Very careful blog post...

I blog on many things, some I am closely involved in, some I have views on, and some I am puzzled by or curious of. This is a blog post in which I find I have to be very careful.

This is meant to be a discussion point, honest!


The actual definition of the word is simply someone that "likes" children. Well, we all like children, I have 5 and I have 2 grandchildren. I like children... If you are a francophile you like the French. It does not mean you want to have sex with all French people! Pedophile, as a word, has become more refined, not only someone sexually attracted to children but someone that actually commits illegal acts and abuses children. The word has become quite specific.

I have children (grown up) and grandchildren - I would be horrified if any of them, at any time in their life, were at any risk from someone even thinking of abusing them in any way, sexual or otherwise.

I personally have no sexual desire for children, and I feel that I have to make that clear when making such a blog post. I find the whole idea repulsive and wrong. The issue is that even someone wanting to debate such issues is at risk of being branded a pervert!

However, I also have no sexual desire for sex with men, and this is where the whole issue gets complicated.

We now, in society, accept that there are homosexuals. I know several, and I have nothing against them. That sounds condescending somehow, sorry - the fact that a person is gay or not really does not matter to me, and why should it? Yes, if I were not married, and I found a woman sexually attractive, it would matter that she was a lesbian, as I would not pursue sexual relations with her, but in general such things do not matter... We do not need to know or care of such things normally.

We accept that homosexuals, even as a statistical minority, are just as they are, it is the "way they are", and not a choice, and the same goes for a whole spectrum of people that "identify" as a different sex to their organs, etc.

These days the whole notion that we just know another people's gender is rather odd. It is locked in to our language and culture, but why? It probably stems from 500,000 years of that mattering and basically identifying if you can fuck someone or not. But in modern society it is not quite the same.

The world is changing and accepting that people's feelings and desires in relation to gender and sex are a fact of life and not a choice, or an illness, is now the way we view people. It is good.

I support this view. I have my, somewhat conventional, feelings and desires, but I completely respect that other people may have very different feelings and desires.

Except, when people are "cursed" with a sexual desire for children - that is different somehow, and for a very good reason. Children cannot consent to such things, and should not be abused. They are inherently vulnerable and absolutely need protection. The "desire" is not the problem, the "act" is the problem.

The issue is where people are "cursed" with that being "the way they are", and sexually attracted to children. Now, they can never legally, or morally, pursue that desire. Children are out of bounds, and rightfully so! But do we accept that is "the way they are" or do we assume they are "ill"?

If we accept that is "the way they are" then things like "dolls", and "cartoons", and even videos with young looking actors and actresses that are actually of legal age, should not be an issue - surely?

What you do in the privacy of your own home should surely never be an issue if nobody is abused. Right now, legally, it is an issue. Right now, cartoons of child abuse are illegal, and even some dolls are illegal to import, even a video if the person "looks" too young is illegal! The idea that a judge is trying to asses the age that a cartoon looks is crazy, in my view. Imagine if you have videos like Avatar - if that is sex with an alien that is depicted as under 18 Earth years old, as that is how they are depicted as being mature on their world - that matters in law now!? How crazy is that?!?

The idea is that such things are a "gateway" to abusing children. I am no psychologist, but is that true? or is it only true because such things are already the wrong side of the law? If they were all allowed, but actual abuse of children was clearly where the line is drawn, would allowing such things, in the privacy of your own home, help such people live out their lives without actually abusing children? I really do not know!

Maybe this is where I do not know enough? Maybe this is simple and such things lead to actual abuse? If so, then maybe the law is right as now.

It only makes sense to stop them if we consider them "ill" rather than "the way they were born". So that is the question... How is it that a man attracted to a man is "the way you are", but a man attracted to a child is "perverted and ill"? What is the actual difference?

I will now be very non PC, and say that not only do I feel the whole idea of sex with a child is inconceivably repulsive to me, but so is sex with a man. That is "the way I am", somewhat "regular heterosexual". I am not meaning to be offensive, that is just the way I was born.

I imagine some gay men I know would find the idea of sex with a woman repulsive too. At least they may find it unappealing. That is the way they were born. That is life...

That does not mean I do not respect the rights of homosexuals to their life and desires and consensual activities, I do. But apparently sexual desire for a child is placed in a different category - why?

I post this actually to spark debate. I say this as someone promoting privacy, the very privacy that people in the whole transgender, homosexual, whatever, communities now, want and need. Privacy we all want, to be honest! Why is what you do alone or with consenting adults without physical harm in your own home not always legal? If you are one of those wanking over a cartoon or a doll of a child, does that actually harm anyone? Can we have some clear lines of actual harm, and harmless private fantasies here?

I always find it strange that we endorse fantasies over killing and carnage in films with no problem - serious issues, but nobody bats an eyelid over watching Die Hard or some cowboy western. Why are films over sex so much more taboo?

Or, is sexual attraction to a child actually "special" and "a mental illness" and not "the way you are", and if so, why? Really, why is that not just the way those people were born?

Comments welcome, and once again, I have to stress so much that I don't know any pedophiles, and I would not want anyone going near any of my children or grandchildren with such thoughts, sorry. I am rather prejudice myself on this - what I am trying to do is see past any wish to regulate people's private desires and fantasies in their own home. Really, what you do in your mind, your dreams, and your own home with no actual abuse, I really feel is not my concern.

I have a strong view that criminalising one's thoughts is an issue. If we are not careful, one day, we will have "dream police". And whilst I consider myself pretty "normal" in many ways, I would never ever want to be judged on my dreams and desires!

So..., comments?

P.S. Why that picture? Well, Carry-On films were made in a day when the idea of someone dressing up in a school uniform for fun in the bedroom was not seen as being wrong in any way - I am sure that featured in some of them, but could not find the relevant picture. Maybe I am misremembering. These days, a cartoon can be deemed to be depicting someone under age because it shows someone in school uniform, from what I understand of cases I have seen reported.


  1. Have to chuckle at going from ACCOUNTING, MATHS, VAT to CONTROVERSIAL, GAY, PEDO, PORN, SEX in a single day :-)

    I've never given this much thought before now, but it seems to me that perhaps there's a conceptual line to be drawn in relation to whether a person's desire is to inflict harm on another, against their will.

    Thus a man desiring to have (consensual) sex with another man is absolutely fine, whereas a man desiring to rape or murder a woman is not.

    And wanting to have sex with children, or farm animals, is not OK since such an act is by definition not consensual and is therefore always harmful.

    Of course if we decide to ban all activities that bring pleasure through simulating the infliction of serious harm on others then the computer game industry is in serious trouble...

    In fact that's my conclusion: I can't find any justification that a computer game whose objective is to commit violent and bloody murder is any different than a cartoon whose purpose is to depict child sex. I'm not sure whether both should be allowed, or both prohibited, but I can't think of a reason why they should be treated differently.

    1. That is the sort of conclusion I was coming to as well.

  2. RevK, you are trying to apply logic in Crazyland. It's not going to happen.

  3. In a better world, our policy on pornography and paedophilia would be evidence-based, and driven by the goal of minimising harm (as would drugs policy, for that matter).

    Given a goal of reducing the number of children who are abused, and of reducing the impact of the remaining abuse, what is the best available policy? Clearly banning images of past abuse helps, as it reduces the impact on the person who was abused to create that image, but do completely fictional images help or hinder in a therapeutic setting?

    And note the therapeutic setting bit - I *want* people whose desires are harmful to others to get help; I'd rather that a paedophile was watching cartoon filth under medical supervision than deciding which kid at the local primary school is most likely to climb into their van and disappear without a stink being raised. Basically, just as someone who wants to shoot people can play video games, what alternative activity is there for someone who wants to rape people, such that they don't actually cause real world harm?

  4. Your logic is pretty much spot-on, but as both Simons have commented, policy in this area has very little to do with science or logic.

    Banning images of ACTUAL child abuse is justified on the basis that those are real children being really abused, and the demand for such images is what drives criminals to produce them. The policy can also be defended on the grounds that it helps to protect the privacy and dignity of the victims who are unfortunate enough to feature in the images.

    But clearly neither of these arguments can be applied to wholly fictional works, like cartoons or dolls. This is pure, unadulterated thoughtcrime, which is either justified with woolly arguments like "it might normalise child abuse" (with little or no evidence that "normalisation" is even a real issue), or simply accepted as Morally Right without any attempt at logical justification at all. Not only does this policy create yet another crime out of thin air, but it actually risks harming children by removing what is potentially a victimless outlet for pathological desires that might otherwise be directed at real children.

    I find it particularly bizarre that while online copyright infringement is presented as a problem because it puts content creators out of business, the replacement of genuine child abuse images with artificial alternatives is simultaneously banned, even though the exact same logic should apply. Surely putting the producers of child porn out of business would be a very good thing?

  5. The government acknowledged that there was no research into the harm of cartoons etc at the point at which the law was changed - it was called out expressly in the Home Office's consultation document, with a question as to whether such images should be banned irrespective of the lack of research.

    The consultation document also expressly noted that "cartoons, drawings and material created entirely by manipulation of computer software do not harm real children in the same way as taking indecent photographs of children, which are currently covered by legislation".


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