Is Pedophilia Next?

The same arguments about 'born this way' could be used to support pedophilia.
The same arguments about 'born this way' could be used to support pedophilia. (Flickr/Creative Commons)

A shocking article posted on the website has many people asking, "Now that we have embraced homosexuality, is pedophilia next?"

The article, written by Todd Nickerson, was titled "I'm a pedophile, but not a monster," with the subtitle reading, "I'm attracted to children but unwilling to act on it. Before judging me harshly, would you be willing to listen?"

Nickerson even points to a website called Virtuous Pedophiles which states, "The goals of our organization are to reduce the stigma attached to pedophilia by letting people know that a substantial number of pedophiles do not molest children, and to provide peer support and information about available resources to help pedophiles lead happy, productive lives. Our highest priority is to help pedophiles never abuse children. We hope you will explore our website with an open mind."

What are we to make of this? And how does this tie in with gay activism?

As I pointed out in 2011, we shouldn't be surprised with the push for the acceptance of pedophilia, meaning both sympathy for the pedophile, who would doubtless say, "I didn't choose this. I'm born this way and cannot change," and recognition that "intergenerational intimacy" can often be consensual and beneficial—as disgusting as it is even to write those words.

I pointed out then that some psychiatric leaders who were instrumental in removing homosexuality from the American Psychiatric Association's list of mental disorders in 1973 have been fighting to remove pedophilia as a disorder as well, not to justify the abuse of children but rather to say that being sexually attracted to children is not a mental disorder.

Also in 2011, in my book A Queer Thing Happened to America, I documented in painstaking (and painful) detail that the principle arguments used to normalize homosexuality were virtually identical to the arguments used to normalize pedophilia. (To be totally clear, I am not comparing the rape of a child by an adult with a sexual act committed by two men or two women; I am comparing the arguments used by pederast activists and gay activists to gain social acceptance.)

Consider these eight arguments, all of which (in modified form) are commonly used in support of homosexual practice. Simply substitute the words and terms, and you'll see how real the parallels are.

  1. Pedophilia is innate and immutable; people are born this way and cannot change.

  2. Pederasty is richly attested in many different cultures throughout history.

  3. The claim that adult-child sexual relationships cause harm is greatly overstated and often completely inaccurate.

  4. Consensual adult-child sex can actually be beneficial to the child.

  5. Pederasty should not be classified as a mental disorder, since it does not cause distress to the pederast to have these desires and since the pederast can function as a normal, contributing member of society.

  6. Many of the illustrious homosexuals of the past were actually pedophiles.

  7. People are against intergenerational intimacy because of antiquated social standards and puritanical sexual phobias.

  8. This is all about love and equality and liberation.

To help flesh this out, let's picture a gay man making his case to a straight man:

  1. My homosexuality is not a sexual preference but a sexual orientation, just as much as your heterosexuality is not a sexual preference but a sexual orientation.

  2. My homosexuality is just as normal as your heterosexuality.

  3. Since my behavior is genetically determined and is not a choice, it is intolerant and hateful to suggest that it is wrong. And to call my sexual behavior illegal or immoral, or to refuse to legitimize same-sex relationships, is to be a moral bigot of the highest order.

  4. I deeply resent your attempts to identify areas of my upbringing and environment as alleged causes for my homosexuality.

  5. I categorically reject the myth that someone can change his or her sexual orientation. Rather, such statements only add to the anguish and suffering of gays and lesbians, and attempts to change us often lead to catastrophic consequences, including depression and suicide.

Now, let's turn this around and have a pederast making his case to a gay man, substituting the words accordingly (thus, "My pederasty is not a sexual preference but a sexual orientation, just as much as your homosexuality is not a sexual preference but a sexual orientation.") The parallels are undeniable (again, not referring to the acts but to the arguments.)

To be sure, Nickerson is absolutely not arguing for the rightness of adult-child sex, calling instead for sympathy toward those who find themselves unavoidably attracted to children but refuse to act on it.

But if we accept his argument—and there is an increasing number of researchers who believe that pedophilia is innate and immutable—then the whole "born that way" argument used by gay activists goes out the window.

After all, if it's wrong to justify pedophilia because some people are allegedly born that way, then it's wrong to justify homosexuality because some people are allegedly born that way.

You might say, "That's nonsense. We're talking about two adults in a loving consensual relationship, and you can't possibly compare that to a sexual or romantic relationship between an adult and a child."

But that only proves my point, since the "born that way" argument adds nothing to the equation at all, and allegedly being born with a certain propensity does not that make propensity right.

Of course, there are famous gay activists like Larry Kramer and Allen Ginsburg who sang the praises of adult-child (or, young-teen) relationships, some of them even saying that being sexually abused as children was very positive in their own lives (again, as sickening as this is, I document it in the Queer Thing book).

In the end, though, the simple point is this: If gay activists do not want to justify pedophilia because people are allegedly born that way and can't change, then they'll have to throw out the same argument when it comes to homosexual practice, which greatly undermines one of the pillars of gay activism.

You can't have it both ways. Either "born that way" determines morality or it does not—and clearly, it does not.

Dr. Michael Brown ( is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Revival Or We Die: A Great Awakening Is Our Only Hope. Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter, or YouTube.

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