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Paedophilia compared with homosexuality

(56 Posts)
Graciescotland Thu 09-Jun-11 21:06:51

There's been lots of posts tonight concerning paedophilia, "nonces", "untoward nursery workers" etc Seems to be a reply in every thread that being a paedophile is a bit like being gay. It's not. I just don't understand how a sexual relationship between consenting adults is the same as perpetrating abuse of some of the most vulnerable people in society.

In a way it's implying that everyone who's not heterosexual, can be lumped together and I think that's incredibly unfair.

Ishani Thu 09-Jun-11 21:08:20

I have to say I am not easy shocked but that comparison left me speechless

StealthPolarBear Thu 09-Jun-11 21:09:22

which threads are you talking about? I dont think I have ever seen anyone say that on MN

ivykaty44 Thu 09-Jun-11 21:09:51

well ask which bit is like being homosexual as I can't see how it would be in any way comparable?

EdithWeston Thu 09-Jun-11 21:11:45

The is also a thread somewhere discussing whether paedophilia is innate.

Homosexuality is believed to be innate.

That was , IIRC, the only comparison being made.

It was said, absolutely explicitly, that - whether or not innate - it is illegal and wrong to act on the paedophilia (and that there was no such bar to homosexuality).

So YABU - but only because I think you may have got the wrong end of the stick vis a vis the other thread.

troisgarcons Thu 09-Jun-11 21:13:39

Errr, well, I'd like to be speechless at the comparison - but hang on and I'll think of something.

A common misconception that homosexual men prey on male children and are therefore paedophiles.

So I kind of see where you drew your comparison.

And we all know that homosexuality and paedophilia ARE NOT one and the same thing.

But also, hetrosexual males are often intimidated by homosexual men in a way that straight women are not intimidated by lesbians. A bit of a sterotype perhaps, but I've never met a woman who makes a joke about keeping her back to the wall and not bending over if she drops the soap either.

Cattleprod Thu 09-Jun-11 21:15:00

If you read the posts carefully (the ones I've seen anyway), the only comparison people are making is a nature/nurture one - ie. People's sexualities are already determined at birth/ are learned, depending on which theory you believe. So gay people are born with an innate attraction to people of the same sex, and paedophiles are born with an innate attraction to children. Or not.

I really don't think people mean that gay people are paedophiles.

PrinceHumperdink Thu 09-Jun-11 21:17:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MillyR Thu 09-Jun-11 21:21:08

I've already said this on a similar thread, but will say it again.

The reason why we think that many gay people are born gay is because they report knowing that they were gay from a very young age. Their early romantic attractions were to people of the same sex. We cannot know if people are born paedophiles or not because it is common for children to be attracted to other children. Most of us who had a romantic interest in somebody at age 8 will have had a romantic interest in another child. Having a romantic interest in children only becomes paedophilia when you are an adult of teen. So how could anybody know as a child that they were going to be a paedophile? Where would society get evidence from that they were born that way?

Pagwatch Thu 09-Jun-11 21:27:07

In my experience (which is of course limited) paoedophilia is as much about power and control as it is about sex.
It is not about romance and attraction anymore than rape is.

BornInAfrica Thu 09-Jun-11 21:29:14

Paedophilia and homosexuality are NOT in any way connected. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs to have a long sober chat with themselves. Never heard so much tosh in my life.

MillyR Thu 09-Jun-11 21:32:02

Pagwatch probably has the crux of it. It is possible for a gay person to enter into a loving, romantic relationship with somebody of the same sex.

It isn't actually possible for a paedophile to enter into a loving, romantic relationship with a child. However much they might to justify it by saying it is loving, they are either lying or delusional.

There is clearly a distinction between who you want to be in a relationship with and how you conduct that relationship. To think you as an adult can enter into a 'loving' sexual relationship with a child is a delusion.

EdithWeston Thu 09-Jun-11 21:32:07

Paedophilia acted upon is rape.

Paedophilia not acted upon is unknown territory, really, as no one would admit to it.

realhousewifeofdevoncounty Thu 09-Jun-11 21:34:53

YADNBU! I used to work in a setting that involved caring for children and a colleague of mine was gay. Some idiot parents were suspicious of him because he was homosexual. He found this incredible upsetting. Being homosexual does not mean you are paedophile or a sexual deviant, It means you are attracted to consenting ADULTS of the same sex.

Pumpernickel10 Thu 09-Jun-11 21:38:36

What a horrible thing for someone to say totally unjustified.

PaisleyLeaf Thu 09-Jun-11 21:41:22

I haven't seen the posts. Are they saying it's a bit like being gay - as in it's a sexual feeling they can't help?

hiddenhome Thu 09-Jun-11 21:47:08

I think paedophiles try to argue that it's 'just' another sexual orientation, just like some people are attracted to members of the same sex or shoes or like being tied up and that they just happen to be attracted to children hmm

realhousewifeofdevoncounty Thu 09-Jun-11 21:47:48

Noone can help how they feel, however people can help how they act. Otherwise men could be justified in raping every woman they fancied. It is never acceptable to participate in sexual activity with a child, as they are not properly aquipped to consent to it, mentally or physically. There is no comparison. To compare a paedophilia with homosexual desire is no different to comparing it with heterosexual desire. Homo/heterosexuality is normal. Peadophilia is abnormal.

SpringchickenGoldBrass Thu 09-Jun-11 21:48:29

I can see how people might want to explore or at least mention the nature/nurture thing, and I'm prepared to believe it's at least possible for someone to feel desire for children and not act on it. There is, after all, a big difference between feelings/wishes and actions. I don't know quite what can be done about (or in deed for) people whose sexual desires are for something unacceptable: I think I read something once about some bloke who did feel himself attracted towards children, was fully aware that he could not ever act on his desires and was trying to find someone who could help him change the way he felt - but was terrified that anyone he spoke to would assume he was a dangerous criminal and lock him up immediately.

realhousewifeofdevoncounty Thu 09-Jun-11 21:53:09

The fact is any sexual act involving a child will have involved some degree of violence or manipulation and grooming - and frankly the suffering of the child either mentally or physically. Anyone who is aroused by that is sick and on a power trip, and frankly a sadist and a sexual criminal. That is not true of any normal adult consential sex, whatever gender the participants are.

threadsoffeeling Thu 09-Jun-11 21:54:54

ive heard this point raised before in a variety of different places. as someone else said, its about genetics. If homosexuals can argue that they are genetically primed to be gay, then why cant people who are sexually attracted to children use the same argument? Ive heard of such people who only refuse to act on their urges because it is illegal, not because they consider it immoral.

There was an episode of law and order:svu about this a while back. The head of a pedo ring was finally brough tinto court and used this exact argument. He even had his previous 'girlfriends' in court testifying in his defense. listening to them, he was wonderful to them and gave them self esteem yaddaya and they were all high flying happy women because they went out with him aged 12 to 15. The episode ended with him jailed indefinitly because the jury refused to accept his pov

PaisleyLeaf Thu 09-Jun-11 21:57:06

I'm not sure anyone's referring to sexual acts though. Just sexual feelings.
(I've not seen the original posts).

hester Thu 09-Jun-11 21:58:16

I haven't seen people on these threads saying homosexuality is like paedophilia (though I've seen it plenty in RL). I think people are discussing whether we can describe paedophilia as a sexual orientation, like homosexuality or heterosexuality. If it is, then that of course doesn't make active paedophilia any less appalling, but does raise an interesting question about how we should respond to paedophilia that is not acted upon. If someone feels like a paedophile and has never acted on it, and desperately wants to be different, how do we respond to them: Outrage? Pity? Help?

Milly, my understanding of the research is that it is gay MEN who tend to report having felt gay from a very young age. Lesbians usually report these feelings far later, and a very high proportion of them came out in their 30s, 40s and later. Unlike gay men, who nearly always come out in their teens or early twenties. Lesbians are also far more likely than gay men to have had heterosexual relationships.

Personally, I am a complete agnostic on the 'born that way' debate. I don't have a strong sense that I was born gay; I feel that, with different life experiences, I could have been heterosexual. Actually, I don't rule out ending up heterosexual, though as I've been in lesbian relationships for nearly 30 years I seem to be voting with my feet smile. I don't know ANY gay men who say they think they could be straight. Similarly, I don't know any heterosexual men who say they could be gay, though I know many straight women who quite like the idea of relationships with women.

PaisleyLeaf Thu 09-Jun-11 22:05:46

What could it be other than an orientation?

MillyR Thu 09-Jun-11 22:07:30

Hester, yes, I'm not arguing that everyone who is gay is born gay. I believe some people are born gay and some people who are gay become so for other reasons. I don't see that there is any need for society to make out that it is always because of one reason.

I also think that because of a prejudice against bisexuality, some people will feel it necessary to simply be known as gay or straight, when actually they're mostly gay or mostly straight. But it is also the case that some people go from being entirely straight to entirely gay/lesbian.

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