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I never dared to do anything sexual to any child. Nothing direct. In order not to harm them, trying to stay inside the legal zone. But when I chat to others I hear stories about kids masturbating together or tossing off each other even at a very early, almost pre-teen age. And people say "it is natural that kids do such things together". And my heart is bleeding. If it is OK that a 13 y.o. tosses off a 10 y.o., then why am I, the adult forbidden to do such things?

Kevin (29)

Our answers
Submitted 19 Jan 04

There is no easy answer to your question. The simple answer is that adult/child contact is forbidden because it's taboo. But taboos themselves are hardly rational. We are left with 'it's wrong because it's wrong', which doesn't help us get any closer to understanding.

The 'legalese' answer is that the child cannot consent to sexual contact with an adult. Under Canadian law, for example, children under 12 cannot consent to any sex at all, and therefore contacts between 11yos and 12yos can and have been prosecuted. But probably most of these contacts are never brought to the attention of the police because most people would accept the events as natural and normal in the course of growing up.

But the law does not create a taboo. It more or less enforces or reinforces a taboo that already exists. How taboos come to be, dissolve, and generate moral statements is too long a discussion to get into here.

Jason (26)


Submitted 12 Apr 04

Well, the long and short answer is that this is how it is in our society. There are very respected authors who speak loudly about "sexual abuse" and how it's worse than murder. There are also respected researchers who speak up and say that abuse is abuse and sex is sex and they may, in fact, be mutually exclusive.

Dr. John Money, Professor Emeritus of Medical Psychology at Johns Hopkins University said, in 1991: "If I were to see the case of a boy aged ten or eleven who's intensely erotically attracted toward a man in his twenties or thirties, if the relationship is totally mutual, and the bonding is genuinely totally mutual, then I would not call it pathological in any way."

Dr. Money wrote that "outside the context of abuse and manipulation," opponents of pedophilia are motivated by "self-imposed, moralistic ignorance."

In a 1999 article, Harris Mirkin, a professor of political science at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, stated that "children are the last bastion of the old sexual morality." As summarized by The New York Times, he argued that "the notion of the innocent child was a social construct, that all intergenerational sex should not be lumped into one ugly pile and that the panic over pedophilia fit a pattern of public response to female sexuality and homosexuality, both of which were once considered deviant." Mirkin cited precedents such as Greek pederasty. "Though Americans consider intergenerational sex to be evil," he wrote, "it has been permissible or obligatory in many cultures and periods of history." He told the Times: "I don t think it s something where we should just clamp our heads in horror....In 1900, everybody assumed that masturbation had grave physical consequences; that didn t make it true."

Of course, there is a fine line between abuse and consent with children and it's that line that the law has decided is "too fine" and instead simply lays down the gauntlet and takes the debate elsewhere.

So for now, you deal with it and live your life and accept the emotional connections you can get that are still legal (for now).

FireFox (20s)

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