Connecting the dots
By Alisa Craddock
Recently a friend of mine sent me an email containing a link to a federal sexual predator registry, so I put in my address to see who might be in my neighborhood. I was astounded to discover that the overwhelming majority of registered sexual predators were convicted child molesters. I have four of them living within a mile of my home, two on my street! And if you're thinking I live in a bad neighborhood, think again. There are few addresses in any part of the city I could have put in and not found a similar situation. Some of them were stacked up on each other so that if you clicked on a red box, several predators' names would be listed. I put in several cities and states throughout the country. I found a much greater concentration of sexual predators residing in the south than in the north, the most northerly and least populated areas had negligible numbers. By contrast, Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, Jacksonville, and Miami were "overrun" with convicted sexual predators, with child predators being so heavily overrepresented, it begs the question. Why?
After the news media made such an outcry over the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, I am surprised (not really…) that this information is not the subject of more scrutiny on the part of our news media. After discovering this myself, I am even more outraged over the hypocrisy shown by those who used the Church scandal as a scapegoat, claiming that celibacy was responsible for the fallen priests' behavior, all the while ignoring or covering up (by their silence) the festering disease that is growing in our midst.
What is happening in our country that is causing this epidemic of child rape and molestation? One of the biggest factors, as I reported in an earlier column, is the epidemic of internet pornography which has turned more and more to child pornography in recent years. Though some early studies seemed to suggest that a rise in pornography did not increase the incidence of rape, a more in-depth examination of individuals exposed to pornography depicting sexual violence revealed that the propensity was much more pronounced than was previously thought when subjects were exposed to such depictions. As one subject (a rapist) reported, "I went to a porno bookstore, put a quarter in a slot, and saw this porn movie. It was just a guy coming up from behind a girl and attacking her and raping her. That's when I started having rape fantasies. When I saw that movie, it was like somebody lit a fuse from my childhood on up…I just went for it, went out and raped." If a one-time exposure to pornographic depictions of sexual violence can create an obsession, consider the consequences of a consistent diet of it.
As I related in my earlier column, the proliferation of child pornography has seen a marked increase in the numbers of ordinary men who would not have thought of sex with a child before they became addicted to child pornography, seeking out liaisons with children through online "arrangements". Whether it occurs to these "Daddies" and respectable business men that the child is probably a sex slave or a runaway under fearful domination by a pimp, and that they are adding to her/his misery, one can only surmise. But one of the most powerful effects of porn addiction is desensitization—a lack of empathy for the woman or girl (or boy) being objectified and used, a stage in porn addiction which is very often followed by the final stage, acting out. Even if one never acts out the fantasy, though, such desensitization has to have an effect on an individual's relationships with others—with women, and with children--even with men, when the porn addict is a woman (which is rare, but does happen).
But pornography isn't the only factor involved in the epidemic of child sexual abuse. There is the sexualization of children in school and through films and television, and a glut of sexual content, often laced with violence, a constant barrage of sexual messages encouraging them to act without restraint. They are taught, under the pretext of protecting them, how to have "safe sex" but are all but forced to experiment with their sexuality. The volatile nature of adolescent hormonal changes, combined with a tacit encouragement to "explore" one's sexuality leaves little room for lessons in virtue and continence. Sadly, by the time most young people have learned how empty and destructive sexual promiscuity is to their wellbeing, self-esteem, and relationships, they have already lost their innocence, and the repercussions for their future relationships with spouses and children will only be seen in the sad light of hindsight. They learn it the hard way, in other words.
The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) is the education arm of the Kinsey Institute, and their philosophy (based on Alfred Kinsey's discredited but still amazingly referenced "research" on childhood sexuality) is that children are sexual beings from birth, and should begin having sexual experiences as early as possible in order that that their sexuality might be developed, just as other aspects of their physical, psychological and intellectual lives are developed throughout the maturing process. It's a lie. By placing children in co-ed sex education classes, by describing in graphic detail how it is done and the infinite variety of ways of receiving and giving physical pleasure, by treating all forms of sexual expression (heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual, autosexual) as equally valid, by treating sex in value neutral terms, simultaneously encouraging behavior that is, by its nature, exploitive and demeaning (outside of the context of a loving marriage), you produce a generation of youngsters ripe for manipulation.
You see, if you are going to encourage children to "experiment" with their sexual desires and sexual orientation and gender at a time that is, in every other arena, recognized as the most tumultuous and confusing time in a child's life, if you are going to advocate (and protect) an underage girl's decision to kill her unborn child without consulting her parents, if you are going to treat children as though they are mature enough to be having sexual relations (which they aren't), and mature enough to deal with the consequences of it, then it is only a small step further to treat a relationship between a manipulative adult and a naïve child as a consensual relationship. If you can say that the decision to have sex is hers, even if she's only 11 or 13 years old, then how can you say she's not mature enough to decide that she wants to have sexual relations with an older man? If she can make the decision on her own when she is only 13 to destroy the life within her through abortion, then how can you claim that she "cannot consent" to sex with an adult.
There is, unbeknownst to sleeping America, an effort crawling along beneath the radar, to demedicalize pedophilia. There are already value-neutral terms that are used by therapists in dealing with child predators: Adult-child sex or "intergenerational intimacy". There have been studies published in legitimate, refereed psychological journals suggesting that childhood sexual abuse is not always harmful, and is sometimes beneficial (Rind, et al. and Stanley, et al) There have been books published which support the notion of adult-child sex as a mentoring or nurturing process (some examples are Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children From Sex, by Judith Levine; Understanding Loved Boys and Boylovers by David L. Riegel, and Same-Sex Desire and Love in Greco-Roman Antiquity and in the Classical Tradition of the West, a compilation of essays from a number of Ph.D'd contributors, including Bruce Rind of the infamous Rind, et al study mentioned above, published in Psychological Bulletin in 1998. In the book he defends homosexual relations with boys as a form of mentoring:
"Pederasty, or sexual relations between men and adolescent boys, is condemned in our society as an unqualified evil that maims and destroys. In ancient Greece, samurai Japan, and numerous other cultures, pederasty was seen as the noblest of human relations, conducive if not essential to nurturing the adolescent's successful intellectual and physical maturation."
It is not surprising then that the same psychology establishment that has denied the pathological nature of homosexuality would take the next step in chipping away at the prohibition against pederasty, treating it as "mentoring gay youth." However, in the context of Greco-Roman society, the rather obvious fact that the youth were not "gay" until they were ritually "mentored" is inescapable. The gradual desensitization of our outrage over the seduction of young males, combined with an enforced or at least coerced acceptance of homosexuality in the public sphere, and added to a fanatical determination on the part of radical feminist, pro-abortion groups to codify into international law the "right" of girls as young as nine to obtain an abortion without parental knowledge or consent, leads inexorably to the lowering or complete elimination of age-of-(sexual) consent laws, and that is, of course, the true objective. But I have said before, and will continue to state the obvious: Age of consent laws are not lowered for the benefit of children. They are children. They need to be protected. Age of consent laws are lowered for the benefit of adults who want access to the children. The elimination of them connotes a society that has abandoned the welfare of children as of fundamental importance to the health of the society.
In recent years, emboldened by the homosexuals' successful political action that resulted in the demedicalization of homosexuality, and the efforts to mainstream and destigmatize transgenderism, pedophiles have begun making noises about being "born that way." If the notion of homosexuality as an inherent condition can be sold to the populace, then why not pedophilia as an inborn condition? I mean, it's absurd on its face, right? But I once bought into the notion of inborn homosexuality. Extreme effeminacy seemed like a genetic disorder to me. Might not someone like John Mark Karr (the alleged pedophile who falsely confessed to JonBenet Ramsey's murder) who appeared so frail and childlike, make a convincing argument that he was "born that way"?
There have already been academic efforts to begin this process. During its annual convention in 2003, the American Psychiatric Association hosted a symposium discussing the removal of pedophilia from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). In fact, the first printing of the DSM-IV tried to sneak in a slight change in the criteria used to diagnose pedophilia, which suggested that guilt over the desire for/activity with children was a necessary criterion for a diagnosis of "pedophile", and that the absence of such guilt would preclude such a diagnosis. The outcry over that ensued over the change resulted in subsequent printings of the DSM-IV listing the traditional criteria.
But they are making inroads. Only a few days ago, the conservative candidate for the Presidency of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, remarked that he was "inclined to think that people are born pedophiles, and that it is also a problem that we do not know how to manage." To hear a conservative candidate buy into that idea (of an inherent condition) is disturbing, to say the least. It disturbs me, not so much because it represents a shift in attitude as much it is disturbing for the level of ignorance it reveals on this subject by political leaders and how unimportant this issue is to some who call themselves "conservative." This is, quite simply, the most vital issue facing our leaders for the future of our civilization—that is, the issue of marriage and family under which this falls.
The evidence of the sexual predator registry stands as a wake-up call to all of us. They are lying to us: The ACLU, the courts, our liberal leadership, the Mental Health establishment. Witness the fruits of their "enlightened" leadership. This is not freedom. This is not "enlightenment". This is suicide. When will you connect the dots? What will it take to awaken your outrage? The abandonment of our responsibility as a society for the protection and welfare of our children is undoubtedly the last stage before complete collapse of the Judeo-Christian era that marked the dazzling success of Western Civilization. A civilization that has turned against its children is dead already, even if they don't know it yet.
Alisa Craddock is a columnist and activist in the culture war, a convert to Catholicism, and describes herself as a Christian Libertarian. In addition to Enter Stage Right, her columns have been published on Alain's Newsletter and Out2 News. She may be contacted at monalisa_monday at hushmail.com.