Is 'liking children' wrong, if you don't harm kids?

Thu 26 Apr, 2007 03:34 pm
I was watching the Bill tonight, and it started me thinking about this, because there was this guy on there, that had started developing feelings toward children, and he wanted help, he wanted to stop himself, and be normal. It just got me thinking.

OK., its obvious that pedophilia is wrong if pedophiles abduct kids or abuse them or whatnot.
And, again, it's obvious that if you are a pedophile, then the temptation for you to do this is very great.
Also, child images are wrong because the children being forced to make the images, are being abused.

BUT, what is wrong with a sexual feeling towards children? Isn't it just like being gay? Or being straight for that matter. Just like a weird shoe fetish, or a dirty knickers fetish- other people find that disgusting. The only difference, is if the peado's carry out their actions, then it harms innocent children. That doesn't make the thoughts wrong, does it?

Admin, if you want to delete this thread then you can if you think it's inappropriate. Just please don't delete my account.

Also I know this question is quite basic, but no-one seems to discuss it. It's just taken for granted that it is wrong. thats why I thought I would bring it up.
Thu 26 Apr, 2007 03:38 pm
I think you are missing a point here. Gay lovers are two consenting adults. People who have a fetish for underwear either get it from someone who consents, or commit petty larcency to steal it from someone. People who have a foot fetish can probably find a consenting adult to join them in their interest.

But children cannot consent (at least cannot legally and reasonably consent, in the opinion of society)--which makes the case very, very different. Additionally, children are "unformed" or are not fully-formed personalities, whereas an adult (even if they might arguably have personality defects) is considered to be fully-formed personalities. Children don't know enough about life or about themselves to make a reasonable judgment to consent.
The Pentacle Queen
Thu 26 Apr, 2007 03:44 pm
yes, but I said that I was putting that aside. Whats wrong with fancying a child so long as you never do anything about it? It's just like fancying Johnny Depp or something, apart from no-one approves.
I know children can't consent, but I wasn't really talking about the actual action, just the condition.

God, I'm making myself look like a pedo.
Thu 26 Apr, 2007 03:57 pm
I guess it depends what your moral or ethical framework is.

Don't christians, for instance, believe that their god slams them for "lusting in their heart"?

Anyhoo, I cannot see that a person has done something wrong by having sexual feelings towards children.

I suspect it is way more common than most will admit to, given the number of folk that DO sexually abuse kids.

My own belief is that people are full of all sorts of odd desires and feelings, and that what matters is how we manage these.

That being said, on a practical level, there are desires that we are better off simply acknowledging and moving on from. People who abuse kids, or commit violent sexual acts generally, tend to have spent time fantasising at length about what they do etc, and this is not helpful, I think.

Good on the people who acknowledge the feelings and ask for help if they are becoming stronger. I would hope that rational discussion about such things makes it easier for them to act rationally.
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Thu 26 Apr, 2007 04:33 pm
I've wondered the same thing PQ, but more about gays.

Those who call homosexuality a sin, they never seem to differentiate between people who are having homosexual sex, or not.

A person could very well never have had sex with anyone, of their sex or not, but knows they are gay. It's that equating the person with just one part of their life.

Can you call a person a pedophile if they never touch children, do not look at child pornography, or pornography of any kind, even goes to the grave without ever having made an improper contact?

Yes, I guess you should, the same way a gay is a gay whether they have sex or not.

But, if you don't buy into all that "lusting in your heart is a sin", which heterosexuals also do, is it any different than anyone elses sexual fantasy?

Don't all of us have fantasys we would never act on? That what makes them fantastical.
Thu 26 Apr, 2007 05:46 pm
Of course, the (not undeserved) stigma attached to pedophilia might well restrain a person experiencing this sort of serious internal conflict from seeking help.

But it appears I agree with most here: we are judged by what we do, not by what we think and keep to ourselves. Humans will experience dark and unacceptable thoughts or desires from time to time of one sort or another; it's part of human psychology. It's only when those thoughts are translated into action that wrong has occurred.
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Thu 26 Apr, 2007 05:57 pm
Well, it may not be "wrong" in this sense but it damn sure is twisted. As twisted as human beings who are sexually attracted and want to bed down with dogs, horses or pigs.
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ebrown p
Thu 26 Apr, 2007 06:00 pm
I suppose it depends how you define "wrong". I certainly wouldn't want someone thinking about my kids.

Although I also feel uncomfortable with the idea of punishing people for though crimes.
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Thu 26 Apr, 2007 06:57 pm
Imagine if each of us acted on every sexual impulse. (You wouldn't see too many monogamous men, that's for sure.)

I say judge by actions, and even then, judge the actions. In this case, the guy seeks help to prevent causing any harm. That takes more strength of character than another person who never had those feelings in the first place.
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Thu 26 Apr, 2007 08:14 pm
Eorl wrote:
Imagine if each of us acted on every sexual impulse. (You wouldn't see too many monogamous men, that's for sure.)

Right, but to 99 % it involves another adult, and not a child.
I have never looked at a child and thought of it in a sexual way, it
never would enter my mind.

Being a pedophile and recognizing such affinity is the first step into
therapy, although I don't think that this is something you can get help with.
Pedophiles never change their affinity towards children, as we have
learned over and over again - unfortunately!
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Thu 26 Apr, 2007 08:19 pm
Here's a side question: What about incest?

First cousins - that isn't considered incest, but...

Sibs, yes...

Aunt and nephew? - probably

But... why is this so wrong if nobody procreates?
Thu 26 Apr, 2007 08:26 pm
Because incest is thousands of years old... and effective contraception is itself still a baby.

Here, cousins, aunts and uncles are all illegal and certainly taboo.
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Thu 26 Apr, 2007 09:19 pm
CalamityJane wrote:
Eorl wrote:
Imagine if each of us acted on every sexual impulse. (You wouldn't see too many monogamous men, that's for sure.)

Right, but to 99 % it involves another adult, and not a child.
I have never looked at a child and thought of it in a sexual way, it
never would enter my mind.

Me neither. But people are more diverse than that.

If one only thinks thoughts about a child, how is that child "involved"? Where is the actual harm in that?
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Thu 26 Apr, 2007 10:12 pm
No harm yet, Earl. As an adult, thinking about a child in a sexual manner
is already a red flag - to me at least, and I would think every pedophile
has started out with fantasies that grew stronger and stronger until he
needed to live them.

Remember, most adults with heterosexual fantasies do have an
outlet to relief the tension so to speak, i.e. having sex. A pedophile is
rarely interested in a heterosexual or homosexual relationship thus
his urge to fulfill his fantasies are far stronger.
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Thu 26 Apr, 2007 11:03 pm
I agree entirely CJ.

The question is.... is a paedophile who asks authorities for help before he acts on it a "good" man? or a "bad" man?
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Thu 26 Apr, 2007 11:11 pm
That's probably the same as if a burglar would go to the police and tell them
he's got the urge to rob someone.

They cannot prosecute him (yet) but the intend to a crime is there,
it's just a matter of time.

So do we commend the burglar for his insight? I think not!
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Thu 26 Apr, 2007 11:20 pm
That presumes that sexuality is a matter of deliberate intent. Perhaps true cleptomania is a closer comparison, and we do tend to treat that with more forgiveness and compassion than ordinary theft born of pure greed.

The fact that there are paedophiles who choose to be treated or even chemically castrated to help overcome their own desires shows how little control they have over those feelings.
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Thu 26 Apr, 2007 11:37 pm
I am a mother, Earl, forgiveness and compassion is not something I
extend to pedophiles, however, I do agree with you that they have
very little control over these feelings.
Thu 26 Apr, 2007 11:49 pm
Re: Is 'liking children' wrong, if you don't harm kids?
The Pentacle Queen wrote:
I was watching the Bill tonight

probably ten years ago we got about three seasons of The Bill in canada, i loved that show and wished i could see it again
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Thu 26 Apr, 2007 11:59 pm
Sorry if I seem a little adamant here CJ, but you've still dodged the real point. When you decide not to have compassion for "paedophiles", are you including people who have never hurt a child, but never-the-less have that sexual desire within them? Do you not think it praiseworthy that someone who could do that would voluntarily have themselves prevented from doing so?

I am a father, and no less horrified by the notion than you are. This just seems to be one of those situations where even the hint of something remotely threatening kids apparently justifies the abolition of all human rights to the suspect...even if theY are innocent...just in case...I'm mean this is our kids we are talking about, right?
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