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Red Pill Redditor: Dating a rape victim is like dating a pedophile

This "should" logic makes a lot more sense
This “should” logic makes a lot more sense

The Purple Pill Debate subreddit is a strange little corner of the internet, a place where intrepid Blue Pillers try to logic Red Pillers into giving up their repugnant ideology, and vice versa.

The main problem with this strategy is that Red Pillers don’t really understand logic as you or I do. They’ve got their own version, and it’s pretty … weird, as one recent post in r/PurplePillDebate makes abundantly clear.

The proposition being debated: “If you expect a man to date a rape victim, then you should be willing to date a pedophile.”

Wait, what? The Red Piller advancing this, er, argument tries to explain in more detail what exactly he means:

Rape victims often develop a variety of serious psychological issues, including depression, borderline personality disorder (aka borderline insanity disorder), self-harm, alcohol and/or drug addiction, and PTSD.

People who have these serious psychological issues are at a higher risk of joblessness, homelessness, and divorce. They tend to have unstable and chaotic relationships.

Now, of course it isn’t a rape victim’s fault that they were raped, but that still doesn’t mean that it is a good idea to date a rape victim.

So far, not so good. All of the sources the poster cites as evidence for these claims about rape survivors are behind paywalls, but a quick scan of the abstracts suggest that he didn’t read them very carefully. One of the papers he cites, actually looking at the effects of childhood sexual abuse rather than rape per se, reports that, contrary to the poster’s claims,

there is insufficient evidence to confirm a relation between a history of childhood sexual abuse and a postsexual abuse syndrome and multiple or borderline personality disorder.

 

That said, there’s no question that rape (or any kind of sexual abuse) can be extremely traumatic, with far-reaching and long-lasting consequences. These can certainly cause issues in relationships.

But every relationship has issues, and there is absolutely no evidence that rape survivors — or the survivors of any other serious trauma — are incapable of having healthy relationships.

At this point, our Red Pill poster goes completely off the rails:

Dating someone who has serious psychological issues is risky. To illustrate how risky it is, would you date a pedophile? Pedophilia isn’t a choice. However, pedophiles have unstable lives and wouldn’t make good romantic partners.

So, if you expect a man to be willing to date a rape victim because “it wasn’t her fault,” then you should be willing to date a pedophile because “it isn’t his fault.”

Wow. There are at least two gigantic problems here. First, of course, is the inherent offensiveness of suggesting there’s some sort of moral equivalency between pedophiles (potential if not necessarily actual predators) with rape survivors (people who have themselves been victimized by predators).

Second, there’s insurrectono’s if-then logic, which is utterly inappropriate when it comes to matters of the heart, where “should” shouldn’t go.

No, Red Pillers, no one is telling you that you are obligated to date rape survivors — or, for that matter, cancer patients, or Billy Joel fans, or indeed anyone in any particular category that human beings fall into.

Indeed, if your first thought upon hearing that someone us a rape survivor is to think “ick, she’s probably all messed up,” guess what?

No one really gives two shits whether or not you’re willing to date her. Because she doesn’t want to date you. Because you’re a petulant asshole with no empathy for other people. And that makes you pretty damn “risky” as a romantic partner.

H/T — r/TheBluePill

 

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Ddog
Ddog
5 years ago

@mrex

How can you test people who won’t consent to being tested? Like you literally aren’t making sense. And I’m not playing gotcha, I’m calling out someone who comes across as a troll who is making bizarre comparisons first between sexual orientations and a fetish/disorder in the DSM. Oh and now making comparisons with PPD.

And fuck you asking about other disorders. I happen to suffer from a number of them. I have intrusive thoughts as well. However I still don’t think pedophiles should be around kids. When I had compulsive thoughts about jumping in front of trains, I avoided rail tracks. That’s a self preservation thing for me. With pedophiles it’s a protecting kids thing.

You’re saying rape is about power is feminism 101 but seriously a lot of feminists are trying to combat this because often date rape for example is about sexual gratification.

So to answer your condescending bullshit questions, no I’m not playing gotcha I’m honestly asking why you equated peadophilia with genuine sexual orientations. Also asking why you think most child molesters aren’t attracted to children?

Because all I get from you is that you don’t seem to see any potential threat from people who are attracted to children. Which as a survivor is the most enraging thing I’ve come across in awhile because it’s all the poor fucking peadophiles. All the people I’ve known who where abused was by serial child molesters, who fetishised kids, so fuck off trying to insult me as someone just trying to catch you out for points on the Internet. It’s not a game of gotcha it’s a genuine fucking concern that people like you think they can equate a harmful paraphilia to a sexual orientation.

AAAtheist
5 years ago

Redpiller:

Dating someone who has serious … issues is risky.

Truer words have never been spoken.

Apparently this guy lives in a world completely devoid of mirrors, shiny spoons, or bodies of water.

Joel
Joel
5 years ago

So as a male, who is a rape victim, does that mean by this guy’s metric I’m comparable to a pedophile? Just because we both “have issues”? Fuck you, red pill asshole.
Also, Mrex. After reading the conversation it really seems like you’re trying to make the point that not everyone with pedophilia acts on it, which is true, but you made it in such a way as to seem like you’re trying to justify pedophilia as a legitimate sexual orientation, and it’s very much not.

littleknown
littleknown
5 years ago

This discussion is why I’ve always been loathe to the reducing of the defense of homosexuality to the fact that it’s an inborn characteristic of a person. The defense doesn’t end there, and it never should have; nor is the fact that it’s inborn the primary factor in why it’s okay. (In fact, I would argue that it doesn’t matter at all.)

Whether you call pedophilia a sexual orientation or not, the fact is that for most, it’s completely inborn; and that the common understanding of “orientation” is as a synonym for “inborn”. Speaking generally for the sake of simplicity, there’s no such thing as an ex-pedophile: someone who, through some form of therapy, was able to remove their attraction to children.

Homosexuality is okay because it doesn’t harm anyone. Even if it could be freely chosen, there would be nothing problematic about it.

The reason “I can’t change; even if I tried” is powerful is because of all of the unnecessary repression of homosexuality.

Most sexual orientations, homosexuality included, are not harmful. But an orientation also being a harmful paraphilia shouldn’t make it not an orientation, should it?

(Another thing that seems unhelpful: pointing out that homosexuality occurs in other animals. So do rape, murder, and a number of other troubling behaviors. Homosexuality being natural has nothing to do with it not being harmful.)

@Ddog:

Are you aware of scientific experiments that measure a person’s involuntary physical changes to sexual images and videos, etc.? It’s quite simple to compel a convicted criminal to participate in such an experiment.

mrex did state that “[PPD] … is *very* different from pedophilia”. It seemed to me that it was just an analogy, to make the point that feelings are not actions; and that the way we deal with pedophilia leads to more crimes against children.

Treating non-offending pedophiles as if they are all ticking time bombs who will one day rape children is one factor that isolates them and drives them to organizations like NAMBLA that do real harm.

Non-offenders are presumably non-offenders because they understand that having sex with children is rape. How do we keep them in the non-offender category? I don’t think the solution is easy, and I don’t think telling them that their disorder is not an orientation they were born with, but rather something they chose (and hence can unchoose if they aren’t disgusting monsters), is something that makes kids safer.

Child abusers are roughly evenly split between situational and preferential offenders, but preferential offenders have many more victims on average, so you are right that most children who are abused are abused by serial offenders who are primarily attracted to children.

If I thought that making a law requiring pedophiles to register themselves and undergo physical or chemical castration would work, I would be for it. But I’m sure it would be a disaster for children.

My understanding is that calling it an orientation, but a harmful orientation, and creating a stark dividing line between those who choose to act on their attractions, and those who choose not to, would help the most children.

My mother being a survivor herself, I am sensitive to what survivors think, so I am welcome to my opinion being changed.

Joel
Joel
5 years ago

Good summary littleknown. I like the cut of your jib.

mrex
mrex
5 years ago

Thank you littleknown, for your contribution, and for making much more sense than I did.

@Ddog;

Considering that the first thing you told me was to “stop”, I was honestly wondering if you were open for a discussion. Since you are…

I never saved citations. The article I linked before gave a statistic, but I promise I will look up citations for studies.

I’m very sorry for what happened to you. You didn’t deserve it. Your rapist(s) deserve to burn. But put aside your (righteous) anger for a second. Do you honestly think punishing non-offending pedophiles as rapists will;

1. Protect children or
2. Encourage pedophiles to seek help

Children are not trains. It’s impossible to live in society and avoid them. No, I’m not convinced that a person, who is distressed by their urges, does not wish to act on them, and views acting on them as “bad” and “harmful”, is an overwhelming threat.

However, I’m more than willing to change my mind.

WeirwoodTreeHugger
WeirwoodTreeHugger
5 years ago

I guess I just don’t see why it’s so important to call it an orientation. We can be compassionate towards pedophiles who don’t want to offend and create an environment where it’s possible for them to get help without calling it an orientation. I wouldn’t say Bill Cosby’s orientation is unconsciousphile, even though it seems to me that for him, his victim’s lack of consciousness is probably part of the attraction in addition to the usual power dynamics involved with rape. I’m sure there are people who are turned on my unconscious partners and only seek out people willing to role play unconsciousness.

I guess I don’t see why every attraction is an orientation or why it’s necessary to label pedophilia as such.

And I know nobody here is trying to excuse child sexual abuse, but abusers and apologists do frequently use the “it’s an orientation, therefore okay” excuse. So, there’s also that.

authorialAlchemy
authorialAlchemy
5 years ago

I wanted to date someone who was a victim of a pedophile, who has a ton of issues as a result of frequent rape and child abuse.

While it’s true that a relationship with her would’ve been too difficult for me, doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for anyone else. She’s actually polyamorous and has good romantic and quasiplatonic relationships with more than one person, so *shrug*. She’s a good friend, but there are times when I can’t support her because I don’t have the spoons to do so, that’s the only problem. I find what happened to her to be too upsetting, so she can’t tell me what’s bothering her sometimes.

Considering that some rape victims were victims of pedophiles adds a whole new layer of ick to these statements. >_>

Also, I don’t think this person knows that BPD and DID are a result of childhood abuse or prolonged torture in adulthood. Any rape victim can have PTSD and depression, but personality disorders can’t develop in just any rape victim.

TinyAntsGoingToEatMe
TinyAntsGoingToEatMe
5 years ago

The APA recently acknowledged that the terminology of “sexual orientation” in the case of pedophilia is a misapplication of the term. They clarify that it is a paraphilia.

The reason this distinction is important is that children are not a gender, or type of partner. Being a child is being in a state, like being dead, sober, drunk, comatose, etc. Being “born” with something isn’t enough to make it an orientation. There’s a good chance that serial rapists are born with the underlying psychopathy, but “nonconsenting person” is a state of being, and “rapist” is not an orientation.

The reason this distinction is significant is not only due to the social issues tree hugger brings up, but that it creates a messy classification system for disorders versus sexualities that can be practiced.

As for the request for a source, the compulsive aspect of pedophilia is both in the DSM and discussed here: http://neuroanthropology.net/2010/05/10/inside-the-mind-of-a-pedophile/

Intrusive thoughts, fantasies, impulses, repetitive thoughts, and the well documented “upping the ante” (thoughts turn into actions which strengthen the thoughts, requiring more action) pathology indicates it is a compulsive paraphilia.

Again, it’s critical to have clear terminology that draws a distinction between a disorder and a behavior that in of in itself is not unhealthy. This is the reason “transgender” is no longer in the DSM, and instead “gender dysphoria” is. This makes the specification that the disorder isn’t in transitioning, but mental distress as a result of feeling stuck assigned to the wrong gender. These seemingly small distinctions of terminology makes a big impact on the way we view treatment.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Jackie; currently using they/their, he/his, she/her pronouns)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Jackie; currently using they/their, he/his, she/her pronouns)
5 years ago

@TinyAntsGoingToEatMe

Thank you for the information; it really bugged me that people were discussing it as an orientation when it really is not.

(Also you’re name and icon are great; have I said that before? You don’t post here very often so IDK. I just like The Land Before Time and dada usernames.)

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

Seconding the thanks. I was at work and didn’t have time to do research and now that I’m home, I’m exhausted from my recent bouts of insomnia and I just don’t have the energy. I elect to watch Ghostbusters instead.

TinyAntsGoingToEatMe
TinyAntsGoingToEatMe
5 years ago

Yes I’ve posted before as “sylviaplant.” I changed my name due to the current situation I’m having with an invasion of very tiny ants.

You’re very welcome for the information!

Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

Speaking of “risk” of sexual offending, here’s the first example I’ve found of a court imposing our new sexual risk order. You’ll be able to figure out what they are from the news report.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jan/23/court-man-must-tell-police-if-he-is-going-to-have-sex

mrex
mrex
5 years ago

@Paradoxy

It wasn’t about condoning pedophilia as a lifestyle. It was a dry, empirical, short-handed way of saying “an inborn, fixed, sexual preference, that is completely resistant to any therapeutic attempt to redirect it into any other form of sexual preference.” Believe it or not, the term “sexual orientation” gets frequently used like this by researchers.

@TinyAnts

Thank you for that explanation. It makes sense that sexual orientation is a preference for something relatively fixed, like gender. At least to the extent that gender is fixed and not fluid.

Could you source it, though? I can’t seem to come up with one.

As far as the APA… you’re not describing the fallout of the kerfuffle where the DSMV “accidentally” described pedophilia as a sexual orientation, are you?

” Being “born” with something isn’t enough to make it an orientation. There’s a good chance that serial rapists are born with the underlying psychopathy, but “nonconsenting person” is a state of being, and “rapist” is not an orientation.”

Psychopathy? You mean Antisocial PD? Yeah, it’s probably inborn, but it’s not a sexual preference. It’s not even a criminal preference. Did you mean psychopathology, as in a mental disorder in general?

Rape is a criminal action, and a rapist is a person who chooses to engage in a criminal act. Rape is not a mental disorder, a rapist is not mentally ill.

FFS.

I don’t even see the metaphor. Are you honestly defining pedophile as “person who commits sex acts with children/views child porn” after that whole speech about using precise terminology based on the DSM V’s definitions? 😉

As to your link on the compulsive nature for pedophilia, thank you. I’ll start going through it later.

Drunklurker
Drunklurker
5 years ago

What a stupid parallel to draw – whilst rape victims and paedophiles may (based on his view) share a common trait of having psychological issues, that doesn’t mean that some random shared trait automatically aligns them for dating purposes. I would speculate that most people wouldn’t want to date a paedophile because of finding their sexual urges abhorrent (which in my view is a bit of a deal-breaker for a partner). The traits that make a paedophile undesirable as a partner are not the existence of broadly termed psychological issues – it’s a different, specific, unshared trait. Putting aside that he may personally choose to not date someone with psychological issues, it’s still irrelevant (in terms of general dateability) that a rape victim and a paedophile might have shared traits, as those traits are not the ones that make paedophiles unappealing partners to most people.

Might as well say that all people with eyeballs are undateable because paedophiles have eyeballs too. Aargh.

TinyAntsGoingToEatMe
TinyAntsGoingToEatMe
5 years ago

I’m not going to waste my time harvesting sources for you, mrex, if you can’t be bothered to read the link I’ve already provided before requesting more. You can google sexual orientation and see the definition yourself.

It would also help if you responded to what I wrote, not what you think I wrote. I never said rape was a mental illness, nor made the case that all pedophiles are rapists. Your straw man tactics and snideness are tiresome.

dhag85
dhag85
5 years ago

@TinyAntsGoingToEatMe

I think I have the same ants. 🙁 Any ideas?

TinyAntsGoingToEatMe
TinyAntsGoingToEatMe
5 years ago

@dhag

Diatomaceous earth and those little ant motels where they carry poison back to their colony. I usually do a thick diatomaceous earth ring around the opening they’re coming in from, then set up a bait inside it. Also it makes me feel like I’m practicing witchcraft.

dhag85
dhag85
5 years ago

I have no idea where they’re coming from though. So helpless. :/

mrex
mrex
5 years ago

@tinyants “I’m not going to waste my time harvesting sources for you, mrex, if you can’t be bothered to read the link I’ve already provided before requesting more.”

I had read it, which is why I knew it didn’t say anything about how sexual orientation can’t be a preference for a state. Actually it describes pedophilia as a “sexual orientation” at least twice- I’ll quote it!

“The sexual urges associated with pedophilia may never permanently disappear, and a person’s sexual preference and orientation can be difficult to completely re-orient. At present, treatment primarily focuses on preventing further offenses rather than changing sexual orientation.”-tiny ants’s link.

I’m not too surprised that the link described it as “sexual orientation”, since the link is a pretty shitty regurgitation of scientific research, and it’s not uncommon to describe pedophilia as a “sexual orientation” in research. Researchers generally aren’t too concerned with legal and social definitions.

Which doesn’t mean that your earlier definition of “sexual orientation” is wrong, it just means you haven’t given a source yet.

“You can google sexual orientation and see the definition yourself.

If you can’t tell, I Googled it multiple ways and couldn’t source what you said. It’s normal to ask for sources when you’re trying to understand what someone is saying. Maybe I missed something, maybe I didn’t use the right terms, etc.

So, source please.

When I said I was going to go through the link later, Imeant that I’m going to give it a careful reading, read up it’s sources, and whatnot later. Which I’ll repeat. Thank you for the link- I’ll go through it later, after I’m done with my own sourcing for Ddog.

“It would also help if you responded to what I wrote, not what you think I wrote. I never said rape was a mental illness, nor made the case that all pedophiles are rapists.”

If I misread you then fair enough. But, if that was not was you meant, then what did you mean. At best, it was confusing.

Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

When we’re talking about ants, isn’t ‘very tiny’ a bit redundant?

Surely you only need a qualifier if you were talking about those 1950s sci if movie giant ants?

Oh, and however you get rid of them, please don’t hurt them! 🙁

mrex
mrex
5 years ago

“I have no idea where they’re coming from though. So helpless. :/”

Put out a plate of soda and another plate of peanut butter. Leave it there and grit your teeth as a big swarm of ants develops. Let it get to epic proportions. Then follow all the worker ants as they follow their scent trails home.

It’s hard to seal up a house against ants. I hate to use poison, but got rid of my problem by spraying the outside perimeter of my house with a pesticide. The poison repels the ants, and I made sure to mop counters and floors to disrupt the scent trails of any ants that did come in and found food and water.

This doesn’t work with ants that have a nest inside of your house. I’ve had limited success with ant cups. Try different brands/types because some species of ants are more attracted to protein, and some are more attracted to sugar.

@Alan “Oh, and however you get rid of them, please don’t hurt them! “

I’m a live and let live kind of girl with most other kinds of insects but when you rent you usually have to keep ants away. :/

dhag85
dhag85
5 years ago

I live in an apartment.

dhag85
dhag85
5 years ago

I’m not completely swarmed but I see 1-3 ants/day and sadly I can’t keep them alive. I think I’ll have to call a professional about this eventually.

mrex
mrex
5 years ago

It’s normal to only see a couple. Ants live in communities, and you’re seeing a couple of workers scouting for food for the colony. Once the find it, they’ll go home to get their friends, who will bring back food and get their friends, and so on. A queen ant and lay many, many eggs for sterile worker ants a day. Hundreds, I believe. She has to. Those worker ants you see only live for a couple of days.

Ant biology is pretty fraking fascinating actually. I remember learning about the genetics of the worker ants/gender and stuff in college and it being even cooler.

If you’re ib an apartment, I believe the stuff I used (OrthoMax, maybe) could be sprayed around the inside perimeter of the house as well. I just didn’t want to do so as I have kids. Just a thought.

One thought; have you tried cleaning behind your refrigerator and stove yet. I forgot to, and man the crap that was behind there when I finally thought of it.

Course the gas stove I have in now is hard plumbed in. DH claims it can’t be moved without calling in a plumber. I’m thinking maybe one of the flexible tubes used to attach to a household vacuum and clean out dryer vents may be my saving grace here.

dhag85
dhag85
5 years ago

Thanks. I do need to clean behind the stove and fridge. I’m grateful for the advice but now I need to not think of this for a while. :p It’s all so gross.

TinyAntsGoingToEatMe
TinyAntsGoingToEatMe
5 years ago

@mrex:

First page of Google:

APA definition: “Sexual orientation refers to an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic and/or sexual attractions to men, women or both sexes. Sexual orientation also refers to a person’s sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors and membership in a community of others who share those attractions. Research over several decades has demonstrated that sexual orientation ranges along a continuum, from exclusive attraction to the other sex to exclusive attraction to the same sex. However, sexual orientation is usually discussed in terms of three categories: heterosexual (having emotional, romantic or sexual attractions to members of the other sex), gay/lesbian (having emotional, romantic or sexual attractions to members of one’s own sex) and bisexual (having emotional, romantic or sexual attractions to both men and women)”

http://www.apa.org/topics/lgbt/orientation.aspx

I would argue the terminology should say “all genders” as gender seems to potentially be on a continuum.

The real point is that both medically and in laymans terms, “orientation” refers to preference for gender, not a state of being (especially not a state of being that necessitates a lack of consent). Yes, research aggregators in the link I sent you and in the link you provided misuse the term. I think it is sloppy and poor judgment, just as if they had referred to “depression” as “sadness.” We need psychological terms to be as sensitive and precise as we can, or they lose their meaning. It’s why “crazy” or “mentally ill” are super unhelpful terms that I’d like to see never again in discussions of mental health. Especially in terms of issues as dire as pedophilia.

@Alan

Normal ants are pretty tiny. But imagine even tinier ants. No. Even tinier. Don’t stop imagining until they are barely visible.

They like to cover my sink overnight and I’m sure if I didn’t often demonstrate my ability to annihilate their entire colony by waving a vacuum around, the little fucks would try to eat me while I’m asleep.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Jackie; currently using they/their, he/his, she/her pronouns)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Jackie; currently using they/their, he/his, she/her pronouns)
5 years ago

Re: Ants Problems

They do have these little ant traps that they will get into and either take poison back to their hill or get stuck in some sticky stuff what you can keep in the house. I’m not sure if they’re available where you guys live, though.

You can also sprinkle strong smelling herbs around windowsills, doorways (since that’s where they usually crawl into) and in cabinets with food. My prefered is basil since we grow it, but any strong smelling herbs, like mint, oregano, rosemary, whatever will deter them. Basil helped my dog’s food be ants free during a year where we had a SHIT TON of ants. (And you don’t want to use poison around where animals eats anyway but my dog puts hers on the ground first before eating so a little sprinkling of flavor is better than poison.)

I swear, we had to clean out the cabinets and EVERYTHING and they got into the HONEY and SYRUP and it was awful.

Using both methods have made it so the last three years have been ant free in my house.

Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ tinyants

Big fleas have little fleas,
Upon their backs to bite ’em,
And little fleas have lesser fleas,
and so, ad infinitum.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

@sylvia

I have no idea where you live, but is there any way you could get ahold of some Vegemite? A few spoons of Vegemite and a dollop of jam or honey dissolved in water and left out in a cup overnight is pretty much the best ant lure in the world. That stuff even keeps meat ants away from the cat food.

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

@Octo

@Kat

And her constituents call her Mutti

That is usually not meant in a straight up positive way, more in an ironical one.

Ooh, I did not know that. I read about Angela Merkel’s constituents calling her Mutti (Mom) in Der Spiegel. I didn’t get the impression that it was ironic. Of course, mileage can vary between constituents!

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

Ant talk
Not everyone wants to hear more about ants, so I’ve put a bold head above and below this.

I live in Northern California, which has a Mediterranean climate. What people around here notice is that when the weather is very hot or cold, or very rainy or dry, ants tend to come into homes. They’re looking for the amenities that we have: fans or heat, shelter from the elements or water.

The worst is when they get into the cat dishes on the floor. When that happens, we use a “moat.” Get a big, flat casserole dish and put a little water in the bottom. Then put the cat food (on a dish or in a bowl) in the casserole dish. It will be sitting on the water. You don’t want to have so much water that the food gets wet. The ants can’t cross over the “moat” without drowning.

Like Alan, I don’t want the ants to get hurt, although some might attempt to cross the moat and fail. Nor do I want to hurt the environment or myself or my cats. So I always go the natural way. The moat method works very well re cat food.

The herb method, described above, also sounds good.

Ant talk

littleknown
littleknown
5 years ago

@TinyAnts:

I think the fact that the link that you posted so emphatically used the term demonstrates why it is problematic and confusing not to label pedophilia an orientation. (Absolutely, it is also a paraphilia — and one of the few that is absolutely harmful if it is acted upon.)

While this is correct according to the APA’s definition of sexual orientation, is doesn’t match the public’s perception that sexual orientation means something much closer to “the people a person innately finds sexually attractive”. For the life of me, I don’t see why orientation needs to be defined as a positive term. It seems like it should be neutral. The APA’s definition of “sexual orientation” seems like it would be a much better definition of “sexual identity”. For example, their inclusion of:

Sexual orientation also refers to a person’s sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors and membership in a community of others who share those attractions.

seems completely extraneous. Why do we need to define sexual orientation this way? A closeted gay person has a different sexual orientation than an out gay person because they have a different sense of identity? WTF? The definition also says:

Thus, sexual orientation is closely tied to the intimate personal relationships that meet deeply felt needs for love, attachment, and intimacy.

What about people, gay or straight, who don’t have any deeply felt needs for love, attachment, and intimacy? Do they not have a sexual orientation?

Yes, I see sexual orientation as “just” a characteristic of a person. But a person’s ability to express it and identify with it affects (potentially) their sexual, emotional, and romantic identities.

When we don’t use the term sexual orientation to describe those whose attractions to children manifest in puberty, and are not chosen and can’t be unchosen — it seems to me like that really takes us down a dangerous road. A road in which social conservatives can say, “You’re just using an ad hoc definition of orientation that assigns it to your deviant group, but not to this deviant group.” It gives them the chance to put up a fence and avoid answering the real question. It seems more straightforward and less confusing to say, “Sexual orientations can be harmful or non-harmful. Being attracted to adults of the same gender is absolutely not harmful.” It also makes the defense of the full range of human experience much easier. Just as there exist people who find their gender to be fluid, there exist people whose sexuality is fluid. When it comes to the question of, “Is this okay?”, the determining factor should never be, “Were they born that way?”, but rather, “Does it hurt anyone?”

This does not mean that we can’t point out how tragic and destructive it is for someone to have to repress a non-harmful sexual orientation.

Does a pedophile’s repression of their attraction to children affect their sexual identity? Sure. But it doesn’t affect their ability to form a romantic relationship (their orientation precludes that already). It’s quite clear to me that nothing is lost by a pedophile repressing their sexual orientation, and everything gained (even for the pedophile). Whereas a person repressing their homosexuality is a situation where nothing is gained, and so much is lost.

Using “being a child is a state of being” to define children as “not a gender” seems to ignore the fact that pedophiles’ attractions to children’s bodies can be heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual in nature. It also seems to suggest that what sexually arouses pedophiles is the inability to consent, rather than the children’s bodies. No doubt this is true for some; but even among offending pedophiles, most come up with elaborate, fantastical rationalizations that allow them to believe that children can consent. It also seems to define pedophiles who are disgusted by their attraction to children — for the very reason that children are incapable of consent — out of existence.

We know they exist, but because it is borderline illegal (and clearly life-threatening) for them to self-report and seek help, we know next to nothing about them. The only data we have are on offenders. It would be extremely useful to know: their numbers relative to offending pedophiles; if they have similar histories of childhood abuse; if there are differences in their brains, and if there are, what they are; if they have similar problems with addictions, impulse control, and OCD; if they use different coping strategies; how their support structures differ; and how often they interact with children relative to offending pedophiles.

I am a child of survivors of some truly horrific shit. If I am passionate about this, it has absolutely nothing to do with having sympathy for pedophiles. What I am passionate about is this: I don’t want that 13, 14, 15 or 16 year-old, who first comes to the realization that he really isn’t like the other boys, and doesn’t find girls his own age attractive, but girls much younger, to feel like he can’t seek help. I don’t see any way that can be good for children.

On topic: Comparing dating a traumatized rape victim to dating a pedophile is ludicrous. Even assuming we’re talking about a pedophile who has never offended, they’re not dealing with a trauma. Being unable to ever have sex with consent sucks, sure, but it’s not a trauma. Good grief. Also, um, rape victims are capable of adult sexual relationships. It would be more like dating someone who has sworn to celibacy — but there you’re not having to deal with them suppressing a highly dangerous paraphilia.

Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ kat

As a great philosopher once put it

Don’t tread on an ant he’s done nothing to you
There might come a day when he’s treading on you
Don’t tread on an ant you’ll end up black and blue
You cut off his head, legs come looking for you
So unplug the jukebox and do us all a favor
That music’s lost it’s taste so try another flavor
Antmusic, antmusic, antmusic, antmusic

🙂

TinyAntsAreMyFriendsNow
TinyAntsAreMyFriendsNow
5 years ago

the public’s perception that sexual orientation means something much closer to “the people a person innately finds sexually attractive.”

The public doesn’t generally perceive the group “children” as a category of gender/gender representation. Because honestly, gender, and its various fluid forms, is the only framework with which we observe sexual orientation. You can’t be sexually oriented to “White people,” if you grew up in a segregated racist area. You can’t be sexually oriented to “women with large chests.” You can’t be sexually oriented to “people over 20 but under 30.” You can be sexually oriented to any, all, or no genders. To consider children’s bodies as a form of pseudo gender has many disturbing sociological ramifications, in the same way as if we considered bestiality as a sexual orientation, and animals as a category of “people” (namely, that it is impossible for them to consent).

A closeted gay person has a different sexual orientation than an out gay person because they have a different sense of identity?

In effect, yes. It’s a label that covers a complex area of emotion, and is based in self-identity. It is impossible to know if someone is a “closeted gay person,” unless they themselves consider themselves as such. There’s no actual gaydar in the field of psychiatry.

What about people, gay or straight, who don’t have any deeply felt needs for love, attachment, and intimacy?

The quotation, “Thus, sexual orientation is closely tied to the intimate personal relationships that meet deeply felt needs for love, attachment, and intimacy,” does not imply that intimate personal relationship are necessary and required to meet the definition of orientation, but simply, as it said, “closely tied” to it.

it seems to me like that really takes us down a dangerous road. A road in which social conservatives can say, “You’re just using an ad hoc definition of orientation that assigns it to your deviant group, but not to this deviant group.”

I honestly don’t give the faintest shit what social conservatives say. They’ll find a reason to hate gay people no matter what. It’s much better to base our decisions about discourse on people who don’t think “the gays are going to hell.” But if I did give a tiny shit about what social conservatives say, I would wager that having pedophilia as a sexual orientation is going to give them much more ammo against gay people. In fact, this is the repeated claim they have made in the past. Frankly it’s ridiculous that you would have to resort to guessing what they would do, when we already know what they have done with the whole, “If gays can marry, what’s next, pedophiles?”

“Sexual orientations can be harmful or non-harmful.”

This is where you are demonstrating the problem with your definition of “sexual orientation.” Sexual orientations can’t be “harmful” or not. It just means what genders you are attracted to, if any. Not whether you’re a rapist or an addict, whether you like big butts or being submissive. Those are specific aspects to sexuality and behavior, not orientations.

Using “being a child is a state of being” to define children as “not a gender” seems to ignore the fact that pedophiles’ attractions to children’s bodies can be heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual in nature

Actually, it seems to bolster my point. “Children” aren’t a gender. They are a transitory phase of being.

To the rest of your paragraphs, you are responding to things I haven’t said or claimed. I don’t make any claims that pedophilia is innately evil or should not be treated, that “innate” = good or bad.

Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ tinyants

Love the name change. 🙂

ETA: you ever seen “Joe’s Apartment”?

TinyAntsGoingToEatMe
TinyAntsGoingToEatMe
5 years ago

@Alan

I love Joe’s apartment! It was an example in one of my film textbooks, showing the story boarding process of the cockroach animations.

sbel
sbel
5 years ago

@TinyAnts,

You seem to be using a very narrow definition of sexual orientation. That’s ok. My definition is a lot closer to mrex and littleknown’s definition. I’m not going to change my definition just because you keep insisting that yours is the only acceptable one. As far as I’m concerned, necrophilia is an “orientation.”

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Jackie; currently using they/their, he/his, she/her pronouns)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Jackie; currently using they/their, he/his, she/her pronouns)
5 years ago

People confusing preference, paraphilia and orientation is the reason why people think “sapiosexual” is a thing.

As far as I’m concerned, necrophilia is an “orientation.”

Also…this.

sbel
sbel
5 years ago

@TinyAnts,

And you when you say this:

Sexual orientations can’t be “harmful” or not. It just means what genders you are attracted to, if any.

you seem to be implying that “harmful or not” is irrelevant, but you are the one who brought it into the conversation when you said:

An “orientation,” both medically and colloquially, implies a valid sexuality that can be practiced healthily.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

But if I did give a tiny shit about what social conservatives say, I would wager that having pedophilia as a sexual orientation is going to give them much more ammo against gay people. In fact, this is the repeated claim they have made in the past. Frankly it’s ridiculous that you would have to resort to guessing what they would do, when we already know what they have done with the whole, “If gays can marry, what’s next, pedophiles?”

I wonder if the conflation of sexualities and paraphilias started out as an internalisation of that sort of right-wing rhetoric.

(Note: I’m not calling anybody homophobic or anything like that, I’m just high thinking out loud.)

suffrajitsu
5 years ago

You seem to be using a very narrow definition of sexual orientation. That’s ok. My definition is a lot closer to mrex and littleknown’s definition. I’m not going to change my definition just because you keep insisting that yours is the only acceptable one. As far as I’m concerned, necrophilia is an “orientation.”

Sorry to cut in, I’m going to have to strongly disagree with this. There’s no such thing as “your” definition, or “my definition” or tinyants’ definition. Definitions, by, well, definition, are defined. Definitions change, are reclaimed, expanded etc., but words mean things and they’re dependent on social context. You don’t get to call someone “narrow” and claim some sort of bizarre moral ground just because people are sticking to a socially agreed upon meaning of a word. The entire purpose of language is so people can communication with each other, not reinforce their own personal beliefs.

There’s been a lot of greater acceptance for people who are polyamorous, dominant, submissive, etc., which is fantastic. But those aren’t orientations. Orientation is defined as a direction or position, i.e. which end/s of the gender spectrum, a person is attracted to. I’m a heterosexual woman with kinks on the dominant/sadistic side of the BDSM spectrum, which is considered contrary to societal expectation. But if I claim to be “queer”, and LGBT people call me out for being a cishet person misusing a historically significant term used by non-cishet people, I don’t get to accuse them of being “noninclusive” or “narrow”. They’re right. It’s just like how if I say that spiders are insects and someone corrects me, I don’t get to say, “You seem to be using a very narrow definition of the word ‘insect.’ As far as I’m concerned, spiders are insects.”

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

@Suffrajitsu: Right. Just like when people point out that you “can be racist towards white people” because of the dictionary definition of racism.

That doesn’t mean that the dictionary, which was written by well-educated older white men, is wrong, but it doesn’t mean it’s right either, because racism has a whole other societal context that doesn’t include white people because white people benefit from a system that favors them.

suffrajitsu
5 years ago

@ParadoxicalIntentional, like I said, definitions change. But definitions change based upon social context. To use your analogy, say someone claimed there was racism against white people and you corrected them by saying that racism is defined as systematic oppression based on race and not simply prejudice. You’re right because that’s the societally accepted definition of the word, not because that’s “your” definition of the word. If that person said “Well, you’re using a narrow definition of the word ‘racism.’ According to MY definition of the word racism, the fact that I can link you to a rando blogger who says mean things about white people proves there is racism against whites,” that person is most emphatically wrong. It’s like when MRAs bash feminism by claiming that by THEIR definition, feminism means man hating. That’s not how it works. Words mean things.

The issue I took was with Sbel accusing Tinyants of using “a narrow definition” of the word ‘orientation’ to justify the idea that necrophilia as an orientation, when it is in fact a paraphilia.

(Note that ‘societally accepted’ does not always mean ‘understood by society at large’, as in the frequent conflation of sex and gender.)

TinyAntsGoingToEatMe
TinyAntsGoingToEatMe
5 years ago

you seem to be implying that “harmful or not” is irrelevant, but you are the one who brought it into the conversation when you said:

An “orientation,” both medically and colloquially, implies a valid sexuality that can be practiced healthily.

There’s nothing contradictory about this. I wasn’t saying the definition of “orientation” meant the person has to be healthy, just that it refers to sexualities that in of in themselves, are not harmful. This, as opposed to pedophilia. I wasn’t saying the definition of orientations is “healthy,” but that they can be practiced healthily. Pedophilia can never be practiced healthily.

As far as I’m concerned, necrophilia is an “orientation.”

I should feel angry at this comment, but I can only feel a thin, ragged dismay.

Dead is not a gender.

Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ paradoxy and suffrajitsu

The dictionary definition thing is interesting. I’m not sure though that you can blame people for using dictionary definitions.

In England at least (the situation is somewhat different in France for example) dictionaries are descriptive not prescriptive.

The OED is compiled by looking at how words are generally used in society. (For a fascinating insight into the procedure check out “The Surgeon of Crowthorne”).

You may remember this cropped up with ‘mansplain’. The OED definition was slightly different to the meaning the originator actually intended; but it reflected the way the word has actually been used generally.

I understand suffrajitsu’s distinction between ‘societally accepted’ and ‘understood by society’, and it may be that if the ‘prejudice + power’ definition enters the mainstream, the dictionaries will pick up on that. Words do evolve as you’ve pointed out; and it’s possible for words to have multiple definitions.

But I don’t think you can say someone is ‘wrong’ for using the current ‘belief that one race is better’; ‘animus based on that belief’ definitions.

That doesn’t stop you arguing that racism (in the dictionary sense) against whites isn’t a big thing or that non white people face systemic racism of course.

This was actually a major topic over here a while back. We ended up with something called the McPherson Report. That popularised the term ‘institutional racism’ that captures the meaning of racism as you describe and that seems to have caught on here.

sbel
sbel
5 years ago

@suffrajitsu

Definitions change and dictionaries trail after the changes. We have on this board at least 3 different people who use a broader definition of “sexual orientation,” and I can promise we didn’t make it up on the spot. I picked it up because I saw other people on other sites using it that way. Will the official definition change? Too soon to say, but I’ve seen enough people using a broader definition that I’m not going to change or condemn just because it’s not in the dictionary.

You don’t get to call someone “narrow” and claim some sort of bizarre moral ground just because people are sticking to a socially agreed upon meaning of a word.

You are reading way too much into my post. I said the definition was narrow, not the person.

——

@tinyants

I should feel angry at this comment, but I can only feel a thin, ragged dismay.

Why should you feel anger? We are literally arguing semantics.

mrex
mrex
5 years ago

@tinyants

A closeted gay person has a different sexual orientation than an out gay person because they have a different sense of identity?

In effect, yes. It’s a label that covers a complex area of emotion, and is based in self-identity. It is impossible to know if someone is a “closeted gay person,” unless they themselves consider themselves as such. There’s no actual gaydar in the field of psychiatry.”

Wait, so a closeted gay person has a different sexual orientation than one who’s out? How is this not just basically saying that sexual orientation is “chosen” because every queer person makes a choice as to whether to be out in public or not?

Please tell me I’m misunderstanding.

“First page of Google:”

Yes I can google. I wanted your source that sexual orientation never refers to states . Look, if it’s been a while, if you don’t have it, I understand. I just found it interesting and wanted to read the background on it.

“just that it refers to sexualities that in of in themselves, are not harmful. This, as opposed to pedophilia. I wasn’t saying the definition of orientations is “healthy,” but that they can be practiced healthily. Pedophilia can never be practiced healthily.”

I don’t think *any-one* here would describe pedophilia as “being able to be practiced healthfully”, because I’m pretty sure that everyone here realizes that children can’t consent, and that rape, in particular child rape, is *very, very, bad*. Obviously, we all agree on that.

The problem with your argument is that the definition of “can be practiced healthfully/nonharmfully” is completely subjective. I’ve had more arguments with homophobes that swear up and down that same-sex attraction will send queer people to hell and therefore will never be “healthy” or “harm-free”. Likewise, NAMBLA would argue, in all sincerity, that it’s “healthy” to rape children. (Because it somehow isn’t rape, despite ample evidence that children can’t consent).

I agree with you that scientific definitions should be precise, which is why I think that there’s evidence the the definition of “sexual orientation” should change . And to that end, “but it is/isn’t healthy” is not that kind of precise argument.

” research aggregators in the link I sent you and in the link you provided misuse the term. I think it is sloppy and poor judgment, just as if they had referred to “depression” as “sadness.”

Yeah, research informs the APA, not the other way around.

“We need psychological terms to be as sensitive and precise as we can, or they lose their meaning. It’s why “crazy” or “mentally ill” are super unhelpful terms that I’d like to see never again in discussions of mental health. Especially in terms of issues as dire as pedophilia.”

Ok, this is super vague, I’ll bite. What’s wrong with the term “mental illness”, and what’s wrong with defining pedophilia as a “mental illness”?

” I would argue the terminology should say “all genders” as gender seems to potentially be on a continuum.”

If you live by the definition, you die by the definition. The APA does not consider pansexuality an orientation, or even to exist. Either the definition is correct, or it is not.

“You can be sexually oriented to any, all, or no genders. “

If you live by the definition, you die by the definition. The APA does not consider asexuality an orientation, and in fact considers it a mental disorder if it causes distress or relationship problems.

Same goes for pedophilia. A person can have sexual urges towards children, as long as they’re not strong, cause no distress, and the person happily masturbates away instead of offending, they do not meet diagnostic criteria as a pedophile.

Live by the definition, die by the definition.

“Not whether you’re a rapist or an addict, whether you like big butts or being submissive. Those are specific aspects to sexuality and behavior, not orientations.”

Hay, no-one is said that any of those things are “orientations”. And I’m sure that you’ll agree that pedophiles can be all, or none, of those things as well. :p

“But if I did give a tiny shit about what social conservatives say, I would wager that having pedophilia as a sexual orientation is going to give them much more ammo against gay people. In fact, this is the repeated claim they have made in the past. Frankly it’s ridiculous that you would have to resort to guessing what they would do, when we already know what they have done with the whole, “If gays can marry, what’s next, pedophiles?”

Bigots be bigots?

And no, I don’t think it will give homophobes more ammo for reasons;

1. “Homosexual” pedophilia is much more common than it should be considering the percentage of the general population that is gay. If “pedophilia” is is deviation and not an orientation all on its own, then why are gays more likely to be “deviant”? (Excuse me while I go wash the vomit out of my mouth).

2. Everything little known said.

I second not giving a fuck about what social conservatives say.My interest is in what will allow the most pedophiles to remain non-offenders, which takes understanding what pedophilia is.

Which takes defining it correctly.

@Panda

People confusing preference, paraphilia and orientation is the reason why people think “sapiosexual” is a thing.”

Yeah, Tumblr is a mess.

There’s no evidence that a preference for intelligence, or the dead for that matter, is an inborn sexual preference, that is self-discovered during adolescence, and is resistant to a person’s own attempts to change sexual preference. I mean, they *could* be, but I’ll change my opinion when I see evidence saying so. There is evidence, however, that pedophilia is all of that.

As it is, most sexual preferences , as well as most paraphillias, are largely *learned*.

Also, I see I got my P names confused and called you “Paradoxy” before. My apologies to you and Paradoxy. :/

TinyAntsGoingToEatMe
TinyAntsGoingToEatMe
5 years ago

Mrex, my patience is really thinning, because you are not understanding me, arguing in loops, and using meaningless aphorisms like “live by the definition, die by the definition.” I’m clearly arguing for the case of a specific definition that I believe is the most beneficial, while I also think there are other aspects to it that must evolve.

The only reason I linked to the APA is you requested for a source, now you’re shifting the goal post to a source for another reason.

I have also never claimed that the definition of orientation is “healthy,” just that it is neutral, and thus implies that it can be practiced healthily. And no, pedophilia is not neutral. In your hypothetical situation, they are still satiating fantasies, which is NOT a good behavior as it can lead to strengthening the paraphilia.

Also, @ the other person, if you REALLY don’t understand how characterizing necrophilia as an orientation wouldn’t be distressing to someone who is invested in the social wellbeing of people with various orientations, and the ability to treat people, and with a shred of empathy for victims, and that this conversation is “simply semantics,” then I’m fucking done here.

suffrajitsu
5 years ago

Looking back, I should’ve clarified that when I was talking about certain definitions being fixed by social context, I didn’t mean “they cannot change” or “cannot vary” so much as social usage is what sets the meaning of words. I think “descriptive not prescriptive” is a good way to think of it–definitions and connotations change because of how they’re commonly used by groups of people, which can be general or more regional etc. And obviously the complexity of words is a great and beautiful thing (it’s the basis for poetry, for example)

I do think, though, that as far as *terminology* for various fields of study, the sciences, sociology etc. go, definitions should ideally be as specific as possible, because often ideas are so nuanced that it’s really important to be precise. See “theory” in common usage vs. one very specific definition when you’re talking about theories in the scientific sense. As far as I can tell, “orientation” is in this terminology camp.