The Pedophilia Smear
by Peter Fritz Walter
As a matter of fact, it is always the spectacular or somewhat unusual, the bizarre side of events which attracts historical or anthropological interest, and not things that are going on day-to-day in a culture and that everybody finds normal.
This may be the reason for the striking fact that, whereas violent child abuse has been made out by some concerned historians, the dimensions of nonviolent and consenting pedophilia in ancient times have never been examined or were totally overlooked.
What we have in the media today in this respect is but oblivion and denial, and the worst journalistic smear ever produced in modern human history! I simply call it ‘the pedophilia smear.’
And it has become a standard in modern society, and it is a devastating one in that it keeps intellectuals from discussing these matters in public, it keeps the press biased and it keeps most citizens confused, bewildered and ill-informed!
Even conservative researchers now admit that while pedophilic relations may sometimes be accompanied by psychic pressure or mild forms of enticement (promises, gifts or conditioned affection), generally care and consent prevail in the great majority of cases.
—Kevin Howells, Adult Sexual Interest in Children, Considerations Relevant to Theories of Aetiology, in: Cook, M. and Howells, K. (eds.), Adult Sexual Interest in Children, Academic Press, London, 1980, pp. 55 ff, p. 83
From a sociologist’s view, it has been submitted that child rape and pedophilia need to be viewed as very different phenomena.
— Kenneth Plummer, Pedophilia: Constructing a Sociological Baseline, in: Cook/Howells, pp. 222 ff., p. 225.
Nevertheless, for most—ignorant—people in Western societies today the terms child sexual abuse or child molestation encompass, without distinction, pedophilia, kidnapping, rape, torture and even the sadistic murder of children. People who know better, and scientists among them argue that ‘[a]t an explanatory level, love affairs between apparently consenting children and adults have little in common with sadistically motivated child murders and are likely to require different sorts of etiological theories.’ (Kevin Howells, op.cit., p. 83)
First of all, it is obvious that abusive or forced sex is more easily reported and made a matter of statistics than loving and mutually consenting sex relations. Who, other than poets and nowadays anthropologists, would have an interest in documenting love?
Even among the Greek, pederasty was perhaps tolerated among aristocrats, as many sources indicate, yet it was not a sign of good taste for the adult lover or the boy to indulge in explicit (and written) descriptions of their love and sex play.
However, that is exactly what historians are looking for, descriptions! If there had been letters, documents, written from boys or girls that clearly indicated their love and respect for adult lovers while being explicit about their sexual love play, historians would have more ease to admit as biased the present research that depicts the child being invariably damaged, mutilated, abused, raped or killed when being exposed to sexual contact with adults over the course of human written history.