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Talk:Child sexual abuse/Archive1

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It seems to me the title sort of promotes the POV before the content begins. Perhaps this could be incorporated into a larger, less controversial article of human sexuality: the childhood years, (or some such).
My personal feeling are that sex play among near aged peers is rather mundanely normative, provided that no undue threats nor other coercive tactics are employed.
Adult/child sexual conduct is another aminal altogether as ==concern #2== takes into account. ~~ CЯacke® 16:12, 8 July 2007 (CDT)

Not that we have POV rules here, but you might want to make sure this one is well-researched. CSA certainly exists, and not all those affected are affected equally, and people have been falsely accused. But best dot the i's and cross the t's.--PalMD-yada yada 13:03, 2 July 2007 (CDT)

Absolutely. As far as the Priest thing and the Day Care, the Boston Globe is probably a great source (they broke what became the wordwide pedophilic priest scandal, I think they may have got a Pulitzer for it, even), and at least one notorious daycare case was in their backyard (Fernald is the name of the place,, I think). My apologies for my stub sections, but I wanted to get them started as being on topic. humanbe in 17:51, 8 July 2007 (CDT)

Replaced ...many other CSA researchers have become the victims of "concerned citizens" outraged that some minors are not harmed by sexual contact with an adult. With ..... many other CSA researchers have become the victims of "concerned citizens" outraged by the suggestion that the results of child sexual abuse might not be "as pervasive, severe, and long-lasting as generally assumed."'. Because that is what the reference says. --Bob_M (talk) 13:43, 8 July 2007 (CDT)

Can we define "informed consent" in the article? The most popular definition seems to be "something children can not give," but I'm not really sure what a rational definition would be. Dyskolos 19:20, 8 July 2007 (CDT)

A rational definition would included that a child cannot give informed consent. It doesn't get murky until 19 year old seniors start shtupping the freshman cheerleaders. Children absolutely cannot consent to sexual behavior. Kids playing doctor's a different story. Non NAMBLA stuff please.--PalMD-Goatspeed! 20:49, 8 July 2007 (CDT)
(To the "No NAMBLA stuff" monkey.)
My. Oh. My. We're getting quite conservative when it comes to our own personal ("fatherly") passions and ethic fetishes. It seems you're no better than flat-earthers after all, you just happen to possess different information. You're just differently programmed.
FYI, there are no serious studies showing any side effects of pedophilia in either adults or children. As for anecdotal evidence, it rather shows that pedophilia is risky because of social factors like you girlie-saving superheros teaching "abused" children "how unhappy they actually were and they didn't know it". Because of a sick, terrified, and porn-obsessed society that patronizes, humiliates, and "pities" the shit outta "the abused", driving them to desperation, shame, self-blame, and indignity. A society that, for unknown but strong reasons, has always assumed that there must be something evil about sex.
It is because of your FUD that bona fide people have to abstain from copulating with or even masturbating their own children, in order to protect them from your generalized paranoia. You're the one(s) scaring the poor children away from their sexually-responsible parents, forcing them to "informed-consensually" learn punk/pornographic/outside-marriage sex instead. The world is really disgusting with self-righteous bastards like you and politicians that know how to channel your instincts. "Rationalwiki" my ass! You all get insane and irrational when jealousy turns your arousal into aggression. (That's why you deserve my reply.)
Before you start flattering yourself (for reasons specific to your delusional world), learn that I'm not a pedophile. I find sex with children, animals, males, or fat ladies utterly disgusting. But at least I have the decency to not impose personal (dis)taste on others. I even had the open-mindedness to try to mentally experiment with many types of "perversions" but I couldn't adopt most of them. So I wouldn't be able to give my little girls physical sexual education (although they found out all the dirt about sex from other kids anyway, with full self-asserted "informed consent"), like penetrating their little vaginae or even lighter types of stimulation (even the thought of it totally embarrasses me).
But at least I wouldn't give up and live in denial like you pedophobic hypocrites. I am considering hiring a sex worker that really loves children to do it for me. It's way better than having some bullies teach my little girls sex on a semi-voluntary sperm recipient basis or as part of legal-because-it's-based-on-accident "informed consent", eugenics, or AIDS-friendly peer pressure. (Indeed, "informed consent" only effectively discriminates against parents.)
As much as I hate most of those insane fetishes, I have to confess that I still have an overwhelming urge to shit on your forehead as an eccentric way to credit your inconsistency. But let this stay only between me and you (or any of your "rationalwiki" acolytes).
And I meant every single word I wrote you. Except for the last part, because I'm afraid you'd bite! (Haha, just kidding about you biting my ass, no offense meant.) 20:24, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
Apart from your lunacy on some levels, your comment makes me wonder if you have even read the article... ħumanUser talk:Human 21:48, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
It was for the NAMBLA guy. But yes, I did read the article and I couldn't ignore its cowardly and unambiguously treacherous "disclaimers": "Sexual activity with minors is extremely harmful to them" (I strongly suggest "may be extremely harmful") and "RationalWiki does not in any way want to lessen the moral stigma that is rightfully attached to the sexualisation of minors" (do "rational(wiki)" people even believe in the rightfulness of most types of groupthink, especially stigmas?) What kind of language is that? I honestly can't see how it can get more religious than that. Or was it taqiyya? 03:00, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
Gawd you're clueless. The article is edgy enough as it is, what, you want us to promote parents "copulating with or even masturbating their own children"? Considering that in most cases, adult/child sexual contact is fraught with taboo and compromising threats/demands, I think we walk the fine line pretty well. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:17, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
We are altogether too paranoid about "protecting children from sex," like Judith Levine said, but that is no excuse for diddling them before they are equipped for the task. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:28, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm not clueless, Human. Actually I noticed your lack of prejudice, your healthy humor, and your valid points. I too believe in commonsense. And I find the article amazingly reasonable, even for a Canadian site. I was just emphasizing that the first lie (the "disclaimer") couldn't rightfully compensate for the second "lie" (the parody). They don't make a truth.
So I felt like reediting the former (I think you'll like the new version, as it shows agreement to your points) to have it both unbiased and better reflect the latter (i.e. more consistently). However, if you think we must play the taqiyya against the thought police, feel free to revert my changes. I can think of further alternatives, too. 20:09, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Child Abuse[edit]

Is there a case for a more generalised header? If A. Schlafly was 'educating' any kids I know I'd do my best to get him arraigned on child abuse charges. He & his kind do more damage than physical abusers. Comparison with the long term effects of sexual abuse are not out of order for filling children's heads with all the creationist etc garbage that cp promulgates (that's a BIG word!) RojerB 13:49, 13 July 2007 (CDT)

Andrew Schlafly is totally a groomer, I will get Stone Phillips on the case. 13:51, 13 July 2007 (CDT)
Had to go & google Stone Phillips - me not from U.S. - don't think AS is a groomer - just an evil man. Just think what such dedication could have done if he hadn't wasted himself as he has, then think what he's doing to your county's youth. Incidentally I don't know why I put an 'e' on non (header) - a POTATOE moment I presume. RojerB 14:08, 13 July 2007 (CDT)
Not really evil (is there such a thing even?), just kind of seriously messed up in his head. User:Sumpfkraut 17:22, 24 February 2011
Eh I have abandoned my country and moved to Canada......I think the Schlafly's of the world have all ready won the battle. tmtoulouse torment 14:11, 13 July 2007 (CDT)
Don't that make you a traitor and even worse a liberal tmtoulouse? But seriously I do think that a more general 'CHILD ABUSE' entry is warranted.RojerB 15:12, 13 July 2007 (CDT)
I agree, we should have that article. How far we will run with the idea that, as many of use think here, teaching children myths and lies as "truth" is such abuse, who knows? humanbe in 15:19, 13 July 2007 (CDT)
Sounds good to me. "The God Delusion" makes this point quite strongly by the way.--Bob_M (talk) 15:59, 13 July 2007 (CDT)

Unfortunately Dawkins was on bottom shelf of bookshelf - flooded. Who would be likely to start such an entry? I'm only an opinionated know-nothing. RojerB 16:09, 13 July 2007 (CDT)

My Dawkins is in my drawer next to my bed...annoying book in a lot of ways, but lots of good points, especially the "all children are born atheists" part. Apologetics makes a lot of arguments about intrinsic/rational belief, and how it is necessary to deny belief actively, as belief is the natural, rational default...weird. It's hard to know where to go with this, as "abuse" is a pretty fucking serious charge...there are lots of ways to raise a kid, and unless you are seriously fucking them up, well... Anyway, if we have an article on the intersection of religion and child abuse, for's just that religion doesn't have a monopoly on it, but there are plenty of pederast sunday school teachers, priests, ministers...--PalMD-Goatspeed! 20:51, 13 July 2007 (CDT)
I just think that crippling a mind is worse than crippling a body. Sorry but it's a pet peeve. RojerB 20:57, 13 July 2007 (CDT)
Well, the key to "physical" abuse is the mental aftermath anyway, right? I have an idea of how to start a generic child abuse article (with a link right at the top to the sex abuse one). Start funny. Then list things that RW (us) thinks are child abuse (keeping children away from facts about the world...). Have a good section on non-ideological abuse (poor nutrition, beating, etc.) to show we "get it" and aren;t just a bunch of snarks getting a cheap laugh over a serious issue. Thoughts? humanbe in 21:11, 13 July 2007 (CDT)
Also bemoan waste of human intelligence and creation of things like AS et al. RojerB 21:26, 13 July 2007 (CDT)

This is odd....[edit]

Does this article seem a little, "nah, child abuse ain't that bad"-y to you? I don't think I'm too comfortable with that.-αmεσ (tailor) 20:41, 2 April 2008 (EDT)

yeah, it's mostly about "bad science". It needs a strong disclaimer to that effect before the intro. Mind writing it? Oh, and Ames, did you get a chance to check out that side by side thing that I left on your talk page? humanUser talk:Human 20:52, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
How about something like: "This article is less about child sexual abuse than it is about the ways in which the fears surrounding abuse have been harnessed by a number of groups, often for political reasons. Rationalwiki does not in any way want to lessen the moral stigma that is rightfully attached to the sexualisation of minors." or sump'n like dat...PFoster 20:56, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
Thanks Human! I had a CPer make a valid point about this article, so correcting is good. And I love the side by side template. I forgot to get back to you, but please do, erase my work and put yours over it - yours is 50x awesomer for adding the subsections, among other things. Also I really like PF's disclaimer-αmεσ (tailor) 20:56, 2 April 2008 (EDT)`
Yvw. I'll go do the sbs thing. Feel free to merge/replace the disclaimer. I do like the link to informed consent, though. I like his first sentence, prefer my second one. humanUser talk:Human 21:13, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
Getting emotional and unobjective, are we? I can only imagine what harm this approach probably did to finding effective schemes of dealing with the issues at hand. User:Sumpfkraut 17:18, 23 February 2011 (UTC+1)

Any suggestions for a more neutral and perhaps broader title, that could encompass both child sexual abuse and other topics concerning sexuality of children? It's hard to cover one of those subjects particularly well without covering the other. Over at MisesWiki, we got around it by putting all the topics related to the legal status of children under miseswiki:minor, but that's probably a little too broad for RationalWiki, unless we want to delve into all the topics concerning youth rights (e.g. voting age, drinking age, etc.) That might be outside of the scope of RW's mission. Tisane (talk) 12:39, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

In my opinion, if you want to add those other topics, it's likely better to just make an article about it from scratch with internal links to this article. Though, to be honest, it all depends on what "other topics" you'd have in mind and whether or not they somehow meet our mission. Perhaps a rough idea of what you want to add might help us figure out what to do a little better. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 12:44, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, for example, if there is coverage of the sexuality of children that indicates that children sexually touch each other without it causing much harm, then the question logically arises, "what then is the difference between contact between another youth and contact from an older youth and contact from an older youth or adolescent or contact even from an adult? So long as such contact is consented to, is not forced, traumatic, painful, or without permission, what's the difference? How is me touching a wall made of concrete and different from me touching a floor made of concrete or a stair made of concrete? The act of contact and the tactile sensation remain relatively the same." Tisane (talk) 12:57, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Hrrrmmm...... I'd seem the think that, if you created a section in this article that summarizes child-child sexuality and explains that it is different from child-adult sexuality because, unlike in child-child cases, child-adult relationships are overwhelmingly started by adults to take advantage of children (think the "grooming process" here), that would seem to suffice, in my honest opinion. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 13:05, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Some pedophiles argue that "grooming" is pretty much the same as "dating," in that the romantic partner with more financial resources often ends up buying a lot of gifts, dinners, etc. "Take advantage" implies a zero-sum situation, in which one person gains and the other loses. How exactly is the child put in a worse situation? Some young people like to be treated as adults in certain respects, and probably most people in general like to be the recipients of gifts and attention, as long as they don't mind the strings that are attached. If they do mind, then the solution is not to accept what's offered.
David Finkelhor's studies of the harm of child sexual abuse focus on four main ways in which it harms: traumatic sexualization, stigmatization, betrayal, and powerlessness. If the child is free to choose whether to accept or reject the overtures (as, for instance, when he has the option to tell the person "no" and then report his behavior if he persists), then that removes the powerlessness. Feeling "betrayed" by someone depends on what one's expectations of that person were. Perhaps the feeling of betrayal could, in some cases (e.g. those situations in which physical force or threats are not applied) be largely the result of having overly rigid views of what the person's duties were. If a person considers it, for example, inappropriate behavior for a teacher or boss to ask him out on a date, and then the invitation is made anyway (without any implication of punishment for failure to accept), that could produce a possibly misplaced feeling of betrayal.
The problem there might be the attitude of the recipient of the invitation, or the nature of the circumstances in which it occurs. There is controversy as to whether such overtures are inappropriate; Walter Block raised the example of strippers as people who have consented to be sexually harassed in the workplace: "logical consistency requires that since strip clubs are legal, then so should sexual harassment be, for the latter is precisely and exactly what takes place in the former." The same logic could apply to those who enroll in a school knowing that it has lax rules regarding romantic relationships and overtures between teachers and students. If children are not given enough liberty to choose with which people (e.g. teachers, babysitters) to associate, or to what environments (e.g. schools, extracurricular activities) to be exposed, then arguably the solution is to give them more liberty, not to try to protect them from romantic overtures that they would feel freer to accept or reject if they had more autonomy.
As for the traumatic sexualization, that's typically a result of negative associations developing, such as physically painful intercourse causing a person to associate sex with that pain, or feelings of fear and violation from being raped causing a person to associate sex with those emotions. If the person is given the opportunity to decline or stop sexual activity when he decides that it feels (or would be likely to feel) unpleasant or uncomfortable, then the risk of such negative associations would tend to be reduced. Stigmatization is probably largely a result of mistaken interpretations, e.g. "I'm dirty for doing this," which again are correctable attitude issues. If sexual contact does not involve any of these four means by which harm is caused, then arguably it should not be considered sexual abuse. Tisane (talk) 14:32, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
See also Crank magnetism. Are you getting these ideas from sex offenders that you were recently forced to hang out with? Hipocrite (talk) 14:41, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
"strippers as people who have consented to be sexually harassed in the workplace" - reputable strip clubs still maintain rules about acceptable conduct and patrons get removed/banned/etc. all the time. Not sure how this point is at all relevant. Part of the problem is that children are less able of judging when an act "... would be likely to feel) unpleasant or uncomfortable". Not to metnion that there, additionally, genuine physical and developmental side effects to these issues. — Unsigned, by: ORavenhurst / talkDo You Believe That? 14:57, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Sure, and no one is suggesting that all rules about acceptable conduct should be abolished. People will probably always demand that the rules of the environments where they seek to work, learn, enjoy themselves, etc. ban nonconsensual sexual contact and persistent sexual pestering. Nonetheless, the rules governing what kind of sexual talk is typically considered to contribute to a "hostile work environment" probably differs between strip clubs and, say, an office environment. In most strip clubs, it is considered normal for men to taunt women; ask them to disrobe; make lewd and suggestive remarks about their figures, clothes, etc.; tell off-color jokes; etc. At an office environment, the presumption is more typically that such behavior is not appropriate.
People choose between such environments partly based on their preferences of what behavior they want to be allowed to engage in, and what behavior they'll be subjected to. Likewise, there could be room in the economy for some schools, daycare centers, families, etc. that have varying degrees of restriction on what is considered acceptable sexual contact or overtures, within the bounds mentioned above — i.e. once a person expresses a wish that another's sexual behavior toward him stop, it has to stop. Tisane (talk) 15:17, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Small edit war - Aug 2008[edit]

Well, can I modify or add to the disclaimer? I think it is too vague and not very rational. Specifically, I think it is saying that sex with minors is bad for an arbitrary and/or unspecified reason. It seems that saying that it isn't okay to have sex with minors because it is illegal or will harm the person is more acceptable. Also, the word sexualization in the disclaimer should be changed to over-sexualization, because it is obvious that minors are 'sexualized' anyway. 07:16, 9 August 2008 (EDT)

I'll change the wording to specify that sex with children is harmful to the child - don't do it yourself as you don't appear able to find an acceptable wording - and you've already blotted your copybook by changing what someone said on this talkpage to make them look like a supporter of child sex. If you pull that (or anything similar) again I'll block you from editing. Totnesmartin 07:29, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
This edit in which you attempt to edit PalMD's statement to show him as being in favour of child abuse is despicable. Your attempt to put your beliefs in somebody else's mouth is beyond the pale. By this one outstandingly dishonest action you have destroyed any possibility you might have had of persuading people you were interested in any kind of honest debate.--Bobbing up 08:06, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
Alright, I know it was a horrible thing to do, but I didn't expect it to stay up for longer than a few seconds. I was acting improperly, but I was legitimately angered by his false assumtions. Also, The disclaimer was close to acceptable, but not entirely correct. Nice try though, Totnesmartin! 20:28, 18 August 2008 (EDT)
Close to acceptable to who? You? ħumanUser talk:Human 20:32, 18 August 2008 (EDT)

We should probably just dump the disclaimer altogether. Why do we need it? What useful purpose does it serve? Just to make us seem less politically incorrect? It's probably not going to quiet anyone's objections if the rest of the article tends to go against what's stated in the disclaimer.

The article can speak for itself; it doesn't need a disclaimer. The lead is where we're supposed to give a general summary of the treatment of the subject contained in the rest of the article. It is there that we can sum up what evidence suggests that the risks (or lack thereof) of certain behavior are. Any other disclaimer would be redundant with RationalWiki:General disclaimer. Tisane (talk) 12:45, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

We need the disclaimer because this is such an emotive subject we need to state up front where we are coming from. I really fail to see your problems with this article. Bad Faith (talk) 13:18, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Again, isn't it the job of the lead to "state up front where we are coming from"? If the lead doesn't do that, then that points to a need to revise the lead, not to add another preface in addition to the existing introduction. As for it being an emotive subject — religion, politics, and pretty much every other subject on this site has strong potential to arouse emotional responses. Any time someone believes a particular topic is highly important, and sees people challenging his view on it, there's potential for dismay, anger, etc. I would argue, incidentally, that even issues such as child sexual abuse shouldn't be exempt from SPOV, since in the words of Salman Rushdie, "The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible." Impropriety's being the soul of wit is probably why Pedobear, Chris Hansen cat, etc. caught on so well, not to mention Eminem's treatment of child rape in My Fault. Tisane (talk) 14:32, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

The red part of the disclaimer[edit]

I have to say that I doubt that a wiki so keen about preserving and promoting rationality does indeed support a stigma* so severe that the rule of law, human rights and science are completely blown out with the wind. This part urgently needs revisitation.

* that it supports any stigma against anything but improper method is already bad enough, as this is a very clear ideologisation which hampers with the dialogue, and thus with finding new effective methods of dealing with issues

On an unrelated note, how do I stop an asterisk turning into a dot? I am very unacquainted with this. User:Sumpfkraut 17:20, 23 February 2011 (UTC+1)

Like that. Quaruencyclopedia - You can't explain that! 16:27, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
On the whole stigma thing - what exactly makes you say that the stigma attached to child abuse is such that the rule of law, human rights and science are completely blown out with the wind.? Jack Hughes (talk) 16:33, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
There is for example the relatively apparent trend towards increasing (and increasingly open) fierce hostility towards paedophiles, who are suspected to be such and who are apparantly arguing in their favour (up to threats of significant physical violence), and if my sources¹ don't lie also the increased polemisation of the (rather one-sided) "discourse", stylisation of so-called and factual CSA as a "crimum exceptum" à la witchcraft, the increasing expulsion of paedophiles from society- such as doctors getting their licenses revoked because they own child pornograpy² or have made allegedly paedophile comments about a late child's penis³, good ol' Perverted Justice or the German aequivalent "Tatort Internet". I think that's a good list already.
"Completely blown out with the wind" might as of yet be an exaggeration, but it's trying pretty hard and seems to gain the upper hand as of yet. And the stigma certainly does its part.
¹ Prominently a certain Michael Griesemer, a German psychologist. Many of his works are available per itp-arcados, but they are, well, German.
² Mark Studenny, albeit he got it back after taking great pains to make himself appear less like a devious monster, or so I've heard.
³ This one is completely anecdotal and I sadly don't have any names, as I've only had contact with the reteller through a now defunct more or less anonymous IRC channel, namely that of 12chan, and to top things our contact was very superficial. But it was in Australia, maybe that helps. The comment was something along the lines of him surely making the ladies happy when he'll be big, because apparently this boy was "well"-endowed. Evades me how that even remotely points towards a specific eroticism, but apparently the boy's mum and the court seemed to think it did.Sumpfkraut (talk) 19:43, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm afraid I don't quite follow your point. Is your objection to our suggestion that there should be some stigma attached to child abuse?--BobSpring is sprung! 20:35, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
That's it in a nutshell, yes. It's very simplifying though, as the biggest concern for me is the severity of the current stigma, not that there is one to begin with. Sumpfkraut (talk) 21:07, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

What does this article have to do with RW's mission?[edit]

Someone please explain. (talk) 01:30, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

Child sexual abuse#Rind et al. --Mack Coster (talk) 01:40, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
Also all the related repressed and recovered memory quackery. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:55, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
What do you see as quackery — the therapists' saying that adults recover accurate memories of childhood abuse decades later, or that such memories result from false memory syndrome? There seems to be a lot of animosity between, e.g., the writers of books such as Surviving Childhood Sexual Abuse and the false memory syndrome societies. The former regard the latter as quackery. Tisane (talk) 12:47, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
From the bit right at the top - [this] is about the ways in which the fears surrounding abuse have been harnessed by a number of groups, often for political reasons. - that is definitely on mission. Bad Faith (talk) 13:15, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Oh, I didn't challenge it being on mission, I was just wondering what his stance was. The controversy surrounding repressed memories is very on-mission. Tisane (talk) 14:32, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Sandusky/Penn State[edit]

Relevant yet? What about the riots that occurred by supporters after the initial arrests? -- Seth Peck (talk) 18:07, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Extreme protectionism[edit]

This is written from a typically worded child-protectionist perspective: The first paragraph... "sex between an adult (above AOC) and a minor (below AOC)."

There are three problems with this;1)adult and minor are defined in law by age of majority, which is 18 in nearly all nations, while age of consent is 14-16 in most nations of the world, with only around 15 African countries, 7 of the 50 US States and a couple of others having 18. The two are not the same thing.

2)I am far from a pro-pedophile perspective myself and this is not neutral POV given that the vast, vast majority of people are against pedophilia, so attempts to redefine child sexual abuse to encompass only "exploitative" conduct suggesting that some adult/child sex can be non-exploitative are regularly reverted on Wiki. BUT many people do not see sex with an adult and adolescent as always child sexual abuse, the majority of both the US and Europe in fact with adolescents 16-17 years old. I am not comfortable using something defined by law for CSA either, as Islamic fundamentalists have set an age of consent of 9 in the regions they have controlled to follow Muhammad's example but I would maintain sex with a 9 year old can only be abusive even if it is completely legal. I believe an act is either, in reality, child abuse or not irrespective of local laws; driving across a border doesn't change the nature of the act, only the response of the people in charge. Governments have no monopoly on truth, so as this is not a legal dictionary my definition is more inclusive and equal for any child on the planet.

3) Many countries allow people close in age to have a sexual relationship (e.g. 19 and 16, where the AOC is 17) either by explicit law, precedent, government guidelines or an unwillingness to prosecute. The vast majority of people will not recognise a relationship as sexual abuse because one partner is a few months or even a few years older than the other.

4)Children and adolescents can abuse other children/adolescents. This is a fact, despite professionals in many parts of the world calling it by a different name such as "juvenile sexually harmful behaviour", etc. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

  1. This website does not use NPOV. It uses SPOV.
  2. Learn to count.
  3. This article is specifically about child sexual abuse, not sex with a minor, or sex between minors, or age of consent.
-- Seth Peck (talk) 00:28, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
BON, I actually agree that we need to revise what "statutory rape" is. I have a friend who routinely had sex with men 20 years older than her. It gave her a sense of power. It was misplaced, power, but trust me, she knew what she was doing, what she "got" out of it, and it was consensual. but the law is what the law is. As for this article, let's see what's what and move forward.Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 00:34, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Alexander Bede Walsh[edit]

Were the kids stupid because they believed Walsh when he told them the abuse was in some way godly? I don’t think so, many religious cults persuade adults that the type of sex the cult leader/leaders like brings spiritual benefits. Raëlism is one example though there the meme is heterosexual. I think the boys were just young and naïve and didn’t know what the priest did goes against Roman Catholic teaching.

The sentencing judge said,

'You used God's name as a lever ... manipulating God's teaching for your own devices,' [1]

If you do what Walsh did and the judge is a Christian that can put years onto your sentence. As an atheist I think all cases when religion is used to pressure adults or minors to accept abuse are badly wrong. That applies to sexual abuse in the RC Church or, for example financial abuse under Scientology. Would a Christian judge take such a hard line over Scientology abuse? Some would and others wouldn’t. Kirk Johnson (talk) 11:08, 10 March 2012 (UTC)


Questions I would pose are:

  • What is the difference between an adult having sexual contact with (1) a prepubescent person or (2) a pubescent person who has not reached the age of majority? A 13-year-old is still a minor, lacking the autonomy to work, drive, make legally-binding decisions for himself, etc. So the same types of power imbalances exist, yet people make a much bigger deal about the prepubescent. What is it about prepubescents that would make them particularly susceptible (compared to pubescents) to harm from sexual contact with adults? Is there some psychological difference, and if so, what exactly is it? If it's mere knowledge, then what is it about the prepubescents that makes them incapable of absorbing that knowledge in approximately the same way that pubescents can? Is there really that much cognitive difference between, say, a 10-year-old and a 14-year-old, when it comes to understanding those sorts of phenomena?
  • If the reason for wanting to protect prepubescents from their own sexual decisions is that they're too naive, then why permit them to engage in that contact with each other? Aren't prepubescents capable of taking advantage of each other, since they may have differing levels of sexual knowledge even if they're the same age? On the other hand, if a prepubescent has advanced enough sexual knowledge to be able to engage in sexual contact with another prepubescent without being "taken advantage of," then what prevents that prepubescent from being able to engage in sexual contact with a pubescent person or an adult without being taken advantage of?
  • What about situations where there is no power imbalance? E.g., suppose there are two cousins, one 14 years old, and the other 5 years old. They see each other very seldomly; there is not a custodial relationship between them; and no force is applied, but the 14-year-old invites the 5-year-old to receive, say, oral sex. By what mechanism will any greater harm come to the 5-year-old from this than would occur if the other participant were another 5-year-old? If it's that the 5-year-old looks up to those older than him or her, might not the solution be to instil in children that they have a right to accept or refuse bodily contact regardless of the age of the other person?
  • Is there evidence that the cure (i.e. criminalization of all child-adult sexual relationships) isn't in some cases worse than the problems it is attempted to solve? E.g. might not in some cases a child have legitimate reasons to prefer that a parent who has touched the child sexually should remain in the family rather than going to prison? If so, why shouldn't that preference be respected; why should it be the state's decision?

Tisane (talk) 14:32, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

These are all questions for a different article. Whilst there is much that might be discussed around child sexual abuse that is not part of the mission of this site. Rather the article is about how child sex abuse scares are used as dog whistle panics - the "think of the children" button - by those who wish to push an agenda. Bad Faith (talk) 14:47, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Depending on how broadly one wants to construe the four parts of RW's mission, such issues could fall within all of them. But then, so could almost every political, religious, ethical, etc. issue. People form beliefs based on certain questionable assumptions, and we expose that.
Much of the sex offender and victim treatment industry could be considered pseudoscientific. E.g., use of the penile plethysmograph. It's certainly to the financial advantage of these psychologists, counselors, etc. to broaden the scope of what is "abuse" and to propagate the idea that sex offenders and victims require a lot of sessions of their treatment (typically at government expense) in order to be cured. Unfortunately for purposes of open debate, a lot of what they do goes on behind closed doors, and a lot of their documents (e.g. psychological evaluations) are sealed. There are privacy reasons for that, but another outcome is that the information is not open to easy scrutiny by outsiders. Tisane (talk) 15:28, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Smells like PIDOOMA to me. — Unsigned, by: ORavenhurst / talkDo You Believe That? 16:47, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
It's true that there could be other motives. The sex offender counselors might actually believe in what they're preaching. Nonetheless, it's getting to the point where they should know better than to engage in some of their current practices. For example, the viewing time measure of pedophilic desire has been largely debunked, as has the idea that there's a connection between viewing child porn and committing contact offenses. Yet I don't see the psychologists clamoring to cut down on mandated sex offender treatment of child porn offenders. Tisane (talk) 16:57, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
You don't see a lot of things. That doesn't mean that they're not happening. Have you tried looking? What does this have to do with the article? Hipocrite (talk) 17:03, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Isn't it pretty typical, and encouraged, for RationalWiki to cover issues related to moral panics and ineffective/unnecessary diagnostic and treatment techniques? Tisane (talk) 17:18, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

"anti-pedophilia bias "[edit]

I have been accused of anti-pedophilia bias. GUILTY. I wonder if it's appropriate for people without an anti-pedophilia bias to be editing this article at all. Hipocrite (talk) 16:54, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

So, does viewpoint censorship rear its head now? Tisane (talk) 16:57, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm not censoring you, you pro-pedophilia activist who regularly threatens to kill people he doesn't like and went to jail for doing that. I'm just preventing you from turning this article into a morass discussion about age of consent laws, inserting advocacy material from people who think it's ok to have sex with children if they can convince those children about it, and just generally spreading your crankery. If you want to change the article, you start a vote here - we can go back to the version that existed before you got out of jail. Hipocrite (talk) 17:00, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Care to try to justify your changes? Cause that kind of revision, Hipocrite, is generally unfounded. What exactly is your point in removing basicallly factual positions?--Green mowse.pngGodotL'important c'est d'aimer 17:12, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Love to. The following is the "information" I removed:
  • Child sexual abuse is generally distinct from statutory rape, which involves an adult and a minor (generally around 14-18, depending on the laws of different states and nations). However, both can subject the defendant to laws governing sex offenders, such as registration requirements.
This is not about "Child Sexual Abuse," except that "Child sexual abuse is generally distinct from statutory rape. It is additionally about the criminal treatment of statutory rape which is not germane to this article. Further, it's not me that needs to justify my change, because when Tisane was in jail for threatening to kill people, the article did not include this "information," which he added today.
  • "psychological, and in some cases physical, trauma" vs "extreme and irreversible developmental"
The research was done on developmental risks, not on physical trauma. Further, it's not me that needs to justify my change, because when Tisane was in jail for threatening to kill people, the article did not include this "information," which he added today.
  • The definition of what constitutes child sexual abuse
Nothing on the child abuse support site ("International Pedophile and Child Emancipation") should be considered anything but the opinion of people who want to have sex with children and want to legalize that desire. Further, it's not me that needs to justify my change, because when Tisane was in jail for threatening to kill people, the article did not include this "information," which he added today.
  • For example, in the late 1970s, child psychiatrist Judianne Densen-Geber and Sergeant Lloyd Martin of the Los Angeles Police Department vice squad traveled the country stoking outsized claims. Martin warned on a Christian television show that "pedophiles actually wait for babies to be born so that, just minutes after birth, they can grab the post-fetuses and sexually victimize them."
This is just lunatic spotting. You could find nutters saying that NYC was going to be underwater in 2 years if we don't immediately stop using all fossil fuels, but we don't add their nuttery to Global Warming except to note they are nutters. Further, it's not me that needs to justify my change, because when Tisane was in jail for threatening to kill people, the article did not include this "information," which he added today.
  • Stuff about child porn
Child porn is not child abuse. Start a new article. Further, it's not me that needs to justify my change, because when Tisane was in jail for threatening to kill people, the article did not include this "information," which he added today.
There. Hipocrite (talk) 17:36, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Why don't you just use Template:adhom3? It would save you some keystrokes. Hope this helps. Tisane (talk) 17:54, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
(ecx2) By the way, Hipo, you do realize that pedophilia is mere attraction to children, rather than actual sexual contact with them? Some pedophiles are strongly morally opposed to such contact, and don't engage in it, but feel the attraction anyway. Also, one can oppose a government prohibition on certain conduct without actually advocating said conduct. For example, just because I say that alcohol should be legal doesn't mean I encourage people to drink, or that I think that alcohol is harmless. I just think that prohibiting it would do more harm than good. By the way, "Nothing on the child abuse support site ("International Pedophile and Child Emancipation") should be considered anything but the opinion of people who want to have sex with children and want to legalize that desire" is a blatant appeal to motive.
By the way, it's not all that uncommon to threaten to kill people who engage in violence; for example, Obama's threat (since carried out) to kill Osama bin Laden. One can disagree at to the merits of such violence, but that's just a question of political theory, sometimes defined as "the important subset of moral theory that deals with the proper role of violence in social life." Reasonable people can disagree on such matters. It's a bit of an ad hominem attack that you're raising anyway; I could point out your generally unhelpful and none-too-friendly wiki-behavior, but that's not really the issue. Stuff that happens off-wiki is even less relevant.
Come to think of it, it's not all that uncommon to go to jail either, especially in the United States and Russia. It happens all the time, and there are a lot of good (and, admittedly, a few not-so-good) people in prison. For the most part, they're pretty harmless, typically caught up in some moral panic or another. Sex offenders in particular — most of the ones I ran into were first-time offenders, and most of them probably won't re-offend either.
Anyway, I haven't seen you present a whole lot of facts to back up your viewpoint yet, or counter the facts I presented, so perhaps you should quit reverting the article, unless someone else cares to weigh in. Tisane (talk) 17:16, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

"Developmental risks"[edit]

"Child sexual abuse poses extreme and irreversible developmental risks to children." That's both too vague and an over-generalization. It doesn't specify what kind of "development" we're talking about. That's why I changed it to psychological (and sometimes physical) "trauma," especially in light of the fact that a common diagnosis for sex abuse victims is post traumatic stress disorder. I also got rid of the language about it being extreme and irreversible, because those too are over-generalizations. There are differing degrees of severity of sex abuse and of its impact on different victims; and some victims, by their nature/temperament and desire/effort to recover, are able to bounce back from it quicker and more thoroughly than others. The effects of the trauma are not always irreversible; for example, the conditioning to experience anxiety in sexual situations can be at least partly mitigated or reversed through cognitive and other forms of therapy. To tell victims that they can never recover from what happened could actually contribute to their problems. Tisane (talk) 17:37, 9 August 2012 (UTC)


Does RationalWiki have something against "recognized pro-pedophilia advocacy" groups? More to the point, is there any reason to doubt that the definition of what's considered inappropriate sexual behavior has been expanded over time? Just look at the history of the laws. Statutory rape laws, for example, before the late 19th century used to only cover children under 10. And at one time (i.e. before the 1977 federal ban), child porn was legal in many states. Now all kinds of behavior, such as streaking or urinating in public, is considered a sex offense.

People's awareness of, and fear of, sexual contact between adults and children has surely increased over time. You can see it in the culture of many daycare centers and schools, where adults are often afraid to touch the children in any way (e.g. to accept a hug) lest they be accused of inappropriate touching. That trend was identified in Harmful to Minors and, although such anecdotes count for nothing here, I've encountered such stories from people one degree closer than a FOAF; e.g. my mother, who is director of a battered women's shelter, says that they have a rule that if the children try to put their arms around them, they're supposed to physically refuse the hug (it's kind of hard to describe how they do it, but it involves spreading one's own arms so as to move the child's arms apart and prevent him from successfully hugging) and then touch him on the nose, presumably as a token gesture of affection that couldn't possibly be interpreted in a sexual way. Tisane (talk) 17:49, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Just asking...[edit]

If child porn is generally recognized as having no relation to child sexual abuse, then why the fuck is child porn illegal? But, if there is claimed to be a connection, then it's relevant to the article. Also, who is to say that "child sexual abuse" does not pertain to statutory rape? If we define "child sexual abuse" as any sexual contact between an adult and a child, then it's not that much different from statutory rape (if there is any difference at all). In both cases, it's presumed that the minor was too young to give consent. By the way, Hipocrite, that content was there even while when Tisane was in jail for threatening to kill people (to use a third-person reference), as a comparison of this revision to the inmate locator demonstrates. So, in conclusion, fuck off. Tisane (talk) 18:03, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Child porn, as a general rule, requires the sexual abuse of a child. (Comics and stories do not, but that's a different issue.) There is no sensible way you can't say they're related. EVDebs (talk) 23:59, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
So then, why have the mentions of the federal crackdown on child porn been excised from the article? Tisane (talk) 10:27, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Find a better source. — Unsigned, by: ORavenhurst / talkDo You Believe That? 10:42, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
The sources I provided, i.e. the Denver Post article and Harmful to Minors, were pretty good. The latter is pretty well-researched, although obviously it has a point it's trying to make in marshalling all that evidence. Tisane (talk) 11:03, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Child sexual abuse definition[edit]

The definition of "child sexual abuse" to include touching that doesn't involve force or threats thereof is leading to some ridiculous results here. E.g., "Child sexual assault is one of the truly taboo acts, considered morally reprehensible in nearly all circumstances". Nearly all? What exceptions might there be? I don't know anyone who thinks that there are some circumstances in which it would be morally acceptable, or less than reprehensible, to forcibly sexually touch a child. On the other hand, the effects and ethics of consensual touching, and whether such consent is even possible, are exactly what is up for debate.

The problem is that we're using needlessly imprecise terminology, which people have sought to adopt for propaganda reasons. If one defines from the outset child sexual abuse to encompass all sexual touching of children by adults, and then proceeds to deal with the subject of "child sexual abuse" without distinguishing the different behaviors that have been lumped together under that heading, then we end up with imprecise statements like what I quoted above. It becomes impossible to even think clearly about or discuss the issue very productively, until some more precise terms are introduced. That's probably the point; people want to impede such thinking and debate.

The use of "child sexual abuse" to refer to non-forcible sexual touching of children is loaded terminology. It would be like if we were to refer to all government workers as "mindless bureaucrats," or refer to large corporate profits as "obscene profits," and then try to carry out a discussion about the merits of mindless bureaucrats or obscene profits. Just by conceding that such terminology is appropriate, one concedes the debate.

It would be better to use neutral terminology that neither condemns nor condones. Therefore, I wouldn't use the phrase "consensual child-adult sexual touching" either, because that also presumes that such consent can exist. "Non-forcible sexual contact been adults and children" would be more neutral. If someone knows of a shorter and more elegant term that's not loaded terminology, let me know. Tisane (talk) 10:27, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

How about Child sexual abuse? — Unsigned, by: ORavenhurst / talkDo You Believe That? 10:42, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
So, are you basically dismissing all of my above concerns, without feeling the need to provide any counter-argument? Tisane (talk) 11:01, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
"I thought this was supposed to be RATIONALWiki!" Have you considered that the majority of the rational world thinks you are mentally disturbed crank? Hipocrite (talk) 14:59, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
That sounds like an argumentum ad populum, which RationalWiki theoretically rejects, despite adhering to a mobocratic system. Tisane (talk) 17:03, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, no, that's not what RW rejects. we have a mob, the mob decides many things by popularity, by pounding, by argument. your arguments seem to be failing. Green mowse.pngGodotL'important c'est d'aimer 17:47, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't see a very scientific consensus-building process going on here. It's more like, "Let's skip the use of facts and logic, because that's too much work, and just go with gut feeling and societal norms." When the issue is one that people have strong feelings about, that's when it's especially important to engage in the (often tedious) process of formulating non-fallacious arguments, backing them up with facts, etc. — that is, for those who care about finding the truth and reaching a soundly-reasoned conclusion. Those are the subjects about which clear thinking and argumentation are most susceptible to being clouded by emotion, so extra care has to be taken to be objective and open to other ways of looking at the issue, unless one just wants to say "Fuck it, that's too hard." Which is an option, but sad to see happen at a project that calls itself "RationalWiki." Tisane (talk) 18:08, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
"So you have sources and make points we daren't try to refute, since someone else would come in and accuse us of feeding the troll."
So far I haven't seen any refutation of Tisane's points beyond "...even talking about it makes me feel icky"; let us do try go get beyond those real and viseral revulsions to make this best damned article we can. </cheerleader>
I will re-ask one question for disgustcussion:
Is any sexual conduct that takes place between an adult and a person who is post-pubescent but under the age of 18*, always sexual abuse? (I am going to use 18 years of age simply for the reasons that we need a reasonable cutoff age and US Federal law seems to drive the child porn thing from below this age)
19:24, 10 August 2012 (UTC) C®ackeЯ
No footnotes on talk pages, please.
Also, you are confusing "sexual abuse of children" with "statutory rape".--ZooGuard (talk) 19:35, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
We make a clear distinction between child sexual abuse and the statutory rape of kids over, say 14. I'm sorry, but there is nothing that makes me think it is responsible, legitimate, or rational to say "sometimes it is not harmful to touch a child sexually, and there is dispute if a child even rejects such touching". The ONLY people in the literature making such claims, are those who think we should be open to the idea of sex with a child. I see no reason to give those argumens which are not supported by any child psychological organization, weight here at RW. It would be like asking me to list articles that say "women expect and deserve to be forced into sex in some situations' and say "sure, that's valid". No child comes away from sexual abuse healthy. sorry, but it don't happen.Green mowse.pngGodotL'important c'est d'aimer 19:47, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Define "child psychological organization." What about the views of academics? We already have, for example, Judith Lewis Herman (hardly an apologist for pedophilia) admitting in her book Father-Daughter Incest, "no apparent ill effects were observed in the majority, or 75 percent of these cases. Thus, it would be an exaggeration to state that victims of sexual abuse inevitably sustain permanent damage." The views of professor Floyd M. Martinson were already dismissed on this page (by Hipocrite, at least) because of Martin's connection to IPCE. So, viewpoints from any organizations you've disqualified due to their disagreeing with you guys are dismissed from consideration, regardless of the authors' credentials! Kind of a catch-22. Tisane (talk) 20:08, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Neutral? Fuck off, being "rational" has nothing to do with being neutral. Piss off back to NAMBLA or something. Scarlet A.pngmoral 20:18, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
I'll bite and address your issue above: without consent, sexual activity is always abuse. If you can't call it consensual, then by definition it is abuse. — Unsigned, by: ORavenhurst / talkDo You Believe That? 12:24, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Armondikov, I don't say that rationality has to be neutral; that would be a fallacious argument to moderation. However, when people refuse to consider opposing evidence, that's the invincible ignorance fallacy, and when they refuse to put forth evidence for their claims, that's argumentum ad lapidem. I would suggest that in accordance with this chart, you're the one who needs to fuck off (or go fuck yourself, rather).
ORavenhurst, what exactly is the psychological change that occurs as people develop that makes them capable of consent at a certain age or stage of maturation; and what is that age or stage, and how does it manifest? It would be unreasonable, I think, to say that a day before any arbitrary age-based cutoff, a person is incapable of consent, but a day after is capable. Psychological development seems to be more of a gradual continuum rather than anything that occurs with a sudden jump in cognitive capacity when adolescence or adulthood is reached.
I'm speaking in terms of the reality, not the legality; obviously, statutes tend to involve a lot of arbitrary cutoffs and thresholds (e.g. stating, for instance, that a person under 21 can't drink). To define it legally is one thing; to define what child sex abuse is as a sociological or psychological phenomenon is quite another. It seems inconsistent to say that a child can consent to sexual contact with another child but not with an adult; if it were the case that children obey whatever adults say, then child molestors would not find it necessary to use force, and people would not bother trying to teach children about "good touching" and "bad touching." The whole point of those exercises is to train kids not to engage in the sexual activity that the adult suggests/orders, but to instead run away, tell, etc. Tisane (talk) 21:40, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Tisane, I don't think sexual activity between children and those significantly older than themselves (e.g. adults) is something that could ever be condoned – the risk of harm is too great. At the same time, I worry that in some cases adults overreact to these incidents and end up causing harm to the children involved. By overreaction, I'm not referring to the legal consequences for the offender; rather, I am talking about overplaying in the child's mind the psychic consequences of the abuse which can potentially turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy; the panic and anger of parents and others can end up harming the child. The long-term harm from abuse varies greatly depending on a number of factors — the physical severity of the abuse, the frequency of it, how much trust the child had in the abuser (and thus, how much of a breach of trust was experienced), how quickly it comes to light, the way parents and others react to it, the mental/emotional capacities of the child, etc. No doubt, at one end, there can be severe life-long harm; but at the other end, the long-term harm tends to be minimal. The problem I see is parents, therapists and others who assume cases are closer to the severe end than they actually are, and thus end up making the long-term harm worse than it might have been. Zack Martin HolyMaratreanSigil.png 22:43, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm having an argument on facebook about women comming of age, and how akward it feels to be oggled, stared at, and suddenly turned into "prey". As soon as I posted a particular article, almost all my female friends chimed in with their own story of feeling like meat, especially when they just got their boobs. Every one of us was effected -- some more than others. While I get Mara's point that we get so protective of our abused kids, that we can do them more harm than just leting it go, there is no case underwhich you could argue that sex with adults, especially parents who you trust, is good, healthy or safe. Maybe in some other culture, but study after study shows that kids know they are "different", internalize that into being "bad" (I was bad, so daddy did what he did), etc. Kids know "normal" In the statistical sense (and in my mind, the moral and ethical sense) parents do not have sex with their children. Kids who are in that position grow up having to deal with this, and the rest of childhood. And Mara makes one other point, somewhat hidden, but critical none the less. How the rest of the world handles the child when they find out he or she was abused is critical to how well they adapt to it. But it doesn't mean they weren't harmed, just that they recover sooner, or have less deep wounds.Green mowse.pngGodotIz a sekret Kristian 22:50, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
PS, something else we might mention in the article is that "child abuse" is such a concern in the legal system, that parents legitimately worry about things like taking showes and baths with their kids, teaching their kids about sex, or even bathing their children. We could address the new law on the airlines that men cannot fly next to a child, if the man is not the child's parent, etc. WE definitely "see abuse everywhere" now days.Green mowse.pngGodotIz a sekret Kristian 22:53, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Based on certain circumstances I'm aware of (not my own personally, but I will say no more than this so as to not to break those persons' confidences), it seems to me that in very many cases a failure of the parents to react appropriately caused far more harm than the abuse itself. One person I know who was abused by her stepfather, from my conversations with her, I've formed the distinct impression that her mother's refusal to believe that the abuse occurred has caused her far more harm than the abuse itself did; at the same time, I appreciate how her mother is in a situation which is beyond her psychic resources to cope with — I'm not defending her mother, I don't think her position is morally right — but I understand how doing otherwise may be beyond her mental and emotional capacity. Another person I know, was abused by a family friend, but it took her several years to admit this to her parents (meanwhile acting out at school and getting expelled for misbehaviour), and her parents never knew how to react when she finally did tell them. Zack Martin HolyMaratreanSigil.png 23:07, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Godot, the point you raise about adults being afraid to touch children even non-sexually these days was described in Judith Levine's Harmful to Minors (chapter: "Good Touch", cited here). I have heard of reactions like what you describe, of young women feeling uncomfortable at being ogled. However, I have also heard women speaking of experiencing a feeling of power from being noticed by men everywhere — i.e. the attractive women/girls find they can influence guys by means of their beauty. Women can of course adjust their level of modesty according to their preference with reference to being noticed/ogled; it might not be total control, but it will tend to have an effect. There seem to be sometimes some conflicting emotions — wanting to be wanted sexually, but not wanting to be disrespected as just a piece of meat, only good for sex.
Your statement that children know that sex with adults is bad seems to be in conflict with what the article currently states, which is that children don't know any better, and passively go along with whatever adults ask because they think that adults know best. Which is it? If they tend to submit due to coercion, then the article should say that, rather than that they submit due to naivete. Of course, in that case, it would open it up to the question of, What about those situations in which the adult is not a person who is in a position to coerce?
My guess is that in some cases it's coercion; in others naivete; and perhaps in still others, the kid is down with it, or doesn't mind, in any event. There is a lot of sexual diversity out there, and what one person finds repulsive (e.g. golden showers, coprophagia), another enjoys or doesn't mind. The psychological literature shows that children can experience sexual pleasure and in some cases orgasm, and in many cases they masturbate. In light of the fact that there's not much tactile difference between one hand and another, I would be surprised if there was not a single child in the world who simply enjoyed, or was indifferent toward, a sexual experience with a significantly older person, and was not traumatized. I'm just not seeing the logical reason why such trauma would always happen, especially if society did not stigmatize.
The type of trauma that you describe above sounds like what Finkelhor termed "stigmatization." One could blame that consequence at least partly on society for sending certain messages. So, from a harm reduction standpoint, maybe a solution is to stop sending those messages.
People seem to think that if we allow consensual child-adult sexual contact, then it will open the door to non-consensual contact. Actually, it could have the opposite effect; if we focus so much attention on stopping consensual contact, then it makes it harder to catch child molestors, because resources are being wasted on catching the wrong people. The same could be said about any consensual crime (drugs, prostitution, etc.)
People think criminalizing such behavior will stop the cycle of crime, when in fact it makes it worse. In the case of child-adult sex, if it never occurs with the child's consent, then legalizing consensual child-adult sex should have no effect; it would be like legalizing, say, possession of pink unicorns. The legal status of that which is nonexistent is irrelevant. But if something does exist, and is not a form of aggression, then it should be legalized, regardless of the fact that some come to regret their choices later.
That is, unless one favors paternalism over libertarianism. It gets back to basic issues of whether one believes the individual knows better than the majority of society, or whoever is in power, what is good for him. This being a mostly non-libertarian wiki, it's probably going to have paternalistic tendencies on this issue as with other issues.
ZackMartin, the child abuse literature (e.g. Surviving Childhood Sexual Abuse) seems to back up your point that victims can sometimes feel quite hurt when their claims aren't believed. For example, that particular book has a whole chapter, "What Happened When I Did Tell," about the often-negative reactions victims received. The book warns about confronting abusers for the very reason that they are likely to deny the abuse, which could lead to some psychological pain. Tisane (talk) 00:12, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Tisane, I think "harm reduction" is important. But I don't think legally condoning (e.g. decriminalising) activity is a valid form of harm reduction. Don't misinterpret what I am saying, as saying that if the way parents and others react causes harm, that makes the original abuse okay; it doesn't. What young girl actually wants to have sex with her stepfather? My friend certainly didn't; and if he had never acted that way, she and her family would never have found themselves in the impossible situation they find themselves in. We can talk about what others can do to reduce the harm, but the ultimately responsibility for the harm lies with the abuser - he chose to act in the way he did. Zack Martin HolyMaratreanSigil.png 00:19, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Tisane, maybe you should have interviewed some CSA survivors in addition to all those sex offenders before you start making these claims. — Unsigned, by: ORavenhurst / talkDo You Believe That? 00:36, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Also, seeing what you've written above... it seems like some of the issue is overreliance on anecdotal evidence. None of the CSA survivors I know were traumatized by overreactions of parents... because the parents didn't know until the victims were "adults". The problems they had were a complete mystery until they finally felt comfortable revealing what had happened. Also, the libertarian-paternalistic dichotomy you're proposing is so hilariously wrong it doesn't bear addressing. — Unsigned, by: ORavenhurst / talkDo You Believe That? 00:41, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Tisane, are you serious about this consensual child-adult sex thing? Ever heard of informed consent? It's pretty easy to get a five-year-old to say "yes" to something they don't even understand; that doesn't make it equivalent to an adult's consent. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 07:13, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Newest changes - stay or go[edit]

I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the newest changes. they still feel very "it's ok to abuse kids as long as they want it.". I won't revert, but I would appriciate other editors "ok" "not ok". They just feel dodgy to me.Green mowse.pngGodotL'important c'est d'aimer 16:25, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

I concur. There seems to be, under the guise of 'getting past the moral outrage' a certain amount of abuse apologetics going on. I wasn't entirely happy about the article before all the amends either. It couldn't decide exactly what article it wanted to be. Bad Faith (talk) 16:39, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Why don't you present some arguments and facts to support your position, rather than merely voicing discomfort and unhappiness? Tisane (talk) 17:04, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Strongly concur. This article is currently embarrassing, even after excising the worst spin. Hipocrite (talk) 18:17, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Okay, so now we have, in addition to discomfort and unhappiness, embarrassment and disgust cited as reasons to revert. Still no logically sound, factually-supported arguments for reverting. Oh well! The will of the mob prevails, apparently due to appeal to emotion. Tisane (talk) 18:44, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
I always love people who think that rationality is some how superior to emotion. The fact that no major child protection group supports your views is sufficient for me to say, you are the one who needs to supply not just a "link", but "extraordinary evidence" for your extraordinary claim. You added a line that it was 'often debated" other times "strongly debated" that children are harmed. It isn't often, strongly, regularly debated. It is a virtual given in the child care community that sexual contact with kids is bad. --Green mowse.pngGodotL'important c'est d'aimer 20:01, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
This is not EmotionalWiki. "No major child protection group"; okay, do you have a definition of that, other than "a group that agrees with me that any sexual contact with a child is child sexual abuse, and works to stamp that practice out"? There are a lot of groups and individuals who favor protecting children in general, but disagree that all adult-child sexual contact is a form of aggression. Because it's a minority opinion (much like atheism), those (e.g. Mary Ruwart and Joycelyn Elders) who publicly espouse that view end up on the fringes of politics, and unwelcome in some social and organizational settings. That doesn't mean they're wrong or "cranks." It just means they've encountered a strong counter-reaction, and those who have been willing to stick their guns have paid a price, as did many brave heretics of old.
This discussion has gone from argumentum ad populum to argumentum ad verecundiam. Both are fallacious. I've presented evidence; now you need to show my reasoning is flawed, or do your homework and present contrary evidence, or your argument fails. It's not enough to say "none of the groups that have devoted themselves to carrying out an agenda in accordance with my viewpoint agree with you." Tisane (talk) 20:22, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, such it is. Here's one further, you claim there is no danger. Here's a simple danger. touch my child, or any child i know sexually, and I'll go against everything I believe about guns and shoot you myself. Touching a child - even your own child sexually is a crime. why? cause it harms the child. so what groups are saying waht? "The American Psychiatric Association states that "children cannot consent to sexual activity with adults", and condemns any such action by an adult: "An adult who engages in sexual activity with a child is performing a criminal and immoral act which never can be considered normal or socially acceptable behavior." [2], a nice little chart of the odds of having issues as an adult. "Sexually abused children suffer from more psychological symptoms than children who have not been abused; studies have found symptoms in 51% to 79% of sexually abused children.[" (all from wikipedia). This is not rocket science. Again you are the one making claims far and above what anyone in the field would ever suggest... so I'm just not buying your antics. If you want to harm children, don't do it around me. And by the way, emotion is one of the single most critical parts of "rationality". It's what helps us make sense of the myriad of choices before us, which all have rational flaws and perks.Green mowse.pngGodotL'important c'est d'aimer 20:31, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
This article needs to go back to this edit and all the crap that got put it in it needs to go away. -- Seth Peck (talk) 20:49, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
"you claim there is no danger" Godot, that's a straw man argument. I never said that child-adult sexual contact is without risk, and indeed, when force is used, there is probably a high likelihood of trauma. The force tends to fulfil the powerlessness, traumatic sexualization, and in some cases the betrayal elements of Finkelhor's model of sexual traumatization of children. Tisane (talk) 21:24, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Missionality of article[edit]

So it sounds like the real question for RW is "what is our point in having this article". is it just an extension of the "rape" article. or are we trying to prove something about how the media reacts or over reacts? ARe we wanting to discuss where kids are punished for sending naked pictures of themselves to their boyfirends? I think we should rethink what this article is, and what it's on mission, and how to make it more mission. ideas? Green mowse.pngGodotL'important c'est d'aimer 18:21, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

There are two very interesting articles worth writing - one about sex abuse panics and recovered memory therapy false memory syndrome, another about sexting. Hipocrite (talk) 18:29, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Try reading the last 2007 edit, it would seem that this was more about the reaction (and over-reaction) to CSA. Also too, and this has been fading from social memory, a lot of worries about CSA were scare tactics about gay folk messing with the chil'ren. As those fade into the past so too does the rationale for saying what it is were saying.
Is today's version on-mission? I think as it stands the article tries to do too much: if we decide to have it, let us keep to bona fide CSA. Any question of what CSA entails (to obtain said bona fides) should be limited to this page until it fledges into an article of ot's own. C®ackeЯ 19:44, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
@Hipocrite: I've written/merged a bunch of articles into confabulation/recovered memory therapy, but it mostly covers the memory research as that's where my expertise is. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:13, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Any room for some religious views?[edit]

Numbers 31:17-18 Mohammed having a 9yo wife Many Muslims still having arranged marriages to people that age. Or is all this in another section I haven't seen? Omni314 (talk) 02:03, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Add them, if you want. but remember, entire cultures the world around believed that women's (girl's) value was to have children. most cultures married their girls off as soon as they could menstruate. That's not "abuse" at that point.--Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 02:17, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Women and girls were treated as property in many patriarchal societies and children of either sex were/are sometimes treated as property. It was/is harmful but may not be considered abuse. Proxima Centauri (talk) 11:09, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Re: "WTF laws"[edit]

I included it because it seemed relevant to the article, and about as relevant to the missions guidelines as the article itself. Also: depressing education which I must share with the world because it was shared with me--Token Conservative (talk) 04:34, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

There's nothing WTF about it. You can't legislate against the kinds of pretences or fantasies people can indulge in for gratification when they're not harming a minor. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 06:02, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm not against including the information, but why is it a bad thing? (talk to a) Nihilist 13:23, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Am I the only one assuming that the people who would call a sex hotline to talk about molesting a seven year old is more likely than the general population to have molested a seven year old? You know, maybe use the credit card/phone number to tell the police so that they can do a check on these people? Or maybe at least outlaw the practice of firing hotline workers who hang up on a fucking pedophile.--Token Conservative (talk) 17:08, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
If you start acting against people because of their sexual fantasies then you're on a very slippery slope. If you read internet porn then you will find that there is a vast market for fantasies about what has suddenly become a sickening reality in Cleveland. Are you going to legislate against them as well? And what about all that crap that comes over from Japan. Most of the Hentai that I have seen is pretty sickening. Should that be illegal? Innocent Bystander (talk) 17:22, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
To make my point, go to the Wikipedia article on Hentai and tell me that it doesn't have a picture of a clearly under age girl participating in sexual congress. Oh, NSFW, by the way. Where are you going to draw the line? Innocent Bystander (talk) 17:33, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
I will draw the line when we aren't allowing pedophilia by proxy.--Token Conservative (talk) 17:42, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
And what is that supposed to mean? Seriously, turn that high minded phrase into a law that could actually be applied. And, why this focus on paedophilia? Why not all non consensual sex? Innocent Bystander (talk) 17:48, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Because I didn't just watch an interview with a sex hotline worker who said its really common to be asked to do rape fantasies? And you know, this article is about pedophilia.--Token Conservative (talk) 17:53, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
There are established fetish cultures around adults roleplaying as babies or children; some of it may be more-or-less pedophilic, or it may just be people fetishising some aspects of childhood itself. You're welcome to find it creepy, but as long as it's not actually harming real children, there's nothing much you can or should do about it. Pedophillia isn't a crime, and if pedophiles can indulge their fantasies without harming children (e.g. through a sex hotline), where is the harm? ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:07, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
There's a huge difference between "I want to pretend to be a baby" and "I want you to pretend to be a seven year old". And I would love to have some reason to think that pedophiles can indulge their fantasies without hurting children.--Token Conservative (talk) 18:59, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
How are children hurt by an adult calling up a sex hotline for adults, and speaking to an adult who maybe pretends to be a child? WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:24, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Children get molested in Japan every day. -- (talk) 20:57, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
One leads to the other?--Token Conservative (talk) 21:09, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
In the general sense that wanking leads to rape, yes. The counterargument is that in a lot of cases it doesn't. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:29, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Well, thats a wonderfully irrelevant comparison.--Token Conservative (talk) 21:38, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
It's not irrelevant or a comparison: based on your last comment, "wanking leads to rape" appears to be the exact argument that you are making. If you don't think so, please expand on what items you are referring to when you say "one leads to the other"? ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:47, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Don't be obtuse Weasel. We both know that there is an enormous gulf between "masturbation -> rape" and "acting out rape fantasies for money -> rape".--Token Conservative (talk) 21:55, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
I don't see the big difference. Basically, one is solitary and the other has assistance, but they're both still masturbation. (talk to a) Nihilist 22:01, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Masturbation is a general thing that could be about anything; paying to act out a fantasy of an illegal act is a different, more specific thing.--iToken Conservative (talk) 22:26, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
What has paying got to with anything? Lots of couples act out rape play as part of their sex life. Some people have similar fantasies but no partner (or a partner who isn't comfortable with that), so they may use porn or a hotline instead. Why should they be considered more of a threat than people who act out these fantasies within a relationship, or indeed people who have the same fantasies but don't share them with anyone? WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:43, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────"Paying" because it shows more determination. You are giving someone money, giving them plenty of means of finding you, and then asking them to fantasize through an illegal act. Maybe it's just me, but it seems like that is the kind of person who is more likely to actually act on pedophilic desires because they have those desires, and are kind of open about it.

And even if I grant you that this shouldn't be illegal, I would like to hope that we can agree that the hotline workers should not have to do this, or be fired, at the very least. If the issue is the focus on "why is this legal" rather then "why are the workers in a situation of 'do this or be fired'" I can probably reword it and find a different place for it.--Token Conservative (talk) 23:07, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Gender stereotypes?[edit]

I noticed that in the "Sex offender" part, all sex offenders were described as "he" or "him". It's probably nothing, but I couldn't shake the feeling that it wa stating that only men can rape, abuse, etc. Does anybody else have an opinion on this? (talk) 08:04, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

I think that's more to do with the common practice of casually referring to genderless hypothetical people in the masculine, which is an issue in itself, but this is a fair point. I've changed it to "he or she". Balaam (talk) 09:21, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
Randomly mixing the gender pronouns works well, too. And considering the topic, "it" works well as well, in my opinion. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:39, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
One of the few times i think "it" would fit a human.Green mowse.pngGodot The ablity to breath is such an overrated ability 03:15, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
Emphatically no. Dehumanising offenders really doesn't help discussion of issues such as motivation, sentencing, therapy & rehabilitation. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:15, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
Definitely not the only time, though. I think that "it" would work well for any of the members of the WBC. (talk) 09:56, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

This article has a pro-rape POV[edit]

Seriously. It's chalk full of typical pro-rape activist (err sorry, 'childlove') arguments. Examples: rape victims aren't necessarily hurt much, rape activists are being persecuted, there's a climate of hysteria surrounding child rape that prevents people from seeing how great it is, anti-rape laws are so general they actually detract from the ability to find 'real' rapists, rape research is flawed, etc. Most of this, but not all, is in the Criticism and Psychological effects sections. If you're not familiar with the pro-rape activist tactics, I suggest you read up on it. They share a stunning resemblance with MRA arguments. — Unsigned, by: LilyDoesSF / talk / contribs

I don't have time right now to look at the article, but feel free to edit the parts you find troublesome: if there's anything contentious in your changes, the community will chime in; edits to a page like this should get noticed by more experienced editors. PowderSmokeAndLeather 16:05, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
I no longer self-identify as a skeptic. For that reason I prefer not to directly edit pages. Quite simply, my motives are ulterior and social justice in nature. My contributions will be limited to talk pages. LilyDoesSF (talk) 17:52, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Well, that's not really very helpful. Can you at least copy/paste specific passages that you find troublesome onto this talk page so I can check them out? PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 17:57, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
No thanks. I've identified the sections adequately, and already made my objection clear. LilyDoesSF (talk) 20:05, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
I gave the article a re-read. The word "rape" appears once in this article, in the phrase "statutory rape" which is used to distinguish the difference from child sexual abuse. The second paragraph even states that child sexual abuse is based on an inability for a child to provide informed consent (which makes it rape). There are no mentions in the article anywhere that it child sexual abuse could be anything other than a terrible, horrible thing, except where it references the perverts who think it is a good thing.
So none of the stuff you say is appearing in the article actually appears in the article, which makes me wonder if YOU even read it.
Also, it's "chock full". --Seth Peck (talk) 18:25, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Oh boom. You got me. I never read the article. And I'm dumb because I can't spell. Thanks for telling me what does and doesn't appear in the article. I needed help. LilyDoesSF (talk) 20:11, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
I get the sense that Lily is reading some of the "Criticisms" section as the page making those arguments, as opposed to simply discussing their existence. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 18:33, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
You are indeed correct, I am reading the criticisms section as the page making those arguments. Mostly because the arguments are laid out in the exact sequence, tone, and with the the typical language of, Internet child rape activists. The only thing to indicate that RationalWiki is not endorsing those views, or is condemning/mocking them, is the section title "Criticism." That alone isn't communicating much. What exactly is being criticized? The rape of children? Most of the article is already highly critical of child rape, so it's unclear to me what the criticism title is trying to indicate. The 'Soft-pedaling' sub-section is a little more clear. I take it to mean that either (1) soft-pedaling by say, FRC, is being 'criticized', or (2) soft-pedaling by say, FRC, is tantamount to criticizing the social & scientific consensus concerning the ethical evil of child rape. Either interpretation is fine with me, although it would be nice if it was more clear. The 'Legal ludicrousness' section, on the other hand, I struggle to interpret as anything *but* criticism of the social & scientific consensus concerning the ethical evil of child rape. It reads like a paste out of 'childlove' propaganda. It is classic rape culture by its technique of trying to derail condemnation of child rape by alleging a climate of hysteria and moral panic, or the need to find 'real abusers'. I'm all for a section on criticisms of child rape laws, as well as a rationalist take on those criticisms. However, in its current form the legal ludicrousness section reads like child rape apologetics. I see hints in other parts of the article, but they're not as clear. A rewrite of the legal ludicrousness section would be a great way to start, as it would uncover the existence of a very real, and very dangerous pro-child-rape Internet movement (cf: derailing and co-option of feminism by MRAs), and would involve finding reliable sources on child rape that would improve the quality of the entire article. Separate point: I believe there should be a separate article on the pro-child-rape movement. Again, compare with MRAs. LilyDoesSF (talk) 20:05, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
I don't know, I keep re-reading this article and the only thing it makes me want to do is impress Jodie Foster. Occasionaluse (talk) 20:22, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Lily is right about those sections, and they should have been cleaned up or deleted sooner. They were mostly written by User:Tisane who caused a lot of friction at RW by advocating toleration of adult-child sexual relations. Plus this guy who I don't know, who was advocating that we dispense with all sex offender registers and the like. Rather a controversial position, and not one we should endorse as a site POV. The only kindof valid point in that whole section was about the pressures on researchers studying the long-term effects of child abuse to produce results that conform to public expectations and preconceptions, but I think that's already covered in the second paragraph of the psychological effects section. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:41, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Hm. How come I don't see any of that (I saw the part that Tisane put in, but not the pro-rape part in any aspect)? Weird. Accept my apologies. --Seth Peck (talk) 21:25, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Interesting, I was about to say it should be "chock full" instead of "chalk full" but apparently it was originally "choke full". Take a survey (talk) 09:47, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

The point of articles like this[edit]

Are there truly a lot of virtuous pedophiles who will be deterred from illegal activity by reading articles like this, or will they continue looking until they find sites that provide arguments that will justify what they want to do, in order to diminish their cognitive dissonance? Do these articles make it any less likely that pedophile activists will succeed in implementing any part of their political agenda at all, or do they have no such prospects either way? I am not aware of, say, NAMBLA's ever being able to claim any legislative victories. Does it encourage people to want to fight against child sex abuse, and try to put a stop to it as much as possible, or were they going to want to do that just as much anyway? Take a survey (talk) 10:53, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Stay tuned. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:49, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
I kind of agree with you. I don't understand how this fits in with RW's stated goals, as I understand them. Also, as I mentioned in my earlier posts, I don't think the problems with the article were limited to the obviously pro-rape-activist insertions. I view the article as pretty low-quality. It mixes outrage with soft-pedaling with poor science sources with unnecessary information that can be used to equivocate. I think failing a rewrite, deletion makes sense. LilyDoesSF (talk) 20:25, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
" I don't understand how this fits in with RW's stated goals." We have a bad problem with mission creep. Probably half to 2/3 of our articles are here because people like the website and want to contribute by writing articles that address stuff they know about/are interested in, as opposed to focusing on the mission, and as a community we suck at drawing boundaries. That said, pointing out the problems with the article and showing that you have a clue about how to make it better but making a firm commitment to not doing anything to improving it is kind of unhelpful, so thanks. I'd love to see the article deleted; I'd love to see huge swathes of the articles deleted and have the website focus on a couple of hundred top-quality, mission-centric articles about topics that will get recognized and tons of hits. But that's as unlikely to happen as is an all-talk-page editor doing something productive in mainspace, so I'm not holding my breath. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 20:37, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
So I'm getting a little fatigued of the whole "you're not being helpful" tripe. I think I *am* being helpful. I got some extremely embarrassing pro-pedophilia crap removed, didn't I? I'd like to pose an open question: given that I'm not going to edit articles directly at this point, is my participation on talk pages welcome? I'm open to anyone's opinion and will treat it as a majority-rules poll. Last, I'll point at that I *may* be willing to edit articles directly in the future. Just right now. I was highly involved in the atheist/skeptical sphere and am aware of its strengths and shortcomings. The shortcomings involve the kind of mansplaining that happened right here in this page. I was accused of not reading the article, not understanding the article, and quite possibly being stupid because of a spelling mistake. Whereas in fact I had more knowledge of where the problematic passage was coming from. Sorry, not interested in contributing to a community that will treat its members like that. So yeah. I'm willing and eager to contribute on talk pages iff I'm welcome to do so. If I am, and it goes well, I may just want to start hitting the main articles directly. That's what I can offer.— Unsigned, by: LilyDoesSF / talk / contribs
You got stuff removed from this article much in the same way that someone who calls the fire department puts out a fire. Your participation on talk pages is welcome, 'cause hey, it's a free internet. Knock yourself out. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 22:39, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

So even RationalWiki becomes gullible when the taboo is strong enough?[edit]

The intro makes the clear claim that "Child sexual abuse poses extreme and irreversible developmental risks to children." Later the article slightly backpedals and admits that research on the topic is usually clouded, with some studies that control for external factors finding that no significant problems could be attributed to child sexual abuse, and others finding the opposite "for some types of CSA" as the article says (I have not looked into what types). Not to mention that none of these studies even claim to control for the effect of extremely strong cultural stigma.

So far I'm not convinced that there are naturally occurring adverse effects of adult-child sex, as long as the child gives basic consent and shows no signs of distress. If you thought that's impossible, you're in for a surprise. Don't worry, I'm not talking from experience, but rather things like cross-cultural examples given here, Susan Clancy's findings, and observations from child pornography which I acquired by stepping on legal grey zones of jurisdictions I've been under. I'm afraid I can't give citations for the latter due to our draconian laws.

I'm going to edit the article. Be my guest in keeping me under check. Yes, I am a pedophile. (No, I'm not a sadist. No, I'm not a criminal. No, I'm not mentally ill.) — Unsigned, by: / talk 20:48, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

My edit has been undone saying it must be discussed before doing the changes, so here's a run-down of the individual changes with their rationale. I will apply these as separate edits so you can then undo the specific ones you disagree with.
  • Changing the wording of the introduction from "child sexual abuse is a form of child abuse typically defined as ..." to "child sexual abuse is defined as a form of child sexual abuse, ..." to hint at the professional disagreement (most notably Rind et al.) over the validity of the term when it implies that all adult-child sexual contact is abusive.
  • Changing "child sexual assault" to "child sexual abuse" for consistency.
  • Adding "in contemporary western culture" because the current situation does not necessarily hold across history and cultures. In fact it indeed doesn't; we should add a mention of that to the article some time.
  • Move the "causes harm" thing to its own paragraph, and explain that it isn't fully supported by research.
  • Change "found" to "concluded" to hint at the possibility of said "findings" being wrong conclusions.
  • Change "early studies vs. more recent studies" to "some studies and some other studies" because I disagree that the differences between their dates warrant such a wording, and the article even says that the latter studies are about "some types" of CSA (I haven't looked what types) so the direct "old vs. new" comparison makes even less sense.
  • Remove Rind et al. section which is a copy of parts of the Wikipedia article.
  • Add paragraph on the difficulty of controlling for the effect of culture and finding out whether the negative reactions are natural. Mention Susan Clancy who is of the opinion that the reactions are indeed mostly the result of culture. Link to Richard Green's page which sums up some historical and cross-cultural perspectives. (We really need a separate pedophilia page though, where that citation will be a lot more relevant.) — Unsigned, by: / talk 19:44, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

Challenge of research[edit]

As of now, the article says research is "clouded" and the reference discusses this well. The challenges are simply that the best available research designs (i.e. RCT, prospective pre-exposure cohort studies) are untenable or unethical and the mostly statistical workarounds (meta-analyses, propensity scores, covariate adjustment, matched case-control) are just that: workarounds in lieu of better studies. That does not invalidate research findings, but it does make them more likely to appear contradictory even when the underlying actual response is clear. The article, as an IP-changing BoN would have it, would have me discount all studies because: 1) one review referred to another paper that negated prior research; 2) that a qualitative case series found nuance in abuse response; and 3) that a prior big study had unusual findings. I won't do that. I agree to inclusion of some of the doubts that are in my last edit, but not when written up as if they definitively negate all prior science. MarmotHead (talk) 18:14, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

I'd be fine with it if you changed the section to not sound like "oh but all of that research is actually invalid," but the wording you're currently using is overly tied to your point of view and assumptions. You call it "abhorrent" to "randomly allocate children" to experience "sexual abuse," when the whole freaking point is that it's disputed whether sexual contact IS necessarily sexual abuse. Of course it's entirely obvious and indisputable to you that it must be something horrible, just like people a couple decades ago where convinced that homosexuality is the most absolutely disgusting thing ever. If you want to concern yourself with child sexuality topics, you'll first need to cleanse your mind of all the baseless assumptions your culture instilled in you. One of the best ways, I found, is to watch child porn and see the kids either not give a fuck or possibly even enjoy it, even if just as a game, and notice that the "abuser" most often tends to be a relatively chill dude who's being overall relatively gentle to the child. Wipe that image of terrified, screaming children getting tortured off of your mind; it's bogus. Any horror movie is BY FAR more disgusting than child porn. (It's not like there isn't bad child porn, by the way, by genuinely abusive parents/relatives.) You're probably not going to watch child porn though. Note by the way that my claims of how "innocent" child porn is are supported by Susan Clancy, through sheer apparent coincidence: it's not like she's a pedophile or watched child porn; she interviewed "victims" personally and found them to report neutral reactions to the sexual contact, so my observations from watching child porn are not my deluded mind. So, another option to get into a more neutral mind set would be to consider the biological implausibility of a human child carelessly taking part in sexual activity, only to magically get horribly traumatized after a couple years. It's just too fucking obvious that this trauma is LEARNED and not a natural reaction. So in short, use more neutral wording. You don't see ME get all cynical in the main body of the article and spread pro-pedo propaganda. I understand RationalWiki likes being aggressive, but here you'll need to refrain from that because neither scientific findings nor sheer rational thought make it obvious in any way at all that sexual contact is inherently abusive to children. It is a result of contemporary western cultural norms. VERY clearly once you dig deep enough and get over your cognitive dissonance.
Oh and the reason I change my IP should be relatively clear from the above. I'm bordering on being a criminal by watching child porn. (The exact laws vary if you don't store it...)
Get help. --Marlow (talk) 19:08, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
Christ on a bike, this is Ehrenstein. I knew he was a psycho, but I didn't have him pegged as a pedo. --Marlow (talk) 19:27, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
Whee! OK, that's enough of a craziness ride for me. MarmotHead (talk) 19:30, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
And just to be clear, reading the observational data from the pair-based study shows huge increases in negative outcomes. They call them small, but multiplying your chances of divorce by 7.5 is not some minor statistical hiccup. More than doubling suicide rates is awful. There's no rationalizing away those results(especially given the pair-based natural experiment). Ikanreed (talk) 19:37, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
Please try to improve the article to reflect that then. Remain objective though. Don't rule out the effect of cultural stigma and other factors blurring the whole topic.
I seriously thought RW was better than this. 1) Responding with "get help" to an elaborate explanation of how fucking wrong and bigoted you are. 2) Poisoning the well by saying that I'm probably some other person who was previously agreed(??) to be crazy. (I have no fucking idea who Ehrenstein is.) 3) Being so obvious in your cognitive dissonance that you bail out saying "enough craziness for me." Is there a more obvious symptom when you say this in response to a well thought-out explanation of why you're wrong? Stop igniting my cynicism and try to actually help the situation. Bigotry and blind assumptions have no place in a wiki centered around rational thought.
No idea who Ehrenstein is? BS [3]. --Marlow (talk) 19:45, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm using Tor you fuckwit. Anyone could be accessing RW through the same exit node as me at any time.
Oh and also, if you read somewhat carefully you'll notice that I'm absolutely ready to stop acting like a cynical asshole as soon as you do it. You raised my blood pressure in first place, I'm trying to make constructive changes to the page here.
Yeah right. Maybe some kiddie porn would calm you down? --Marlow (talk) 19:53, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
(EC) Consider then me, who may buy into western cultural norms about CSA. My blood pressure is raised, too. So, let's relax ... some of us. It may not be easy, though. You made some detailed comments above, as requested, and, if I'm ready to re-approach this topic, I'll reply. Right now, I'm no longer up to that. MarmotHead (talk) 19:58, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

proposed changes[edit]

To practice what I preach to big-edit BoNs, I propose a few changes that will strengthen this article without changing its POV:

  • Add detail in the psychological effects that, briefly and non-graphically, describes steps where harm can occur (such as consent, force, relationship to abuser, reaction by newly-told adults, healthy development);
  • Point out that, the more harmful steps, the more ensuing harm;
  • Describe research challenges lead to inconsistent results (differing definitions/samples, reliance on self-report, unavailability of best research designs);
  • Reduction in emphasis on Rind controversy (important points covered with research challenges);
  • Reiteration of researchers view that, even where harm is less than expected, CSA is still wrong and still a big problem and still harmful;
  • If possible, create better integration across whole article (it's heading towards writing-by-committee disasterland).

In various edits, assuming no objection, I'll take these on, all without further engaging a professed pedo. MarmotHead (talk) 19:57, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

I dunno man. You're gonna need some very solid sources (at least for your first couple of points); otherwise it will just read like "some rapes aren't all that bad". WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:25, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I know. That scares me a bit. The hoped for point is "It's really bad, even when it's less bad than you think." It's to serve as an alternative to the more-flawed "It's not as bad, therefore there is no problem." If it turns into minimization, it should be burned with fire. MarmotHead (talk) 20:30, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Beneficial outcomes of CSA[edit]

Then there's this other study:

Adverse developmental effects associated with traumatic life experiences such as child sexual abuse will not apply to all individuals exposed. . . . [I]ndividuals associating sexual abuse with a life change for the 'better' exhibited a constellation of features consistent with more stable, supportive home environments and better prospects early on and healthier functioning later-on as adults. . . . McMillen, Zuravin, and Rideout (1995) found that 46.8% of their respondents were able to identify some benefit from their exposure to CSA, specifically, feelings of being better able to protect their own children, increased knowledge, and strength.

Although good reasons exist to focus attention on the adverse consequences of extreme life experiences such as CSA, it is also important to acknowledge that there will be a continuum of response. Some individuals will suffer inexorable losses in functioning and life quality, whereas others will gain new insights, knowledge, purpose, or adaptive capability. . . . . When respondents were asked to link their experience of sexual abuse to change in their lives, those reporting a change for the better used narrative descriptions such as, 'I am a stronger person now and wise with life decisions'; 'Provided new framework to have relationships with people'; 'Strengthened communication skills'; 'enable (me) to take ownership of only those responsibilities one can control'; 'Made me stronger'; and 'Made me think about life and what I want to be.' . . .

"Among individuals who spontaneously identify early sexual abuse as a significant life event, about 1 in 3 identify being strengthened by the experience. . . . Individuals who describe their lives as changing for the better report less childhood adversity and overall appear to be functioning better in early adulthood. . . . Okami (1991) reported that in a non-clinical sample of individuals reporting experiences of sexual abuse as children, 67.1% of the experiences reported were given positive ratings by the respondents. A recent study by Jonzon and Lindblad (2006) showed that individuals with positive long-term outcomes could still be found among a sample of women reporting severe CSA.

— Kristin Cleverly and Michael H. Boyle (February 2010). "The Individual as a Moderating Agent of the Long-Term Impact of Sexual Abuse." Journal of Interpersonal Violence

Landmartian (talk) 02:44, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

That sounds like "I'm so glad I was abused as a child because it helped me realize how dangerous the world really is." Yes, silver linings are real, but they require clouds. I prefer not to ignore the clouds, particularly when so many of the clouds are lined only with toxic waste. Less metaphorically, I think that if X% of the total impact of CSA is positive, X is a very small number. It may be greater than 0, but not by much. MarmotHead (talk) 16:21, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
This really is akin to "beneficial outcomes of concentration camps". I have no doubt that some individuals gained interesting insights as a consequence of being in concentration camps. I doubt that this is an argument in their favour however.
I guess that one could include torture, water boarding or the unpleasant activity of ones choice and argue for some "positive outcome" in exceptional cases.--Coffee (talk) 20:57, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
Unpleasant experiences make people search for something good that they can feel made it worthwhile. It's a coping strategy. One of the more extreme examples was Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning, which said that Holocaust experiences helped people find meaning in life by giving them a situation that challenged them to survive and overcome. Actually, all of the problems of life could be looked at that way; if there were no problems, or if our problems were so insurmountable as to not have any solutions, there would be nothing stimulating to occupy our time with, and life would be boring. Humans are problem-solving machines, and don't do well in the absence of solvable problems. Most of our entertainment deals with protagonists confronting problems, and when there aren't enough interesting problems in the world to tell stories about, the writers contrive new problems.
The silver lining does need to be looked at, in order to have the full picture. The Holocaust didn't destroy everyone who experienced it, and neither did child sexual abuse. It's important to give victims their due for being hardy survivors, and not view perpetrators as being more powerful than they are. They aren't always able to permanently crush the human spirit; people can be resilient and resourceful enough to recover, especially when they have support. When we realize that, we don't have to fear the Hitlers and child molestors of the world more than is warranted; we can live our lives with more courage. Landmartian (talk) 21:12, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
Dude, as much as I like to approach things from a distant scientific perspective when possible, you're coming off as a child rape apologist. Ikanreed (talk) 21:17, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Misusing the term pedophile[edit]

The term pedophile should not be used at all in the meaning child molester. Also I don't think pedophilia or pedophile should redirect to child sexual abuse. The explanation in the section "Pedantic definitions" is good, but why to use incorrect terms in the first place? It creates strong prejudices about pedophiles. I thought the goal of this website is to fight widespread errorneous beliefs. It would be great to create a page about pedophilia, there is a lot of claims about pedophilia that are rather assumed that supported by evidence. And it would be great to document using the term pedophile in different meaning and the confusion it makes. It's problem even in scientific studies. And it's kind of a rule in the news. It's a serious problem, for example the statements of sexologists about pedophilia gets frequently misrepresented by bigoted groups trying to use any kind of such statements against homosexuals. And it spreads also among normal people, making for example any attempts on the preventive work with pedophiles nearly politically impossible. --Simgiran (talk) 22:43, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

I deleted the redirects from 'pediphilia' and 'pedophile'. Sophophobe (talk) 16:43, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
That was unhelpful. They're linked from about fifty pages. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:24, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
The solution would be to create a separate pedophilia article. Landmartian (talk) 18:21, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
I suggested it before but it wasn't a popular suggestion. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:40, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
Write it anyway, and if it gets deleted, post it to a more receptive wiki. Landmartian (talk) 18:42, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

More sources about how it is genuinely harmful[edit]

So, all these basically deliver the cold hard facts of objective harm to various degrees. And in various ways. Let's have no more pedos coming in crying crocodile tears about "moral panics". Ikanreed (talk) 17:02, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Ever found anything about the subtler kinds of counter-factual harm? For example, a woman I know was sexually abused as a child and became a stripper and didn't think sexual harassment existed. Any of that? MarmotHead (talk) 17:14, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
I was specifically looking at the journal of childhood maltreatment. Being a scientific journal, it tends towards more objective measures. Suffice it to say, trying to mix the idea of evidence and subjective understanding like that never really works out meaningfully. Quantifiable negative outcomes are more than enough for me. I don't know though, maybe a psychology journal? Ikanreed (talk) 17:19, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I've been looking, but can't get a handle on it. I've just been thinking about how best-of-class research methods can't really catch all the harm (i.e. prospective or randomized studies). Plenty, yes, but not all. Maybe making that point is enough when combined with the more measurable. MarmotHead (talk) 17:24, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
A journal I just stumbled upon that might be up this alley: Journal of Interpersonal Violence: Concerned with the Study and Treatment of Victims and Perpetrators of Physical and Sexual Violence. We'll see. Ikanreed (talk) 19:21, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
this is a good one for the bogus claim that our collective labeling it as abuse is what causes harm. Ikanreed (talk) 19:31, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Excellent! It also neatly ties in the "other factors" argument and has clearer definitions than the meta-analyses of university-based samples. MarmotHead (talk) 19:47, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Your earlier question[edit]

It's not quite the same as "becoming a stripper(with sexist beliefs)", but there is evidence that childhood sexual abuse increases the likelihood of prostitution. here ya go. Ikanreed (talk) 19:50, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Do I detect a subtle unstated bias against strippers and prostitutes?--Coffee (talk) 18:58, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
Ooh, good point. But the left has mixed feelings about those professionals. On the one hand, they think it's awesome to break free from religious/authoritarian strictures on sex and nudity, and to use one's body as one sees fit. On the other hand, they see sex work (like other paid labor) as being potentially exploitative, especially if it's mostly heterosexual men (who supposedly benefit from a wage gap) obtaining pleasure from women, or the destitute going into the sex trade out of desperation. So basically, the logic would be, "People get abused as children, and then come to believe exploitation is normal; therefore, they enter into another exploitative trade as adults." Or maybe they don't even wait to become adults before entering into that trade. Landmartian (talk) 19:06, 24 December 2014 (UTC)