Christian Groups Fumble Over False Claim That Pedophilia is Now a Sexual Orientation

Christian groups practically combusted this week over a (false) claim that the American Psychiatric Association now classifies pedophilia as a sexual orientation — which it undeniably does not.

The recently-released fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the APA’s guide to classifications of mental illnesses, has not changed its classification of pedophilia as a disorder. However, in one paragraph of the DSM-V’s text discussion — not the criteria itself, Care2 points out — it is incorrectly referred to as a “sexual orientation” in a place where the text was meant to read “sexual interest.”

The anti-gay American Family Association seems to have been the first to send panicked messages throughout right-wing circles about the error, making the sweeping claim that pedophilia was now considered another run-of-the-mill “alternative” sexual orientation. The Christian publication Charisma News published an article quoting the horrifically anti-gay commentator Sandy Rios, who issued an inflammatory statement on behalf of the AFA:

“Just as the APA declared homosexuality an ‘orientation’ under tremendous pressure from homosexual activists in the mid-’70s, now, under pressure from pedophile activists, they have declared the desire for sex with children an ‘orientation,’ too. It’s not hard to see where this will lead. More children will become sexual prey.

“Sanity will never return to this culture until truth is reclaimed. It is not now, nor has it ever been acceptable for men or women to desire sex with children. Any who struggle with this must at least know that it is wrong before they can combat it and seek change.”

But Rios’s analysis was drawn primarily from a student-produced reading of the DSM-V, one that lacks citation to the actual DSM-V classification. That report reads:

In the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V), the American Psychiatric Association (APA) drew a very distinct line between pedophilia and pedophilic disorder. Pedophilia refers to a sexual orientation or profession of sexual preference devoid of consummation, whereas pedophilic disorder is defined as a compulsion and is used in reference to individuals who act on their sexuality.

That line alone seems to be what sparked outrage that spread rapidly online, according to the Huffington Post, which aggregated many of the links to conservative blog posts about the supposed change:

The article quickly went viral, garnering over 100,000 Facebook shares within 24 hours of being published and lighting up the right-wing blogosphere. Among many bloggers and commenters, the shared sentiment was that this was a logical progression from the normalization of homosexuality that began in the 1960′s.

The only problem is, the report wasn’t true. The APA appears to have made a seemingly small mistake that set off a rapid chain reaction of confusion and hate.

The APA promptly released a statement reassuring the masses that it does not consider pedophilia a sexual orientation and that it supports the criminal prosecution of individuals who abuse or exploit children. From the statement:

In the case of pedophilic disorder, the diagnostic criteria essentially remained the same as in DSM-IV-TR. Only the disorder name was changed from “pedophilia” to “pedophilic disorder” to  maintain consistency with the chapter’s other disorder listings.

“Sexual orientation” is not a term used in the diagnostic criteria for pedophilic disorder and its use in the DSM-5 text discussion is an error and should read “sexual interest.” In fact, APA considers pedophilic disorder a “paraphilia,” not a “sexual orientation.” This error will be corrected in the electronic version of DSM-5 and the next printing of the manual.

Dissatisfied with this response, Liberty Counsel also freaked out, certain that even the use of the term “sexual interest” signals the end to civilization as we know it (or something):

Whether it is classified a “sexual orientation” or a “sexual interest,” any effort to legitimize pedophilia will provide pederasts with all the arguments they need to remove age of consent laws, and children will suffer.

The APA has lost credibility with this recent blunder over the classification for pedophilia. The APA has become co-opted by a political agenda. It is hard to see the APA any other way. The implications of reclassifying natural law, whether it is for same-sex marriage or adult-children relationships, are far-reaching.

The AFA also forced the American Psychological Association to release an apology of sorts, having claimed they were the ones responsible for the change that never actually happened:

A news release sent Oct. 30 on behalf of the American Family Association mischaracterized the position of the American Psychological Association with respect to pedophilia. The American Psychological Association does not classify mental disorders or publish the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, as the release incorrectly stated. The American Psychological Association maintains that pedophilia is a mental disorder; that sex between adults and children is always wrong; and that acting on pedophilic impulses is and should be a criminal act.

It’s very telling — and not at all surprising — that the AFA has come nowhere near releasing an apology statement of its own, even though the group’s hasty conclusion and addiction to anti-gay slander is what caused this whole mess in the first place. But the organization isn’t known for apologizing for its hateful speech, whether it’s this story or their obsession with the idea that gays recruit children. Sigh.

If this had gone differently, conservatives could have used this moment to slam legislation like ENDA, which will hopefully one day protect employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as tons of other LGBT issues that are strongly connected to “sexual orientation” as a characteristic that deserves to be protected. Thankfully this one was almost fully debunked — though uncorrected versions of the story are certainly still circulating — but this is just another reason why we unfortunately have to pay attention to what right-wingers are saying and be ready to correct (read: annihilate) their vicious claims.

About Camille Beredjick

Camille is a twentysomething working in the LGBT nonprofit industry. She runs an LGBT news blog at

  • Art_Vandelay

    The RCC: “Damn!”

  • ansuz

    The thing is, it doesn’t matter whether or not pedophilia is a sexual orientation; acting on it should still be a crime because there is no question (EDIT: read as ‘we have mountains of evidence’) that sex between adults and children (EDIT: read as ‘rape of children by adults’) harms those children.

  • invivoMark

    So, Christians still believe in thought-crime. Unable to distinguish between desiring something and doing something, they consider pedophilia a terrible crime, but child abuse by parents who really really love their children is just fine.

    Christian morality is bizarro morality.

  • Supertoastfairy

    But it’s “for the children”!

  • Holytape

    I believe there was another typographical error that for some reason hasn’t been covered with the same hype, although the error has now spread through out society at large. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Political Disorders on page 102, it uses the phrase “right-wing blogosphere” when it should read “echo chamber for brain dead trolls who lack any sense of empathy and any trance of human dignity.”

  • Matthew Baker

    Isn’t there a move away from using the DSM in some healthcare circles?

  • code_monkey_steve

    any effort to legitimize pedophilia

    I didn’t realize a behavior was “legitimized” by being listed in the DSM. Does that mean we’d be doing them a favor by adding “faith” to the DSM-6?

  • Crazy Russian

    Yeah! How dare you try to understand something about human psychology? Christians need their boogeymen that are just evil, and that’s the end of story! Evil!

  • David Kopp

    Reality has no bearing on them. Haven’t you realized that by now? If you just plug your ears and yell “JEEBUS!” loud enough, all the bad things and icky parts of real life will just go away. Acknowledging that people have problems, and that understanding the problems will help treat them, well… that’s just poppycock.

  • Kubricks_Rube

    any effort to legitimize pedophilia will provide pederasts with all the arguments they need to remove age of consent laws

    It’s true. Ever since psychopaths and sociopaths have found out about the DSM, muder laws have been repealed across the country.

  • rwlawoffice

    If you are trying to imply that there is not a movement to normalize pedophilia you are mistaken.

    For example: Look at the following article:

    Then there is the case of Kaitlyn Hunt in Florida where homosexual activists have taken on the cause of a 18 year old lady being charged with statutory rape for having sex with her 14 year girlfriend.

    There is a movement to sexualize children by the homosexual community including some Obama appointees. Before you attack the source, read the article and the links, including the reading list of the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network :

    The move is from “consenting adults” to “consenting”. And it is coming from the left.

  • joey_in_NC

    I don’t understand why APA is going back on their original wording that pedophilia is a sexual orientation. Is it technically wrong to consider it a sexual orientation? How so?

    I think the APA is simply adding fuel to the fire by admitting that it was a mistake, that they meant to say “sexual interest” (like that changes things), and that they’ll be correcting it for the next printing of the manual.

  • ansuz

    My guess would be that they have a specific technical definition for ‘sexual orientation’ and there isn’t enough evidence to say whether or not pedophilia belongs there.

  • 3lemenope

    Idiotic nonsense.

    Really, if you want to piss away any remaining credibility you might have with your audience here, this is how to do it.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    I agree that sex between adults and children should be criminalized, but the interesting part of the debate is where we define adult and child when it comes to teenagers. At 18 you are legally an adult in the united states and yet there is not much difference between a 17 year old and an 18 year old maturity wise, at least that is the way it seemed when I went to high school, and yet in the past the 18 year old could be punished for having sex with someone that could be a day away from reaching the legal age of consent.

    Just as a side note, and I don’t know how accurate it is, but it would seem that at least a large part of the population seem to be ephebophiles. There are numerous porn sites out there dedicated to women and men that look barely legal and I think that would make individuals ephebophiles. Of course I am not a psychologist and wouldn’t want to attempt to diagnose the world.

  • Anna

    I’ll say. Robert’s posted some pretty bad things over the years, but this is perhaps the most repugnant.

  • ansuz

    Yeah, the age of consent laws in some areas are pretty weird. There’s one case (that I know of) where a thirteen-year-old was charged with statutory rape for having sex with a twelve-year-old, though it was technically illegal for either of them to have sex. Those laws should be made very carefully, and with lots of evidence behind the reasoning. It’s still going to end up imperfect, though, because bright lines by age seem to be the only real way of legislating.

    And re: ephebophilia… I have my doubts about that. Is it a distinct enough category for an innate tendency present in some people but not others, or is it about our culture’s beauty standards and how our narratives surrounding sex are structured? I mean, when I think of high school kids, I get mostly images of people at really awkward stages of growth, often with pretty bad acne. When I think of the type of people I’ve been told to consider ‘sexy’ (I’m asexual), they look youthful, but not like high school students.
    I don’t know, though. I’m also not a psychologist.

  • Jack Dowell

    I completely agree. It annoys me that people seem to be incapable of distinguishing between people who are pedophiles, but due to being moral people will never act on their desires, and child rapists.

  • Brian Westley

    I don’t understand why APA is going back on their original wording that pedophilia is a sexual orientation.

    I don’t understand how you expect anyone with brains to believe your blatant lie when the article above says they never said pedophilia was a sexual orientation, you dishonest prick.

  • JuneAbend

    “Sanity will never return to this culture until truth is reclaimed,” said somebody named Sandy Rios. I think every freethinker here can agree wholeheartedly with that!

  • Really?

    I find pedophilia repugnant, but I first heard about NAMBLA years ago, so I know he is correct about some people’s efforts. I didn’t read any of his links and I’m not familiar with any of his earlier posts, but this just looks like some people attacking someone personally because of reasons unrelated to the arguments [barely] presented.

  • Really?

    Oh, wait, I just saw “homosexual activists” and “efforts by the homosexual community.” Clearly, this guy is a batshit crazy homophobe on a grudge mission. The point I made above may relate to the only truthful thing he said. I retract my defense of him. Wither and die, Ass.

  • Mankoi

    Yes there is. The issue with the DSM is that it’s often treated by laypeople, and people in authority like an absolute. In reality, it’s only a collection of commonly co-occurring symptoms, placed under a heading. Two people can, in theory, be classified as having the same disorder, when the causes are radically different. Or someone could have a serious mental health issue that isn’t classified in the DSM. Also there’s the issue that any behaviour that deviates from the norm would be labeled a disorder if it appeared in the DSM. Sexual disorders are a good example. Some may be examples of truly disordered behaviour, while others just fall outside a norm. It can, on occasion, be useful to still include a non-disordered but unusual behaviour, but it leads to the behaviour being unfairly labeled a disorder.

    For me, I still see the DSM as a powerful tool, but there needs to be greater understanding that it’s just a handy, and somewhat arbitrary classification system, not the end all and be all of diagnosis.

  • Dave


    Sexual orientation refers to the sex of those to whom one is sexually and romantically attracted …

    So here it’s defined that way and definitely excludes pedophilia. I’m guessing that elsewhere the APA defines it similarly. Laws that I checked generally seem to have similar definitions attached.

    At the same time I don’t really see a problem with using the same term in different ways – e.g.:

    In studies, pedophiles show signs that their sexual interests are related to brain structure and that at least some differences existed in their brains before birth. For example, pedophiles show greatly elevated rates of non-right-handedness and minor physical anomalies. Thus, although pedophilia should never be confused with homosexuality, pedophilia can be meaningfully described as a sexual orientation. Scientists have more specifically called it an “age orientation.” Caution has to be used, however, so as not to confuse the scientific use of the phrase “sexual orientation” with its use in law.

    The key would seem to be to define your terms when you use them. Of course you’d also need more than just soundbite-based politics – an unrealistic scenario.

  • Leiningen’s Ants

    Christian morality isn’t.


    If you are trying to imply that there is not a movement to normalize pedophilia you are mistaken.

    Squint a little, read between the lines, take it with a big grain of salt, and this line nearly, almost adds up to a point, if you take NAMBLA as a movement (albeit a rightly marginalised, totally batshit crazy and utterly repugnant one).

    Linking it to ‘homosexual activists’ or the ‘homosexual community’ is definitely a bigotry powered leap too far. rwlawoffice’s post is 99% indefensible.


    When the last edition of the DSM came out there was much discussion about the creeping trend towards “everything as a disorder”.

    Grieving longer than “normal” is the example that stuck in my mind; there are probably more out there.

  • Rwlawoffice

    I assume you responded without reading the links. The evidence is contained in them,. Read them unless you don’t want the facts get in the way of your bigotry.


    I read enough of the content behind the links to see the stretches and leaps of imagination involved in linking some of the quotes together to form a conclusion.

    And a Nigerian news site lifting opinion pieces from a small US paper? That’s not compelling ‘evidence’.

  • Anna

    Even I’m surprised at Robert. I’m used to his ranting about abortion, but this “gays as sexual predators” thing reads like something from 20 years ago. I thought society had moved past that by now, but apparently not.

  • Stev84

    No. Hardly outdated at all. It’s a standard talking point among Christians, even though not one of the most common ones. And Robert has established himself as insane enough that nothing is beneath him.

    They also love it when they rant about transgender rights.

  • Anna

    Maybe it was wishful thinking. I notice a difference from 20 years ago, when half the conversations I had online were arguing with people who thought that gay people wanted to molest or recruit children. My impression is that the evangelical community has gotten more sophisticated since then. No less anti-gay, but it seems like most have given up on some of the more vile notions. Clearly it hasn’t extended to Robert’s circles, though.

  • kpax2012

    What is up with the religious believer’s obsession with sex? Geejus Christ! Stop spreading lies!

  • Soop

    The all-powerful pedophile activists. Always using their size and comparably large strength to… change cultural attitudes and laws?

  • cyb pauli

    The well of human stupidity has no bottom.
    It’s turtles all the way down.

  • LarryCook

    It’s very difficult for me to comprehend the existence of people “who are pedophiles, but due to being moral people will never act on their desires”. Do you mean that if it wasn’t immoral, they would like to have sex with children? And what do they do now, just look at children? Do they get excited by child pornography? Do you think people like that are normal? Do you think they are potentially dangerous? Do you know anyone who has these desires but doesn’t act on them? Why would anyone want to have sex with a child? Are you being serious in this comment?

  • Feminerd

    I have met someone who confessed to ephebophile desires (that is, desire to have sex with barely pubescent girls, like 13-14). He would never act upon it because he knows that they would be hurt by it, and he is horrified that he finds these children sexually attractive at all.

    As far as I know, he doesn’t watch any child pornography, doesn’t think he is normal, is quite sure he can control himself and isn’t dangerous but doesn’t exactly throw himself into situations to tempt fate either. He doesn’t know why he has these desires and would get rid of them in a heartbeat if he could.

    He is a good person.

  • Agrajag

    I don’t get your confusion. Yes, if you find yourself desiring to do something, and that something is a moral and fine thing to do, then why wouldn’t you do it ? But that’s like saying “if gravity didn’t exist, would we fly off into space?” yes we would, but gravity *does* exist.

    I don’t think it’s normal, but it happens to some people. I have no idea precisely how many.

    I think all human beings are potentially dangerous. And yes, people who experience desire to do something that is wrong have an extra risk-factor. How big the risk is is hard to judge, it’s possible that most paedophiles never abuse anyone, we only get to hear about the ones who do, after all.

    I don’t know anyone who identifies as a paedophile, but most people who are probably keeps it to themselves.

  • Agrajag

    The only sane way to solve this, is to consider not only the age of the involved, but also the relative age. It’s absurd to punish a 18-year-old girl for sleeping with her boyfriend who is 17.9 years old.

    That’s the case in some jurisdictions, for example here in Norway the age of consent is 16, but there’s “no punishment if the participants are similar in age or development” which basically means a couple that differ by a year or two will be in the clear no matter who is older, but a 30 year old who sleeps with a 15-year-old will be in trouble.

    18 is high for age of consent, in most first-world countries it’s 16.

  • Agrajag

    I agree. These laws must be made VERY carefully. For example, here in Norway the age of consent is 16 — but child-porn is defined as pornographic material depicting someone who is under 18.

    The latter was done to protect teenagers from exploitation by the porn-industry. And that’s a laudable goal, but it has some absurd consequences.

    It means for example, that at age 16 you can freely sleep with your girlfriend. But if she takes a nude-pic of herself and send it to you, then she’s guilty of distributing child-porn and you’re guilty of being in possession of it. And that hardly makes sense.

  • Agrajag

    *society* has — but he hasn’t.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    They originally classified it outside of being a “sexual orientation”, making “sexual interest” the default. Calling it a “sexual orientation” later in the manual was a typo.

    This is like how Republicans call Joe Biden a plagiarist for not attributing a quote in one of his speeches. He gave the same stump speech dozens of times, recorded by reporters at each stop. He forgot to attribute correctly ONCE during that time, and yet people believe that crap now.

    The real story is how the AFA keeps shifting the goalposts when proven wrong, and how their supporters are so goddamn stupid that they don’t realize that the word “sexual” has multiple meanings in context.

  • Houndentenor

    The APA should sue these publications for libel. it’s one thing to have opinions about things. To make up and publish lies is morally wrong and often actionable.

  • Houndentenor

    The age of consent varies from state to state. It can be 16, 17 or 18 depending on the state. There are also a variety of laws covering people who are near the same age but where one is over the age of consent and the other is not. It would be absurd to punish on partner in a sex act who is only a few days older than the other but who just had a birthday. Yet, in some states that could technically happen.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    Well, the US is a mixture of what age is legal. It is left up to individual states to decide. I agree that 18 seems too old for age of consent.

  • rwlawoffice

    Let me quote from one of the articles:

    for instance, that during Obama’s first term, the official website for
    the Department of Health and Human Services linked to “parenting tips”
    that referenced children as “sexual beings” and suggested that they should experiment with homosexuality and masturbation.

    You may also recall that Mr. Obama appointed Kevin Jennings, founder
    of the “Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network,” or GLSEN, to the
    post of “safe schools czar.” The position is now defunct, ostensibly due
    to national outrage over Jennings’ appointment.

    In keeping with the thinly veiled goals of B4U-ACT, GLSEN seems to be
    “running interference” for pedophiles, having tacitly advocated
    adult-child sex through its “recommended reading list” for kids.

    This of no surprise when you consider that one of Jennings’
    ideological heroes was Harry Hay, the “founding father” of homosexual
    activism. “One of the people that’s always inspired me is Harry Hay,” he
    has said glowingly.

    Was Harry Hay fringe? No, not among “gay” activists. He’s an icon.
    Again, he was just honest. In 1983, while addressing the pedophile North
    American Man/Boy Love Association, or NAM/BLA, Hay said the following:

    “It seems to me that in the gay community the people who
    should be running interference for NAM/BLA are the parents and friends
    of gays. Because if the parents and friends of gays are truly friends of
    gays, they would know from their gay kids that the relationship with an
    older man is precisely what 13-, 14-, and 15-year-old kids need more
    than anything else in the world. And they would be welcoming this, and
    welcoming the opportunity for young gay kids to have the kind of
    experience that they would need.”

    Harry Hay is a gay movement icon.

    Read some of the articles on Kate hunt and see the homosexual activists who are siding with her to say that sex with a 14 year old girl is ok and should not be a crime. These activist include the LBGT group Equality Florida. Look at their website and their statements if you think I am wrong.

    I know he facts are not pleasant but it doesn’t negate that they are correct. There is a move by the left, including some homosexual groups to normalize pedophilia.

  • joey_in_NC

    I don’t understand how you expect anyone with brains to believe your blatant lie when the article above says they never said pedophilia was a sexual orientation, you dishonest prick.

    This from APA’s statement (which is bolded above)…

    “Sexual orientation” is not a term used in the diagnostic criteria for pedophilic disorder and its use in the DSM-5 text discussion is an error and should read “sexual interest.”

    Are they not simply substituting “sexual interest” with “sexual orientation”?

    And this doesn’t answer my original question. Why is it wrong to consider it a sexual orientation? Sexual orientation doesn’t imply at all that you are willing to act out on that orientation.

  • joey_in_NC

    They originally classified it outside of being a “sexual orientation”, making “sexual interest” the default. Calling it a “sexual orientation” later in the manual was a typo.

    Alright, but is there really a big difference? Why can’t homosexuality be labeled a “sexual interest” as opposed to an “orientation”? What’s the difference?

  • Stev84

    Sex is a great way to control people. A very small number of asexuals aside, everyone has sexual desires and they are hard if not impossible to control. Even harmless fantasies can be declared thought crimes. They invent the sickness and sell a fake cure, knowing people will soon “sin” again and be back for more. These impossible standards also break people down and make them easier to manipulate in other areas.

  • TychaBrahe

    I wish it were classified as a sexual orientation. Maybe then our justice system would realize that like heterosexuality and homosexuality, the sexual attraction to children isn’t something that can be changed. Pedophiles aren’t people who do bad things, they are people who have disordered brains. Punishing them doesn’t fix them. They may learn to be afraid of acting on their desires, but we cannot change their desires any more than we can change the desire of a heterosexual person for someone of the opposite sex or of a homosexual person for the same sex.

    In a way, I feel sorry for them. If you are a Black lesbian who is into overweight Thai women in their 50s who are left-leg amputees, somewhere there is an overweight Thai 50-something amputee who will be in to you, too. For people who are sexually attracted to children, there is no way that they can ever have a consensual sexual relationship. It must be hard.

    Which isn’t to say I wouldn’t lock them up for life so that they could be prevented from every harming another child.

  • rwlawoffice

    You really should read the articles. They say exactly what I stated and provide the evidence to back it up. There is no question that there are homosexual activists trying to sexualize children and promote the normalization of pedophilia. For example, look at the Equality Florida website to see their support for the lesbian relationship between a 18 year old woman and a 14 year old girl. It is a crime under Florida law, yet this group says it should not be.

    Read some of the information on the books on the reading list supported by the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network. They are about the joy of sex for those as young as toddlers (this is the Rock Lobster book).

  • Anna

    I just recently watched an idiotic reality show called Too Young to Marry? in which two of the participants were 21 and 17 years old, and they’d been dating for over three years, since he was 18 and she was 14. In some states, he’d be thrown in prison and made to register as a sex offender for life, yet in Michigan, they were able to get legally married. It seems crazy to have such differing laws.

    And these kids (yes, I know 21′s not legally a “kid”) were so immature, it would be hard to think of Don as a sexual predator who should be arrested for dating a slightly younger girl. They were clearly part of the same peer group.

  • indorri

    The GLSEN reading list, I’m looking at it, but the page was moved.

    So I used the way back machine. Found it. Saw WND’s excerpts. Saw the warning on the GLSEN page about mature content.

    Went to the Amazon link for one of them, “Queer 13″. See the subtitle: Lesbian and Gay Writers Recall Seventh Grade. See the description: autobiographical.

    Not good so far. 1st investigation and I’m already seeing deciept in your links. It’s too annoying to do this on a phone, so I’ll investigate the rest later.

  • invivoMark

    What’s difficult to comprehend? Let’s say there’s someone whom you intensely despise, and you want to punch them in the face. Actually punching them in the face would be immoral, and there would be negative consequences of doing so, so you restrain yourself whenever you are in their presence. But if it wasn’t immoral, and there were no consequences, you would let loose on them.

    Do you think YOU are potentially dangerous? Do YOU get excited by fantasizing about throwing the first punch? Do you think YOU are normal?

    It is possible to desire something and to restrain yourself from achieving it. If you really don’t think this is true, then you must live a very strange life, and you probably eat ice cream for three meals a day.

  • Anna

    Not just technically. It actually happens quite often. It seems ludicrous to punish high school students (at the same school!) for dating each other, yet there are a lot of cases like this. Robert upthread seems to think it should be illegal for a high school senior to date a freshman, yet it’s something that happens at thousands of schools. In fact, it happened at my high school. One senior girl dated a freshman boy. There was some joking about “robbing the cradle,” but no one got arrested. Maybe Robert only has a problem with it when the kids are gay.

  • Anna

    I’ve read Reflections of a Rock Lobster and Queer 13, and I’m not sure what Robert’s problem is. The first is a memoir about growing up gay, the second is a collection of essays from LGBT writers about their memories of seventh grade. These books were published for adults, so they may discuss sex, which I know fundamentalists throw a fit about. I read the first one in high school (not in school, though). I got it from the library. The second I read about ten years ago. I don’t recall anything particularly shocking. Unless you’ve locked your teenager in a closet, he or she is going to be aware of sex.

  • Brian Westley

    And this doesn’t answer my original question. Why is it wrong to consider it a sexual orientation?

    See, this is why I call you a dishonest prick.

    You even lie about what you yourself wrote just above.

    Here’s what you wrote:

    “I don’t understand why APA is going back on their original wording that pedophilia is a sexual orientation.”

    There’s no point arguing with someone so dishonest they even lie about what they themselves said.

  • baal

    Does NAMBLA still exist? Google-fu job for you, find the year they closed.

  • baal

    The only known child molester I’ve meet was a fundamentalist christian. The many LGBT folks I’ve met…not so much.

  • baal

    WND is so full of lies, intentional lies, made up bullshit and irrational bullshit that it’s not citeable for any reason. It’s unfair of you to put the fact checking burden (and it’s a whopper when it’s from that site) on folks who disagree with you.

    Know who really does child rape apology? Billy D of the catholic League. While he makes the appropriate recitations at the start of the article, towards the end it’s, ” They are using kids as a ruse—feigning interest in child welfare when their real goal is to “get the Church.” Yep, wanting to stop child rape is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to destroy the Church…

  • Matt D

    When I came out of the closet at 19, I made a friend (also gay) who confided to me that his boyfriend (who was his roomate) was into young children. I demand to see some proof (because they were arguing, and I figured he blurted that out because of this). Unfortunately, he wasn’t making it up, as I viewed some disturbing videos and photos on his boyfriends computer, and worse, he advised me his BF would also babysit children (about age 3) for some friends.

    I knew he was a danger to children, thus I decided I couldn’t take the risk that he wouldn’t act on his impulses. He was barely twenty and was already trusted with watching kids he could be molesting. So I had to convince my friend to let go of his feelings to do the right thing, which I did. Thus we turned him into the police that day, who promptly questioned us for hours (to make sure we weren’t lying for revenge or something) before raiding their apartment. They ended up finding more than even we thought he had. The many gay friends I’ve made since then have all agreed that was the best choice, although I never had any regrets regardless.

  • Carla

    What you’re saying is that sexual attraction is dangerous. Like, because I’m a straight female, I shouldn’t be trusted around men because goodness knows I can’t control myself. And god save us from the gays. Goodness knows they can’t share a locker room because they’ll probably start ripping clothes off the others. Sexual fetishes don’t automatically mean a lack of control. If a pedophile can have these feels and refuse to act on them to avoid causing harm, more power to him/her.

  • allein

    That may be the case in some states here in the US, too..

  • allein

    I believe some states even have a different age of consent for gay kids (I remember an episode of “Bullshit!” that talked about this.) Which is ridiculous..

  • smrnda

    Some girls have been prosecuted for child porn for pictures of themselves. Given that these laws exist, ostensibly, to prevent the sexual exploitation of minors it seems that defeats the purpose since it’s effectively punishing the victim. I suspect it’s a problem where some people really just want to punish what they consider to be immoral sex acts, not protect people.

  • rwlawoffice

    I posted articles with cites. The articles used quotes to make the point and support their conclusions. Arguing that you don’t like the source, it really not an argument.

  • smrnda

    People in stable, committed relationships experience attraction to other people all the time and refrain from acting on those attractions if the relationship is an exclusive one, so people don’t act on attractions they consider immoral all the time. On the ‘what if it wasn’t immoral’ – this seems like a silly point as most people don’t believe something immoral can be turned into something moral.

  • smrnda

    On your example, it might be possible to punch the person if the face and get away with it, but a person might still not do it because they view it as wrong, even if they got caught.

  • smrnda

    The real reason for this is, in order for your insurance to pay for therapy or treatment, in many cases you need an identifiable disorder. It does mean there’s a disorder for practically everything, but that’s because otherwise, you might not be able to get treatment you wanted because there isn’t an entry in the DSM for what you are being treated for.

  • baal

    It’s not a matter of liking, the WND are fraudsters. That’s a parallel to the legal conclusion and has nothing to do with my personal preferences. Thanks for trivializing my complaint.

    As indorri and Anna’s comments show, the cites are not valid for the conclusions you want to draw. It takes a lot of work or other experience to weed out the truth that buried in the bullshit that is WND.

    It’s a count against your morality that you think it’s fair to push bullshit and make the other side of your arguments go dig through it.

  • rwlawoffice

    The problem is that the list was recommended for grades 7-12 as part of a program directed to schools to normalize sexual activity. I understand that children learn about sex, but I would never recommend that a 7th grader read porn. The fact that this organization recommended it and then that its leader was appointed to a federal agency by Obama is more than disturbing.

  • smrnda

    I’m somehow not feeling outraged at the 18 year old and the 14 year old. Maybe if she was like, 21 or 30 or 40, but given that likely at 17 it wouldn’t have been an issue, this is more a puritanical moral panic than any concern for young people.

    Yes, NAMBLA has been around for years. They’re pretty much dismissed by everyone.

    And I don’t think you actually understand the issues being brought up by the left. The left believes it is a bit absurd to protect someone at 17 for having sex with an 18 year old, and then totally switch it around when we could be dealing with an age gap of a day, where the day older 18 year old is now a criminal. Nobody is seeking to normalize sexual relations between adults and children, just pointing out things like an 18 and 17 year old having sex now has someone as a criminal, but a 17 and 16 year old is not. It’s about protecting young people instead of being punitive just for the sake of being so.

  • baal

    Why do I get the idea that your objection largely stems from your personal inability to understand healthy sexuality and an inability to tell what’s harmful sexuality and what is not?

    Hint, the whole sex only in marriage and then only to procreate messaging is harmful and damaging bullshit.

  • rwlawoffice

    You did the right thing. I applaud you. And for the record, it was something the Catholic church should have done

  • smrnda

    I find it funny how you keep saying ’18 year old woman’ and ’14 year old girl.’ We’re talking 2 high school students here, both just slightly over puberty. People use ‘girls’ with high school students, and sometimes persist in using it until a woman hits about 40. I mean, if it was a 21 year old, or a 30 year old, then we’d be talking about a meaningful gap in age and maturity.

    Is a 17 year old a woman or a girl? I suspect you usually call 18 year old female high school students ‘girls’ until you can prosecute one for being a lesbian.

  • smrnda

    I would never recommend the Christian Bible to 7th graders as it provides moral support for slavery, sexism, violence, and genocide.

  • Anna

    “Normalize sexual activity.” That’s a new one! As if teenagers have no idea about sex, and it needs to be “normalized” for them. Newsflash: teenagers are curious about sex. Teenagers know about sex. Many teenagers have even had sex. We should be educating students on how to keep themselves safe and healthy, not censoring their reading material.

    Neither Reflections of a Rock Lobster nor Queer 13 could even remotely be categorized as porn, and neither is inappropriate for high school students. Students read books published for adults all the time. It’s called literature class. Your issue seems to be that you want teenagers (especially gay ones) to be kept away from any mention of sexuality.

  • allein

    I’m not familiar with the two books mentioned, but I was pretty confident in assuming they are not porn. Also, I don’t think I was assigned any books in high school that would be classified under the “teen” genre (granted that was 20 years ago and “teen” wasn’t really its own thing, at least not as much as it is now). They were all just classics and other regular adult fiction. Some of them even mentioned sex!

  • Anna

    Yikes, girls have been prosecuted for having pictures of themselves? Talk about crazy. I’ve heard about boys being charged for having pictures of their girlfriends, but not the other way around.

    Anyone with teenagers should let them know that digital media is forever. There could be quite a few cases in the future of adults being prosecuted for still having old pictures or videos from high school somewhere on their computers, phones, etc.

  • Anna

    Not to mention, this case involves two girls who met while attending the same high school. In essence, a senior dating a freshman. It happens all the time. It happened at my high school, and no one got arrested for it.

  • invivoMark

    Well yes, hence the qualifier of “if it wasn’t immoral.” It is a mirror of LarryCook’s hypothetical of “if [raping children] wasn’t immoral ….”

    Like Agrajag demonstrates with the example of gravity, it’s a preposterous hypothetical and the implications bear no reflection of reality. Gravity exists and raping children is immoral.

  • Anna

    Yup, there are adult themes in many works of classic fiction. The ALA keeps tabs on which titles are most frequently banned or challenged:

    I assume Robert’s in the same category that wants to remove books like those from high school literature classes.

  • 3lemenope

    The Daily Worker uses quotes and in-line citations. Should we pack it in on Capitalism?

  • 3lemenope

    That’s a powerful argument against Romeo and Juliet you’re swinging around, there.

  • Houndentenor

    It’s only prosecuted if someone complains, usually the parents. And even then it always seems to involve a boy the parents disapprove of, usually because of race. (Although I remember one case that involved Lesbians.)

  • Ken

    I think he just conflated the two terms used in the article. Also, you would be the prick here. Someone asks a question and is clearly getting the terms mixed up; and you just act like a total tool? Congrats, you are the biggest dick I’ve seen today.

  • Ken

    As I recall, a pedophile isn’t attracted to a gender most times. They are attracted to an age range. A sexual orientation is a gender preference. If said pedophile did prefer a gender, then they would be homosexually or heterosexually oriented in addition to being a pedophile. At least, that’s how I understood the terms..

  • John

    Are you stupid? Why are you implying that Christians are fine with child abuse? Don’t put up obvious straw men.

    Your morality is absurd. You believe you’re nothing but an animal that evolved from slime ultimately resulting from a purposeless random-chance explosion in which everything, including you will die and cease to exist and you’ll never know that anything ever was – so why do anything? Who says what’s right and what’s wrong? What is right and wrong anyway? Aren’t you just an animal? If you’re just an animal, why would it be wrong to kill you? It would be just like stepping on a bug – after all, you’re just a further evolved form of slime according to your worldview.

    Don’t be inconsistent. You’re arguing for something which doesn’t even exist under your beliefs. Why? Because you hate God. Don’t be a fool.

  • 3lemenope

    Stop. Abusing. Rhetorical. Questions.

    Rhetorical questions are not a toy.

  • invivoMark

    I’ve got no response to this but: LOL!

  • Brian Westley

    I doubt that; the whole article was about how the terms were conflated. I’d say he was deliberately being a prick.

  • Jack Dowell

    That is a quite impressive job of demonstrating exactly what I was complaining about in my post, thanks. To respond line by line: “Do you mean that if it wasn’t immoral, they would like to have sex with children?”If sex with children wasn’t immoral, that would imply that there was nothing wrong with it due to some strange scenario, so in that case, yes, if it was not wrong to have sex with children they would.

    “And what do they do now, just look at children? Do they get excited by child pornography?” Probably, yeah. They probably think about children when they masturbate as well. I would assume that they would be arroused by child porn, but they probably wouldn’t have any, due to laws, and it generally being produced through immoral methods.

    “Do you think people like that are normal?”

    No, they obviously are abnormal, as is anyone else with a mental condition or anything else that isn’t shared by a significant purpose of the populace. However, abnormal doesn’t mean bad.

    “Do you think they are potentially dangerous?”

    Well, we are talking about “people who are pedophiles, but due to being moral people will never act on their desires,” so by definition, no. However, let’s extend this to all pedophiles. I would say that they are arguably slightly more dangerous than the average adult male, simply because children are less likely to be able to fight back, or have a phone to call someone if they think they’re being followed by someone who wants to rape them. (On the other hand, it’s much more difficult to say, date rape a child, so this might even out. I’ll assume that there is still a heightened degree of danger.)

    Let’s hypothesize: I’m going to assume you are a straight male. You want to have sex with women, you look at women, you are aroused by porn featuring women. Should we keep you away from women, because you are going to rape them? No, of course not, because until you prove otherwise, as a society we assume you are not a rapist (The principal of innocent until proven guilty is relevant here) So, pedophiles are possibly slightly more dangerous than an adult male, just because the children can’t fight back as easily.

    “Do you know anyone who has these desires but doesn’t act on them?”

    No, not personally, but I’m quite confident that there are pedophiles who would never rape a child, but because of people like you stay completely quiet about it.

    “Why would anyone want to have sex with a child?”

    …We are discussing pedophilia, I’m pretty sure the fact that there are people who want to have sex with children is assumed.

    “Are you being serious in this comment?”

    Yes, just because someone doesn’t line up with your ill thought out ideas doesn’t mean they aren’t serious.

  • TiredPaedo

    Thanks for this article.

    I’m a paedophile and I was getting tired of refuting the AFA’s nonsense to every conservative Christian nutjob who reposted it on Reddit or alternately every child abuse apologist who wanted to use it as justification for their NABLAesque push towards unethical behaviour.

    I just wish while they were decrying the APA for a typo in what was otherwise a big step forward for psychology in the classification and treatment of paedophilia they would have actually posted resources for people struggling to remain responsible in the face of an often difficult attraction.

  • Agrajag

    I actually think they likely -are- too young to marry, though not too young to have sex.

    That’s one side-effect of the same medieval patriarchal “purity” and “abstinence” perversity that is so prevalent in some american subcultures.

    People mature sexually as teenagers. Historically, that’s also when they married, more or less.

    Today, puberty comes somewhat earlier (due to nutrition), while the sane age to marry is much higher. We’re typically in full-time education until ~25, and so a common age to marry is at the end of your 20ies, or perhaps start of your 30ies.

    Which means being celibate for ~15 years. Which is a LOT !

    And those jokers are fine with 17-year-olds *marrying* because apparently though it’s claimed they’re not mature enough to be able to say “yes” or “no”, and to be capable of putting on a condom they ARE mature enough to take on a life-long commitment.

    If the catholic church had it’s way (luckily this is near-universally ignored, even by catholics), there’d be no contraception either. Thus they’re opposed to 24 year old students having sex with their girlfriends — but they’re FINE with people taking on the commitment to be a wife and a mother at age 17.

    It makes zero sense, but there you go.

  • Agrajag

    There should be exceptions. If the picture (or video) in question depicts a legal act – and you’re the person depicted, or you got the picture (or video) directly from the person depicted, then there should be no legal problem.

    I think there’s good reasons to keep it illegal to distribute sexual pictures of minors — by third parties. And to keep it illegal to distribute it comercially. I think the 17 year old girl who sends a nudie-pic to her boyfriend should be in the clear — but I think it’s fine to say that he cannot legally distribute that picture, not even with her consent.

    Being in possession of explicit pictures of yourself should of course never be considered a crime, that’s just absurd.

  • guest

    “Why are you implying that Christians are fine with child abuse?”

    Maybe because the Catholic hierarchy has been actively protecting child rapists for years.

    “random-chance explosion”

    To my knowledge, science does not assert that the big bang was random. We would need to know prior probabilities for that, and we don’t yet know enough.

    “you will die and cease to exist and you’ll never know that anything ever was – so why do anything?”

    Because sentient individuals exist right now and care deeply about their own well-being. (BTW, evolution is what made organisms care about our own well-being and social organisms care about that of others.)

    “Who says what’s right and what’s wrong?”

    Rational assessment of behavioral alternatives and their impact.

    “Aren’t you just an animal?”

    As opposed to what, a fungus?

    “would it be wrong to kill you?”

    It would be wrong to kill me if doing so led to more harm/suffering than not killing me. For example, killing me might be fine if I were terminally ill and in great pain, or if I were about to blow up a school full of children.

    “It would be just like stepping on a bug”

    Stepping on a bug would also be wrong if it led to more harm than not. Are you the sort of arsehole who goes around stepping on bugs?

    “Because you hate God.”

    And your post just proves how much you hate Thor and Zeus.

  • guest

    How brain-fried does a person have to be to equate sex-ed with pedophilia? Or to equate children masturbating with pedophilia?

  • Stev84

    That kind of stuff is unconstitutional though since Lawrence v. Texas:

    Note that while this a decision by the Kansas Supreme Court, SCOTUS vacated at an earlier ruling upholding different ages of consent and told them to consider Lawrence (which was brand new then).

  • Stev84

    It’s also that whole “being gay = sex” thing again that anti-gay nuts are so fond of.

  • allein

    Ah, ok. Not sure what year the Bullshit episode was (I watched the whole series over a matter of weeks a few years ago on youtube and Netflix). I don’t know how many states had different ages; I wonder how many have actually changed their laws.

  • fortythree

    You sir, have just exhibited a unique form of dissembling along with the more commonly seen in comment threads, “deflecting the issue,” kudos to you. Now, if you please, engage the man’s question and enough with the posturing.

    (That, is deliberately being a prick, necessitated by your inapposite remarks).

  • Brian Westley

    You sir, have just exhibited a unique form of dissembling along with the more commonly seen in comment threads, “deflecting the issue,” kudos to you

    No, joey_in_NC was doing that by asking a loaded question that assumed false “facts”.

    Now, if you please, engage the man’s question and enough with the posturing.

    Have you stopped beating your wife?

    There’s no sense in attempting to answer loaded questions; the only reasonable response is to point out the hidden false assumptions in it. Which is what I did. Calling him a prick was just a bonus, of course.

  • fortythree

    Whether or not he has presented us with a loaded question, a dialogue on the semantics of “sexual orientation,” what that entails, and perhaps what it ‘ought’ to entail would better serve this comment thread.

    The nuanced difference between sexual “interest” and sexual “orientation,” for example. Too often, it seems, the back and forth between ‘right’ (R.) and ‘left’ (D.) is reduced to just that, leading us to gloss over the subtleties that have some semblance of substance (for all of the fans of alliterations).

    Something more pertinent: “if” pedophilia is a sexual orientation, “should” it be decriminalized? Or another: “who” is the greater moral authority between the parties engaged in the act, the child or the pedophile?

    The answers may be obvious, but I believe these discussions will propel the debate much further than the limited scope of this article. Using neuroscience as our god/guide, there are real answers to be discovered.

  • Brian Westley

    In my opinion, joey_in_NC was deliberately trying to troll, and failed. Any real discussion should go in another thread, not one started by a troll.

  • joey_in_NC

    I doubt that; the whole article was about how the terms were conflated.

    Maybe if you first explain to me the fundamental difference in meaning between the two terms, then maybe I’ll concede that I’m “conflating” them. At least we’ll actually move forward in the discussion. But somehow I doubt you’re actually interested in doing any discussing. Evidently, you are much more interested flinging ad hominems. So be it.

  • Brian Westley

    You can’t seem to read. It’s pointless to argue with a lying troll like yourself. Fuck off.

  • Spuddie

    “Why are you implying that Christians are fine with child abuse?”

    The constant excuses and evasion they employ when their clergy gets caught abusing children. The constant approval on abusing children by claiming its Biblically sanctioned.

    Religious morality is absurd. It posits that you are merely a psychotic with no sense of empathy, humanity or conscience who is being held in check because of worries of divine punishment. All notions of religious morality go out the window when dealing with “others”.

    “why would it be wrong to kill you?”
    The fact that you are asking the question shows how ineffective religious morality is.

  • Spuddie

    The same kind of dishonest piece of shit who would not bat an eye if a HS senior and freshman were in a heterosexual relationship.

  • Feminerd

    But JAQing off is a thing :)

  • Rick Peters
  • Jacqueline Bohr

    great article THANKYOU
    i anm reposting under every post that makes the original false claim.