear an advertisement boycott, on par with what TV2 experienced with "The seven deadly sins"?

- No, some advertisers will want to avoid the program, others will not. TV2 has certainly not lost any money on the boycott, says Flemmen.

Now Norwegian viewers saw new images of 'the pedophiles', which perhaps reinforced stereotypes, or created entirely new ones - while we were guided through it all by the American moralist's strong and simple voice, almost as if we were attending a revival meeting.

To catch a predator
Retrieved from here. In the original the face is not censored.

In programs like these the media meets itself. The media no longer constitute a fourth estate, a sort of guarantor against injustice. They have undergone a development where they themselves constitue the legislative, executive and judicial power in one person. They moralize with us, teach us what is sexually appropriate, set up absolute laws that they themselves define and manage, then enforce these laws by traps, deceit and fraud, to end up punishing us with pillory and degradation.

The pedophobia in society has its own logic. It follows a development. Each step in the development leads to the next step in a logical sequence. The difference between Norway and the United States is just that in the United States they have gone further down this path. It's only a matter of time before pictures of 'pedophiles' appear in a systematic way in this country [Norway], first in connection with litigation, then as images of wanted, then in official registries or on vigilante websites, to ultimately appear in various TV shows. We get the media reality we want.

Do not think that children are an exception to this trend. Their faces have at least as much appeal and are equally viable in the media. We will get to see pictures of abused children. The reader does not believe me? Then see this link from an English newspaper. See also here. There are many such pictures of children in the English media. Search for 'child murder' in the online newspapers of The Sun and Daily Mail. In Great Britain and the United States such pictures are routinely seen in the genre sex&crime. The really grotesque aspect of this is that the media portrays themselves as the benefactor of children or the protector of children. In the conflict between critic and seller, the seller always wins.

In a media-fueled reality politicians feel a pressure to react spontaneously to the issues in the media. The tabloid format has a tendency to shrink and simplify the world and invite to simple short-term solutions. The politicians are, contrary to the media, accountable for their actions and must relate to a diverse and complex world.

* is also a part of the media, in that this website is public and documents trends in society and tries to be critical on the subject of children and sexuality. This site does not have to pay attention to commercial interests. This site also does not have to yield to 'strong reactions from readers'.

Tellingly enough, the rest of the media care little for the content here. In the magazine of the Norwegian journalists a warning was issued against linking to and using content from this site, see Is this an example of how the free press works and thinks? When did you ever read a critical article on child pornography in the Norwegian press? [link in Norwegian; describes among other things the history and actual number of images of so-called child pornography] Or when did you read about the background of and the rationale for the age of consent?

A culture of abuse. A history of violence.

If we do not know our history, we do not know our time. Pedophobia as it exists today has not always been around. This raises an interesting question about the development and causes of pedophobia. Where does it come from? What motivates it?

Today it is easy to forget how the battle against masturbation shaped generations of humans. In particular, it was the masturbation among children and young men who spread fear. Masturbation was linked to Christian immorality. The (misleading) quotation from The Book of Genesis where Onan "spilled his semen on the ground" was applied. At the beginning of the Enlightenment in the 1700s texts appeared that warned against masturbation based on a more medical approach. An anonymous book entitled "Onania, or, the Heinous Sin of Self-Pollution, and All its Frightful Consequences in Both Sexes consider'd with Spiritual and Physical Advice to those, Who Have Already Injur'd Themselves by This Abominable Practice. And Seasonable Admonition to the Youth of the Nation, (of both Sexes) and Those Whose Tuition They Are Under, Whether Parents, Guardians, Masters, or Mistresses" was published in London in 1723 and reprinted in Boston in 1724, see here.

When children masturbated they abused themselves. Masturbation was in a very concrete way linked to abuse ("self-abuse") and impurity ("self-pollution"). The entire modern concept of abuse has its origin right here.

The fear of masturbation was the pedophobia of its time. It was quite literally the fear of and hostility towards sexuality in children. Masturbation was seen as a sign that something evil, alien and corrupt had entered a young and weak soul. This had to be fought with all means, see f.ex. here [archived].

It is reasonable to assume that the emergence of pedophobia as a modern phenomenon was closely linked to the new fear of masturbation in the 1700s and 1800s. It was especially among the children of the bourgeoisie that these fears were raised. Pedophobia can be traced to the emergence of the bourgeoisie as a class in Europe. Bourgeois children were to be disciplined to be obedient members of their class. Their sexuality should be steered into proper ways. It was necessary to create the illusion that all young people were weak and incompetent. A new interest in children's health and welfare emerged. The infantilization of the child, the concern for the child, the monitoring of the child, and the disciplining of the child went hand in hand.

Masturbation -

It is debatable whether concerns over childhood masturbation arose from increasing interest in the moral and physical welfare of children and more interventionist child-rearing practices, or whether these practices were the outcome of a belief that greater surveillance of children was necessary to prevent the development of "secret habits." Probably the two phenomena were selfreinforcing – increased surveillance might reveal previously unsuspected practices, leading to even closer attention.

Although the fear of masturbation can be traced to many countries in Europe, it was in England it took on its clearest form. It was here that Dr. Isaac Baker Brown performed clitoris operations [clitoridectomy] on the daughters of the bourgeoisie. From England the fears were sent across the ocean to the English-speaking colonies of America. Here pedophobia would assume a very special place in society, inspired by a distinct Christian religious-Protestant fundamentalism which in its purest form only exists in the United States. The puritanical, visionary doomsday Christianity created for itself a particular right to possess the truth, make absolute laws and judge others.

An early example of the link between visionary Christianity and sexual contempt can be found in the texts of Ellen G. White who lived between 1827 and 1915. She was one of the founders of the so-called Seventh-Day Adventist church, a church that eventually produced an offshoot in Norway too. In the book Solemn Appeal from 1870 we are served a blessed mixture of warnings, admonitions, alleged natural laws, medical dilettantism and death messages, as this quote shows:

Ellen G. White
Ellen G. White [archived]

Children who practice self-indulgence [masturbation] previous to puberty, or the period of merging into manhood or womanhood, must pay the penalty of nature's violated laws at that critical period. Many sink into an early grave, while others have sufficient force of constitution to pass this ordeal. If the practice is continued from the age of fifteen and upward, nature will protest against the abuse she has suffered, and continues to suffer, and will make them pay the penalty for the transgression of her laws, especially from the ages of thirty to forty-five, by numerous pains in the system, and various diseases, such as affection of the liver and lungs, neuralgia, rheumatism, affection of the spine, diseased kidneys, and cancerous tumors. Some of nature's fine machinery gives way, leaving a heavier task for the remaining to perform, which disorders nature's fine arrangement, and there is often a sudden breaking down of the constitution; and death is the result.

The visions and moralizing can partly be explained by the fact that nine-year-old White got hit by a stone in the head, was in a coma and apparently came to suffer from a form of epilepsy which narrowed her mental choices, see here.

The deeply religious background Ellen G. White came from has a long history in the United States. A group of extreme Protestants, called Calvinists or more specifically Puritans, came in conflict with the religious and secular power in England around 1600. In 1620 they emigrated to America and came to have a disproportionate influence on the new country, see here and here. The concept of American exceptionalism stems from the idea that America was the promised land, that the colonists were the chosen people and that they had a mission. The settlers maintained that they were called to spread democracy, freedom and Christian salvation to the rest of the world, without being inclined to regard freedom and the Christianity they practiced as opposites. Religion came to influence policy in the United States in a way Europe had left behind. There is a legacy from the early days of odd religious groups in the US, and that is that we should regard American values, American culture and the American way of life as the only right, an ideal we should all follow.

The reader may now perhaps argue by saying that we today know that masturbation is not harmful. But how do we know that? What do we know now about masturbation that they could not know in 1870? What does this knowledge consist of and why do we have it right now?

Many believe that masturbation is harmful - and that's usually enough. The Surgeon General of the United States was fired by President Clinton in 1994 when she said this publicly:

New York Times 10.12.1994:

"As per your specific question in regard to masturbation," Dr. Elders said, "I think that is something that is a part of human sexuality and it's a part of something that perhaps should be taught. But we've not even taught our children the very basics."

Pedophobia was to acquire a new expression in the US in the first half of the 1980s. It was then the first so-called Satanic Ritual Abuse cases emerged. A contributory factor was the book Michelle Remembers published in 1980. It connects three key elements: religion, violence and sexual acts. The woman in the book says that she as an adult suddenly started to remember things from her childhood. It concerned what she as a five-year-old had experienced at the hands of her mother. The mother belonged to The Church of Satan, a worldwide organization with a history from pre-Christian times. The five-year-old was forced to participate in an 81-day orgy of sex, torture and murder. She was sexually abused, locked up, forced to participate in rituals, was witness to murders and rubbed in with the blood and body parts of the dead, both adults and infants.

Michelle Remembers
Michelle remembers things.

The book was eventually discredited and the content considered unlikely, a product of what we gently may call vivid imagination. But that did not mean that the content in general was not taken very seriously by many. The book was part of a wave of 'survival literature' from incest that came out just at this time. Satanic ritual abuse was fueled by several social factors, such as mass hysteria, rumor-mongering and moral panic. The time around 1988-89 marked the peak of the hysteria in the US. In the book "Satanic panic: the creation of a contemporary legend" by Jeffrey S. Victor the hysteria is succinctly documented as a sociological phenomenon. [The book can be bought here]. The hysteria was an expression of a deep insecurity in American society. It was also connected to an increasing incidence of mental disorders in the population, a fact that has come to characterize our time, as well as the emergence of a profitable therapy and drug industry that exploits this. In a report on the social and cultural context of satanic ritual abuse, Susan Robbins says this:

The Social and Cultural Context of Satanic Ritual Abuse Allegations:

The numerous social and cultural forces that gave rise to the widespread belief in SRA coalesced at a time in which American society was undergoing significant transformation. New societal fears about cults, child pornography, rising crime, family instability, and a growing concern for children's safety, all contributed to the belief in the ritual abuse of children. Fueled by media sensationalism, these apprehensions and concerns became further enhanced by a growing self-help movement and counseling industry based on defining life's problems in terms of addictions and one's status as a victim. This was then coupled with the renewed ideological belief that present day problems stem from early childhood trauma and family dysfunction. This paved the way, in part, for the rise of an increasingly profitable therapeutic enterprise built on people's fears and dissatisfaction.

Satanic ritual abuse came to have a major impact on how society perceived sex between children and adults, even though the word 'satanic' was eventually dropped and one settled on 'ritual abuse' to make the concept more credible. The concept still haunts us. Search for satanic ritual abuse on YouTube.

Satan's children
Kids of Satan.

In 1982 we had the world's first day-care sex-abuse case in the United States. The case marked the beginning of a cultural phenomenon and a wide range of similar cases worldwide, see wikipedia. The McMartin preschool case in 1983 is best known, both for its scope and the way in which ritual abuse became linked to the everyday running of a nursery in California. Sex, violence, rituals and a large number of children and adults characterized such cases. The day-care cases came to confirm a tendency, that those who made the worst allegations were mentally ill. Pedophobia is not a product of children's problems but adult problems. Pedophobia is intrinsically irrational and hysterical. Day-care cases became less common when the police learned to recognize them, but the pedophobia that underlies them pop up every time adults have problems. In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit the US, claims of murder and rape of children were put forward in New Orleans, claims that later proved to be fiction.

In 1992 Norway also had a day-care sex-abuse case. This was of course the Bjugn affair [Bjugn-saken in Norwegian; the affair closely resembled the McMartin preschool case, down to the allegations of rituals; the main suspect together with the other adults were eventually freed of charges, but only the children received monetary compensation (voldsoffer-erstatning), ironically for being "victims of violence"]. The interesting thing is how ritual abuse also became part of this case, in spite of the fact that Norway has no history of religious fanaticism.

Hans Kringstad, Bjugn-formelen, 1997:

page 126: "RITUALS" it said in block letters on the internal police report, prepared by chief investigator Martha Kalland.

page 135: Kaia described seances with black candles and gave a story about oral sex that was so outrageous in its detail that her mother had bouts of nausea.

page 150: — Did they have special clothes on? — Yes, said Vilde, and she explained that in a bag lay capes of a white, smooth fabric, almost like silk. There were holes for the arms. The garments could be tied in the neck, and they all had collars. Ritual equipment, but who were the pedophiles?

page 207: But something still did come out of the rides, for after a vain search for sheep Kaia had more to tell, a simply blood-dripping and outrageous story, another round on the Bjung spiral. The adults had slit the sheep, she said horrified when she came home from a car ride. They had killed it.

The Bjugn affair was 'over there' [a Norwegian expression for America in English] in rural Norwegian reality.

If we study the evolution of pedophobia in the world, we see a striking pattern. First a phenomenon appears in the US. Afterwards the phenomenon emerges in Norway and other countries. It is worth looking closer at this. Below is a chart with events and dates in Norway and the USA.

Pedophobe events in the United States (red) and Norway (white) 1974-2007.

[Day-care case, law against production of child pornography, law against possession of child pornography,
law against failure to report, law against grooming, Megan's law]

Sources: Day-care abuse-cases, production, possession,
pornography, Protection of Children Act 1978,
grooming,, History of Child Abuse Laws,
Dagen magazine, Megan's law and wikipedia.
See also the page on child pornography [in Norwegian] and
our links [requires Javascript].

In addition to the introduction of new laws, Norway has also begun to take after the United States when it comes to practising the laws and meting out sentences, e.g. see here and here [in Norwegian; heading reads "Demands historically hard sentences"].

What is the reason for a phenomenon to first appear in the US, for a few years later to appear in Norway? Norway has since World War II been strongly influenced by the Anglo-American culture. This spans everything from The Beatles to F-16. It is reasonable to assume that the Anglo-American sexual culture has also affected Norway. This leads to the following assertion:

Pedophobia in a society is proportional to the influence of the Anglo-American culture in that society.

What does this Anglo-American sexual culture consist of? A good illustration is the attitude to body and nudity. Nudity has for a long time been a problem in the United States, see here [archived] and here. The problem has if anything gotten worse in recent years by a moral panic in which Janet Jackson showed a breast at a stage performance, see here. In another English speaking country, Australia, Dagbladet [heading reads "Naked 6-year-old used as a front page girl"] could tell us that a picture of a naked six-year-old on the front page of an art magazine aroused reactions up to government level.

"I can't stand this stuff," said Rudd, a staunch Christian whose centre-left Labor government won a sweeping victory over conservatives last year, in part on a vow to reinvigorate Australia's small but influential arts community.

"We're talking about the innocence of little children here. A little child cannot answer for themselves about whether they wish to be depicted in this way," Rudd added, as officials said they would review the magazine's funding.

Children are innocent and can not say yes, the Australian Prime Minister said, almost as if he himself had the right to say no for this girl. It did not help that the now 11 year old girl in an interview said she loved the pictures and was offended by what the Prime Minister had said about her.

What about the body culture in the United States? It is well known that the US suffers from an obesity epidemy [heading reads "Obesity crisis in the USA"] which has also spread to Norway. Obviously not all overweight persons are dissatisfied with their bodies, but there is likely a relationship between obesity, body contempt and sexual contempt. This becomes more likely when we consider that the West has a beauty ideal (also largely drawn from the United States) which is the opposite of obesity - namely thinness, control and a youthful, not to say childlike, smooth, firm and fine skin.

It is known that the US has a big porn industry located not far from the rest of the film industry in Hollywood, see here. Each year this industry produces well over 50% of all the pornography consumed in the world. This industry has, contrary to the myths about the 'childporn industry', truly a billion-dollar turnover, see here and here. The Anglo-American sexual culture is characterized by a variety of industries that partly utilize, partly compensate each other, all with the aim of making more money. Thus we have a large food industry with its obesity production, combined with a big film industry and Hollywood's image of the 'perfect' body, which together give rise to a huge health and beauty industry to achieve this body. It is the 'shock' of seeing nudity in public, combined with a huge porn industry that utilizes what the American can not see. And it's about spreading fear, uncertainty and prosecuting everything to do with children and sexuality, for later, when the children have become adults, to offer them the services of a large and profitable sex, therapy or victim industry as appropriate, if they have not committed a sex crime and are sent to the prison industry.

Norway is dictated by the Anglo-American sexual culture. A good example is the new §201a in the [Norwegian] Criminal Code of 2007, which punishes whoever intends to break the age of consent laws. Here they criminalize incorrect thoughts, intentions and beliefs. This paragraph is so English-American that they have not even used a Norwegian word for it, but use 'grooming' [the actual English word] and call it the grooming paragraph. The text of the paragraph [link to the Norwegian Criminal Code] ("with the intent to commit an act") is vague and can be applied against whatever one wishes. In the children's parliamentary report ['barnas stortingsmelding' in Norwegian] the paragraph is referred to like this (note the phrase "with the intention to later commit abuse"):

Barnas stortingsmelding 1 (2010-2011) About violence and abuse against children:

In the spring of 2007 a new legal provision came into force (the grooming paragraph). It shall protect children from sexual abuse by banning so-called grooming. Simply stated grooming means that an adult builds a trusting relationship with a child, typically via chat channels on the internet, with the intention to later commit abuse against the child.

[It is not easy to find an English word for 'stortingsmelding'; literally it is a report to the Norwegian parliament drawn up by the Government to present matters; White paper is closest, see here; it is even more difficult to find a word for 'barnas stortingsmelding' or Children's parliamentary report; in practice it was simply information about rights, help and other issues concerning child abuse, but it also contained a song text !?; if you look at this Government page you will see that the link to 'Barnas stortingsmelding' is strangely missing; it is still present on or in this site's archive.]

Such laws follow a familiar pattern. First one is critical to the proposal and believe it is unethical [as maintained by the Norwegian Association of Attorneys in section 3.4.1] and in conflict with human rights. Datatilsynet [The Norwegian Data Protection Authority] warns against the bill. Kripos [Norway's national police] believe they can "make use of UK experience". We read how vulnerable children are and that something must be done now to stop the abuse. The law is introduced after a review. Then we learn that no one is prosecuted under the new law, while the number of violations increase. The police ask for more surveillance, which they get. Then the convictions start to come. We are served details in the media. We read about the law's excellence and the effort of the police as they pose as 13-year-olds on the net. Finally, there must of course be tougher penalties for online pedophiles.

[all links in Norwegian; some of them were dead and had to be updated with similar links; the opposition to the law, based on ethics and human rights, was also present in the UK, see this link to Cyber Rights and Cyber Liberties].

By studying the conditions in the US we can see what the conditions will be like in Norway in a few years. As of this writing (2011) there is particularly one phenomenon that exists in the United States that has not yet come to Norway: the publication of names and photographs of convicted sex offenders. Let us look closer at this phenomenon as it appears in the US right now.

[As of 2016 no equivalent of Megan's Law has been introduced in Norway].

In 1996 Bill Clinton signed Megan's law. The law obligated all American states to disclose names and pictures of those who had been or would be sentenced by a sex-crime paragraph, including possession of child pornography. An example of what paragraphs qualify for disclosure is given here [with a further specification on this archived page]. The law is named after seven-year-old Megan Kanka who in 1994 was raped and murdered in New Jersey. To name laws after victims is common in the USA. Thus there is also Jessica's Law, Jonathan's Law, Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act and Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act. In England we have Sarah's Law. From the text of the law it appears that Megan's Law was introduced after a handful of tragic incidents. They have this in common that they were well known through the media. In a media-driven reality the faces and dramatic fates of children have great emotional appeal. They arouse emotion because they are the exception, not the ordinary life most children live in. But even though they are an exception, they are treated as the rule and can justify general laws. In affect, it is easy to resort to simple solutions. It is much harder to grasp the deeper reasons for why some commit serious sexual offenses, like a violent upbringing, a poor mental health care or a general exclusion from society. It may not even be any rational reason for why some commit such crimes, and then no law can stop it.

Pillory in New England.

Megan's Law was introduced without evidence that the publication of names and pictures of convicts had an impact on new offenses. Fifteen years later in 2009, a report showed that the law had no measurable effect on sexual crimes committed against children in New Jersey, see a summary of the report, the actual report and a comment. It is hard to imagine that a name, photo and address published on a website can have any impact on the ability or willingness to commit murder. It is however easy to imagine the difficulties the registered have in finding jobs, housing and living a normal life. It is even easier to imagine how millions upon millions of anxious Americans weekly or daily check if a dangerous sex offender has moved into the neighborhood. This creates pedophobia.

Let us look at one of these sites. Let us for example look at the website of California where the age of consent is 18 years. In 2010 there were 122,521 registered sex offenders in this state, out of a total of 728,435 in the US, see here [the website only gives the latest figures; as of August 2016 there are 851,870 registered sex offenders in the US; in California 103,534]. For comparison, the population of Stavanger is 126.021 and Oslo 599.230 (2011). By navigating this site, you will soon see a map where it is possible to zoom in on parts of California as shown below.

california1 california2
california3 california4
Map of registered sex offenders in Los Angles in 2011 with an example
of a 21 year old man listed for possession of child pornography.
[obviously this map still exists and any interested party can see an updated version]

This is a map of America. Each blue square is a registered sex offender. In Los Angles City alone, there are over ten thousand such blue squares. Take some time to look at each person. Click on the squares or see the list [requires a new session; just click on 'start over' and agree to the terms]. One quickly notices the difference between the number of squares in the northern, rich neighborhoods (Beverly Hills) and the impoverished south. Also note the predominance of colored (blacks and Latinos). In small Wilkes County in Geogia there are only 7 whites out of a total of 21 registered, despite the fact that it is inhabited by 55% whites [as of 2011].

The number of persons listed by Megan's Law show a solid increase every year, even if the pace has somewhat slowed by comparison to the years after 1996.

1996 185.393 -
2006 579.974 12,1%
2010 728.435 5,9%
2013 751.538 1,1%

The total number of US registered sex offenders and the annual percentage increase.
Sources: 1996, 2006 and 2013 [archived].
[as of 2016 with 851,870 registered sex offenders, the annual percentage increase is about 4,2%]

There are good reasons for why the number is increasing. One reason is that you can end up in the registry without having committed a sex crime, see here and here. Examples of such crimes are to charge for sex or buy sex. Some states consider sodomy and incest between adults as a good enough reason to be listed. Other states simply bunch sex crimes together with all other types of crimes against children, where 'children' are people under 18 years, see here. In the state of New York abduction will qualify for room in the registry, in spite of the fact that most of these abductions are done by parents in child custody disputes. Possession of comics may lead to registration, likewise exhibitionism and public urination [see also here].

Another reason for why the number is increasing is a peculiar form of executive power in the United States. Local and federal police, the Department of Homeland Security, postal and customs officials can provoke crimes through so-called sting operations. Typically one makes a fake website with child pornography or offer false sex trips, then arrest whoever shows up, see here [link partly defunct, see archived link]. You need not have done anything else than click on the wrong link to get a posse of armed police the next morning. The real crime in sting operations are wrong intentions and beliefs. In a religious nation like the US the distinction between unlawful acts and acts that are considered immoral is far less than in Norway. It is the pursuit of sinners that legitimize police traps. The US has a long historical tradition of exposing sinners in public, and this explains Megan's Law more than its ability to prevent crime. In the novel The Scarlet Letter a woman has to wear a purple letter to show the whole world her status as a promiscuous adulterer in the New England of the 1600s.

The number is increasing for another reason as well, a reason we will look closer at. It is estimated that there are 19,000 persons (per 2009) in American sex offender registries who were children when they committed the act they are registered for, this according to solresearch. These are persons who were between 10 and 17 years old when they first appeared in the registry. In Texas, there are about 4,000 such children, 1,004 younger than 14 years. It is possible to download the registry in Texas and search for 'offender age', see here [link partly defunct]. A search shows that right now [2011] there are 26 ten-year-olds and 105 eleven-year-olds there [these numbers are no longer retrievable; the Texas Sex Offender Registry can be downloaded here if you create an account]. The vast majority are boys, but girls are also present. The children are registered due to the so-called Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, a law that shall safeguard and protect American children. Read more here and here.

This is a good occasion to remind the reader what pedophobia is. Of course there are adults who rape and kill children, and society has to find ways to protect itself against them. But such adults make up a tiny minority, even in a country as fixated on violence as the USA. Pedophobia is about something else. It is about the fear of and hostility towards sexuality in children, a majority. It is about censoring and punishing sexuality in children and with children.

Houston Chronicle
Seventeen children ages 7 to 16 in sex ring.
Houston Chronicle, 5 July 1999.

Sex crimes committed by children constitute an increasing proportion.

More than a third of sex crimes against juveniles are committed by juveniles, according to new research commissioned by the Justice Department.

Juveniles are 36 percent of all sex offenders who victimize children. Seven out of eight are at least 12 years old, and 93 percent are boys, says the study by the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire.

See here and here for more facts and figures. A study done by the National Center for Juvenile Justice showed that 14 years is the most common age of investigated sex offenders in the United States, see the chart below.

Offender Ages
Retrieved from here.

The crimes we are talking about can be a little of each. Dagbladet [the heading reads "Risks prison after smacking butts"] reported that two boys of 13 from Oregon risked juvenile prison and registration as sex offenders after slapping girls' asses at their school. A girl of 14 could be charged with distribution of child pornography after posting nude pictures of herself, see here. Posting pictures is called sexting and has become a way for young people to express their sexuality. Here we can read about the legal antics that occurred when a 13 year old girl was at the same time tried as a perpetrator and a victim in the same trial (was dangerous and in danger), revealing in its own way the immense hypocrisy involved whenever children and sexuality is a topic. Below is a small sampling of boys in American sex registries.

Boys in the registry
A small selection of boys aged 11 to 13 in public American sex registries. Retrieved from here.
In the registries themselves the faces are not censored.

Megan's Law was made for the sake of children we hear, but as usual children have no say. Children are only the product of the society they grow up in. It is easy to imagine what kind of start in life the persons above will get. They will be ostracized. They will be denied education, jobs and housing. The US is a country where they solve problems with violence. There were no rational arguments for introducing Megan's Law in 1996 and no rational argument will ever remove it, no matter how many studies show that laws of this type have no effect. The law has no effect, but that does not mean that they acknowledge their mistakes. On the contrary, the lack of effect is an incentive for even more laws and an even tougher treatment of 'the pedophiles'. Thus in many states a convict can not live closer than a specified distance to schools or other places where children gather, see here. Convicts are forced to carry a GPS transmitter, see here. In New Jersey, a law banning convicts the use of internet was introduced in 2008, see here. If you do not sign up to the registry, you risk severe punishment. A homeless man could not register an address and was sentenced to life imprisonment, see here. People can be detained and imprisoned for an arbitrarily long time without trial, simply on the basis of a subjective assessment of 'dangerousness', see here and here. Forced chemical castration was introduced in the State of Louisiana, see here, but read also this.

Megan's Law is a law that 'people want' - in the same way that the death penalty is something people want in the US. The law is attractive but does not solve any problems. It only deepens injustice, social divisions and a society's fixation on violence. A group of people who are already marginalized become targets for further scorn and dehumanization. Sex registries act as pedophile target lists [heading says "Killed two abusers"], even if the police like to claim the opposite. You can imagine how much priority the police give to a complaint of harassment when it comes from a registered sex offender. In England there were first problems with the British version of Megan's Law, precisely because innocent people received death threats, but such considerations weighed little when the law was introduced in 2010. Enlightened people can attack the law and say that enough is enough, but there is no way to argue against such laws rationally. When children and sex are involved, all rational considerations are turned off and religion takes over.

Sweden has no Megan's Law, but there we now see [2011] a good example of the social mechanisms that create such laws. We recognize the pattern from the United States. First, the media pays great attention to a single case [in Swedish, the heading reads "On Hammarvägen the 44-year-old found his new victim"] with great emotional appeal. Then they put the blame on 'the pedophiles' and ask [in Swedish; "SIFO-questionary: Half the Swedes want to know if the neighbor is pedophile"]: Do you want to know if a pedophile lives in your neighborhood? Yes, the majority answers.

In Norway there are still no public records, but the media loves to register ["Refuses to admit abuse against minors"] anyone who has committed (or has been accused of having committed) a sex crime against children. Maybe laws like Megan's Law are an expression of a growing social division in the West. Perhaps we one day we will see anyone who is considered 'a danger to your surroundings' carry some sort of sign, from the raping murderer down to he who drove 92 km/h in the 80 km/h zone. And all of these outcasts are people we are forced to protect ourselves against. It is similar to the US budget deficit: one does not solve the problems, one only postpones them. Megan's law may well be an indication that many today do not trust the society they live in, or the authorities' ability to solve their problems, and the alternative is to take the law in their own hands. The gun culture in the USA has always been an example of this.

The final irony of Megan's Law is that it tends to make uncovering abuse more difficult. The reason is simple. Most child abuse (90-95%) is done by persons who the child knows well, first and foremost a family member. Megan's Law, with its focus on the dangerous unknown man, helps to cover up this fact. Children may have difficulty interpreting abuse as abuse, simply because they have learned to identify such with strangers.

You may think that all these strict sex laws make the US the world's safest country for children to grow up in. You think wrong. Safe childhood in the United States is defined in a very special way. The US Justice Department created a project called Project Safe Childhood. If we read a little on the website of this project, we quickly discover that child safety is a matter of safety from sex. This is perhaps not surprising, in a country that until recently did not give their own children a health service that we in Norway take for granted. In 2010 a health care reform passed the Congress, that for the first time gave all American children an entitlement to health insurance, but not without strong opposition from the Republicans and a Florida judge who declared the reform unconstitutional. Why so much resistance to give children health protection? Perhaps because this protection concerns millions of poor faceless children, and therefore can not be reduced to dramatic media coverage with great emotional appeal.

Safety for children can be measured in many ways. One way is to measure the number of children abused to death. In 2008, 1740 children died of abuse in American homes, see here [link only shows the latest figures]. It is fair to assume that there are dark figures. It also seems like the numbers are increasing. It is interesting to compare this number with the number of children abducted and killed in cases a la Megan Kanka. Ironically, it is difficult to find statistics for this, despite the attention these cases get in the United States. Here and here it is suggested that around 100 children are abducted and murdered every year, here that the figure is 115. How many of these cases are sexually motivated?

Case management for missing children, Attorney General of Washington::

There are estimated to be about 100 such incidents in the United States each year, less than one-half of one percent of the murders committed.


Almost two-thirds of the killers (61%) had prior arrests for violent crimes, with slightly more than half of the killers' prior crimes (53%) committed against children. The most frequent prior crimes against children were rape (31% of killers) and other sexual assault (45% of killers).

76% of 53% of 61% of 100 gives us approximately 25 cases, which is presumably the closest we will get to an estimate of how many sexually motivated murders of children there are in the US each year. Note that these 25 include many teenagers, not just seven-year-olds. Compare this with the number of children (1740) who die of abuse in their own homes.

In 2003 UNICEF made a report that showed that 0.3 children per 100,000 children in Norway died of abuse at home, compared with 0.9 children in the UK and 2.4 children in the United States. In other words there are seven times more children that die from violence and abuse in the US than in Norway. What is the reason for that? Has it to do with how we view children? provides an updated overview of laws in this area. We would think that the US, which pioneered so many laws against sexual abuse of children, would be the nation in the world who first introduced laws against physical abuse of children, but we think wrong. Compare the table for Norway with the table for The states in the US. Both in the UK and the US hitting children is allowed in the home, in the US also at schools and in institutions, see here. This says a great deal about the relationship between sex and violence in the Anglo-American culture. The laws against sexual abuse are motivated by pedophobia. Safety for children is safety from sex, not from violence. The media and the politicians only get involved in cases of sex, and we are inclined to believe that this involvement has to do with pedophobia, not with children's safety.

The insecurity that children actually live with daily can be measured in their mental health. We read [in Norwegian] that one in three children will have mental health disorders before the age of 16. You can be sure that pedophobia, in terms of insecurity and fear of one's own body, as well as the fear of strangers, do not exactly help make children mentally healthier. In a separate part [in Norwegian] we have described in detail how it is to grow up in our time, and this upbringing is characterized by anything but security. It is enough to remind the reader that security is also measured by the security against not being drugged down by medication and sedatives in young age [page partly defunct, see also archive]. Children have been outright medicated to death in the United States, see here. The diagnosis ADHD and its associated medication is a genuine product of the Anglo-American culture and its view of children.

It is worth looking a little closer at the relationship between sex and violence in the United States.

Not long ago [2011] we could read how 8-year-old Christopher Bizilj accidentally shot himself with an Uzi at an arms fair in Massachusetts, see here ["8-year-old shot with Uzi"] and read the original with a video here.

Boy with Uzi
The 11 year old brother of Christopher Bizilj fires an Uzi.
From here.

Many Norwegian readers will now probably think that letting an 8-year-old fire a 9mm Micro Uzi automatic weapon with twenty shots per second is not quite good, at least in principle. Now, this was of course just a single case. Children fire guns all the time. The problem could be that the gun had jammed or that it was not held properly, or that he who managed the weapons was only 15 and so on. As such, the father of the 8-year-old went to court to place blame on the fair's organizer and get a rightfull reparation.

Many Norwegian readers will now probably believe that this case would generate a lot of attention in the American media and create a lot of affect. The media love cases of this kind that involve children. Many would get involved and demands would be raised to do something with these dangerous weapons that harm our children. One would realize how wrong it is to fire automatic weapons. Politicians would become involved and adopt new laws to protect children. The President would sign Christopher's Law that banned all children under 18 from firing, holding, possessing, having access to, or otherwise being exposed to handguns [to "persuade, induce, entice, or coerce a minor" with guns]. Handguns should not be found within a radius of ten meters from any child. There would be zero tolerance for children and guns.

American thinking is like this: sex is dangerous and harmful, while a gun makes you grow into a human being, a citizen. Handguns in the US is a totally legitimate way of solving personal, social and interpersonal problems. Strong emotions are set in swing when someone threatens to take away the gun from the average American, not unlike the feelings that are set in motion when someone has sex with children. The right to bear arms has a place in the Constitution. Therefore, we will never see Christopher's Law. Therefore, American society can live comfortably with a weapon accident now and then. In Norway, we (still) have an alternative to guns, but that is only because we (still) have not imported the American gun culture.

How is it like to grow up in a society where you will see 200,000 violent incidents and 1,231 murders on TV before you turn eighteen? How is it to grow up with a perpetual stream of violent comics at a rapid pace, interrupted constantly by seductive advertising, from the time you can not even walk? How is it to grow up with heroes of first-person shooters and Hollywood action figures as role models, in a culture that is more than happy to show violence in all its forms, that aestheticizes violence, shows it in slow motion, while banishing all nudity and sex from a child's eye?

Sexuality is about empathy. It is the opposite of the role as passive spectator. Sexuality is to expose oneself and show tenderness. It is the opposite of security and weapons. Sexuality is something we learn. It is the opposite of the sexual vacuum children are placed in.

The USA is the home of the school massacre. See the list of massacres here and notice how the numbers have risen in recent years. In school massacres three phenomena meet: psychological problems, lack of empathy and the belief that we can solve problems with violence. Now, one can always argue that there is no connection between media violence and violence at school. It may well be right. In any case there is no systematic (deterministic) relationship. But try to argue that there is no link between having sex as a child and being 'abused' and see how far you get with that argument. In England they just as well criminalize all sex for anyone under 18 years (see here and here) because they are firmly convinced that there is a consistent and deterministic link between sex and harm.

American children grow up in their American sex culture. Some of them end up in the military. In 2004 the world was shocked by pictures from a prison camp in Iraq run by the US Army. Some years later several more pictures surfaced, and they made us wonder why people could be so evil. Does it have something to do with the attitude to violence versus sexuality? We also read that doctors took part in the abuse, and it brings to mind a time we thought we had left behind us [the heading reads "Connect American doctors to the Abu Ghraib torture"].

Abu Graib
The scandalous image from the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq 2004. Retrieved from here.

The most interesting aspect of the pictures from Abu Ghraib is how they show that nudity, the prisoners' genitals and allusions to sexual acts were consciously used to humiliate, dehumanize and torture the prisoners. In Nazi Germany there were also concentration camps, but never has there surfaced any evidence that the guards made the prisoners pose nude in sexualized acts. In 2005 it was claimed that US soldiers were involved in over 1700 sexual abuse cases. Perhaps the most famous case is the soldier who in 2006 raped an Iraqi girl of 14 years, killed the family and burned the corpses, see here ["Raped Iraki girl (14), killed the family and burned the corpse"]. A culture that protects children from sex is just as well a culture that protects children from empathy.

Norwegian soldiers do not act like this. We can speculate what the reason for that is. Perhaps Norwegians have not grown up in a violent culture with a perpetual war going on, though that can soon change. We are concerned when we read that Norwegian soldiers in Afghanistan say that war is better than sex. Major Valhall [a nick name; in Norwegian Valhall means the Viking hall traveled to after death, see Valhalla] tells us that the heart pumps and the head buzzes while in combat. The Norwegian armed forces seem to have initiated a cultivation of Viking culture and then we are back to the time when might gave right.

There is a word for what Norway has been subject to since World War II, and it is cultural imperialism. There are countless examples of how the US force their laws, conventions and way of life on other countries. Japan was long a country where the show of violence was taboo, while showing sexuality was allowed. The US put pressure on Japan to make them adopt American child pornography laws, under the pretext that the 'investigation' (the American investigation, not the Japanese) of such matters became more difficult, see here. The US military presence in Japan is facing increasing opposition, not least after American soldiers raped a 12 year old Japanese girl. The soldiers come from a country that takes sexual abuse of childern seriously. The USA demands armed guards on flights from Norway to the United States. In this way we learn to accept and adopt the American gun culture. The US conducts surveillance of Norwegian citizens, so that Norway should copy American human rights practices to serve American interests. Norwegian prosecution takes place on American terms [out of a kind of paranoia the US embassies in Oslo and Stockholm (in a period around 2011) started to follow whoever seemed 'suspicious' near their embassies; former Norwegian policemen and army officers were recruited in a so-called "Surveillance Detection Unit"; the Norwegian investigation of this illegal activity was hampered by an "oath of silence" to American authorities, an obvious obstruction of justice].

In 2008, President Obama said this after the US Supreme Court had renounced the death penalty for so-called pedophilia-sentenced:

Daily Mail 26.05.2008:

"I have said repeatedly that I think that the death penalty should be applied in very narrow circumstances for the most egregious of crimes," Obama said at a news conference Wednesday.

"I think that the rape of a small child, 6 or 8 years old, is a heinous crime and if a state makes a decision that under narrow, limited, well-defined circumstances the death penalty is at least potentially applicable that does not violate our Constitution."

Wait a moment, doesn't the Fifth Commandment sound like this: Thou shalt not kill, or does Christianity in the United States not apply in this area? God is always silent, but in God's place there are plenty of those who will speak and judge, and Obama is one of them. This is the same man who put aside the principles of the Constitution for the price of a budget compromise, see here ["Had to swallow election promises about Guantanamo"] and here ["Obama allows new military court trails at Guantanamo"]. See also here. The Nobel prize laureate had to excuse the death of children in Afghanistan after a bombing raid, but this is no 'heinous crime' and the pilots will not face the death penalty or any other punishment. The children who were bombed are faceless in the media and mean nothing.

Thompson Venables
Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, both 10 years old,
photographed by police shortly after the murder in 1993.

Let us look more concretely at how the Anglo-American culture treats and shapes children. In 1993, a boy two years old was abducted, tortured and murdered in England. The English love murder mysteries. In a murder like Agatha Christie something is knocked out of balance and the resolution is a way back to equilibrium, to a kind of confirmation that the British way of life persists and is best. The clearing up of the murder of James Bulger did not give such a satisfying equilibrium.

For Norwegian eyes two things appear odd in this case. First that two ten-year-olds could commit such an act. Such has not happened in Norway. Now, anyone with the slightest knowledge of children will know that also Norwegian children may have little compassion and be able to commit the most horrendous acts, like mobbing or torturing animals. When we take a stance on this, we would rather not say that children are evil, they are just mindless. Empathy is not something we are born with. It must be learned. Humans have a natural ability to empathize, but it must be cultivated. A human being can lose its empathy if it is exposed to violence and ruthlessness over a the long period of time. A child can live in an environment where empathy was never appreciated. In Norway we understand that when two ten-year-olds torture and kill a two-year-old it is connected with the environment they grew up in, not least the lack of good role models.

The second odd thing that strikes us is how two ten-year-olds in England can be treated as adults. They are arrested, photographed and questioned as adults. They undergo a trial and are sentenced to long prison sentences as if they were adults. What kind of role models do children get from sitting eight years in prison from the age of eleven to nineteen? What do they learn about empathy and sexuality? In England the age of criminal responsibility is 10 years while the age of consent is 16 years. What does this gap between social and sexual responsibility tell us? The final irony of this case is that one of the ten-year-olds later got convicted for possession of child pornography, which supposedly showed "children as young as two being raped by adults and penetrative sex with seven- or eight-year-olds." It is as if the ring has closed. Children become as adults shape them.

Innocence is a relative term. Children are innocent as needed. Think of innocence as a reward children get. If the child is a 'child', is nice and docile, the child is innocent, that is it behaves as adults expect it to do. Adults think that children are nice and docile because they are innocent, but it is actually the opposite. Children are innocent when they are nice and docile and do not kill two-year-olds. Thus we can read about a case [in Norwegian; the heading says 'Girl (8) raped by 10-year-olds'] where a child (8 years) is innocent and two other children (10 years) are guilty. When we read that the child (8 years) is also guilty [the heading says 'Girl (8) fabricated rape story'], we are left wondering where the innocence went. Another example is advertising aimed at children. In Norway, such advertising is prohibited. Children are innocent in the sense that they are impressionable. In the US, a child's impressionability is actually a proof that they are nice and docile, and therefore innocent. Therefore, advertising aimed at children is not grooming. There is little or no ethics in marketing aimed at children because adults do not perceive this as a breach of a child's innocence. Children are innocent when they do what is expected of them, in this case become obedient and nice consumers. Adults think that innocence is a quality of children themselves, but in reality innocence is only expectations adults have about children.

The most common swearing expression in the US is

fuck you

two words that simply say it all with regard to the Anglo-American sexual culture. When you want to hurt someone, when you want to curse a person, you say 'intercourse you' or 'have sex with you', which obviously implies that sexual acts are the most despicable and demeaning thing to do against another human being. Imagine then how understandable it is to not fuck children. But also consider how understandable it becomes for children that fucking is degrading. In a way this type of thinking has already come to Norway, because when we say that something 'suger' [sucks], we mean that it is not at all good. In this way, negative attitudes to sexual acts become part of our language and will subconsciously shape our thinking about sexuality.

The reader may now be left with the impression that children in the UK and US do not have sex. That is of course nonsense. Just look at the number of teenage pregnancies. In many ways, the Anglo-American culture is a body and sex fixated culture, not in spite of the attitude to children and nudity, but because of it. It is like the Norwegian attitude to alcohol. Because we have a sales monopoly, restrictions and a temperance tradition, we also have 'helgefylla' [a Norwegian expression for weekend drinking binges], an acting out, and a generally unrelaxed and inconsistent attitude to alcohol.

In the US, you see children in roles we in Norway are not used to. A good example are beauty pageants for children. The first Little Miss America was organized in 1961, just at the start of the youth culture we now live in.

Little Miss America
Little Miss America.

There are TV-shows whose sole content is to dress up and show off children as if they were adults. The Anglo-American culture worship youth and the youthful. The child ideal hoovers over it like a holy spirit. Look at clothes and fashion. There are online stores that sell costumes for children and adults, and the costumes look the same. The young ladies posing below do not radiate sex-registries and infanticide, GPS transmitters and life sentences.

Costume1 Costume2 Costume3
Alice in Wonderland costumes from here.

From a Norwegian perspective we may of course say that it all stems from an enormous hypocrisy. But to understand that hypocrisy and all its conflicts and contradictions is to understand the Anglo-American sexual culture. The American entertainment industry uses sex for all it is worth. This is allowed as long as it serves commercial purposes. Sexuality is sublimated into consumption.

Hit me baby one more time
Britney Spears 16 years old in a Catholic school-girl uniform from 1998.
Hit me one more time? From here.

Pedophobia conceals the child as an acting subject, while at the same time creates the image of the child as a passive object. Think about this assertion when you see the clip below. The video is taken from a big dance competition in California, the World of Dance [archived; heading reads "Seven-year-olds provoke in video clip"].

From You Tube.

Men have been put in jail for selling images less sexual than this. Read about A Little Agency.

How can this dance performance be explained? How can it at all take place in a country that can give people life imprisonment for being in possession of a handful of child pornographic images, see here. To the extent that it can be explained rationally, the cue word is control. Dance is control, control of the body. Dance is a way of steering the body, having control over the body, as law enforcement has control over the sex offender. The children in this video are disciplined and useful. Here we talk performance and achievement. It may imply a reward. Maybe they will end up in Hollywood one day? The sexual aspect is masked and becomes useful.

It would be completely wrong to say that the Anglo-American sexual culture is sex-negative. Had it only been that, it would not have such appeal. Then it would not have such impact on Norway and other countries. It is far more accurate to say that it is a way of enforcing sexuality that is useful. It condemns sexuality as harmful and blesses it as profitable. It turns sexuality into a disease and offers healing. It gets rid of the useless in sexuality and embraces the useful. It disciplines and rewards. If one were to resort to a religious metaphor, one could say that the sexual culture has at one and the same time a 'you are sinful' and 'you can be saved' sentence. The sentences must of necessity live in conflict with one another, and that's also the point.

The Anglo-American sexual culture is a constant conflict. Understanding the culture is to understand this conflict and how it affects sexuality and how sexuality affects it. Sexuality is this conflict, the erotic-neurotic tension that lies in the conflict. Therefore the sexuality in this culture is also fundamentally perverse.


We have seen that pedophobia and religion are linked together through so-called satanic ritual abuse. This is the belief in violence in sexuality, the belief that sexuality and evil are linked together. Sexual acts with children are therefore a manifestation of pure evil. This is bad, but nothing becomes worse than when science makes its entry and tries to rationalize this belief. Before we start describing the role of science in pedophobia, it is first necessary to say something about the relationship between science and religion.

Both religion and science are about truths. The difference is not that the one is 'right' while the other is 'wrong'. The difference lies in how truths are legitimized. In religion truths will always (ultimately) be legitimized by circular arguments. Something is true because it is the Truth, and it is the Truth because it is true. The legitimacy of the truth lies in who provides the truth. In science, all truths have to be based on measurements, which in principle can be done by anyone, anywhere and anytime. Strictly speaking, there are no truths in science, only hypotheses that are true until disproved by observation, see here [the page in Norwegian says "Proof in natural science can only be made by proving that a scientific hypotheses or theory is not correct."]. The truths (hypotheses) in science are therefore verifiable and non-circular, but also without absolute authority.

The lack of legitimacy does not mean that religious truths are wrong or irrelevant. It may well be that religious and philosophical truths are more important for man than scientific truths. I will not take a stance on this. I will just point out that there is a difference in how we legitimize truths in religion and science. This difference is important to bear in mind when we come to truths about sexuality.

Science today is hugely respected and has an equally great authority. One might argue that the scientific method is the basis for our whole modern society. The rationality in science, its independence and verifiability, but also its search for knowledge, its self-criticism and lack of absolute truths, explain not only our prosperity but also our ideals of equality, human rights and the simple fact that superstition and arbitrariness do not govern society.

We are therefore surprised when we begin to study science's relationship to sexuality. Is the scientific method not valid in this area? Are the hypotheses science gives us about sexuality objective, verifiable, non-circular, self-critical and without claim of being absolute?

Psychopathia Sexualis

Let's go back to the year 1886. In this year Richard von Krafft-Ebing published the book Psychopathia Sexualis: eine Klinisch-Forensische Studie, which in English is something like Sexual psychopathy: a clinical-forensic study. von Krafft-Ebing is considered the founder of sexology, the scientific study of human sexuality or studies about human sexual behavior, fantasies and attitudes. Sexology is basically the scientific approach to human sexuality.

The book has a scientific form and uses scientific language, which by contemporary standards included Latin phrases. von Krafft-Ebing was then also a trained physician and held a professorship at the University of Vienna. In the book he puts forward the following scientific hypothesis about human sexuality:

Psychopathia Sexualis in the German 9.edition and the English 12.edition, page 13:

Insofern die Liebe ein sinnliches Verlangen zur Voraussetzung hat, ist sie normaliter nur denkbar zwischen geschlechtsverschiedenen und zu geschlechtlichem Verkehr fähigen Individuen.

Since love implies the presence of sexual desire it can only exist between persons of different sex capable of sexual intercourse.

von Krafft-Ebing believed that sexuality (physical love) was only conceivable when a particular configuration of gender and gender capacity was in place. He did not use much time to substantiate this hypothesis. It does not seem that he even regarded it as a hypothesis, but rather as an a priori truth regardless of observation and study. This puts sexology in a slightly strange light when it claims to be scientific.

When von Krafft-Ebing then classified sexual deviation, the hypothesis of conceivable sexuality was absolutely central. He concluded that there existed four types of anomalies or so-called cerebral neuroses:

Psychopathia Sexualis, page 52:

(1) Paradoxia, i.e., sexual excitement occurring independently of the period of the physiological processes in the generative organs.

(2) Anæsthesia (absence of sexual instinct). Here all organic impulses arising from the sexual organs, as well as all impulses, and visual, auditory and olfactory sense impressions fail to sexually excite the individual. This is a physiological condition in childhood and old age.

(3) Hyperæsthesia (increased desire, satyriasis). In this state there is an abnormally increased impressionability of the vita sexualis to organic, psychical and sensory stimuli (abnormally intense libido, lustfulness, lasciviousness). The stimulus may be central (nymphomania, satyriasis) or peripheral, functional or organic.

(4) Paræsthesia (perversion of the sexual instinct, i.e., excitability of the sexual functions to inadequate stimuli). Sub-divisions of paræsthesia are:
(a) Sadism (...)
(b) Masochism (...)
(c) Fetichism (...)
(d) Antipathic Sexuality (...)

Deviation was thus desires at the wrong time in life (childhood and old age), insufficient desire, too much desire or sexual desire for the wrong object. To this last group belonged so-called antipathic (repulsive) sexuality, which was homosexuality in all its forms. Pedophilia was not specifically mentioned right here.

Some deviations were purely physiological. Anæsthesia could thus be explained by impotence. Otherwise, masturbation ("Missbrauch der Generationsorgane") and pathological conditions in the central nervous system were the main reasons for deviation. Both acquired and hereditary factors played their part. von Krafft-Ebing called hereditary factors for functional signs of degeneration ("functionelle Degenerationszeichen"). In contemporary thinking, both individuals and whole populations (races) could show degeneration and decay in their moral-physical constitution through an accumulation of errors in the genetic material.

Psychopathia Sexualis, page 48:

ANOMALIES of the sexual functions are met with especially in civilized races. This fact is explained in part by the frequent abuse of the sexual organs, and in part by the circumstance that such functional anomalies are chiefly the signs of an inherited diseased condition of the central nervous system ("functional signs of degeneration").

What about all those who had masturbated in their childhood and by observation actually were not gay, pedophile or had any other anomaly? von Krafft-Ebing then pointed at hereditary factors. He was wise enough to use both hereditary and acquired factors in circular reasoning in which the explanations explained each other and the premise was repeated in the conclusion. The hypothesis of sexual deviation was a hypothesis that could not be contradicted or falsified. This violated an important principle in all science. Already in 1891 this was pointed out by an Englishman in the case of homosexuality:

John Addington Symonds: A problem in modern ethics, page 37:

It must be observed, in criticizing Krafft-Ebing's theory, that it is so constructed as to render controversy almost impossible. If we point out that a large percentage of males who practise onanism in their adolescence do not acquire sexual inversion, he will answer that these were not tainted with hereditary disease (...) The invocation of heredity in problems of this kind is always hazardous. We only throw the difficulty of explanation further back. At what point of the world's history was the morbid taste acquired? If none but tainted individuals are capable of homosexual feelings, how did these feelings first come into existence?

From this we can make the following assertion about pedophobia in science:

Pedophobia present hypotheses about children and sexuality
that can neither be verified nor gainsaid.

The really interesting question is why von Krafft-Ebing and other scientists in Europe at the time - not least Sigmund Freud - wanted to define sexual deviation? What was the impetus behind this need to distinguish between sexuality and sickness? To understand this, it is only necessary to read Part 1 of Psychopathia Sexualis and cite what von Krafft-Ebing himself wrote about men, women, society and morality:

Psychopathia Sexualis:

Page 1: Sexual life no doubt is the one mighty factor in the individual and social relations of man which disclose his powers of activity, of acquiring property, of establishing a home, of awakening altruistic sentiments towards a person of the opposite sex, and towards his own issue as well as towards the whole human race.

Page 3: In this stage woman is conscious of the fact that her charms belong only to the man of her choice. She seeks to hide them from others. This forms the foundation of modesty, chastity and sexual fidelity so long as love endures.

Page 6: In comparing the various stages of civilization it becomes evident that, despite periodical relapses, public morality has made steady progress, and that Christianity is the chief factor in this advance.

Page 6: The episodes of moral decay always coincide with the progression of effeminacy, lewdness and luxuriance of the nations.

Page 7: The advance of puberty develops the impulses of youth, hitherto vague and undefined, into conscious realisation of the sexual power.

Page 14: Woman, however, if physically and mentally normal, and properly educated, has but little sensual desire.

Page 15: From the fact that by nature man plays the aggressive role in sexual life, he is exposed to the danger of overstepping the limits set by law and morality.

Page 15: The unfaithful wife not only dishonors herself, but also her husband and her family, not to speak of the possible uncertainty of paternity.

It should not be difficult to understand that the 'sexuality' von Krafft-Ebing regarded as non-deviant was the sexuality of the class he belonged to himself: the established bourgeoisie of Europe.

To this class belonged very specific roles for men, women and children. It was the role Christianity, marriage and family played. And there were virtues, like manliness, discipline, property and predictability. Today we know that these roles, institutions and virtues are wrong. If nothing else two world wars have taught us that. It was not "effeminacy, lewdness and luxuriance of the nations" that made 60 million people die in World War II. It was a result of the virtues von Krafft-Ebing put so highly, as they appeared in the German-Austrian bourgeois culture he came from. It was the belief in authority, strength and discipline. It was the belief in a hierarchy among men, where sexual deviation was part of an overall ranking in healthy and sick, strong and weak, 'über' and 'unter'. The belief that Europe had to be saved from degeneration nearly sent our entire civilization back to barbarism. But that does not mean that the benefits of defining sexual deviation are gone. To the extent that the bourgeois roles, institutions and virtues still exist, to that extent will the deviations he described still continue to define what we mean by sexuality.

Let us look at what von Krafft-Ebing wrote about children and sexuality.

Psychopathia Sexualis, page 55-56:

Every physician conversant with nervous affections and diseases incident to childhood is aware of the fact that manifestations of sexual instinct may occur in very young children. The observations of Ultzmann concerning masturbation in childhood are worthy of attention in relation to it. It is necessary here to differentiate between the numerous cases, in which, as a result of phimosis, balanitis, or oxyuris in the rectum or the vagina, young children have itching of the genitals, and experience a kind of pleasurable sensation from manipulations occasioned thereby, and thus come to practise masturbation; and those cases in which sexual ideas and impulses occur in the child as a result of cerebral processes without peripheral causes. It is only in this latter class of cases that we have to do with premature manifestations of sexual instinct. In such cases it may always be regarded as an accompanying symptom of a neuropsychopathic constitutional condition.

For von Krafft-Ebing there were only two possibilities if children stimulated themselves. Either it was a result of pleasurable itching in relation to disease in the rectum or vagina, or it came about by "cerebral processes without peripheral causes". In this latter case the child had symptoms of a "neuropsychopathic constitution".

The role completely normal sexuality in children played is not mentioned anywhere. The term 'normal sexuality in children' was a term von Krafft-Ebing had no use for, and we understand why. It would break with the hypothesis he was proving. He believed that the actions of a sexual nature were either caused by disease or were manifestations of disease. To believe this is a manifestation of pedophobia.

Scientists like to refer to observation when they substantiate their hypotheses. Science is after all more than mere assumptions and prejudice. In psychiatry such observations are called cases (case reports). In such a case the circumstances of a selected person are accounted for and used to support a general hypothesis. Let us look at two such cases in Psychopathia Sexualis:

Psychopathia Sexualis, side 56-57:

A case of Marc's ("Die Geisteskrankheiten," etc., von Ideler, i., p. 66) illustrates very well these conditions. The subject was a girl of eight years of age, of respectable family, who was devoid of all child-like and moral feelings, and had masturbated from her fourth year; at the same time she consorted with boys of the age of ten or twelve. She had thought of killing her parents, that she might become her own mistress and give herself up to pleasure with men.

In these cases of premature manifestation of libido the children begin early to masturbate; and, since they are greatly predisposed constitutionally, they often sink into dementia, or become subjects of severe degenerative neuroses or psychoses. (...)

Zamlaco ("L'Encephale," 1882, Tr. 1, 2) tells the disgusting story of two sisters affected with premature and perverse sexual desire. The elder R. masturbated at the age of seven, practiced lewdness with boys, stole wherever she could, seduced her four-year-old sister into masturbation, and at the age of ten was given up to the practice of the most revolting vices. Even ferrum candens ad clitoridem had no effect in overcoming the practice, and she masturbated with the cassock of a priest while he was exhorting her to reformation.

First, a case of an eight year old girl who came from a "respectable family", from the bourgeoisie we know. This girl was devoid of childlike qualities and moral feelings. We conclude that the state 'child' is a specific condition of 'good morals', what we today would call 'innocence'. She had masturbated since she was four. She mingled with older boys, this before she was old enough to be engaged to a particular older boy. Not good. What reputation would she get from this and how would she later fare on the marriage market? But worst of all, she had thoughts of killing her parents ("Honour thy father and thy mother") to surrender herself to desires with adult men. We must presume that this last piece of information came to light in a forced and not so nice interview with the doctor.

Then the case of two sisters suffering from "premature and perverse sexual desire". Early sexual desire and perverse sexual desire is the same, it seems. The elder sister was at the same time (and we must presume for the same reason) an onanist, pervert, seducer and criminal. She stole. When she was ten years old, she gave herself up to the most "revolting vices". The doctor who described her could apparently not distinguish between his own moral judgment of these vices and his professional characterization of them. But do not believe that the medical profession was paralyzed in the face of this girl. She underwent a ferrum candens ad clitoridem. If we look in a dictionary, we find that 'ferrum candens' is Latin for 'hot iron'. The word 'kauterisasjon' [cauterization in English] is the Norwegian word for the etching of tissue by means of burning. In other words, this girl got her clitoris burned away with an iron by a doctor. In the Europe of the 1800s they had much more tangible means to realize pedophobia. Today's exposure in sex registries seem tame in comparison. If von Krafft-Ebing really was so concerned about perversity, why didn't he include a single case of a doctor who could perform such an operation?

When a scientist uses cases to substantiate a hypothesis, there are two important considerations to take. First, any scientific study must take into account a certain number of cases so that the hypothesis is not just a result of coincidence in the sample data. This is called statistical significance. If you for example claim that heads is just as likely as tails to turn up when flipping a coin, it is not enough to just flip the coin four times, for it may well be that heads turn up three times and tails only once. Secondly, it is very important in a scientific study to make a representative sample of the population investigated. This is statistical inference. If not, the claim will just say something about the sample made. An example: if you are going to examine the sexuality of heterosexual men, you do not examine 100 inmates who have abused and killed their wives. Such a sample may tell us something about violent men, but nothing about heterosexuality.

It does not seem that von Krafft-Ebing was aware of the importance of statistical significance and statistical inference. In the section on children and sexuality (page 55-57) we count only four cases, the fourth of which is inadequately reproduced in the text (in previous editions it is not included). When we then look at the sample, we are struck by how often criminal behavior and/or various physical and mental illnesses not related to sexuality occur. Obviously von Krafft-Ebing would assert that sexual deviation was related to criminal behavior and/or physical/mental illness. In the observations he made, these conditions did coincide. In statistics, this is called a correlation. von Krafft-Ebing made the mistake of claiming that the correlation was a causality, a cause. Sexual deviation was the cause of criminal behavior and physical/mental illness, he maintained. Taking a correlation for a causality is one of the most common ways to misuse statistics. You may for example observe that some have luck in gambling when they cross their fingers, but no one would believe that there is a causal link between crossing one's fingers and winning a game. All serious scientists know that and will try to avoid hypotheses based on random correlations. This is what separates science from superstition.

It is characteristic of pedophobia that all problems a child (and later an adult) might have is attributed to the child's sexuality. The correlation 'sex and problems' becomes the causality 'sex leads to problems'. Often the psychiatrist will invest much effort (in terms of long interviews) to determine whether a child with problems has had sex. Not only that, cause and effect can be reversed. The causality 'sex leads to problems' can be turned to the causality 'problems lead to sex' because the correlation 'sex and problems' may just as well imply the one as the other. If we know that a child had sex, we look high and low for problems. This can be expressed by the following assertion:

Pedophobia will always assume that sex and harm are associated.

Under the section "Sadism. Association of Active Cruelty and Violence with Lust" we read this:

Psychopathia Sexualis, page 83-84:

The examples of the degenerate Cæsars (Nero, Tiberius) are also instructive. They took delight in having youths and maidens slaughtered before their eyes. Not less so is the history of that monster, Marschalls Gilles de Rays (Jacob, "Curiosites de l'histoire de France," Paris, 1858), who was executed in 1440, on account of mutilation and murder, which he had practiced for eight years on more than 800 children. As the monster confessed it, it was from reading Suetonius and the descriptions of the orgies of Tiberius, Caracalla, etc., that the idea was gained of locking children in his castles, torturing them, and then killing them. This inhuman wretch confessed that in the commission of these acts he enjoyed inexpressible pleasure. He had two assistants. The bodies of the unfortunate children were burned, and only a number of heads of particularly beautiful children were preserved—as memorials.

I do not know much about sadomasochism. I would think that sadomasochists are offended if they are accused of being evil. We are tempted to believe that Professor Richard von Krafft-Ebing had read too many books and been in too many courtrooms and institutions. There is a mismatch between the selection he made and the general population he was speaking about. He seems to have been attracted to the most bizarre stories to satisfy a scientific lust. The bourgeois life with Mrs. von Krafft-Ebing who always waited at home, the same safe routine — not too much, not too little, not too early, not too late — can in its way explain the attraction to such stories, and certainly did not help to make an accurate assessment of the diversity of human sexuality.

Mr. and Mrs. von Krafft-Ebing
Mr. and Mrs. von Krafft-Ebing.

Purely as history of science, it is interesting to note that in a book over 600 pages long (12'th edition) only three pages are devoted to childhood sexuality and nine to pedophilia. Let us look at what he wrote about pedophilia or pædophilia erotica. Under the section "Violation of Individuals Under the Age of Fourteen" we read:

Psychopathia Sexualis, page 552:

By violation of sexually immature individuals, the jurist understands all the possible immoral acts with persons under fourteen years of age that are not comprehended in the term "rape." The term violation, in the legal sense of the word, comprehends the most horrible perversions and acts, which are possible only to a man who is a slave to lust and morally weak, and, as is usually the case, lacking in sexual power.

A common feature of these crimes, committed on persons that really still belong more or less to childhood, is that they are unmanly, knavish, and often silly. It is a fact that such acts, excepting pathological cases, like those of imbeciles, paretics, and senile dements, are almost exclusively committed by young men who lack courage or have no faith in their virility; or by roues who have, to some extent, lost their power. It is psychologically incomprehensible that an adult of full virility and mentally sound should indulge in sexual abuses with children.

von Krafft-Ebing should at least be given credit for noting that rape and sexual acts with "individuals under fourteen years" are not the same. Instead lack of manliness, little faith in one's virility and loss of power (?) is used to stigmatize men who want such relationships.

Psychopathia Sexualis, page 554:

The manner in which acts of immorality are committed on children differs widely, especially where libertines are concerned. They consist chiefly in libidinous manipulations of the pudenda, active manustupration (using the child's hand for onanism), flagellation, etc. Less frequent is cunnilingus, irrumare in boys or girls, psedicatio puellarum, coitus inter femora, exhibition. The possibilities in this direction are inexhaustible.

The possibilities are many. We can be sure that for non-pedophiles what pedophiles and children do together is endlessly fascinating. Here is the time to point out a fact in the text itself. On page 55 we find the section "Sexual Instinct Manifested in Childhood". We have to go 500 pages further on before we find the section "Violation of Individuals Under the Age of Fourteen". These sections are separated both physically and conceptually. We assume that this is no coincidence. Had both sections stood together, and been understood together, it might perhaps have been easier for von Krafft-Ebing to understand that sexuality primarily exists and derives its meaning and content in relation to others. Pedophilia and child sexuality must be understood together. Another example of the necessity of a common understanding is the sexual preferences sadism and masochism, which first and foremost must be understood together in the term sadomasochism.

Psychopathia Sexualis, page 555:

In addition to the aforesaid categories of moral renegades, and those afflicted with psychico-moral weakness — be this congenital or superinduced by cerebral disease or episodical mental aberration — there are cases in which the sexually needy subject is drawn to children not in consequence of degenerated morality or psychical impotence, but rather by a morbid disposition, a psycho-sexual perversion, which may at present be named pædophilia erotica.

It is said that von Krafft-Ebing was the first to define pedophilia as a sexual orientation. He used the term "pædophilia erotica" to distinguish between those who had a sexual preference for children from those who committed situational sexual acts with children.

Psychopathia Sexualis, page 556:

The cases quoted here under the head of "pædophilia erotica" in the sense of sexual perversion have the following traits in common :—
(1) The individual afflicted is tainted.
(2) The affection for immature persons of the opposite sex is of a primary nature (quite in opposition to the debauchée); the imaginary representations are in an abnormal manner and very strongly indeed marked by lustful feelings.
(3) The libidinous acts—if you exclude the one case in which virility was present—consist only in immodest touches or manustupration [masturbation with the help of someone else's hand] of the victim. Nevertheless they adduce the gratification of the subject, even though ejaculation be not attained.

This is the first 'diagnosis' of pedophilia made. We must believe that the word 'tainted' (German: belastet) had a special meaning in von Krafft-Ebing's time. We assume that the word stood for acquired and/or inherited decay (degeneration). Was belastet a description of pedophiles or an objective, measurable feature of pedophiles? We assume that von Krafft-Ebing himself did not manage to distinguish between the two. It is impossible to understand why pedophilia should be restricted to persons of the opposite sex. It might be due to legal considerations. At the time, age of consent in Norway and other countries were defined only for girls, see here [a page in Norwegian that goes through the history of age of consent laws and related topics]. We must assume that the lack of virility, power and masculinity in sexual acts with children was a problem with the role men had at the time. Thus acts that were in harmony with a child's sexual development were looked down upon, and helped to diagnose the acts as deviant and sick.

It is interesting to see how this 'diagnosis' distinguishes itself from the modern version, as f.ex. found in the manual of the American Psychiatric Association.

DSM-IV-TR 302.2 Pedophilia :

A. Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children (generally age 13 years or younger).

B. The person has acted on these urges, or the sexual urges or fantasies cause marked distress or interpersonal difficulty.

C. The person is at least age 16 years and at least 5 years older than the child or children in Criterion A.

Note: Do not include an individual in late adolescence involved in an ongoing sexual relationship with a 12- or 13-year-old.

[as stated on the web page, these criteria are now obsolete; the new DSM-5 criteria are not substantially different, see here page 697, but one important difference is the distinction between pedophilia and so-called pedophilic disorder as made by criterion B, see here]

Here one avoids rough characterizations and are far more concrete and practical. The pedophobia in the modern version appears as a different type of unscientificness: to quantify periods, ages and age differences without justifying them or explaining their relevance. Why a period of 6 months? Why 13 years or younger? And why are you not a pedophile if you are younger than 16 years and not more than 5 years older? Pedophilia must be unique in a medical pathological sense, in that a completely normal process — getting older — makes you ill.

[it is fair to say that the modern diagnosis is made for legal purposes more than for its usefulness in any medical context]

Psychopathia Sexualis, page 557-558:

In the sphere of antipathic sexual instinct this perversion is by no means rare. In the same measure in which the former is an equivalent of the heterosexual instinct, so in this instance the predilection for the immature is equally abnormal and exceptional. Practically speaking, acts of immorality committed on boys by men sexually inverted are of the greatest rarity.

I include this quote to show how unrealistic von Krafft-Ebing could be. Those attempts at political activism that took place in the 20'th century was almost exclusively done by pedophiles attracted to boys and who also considered themselves gay. Read more here [about Norwegian activism in the 70s and 80s].

Psychopathia Sexualis, page 560:

At any rate these unfortunate beings should always be looked upon as a common danger to the weal and welfare of the community, and put under strict surveillance and medical treatment. The proper place for such persons is a sanitarium established for that purpose, not the prison.

von Krafft-Ebing believed that these 'unfortunate beings' should always be considered a common danger to society's welfare, and be subject to strict monitoring and medical treatment. How timeless is not this? The diagnoses and explanations of von Krafft-Ebing may be outdated, but not this statement. And precisely because of this, it tells us much more about the nature of pedophobia than his characterizations of pedophiles or his descriptions of children who were sexual. The real subject in Psychopathia Sexualis is fear. Generally, it was the fear for what one could not understand or take part in, the fear of being different from what one was supposed to be. Specifically, it was the fear that sons and daughters would become sexually active. It was the fear that they would be seduced by adults, or, to use a modern term, abused. Here lies the eternal fear in society. This is pedophobia. The fear is, if anything, stronger today than before. More on this later.

There is another aspect of von Krafft-Ebing book that becomes clearer as one delves deeper into it. Behind the external content, his classifications, cases, rulings, warnings, his views on women and homosexuality (which today seem very passé) we sense a fundamental question: What is sexuality?

Although von Krafft-Ebing never directly asked this question in the text and therefore never responded to it — he would perhaps have thought that the question was banal — his answer still appears clearly and can be expressed by this quote:

Psychopathia Sexualis, page 56 (German) and page 79 (English):

Als pervers muss — bei gebotener Gelegenheit zu naturgemässer geschlechtlicher Befriedigung — jede Aeusserung des Geschlechtstriebs erklärt werden, die nicht den Zwecken der Natur, i. e. der Fortpflanzung entspricht.

With opportunity for the natural satisfaction of the sexual instinct, every expression of it that does not correspond with the purpose of nature—i.e., propagation—must be regarded as perverse.

This is probably how von Krafft-Ebing would have responded if he were asked what sexuality was, i.e. he would have said that sexuality is procreation. It is a logical consequence of his theory about the sick and the perverted, all he ruled out as too early or too late, too much or too little, or just wrong. Sexuality took place between people of different genders, at the time of life when one could multiply, and the sexual act led to fertilization and pregnancy. Simple and easy. Neither more nor less.

There are some interesting conclusions that can be drawn from this response. The first is quite simple: human sexuality does not differ from the sexuality of other animal species. Or in other words, there is no sexuality, there is just reproductive behavior.

The second conclusion is this: our sexuality is something we are born with. It is found in an original and natural state, the state it was in when we were born. The sexuality will, if it is only allowed to be left alone and is not influenced by masturbation, immorality, seduction, hereditary disorders, illnesses, etc. always result in reproductive behavior.

The third conclusion is perhaps the most interesting: all behavior that leads to fertilization and pregnancy is not just normal, it can also always be justified. The behavior can be justified because it is innate, instinctive, something we do not have proper control over or can help. The behavior is normal because it leads to the normal aim: procreation.

Let us look at these conclusions and what they really mean.

Is human sexual behavior reproductive behavior? If we compare our behavior with the behavior of lower species, we do not find a compatibility. Our sexuality does not follow ruts or mating seasons, is not turned on in the spring and off in autumn, etc. but instead is constant. Its intensity may vary, but the degree of variation is individual. This is an observable fact. Higher species may have a behavior similar to the one observed in humans. In a study of the humanoid bonobo chimpanzee one found a behavior that went beyond pure reproductive behavior. This was documented in the article "Sociosexual Behavior Used for Tension Regulation in All Age and Sex Combinations Among Bonobos" by Frans B.M. de Waal, published in the collection of articles "Pedophilia — Biosocial Dimensions" (ISBN 0-387-97243-9) by Jay R. Feierman (ed.) from 1990. The article is reprinted below.

dewaal-1 dewaal-2 dewaal-3 dewaal-4
dewaal-5 dewaal-6 dewaal-7 dewaal-8
"Sociosexual Behavior Used for Tension Regulation in All Age and
Sex Combinations Among Bonobos" by Frans B.M. de Waal.

In a sense von Krafft-Ebing was right. Human sexual behavior exhibits a character not unlike the one found in animal species we can compare ourselves with. We can however safely presume that the case with the chimpanzees was not what von Krafft-Ebing had in mind when he used nature as an example. Where then is this sexuality free of perversions?

Is sexuality something we are born with? Does it exist in an original and natural state? If sexual behavior is not the same as reproductive behavior, what then is its natural state? We know that our species is distinguished by a great adaptivity and learning ability. Should our sexuality be an exception to this ability? If anything, its diversity and pliancy is what strikes us when we study it.

We observe a diversity. Why not let this diversity answer the question: what is sexuality? For if we believe that sexuality aquires content and meaning with others, if its formability is a prerequisite for fulfilling its social function, then the diversity itself will explain what sexuality is. Man was basically an group-animal. Our species lived in groups. Sexuality was a language we learned to use to give and receive cohesion, empathy, understanding and peace. It was the social function of sexuality that made it independent of age and rut in our early evolutionary history.

von Krafft-Ebing did not realize that the matrimonial sexuality, as it appeared in the social strata he came from, was just one among many alternative social expressions of sexuality. He did not understand that this sexuality, rather than being natural, was what his whole class did everything to create and maintain, through the roles given to men, women and children and through the legal, medical and social sanctions it had at its disposal. Psychopathia Sexualis is in itself the clearest expression that sexuality is to be shaped. This puts the whole idea of original and natural sexuality in its proper perspective. von Krafft-Ebing represented the new power in society, the bourgeoisie. This class based its position on diligence and discipline. Members of the class knew better than anyone how easy it was to lose one's place if one had a wrong sexuality. To this day there are those who have to leave their position because of sex scandals.

Can all sexual behavior be justified if it has procreation as an aim?

Arranged marriages or so-called marriages of convenience were common in the bourgeoisie at the time of von Krafft-Ebing. They served a special purpose: to secure property, status and reputation, often at the expense of true feeling. When von Krafft-Ebing speaks so warmly about true love, we must never forget what that often implied.

Far worse is it when we study the attitude to rape. In a comment we read:

New World Encyclopedia:

Krafft-Ebing believed that the purpose of sexual desire was procreation, and any form of desire that did not lead towards that ultimate goal was a perversion. Rape, for instance, was an aberrant act, but not a perversion, since pregnancy could result.

Krafft-Ebing saw and viewed women as basically sexually passive, and recorded no female sadists or fetishists in his case studies. Behavior that would be classified as masochism in men was categorized as "sexual bondage" in women, which was not a perversion, again because such behavior did not interfere with procreation.

It is now we understand that the actions von Krafft-Ebing maintained were sexual were just the roles he believed men and women should play. Rape was in a significant way not a perversion, only an "aberrant act". The following quote tells us that men took pleasure from overcoming a woman's resistance and making a conquest. Rape (sadism) was just an "excessive and monstrous" intensification of a natural phenomenon in sex life, especially in men.

Psychopathia Sexualis, page 85:

In the intercourse of the sexes, the active or aggressive rôle belongs to man; woman remains passive, defensive. It affords man great pleasure to win a woman, to conquer her; and in the ars amandi, the modesty of woman, who keeps herself on the defensive until the moment of surrender, is an element of great psychological significance and importance. Under normal conditions man meets obstacles which it is his part to overcome, and for which nature has given him an aggressive character. (...) Sadism is thus nothing else than an excessive and monstrous pathological intensification of phenomena,—possible, too, in normal conditions in rudimental forms,—which accompany the psychical vita sexualis, particularly in males.

This is totally in line with von Krafft-Ebing's theory of sexuality. Perversion was everything not concerned with fertilization and pregnancy. Because rape could lead to pregnancy, rape was not perverse. He did of course not defend rape, but that's not the point here.

It is a great paradox that von Krafft-Ebing used nature to distinguish between sick and healthy sexuality, while at the same time used culture to defend the need to manage and control this sexuality (eg. see page 70). Culture (we must assume the bourgeois culture) made us moral and something more than 'animal', while nature at the same time was a reference to health and normality, almost as if the reproductive behavior of the animal species was a result of their good morals. We must believe that von Krafft-Ebing himself never got to the bottom of this paradox. He could never reconcile what was socially unacceptable with what he thought was perverse. This explains both his problem with rape and his vacillation on homosexuality (which he eventually came to perceive as a differentiation, not a perversion, see here).

In reality, it is quite possible to reconcile the socially undesirable with the 'perverse', but only if we free ourselves from certain prejudices and stop believing that there is a natural sexuality. If we accept that the primary aim of human sexuality is its social function, we get a whole new appreciation for what — for lack of a better word — the perverse is. It is actions that violate the social function. It is actions that do not create harmony, do not lead to unity, do not communicating feelings, do not give understanding and peace among individuals in a group. It is an inability to communicate, to 'talk' and 'listen', to be able to express one's needs and be able to understand and take into account the needs of others. This ability is in a significant way not innate. It can only acquire meaning through relations. The ability can only be learned, measured and evaluated in a relation. The ability has nothing to do with propagation.

Sexology became more scientific. The Kinsey reports from 1948 and 1953 were less concerned with characterizing deviation and more concerned with observing human sexual behavior without preconceived theories. Observations of sexual response in children were also included. The reports have been called one of the most important scientific works of the 20'th century.

Kinsey Report 1948

In the mid-1970s the books of Floyd M. Martinson marked the end of unaffected research on childhood sexuality in the United States. It is no coincidence that it ended then. In 1974 the first US law emerged that required reporting all cases of sex with children. Scientists could no longer collect data on sexual contact between children and adults without having to report it. The time for collecting neutral observations, a fundamental prerequisite for all science, was past. In Norway, the last empirical (experience-based) survey of child sexuality was made in 1981 at the University of Bergen (B.H. Gundersen, P.S. Melås, J.E. Skår: Sexual Behavior of Preschool Children: Teachers' Observations, see a summary here). Norway got a law that criminalized failure to report in 2000, see here and here [in Norwegian].

Another reason for why there is no research on child sexuality is simply the fact that the government does not want to fund such research. This was pointed out in 1977 by the American sexologist John Money in an article in The Sciences vol.16-6. Read his conclusion on the last page:

the sciences vol 16 no. 6   the sciences vol 16 no. 6   the sciences vol 16 no. 6
Childhood: The Last Frontier in Sex Research,
The Sciences vol.16 no.6 from 1977.

The article "Problems of Research into Adult/Child Sexual Interaction" from 1996 in IPT journal gives us a good overview of the reasons why there is no research on sexual learning and interaction between children and adults. One especially notice that interviewing children directly can result in prosecution. It is also noteworthy that scientists who are interested in research in this area can be accused of being pedophiles. No one questions the motives of those who undermine such research. Often, to gain knowledge of child-adult sexual interaction, one is referred to those who are in treatment for sexual assault, hardly a representative selection of the population. Adults with memories of their own childhood may generally not give an adequate picture of what or why things happened. What one remembers will be shaped by what one is supposed to remember or what one is allowed to remember. To interview adults who are convicted for sex crimes do not give a good picture of harmonious relationships between children and adults, not because they all used force, but because the judicial process itself tends to influence the assessment of events. From this we can infer the following about the nature of pedophobia:

Pedophobia forces everyone with a different view of children and sexuality to conformity or silence.

No serious sexologist would today claim that children are not sexual. This is also the reason why masturbation is no longer a medical problem. Children are sexual, but child sexual acts are abuse. Pedophobia will always interpret the sexual acts of children with others as abuse. In this context it is interesting to study how child sexual abuse is defined. This was discussed here for Norwegian conditions. Let us look at three English definitions made by a professional organization, a government department and the World Health Organization.

[this definition was originally in a brochure on APA online; this brochure now seems to be gone; the quote below can be retrieved from Google Books]

APA Online, 2001, "What is Child Sexual Abuse?" :

There is no universal definition of child sexual abuse. However, a central characteristic of any abuse is the dominant position of an adult that allows him or her to force or coerce a child into sexual activity. Child sexual abuse may include fondling a child's genitals, masturbation, oral-genital contact, digital penetration, and vaginal and anal intercourse. Child sexual abuse is not solely restricted to physical contact; such abuse could include noncontact abuse, such as exposure, voyeurism, and child pornography. Abuse by peers also occurs.

Sexual abuse of children is something adults do in their capacity as adults, but can also take place between children ("peers"). Abuse can also occur without body contact ("noncontact"). Abuse is therefore universal. Sexual abuse of children is every conceivable sexual act involving children, whether it happened with or without violence, with or without consent, with or without contact, by young or old. This definition is pedophobic because it expresses a general hostility to sexuality in children.

[again a definition that seems to have disappeared from; the original quote can be found archived here under Clinical Definitions; we read at top "Most professionals are fairly certain they know what child sexual abuse is, and there is a fair amount of agreement about this"] - Definitions, Scope, and Effects of Child Sexual Abuse :

Although clinical definitions of sexual abuse are related to statutes, the guiding principle is whether the encounter has a traumatic impact on the child. Not all sexual encounters experienced by children do. Traumatic impact is generally affected by the meaning of the act(s) to the child, which may change as the child progresses through developmental stages. The sexual abuse may not be "traumatic" but still leave the child with cognitive distortions or problematic beliefs; that is, it is "ok" to touch others because it feels good.

Sexual abuse must be perceived as traumatic for the child. If the experience is not traumatic, it will later be experienced as traumatic because of "developmental stages" that makes us realize that the experience was traumatic. The experience is therefore really always traumatic. And even if the experience was not traumatic and is not later perceived as traumatic, it will create "cognitive distortions" or "problematic beliefs" which still makes the experience traumatic. It can go so far that we begin to believe that it is freely allowed ("ok") to touch others because it feels good. First they say that it is important how children themselves perceive the event. Then they say that it is unimportant how children perceive the event because the event is, becomes or is considered to be traumatic. The definition claims to take into account the child's interpretation, but there is only one correct interpretation. The definition is pedophobic because it juxtaposes child sexuality with trauma.

Report on the Consultation on Child Abuse Prevention 1999:

Child sexual abuse is the involvement of a child in sexual activity that he or she does not fully comprehend, is unable to give informed consent to, or for which the child is not developmentally prepared and cannot give consent, or that violate the laws or social taboos of society. Child sexual abuse is evidenced by this activity between a child and an adult or another child who by age or development is in a relationship of responsibility, trust or power, the activity being intended to gratify or satisfy the needs of the other person. This may include but is not limited to:

* The inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual activity.
* The exploitative use of child in prostitution or other unlawful sexual practices.
* The exploitative use of children in pornographic performances and materials.

Here we first see an apparent willingness to define abuse by how the child him- or herself perceive the event. It is something the child does not quite understand ("fully comprehend"), can not give informed consent to or is not developed enough to understand ("developmentally prepared"). Inducement and coercion are also mentioned. But then they say that sexual abuse is what violates the "laws or social taboos of society". We have to believe that what a child has information about, or is allowed to have information about, can understand or has the opportunity to understand and can give informed consent to, depend on the laws, attitudes and taboos that exist in society. What this definition therefore says is that abuse is anything that violates the laws and taboos. It attempts to put the child in center, but ends up by putting society's laws and taboos in center. We read that abuse is coercion to make the child engage in unlawful acts. In reality, this says nothing more than that abuse is abuse because it is illegal. It is illegal because it is abuse and it is abuse because it is illegal. We have previously mentioned how pedophobia uses circular arguments, where the premise is repeated in the conclusion. The definition is pedophobic because it is based on social taboos and not on a child's perceptions and a child's right to information and awareness.

There has of course been done research on children's sexuality since the 1970s, but these studies do not have the same neutral premise as the studies of Kinsey, Martinson and others. Today the premise is basically abuse, and child sexuality only has interest in relation to abuse.

Sexual behavior and development in children, NKVTS: [archived, in Norwegian]

Knowledge about sexual development and behavior in children can help us understand how we should relate to child sexual behavior and when the behavior is worrisome. Sexuality in children is a sensitive, increasingly ideological and controversial topic and sexual behavior in children can be perceived and understood very differently. It is important to distinguish between what is normal and healthy sexual play and exploration among children and sexual behaviors children may display after having been sexually abused.

[the quote can also be found in this Norwegian report, page 10]

Sexology is perhaps more than any other scientific field a matter of ideology and faith. Throughout history, there are countless examples of the conflict between science and faith. Read about the trial of Galileo Galilei when he claimed that the earth went around the sun. When people in power have an interest in maintaining a worldview, the truth — at least in the short term — will always lose.

Let us look at an example that illustrates the relationship between sexology and faith.

In 1998 the Rind study showed that the harm done against children by sexual contact was neither particularly widespread nor particularly strong. Statistically, the harm done from bad family circumstances (insecure early life) could better explain observed maladjustment. This harm was consistently confused with the harm done by sexual abuse.

A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using
College Samples


Many lay persons and professionals believe that child sexual abuse (CSA) causes intense harm, regardless of gender, pervasively in the general population. The authors examined this belief by reviewing 59 studies based on college samples. Meta-analyses revealed that students with CSA were, on average, slightly less well adjusted than controls. However, this poorer adjustment could not be attributed to CSA because family environment (FE) was consistently confounded with CSA, FE explained considerably more adjustment variance than CSA, and CSA-adjustment relations generally became nonsignificant when studies controlled for FE. Self-reported reactions to and effects from CSA indicated that negative effects were neither pervasive nor typically intense, and that men reacted much less negatively than women. The college data were completely consistent with data from national samples. Basic beliefs about CSA in the general population were not supported.

The report rejected the claim that there is a causal link between sex and harm (assertion 11 as mentioned earlier). The report provoked a storm because it challenged the pedophobia in society. In Norway, J S Halvorsen in the Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association published an article in April 2003 with the title "How harmful is sexual abuse of a child?". This article attacked the Rind study. Let us look closer at it.

When pedophile sympathies with great likelihood affect the research findings of a study and twist them in the direction of trivializing the harm done by sexual abuse of children, it is disturbing.

Already at the beginning of the article Halvorsen is concerned about the people who wrote the study. Halvorsen can not honestly believe that the sympathies of the authors of a scientific work is crucial for how we judge the conclusion of the scientific work?

The Rind study is not simply remarkable for its scientific results, but also for being the first scientific work formally condemned by the US Congress. Both Houses in July 1999 unanimously adopted a resolution rejecting the conclusions in the Rind study.

In the year 1616 "the holy inquisition" in Rome made a verdict that characterized the earth's movement around the sun for absurd and heretical. That the US Congress found it necessary to condemn a scientific work in the year 1999 should disturb Halvorsen, and make him understand that 'child abuse' is more a matter of faith [and politics, it must be added] than a matter of facts.

This article will highlight the methodological criticism published against the Rind study and look at the research in recent years on sexual abuse of children to check if the main conclusion of the Rind study has scientific validity: that the harmful effects of child sexual abuse are exaggerated.

The main conclusion of the Rind study is not concerned with refuting that there are cases where children really have suffered from sexual coercion. The main conclusion of the Rind study is that the harm done after sexual experiences is in general neither particularly widespread nor particularly strong, and that it is often mistaken for harm done by adverse family circumstances. Halvorsen ought to have understood this distinction.

It may well be that the Rind study and Halvorsen are actually talking about two separate things. The Rind study shows that sexual contacts between children and adults in general are not particularly harmful, while Halvorsen is talking about cases where children really have been traumatized by coercion. No one doubts that there are children who have been forced sexually and that the damage done is real and serious. But to use this fact to say something general about sexual relationships between adults and children is wrong. The Rind study tells us that it is not possible to draw any general conclusions about such matters, but such an understanding of the study is obviously not compatible with pedophobia.

The Rind study, central in Einar Kringlen's article, is a true born child of this period. The article is largely founded on «the backlash» ...

Does Halvorsen not take the necessity of "the backlash" seriously? Is he not aware of how many innocent fathers were convicted of incest in the early 1990s? Does he not know the Bjugn affair ?

["The backlash" is a term used to describe the aftermath of the incest-hysteria in Norway in the 1990s, when false accusations of incest sent innocents to prison; the headline of the article in VG from 2003 reads "Eigth cases of miscarriage of justice after the mistakes of doctors. Innocents convicted for incest."; the mistake of doctors referred to was the then widespread belief that a doctor could ascertain whether a girl had been 'violated' by simply looking at her genitals]

The authors of the Rind study want to legitimize that children and adults can have a sexual relationship as long as the child enters it voluntarily. They wish to get rid of the term abuse because it is only a moral superstructure and not adequate for the scientific truth they arrive at in their study. They even propose to make a separate designation for this type of relationship: «child-adult sexual relation».

Nowhere in the Rind study do we find the words "child-adult sexual relation". In the conclusion on page 41 the study says the following: "A willing encounter with positive reactions would be labeled simply adult-child sex, a value-neutral term". With a value-neutral term for this type of relationship, the approach to children and sexuality would become more scientific. Halvorsen should also see the benefit of this.

The term 'sexual abuse' has in psychological literature been used to describe virtually any sexual act between children, youth and adults, in addition to being used for acts between children and acts among youth where coercion is involved. This indiscriminate use of the term abuse, and the associated abuse of the terms 'victim' and 'perpetrator', is reprehensible because it lacks scientific validity and objectivity. Scientists often have trouble distinguishing between 'abuse' as damage done to children and 'abuse' as a violation of social norms. Sexologist John Money observed that in our culture we tend to equate damage with what is not allowed when it comes to sexuality (see page 3 of the Rind study).

The Rind study is based on surveys that used broad definitions of sexual abuse, that included non-physical contact abuse. Altogether 73% of the surveys in the Rind study included non-physical contact in their definition of abuse.

Halvorsen knows very well how child sexual abuse is defined (see above). Should we change the definition to make the harm after sexual abuse greater? That is ironic. Does Halvorsen not belive that there is harm done whenever a child pornographic image is shown? Otherwise the conclusion of the Rind study is the same if we exclude cases of non-physical contact, see the answer to question 5 here.

The serious methodological flaws and shortcomings of the Rind study makes it appropriate to question the validity of the Rind study's main conclusions. Research-wise, the study stands completely isolated, both with regard to its results, and the outlook the authors advocate on child sexual abuse.

The Rind study was published in the American Psychological Bulletin, one of the world's most reputable scientific journals within its field. Before publication, the study was carefully reviewed by a panel of experts (peer review) in APA, the organization of scientific and professional psychologists in the US. Halvorsen should know what it takes to make such a publication, but maybe Halvorsen believes that the management and editors of APA also have 'pedophile sympathies'?

APA published an interal memo in which they defended the scientific content of the Rind study. They had no reason to reconsider the study again. There is nothing wrong with the figures and statistical conclusions in the Rind study. As late as 2009 Rind could show that the conclusions in the report were equally correct. The study is isolated because a similar compilation and analysis has never been done before. What views the authors might have about sexuality is irrelevant. This is a scholarly work, not a religious text.

The three authors, Rind, Tromovitch and Bauserman have been criticized and accused for their sympathies and connections to the pedophile community. Rind's research interest has been sex between adults and children, especially between men and boys.

As mentioned earlier, this is not a scientific argument. The argument is also unfair, irrelevant and pedophobic [if not also homophobic].

Until recently it was believed that abuse was limited to exposing the child to psychological trauma. In the 1990s it was proved by US and Canadian research teams that abused children through stress got a disrupted brain development, especially in the two centers of the limbic system, the hippocampus and amygdala.

It is necessary to remind Halvorsen that science could once prove that masturbation led to pimples and epilepsy. Read here about the kind of historical heritage we have in this area. Today we would denote this as unscientific. Stress may well cause disturbances in brain development, but it is unscientific to assert that stress is caused by sexual acts. When it comes to physical contact with children, it is actually the opposite. It is lack of physical contact, rather than unwanted physical contact, that leads to severe brain injuries, see the article "Altered brain development following global neglect in early childhood".

The Rind study suffers from the mistake of defining a child's reality in relation to adult needs on how a child should be, namely able to have sexual relations with adults.

The idea that children can consent to sex with adults was never a premise in the Rind study and was neither attepted proved nor disproved.

But there is no basis in research to make general claims that the damage done by sexual abuse of children is greatly exaggerated.

The Rind study shows exactly that the harm done after sexual acts involving children are greatly exaggerated, both in scope and degree. We can say what we want about sexual relations between children and adults, but that does not change how such relations are actually experienced by the children themselves.

It is somewhat ironic that Halvorsen dislikes the fact that a study shows that the harm done to children is not so big as we would think. If Halvorsen really cared for the welfare of children, would he not have been happy for a study that showed that the harm is exaggerated? Or is Halvorsen actually concerned about something quite different, where the suffering of children is something we need?

Children who grow up in dysfunctional families where sexual abuse occurs, have least of all the need for new myths. They badly need all of society's institutions around them to wake up to a large and serious social problem that is probably passed from one generation to the next.

Sex in families do not create dysfunctional family systems. Insecurity, arbitrariness and violence do create dysfunctional families, which in turn can lead to psychiatric symptoms. Sexual coercion has to do with power abuse, and such abuse occurs in families where there is insecurity, authority and aggression. We do not need myths that say that sex and trauma are always connected. Such myths only create victims and uncertainty. Children who grow up with such uncertainty will react with fear and aggression to their own children's sexuality. Then the pedophobia will be propagated from one generation to the next and become a serious social problem. We fight power abuse by fighting pedophobia in society.

[this point will become clearer later when I describe five psychological profiles of the typical pedophobe, the person suffering from pedophobia, especially The Hypocrite; it is ironic that much child abuse is done by those who loudly condemn pedophiles and pedophilia; child abuse is simply a subclass of power abuse in general]

A key point in the Rind study is that children who have been sexual with adults are not necessarily harmed by it. As mentioned, one of the assertions of pedophobia is that sex and harm are always associated (assertion 11). Let us look at this more closely. Let us look at a specific case documenting that children were not harmed by having sex with adults, but also how this fact is interpreted in a pedophobe context.

Varför berättar de inte?

In Sweden a small but interesting book was published by Rädda Barnen [Save the Children] in 2003 called "Varför berättar de inte? Om att utnyttjas i barnpornografi" ["Why do they not tell? About being abused in child pornography"] by Carl Göran Svedin and Christina Back (ISBN 91-7321-070-6). Carl Göran Svedin was chief physician and professor at the Department of child and adolescent psychiatry at Lund University. Christina Back was a social worker and certified psychotherapist with the Swedish Save the Children. The book therefore has a high academic, not to say scientific level.

[the following will discuss this Swedish book in detail; samples of the book will be presented; the samples are in Swedish and are not translated; I hope that this does not interfere too much with the points I make]

The background for the book is serious enough. In the early 1990s awareness of child pornography made the Swedish police conduct several seizures of pornographic material, where it was also possible to identify the children who participated. Seizures were partly made in Huddingehärvan, Norrköpingshärvan and with the so-called Örebropedofilen. This gave researchers a unique opportunity to gather facts about the relationship between sexual acts and harm. The book itself says it like this:

Varför berättar de inte? page 8:

This provided unique possibilities to examine how the children were recruited, what the children remembered of their participation in relation to what actually happened in the pictures/videos as well as shed light on the children's mental health including social adjustment in society.

With Swedish objectivity the fate of 30 involved children are accounted for, with a number of interesting details that rarely appear in public. The book provides data which we must believe is as objective it is possible to get them in an area like this.

Varför berättar de inte?
Varför berättar de inte?
Table 1. The child's relation to the abuser.

In the book's Table 1 an overview is given of the child's relationship to the person who made the pornography. Only in 3 cases (9%) [N=32 in this case] was this a person unknown to the child. This agrees well with other studies of similar circumstances, eg. see here [in Norwegian; 90-95% of child abuse is done by somebody the child knows]. The myth of the dangerous stranger is a pedophobe myth because pedophobia has an interest in denying the existence of sexuality in the family and in the child's close relations.

varför berättar de inte?
Table 2. Consequences and more.


varför berättar de inte?
Table 3. Mental health at
the time of inquiry.

Tables 2 and 3 are of key importance. Table 3 shows who exhibited psychological problems according to the tests. These were the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) for those between 4-16 years, and the Youth Self Report (YSR), a self-reporting tool for those between 11-18 years. We can of course always be critical to what these tests really measure. Pedophobia presumes that sexually active children have problems. The adults around the child will have a tendency to search for and find problematic behavior after they know that the child has been sexual, in a self-affirming circle [in Norwegian; page 28]. But we will leave that be now, and agree that the CBCL and YSR gives an indication of "psykisk ohälsa" [mental sickness].

Table 3 shows that child 1, 3 and 4 clearly were without symptoms ["Integrering" or integration of the acts]. This shows once and for all that sexual activity with adults in itself is not harmful to children. That does not mean that these children necessarily consented to or enjoyed the acts, but harm is not associated with sex as pedophobia takes for granted (assertion 11).

In the book there is a brief summary of what each child experienced and said during the interrogations with the police. Below Anna is child 1, Cecilia child 3 and David child 4. Read also about Erika (child 5).

varför berättar de inte?   varför berättar de inte?   varför berättar de inte?   varför berättar de inte?   varför berättar de inte?

Varför berättar de inte? page 32-36.

What strikes one in these summaries is the liberal use of words like "förövare" [perpetrator], "utsatts" [was victim of], "utnyttjades" [was exploited] and "övergrepp" [abuse], also in the description of the children who showed no symptoms. It makes the summaries tendentious and the book hardly objective and scientific. One is also struck by the fact that the author seems to have trouble distinguishing between the effects of the sexual acts and the impact of family circumstances, the disclosure and the police interrogations.

Varför berättar de inte? page 34:

When Cecilia was shown a photograph where she has a penis in her mouth, she exclaimed: »Oh, was it that long ago.« Then she commented on the length of her hair. Cecilia said nothing more about what she had seen in the picture. When the leader of interrogation asked her she answered that she had no memory of what had happened. Cecilia later started to feel less at ease but repeated that she did not remember anything.

We may wonder why Cecilia became ill at ease. Did it come from bad memories or was it the interrogation? We can easily imagine how it is to be presented intimate images in such a situation. Do not adults think that young people have feelings and a right to a private life? We must believe that the interrogation had the effect of stigmatizing the person who took the photographs. It requires much strength of character to resist such stigmatization when it comes from an authority like the police. Their perceptions and interpretations of the photographs spilled over on how Cecilia eventually perceived them. The young are easier to influence. Cecilia had no problems with the sexual acts or the photographs of them at the start. The problems came afterwards. Because pedophobia always assumes that sex leads to harm, the pedophobe will invest sexual events with an enormous importance, when they in reality may mean little or nothing.

If we accept that the tests show that children do not take harm from sex with adults, we must also accept that the tests showed signs of harm. Let us look at this.

We especially note child 5, 6, 8 and 20. If we compare Table 2 and 3, we see that there is a connection between high scores in the tests and what the adult was convicted for. Thus we see that both child 6 and 8 were exposed to a person who was convicted of "sexuellt tvång" [forced sexual act]. It is not difficult to understand that force can lead to problems. Child 20 (with the highest CBCL score) was exposed to a person who was mentally ill. This person was sentenced to "rättspsykiatrisk care" (LRV) [forensic psychiatric care]. We can imagine what it is like to grow up with a father or stepfather who is mentally ill with the associated unpredictability and insecurity. According to the summary, it seems that child 5 (Erika) perceived the disclosure and interrogations as highly disagreeable. She said among other things "One is not exactly proud of this" and "It had been easier to tell someone who was not police". Can this explain her high scores in the tests?

It is interesting to read what the book tells us about the children before, during and after the disclosure.

Varför berättar de inte? page 25-26:


How the children fared and managed before the abuse we have no deep understanding of. Few children had symptoms or problems noted by their parents. (...) The majority of the children were described by their parents during the phase of abuse as basically free of problems, and no child showed symptoms that could indicate signs of abuse. (...) Three children who during the abuse were also exposed to lack of parental care showed clear symptoms and behavioral problems. (...) A boy was, by his own initiative, placed in another home between the time of abuse and the disclosure because of the abuse. He himself concluded that his mother could not take care of him.

Doubts may be raised if we can use tests like CBCL and YSR to identify the effects of an event when we have no values of the tests before the event. If we do not have such values, it is extra important to correlate the data with other sources of psychiatric symptoms, such as an unsafe upbringing and poor family circumstances. If we do not do such a correlation, we end up by misusing statistics in an unscientific manner. The family environment of the children are not systematically accounted for in the book. From the Rind study, we know that injuries from a bad family environment are sometimes confused with harm done by sexual acts. Varför berättar de inte? points to the same conclusion as the Rind study, that psychological problems primarily come from poor family circumstances and that they can be confused with problems after sexual abuse.

Varför berättar de inte? page 26-27-28:


The disclosures the police made by taking contact lead to a shock for both the parents as well as the children. They all descibe a period of deteriorated mental health independent of how they had felt earlier. (...) All the interviewed children describe how shame and feelings of guilt dominated while at the same time a vile anger against the abuser began to emerge. (...) A girl maintains that it is a relief that the whole affair was discovered, but at the same time she has an attitude during the interrogations that gives a hint that she is also »proud« and in the beginning takes on the responsibility and protects the abuser. (...) With parent support, peer support, through activities in their free time and therapeutic contacts many of the children got rehabilitated surprisingly well. Other children had greater difficulty adapting to their experiences, and this concerned not least the three boys who at the same time were victims of neglect and those children who had been victims of the most serious abuse.

It is easy to understand how traumatic the chain of events leading to a final verdict in such cases can be for the young involved. It is nice to hear that it mostly went well for them. We note that children exposed to neglect had the greatest difficulties. One of the girls is 'proud' and takes on the responsibility and wants to protect the adult. We must believe that this girl consented to what had gone on.

Varför berättar de inte? page 29:


The parents reported few symptoms usually associated with sexual abuse, that is to say signs/symptoms expressing posttraumatic stress syndrome (f.ex. nightmares 29%) or sexualized behavior (f.ex. toy with ons's sexual organs while others are watching 6%). (...) With the Burgess et al classification of the 22 children which we have information about from parents, children or other documentation, we can see that 4 children integrated the events, 3 had mainly an evasive behavior while 9 are symptom-repeating, that is to say still shows symptoms and behavioral disturbances as a consequence of the events. Six children were difficult to classify as a result of deficient information.

It is interesting to read how the book interprets those four who did not show symptoms. The book says that "4 children integrated the events", which means that the events were harmful but that the four adapted, got through or absorbed the events. The possibility that the events in the first place made no harm is not mentioned or taken into account. The pedophobe will never be open to such a possibility.

[when they state that the symptoms and behavioral disturbances of 9 was "a consequence of the events", do they then refer to the sexual events? Or do they refer to the lack of parental care, neglect and the disclosure?]

Varför berättar de inte? has this in common with Psychopathia Sexualis that the child's own sexuality does not exist in the text. Svedin and Back have as little use for this sexuality as von Krafft-Ebing had. The book's premise is repeated in the conclusion: that sex with children is harmful and sick. The book also ends with the same question posed in the introduction:

Varför berättar de inte? page 81:

To fully understand the child's difficulties in this context demands an ever deeper knowledge of the bigger question: Why do children not tell about the sexual abuse they are victim of?

The key word here is "understand". We must "understand" the children's difficulty in "telling". This is not about understanding what children actually say and mean, it is understanding what Svedin and Back wants children (and everyone else) to understand.

If we instead of "understanding" simply listen to what children say, it is not hard to understand why they do not tell. It may be about protecting the adult (which after all is someone they know and can be fond of). It may be that they do not perceive what happened as a problem. It may be that they do not want to expose themselves to questioning and a trial and all it entails. It may be because they feel that this is a private matter that does not concern others. Obviously, we can not exclude that children who grow up in families with terror and unpredictability, where they are either forced to say nothing or suppress what they have been through, will not tell. In other words, there are many and very human reasons for why they do not tell, reasons that should not be so difficult to understand. Maybe the book by Svedin and Back should instead be considered a religious text where the point is to spread the correct belief. The book is in such a light part of an effort to make children and adults believe ("understand") what is right. Those who do not believe shall be forced to accept the right belief.

This tendency to force others to "understand" things the right way is well illustrated in a section on the interrogation of those who took the photographs:

Varför berättar de inte? page 21-23:

The interrogation of the perpetrators


The perpetrators as a rule remember poorly and downplay their role in the abuse: »It was the children themselves who wanted it«, »The boys asked me to take photos«, »I have not done anything against their will«, »She was the one who took the initiative«, »It was only a question of sexual education«. Or when it concerns the women: »I felt forced«. Most of the abusers have what one calls cognitive distortions. In these cases by distorting reality - f.ex. reversing cause and effect, redefining power and strength relationships, toss around the distribution of roles.

If you do not agree with the "abuse" you suffer from a cognitive distortion. Here personal and sexual-political opinions are made into mental disorders. We know that this method characterizes authoritarian regimes, eg. read here. It is also ironic that they talk about switching cause and effect. Earlier we talked about how pedophobia takes a correlation between sex and harm as a causality, a cause. Varför berättar de inte? shows in a nice way how cause and effect can be confused. Is harm the cause of the disclosure and interrogations or is harm an effect of the disclosure and interrogations and all it carried with it? We also wonder about the comment of inverting roles and redefining power and strength relationships. Is it so that there should exist a very specific power and strength relationship between children and adults, with roles likewise given, or should children and adults be more equal? What kind of view of the child does the book actually convey?

[recently I have written more about how pedophobes use terms in psychology to impose their views, specifically Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Cognitive distortions, read my blog here and here in Norwegian; the blog requires Javascript and XML/XSLT; read also about the real use of the terms Posttraumatic stress disorder and Cognitive distortions on Wikipedia; it is more than ironic that most pedophobes seem to suffer from the cognitive distortion "Always being right"]

To interpret sexual incidents as abuse has a very practical consequence. It implies a free-for-all ability to criminalize and prosecute every such incident. With its pseudo-scientific form, Varför berättar de inte? can exert strong influence on the institutions that wield power. Instead of understanding negative sexual events as a product of the environment of the child and the child's own social coping skills, these events become a matter of prosecuting sexuality. With the pedophobe's self-confirming logic, this takes priority over anything else. The following quote shows this well:

Varför berättar de inte? page 64:

Our investigation clearly shows how important it is for the sake of the child's legal protection that the work of the police is done more actively. It is therefore our opinion that a search of the suspect's home is done on the least suspicion of documentation. This might namely be the only proof that a sexual assault has taken place.

It is easy to talk about a child's legal protection. It costs nothing. What the child may think of this protection and what kind of legal protection those around the child get becomes irrelevant. Pedophobia sets aside human rights, brutalizes a society and creates a culture of fear, mistrust and arbitrariness.

If one looks for scientific articles about childhood sexuality, one basically finds only articles directly or indirectly related to abuse.

In the Journal of Human Sexuality you typically find the article Unwanted early sexual experiences about how abuse affects relationships in adulthood and Early Sexual Initiation where it is apparently demonstrated that drug abuse is associated with early sexual debut.

There is no Journal of Child Sexuality. However, there is a Journal of Child Sexual Abuse. An example of the type of article you will find here is this one:

Child Abuse, Early maladaptive schemas, and Risky Sexual Behavior in College Women:

Previous research suggests that individuals abused as children are more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior during adulthood. The present study examined early maladaptive schemas as mediators of the child abuse-risky sexual behavior relationship among 653 college women.

Signs that women were abused as children are risky sex, unfaithfulness, changes in partners, prostitution, abortion or that they simply are not good enough in the role as housewife. In a wider perspective 'child sexual abuse' is nothing more than a reversal of the sexual revolution of the 1960s and an attempt to force women back to traditional gender roles.

Another type of article in the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse is the one who like in Varför berättar de inte? seeks to medicalize beliefs that are not pedophobic. Thus it is a 'cognitive distortion' to remember positive sexual experiences with adults from childhood, as this quote from an article in issue 10-4 shows:

A Study of the Cycle of Abuse Among Child Molesters:

For some adult offenders, their offenses may be a manifestation of a distorted view of their own victimization in which they do not fully recognize the wrongfulness and harm of the act that was committed against them. Certainly the cognitive distortions of many adult sex offenders are replete with justifications that their sexual transgressions against their victims were actually attempted prosocial acts that did not have negative consequences for the victim. Early abuse may also cause a sexual conditioning that resulted in the development of inappropriate sexual interests, or paraphilias.

A mindset like this explains well how pedophobia and homophobia are connected. The homophobic will argue that 'sexual abuse of boys' leads to (or is a strong contributory factor to) adult males becoming homosexuals, eg. see here.

A third type of article are those who try to reduce all non-normative sexual behavior to biochemical disturbances in the brain [an obvious need to make their opinions more scientific], with associated drug therapy. This also includes discussions of so-called chemical castration. One example is this article:

Sexual Deviancy: Diagnostic and Neurobiological Considerations:

Individuals who engage in sexual offenses may be afflicted with a paraphilic disorder or sexual deviation syndrome. Paraphilias are psychiatric disorders characterized by deviant and culturally non-sanctioned sexual fantasies, thoughts, and/or behaviors. A proportion of these individuals may also suffer from symptoms of mental illness that can go unrecognized. Although the etiology and pathophysiology of paraphilic disorders continue to be under investigation, data from empirical, biomedical, and psychopharmacological studies suggest abnormalities at a biological level.

As mentioned, the DSM-IV [now DSM-5] has a series of diagnoses where you also find pedophilia. WHO also has a diagnosis for pedophilia in ICD. You would think that science had learned something from 120 years of sexual diagnoses. Unfortunately, the usefulness of diagnosing pedophilia [what is now called 'pedophilic disorder'] is too great. It is politically impossible to deal with this kind of unscientificness in an era where pedophobia is widening. The tendency is rather to expand such diagnoses than to get rid of them. In DSM-5 someone proposed to include so-called 'Pedohebephilic Disorder' as a paraphilia, see here. Hebephilic disorder is sexual attraction to those between 11 and 14 years, an age where most have finished puberty and are biologically similar to adults. In 2011, this proposal was for the time being rejected by the psychiatrists themselves. Read also here about this. Read a critical argument about letting pedophilia be a disorder at all here [archived].

Critical voices are few - and they have difficulty formulating an argument without being accused of defending assault. Instead, the way to go is perhaps to emphasize children's sexual rights?

Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, Volume 3, Feb. 1, 2000:

Sexual Rights of Children

In the western culture, great controversy has been perpetuated over what adult (parent and professional) attitudes about children's sexual expression should be. Many child rights advocates believe that children are a disenfranchised minority in the age/class system and state that the privilege and responsibility of sexual behavior is one of the many human rights denied them. They suggest that the proper adult stance is one of permissiveness to encouragement (Farson, 1974; Yates, 1978). This argument is more than vaguely akin to the rhetoric of the pedophile groups who have a vested interest in the relaxation or abolishment of child protective (albeit restrictive) laws.

"Pedophile groups" do of course have a self-interest when they fight for children's sexual rights. Children can not necessarily conduct their own struggle. Therefore adults must be involved and lead the fight for them. The gays had a vested interest in fighting for their rights. Today we know that they really fought for us all, because they taught us to accept diversity, reduce intolerance and make society more decent.

Psychopathia Sexualis, the article of Halvorsen and Varför berättar de inte? are all examples of pseudoscience, which among other things is characterized by selective evidence, resistance to scientific testing and claims that can not be falsified. The claim 'children are harmed by sex with adults' is not falsifiable.

Today it is easy to laugh at the ingenious models that in a scientific manner proved that the planets went around the Earth. It is not so easy to laugh at the science dealing with racial hygiene [see also this original link in Norwegian; the heading reads "No scientist was against racial hygiene before 1930"]. Before 1930, no scientist disagreed with the theory and practices of racial hygiene. This included so-called phrenology, the theory of short sculls and long sculls. As is often the case with such theories, one put oneself on top of a hierarchy. It was a theory of disparagement and pathologizing. The theory was later used by political opportunists. This should be a perpetual reminder for all to fight irrationality in science. Pedophobia can make highly educated people in high positions completely lose their professional integrity and decency.

There are a few critical voices. Some have begun to question whether the attitude to pedophilia and crime has a scientific basis in our time.

Justice Perverted - Sex Offense Law, Psychology, and Public Policy, 2011:

All of these changes in sex offender law, as well as numerous others, have been based at least in part on input from psychology, psychiatry and the social sciences. Moreover, enforcement and administration of many of these laws relies to a large extent on the efforts of mental health professionals. However, many questions about this involvement remain largely unanswered. Are these laws supported by empirical evidence, or even by well-reasoned psychological theories? Do these laws actually work? Are mental health professionals capable of reliably determining an offender's future behavior, and how best to manage it? Finally, are experts capable of providing effective treatment for sex offenders -- i.e., treatment that actually reduces the likelihood that an identified sex offender will re-offend?


It is time to say something about how pedophobia is related to sexuality itself.

In the section on child sexuality two general circumstances in our culture were illuminated. These were Michel Foucault's Deployment of Sexuality and The Objectification of Sexuality referred to by Sigmund Freud. Both of these will be explained again before they are put into a context with pedophobia.

Central to the Deployment of Sexuality is the idea that human sexuality is a social construction. This is what Foucault called "the production of sexuality". Sexuality is not a given, "not a furtive reality that is difficult to grasp, but a great surface network in which the stimulation of bodies, the intensification of pleasures, the incitement to discourse, the formation of special knowledges, the strengthening of controls and resistances, are linked to one another, in accordance with a few major strategies of knowledge and power" (The history of Sexuality - Volume 1, Pantheon Books, New York, 1978, pages 105-106) [this text can be retrieved here; it is interesting to note that my Norwegian version of this quote from 1995 does not read exactly the same; the first words are more like: 'not an obscure reality one performs difficult measures against'].

This idea of human sexuality can seem unsettling to some, liberating to others. In any case, the idea is unfamiliar because we like to think of our sexuality as something that comes from within ourselves, uninfluenced by others, an innate disposition that is unchangeable and has a clearly defined and rational goal. Ironically, we are reluctant to perceive desires, lust and sexual acts as a product of what we learn, but willing to admit that sexuality is social and personal interaction.

As a species we are characterized by a great adaptiveness and learning ability. Our sexuality is no exception. One could say that Foucault's Deployment of Sexuality describes the adaptations that have come to dominate our time, what our culture and our society today teaches us to put into the concept 'sexuality'. Foucault believed that current sexuality primarily becomes evident in reasoning about health and hygiene, body and health, campaigns against disease, definitions of various perversions, the fear of degeneration and incest, birth control and governmental life management. Taken together, this is what 'sexuality' is as we know it.

It may well be that the opposition to see sexuality as something taught and culturally determined is in itself a consequence of the Deployment of Sexuality. When the deployment is concerned with distinguishing between the healthy and the diseased, the natural and the perverse, then sexuality will become a construction of naturalness and the innate, as opposed to non-sexuality which per definition becomes unnatural and learned. The consequence of this is that the social function of sexuality — sexuality as a kind of language we use to give and receive emotions, understanding, unity and peace — is not necessarily perceived as natural and innate.

In the end, reasoning about health, hygiene and the wholesome are only strategies for exercising power. Foucault believed that contemporary sexuality is nothing more than knowledge and power strategies, what he called The Will to Knowledge. These strategies are apparently based on reason (science) but are in reality a rationalization of power. One consequence of the Deployment of Sexuality is that we are forced to formulate a benefit and purpose with sexuality. This is because sexuality is constructed to be strategies to achieve goals (control, predictability, health, reproduction, etc). Reason will always seek to free itself from what it studies. Its method is to stand at a distance, analyze and find objective truths about a phenomena. But there is no existence outside of sexuality where we can stand and analyze it. There are no objective truths about sexuality. All lines of reasoning about it will ultimately say most about the person who reasons, what that person, that group or that culture wants to know, their will to knowledge. The scientific approach has had a great importance on how we understand the concept of sexuality. The approach can color what we consider to be 'healthy' and 'normal', but also color how we feel and think sexually. In the scientific approach, the sexuality's object appears in favor of the sexuality's subject. This brings us to the objectification of sexuality.

It is worth repeating what Freud wrote in 1910:

Sigmund Freud, footnote [added 1910] to Part 1 in Three essays on The Theory of Sexuality, 1905:

The most striking distinction between the erotic life of antiquity and our own no doubt lies in the fact that the ancients laid stress upon the instinct itself, whereas we emphasize its object. The ancients glorified the instinct and were prepared on its account to honour even an inferior object; while we despise the instinctual activity in itself, and find excuses for it only in the merits of the object.

This says two things. First, how we have come to distinguish between the subject (the instinct or the experience) and the object (the body or the aim). Second, how we have come to regard the sexual subject as something subhuman, inferior, which deserves contempt. The distinction between the subject and object, as well as the assessment of the subject, is termed the objectification of sexuality. It is perhaps the most important premise for how we reason about sexuality. It forms an integral part of our sexual psychology and characterizes sexuality in our time.

The objectification of sexuality teaches us to interpret sexuality as something outside ourselves. It is not the subject (the self) that is sexual. Sexuality sits in or is a quality of the object (the non-self). Sexuality is not a subjective state of emotion and being, but an awareness of a sexual object. The sexual object is the body, both in a purely physical sense as another body and mentally as a self-image (a self-awareness) of one's own body.

In men, the object will primarily be a different person, but can also be the self (eg. as with the bodybuilder). In women, the object will primarily be the self, but can also be another person. Generally, both men and women objectify sexuality, the difference lies more in how the object appears.

Boys are taught to fear and despise the feelings in themselves. Therefore they fear their own sexuality, in the sense of showing emotion, but also in the sense of 'being an abuser' or he who 'destroys' something. Boys therefore project their sexuality on something outside themselves, on an object, on the qualities of an object. This results in body fixation and pornography, but also in various forms of idealization. Often, a conflict will arise between the object as the holder of sexuality and the object as pure, idealized and vulnerable.

Girls are also taught to be fearful of feelings, but unlike boys, they will not so much fear their own sensuality as they will fear the opinions of others about themselves. Therefore, a girl will begin to view herself as an object. A distinction arises between her own self (the subject) and herself as a sexual being in relation to others (the object). Sexuality is something outside herself - something she must cherish - take care of - live up to as an ideal - as the holder of sexuality. Often a conflict will arise between her own sexual self and herself as a sexual object. This can result in body fixation, different types of eating disorders, anxiety symptoms and self-harm.

Again it is necessary to emphasize that gender differences are not so categorical in the objectification of sexuality. The important thing is that they illustrate two ways for the object to appear, and may occur simultaneously and to varying degrees in both sexes.

Many historical, cultural and social factors have contributed to the objectification of sexuality. Christianity created a separation between human physical and spiritual existence. The spirit had eternal life while the body was perishable. The Body (the carnal) was a source of sin. The needs of the body were looked down upon and made shameful. Salvation lay in an idealized world of renunciation and asceticism. Religion's view of the body came to decide man's view of sexuality. When rationality and science became more widespread after the Middle Ages, the body became (as mentioned earlier) subject to study. The scientific method will always seek to objectify what it studies. From then on sexuality became increasingly a relationship to an it. In recent times, our organized societies have expressed themselves by a growing need for control. Many know that if they control sexuality, they also control the human being. Governmental life management with its health and hygiene makes sexuality regulated, purposeful and functional. Consumerism connects sexuality to products and acts of purchase. The proliferation of pornography is a good example of how commercialization objectifies sexuality. Generally, all marketing where products are equated with sensuality represent various forms of objectification. Consumerism has removed Christianity's denigration of pleasure, but in return has made the pleasure targeted. Sexuality is used to promote sales, but acts of purchase have also become a form of sexuality. We live in a world of beauty ideals and a pressure to achieve, where sexuality increasingly appears as external, measurable characteristics of the body and as performance requirements.

The objectification of sexuality always has in it a conflict. The distinction between the sexual subject and the sexual object is a fundamental conflict. The objectification creates ideals while promoting distance and contempt. Ideals and contempt are two sides of the same coin. They condition one another and reinforce one another. The man idealizes the woman because he has contempt for his own sexuality. But sexuality is the object. Therefore, he has contempt for the woman because she represents what he fleeing. The woman idealizes her own body. But sexuality is the object. Therefore, she will feel alienated and exploited in the face of sexuality (her body). She may come to despise herself because she can not live up to the ideal, but also the man gets the blame, for it is he who makes her self-conscious and makes her feel like an object.

Both man and woman place blame on the other (the others) for their sexuality. The man says that the woman tempts him by how she behaves, what she is wearing, etc. The woman says that it is the man who makes her self-conscious, that 'sexualizes' her, 'exploits' her. It is always the object that is the source of sexuality. Sexuality does not sit in ourselves in a subjective sense, but exists in a the, in the object. Therefore someone or something always has the blame for sexuality, and by extension this guilt causes alienation. The existence of blame goes back to the introduction of Christianity, has since been extended by the scientific method, then in relation to State life control, for ultimately to end up in the consumer society's linking of products to sensuality. A blame for sexuality is an idea that permeates our entire culture.

The objectification of sexuality can create two phenomena: the sexual egoist and the sexual hypocrite.

Sexual egoism are two things: 1) A lack of recognition of one's own sexuality and 2) a missing recognition that sexuality exists in relation to others. Both factors are interrelated. A lack of recognition of one's own sexuality comes from the common notion that sexuality is beyond the self and is only a feature of a sexual object. Sexual selfishness works by concealing the sexual subject and the importance it has in the development of sexual interaction and empathetic feeling. Sexuality is not something we are born with, it is something we learn and develop in relation to others. Our own sexual identity is made by and is developed in a context with others' sexual identities. When others express wants and needs, one gets a picture of oneself as a sexual individual and a perception of others' sexuality. Conversely, when others react to your sexual needs and desires, you also realize who you are and what is your sexuality. Therefore sexual learning has to embody a sexual subject. In the sexual egoist such an entity is lacking or only partially exists. Because one attributes sexuality to the object, many will lack an understanding that sexuality exists in relation to others. Our sexuality is developed in a social context and is conditioned by the relation. The sexual egoist has a sexuality that in a significant way lacks this sense of community. This can result in various types of behavior - like passivity and indifference (asexuality), into moralism and sexual contempt, towards aggression and rape.

Sexual selfishness is more than selfishness in the ordinary sense, i.e. only thinking about oneself. Sexual selfishness is a lack of sexual community understanding. As an example, a woman may well be good at covering men's sexual needs, but that does not mean that she is less alienated in the face of sexuality.

Sexual hypocrisy is another effect of objectification. As mentioned, objectification creates a distinction between the subject and the object. When the difference between the idealized sexual object and the shameful sexual subject becomes too large, sexual hypocrisy will tend to cover the gap. As with other types of hypocrisy, it is characterized by double standards (different standards for one self and others) and a special type of lie which consists of criticizing others for what oneself does, or deny to others what oneself feels. Sometimes this denial be so conspicuous, so serious and have within it a self-denial where one also lies to oneself, that the hypocrisy resembles a neurosis.

Sexual hypocrisy is a psychological defense mechanism that is used each time the divide between the ideal and the real becomes too large. The objectification of sexuality teaches us to distance ourselves from the sexual instinct and transfer sexuality to objects that possess certain qualities. The objectification provides guidance to what is right, honorable and ideal with regard to sexuality, as opposed to the instinct which is blind, degrading and aimless. When situations arise where these guides prove to be misleading or dishonest, the sexual hypocrisy will work to mask or cover up doubts and conflicts. The hypocrisy is a way to live with the conflicts that arise when the ideal fails and instincts take over.

Sexual hypocrisy is a self-deception. It may well be that the objectification of sexuality always has within itself such a self-deception. The objectification tends to make ideals that are difficult to live up to. In its final consequence, the objectification creates a sexual ideal with qualities that the ideal can not possibly fulfill, whether it is appearance, age, morality, health, cleanliness, gender, lack of kinship or any other quality we imbue the right sexuality with.

How does The Deployment of Sexuality and The Objectification of Sexuality affect pedophobia? Let us first look at how children's sexuality manifests itself, and then compare it with the sexuality as we know it.

A child's sexuality is diffuse. It is not purposeful and functional. It is not limited to the genitals. It is not necessarily geared toward orgasm, but is a general state of good feeling that involves the whole body. From an adult's point of view, children's sexuality appears as play, although the game is serious enough. It manifests itself in sexual events rather than in sexual acts. The events are not limited by sexual orientation, but is an expression of a general eroticism, the individual's search for identity and belonging in a community with others. A child's sexuality may well include events with persons of the same sex. A child's sexuality is extrovert and sociable. It can result in exhibitionism in public places or on the Internet. A child's sexuality may involve 'wrong' areas, objects in the mouth and rectum, urine, feces and other things in contradiction with hygiene. A child's sexuality has a general indifference to factors such as age, appearance and kinship (incest).

Many adults become confused when they are confronted with this sexuality. It seems so unbridled and raw. It is so different from what adults generally think sexuality should be, what we simply can call adult sexuality. The confusion can lead to discomfort, which can go over to disgust and loathing. This effect is exactly what pedophobia is. Children violate the limits adults have set up for orientation, hygiene and modesty, limits adults think are completely natural and creates an equal hostility when they are broken.

The adult sexuality will generally be the objectivized sexuality, the one who looks down on the sexual instinct, who only recognizes sexuality as qualities of an object. Such objectification is something children have not yet learned. Therefore, the child's sexual expression will often be perceived as immature. Basically, children can not distinguish between subject and object, and they will not perceive their sexuality as a relation to a that. The usual way for adults to react to a child's sexuality is to think that children do not know what is right. Children are immature, inexperienced and they do not know their own good. Children do not know what the right aim of sexuality is. Therefore, children are either not awarded a sexuality or their sexuality is made fundamentally different. From this it follows that sexuality can not be shared between children and adults. This notion is illustrated well in the entry about child sexuality in the Great Norwegian Encyclopedia.

The Great Norwegian Encyclopedia, Child sexuality: [in Norwegian]

If one uses the term sexuality in the same way for children and adults, one makes a mistake. What characterizes children's activity is primarily exploration. Exploration lies in the nature of the child and is essential in the growth process. Children investigate and test. They learn about themselves and the world. Thus they also examine their bodies. Children can hide away, undress and glance at each other. But the child's curiosity is something completely different from the bodily contact between sexually mature teenagers or adults. When children compare each others' genitals, or when a boy sees his father's erect penis and gets interested in it, it does not mean that the child is sexually aroused. The body lust of children has no goal beyond itself. Children's sexual need for love has no goal beyond what is found in the child's world. When an adult does not like to see children play in this way, it is the fantasies in relation to the adult world of experience that bothers him. Therefore, the responsible adult must always watch his limits.

The bodily lust in children "have no goal beyond itself", or at least the child's sexual need for love has "no goal beyond what is found in the child's world". Here it says straight out that sexuality is understood to be purposeful. Sexuality is not a subjective experience, as little necessary to find an aim for or justify as life itself, but is a property of an object. The child's sexuality is only "exploration". Ironically this exploration is supposed to take place in an isolated child world, but what else is exploration than to break out of one's world? The exploration is "essential in the growth process", but what else does one become than an adult? The section concludes with a warning about watching limits. Such a warning is apparently necessary because adults are plagued by fantasies. One would think that a successful growth process would mean that the "adult world of experience" was free of such fantasies, but maybe that is not the point. It has more to do with how adults objectify children, as they objectify their own sexuality, which in turn creates conflicts. The adults are plagued by "seeing children play in this way" but this expresses nothing more than contempt for the sexual instinct as it manifests itself in children, which in turn is nothing more than pedophobia. The contempt for (and aggressiveness against) children's sexual play is a deep conviction that such actions are futile, aimless and therefore also wrong.

In sexual development nothing is more important than the process of learning. In the Great Norwegian Encyclopedia this process is called the "growth process". It is not without reason that it is referred to in this way, for the word growth refers to a process that can take place in isolation, almost as if human sexuality was a flower that can grow up by itself if it is only left alone. This is a very misleading belief.

In reality, sexuality is always something we learn. Children learn everything they know about sexuality from the persons around them, from the society they live in, from the culture and authorities they have. And the authority is nothing less than the adult sexuality, as we know it. Children watch adult pornography. Children imitate adult sexual assessments, manners and morals. And what else should they take after? Who can believe that sexual learning is an exception to all other learning? Our entire culture consists of shaping children to what adults think is right. The Great Norwegian Encyclopedia talks about "exploration" almost as if children were free to explore and express their own sexuality, but that's not the case. Had it been the case, then the play of children would not have created such bothersome fantasies. Their exhibitionism on the Internet would not have been a crime, see f.ex. here [in Norwegian; the heading reads "14-year-olds undress on the net"]. We know that the Deployment of Sexuality sets norms for what sexuality should be. Children are not considered to have a correct sexuality before it is objectified. Our entire culture shapes children's sexuality in ways that serve the culture itself. Children are the ones who least of all are allowed to have an independent view of what sexuality is. There is a big contradiction in how the pedophobe first says that children should be themselves ('children should be allowed to be children') and then makes every effort to have them share their own opinions about sexuality.

Sexual development is a learning process. It depends on the people around us, first our kin: family, father, mother, brother, sister, then the close environment and those we share our daily life with. That sexual acts between related people are disallowed, is therefore a great paradox. Likewise acts between persons of the same sex or acts between people of different ages. Classical Freudian theory tells us that the child after the oral, anal and phallic phase go into a latency period where the child's sexual feelings are little active. One can interpret this latency period as a scientific fact or as a guide on how sexuality should be. The latency period is then the time in which instinct and impulse, using shame and contempt, is repressed in favor of the qualities of an object. Only then do we get a 'sexuality'. The adult sexuality is, unlike the child's, purposeful and objective.

We may well understand why adults like to perceive the child's sexuality as a growth process that can occur in isolation, because when adults talk about sexuality to children they have problems. The situation is perceived as strenuous. The topic is difficult. What can one say? Most adults have lost an understanding of sexuality as seen from the child's perspective. One has nothing to talk about. One may argue that talking about sexuality (as opposed to acting sexually) is in itself an expression of objectification, that through conversation one would rather deal with an it than through role model and example share a common empathy. Sex education for children is then also characterized by 'the big conversation' or charts over the genitals, diagrams that explain menstruation or euphemisms about the birds and the bees. That such can pass for knowledge in our culture just shows how objectified sexuality has become.


Pedophobia shows itself when adults believe that such knowledge is not only necessary but sufficient. Pedophobia is very concerned with what children learn about sexuality. Pedophobia is a set of beliefs about sexuality that is to be transferred to the next generation. What is special with pedophobia is that these beliefs do not involve positive ideas of sexuality, but the opposite, conjuring up negative possibilities so as to create an emotional life characterized by anxiety, uncertainty and reluctance. This is a direct consequence of the pedophobe's fear and hostility to sexuality in children. Sex education is about preventing abuse. Who can disagree with that? But there are two ways to do this, either by learning what sexuality should be and through positive role models develop an empathic emotional life, or learning what one should fear about sexuality and what one therefore can not share with others. The pedophobe will say that the last way is not only the best way but the only way. The alternative is positively dangerous. In an article on educational programs to prevent sexual abuse, it is expressed like this:

ITP-Journal vol.2 no.3 1990:

The first view says that to teach children about their own bodies, about the feelings their bodies give them, about love and sexuality which is a natural part of all of our existences from the day we are born, will corrupt, damage, or cause harm to children's development.

The second view says that instruction in the most socially abhorrent and aberrant form of sexual deviation, including the most disturbing distortion of human sexuality as expressed in incest, is beneficial and helpful in the protection, maturation and nurturance of the child's sexuality.

In such a climate adults become more reluctant and afraid to give children positive role models for sexuality. Sexual learning becomes a question of defending oneself against the negative instead of creating an accurate picture of the positive. Arguably, the preoccupation of pedophobia with abuse promotes anti-sexuality in society because it creates negative attitudes towards human sexuality in general, as this article says. In programs against sexual abuse, in the criminalization of child sexuality and the fear of 'the pedophiles', sex is increasingly understood to be risky, negative and harmful. Emotional ties between children and adults are interpreted as sexual, and sexual themes between children and adults are interpreted as abuse. An ironic consequence of this is that pedophobia more than anything else promotes a sexualization of children, a genitalization of them. Children are perceived primarily as sexual objects who are constantly at risk of being used and abused. The child's body and its sexuality is separated from the child as an individual and person. Pedophobia deepens the objectification of sexuality.

We often hear the term 'sexualization of children'. Children are sexualized or are in danger of being sexualized, eg. see here [in Norwegian; heading reads "Rage at the sexualization of children - The picturs of a ten year old girl, painted as an adult and in a challenging pose, awake wrath far beyond the fashion business."] or here [heading reads "Sexualization of childhood"]. It is interesting to study this a little more, because it is a great way to illustrate the attitude to sexuality. In an article on the sexualization of girls, sexualization is defined like this:

A person's value is primarily derived from his or her sexual appeal or behavior and exclude other personal characteristics

A person is measured against a narrowly defined standard of physical attractiveness that is equal to being sexy

A person is sexually objectified, that is, made into a thing for another's sexual use, rather as seen as a person with a capacity for independent action and decision

Sexuality is inappropriately imposed/forced on a person

In the definition we recognize the objectification of sexuality. We also recognize the fact that girls and young women increasingly see themselves as objects, with reference to what was previously said about gender differences. Boys and men are not objectified to the same extent, presumably because they are not in the same way perceived as victims. We understand that objectivization must be understood as negative, especially when "sexuality is inappropriately imposed/forced on a person". The objectification is termed sexualization and that is perhaps not surprising. To become sexually adult in our culture will often imply an objectified relation to sexuality, but this in itself is not pointed out. On the whole, the article does not give us a good answer to why children are sexualized, except perhaps to suggest that 'pedophiles' or those with pedophilic sympathies are to blame. For many the issue will not be our culture's objectification of sexuality, but that this objectification affects children, from which follows that 'sexualization of children' is a problem. Children can be (or are considered to be) sexual because they can be (or are considered to be) objects.

We may well agree that the objectification of sexuality is a problem. It is a problem for adults and it is a problem for children. But if we are to criticize the objectification, it is also important to criticize our culture's attitude to the sexual subject. In the article about the sexualization of girls, there is no criticism of the attitude to children as sexual subjects, what negative attitudes there are to child sexual instincts, emotions and being. Without such a comprehensive criticism the opposition to 'sexualization of children' will only appear as anti-sexuality.

It is here pedophobia's relation to sexuality is most clearly expressed. It is not difficult to agree that children should be understood as complete individuals, not be measured on the basis of physical attractiveness, not be made into things for others' use or have sexuality imposed/forced upon them. It is much harder to recognize children as sexual beings and criticize the attitude we have to their sexuality. The pedophobe will by definition have no interest in criticizing the fear, distrust and contempt that so often exists with regard to a child's sexual existence. It is now we really understand why the word 'sexualization' is used, for the pedophobe will argue that children always belong in an asexual world, in a latency period or in an isolated, alternative life where they may do a little exploration of peers under supervision. That our sexuality is not developed in such an anti-social manner should be obvious. It is a paradox that those who treat children as if they were asexual at the same time do everything possible to monitor and ensure that children remain asexual. By making children's sexuality to fields of study and observation, the pedophobes will more than any objectify them. By attributing children idolized qualities and teaching them to distrust and despise their own instincts and emotions, we transfer the objectification of sexuality to the next generation.

What are these qualities of children? What relation exists between them and sexuality? In the part about relationships between children and adults [in Norwegian] an excerpt from the book Harmful to Minors by Judith Levine was cited:

Judith Levine, Harmful to Minors, 2002, page 26-27 :

Our culture fears the pedophile, say some social critics, not because he is a deviant, but because he is ordinary. And I don't mean because he is the ice-cream man or Father Patrick. No, we fear him because he is us. In his elegant study of "the culture of child molesting," the literary critic James Kincaid traced this terror back to the middle of the nineteenth century. Then, he said, Anglo-American culture conjured childhood innocence, defining it as a desireless subjectivity, at the same time as it constructed a new ideal of the sexually desirable object. The two had identical attributes — softness, cuteness, docility, passivity — and this simultaneous cultural invention has presented us with a wicked psychosocial problem ever since. We relish our erotic attraction to children, says Kincaid (witness the child beauty pageants in which JonBenet Ramsey* was entered). But we also find that attraction abhorrent (witness the public shock and disgust at JonBenet's "sexualization" in those pageants). So we project that eroticized desire outward, creating a monster to hate, hunt down, and punish.

* JonBenet Ramsey was a six-year US child star, who was found murdered in her home in 1996, see here.

Since the mid-nineteenth century, and especially after 1960, childlike qualities have become a central part of what we understand by sexuality. The acclaimed news magazine TIME had in April 2011 a front-page article addressing the subject of eternal youth. The article describes a cultural phenomenon that has come to dominate our time: to look like and behave as if we were much younger than we are. There are people in the public eye who never grow old. Their sex appeal and popularity springs from their eternal youth. In the media they are idols, holders of qualities everyone wants.

Mike Jagger 65 years.

Cher 64 years.

Meryl Streep 60.

At the same time there are children who do not look like children, who dress (and get dressed) as adults. It goes deeper than just clothes. Children mature faster in our time. They leave home earlier and more is expected of them. In the media they are also idols. Their appeal arises from an adorable agelessness.

Thylane Blodeau 10 years.

Justin Bieber 16 years.

It is interesting to look at these two phenomena - children like adults and adults like children - in a context. In reality, they are two sides of the same coin. Age was once a way of segregating people. Today's tendency to abolish age is a process of democratization. To separate people by age is as unreasonable as to separate them by gender, race or class. In an era of greater equality, age discrimination (ageism) is perhaps the last barrier. But of course, the fight against age discrimination means rights and tolerance for different ages, not that everyone should belong to the same age. It is quite possible to interpret adult youth fixation less as equalization and more like a fear of growing old and dying in a materialistic era. Likewise, it is possible to interpret the adorable depictions of children in the media as an objectification of them, not as a process where they are about to get more influence and rights.

The fight against age discrimination does not happen without opposition. Many adults want to keep the privileges they have over children, not to mention the exclusive right to have sex-appeal. Pedophobia is in this light reactionary, an attempt to turn back the clock and keep age privileges. A good example is the hullabaloo connected with depictions of children that in any way could be considered sexual. Pictures of children which do not follow conservative norms are portrayed as sexualization and abuse. The same people do not question corresponding images of adults. Children themselves want to be perceived as sexual. This is reflected among other ways in sexting, where they publish pictures of themselves with erotic meaning online. This has become quite widespread. A British newspaper reports that one in four schoolchildren trade pornographic images with one another. For the pedophobe this creates concern. [in Norwegian]

Sexting is a practice where people exchange sexually explicit material with each other via the mobile phone. (...)

Sexuality among teenagers is a cause of concern for a number of reasons, ranging from exploitation to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Precocious sexual behavior is not always accompanied by emotional maturity, and sexting can be explosive when mixed with adolescent emotions like jealousy, revenge, and low self-esteem. For this reason, a number of NGOs conducted studies on the practice in an attempt to learn more about it, and educational campaigns have been launched to counteract sexting among underage teenagers.

Children are held to be emotionally immature, jealous, will take revenge and have low self-esteem. This springs from an innate childishness and is not a result of what they learn (or do not learn), wrong role models, isolation and a lack of adult contact. When "educational campaigns" are launched, they are not so much aimed at the emotional immaturity, the low self-esteem, etc., but towards the sexuality. It is the sexuality ("precocious sexual behavior") that is the problem, not a child's immaturity.

The sexuality in a society is always a reflection of the society itself. Sexuality in our time springs from an adolescent fixation, many would also say an infantilization of society. Youthful appearance and youthful achievements is what we understand sexuality to be. Removal of wrinkles, mini skirts, contact lenses, shaving the groin, viagra, etc. can be understood as an expression of a sexual ideal that is close to what the young have. It is the childlike which has sex-appeal and has come to define the sexual self-image. As an extension of the childish, we have a consumer society based on impulse shopping. Those who criticize the sale of sexualized products to children - eg. see here - think that childhood is disappearing, almost as if childhood was a given, unchangeable quality. But what is it that they criticize? Are they against the youth obsession? Are they against the commercialization of sexuality? Or will they just keep age privileges?

How can it be that in our youth-culture we have so little to spare for adults who want to have sex with children? One would think that the ideal, the childlike, would make children natural sex partners, and if not everyone wanted sex with children then at least we would have an understanding of child sexuality and sexuality with children. Why is this not the case? The answer follows from the objectification. When we idolize something, we cease to appreciate it. When we exalt something, we stop to think of it as equal. When we elevate children, acts with children are depreciated. When we value a child's qualities, we have nothing but contempt for the urge, instinct and act with children. For what is it that the sexual act really expresses? Does it not tear down what we value? Pedophobia will not so much call into question the qualities of children - softness, grace, submissiveness and passivity - as it will make any sexual act with those qualities abusive.

It is easy to see that pedophobia is closely linked to the notion that abuse is a conditional part of sexuality. When and why did this notion arise?

We can't deny that the more radical feminism from the 1970s and later has had an unhappy tendency to link sexuality with power.

Crime and self-understanding, a doctoral thesis, NTNU: [in Norwegian]

In feminist literature sexual abuse is usually seen as a power phenomenon; rape is an expression of male dominance over women in a society marked by [an] unequal distribution of power between the sexes. In the book "Rape Myths and Facts" (p.15) Susan Brown Miller says that rape is "a conscious deterrence process, in which all men keep all women in a state of fear" ...


Even worse is the man's sexual abuse of children. The child comprehends all adults as authority figures, and when an adult abuses a child, the whole adult world throws itself over the poor victim (p.172).

It may well be that women, for historical reasons, have had good reason to fear men's power, but the crucial question is whether this has anything to do with men as a biological being, or whether men's power was merely a cultural phenomenon related to a specific social system called patriarchy. Feminists were (and are) taking part in tying sexuality and power together, also in the case of children.

Ole Textmo, Serie om justismord, Del 3, 2007: [as of 2016 non-retrievable]

To raise awareness of the prevalence and alleged extent of sexual violence against women and children has to a particular degree been a feminist project, but also some professional circles, politicians and the media have thrown themselves indiscriminately on to the carousel. From the mid 80s onwards one has hardly been able to open a newspaper without reading about alleged abuse [,] and statements of big dark numbers are pointed out by professionals.

If one believes that it is appropriate and necessary to interpret interpersonal relationships as an exercise of power (concerning who can or actually does exercise power over whom), it follows naturally that an imbalance in power gives any relationship a stamp of abuse. Power imbalance is the reason for the abuse. As long as the partners in a relationship are not equal, the relationship will either be abusive or have the ability to be abusive, which is often considered the same. There are of course other ways to interpret interpersonal relationships, interpretations that exclude or deem immaterial the differences in power that may exist. What interpretation one chooses is therefore a political question. Feminism as a political ideology is based on a particular interpretation of the relationship between man and woman, an interpretation in which interpersonal relationships is a conflict between interests, where there are strong and weak parties, where there are victims and perpetrators, where the struggle for rights and equality sets the premise.

It is easy to imagine this interpretation of reality transferred from the case of women and men to the case of children and adults. Children have, just like women, traditionally had little power in society. Children have like women a need for rights and protection in their dealings with adult men. It is now we also understand why 'the pedophiles' so often are perceived as men — not boys or women, but middle-aged men — precisely the group that traditionally has had power in society. The difference lies more in that women can take back power in a way that children apparently can not. For feminists gender is a social construction, as opposed to age which is considered to be natural and biological.

The sexuality in a society is interpreted to be a continuation of the power relations in a society. Men's sexual relationships with women is a reflection of an unequal distribution of power. A good example of this is the criminalization of buying sex. Those who buy sex (men) are those who wield power and commit abuse. Those who sell sex (women) are only victims. Sexuality is masculine and interpreted as various forms of abuse. Women and children must from the basis of such a theory be protected against the inherent ability of masculinity to dominate, own and use. Sexuality is, like economic and legal circumstances, a question of rights and protection. Sexuality is construed to be a conflict between interests. This interpretation is taken up and continued by the pedophobe. An essential notion in pedophobia is that sexuality between different ages is abuse. This abuse rises solely from the imbalance of power. When the child-adult relation includes sexuality, the power imbalance in itself is the cause of harm done to a child.

ITP-Journal vol.5 no.2 1993:

The frequent use of the circumlocution of "hurt" when adults question children about possible sexual abuse demonstrates the assumption that the power imbalance is harmful. When an adult asks a child if Daddy "hurt" her and both the adult and the child understand that what is being asked is a question about sexual contact the message is that sex and violence are inseparable. In and of itself "hurt" does not imply sexual contact. When it is understood that sexual contact is included, the power imbalance has been broadened to be the cause of the "hurt." Herman (1981) puts it this way: "Any sexual relationship between the two (an adult and a child or an adolescent) must necessarily take on some of the coercive characteristics of rape" ...

The notion that abuse is a conditional part of sexuality now becomes evident. Words suddenly take on a new meaning. The word "hurt" becomes synonymous with sexual acts. It is now we understand what the special meaning of the word rape has for the pedophobe. In Sweden the word våldtäkt [rape in Swedish] was explicitly introduced in the age of consent paragraphs of 2005 to provide a guide on how such matters should be interpreted. For the pedophobe this is not just an alternative interpretation of reality, but reality itself. For them sexuality is the same as pain and violence.

The power imbalance between adults and children is only a problem when it comes to sexuality. In other areas, the power imbalance is accepted, normal and part of the structure of society. If we look back in time, violence against children was the norm. This was elaborated on in the part about punishment of children [in Norwegian]. Norway got the first law regarding age of consent [in Norwegian] in 1842, tellingly enough only for girls and where also the word rape was used. It would go 145 years, all the way to 1987, before we got a general law against beating children. Violence against children is part of our culture, while sex with children is not. The power imbalance between adults and children is only a problem when it suits those in power.

The tolerance for violence against children in no way belongs to history. But of course, it depends on what kind of violence we are talking about, or more correctly: who has the power to define what violence is and what it is not. Physical abuse of children happens and is fully accepted. The Child Welfare authorities' [in Norwegian 'Barnevernet'] treatment of children is one example, circumcision another. We would think that the practice of circumcision would arouse reactions among all those who are so concerned about children not being harmed, but we think wrong.

Male circumcision, Wikipedia: [in Norwegian; it seems that the same page in English does not mention the points made by the Norwegian page, likely because of cultural differences; the page only says "Ethical and legal questions regarding informed consent and human rights have been raised over the circumcision of babies and children for non-medical reasons, and for that reason the procedure is controversial"; see also here]

The surgery will «in isolation fulfill the qualifications for one or more penal provisions» when performed on minors, the Ministry of Health wrote in 2011. There is no discussion to ban the procedure, claimed postdoctoral fellow L. Gule - something he finds «strange» since The Act prohibiting female genital mutilation under section 1 states that «Any person who willfully performs an operation on a woman’s genitalia that damages the genitalia or inflicts upon them permanent changes shall be liable to punishment for female genital mutilation».

The Act prohibiting female genital mutilation [in Norwegian; a translation is found here; this law was lifted in 2015, the current law is § 284 found here; it basically says the same as the old law] applies only to girls ("women") and is an ironic echo of the first age of consent law from 1842. When it comes to boys, the government offers circumcision at hospitals, see here [as of 2015 practically no boy (only 30 of 2000) is circumcised at a hospital; read in Norwegian here]. Circumcision of girls was not uncommon in earlier times, not least with regard to so-called healing of various nervous diseases (masturbation), read more here, but circumcision of boys has been and is far more common. Why? Boys have traditionally not been perceived as victims. The boy body was not elevated and objectified. More is expected of boys, that they should endure such. But what does a boy learn from circumcision? Quite apart from the experience of a knife on the genitals, an operation in which — if we disregard airy references to hygiene — the whole purpose is to make the penis less sensitive, it guides his perception of sexuality and manhood. Insensitivity is the key word. Circumcision is part of a ritual in which boys learn to look down upon, be indifferent to and despise the instinct, the emotion and the act.

Feminists are not necessarily pedophobic. The sex-positive feminism does not consider sexuality to be the reason for why women are suppressed. To tie together power and sexuality runs the risk of sexualizing all aggressiveness and make all sexual acts aggressive. The struggle should be fought against the objectification of sexuality. The struggle should be aimed at the forces who only have contempt for the sexual subject. The struggle should be concerned with anti-sexuality. Many women know that there is a delicate distinction between protection and subjugation. The patriarchate has throughout the ages used the argument of protecting women to restrict and subjugate them. Women were made ​powerless in the face of men's power. Today we see the same argument used to restrict and subjugate girls. The problem is turned upside down and converted into perverse men in public places, girls who are not supervised, girls who are sexually conscious, girls who are premature, precocious and outgoing, girls who are active and show their sexuality or girls suffering from ADHD. Sexual abuse has become the modern way to ensure a girl's innocence as valuable property. The bogyman is the new reason for restricting a girl's freedom. The premise is always her powerlessness.

Michel Foucault wrote that sexuality in our time manifests itself as some major science and power strategies. Sexuality has become a matter for the State, and State power is used to shape sexuality. This is not only expressed by imposed laws against unwanted sexual behavior, but also in programs to shape that behavior. An example of this is the idea that it is possible to prevent sexual abuse. The Public Health Institute [Folkehelseinstituttet] recommends home-visit programs aimed at preschool children to prevent physical and sexual abuse.

The Public Health Institute: [in Norwegian]

- Abuse of children is a strong risk factor for later psychological problems. We recommend the initiation of home-visit programs aimed at preschool children in municipalities, both to reduce risk factors for child abuse by improving the care of parents, and to identify and help children who are abused. It is documented that various home-visit programs are successful both in reducing risk factors for child abuse and to reduce the incidence of abuse in the short and long term, says Major.

According to international research, the most promising prevention measures against child abuse encompass extended offers of health checks, parental education and social support to pregnant women and families with young children, in their own homes.

In an area where there is no reliable evidence of anything at all, where everything is left to discretion, power will show itself through the opinions of an elite of inspectors appointed by the State. In such a world of subjective assessments, the pedophobe will see abuse everywhere. They are after all there to save the children and want results. We can easily imagine how welcome these home visits will be around in the thousand homes. This is perhaps why the school has been suggested as an alternative to such programs.

Prevention of physical anb sexual abuse against children, page 20, NKVTS:
[in Norwegian]

The school is seen as a good venue to implement such programs. Here you have the opportunity to reach all children and young people across race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Children spend a lot of time at school, and the teaching situation gives good opportunity to teach them about sexual abuse and how to avoid such abuse. That these programs are provided to all children removes the stigma associated with the identification of children and families with increased risk of sexual abuse.

One may wonder how these programs are to be combined with the school's sexual education? Maybe they replace sex education, for how can children at the same time learn to know themselves, the emotions the body gives them and the importance of this in the development of a healthy sexuality, while at the same time being told that sexual touching corrupts, destroys and harms them? The programs will teach children to understand the concepts of harm, abuse and rape in a special way. For children this is not just a game of words, concepts they can fill with whatever they wish, it becomes their sexuality. 'Sexual abuse' becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, as we for example saw in the Bjugn affair. Children imitate adult interpretations of sexuality. Children can not so easily distinguish between different realities, where the pedophobe reality is just one among many.

Prevention of physical anb sexual abuse against children, page 21, NKVTS:
[in Norwegian]

There is a big consensus in the research literature that school-based educational programs are effective in strengthening children's protection behavior and knowledge about sexual abuse, but the evidence that such programs actually reduces the prevalence of sexual abuse is missing (...)

We know that pedophobia is not necessarily governed by rational considerations. The research in question is not necessarily objective and independent. The research is the Anglo-American research with their culture of sexuality and violence. This culture can give children anxiety and psychological problems, which is also pointed out in the brochure from the Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies [NKVTS]:

Prevention of physical anb sexual abuse against children, page 21, NKVTS:
[in Norwegian]

Zwi, Woolfenden, Wheeler, O'Brien, Tait, et al. (2007) have performed the latest meta-analysis in this area. They went systematically through 15 studies of school-based educational programs for the prevention of child sexual abuse. Zwi et al. (2007) concluded that children who participate in such educational programs show increased knowledge and increased protection behavior compared to children who have not received such instruction. Nevertheless Zwi et al. (2007) stresses that these results must be interpreted cautiously. Among other things they point to problems with how the original studies were analyzed, the children's knowledge was only tested shortly after the program was implemented and that some of the studies reported negative outcomes, such as increased anxiety in the children.

Pedophobia objectify children. In a pedophobe world children will through various programs from an early age learn to distinguish between their own self and their body. The body is something naughty men want. The men are only interested in the body, therefore they are bad. Sexuality becomes a property of this body that bad men want. Therefore, the body must be protected. Make a defense around the body. Set up security procedures and barriers. The body should not show weakness. It should be controlled. Children learn to fear and despise this body where sexuality sits because it is the reason for why they are harmed and need to perform. The body is the reason why bad men do bad things to them. Obviously, the bad men also have blame. Therefore children always have to be on guard and tell at once. Children learn to fear and distrust men, but also women can be naughty. One can never be sure who of the adults are naughty. There are no external characteristics of them. Even Dad can be naughty. Therefore it is better to distrust all adults. But because they themselves are about to grow up, and look upon adults as natural role models, this mistrust is ultimately directed against themselves, towards the sexuality in themselves. In this way the common characteristic of pedophobia is developed: to fear and loath sexuality.

Sexuality is socialization. As such, children are affected by the environment and the community around them. Their sexuality is a reflection of the society they live in. Sexuality reflects our innermost needs, but also our innermost fears. It is the need for closeness, it is the fear of being used and rejected. There are no guarantees, no security, just good will. The pedophobe will get rid of uncertainty for the price of closeness and trust. The pedophobe therefore never has anything to teach us about sexuality.

The objectification of sexuality creates performance anxiety. It is well known that almost all sexual dysfunction is rooted in performance anxiety. The anxiety was established in childhood when one began to fear closeness and perceive the body as an object with qualities that were important to achieve or maintain. The anxiety is an expression of the sexual education one got: sex as objectified, sex as genitalized, sex as performance, sex as various external, measurable qualities of the body separated from the self, and not least the fear that this object would be used and abused. Sexual dysfunction is a consequence of pedophobia. Fear of sexual abuse creates performance anxiety and antisocial sexuality. There is a good article on this here.

For the pedophobe it is all very simple. Sexual abuse is the cause of sexual dysfunction. Ironically, they are right. The term 'sexual abuse' is a cliché, a term without meaning and content, a collective term for all sexual behavior that is not accepted by the pedophobe. Such an erosion of the word abuse does not contribute to solve the problem of real abuse, quite the contrary. Pedophobia tends to make children more afraid to be open about their own experiences. Pedophobia interferes with a child's sexual socialization and makes them sexually incompetent. None of this helps to bring down the real abuse in society. For the pedophobe it's simple: Do we have a problem? Use wider methods. Still a problem? Use harder methods. Pedophobia may be the sexual side of a growing conflict and decay in society. We see it everywhere, in greed, selfishness, political indifference and crime. The methods of the pedophobe leads to an invasion of privacy, to more surveillance, more punishment, more rejection and more anxiety. It only raises the level of conflict. It becomes a vicious circle. Violence is used to solve problems, which only creates more violence and more problems.

Sexuality is socialization. As such, sexuality is much a matter of social coping skills and environment. Such capabilities are learned. Children must grow up in an environment where these abilities can be learned. There will come a time when there are no abused children, only children who never mastered the social coping skills it takes to be able to say yes and no to sexuality and overcoming adverse experiences. There will be no bad men, just sexually incompetent people who grew up with taboos and anxiety in families who did not support them, in environments where one could not talk about feelings, where it was not allowed to show emotions, where they learned to fear sexuality and which now means that they can not empathize, can not function sexually with others and can only force sexual acts.

Child sexuality is a reflection of adult sexuality, and children's skills and abilities will always be a product of adult skills and abilities. The only way to combat sexual abuse is to make children sexually competent. We do not need fear and anxiety for child sexuality, for it will only make children incompetent. Pedophobia has no place in a society free of abuse.

Everyday pedophobia

It may well be that the previous sections have seemed a little too theoretical for the average reader. Newspapers and media write this and that, but that is entertainment. In the US they come up with a lot of strange stuff, but this is Norway, not the USA. What does it concern us what they write at the universities? Who has read the Rind study and who cares? And when it comes to sexuality, we all know what sexuality really is. Isn't that so?

This section is going to be more practical in its approach to pedophobia. It will not be about children and pedophiles, not go into general social or cultural factors, not refer to research reports or public documents. This section will be about ordinary adults, those who barely know what pedophilia is. It will be about ordinary fathers and mothers and how they reason about pedophilia. Will you recognize yourself?


You are going to be a mother.

Men do not understand how sensual a birth is. Palpitations. Hot flushes. Sweat. Nausea. Vomiting. Travail. The contractions. The tearing pain. The fierce battle. Redemption. The first piercing scream. The child put on your chest. The pinched eyes. The small hands with crooked fingers. The breastfeeding. The little hand that reaches for the breast. Warm milk. Heartbeats alongside you. The breath. Wash and care. The smell of freshly washed baby. Sore cries. Consolation. Each whimper and sigh. A yawn. Sleep. Rhythm. All this sensuous. Your sense of smell, your visual sense, your hearing, your skin so sharpened for everything. Impressions act directly on you, without reflection, and you act instinctively. The bond to what was made and grew inside of you, that literally is part of your blood and skin, is everything. No, men do not understand this.

Precisely because of this you may not completely trust men. Of course you trust your husband. He is kind and caring and supports you. But the child is yours. You suffered for it, you gave it birth, you give it milk, you give it life. Your love is boundless. The love is sensual, tender, yes almost erotic. You trust your child more than you trust men.

The bond you made with the newborn is so strong that it will last a lifetime. For you the child will always be the little girl or the little boy, although it grows and changes beyond recognition ....

The birth went smoothly. Weeks and months pass. Before you know it your leave is over and the child must be put in kindergarten. You don't like that because you have gotten used to the closeness. Now the time spent with your child will be less, but there are also other considerations. The job is waiting. Family economy requires two incomes. Besides, you have your own ambitions you want to realize. You have a career. The child is a big part of your life, but not all.

You are of course in favour of gender equality. As a woman you want to take part in the larger community and gain responsibility on par with men. Therefore the job is so important. Yet, you are a bit surprised when you discover that there are men in kindergarten. Should men be allowed to undress your child, wash and tend it? You become a little uneasy. One thing is that your husband helped with the same, but you know him. These are men you do not know, strangers. What can happen? Should they really work with children as women do? You think it both a bit strange and unnatural. Children are women's domain. You do not entirely trust men.

You are in a hectic phase of your life. You feel you are subject to many demands. You must be proficient at work, you must be a good mother and you need to stay attractive. At work you feel you have to exert yourself so that they will still take you seriously after the maternity leave. At home you do everything to be a good mom and try to compensate for the time you are away from your child. And of course you set requirements for your appearance. You want to remain attractive. You have stretch marks after the birth that you think spoils the body, and you want them away before the bathing season. You put on a few kilos during the pregnancy which you are now working on to remove. You do not entirely trust that men will find you attractive with these marks or these kilos.

Ever since puberty you have had an awareness of your appearance. Life before the mirror has at times been marked by defeats. Today you are more confident about yourself (you are after all an adult) and do not feel the same pressure as before. It is easy to laugh at all the stupid things you and your girlfriends came up with to get attention from the boys. You were so insecure in those years. The outer self became a means to compensate for the insecurity. But even if you are older now and more sure the mirror still poses demands. When you watch yourself, you still want to be a little different from what you see. As young, you took your fine skin for granted. You remember how you could laugh at everything adult women came up with to keep their skin fine. Today you know that your skin requires more attention. You do not want it to decline.

Everywhere demands are put on you. In magazines, on TV and the Internet you see women who are successful, who apparently manage everything, and who look young and attractive. It puts pressure on you to be the same. Of course you can ignore them and think that you are valuable anyway, but you do not completely trust that to be true ....

Years pass. Your husband is changing. You are not so good friends any more. It becomes more tiring to keep the relationship alive. Somehow there is no surplus for it. There is not enough time. You feel you both do not communicate as well as you did before. You have always had trouble speaking properly with men. You may feel that men do not like conversations. You have always felt that since your first relationship with a man, your father. You never really talked to your father when you were little. It was like there were so many obstacles. From your mother you were taught that girls should be beware of men and not get too close to them. Your father remained part stranger. You thought you would get along better when you got older, but it did not happen. All men are really strangers. What are they thinking about? How does it work inside their heads? Maybe you never really trusted men because you never got an answer to these questions.

Then one day you get a terrible suspicion. Does your husband have an affair with another woman? Maybe someone who is younger than yourself? For you know that time is never a woman's friend. You first feel a violent rage. All your suspicions about men become true.

Some time later, that happens which many have to go through. You and your husband have known each other for nearly fifteen years, but now you part. It has been in the cards for a while. In a way it is a relief to get a clarification. You have agreed to walk your own ways. You part as friends. The memories and the little girl will always bind you together. You realize that adults also change and may need different people at different phases in life. What works today may not work five or fifteen years later ....

Your daughter has now become so old that you can have real conversations with her. Maybe you live in a new place. Or you have got yourself a new job with new people. It is difficult to maintain contact with the old friends. Therefore your daughter now becomes your new regular friend. You got tied even closer after the divorce and now she lives with you. She is only 10 years old but is mature for her age. She is obviously still a child, but also something more. You go out and shop together, buy the same clothes (just in different sizes), try makeup, comb each other's hair, eat and chat, confide to each other and do all things friends usually do. Through her you once again experience the joy of being young. Her joy becomes your joy. You are obviously still her mother, but in a significant way she is equal to you.

Girls may get along very well, that you know. But you also know that it often requires that you live in a separate feminine world. Once boys-men break that circle everything gets disturbed. Ties and mutual confidences are tested. There is knifing, envy, jealousy, slander and conflict ....

Despite the fact that you felt it was appropriate to separate, you also feel that the divorce was a defeat. Throughout your childhood you learned to think of marriage as a realization of all dreams. This meant that you were willing to forgo some joy here and now in favor of a future happiness. But there were other considerations. As a woman you know that there exists something that is hard to define, but which nonetheless is very real, and it's called reputation. Virtuous girls have a reputation to look after. That your mother taught you. A good reputation lays the foundation for a good man. You wanted in fact the perfect man, Prince Charming. You were to marry and live the rest of your lives together. Together you would wander into eternity. You now know it was an illusion. A relationship is full of compromises. Life is a series of changes. Prince Charming does not exist.

Your bitter experience does not mean that you do not still yearn to share your life with someone. One day you think you have found him. You begin to meet regularly and it seems as if things are right. He is introduced to your daughter who is now 11 years old. The only small hindrance is that the relationship with your daughter now becomes more strained. She does not want to have a new dad. She is upset and defiant.

However, it seems to work out eventually. Your new boyfriend puts down a lot of time on her, buy her things, take her out, is much together with her. Your daughter becomes more tractable. Deep inside you do not like the attention she gets, but it appears she is getting used to the idea of having a new dad.

Then one day you get a terrible suspicion. Your daughter let fall a few words that you at first do not put too much into. She was held a little extra the last time they were out. It is just a hint, but it does arouse suspicion ....

You ask your daughter to tell more. Suddenly she tells everything. You are paralyzed with fear. What you have repressed for so many years now surface, namely that you have a painful secret. You were touched when you were little. Many years ago. You never told to anyone. You could not talk to your father and you did not dare say anything to your mother. You never told how you were fingered by your old, filthy grandfather. He died when you were 13 years old, but only at nineteen did you tell your mother. She reacted with disbelief. You are determined that this shall not occur again and contact the police.

There is a big fuss. Your boyfriend is interrogated and put into custody. You naturally cease to have any contact with him. Your daughter is examined by a doctor and has to go to a psychologist to find out whether there is any long-term damage. She is offered therapy. You are contacted by the child protection authorities. She has to testify to a judge. Your daughter is a little hazy about what really happened. But she is only a child and can not be expected to remember everything. She cries and is in a lot of pain. Your anger and rage is now not only directed against your former boyfriend, but towards all men. Men are some swine. You can never trust them. That is how they all are. They like young skin and docility. When they get an opportunity they happily abuse a little girl. Have you not always had a suspicion of this? Is this not proof that you were right? Have not men always let you down?

The pedophiles say they love children, but what happens when the child grows up and no longer is a child? Such relationships do not last. They just want a young and docile body, and when they are finished with it, they go to a new one.

The case draws out. There is no evidence against your former boyfriend apart from what your daughter says. He denies everything. She changes her testimony. No child pornography is found in the man's home. Word stands against word. The case is eventually dropped. But it does not change your opinion. You think the demands for proof is too big. It is difficult to convict men in such cases. The punishments are also too light. Such crimes are worse than murder. You become politically active and campaign for the introduction of a public registry where anyone who has been convicted of pedophilia or is suspected of pedophilia is listed. Then a woman can check whether a man represents a danger to her children.

The relationship with your daughter never becomes the same. Despite the fact that you are alone again, there is now an atmosphere of distrust between you. You avoid talking about the case. Years later, she says that what happened really did not happen. But you do not believe her. It is just an attempt on her part to suppress the bad memories ....

You like to swim and go at least once a week to the swimming hall. Your son has joined you since he could hardly walk. You have taught him to swim. It is very nice to unwind in this way and do something with him. He comes with you into the ladies' locker room where he changes and showers with you. This works well for many years, but then one day a woman in the locker room says that she does not like having the boy there. She thinks he stares at her. You are surprised. Your son is 6 years old. You have never noticed that he stares at you or anyone else in the shower. You investigate and find out that the swimming hall does not allow boys into the ladies' locker room when they have reached school age. Your son will start school this fall. He must either use the men's room or stay at home. But what might happen to him in the men's room? You know that such places swarm with pedophiles. Swimming halls attract men who abuse boys. Your son is 6 years old. Even so, he is in reality perceived as a Man in the ladies' room. You assume he will be sexually abused in the men's room .... Your son stays at home and you lose a little of the companionship you had with him. The attitudes of the women in the ladies' room you accept, it is the pedophiles who get the blame.


Imagine that you are going to be a father for the first time.

After months of waiting and preparations the time has come. Your wife will give birth. Until now she has been your companion and sex partner. Now everything gets much more serious. Your wife has changed. Something is growing inside of her. You know it is going to be a child, your child. And your sex partner is going to be a mother. You come to understand that there really is a female of the species, the one who becomes pregnant and gives birth, and how special she is to you.

The term is approaching. Everything now concentrates on her. All the preparations have been made, it has gone well many times before, but you are anxious and nervous nonetheless. You are more anxious than her because it does not take place with you, it is out of your control. You're just a spectator during those long days and hours of waiting. You experience her pain that you can do nothing about. Will it ever end?

Then comes the moment. Were you in the room or did you have to leave? But then you hear a scream. Life lights up like a match in the dark. Who's screaming? Is it the bundle that is screaming? Who has placed that child here in this room?

It is the miracle, the only real miracle that exists. And for the first time in your life you understand how small you are. Up until now you have lived only for yourself, been concerned only with your own issues. Now you realize that you are just a link in a chain that extends indefinitely backward and forward. The whole perspective of your life changes when you first hold the warm bundle in your arms. You will never get back your old self ....

Everyday life sets in. Having a child is not just wonders and tears. It requires care, time and patience. You notice that your child is quite self-centered and selfish. It burps, gulps, produce bad smells and keeps you awake at night. But you put up with it, as countless fathers have done before. For you are a father, with the responsibility that entails. You will never escape this responsibility, the personal responsibility. You know that no one else would bother or care about your child as you do.

The first time your child looks at you and recognizes you. The eyes no longer stare flatly into the air, but looks at you. The first tentative words. "Da-Da". "Daddy". Suddenly this creature has become a human. It is aware that you exist. It is conscious that itself exists. Others are. I am. It is a moment of joy of having produced a healthy and normal human being who now enters the community, and it is the beginning of a lifelong relationship with this human. But a new person in the house is also a new will in the house, a will which is not necessarily similar to yours. Thus, this moment is also the beginning of disagreements, if not conflicts ....

You know of course what is best for children. You have lived for a while and know the dangers. You know there are roads with traffic. There cars come fast and they do not care about 3-year-olds running out to retrieve their ball. People are harmed on those roads, they die. That you know, you who have lived for a while.

You know what is best for children. You know when they should eat and when they should go to bed. Or maybe you just know that children need food and must sleep sometimes? Maybe the child will not eat or sleep whenever you want it to? What do you do then? There are now several wills in the house, multiple viewpoints, this you realize. But you are after all the adult, he who has the final say. Children must abide by your will, as you had to abide by your parents' will, that you remember. What would the result be if children got to decide for themselves? The ball and the car.

Children do not know their own good. But you know, as an adult. By guiding them, they will acquire knowledge without having to go through negative experiences. You do not want to be a spectator when they try and fail and find their own way. You know better. You know the dangers and you know what children have to do in order to make proper people of them. You want them to succeed in life. You have ambitions on their behalf. You have done things you regret and do not want them to repeat.

A few years pass. The little girl has grown. Now she can speak properly and will soon go to school. The years when she was little seem in hindsight to have gone so fast. It was a hectic period in your life, there was much to do at work, you were in the midst of a career and probably would agree that time spent with your daughter was too little. Children grow fast. They change almost every day. Now she has begun to take part in the larger social community outside of home. At school she is proficient and deft. Besides school, she takes part in activities. She trains and may perhaps one day excel. As a good father you step forward, pay what is to be paid and take time to drive her to various appointments. She is going to succeed in life and achieve what you think is best for her. Obviously not everything goes according to plan. Disappointments always come. But you are there to support her and give her the opportunities.

You would probably have liked to have more time for a proper conversation with your daughter, not just the chat you have in the car or around the dinner table. Now, perhaps her sorrows seem trivial to you. A spider. An abrasion. The broken wing of a bird. Teasing in class. In the midst of your own adult seriousness, it is good to know that there are those who have no other worries than these. You feel you are a good father when you give her a safe framework for her existence.

Did you and your daughter ever become friends? It is perhaps not so easy to be friends with someone who is so much younger than yourself and who you also decide over. You have never really felt that she was your equal, even if she has gradually become bigger and can think, reason and say the most surprising things. But you can not take her little world seriously. You can never ask her for advice on personal matters or really talk seriously with her. It would be like taking away her childhood and the safe framework you have built up around her.

Your daughter reaches puberty. If you have not noticed it before, you now realize that she is withdrawing. She wants to be alone in the bathroom, buy her own clothes, be out with friends. And then she has started to have secrets for her daddy. She no longer talks about this and that, no longer throws into the air whatever falls on her mind. She turns inward, becomes more concerned with her own issues. The time with her becomes less. The school she is now tired of, even if you constantly explain to her how important it is ....

You have naturally noticed that her body is getting curves. Through this budding womanhood you realize for the first time how unfair the world can be for the opposite sex. Now the monster shows itself. The time has come for the great and important talk. You must clarify a few things for her. Much of this you have entrusted to her mother, but there are a few things you as a man must say to her about men. It is not easy, but you must do it. From the day she was born your mission has been to make her safe.

You remember back to younger days. You were no saint exactly. You debuted when you were 16 with a girl a couple of years younger. Then you kept it going for a while. The willy got aired. You were in high school. You were in the Navy with the boys. You were on Interrail. A lot happened. And then there was the trip to Bangkok. What was the name of that Swedish girl? Gunilla? Oh yes, you were a real savage before you met your wife.

What suddenly strikes you is that all these girls you've had sex with had a father. You never met that father but he was somewhere. Did he know what his daughter was doing? Would he have liked to know what his daughter was doing? You ask these questions because it suddenly dawns on you that you are the father in this way now. And you don't like it. You simply can not stand the thought that your daughter will be treated like Gunilla was treated by you and the others. On the whole, it is disgusting to remember this now. The first girl you had sex with was only 14. You did not think about it at the time. You were young and thoughtless, had little experience and did stupid things ....

The worst is that you are confronted with the though that someone is actually going to carry out a sexual act with your daughter. Because your daughter is in many ways yourself, this act will in a way also be carried out on you. This is not a nice thought, and it changes how you think about sex. It is okay you did things with others' daughters, but the thought that others are going to do the same with your daughter is too much. You now see sex for what it really is: raw and uncontrollable lust (you know how it was), inexperienced and reckless boys (you were one of them) and a poor girl that can be damaged. She is still your little girl. It was not so long ago you held her in your arms, saw her fear of spiders, saw how she got hurt when she fell, how she can cry and be unhappy ....

So you have the big talk with your daughter, where you make her aware of what boys are, what boys want and what sexuality really is. Your fatherly act ends with a sincere plea to take care. You are perhaps the type who also have views on how she dresses, who she is together with and are worried about where she has been. Then you may be served something like this: "What the hell is that your business?? If you want to know, I have fucked, yes. Many times. With many. Get contraceptives from nurse. Leave me alone." To avoid such a scene, to not have to hear the naked truth, it is better to push it away. The topic is so inflamed and uncomfortable anyway so it is better to pretend it does not exist. After the conversation with your daughter you therefore let the issue lie, and let happen what happens. It is not easy to be a father.

Her boyfriend comes to visit. A limp handshake. A sheepish hello. A boy her own age. A pimply snot puppy. He poses no threat to you. Your daughter is still fond of her daddy .... When she is 18 she is no longer a child. Then she can move out and do what she likes, just not here in this house.

In her room hang posters of teen idols. As a rule these boys are older than herself. You overhear a comment about a teacher at school who is handsome. When chatting goes on about boys in her peer group, it is not necessarily peers they are talking about. You have even taken yourself in looking at some of her friends, of course in all innocence, for you are a responsible father, but some of them look good, you can't get past that fact. Today it is hard to see a difference between a 14-15-year-old and a 18-year-old. But they are underage, that you know, and God's grace to a man if he ever touched your daughter.

Then happens what you almost did not dare think could happen. One day you get a call from the police. Your daughter is involved in a case. It has something to do with a grown man. Criminal activities have occurred — or was about to occur — or could occur. There is a fuss without equal. You must attend a questioning by the police as guardian for your daughter. Your daughter is examined by a doctor and has to go to a psychologist to find out whether there is any long-term damage. She is offered therapy. You are contacted by the child protection authorities. School authorities want to know why she has not been to school. Your daughter is silent and will not cooperate. After a while it blows over. The case is dropped, but it has made you really scared.

Why didn't she say anything? Why she didn't she tell? If she had problems, why did she not come to her dad for help? Has her entire upbringing been wasted? Have you not told her time and again to take care?

You get nothing out of her. She is defiant. You get angry. Not so much at her, she's only a child, but at the man who did this to her, who is to blame for it all. He's a pig, a coward, a sick pervert, a loser who can not make it out with peers and has to accost children, does she not understand that? Does she not understand what he was brought about? Such men only want to hurt you! They trick inexperienced girls and promise everything, then they get what they want and disappear.

You make her realize her mistakes. She listens to Dad. Tears come. Yes, she was wrong. Yes, she regrets. Then she is in your arms again and is your little girl. Have I not told you many times not to do such things.

Now all your anger is turned against such men. The fear after the first phone call from the police, the humiliation during the interrogation, your wounded pride after the medical examination, the feeling of having been made fun of by another man, the conflict with your daughter, your entire disgrace is now directed at such men. They are pedophiles. They are to blame for everything. They are the deviants. They want to take what belongs to you, what you love. They want to interfere and create disorder in your family. They want to help themselves without paying. They want to use a small child who can not defend itself. Children always do what adults say. Adults always get their way with children. Children view adults as authorities and dare not say no. Children do not know their own good. Therefore your daughter consented, even if she did not want to and did not desire it. The pedophiles deliberately want to harm the girl for life. They only want to satisfied their own appetites. How would it be if we only went around and satisfied our own appetites? Children would not go to school and your daughter would be trained to become a prostitute. Men who do such things to girls are sick. We must guard ourselves against such men. They must be locked up. They must not be allowed to go around and destroy children.

Even worse would it be if something similar happened to your son. Certainly you tolerate gays. Gays may dress up and entertain you. They can go in their parades and make noise. Gays may very well be allowed to be themselves, not just here, not in your family. In the family and among children gays have no business. They do not even have children. Why would your son seek gays? Your son is not gay. You have ambitions on his behalf. He will one day be something in mathematics or become an athlete or a doctor. Then he can not also dress up and go in a parade. The gays only think about sex. Your son has more important things to think about. Above all, he will one day ensure that you become a proud grandfather. He will have children with a nice wife, so that the link in the chain that extends indefinitely backward and forward is not broken. Your son can not possibly be gay. Because he is in many ways yourself, it would mean that you too were a little gay. No, it is the pedophiles who are to blame. They are the ones who take away your son. They seduce the boy before he knows what is best. They will make your son gay. Men who do such things to boys are sick. We must guard ourselves against such men. They must be locked up. They must not be allowed to go around and destroy children.

He is so arrogant ... he lectures me on my children ... am I not allowed to be scared and anxious for my kids ... he dismisses it with pedophobia ... do I not have a good reason to fear his kind ... what do we read in the newspapers every day ... what do we see on TV ... didn't we just receive a notice about a convicted moving in to our neighborhood ... and then we should not be afraid for our children ... at school they have told us what we should be wary about ... they do not say that without good reason ... they have done research ... sexual abuse creates lifelong trauma and destroys a life ... it is worse than murder ... we must be on our guard all the time ... the children should be held under supervision ... we can never know what can happen when we are absent ... children should be protected from this sort ... children should be allowed to be children and grow up in safety ... children can not defend themselves against a big grown man ... these men must be declared sick and barred up ... there must be an end to wink at it ... we can not have tolerance for such ... we need action ... it concerns our kids ... we love them highly and will do everything for them ... the pedophiles will get to learn this ... our kids are the most precious we have ... therefore we need politicians with backbone ... we need a strong leader who can cut through and do something with these pedophiles ... castrate them, shoot them, remove them from society so that our children can be safe ... children should grow up in safety ... is that too much to ask?

The pedophobe

In this section five psychological profiles of people who are pedophobe will be drawn. Through these profiles, I will identify and motivate types of pedophobia in the human psyche. I will give examples (cases) of each type. Something like this has never been done before, so what follows must only be seen as a draft.

In Dagbladet in January 2010 we could read [in Norwegian; the heading reads "- Was denounced as perverse by an airline"] about a businessman who was termed a pedophile because he refused to move away from an airplane seat next to a 12 year old boy. British Airways do not allow adult men to sit next to unaccompanied children. The cabin crew who insisted on this naturally acted as instructed. We can not know to what extent he or she thought that the man was a threat to the child in a public and transparent place like an airplane.

This is a good example of institutionalized pedophobia. It is a form of pedophobia that hides behind laws and statutes. Those who exercise the pedophobia are officials who risk losing their jobs if they do not act according to instructions. There are of course people who are responsible for these laws, statutes and regulations, but they are also (or may be) people who only act in virtue of their position, as director of an airline etc. The ultimate responsibility can not be attributed to a specific person but is the sum of political decisions, culture, society, zeitgeist or just what one can get away with, what one can carry out without it having legal consequences.

On [in Norwegian; the link is from; see also this Norwegian link] we read in January 2011 an interview with Margrete Wiede Aasland where it is claimed "that five percent of children below 18 years are victims of serious repeated sexual abuse in one of the body orifices" and "that 55,000 children in Norway are raped more than once during childhood". Wiede Aasland is a specialist in sexological counseling and head of the Institute for Clinical Sexology and Therapy ['Institutt for Klinisk Sexologi og Terapi' or IKST]. On their website we read that "IKST is a private clinic offering psychotherapy to people who are struggling and experiencing difficulties with their sexuality". We must believe that there exists a relationship between the position Wiede Aasland holds, the economic incentives of IKST and the viewpoint on how many children are raped in Norway.

It need not be economic motives behind pedophobic claims. The allegations can be politically motivated. In a report made for the UN Human Rights Commission UNHCR from 2009 it says: "The number of sites devoted to child pornography worldwide is growing: 480,000 identified in 2004 compared to 261,653 in 2001. The number of predators connected to the Internet at any one time is estimated to be 750,000" and "Since child pornography is illegal, it is difficult to estimate the number of minors worldwide who are victims of these networks; estimates range from 10,000 to 100,000". No reliable source is indicated for any of these figures and they appear to be taken out of the air [in Norwegian; the caption reads "Nonsense about childporn and pedophiles from the UN"]. Such figures can be used by politicians to increase funding, create new laws, introduce more monitoring and raise penalties. We also note the phraseology. We read about predators and victims. Calling people names does not make the matter more correct. The author of the report (Najat M’jid Maalla) uses the rhetoric of pedophobia, its exaggerations, distortions and falsehoods, to promote his own and others' political career.

Profile 1: The Professional. Pedophobia is related to one's profession or to one's position. Certain attitudes and norms to pedophilia and child sexuality is considered to be necessary in one's work. These attitudes are allowed to control one's behavior. This type of pedophobia is the most superficial in that the attitudes are closely related to the work one performs or the position one holds. One does not reflect much over the nature and content of pedophobia, only accept it and use it. The attitudes may disappear when they are no longer required. The professional pedophobe is characterized not so much by a pathological condition as by an uncritical acceptance of norms and the external pressure everyone experience for compliancy. The professional pedophobe can consciously apply the discourse of pedophobia to promote his or her own career or for financial gain. Examples of professional pedophobes are politicians, therapists, child-care staff and people associated with international organizations related to children.

In connection with the so-called Pocketman case, this stood in Aftenposten:

Aftenposten 15.01.2008: [in Norwegian]

For nothing upsets us more than when adults systematically abuse children sexually. This is the area of absolute zero tolerance in a society that otherwise exude more or less assumed appreciation for most. It gives an indication of where such offenders are located in the criminal hierarchy when the Ila prison population shouts words of abuse after an otherwise beloved attorney [the Pocketman's defense attorney]. For even here there is a code of honor.

We may immediately wonder if the 'Ila prison population' is an authority that Harald Stanghelle uses in other contexts when morality and obedience to the law is a topic? But the really interesting part is his statement about absolute zero tolerance. Does he imply that society has a tolerance for rape of adult women that is greater than zero? Or is zero tolerance more a question of zero tolerance for any sexual contact between children and adults, no matter how it came about? Once we venturing into the absolute, the world becomes simple. Dangerously simple. In such a simple world, we can easily lose our individuality, our empathy, our compassion and decency, and tear down the rule of law that has cost us so much to build. It is surprising that a reflective and knowledgeable man like Harald Stanghelle can vouch for such a simple world. [Harald Stanghelle is one of the editors of Aftenposten, Norway's largest newspaper]

Often one must seek underlying causes for pedophobia, reasons that go deeper than the mere practical considerations in the exercise of a profession or the pressure to be politically correct that everyone feels.

Mike Echols was an American anti-pedophile activist, a classic pedophobe. His hatred was directed against the boy pedophile community in the USA, and consisted of various forms of verbal assault, harassment, publication of the names of pedophiles ("outing") as well as harassing named persons' family, employers and neighborhoods. By reading here and here we get an impression of this person, his life and methods. By portraying himself as a protector of children, he deliberately used the appeal associated with the welfare of children to justify his own behavior as a bully. His mission was to rid the Internet of child sex predators. Anyone who did not agree with him and his methods were either pedophiles or took part in a pedophile conspiracy.

The most interesting aspect of the psyche of this person was his preoccupation with boys. He published pictures of boys on his website under the pretext of wanting to identify victims of child pornography. He was caught with a large number of data disks and two magazines with photographs of naked boys, but claimed that the material was just to show others what child pornography was. Mike Echols is a good example of the type of man who can not relate to his own feelings by other means than spewing out hate. His demise shows just how it goes when one makes hatred into an aim in life.

Profile 2: The hypocritical. Pedophobia is related to the fact that one is a pedophile or have pedophile tendencies, i.e. that under certain circumstances one can find children (people under the age of consent) to be sexually attractive. This attraction may be something oneself acknowledges, but usually it is about feelings one does not accept and fight against. For the hypocritical pedophobe, pedophobia is a psychological defense mechanism. It is a way of projecting one's own shame, frustration and aggression over on others. It is the children who are to blame. They are the ones who evoke evil emotions by how they behave, act, dress, are sexual etc. Likewise it is 'the pedophiles' who are to blame. For the hypocritical pedophobes the pedophiles are those who really are the criminals, not themselves. This is demonstrated to oneself and others by publicly condemning pedophiles. The hypocritical pedophobe always gives the others the blame. Such people will deny to others what they themselves feel, and criticize in others how they themselves are. Ultimately this can take on the form of a neurosis, where one's inner and outer self is in such a great conflict that it can be characterized as a psychotic state.

Often we witness in the pedophobe a psychological mechanism called Reaction formation [the Norwegian version of this page gives as an example Member of Congress Mark Foley]. The mechanism can be described as follows: a need to dwell upon and repeat the horror of sexual abuse of children, where the titillation and reinforcement of denied pleasurable interests occur by an apparent aversion but nevertheless a persistent preoccupation with admittedly heinous acts.

Such reaction formation is also done by the media, where a detailed description of sexual acts with children is combined with declarations of disgust and the use of words such as assault and abuse, eg. see here [in Norwegian; the media coverage of the Pocketman case].

Here [in Norwegian] we read about how an editor went online as 12-year-old 'Jon' to reveal men with pedophile tendencies. We may wonder how legal it is for this 12-year-old to talk about sex with someone who really is 12 years old but pretends to be older online, but that is perhaps not a matter that concerns the editor. If it is okay to play a 12-year-old online, isn't it also okay to play that you like 12-year-olds online? But anyway, this illustrates how the pedophobe can identify with children and their supposed weakness. It is to put oneself in the role of victim, an innocent 12-year-old, but not so innocent that this 12-year-old does not talk about sex with strangers online. Maybe it most of all tells us something about the editor himself, about his thoughts, insecurities and fears related to sexuality? Who are these men with pedophile tendencies, and who am I?

The editor's role-playing is rather innocent. It turns into something completely different when such role-playing is used to systematically persecute and imprison people. In the United States Chris Hansen made such role-playing into a mixture of crusade and entertainment with the series To Catch a Predator, a series which was also shown in Norway. An episode of this series led a prosecutor in Texas to commit suicide. Pedophobia can take lives. Ironically, Chris Hansen was later shown to have an extramarital affair with a woman who was twenty years younger than himself (though not underage), see here. This has helped to draw up a line between the pedophobe and the non-pedophobe in the US, where one has begun to caricature and ridicule people like Chris Hansen.

Animal Planet

Apart from the hypocrisy, Chris Hansen is a good example of the kind pedophobe who is convinced that children are weak and need to be saved/protected. Various forms of identification and role play as children is part of this. For such people, encounters with 'pedophiles' will always happen in the role of victim. The pedophiles are the wolves, they are the lambs.

Profile 3: The powerless. Pedophobia is linked to the feeling of vulnerability and/or powerlessness. This includes emotions such as weakness, vulnerability, helplessness, anxiety and xenophobia. The emotions may be general conditions in the psyche or they may emerge (be triggered) by current events. The powerless pedophobe will feel anxiety and uncertainty faced with cases of child sexuality. Likewise, they experience a sense of vulnerability and fear in the face of pedophilia. These feelings are motivated by a consistent notion that they themselves are weak and/or that children are weak. The powerless pedophobe can project their own experience of weakness and vulnerability onto the child. It is difficult or impossible to convince them that they (and children) in reality are strong and safe. They will at the same time experience the vulnerability as very real and be unable to remedy or prevent such a self-perception. One reason may be that the role of vulnerable is part of a survival strategy, developed since childhood, where one by portraying oneself as small and weak can arouse sympathy and obtain advantages from others. The powerless pedophobe can become psychotic when they in their conviction of danger are panic-stricken and act hysterically and irrationally.

Oprah Winfrey led a famous American talk show. Already in 1986 she declared in one of her shows that she had been sexually abused in childhood, see here. Afterwards she made the fight against 'child sexual predators' a passionate cause, and spread a large amount of exaggeration and disinformation to millions of American television viewers. Two of the more bizarre occurances involved a so-called manual for abusing children and an alleged organization of 9,000 penises. Both of these were in reality satire posted on the website and had no basis in reality. The Oprah Winfrey Show never made an attempt to verify the truth of these show features, and together with similar features they created large amounts of unjustified fear in the population.

In a book that was published in 2010 it is claimed that Oprah Winfrey exaggerated or lied about her childhood poverty and sexual abuse, see here. It is impossible to know whether she really was sexually abused or if it is all just opportunism, a carefully planned step in building up a media image of oneself as victim and unprivileged to extract profit. Nevertheless, we may assume that the pedophobia of Oprah Winfrey is motivated by what she went through.

In 2007, when the so-called grooming-paragraph was introduced [in Norway] this could be read in VG:

VG 23.05.2007:

The Høyre [a Norwegian conservative party] politician André Dahl wants suggestions for new measures to prevent pedophiles to gain favor with little children. As a child, he himself was fooled over the phone. Dahl has earlier spoken openly about how he was abused as a child. He is open to new suggestions on how to combat pedophiles who approach children - so-called "grooming" [the actual English word] - even after the so-called "Grooming"-act was adopted earlier this year.

Here [in Norwegian] we can read more about the tragedy that struck André Dahl when he as a 14-year-old sought contact with a 22-year-old, who turned out to be a 50-year-old. We must believe that this incident really took place and that it of course was traumatic. But does that mean that all sexual contacts between 14-year-olds and older men are traumatic? Read here [in Norwegian; the story about the Norwegian stylist Jan Thomas Mørch Husby's first sexual experience; the heading reads "- He had to be around daddy's age, somewhere between 40 og 50 years old"]. There is always a tendency to make one's own experiences into universal experiences, especially when they are bad, but does that have anything to do with pedophilia? Is it not rather a question of the problems a boy has with coming forward as gay, and get the guidance and support from his family and others close to him that he needs? Abuse may just as well express poor social coping skills and a sexually incompetent environment.

Profile 4: The vengeful. Pedophobia is related to thoughts of revenge after sexual abuse. The abuse may be real (for you yourself or someone close to you who was actually sexually abused) or perceived (by thinking that something happened that did not happen or by reinterpreting events that really took place). The dislike of a particular offender has been made into a general dislike of pedophilia and child sexual expression. The hatred has become universalized. Typical of the vengeful pedophobe is the belief that all sexual expression in children is produced by something outside the child (grooming). The vengeful pedophobe brings his pedophobia with him everywhere, in all circumstances and in all respects, and influences his life in every way. Therefore, this variant of pedophobia is more pathological. It can darken and sour one's existence and give rise to continuous and lifelong ailments, both mental and somatic. As with other obsessions, the vengeful pedophobe will not acknowledge that they themselves have a problem, created and located within themselves, but will always perceive the pedophobia as a natural consequence of how pedophiles are and how children are.

Pedophobia as thoughts of revenge can be directed against sexuality itself. It can be sexual contempt. An interesting example is the case [in Norwegian; the heading reads "Mariel (16) terrorized by the 'Laserman' - For two years Mariel Longva (16) from Ålesund was terrorized with a laser pistol by her former trainer"] where a 16-year-old girl was harassed by her former trainer, a adult man. The trainer also did the same to the daughter of a policeman, and we must believe that he had a 'problem' with girls at this age.

There are other paths into pedophobia. They go along more narcissistic lines and have to do with a warped view of one's own body and sexuality. Here we can read about two central figures in American diet industry. Sylvester Graham (1794-1851) is known for the Graham bread. John Harvey Kellogg (1852-1943) is known for cereals. Both had a confessional, almost quasi-religious desire to improve the diet and sexuality in society. A fiber-rich diet and a healthy sexuality belonged together, in the sense that they both concerned ablution, self-control and the lean. To Graham and Kellogg all kinds of hunger, both for food and sex, was a threat to good health.

Sylvester Graham
Sylvester Graham.

Sylvester Graham was early on known for his attacks on masturbation. Virtually every human disease and infirmity could be explained by this vice. He was the author of the book "Lectures to Young Men on Chastity". Later he was more concerned with diet. The stomach was like the genitals a source of pleasure. It was important to remove this pleasure from the stomach. Eventually he was against anything that could be considered lascivious or promote pleasure, also corsets and warm clothes. He could make his case with authority because Christianity has always had in it an element of bodily denial and asceticism.

John Harvey Kellogg is known for a quote on the use of circumcision against masturbation, see here. His attitude to children's sexuality was an extension of the attitude to his own sexuality, as it tends to be. He was married but never had sex with his wife. Instead of intercourse, he had developed the habit of getting his rectum filled with water, we must believe in the name of some salutary effect. It is also no coincidence that fiber-rich foods are related to digestion and bowel functioning.

Kellogg, Graham and the Crusade for Moral Fiber:

It's quite likely, though, that the doctor [John Harvey Kellogg] was in some way dysfunctional (one book suggests he had mumps). After breakfast every morning, he had an orderly give him an enema. This may mean he had klismaphilia, an anomaly of sexual functioning traceable to childhood in which an enema substitutes for regular sexual intercourse. For the klismaphile, putting the penis in the vagina is experienced as hard, dangerous, and repulsive work.

Kellogg shows us how easy it is to trivialize the needs of others when you yourself do not have such needs. Behind a facade of health, reason, control and morality Kellogg was able to cover up his various physical and mental infirmities. Fear of intimacy, fear of one's own body and anxiety for sexual acts were part of this.

Profile 5: The dysfunctional. Pedophobia is related to asexuality and/or anti-sexuality. The dysfunctional pedophobe will generally have great difficulty in experiencing sexual needs as normal and legitimate, either because he does not have such needs or he has found a replacement (a surrogate) for sex. The dysfunctional pedophobe will have serious problems with recognizing the need for sex in others. Typically, he will view childhood sexual expression (self-stimulation, sex with other children, sex with adults) as a disgusting abnormality. Likewise, he will consider pedophilia with incomprehension and disgust. The core of this type of pedophobia consists of various disorders and pathological conditions in relation to one's own body. This makes the pedophobe unable to understand or imagine others' sexual needs. Most often, the disorder is based on a strict childhood where sexuality was never allowed to socialize.

John Harvey Kellogg
John Harvey Kellogg.

The case of Dr. Kellogg illustrates another point about pedophobia: the pedophobe is always right. This is achieved by using circular arguments and sorting out facts that do not fit with what is to be proved. No chronic onanist was admitted to the treatment center of Kellogg, for then Kellogg did not have to acknowledge that there was no cure for masturbation (and that masturbation therefore was not a disease). Thus the center had a remarkably high recovery rate, which proved that Kellogg was right. Kellogg could always theorize about those who were not admitted. By diagnosing them as masturbators, he could declare them as sick and blame the patient. If the patient was bothered by the fact that he was masturbating, that was the evidence that the disease designation was correct. If the masturbation just continued, it was proof that the vice made the disease chronic and irreversible. In reality the different diagnoses and cures of Kellogg's were a power play. The power appeared in the fact that Kellogg was always right.

The outcasts

In recent times several cases in the United States have appeared where children have been charged with having stored and distributed child pornographic images of themselves. Here is one example of such a case with a 14 year old girl. It seems that someone always has to be punished when children are sexual.

[five years later such cases have practically exploded in Norway, see here ("One in ten young send nude pictures") and here ("Children as young as 10 share nude pictures") etc.]

In Sweden, a mother was arrested after having filmed her kids in the bath tub, ironically enough as an attempt to document 'strange' behavior.

Dagbladet had a long article about Mary Kay LeTourneau, the woman who had a child with a young teenage boy in the United States. She is not the only female teacher who has been accused of having 'abused' and 'raped' middle school boys. A woman received a life sentence for making a 13 year old boy touch her breasts.

In Norway we see a new trend. First a case is blown up in the media, then the suspect is deprived of his job. This happens long before any conviction is established. Here is a description of how a doctor lost his authorization, here how a district court judge was suspended from his position. We read:

- The alternative in this case would have been paid leave, but that we do not want to give in such cases. This is a serious indictment where we believe the suspension is correct. We also believe it meets statutory requirements, says information director Erling Moe to Dagbladet.

The fall from Judge to nothing happens alarmingly fast, almost as if this person underwent an instant metamorphosis and now belongs to another species.

In 2005, an 8 year old boy was beaten to death by his stepfather. For a long time before the murder he had been physically abused. This is known as the Christoffer case [in Norwegian; the Christoffer case was one of the worst physical child abuse cases in Norway in recent times]. The case was dropped twice before it was investigated. In 2010, the stepfather was sentenced to 8 years of imprisonment.

In 2010 the so-called Pocketman also got his verdict. He was among other things convicted of having tricked boys to touch him and make a boy perform oral sex. To the extent that violence was used, it was "by holding his head and opening his mouth", read here. The Pocketman was sentenced to 9 years of detention, see here. An important premise for the detention was that the Pocketman had been diagnosed as pedophile. Therefore the experts stated that there was a great risk of recidivism [in Norwegian; the heading reads "Experts: - The Pocketman-indicted is pedophile"].

The Pocketman's actions were reprehensible, do not let there be any doubt about it. One should not go around and force or lure random children. The Pocketman's problem was ultimately his sexual contempt. But he received a heavier penalty than the stepfather who had abused and beaten to death his son. We can only imagine what trauma 8 year old Christoffer Kihle Gjerstad went through before he died. How can the acts of the Pocketman be punished harder than prolonged abuse and murder?

To understand this is to understand the impact of pedophobia. Society will not perceive the father of Christoffer as a threat. The father of Christoffer is not sick. The motives for hitting children are not driven by dark urges, but is an unfortunate and excessive variation of a normal state: to chastise one's own children. Obviously society does not accept the murder of 8-year-olds, but that's not the point. The point is that society does not consider this stepfather to be a threat to children. The stepfather does not challenge social order and integrity. The disciplining of children is part of our culture, what is expected in the relationship between child and adult. Punches and abuse are in a fundamental way normal, as opposed to sexuality which is in a fundamental way abnormal. This is also why abuse and murder of children is common - or more common than most people think, read here [in Norwegian; the heading says "Every other month a child is killed or abused to death"; this number is of course trivial compared to the numbers in the UK and US].

What happened with Christoffer is just 'a tragedy'. The media does not show the name and picture of the stepfather. The Pocketman, however, committed a crime that pushes him out of society. Therefore, everything concerning the Pocketman can be made public for our own safety. After having served his sentence the Pocketman is still dangerous and must live with restrictions on his freedom, in practice a new punishment. The crime of the stepfather is in the end regarded essentially as any other crime. Therefore there are no infanticide registries or child abuse registries, only child sex registries [I am well aware that 'child abuse' has come to have a purely sexual meaning, but actually the proper understanding of the term is physical abuse of children]. At Ila [a Norwegian prison] they will not shout insults after the stepfather of Christoffer. But those who do something sexual with children, or just watch child pornography, can be denounced and pursued for the rest of their lives.

Pedophile free zones in America.
From Sex offender registration.

In the USA it is legal to deny people housing in specific areas when listed in the child sex registries. In a report compiled by Human Rights Watch there is a summary of laws in various US states. The registered can typically not live within a certain radius of a school or other areas where children gather. One need not even be listed in a registry, just move in wrong places. Thus, a group of three men and a woman was fined for having sat down on a bench in New York. A man without a criminal record was refused to be closer than 10 meters to all children throughout the State of California, see here and read more about him here.

The report from Human Rights Watch also lists the warnings issued against using the information in the registries to commit offenses against the listed. The registries shall at one and the same time change the behavioral pattern towards those listed there, while also not incite crimes of discriminating or harassment against the listed, which seems like an contradiction. Earlier in this section, we pointed to research that showed that the registries have no detectable effect on the abuse of children in society. The registries' real effect is to spread fear for the listed and expel them from society. In this manner the registries can be regarded as a new conviction for an already atoned sentence. In 2000, we read this:

Dagbladet 12.08.2000:

President Jerome Miller for the organization National Center of Institutions and Alternatives in Virginia is collecting cases where people are ostracized by local communities, get fired or are beaten after being denounced online. He can also tell that wrong people are listed on websites as pedophiles. An innocent young man got beaten, and his dog was beheaded after he was mistakenly exposed online.

For an ignorant and fearful population, everyone listed in the registry are treated likewise. These are 'the pedophiles', those who rape babies and commit acts "equal to murder."

Let the children come to me
["Let the children come to me..!"]

Everyone is supposed to participate and have the right pedophobic attitude. If not, you can get a year in prison for silence [in Norwegian; "Can give priests and bishops one year in prison for silence"]. For the pedophobe it is better to report one case too many than one too few, especially when the pedophobe knows what consequences this has for the suspect long before the individual gets any judicial verdict.

Legally there is a contradiction in how the registries are legitimized. When one argues that an entry in the registry in practice is a new conviction for an already atoned crime, one answers by saying that registration is not a conviction directed at a person in a particular group, but is only based on the person's likelihood of committing new crimes. When one argues that an entry in the registry is not based on an individual judgment as to whether a person really will commit a new crime, one answers by saying that the registration does not have to do with a specific crime but that the person belongs to a particular group.

This argumentation is similar to the one we have about sexual consent. When one argues that age of consent takes away the child's right to be sexual, one answers that age of consent is not geared towards the sexuality of individuals in a particular group, but is based on their probability of not understanding the act. When one argues that the possibility of sexual acts with children should be based on an individual judgment as to whether they can understand the act, one answers that age of consent does not have to do with specific acts but that children belong to a particular group.

The punishment by being listed in the registry is real enough. This is the only sure thing we can measure as an effect of being in the registries. The listed may be denied employment and housing. They may be denied access to shopping centers, libraries, neighborhoods or entire cities. They may be denied accounts in banks, internet connection and international travel. They may be denied stay at hotels and accommodations. This is driven by the fear of being associated with 'the pedophiles'. Pedophobia allows individuals, businesses, institutions and local communities who otherwise are indifferent to the registries to be afraid of having dealings with the listed. They are afraid of being accused of 'supporting child abuse'.

A premise for the registries is that child sex offenders are dangerous as a group. They constitute a collective and persistent threat. Pedophiles are "ticking bombs". Ironically, the recidivism rates for sexual law breaking against children is among the very lowest. Here are some figures. Read here about Norwegian conditions and look at the figures for sex crimes ['sedelighet' section 5.5]. Sex crimes are all types of [sexual] offenses, not only those targeting children.

The sex registries act to prevent self-understanding among pedophiles. If standing up as a pedophile means expulsion from the community, will it not have as a sole consequence that nobody stands up? But if all pedophiles live in hiding and do not accept their feelings, how can this in any way make children safer?

As mentioned earlier (this was assertion 1), one of the prerequisites for pedophobia is group thinking, both with regard to sexual consent and with so-called predators. Then you do not have to judge people as individuals, only think of them as a class. Then you do not need to deal with sexual acts individually, just fear them generally. This is the core of pedophobia.

In August 2011, we read about riots in England after the police had killed a man. Several believed that the real cause of the riots was unemployment and the big class differences that exist in England. The politicians however believed that this was a crime problem. They gave orders to crack down on the unrest. One of the methods was to give disproportionately large sentences to those who had committed crimes. Another method was to publish the names and photos of the convicts.

From Dagbladet 12 august 2011.
["Here are the thugs who have terrorized the streets of Manchester"]

For the general population, such methods may seem new, but for us they are already too well known. The methods that were first used against 'the pedophiles' will be used against more and more. A member of the Council of Oslo ['Oslo Byråd'] wanted rapists on posters, see here [this suggestion was never implemented]. The new way of combating and understanding criminality can be described as follows:

It is ironic that the exaggerated and almost indiscriminate use of punishment would in another context be described as terror. The publication of names and photos of convicts is intended to create a separation between Them and Us. This serves several purposes. It decreases the solidarity in a society, it focuses discontent away from political and social problems and over on individuals, and it provides a basis for conflicts that can be exploited by divide and conquer.

Society's fear of pedophiles creates conflicts between people. Society must monitor pedophiles and make sure they are denied contact with children. But what can happen to people when they are denied any kind of sexual activity? What can they then do? Therefore, society must monitor the pedophiles. With a circular argument pedophiles must be monitored because pedophiles are monitored.

Children must also be monitored. When one wants to report all cases of sexually active children under 13, the reporting itself will contribute to shape the idea of what sexual abuse is and why this has to be monitored.


History tells us how easy it is to expel people from the community and what disastrous consequences it can have. Today most people can not fathom what the motive for the persecution of the Jews was. We can understand the persecution as a historical fact, but we can not feel what the motives for it were. The racist will of course be of a different opinion. Once, the Jews were perceived as a threat to our entire civilization, and in particular to the German nation, to Germany's people and culture, order and integrity. For many Germans this threat was as real as the chair you are sitting on. The threat helped create a regime that sent millions of Jews to their deaths. We can not for our life fathom what could motivate such an act, but that is perhaps not the point. The action was and is irrational. But if we think about how 'the pedophiles' are perceived and treated in our time then the irrationality become more understandable. Like the Jews, we are stigmatized as outcasts of society. Like the Jews, 'the pedophiles' represent a constant and persistent threat. There is a kind of logic to all persecution. Certain characteristics are made into a threat, the threat is made into a crime, crime leads to new laws, laws lead to more crime, offenses lead to increasingly harsher reactions, reactions lead to new sanctions, sanctions lead to more restrictions, restrictions lead to detention, detention leads to ghettos, ghettos lead to concentration camps, concentration camps leads to violence, violence leads to murder. Each step leads to the next step in a logical sequence. Each step can be justified rationally as necessary based on the previous step, but the overall picture does not hang together. Somewhere it went wrong, perhaps already in the first step. One may argue that 'the pedophiles' like the Jews are only used by regimes for their own political gain, and that it is all a charade for seeking power. The pedophobia in a society is often motivated by a belief that pedophilia will disappear if it is only hated long enough and well enough. Unlike the poor Jews, pedophilia can not disappear, because pedophilia (like other orientations) is recreated in each new generation and is part of our common human sexuality. The persecution of pedophiles just shows society's tendency to pursue itself and to a basic inability to live in harmony with itself.

A way out of the impasse

Although this part became long, I've always had the feeling of barely touching upon the cultural, social, political and psychological factors that together create the resentment to child sexuality and pedophilia.

The reader might have gained more understanding of what motivates this resentment. It has been important to show that pedophobia exists as an independent phenomenon. It is independent of how children and pedophiles are, just as racism is independent of how people of other races are or are not. It is easy to blame others, but in reality the resentment is motivated only by those who hold the resentment.

Here are the twelve assertions about pedophobia:

1. Pedophobia assumes that children are a uniform group.
2. Pedophobia assumes that children are inferior to adults.
3. Pedophobia assumes that children must be protected.
4. Pedophobia is related to the alienation towards children.
5. Pedophobia is the fear that children possess skills and abilities we do not think they have.
6. Pedophobia always seeks the abuse, needs the abuse, is the true face of abuse.
7. Pedophobia conceals the child as an acting subject, while at the same time creates the image of the child as a passive object.
8. Pedophobia is a projection of sexual shame, anxiety and aggression onto a hate object.
9. Pedophobia in a society is proportional to the influence of the Anglo-American culture in that society.
10. Pedophobia present hypotheses about children and sexuality that can neither be verified nor gainsaid.
11. Pedophobia will always assume that sex and harm are associated.
12. Pedophobia forces everyone with a different view of children and sexuality to conformity or silence.

The assertions do not constitute a complete description of pedophobia. Many factors need elaboration. In what way is it the general notion of abuse of children connected with the notion that people in general may feel abused in our time, for example by an employer or by the consumer society? In what way will the desire to look young and behave youthfully shape the vision of those who truly are young? How does the perception of one's own childhood shape the vision of others' childhood? Is infantilization and disempowerment of young people a general trend in society, where fewer are politically engaged, where more feel they have no real impact on their life situation? How does the general uncertainty in society connect with the need to protect children? What is the relationship between the growing need to monitor children and society's overall control and surveillance development? In what way will the prevalence of mental health problems in the population affect the assessment of how much damage children get from sex? What relation exists between the need to cultivate and idolize the child's innocence and the notion that the future is not bright, that we live in a world of decadence, decay and environmental degradation? As a social and psychological phenomenon, pedophobia is related to all these questions. It says something about the development of society. Pedophobia expresses our relationship to the future, because it has to do with how we perceive and shape the people of the future.


In Aftenposten we could read that more and more children are in kindergarten more than 40 hours a week. In the last 100 years there has been a development in how we view children. Children have gone from being useful, productive and integrated members of society to be costly, vegetating and disturbing elements of adulthood. Obviously parents love their children. It has always been so. But the view of children has changed. Today they are strangers and sentimentalized. Children have no intrinsic value, but the value of a child can not be measured in money. That is why we read regularly about another child porn crack down [in Norwegian about a case in the USA]. Here we hear the same empty phrases about the same small number of disgusting images: "The images are some of the worst you will ever see" and "Some of the kids were just babies, and in many cases they clearly hurt and suffered pain by will". As long as the value of children appear only as this we have a problem.

Society must get a different view of children. Children must become more integrated in society. They must be allowed to show that they too can contribute and do benefit. Then they will receive more respect, and they will be perceived and treated better. When we read that a 12 year old girl surprised everyone by giving birth on a school trip, we know that the view of children is not realistic.


In public consciousness the threat of 'the pedophiles' fell together with the emergence of a youth culture and the cult of the young in the 1960s and 70s. It was also then that the sexualization of the child and the childlike began in earnest. Pedophobia in its modern form is the conflict related to what is desirable.


Today no word is more misused than the word abuse. To call all sexual contact with children for abuse is part of a word game to exert power [the heading reads "When language prepares the way for mass murder"]. In such a word game, all alternative interpretations of pedophobia are eradicated. Then the pedophobe is free to define who children are, what children are and how much damage children take from sex.

What kind of a morality is this? A society that needs to resort to the strictest means of force and sanction to be right has not much to show for. Do not intolerance and hatred always lead to the same? Has there not always been someone around who wanted to attack sexuality, whether it was in women, in the young or gay? Why should the pedophobe be right when the woman-hater, the masturbation-hater and the homo-hater were not right?


Pedophobia has never achieved anything other than create fear and mistrust. Pedophobia does not make children safer. Pedophobia exploits and harms children. There is no better example of this than what you can read about here [in Norwegian about the Bjugn affair; the heading reads "Many of the children in the Bjugn affair have developed psychological problems"; the Bjugn affair was a hoax, no one was convicted, but you can be sure that the psychological problems are very real].

Here is a question to you. What would you imagine the community should not do to save a child from being sexually abused? What surveillance, what kind of laws, what kind of penalties, what methods generally, would you imagine society should not put in place in order to rescue a small child? But, you say, if we can only save one child, is it not worth it? It will never be possible to save everyone. There will always be someone who force or coerce others to sexual acts. Our whole democracy, all our human rights and our basic human dignity depends on our understanding this simple fact. To believe that we can create a society free of sexual crime is a dangerous illusion.

Coercion and rape is not motivated by strong sexual needs. Rape is a sexual expression of violence, not a violent expression of sexuality. To make society less violent will also reduce the risk for rape of children, but to try to eliminate the possibility of rape just makes society more violent.

Pedopobia creates a society of surveillance. Many may perhaps think that the monitoring only hits those suspected of pedophilia [heading reads "Wants to check the PC and phone of those suspected of pedophilia"], but that is wrong [heading reads "Fears Norway becomes a free haven for pedophiles and criminals"; this was stated in relation to the so-called 'datalagringsdirektivet' or Data Retention Directive; the directive is as yet not implemented]. When the government can read your email, listen to your phone, register your DNA, monitor your purchases, map your movements, log your web activity because of the threat of 'the pedophiles', then you know you have been tricked.


Those who really were sexually abused as children must learn not to blame an entire class of people. Those who expose children to traumatic experiences are primarily ruthless opportunists and sociopaths. Identify them as such. They do not even have to have any particular sexual preference for children. Love affairs with children are not about coercing or forcing a child to sex. Be angry with the act. Be angry with the person who performed the act, but do not be angry with pedophiles.


The Norwegian society must be less influenced by the Anglo-American culture. There must be an end to something first happening in the US for so to happen in Norway a few years later. The Embassy fortress on Drammensveien [a reference to the American embassy in Oslo] is not a sign of strength. It is a sign of weakness in a nation that gradually has less to show for politically, culturally and morally. American generosity and American freedom have been replaced by American greed, self-interest, intolerance and violence. We do not get safety by sacrificing freedom. Benjamin Franklin said it better than anyone: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety".


Sexuality in the consumer society is objectified. How can children understand and develop their sexual self in a culture that at the same time denies them specific sexual knowledge and doesn't acknowledge their sexual existence while bombarding them with sexual fantasy images in the media?


Children should be informed, not protected. Children do not get knowledge from protection. They do not get experience from isolation. The value of our life experiences comes from our experiences. Not all extract the same value from the same experience. Do not therefore believe that your knowledge always applies to your child. Make sure your children can always come to you for help. Do not humble them. Do not make their bad experiences your triumph.


Parents feel hostility towards adults who want to have sex with their children because they are taught to equate sex with control (the whole abuse concept revolves around such an idea). Parents may be hostile to their children's relations with other adults even if they know with certainty that the relation is not sexual. They may feel that the relation is a threat to themselves, in that they are in danger of losing authority and thus control over their children. There are adults who have children solely for their own needs, the need for self-affirmation, the need for companionship, the need to live their lives through their children and what they accomplish. Such adults will assume that their children only have value for themselves. But there are also those who do not value their children, who do not understand what can be valued in children and therefore look with suspicion at other adults who should have a different opinion. Children's emotional involvement with other adults is something parents for various reasons simply do not accept. They think that the pedophiles like children to gain control over them, but then they just project their own attitude on us.

Controlling behavior and possessive urges can easily be confused with love, especially when it comes to children. When sex is not involved in a love relationship, the relationship will easily get out of balance. One is supposed to give but not expect anything in return. So it should be with the care and responsibility one should have for one's own children. But how easy is it not to demand something in return for the care in the form of obedience and control? As long as a father or mother does not understand this, it is easy to want to control a child's sexuality.

Children need support in their sexual development. That they get from their close ones in early years. Parents should be good role models for their children, enjoy their confidence and maintain a good communication with them. Children will always have erotic needs. Such needs must not be met with fear. Strong ties to a father or mother are always a consequence of unsatisfied needs. Sexuality should be socialized. Then the children will eventually seek out of the family and towards others. This should be supported. An understanding of your child's sexuality will also create a better understanding for the feelings of pedophiles.


It is absolutely possible to determine whether a child can consent or not. Such assessments and tests are done all the time on adults and can also be used on children. Our attitude to the possibility of consent is a part in determining the possibility of consent.


A shared vulnerability and a mutual trust is the glue that holds a society together. Pedophobia tears up society by assuming that children should not be vulnerable and that it is not possible to trust pedophiles.

There will come a time when we do not evaluate anti-pedophilia on the basis of what it achieved (or thought it would achieve) but on the basis of what methods were adopted. The criticism will come when these methods gradually change the whole society in a negative direction.

There will always be people who force sexual acts on others. These people must be defined as what they are: sociopaths, people who lack consideration for others. Then they will also get help for their problems, not just be treated for 'pedophilia'. Pedophobia prevents the understanding of such people in their preoccupation with fighting sexuality.

Anti-pedophilia does not contribute to finding practical solutions to the challenges that children and sexuality pose. The harassment of pedophiles is an indicator of what is wrong with our construction of childhood and sexuality.


Once I thought I created this site for my own part and that of pedophiles. It is certainly true to an extent. It is about understanding oneself and placing oneself. Based on the response and feedback this site has received over the years, where the vast majority have been positive and grateful, I have gradually come to realize that the site is just as much made for non-pedophiles, so that they can understand themselves and find out who they are. No one should believe that pedophobia is or will be the only way to relate to children and sexuality.

The dream of closeness and togetherness is eternal. It can be alienated by anxiety and loneliness. It can be betrayed by violence and ruthlessness. It can be amputated by bitterness and hate. But it is always there. And we know when the dream is fulfilled. It is when we intrepid are among our fellow human beings with joy.