Sunday, September 26, 2004

Academics Defend Pedophilia

Academics Defend Pedophilia
Daniel J. Flynn
Thursday, Sept. 23, 2004

Are pedophiles the next campus "victim" group? A tiny
but vocal group of academics are working to make the
answer yes.

New York University Press's Lavender Culture calls to
demolish the "archaic" notions of "the innocence of
children" and "the potential harmfulness of sex." To
do this, an essayist in the text advises readers to
"proselytize" to "young gay people with the message
that.they should get out of their families as soon as
they can." The danger of not doing this, the author
explains, is having "future generations of gay people
who wait until their twenties before they start to
live." The essay seeks the repeal of "repressive,
ageist legislation."

How did this rant against age of consent laws wind up
in an ostensibly scholarly publication? Since the
piece cites famed sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, New
York University Press transforms it from screed to
scholarship. The piece claims, for instance, that "the
myth that children are not sexual beings . . . is
maintained, after all, in the face of massive evidence
to the contrary. . . . Infants in their cribs have
orgasms - Kinsey documented them in babies less than a
year old."

UC-Santa Cruz Professor Gayle Rubin calls the
government's crackdown on child molesters "a savage
and undeserved witch hunt." Intolerance of pedophilia,
she claims, has "more in common with ideologies of
racism than with true ethics." Rubin advances these
opinions in the first essay of The Lesbian and Gay
Studies Reader, where she writes: "boy lovers are so
stigmatized that it is difficult to find defenders for
their civil liberties, let alone erotic orientation.
Consequently, the police have feasted on them. Local
police, the FBI and watchdog postal inspectors have
joined to build a huge apparatus whose sole aim is to
wipe out the community of men who love underaged
youth."

Rubin, too, cites Kinsey's scholarship. She writes,
"Alfred Kinsey approached the study of sex with the
same uninhibited curiosity he had previously applied
to examining species of wasp. His scientific
detachment gave his work a refreshing neutrality."

In a piece once used in a Cornell University course
called "The Sexual Child," Pat Califa writes,
"Culturally induced schizophrenia allows parents to
make sentimental speeches about the fleeting innocence
of childhood and the happiness of years unbroken by
carnal lust - and exhaust themselves policing the sex
lives of their children. Children are celibate because
their parents prevent them from playing with other
little kids or adults."

Public Sex, the tome where this essay resides, leans
on Kinsey to grant science's imprimatur to child-adult
sex. Califa states, "Even though many prominent sex
researchers have documented the existence of sexual
capacity in children (for instance Kinsey verified the
occurrence of orgasm in girls and boys at less than
six months of age), our society is fanatically
determined to deny it."

Actually, Kinsey didn't verify anything. Child
molesters with whom he corresponded with supposedly
"documented the existence of sexual capacity in
children." Kinsey took them at their word, and dressed
up their findings as his, as "science."

Aversion to child-adult sexual contacts, Kinsey's
Sexual Behavior in the Human Male maintained, is
"culturally conditioned." Pedophiles don't harm
children in most cases, the Indiana University
professor argued, but the "hysteria" caused by police,
parents, and others in authority does. According to
Kinsey's pedophiles, who became "trained observers" in
his reports, signs of "orgasm" for children as young
as infants included "violent cries," "loss of color,"
and an "abundance of tears." This wasn't science. This
was perverts rationalizing their criminal behavior.

It took more than 30 years for academics to mount a
serious challenge to Kinsey. In 1981, when Judith
Reisman exposed Kinsey's pseudoscience, other
academics who found Kinsey's scholarship politically
useful ignored Reisman's revelations. As shown by the
rhetoric of Gayle Rubin and other academics, they
still do.

The free ride Alfred Kinsey received from
intellectuals more than a half-century ago has left us
with a valuable lesson: When you don't rebut junk
science the first time around, it begets more junk
science.

Daniel J. Flynn is the author of Intellectual Morons:
How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas
(Crown Forum, 2004).