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IS PAEDOPHILIA OK?

By ATWadmin On December 5th, 2006

Right, let’s cut to the chase. As a father of two children, I believe that paedophiles – those who prey on the young and innocent to satiate their own depraved sexual appetites, should be made amenable to the death penalty- if we had the courage to re-introduce it. But by any standards, paedophilia is a grotesque crime.


EXCEPT not everyone sees it that way. I was listening to a debate on Radio 5 this morning, and it concerned the prevalence of child-weddings in Afghanistan. According to reports from the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and NGOs, as many as 57 percent involve young girls under 16, some of them as young as six.


Now it seems to me that no sane human being could accept that a SIX year old girl is ready to become a wife. Yet that is precisely what is happening in Afghanistan and the BBC, for once, were right to flag it up as a problem.


But what really surprised me were those listeners who phoned in OUTRAGED that the BBC should dare to “impose it’s societal norms” on other nations. In essence, child marriage is fine so long as it is someone else’s tradition! I presume cannibalism and sati  get the same easy pass from the multicultis out there. In the era of moral relativism, who are we to judge what others do? – beats the liberal refrain.


And so off trot the six year olds to the wedding chamber…. sickening.

42 Responses to “IS PAEDOPHILIA OK?”

  1. >>paedophilia is a grotesque crime<<

    It is indeed.

    However, I think at the moment there is a kind of universal obsession with this phenomenon that isn’t healthy (and that will no doubt amuse future generations).
    Because "paedophilia" has always been with us (both in the form of sexual attraction to the young and the instituionalised form you mention) and is IMO much more widespread than people think. I’m sure, for example, more men would, in a situation where they won’t be caught, be willing to have sex with a minor than, say, rape an adult woman.

    It is also NOT ALWAYS the crime it is made out to be. Some minors who had sex with adults enjoyed the experience and were apparently not damaged too much by it. That does not mean, in my books, it is not a crime, but a very different one to the kind of predatory attention and violent abuse that most associate with paedophilia.

    The hue and cry on this issue therefore has to die down before an honest debate about it can be started.

  2. "I’m sure, for example, more men would, in a situation where they won’t be caught, be willing to have sex with a minor than, say, rape an adult woman."

    Both are totally unacceptable criminal forms of behaviour and such "men" should be punished. Severely.

  3. How are we imposing our societal norms? The most outspoken critic of womens affairs (which in this case also links to paedophilia) for Afghanistan is a woman (Joya). Women have died there trying to effect change. The woman heading up the womens affiars committee who had been forthright in getting education for women was recently murdered for breaking ‘norms’. Im more shocked at their ignorance for a start. That they would assume women in Afghanistan so stupid as to not want to see an end to child marriage/paedophilia. Joya is regularly shouted down as a communist for speaking out about corruption and the inclusion of what amount to terrorists in the government there, she risks a lot. Its not ‘our societal norms’, its liberation that they want and im embarrassed by them that they would turn their back on people.

    Multi culti crap has really screwed our sense of working out right and wrong and also assumes to know more than the people who suffer most in what are often barbaric practises.

  4. Totally agree with you on this one.

    David.International child abuse in all its forms from boy soldiers to child labour to child sexual abuse, masquerading as "weddings" needs to be completely eradicated.

    My god I’m agreeing with David Vance!…I’m away to lie down.

  5. Another example of cultural relativism. Eg. "wife-beating is unacceptable in our culture, but hey, it’s different in theirs and we have no right to impose our (western, white) values on them.

    If a thing is wrong it’s wrong in all societies at all times. Examples include slavery, rape, genocide, female genital mutilation, female infanticide, animal torture in the name of "sport" (bull-fighting and fox-hunting) and so on.

  6. ‘That does not mean, in my books, it is not a crime, but a very different one to the kind of predatory attention and violent abuse that most associate with paedophilia.’

    Its all the same, a crime. We should endeavour to protect young people who are gullible or easily preyed upon by adults cunning enough to convince them its A OK. The crime should be the same. Where violence is involved that should be taken into account and punishment added on top of the crime of paedophilia. But the main crime should remain a crime and punished severely at the outset. we are talking about young people and children. Some grow faster than others physically and mentally but you enter some very dodgy ground when you start trying to undermine the seriousness of this crime whether it is predatory mentally or aggressive physically. You cannot assume to know how a child handles this later on in life. Its appauling.

  7. The belief that all individuals are entitled to be treated equally without regard to gender and must be of the appropriate age to be able to make informed choices and to freely consent to marraige or sexual activities is not a ‘western cultural dictat’ but something that is or should be universally agreed by anyone who calls themselves human.

  8. >>that is or should be universally agreed by anyone who calls themselves human.<<

    So, Colm, at certain times in our history was everyone in the world wrong or inhuman? Which one was it?

  9. If there was a time when everyone (every man) on earth was raping women and children then yes to both.

  10. >>The belief that all individuals are entitled to be treated equally without regard to gender and must be of the appropriate age to be able to make informed choices and to freely consent to marraige or sexual activities is not a ‘western cultural dictat’ but something that is or should be universally agreed by anyone who calls themselves human.<<

    So those places where there is different minimum age for girls marrying are inhabited by inhumans.

    And what about those inhuman Northern Irelanders, who have a different minimum age than the UK?

    Similarly in Britain, the age of consent for sex or for marriage has changed and will no doubt change again. It is absurd to suggest that the decent people of those days were inhuman, or were/will be entitled to consider us inhuman for our differing view on when maturity starts.

  11. "Northern Irelanders, who have a different minimum age than the UK?"

    ooops, sorry Andrew, Aileen1 I meant to say: "different minimum age than in BRITAIN?

  12. I assume they aren’t consumating the marriage at six years of age.

    Is this not just saying who they will be with when they grow up in this arranged marriage business. Not being from this culture, I not well up on this arranged marriage lark works.

  13. Peter,

    "If a thing is wrong it’s wrong in all societies at all times."

    Obviously this is not generally true. (Is it wrong to eat meat? How about a burger? Can I have bacon on it?)

    And even for the things you list people will agree they are wrong but disagree as to mitigating circumstances. In many cases they will disagree even as to their definitions.

    Having said that, I regard myself as a relativist but I do not go along with extreme cultural relativism which says it is not OK to "impose values". If it were never OK to do so then that would be an objective moral standard, which relativists deny exists.

  14. Cunningham

    I never mentioned anything about a specific absolute perfect age of consent so you are debating counterpoints to something I didn’t say.

  15. Maryam Namazi has an interesting take on relativists. She defines it as the new fascism!:-

    Even if rights are western, it is absurd to say that others’ are not worthy of them. In fact, though, rights are gains forcibly taken by the working class (not all – alison) and progressive social movements. Therefore, any gain or right obtained anywhere is a gain and a right for all humanity.

    Some, even among the "left" say that exposing reactionary beliefs serves racism. Opposing the rape of a nine year old girl who is forcibly married does not serve racism. Opposing the sexual abuse of a child even though the Islamic Republic of Iran’s court says the father was forced to abuse the child because his wife did not satisfy him, does not serve racism – just like opposing anti-Semitism doesn’t make one a Zionist. Culture for the sake of culture is not sacred. Racism and fascism also have their own cultures.

    *A culture that cannot defend human beings to live a better life is worthless*

  16. Frank posted:

    "Obviously this is not generally true. (Is it wrong to eat meat? How about a burger? Can I have bacon on it?)"

    I would say these are trivial matters, though as ot happens I don’t eat meat myself.

    My post was about what I see as major moral issues which seem pretty cut and dried to me. However, I accept that many major moral issues are not so cut and dried. Abortion is an obvious example.

  17. >>so you are debating counterpoints to >>

    Colm, I’m not. You were talking about "The belief that all individuals are entitled to be treated equally without regard to gender" and there are, as I mentioned before, many, many places (incl. States in the US. I think Texas is one of them. Charles, you inhuman!) where there are different ages of consent or different ages of marriage for males and females. Similarly, in the past here in Europe (incl. UK) there were different laws for differnet sexes consenting to marriage. In the Victorian age, for example, a girl of 12 was allowed marry, and that was not a time "when everyone (every man) on earth was raping women and children."

  18. Peter,

    "I would say these are trivial matters"

    But a Buddhist or an orthodox Jew would not, so it seems there is not even agreement on that much.

    Besides there are issues with eating burgers which have nothing to do with vegetarianism and which you might not think trivial. You should know as you’ve mentioned some of them here before.

    "My post was about what I see as major moral issues which seem pretty cut and dried to me."

    Well, everyone says slavery is wrong but some people will say their council tax is slavery, or not being saved in Christ is slavery, or they will start talking about TRUE freedom to justify whatever they want.

  19. Cunningham

    I don’t particularly condone different ages of consent but I would guess in most places where there is a difference it is based on a judgment of differing rates of maturity which is a different reasoning from a culture which regards all females as inferior to all males and which reflects that in it’s laws and customs.

  20. Frank

    Slavery = forced labour of human beings for no pay, with no freedom to leave.

    I take your point about Buddists etc.

    As to burgers, I presume you are referring to the destruction of the rainforest to provide land for cattle farming. This is just as likely to be for growing soya beans these days. In either case it seems to me more a case for Brazil to protect the rainforest than for people to stop eating burgers or soya beans. However, it is true that producing animal protein uses vastly more land pro-rata than vegetable protein so there is certainly an issue, especially as the human population rockets (3 billion in 1950, 6 billion in 2005, 8 billion in 2050).

  21. Peter,

    "Slavery = forced labour of human beings for no pay, with no freedom to leave."

    I agree that is a good definition but it still uses slippy terms that will allow people to argue about what is included and what is not.

    Generally speaking the more people agree as to something being wrong, the less they agree as to what that something consists of.

    I do agree though that there should be such a thing as universal rights. That list of rights is not very long though. Almost every interesting moral issue is more complicated, and involves rights and whole value systems in confict with one another.

  22. Can I ask, in the cases of "marriage" involving minors in Afghanistan/similar nations, when if at all do sexual relations start (Garfield’s point above)? I simply don’t know enough to form an opinion on this.

    I’d like to know as well (if we can know) the same re Mohammed himself and his child bride.

  23. Can I just ask why it matters? Do you think once a young afghan girl is sold into a marriage that some laws apply as to when a man can or cant have sex with her? It is down to the individual man as to whether he abides by any religious leaders ‘rulings’. The issue is surely to stop a child becoming that mans property.

  24. Absolutely Alison, the issue is not (just) one of sexual activity, but respecting the fact that children aren’t ‘owned’ by their parents to do with as they please or to be used as a ‘gift’ which can be offered to another adult man regardless of when he ‘opens the wrapping’.

  25. Colm, Alison,

    Would you object to arranged marriages of any kind?

  26. This is all i could find on it quickly:

    A study conducted by the Afhgan Ministry of Women’ Affairs in 2004 showed that 57 per cent of women surveyed were married before they were 16. Some were reported to be as young as nine. MOWA highlighted the negative impact of early marriage, including on a child’s health, the denial of education and the repeated childbirth and pregnancy. The MOWA Minister stated: "Child marriage is a serious issue in Afghanistan, because it has a very negative impact on society."(47) A UNICEF survey placed maternal mortality in four Afghan provinces 130 times higher than the United States.(48) Mohammed Amin Fatimi, the Afghan public health minister stated: "Fifty to seventy mothers die every day from birth complications, which is a silent tsunami for Afghanistan."(49)

    Forced and underage marriages not only reduce a woman’s choices in life and compromise her health but also serve to strengthen the inequality of power in society. Under Afghan law, the legal age for marriage is 16 for girls and 18 for men.(50) This violates the provisions for equality in marriage in the ICCPR and CEDAW quoted above. Amnesty International is concerned, as noted, that children are forced to marry considerably younger than ages stipulated by the law.

    It went on to say that regardless of Afganistan being signed up to various international treaties on the protection of the child and of women, they are very hard to apply. A court may uphold them but local leaders wont listen. Indeed one girl who actually had the ability to get herself to a court to get out of a marriage such as this was threatened by the family with death if she went ahead. Apparently she did. Amnesty lost track of her whereabouts shortly there after.

  27. Personally I’m more worried about the economy, house prices, job prospects etc. This paedophilia obsession is just another way of distracting you from things that affect millions more people. Before you ask, no I don’t have kids. I find them to be thoroughly repugnant creatures that are to be kept at least 50 away at all times. Ask yourself these questions to put it in perspective:

    1. How many sexually abused children do you PERSONALLY know? Not friend of a friend, not down the grapevine, but you personally know.
    2. How many people do you know who are going through troubled times financially through debt, a poor job, mortgage rates increasing, pension underfunding or whatever?

    The answer to question 2 will be many times that of question 1 unless you work with sexually abused kids. So what is the bigger issue, in the grand scheme?

    Call me callous of you want, I prefer the word pragmatic.

  28. I personally dont agree with either. Arranged marriages are conceptually distinct from forced marriages, regards compulsion. But is also very true to say that in arranged marriage force may be present. There is an overlap albeit also a distinction.

    Arranged marriages are the exclusive form of marriage in Afghanistan. However. Research has indicated that there is a degree of coercion in the vast majority of marriages, with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs placing the figure as high as 80 per cent. Some of those interviewed by Amnesty International indicated their belief that almost all marriages were forced. Which when you consider women are viewed as property and exchanged for all sorts at birth, the onus of dpwries complicates things as it will inevitably result in women being forced in poor families.

    That said we also dont do much about it in the UK. In Germany a man was given a reduced sentence for burning his daughter to death when she reneged on an arranged marriage because he argued it was part of his culture.

  29. "Call me callous if you want"

    If the cap fits…

  30. Peter

    I prefer to keep emotion out of the argument. Callousness and pragmatism often go hand in hand.

  31. The age of consent has fluctuated over history, evolving as civilization evolved. Maturity is generally the issue. There are still some surprising young ages even in certain states in the U.S. where a young person can marry with parental/Court permission.
    The age of consent for marriage and/or relations is a different issue from paedophilia (although there is some linkage in society’s attempts to protect minors). While we may differ and where the line is drawn (16, 17, 18?), sensible people can recognize the far greater difference that a very minor child (six) has with late year teenager.
    As for SBK’s priorities, we certainly can address multiple issues at the same time.

  32. Mahons

    My point is that people seem to go on a tabloid fuelled warpath when they hear about a paedophilic attack. The same people don’t even flinch when Gordon Brown takes half their pension.

  33. I love Philadelphia, what’s wrong with that?

    Oh sorry, I thought this was the illiteracy thread.

  34. SBK – I agree that there are wedge issues that seem to take the place of more pressing problems (here in the US we have many such as flag burning amendments, gay marriage etc). However, I don’t see crimes against children as a concern that isn’t a pressing one. As hard as it may be to believe in out tabloid culture, it is underreported.

  35. Garfield,

    Excellent one-liner, but hard-cheese, wrong thread!!

  36. Paedophilia, meaning the love of children, is indeed OK. I will not pnader to child molesters by allowing them to hid behind the euphemism and use the word that they use to describe themselves.

    Even if you do use the word in its current usage. People use the word to desribe those with sexual attraction towards children and others just for those who act on it. Are the poor unfortunates who have this attraction and manage their lives to avoid acting on it to be lumped in with thise who do?

    Taking sex out of the equation for a moment, I don’t know that it is any worse to force a child into marriage than to force an adult woman into it. However an arranged marriage is not necessarily a forced one. In the same way a marriage is not necessarily an arranged marriage. Acceptance of arranged marriage does not mean acceptance of forced ones.

    Bringin sex back into the equation a six yr old is more likely to be badly physically damaged by it than an adult
    As Garfield has mentioned, arranged underage marriage does not mean arranged underage sex. Although any arranged marriage for a minor (esp a six year old has to be considered as a forced one.

    In the past in Europe the arisocracy, particularly royalty was mostly arramged marriage, with princes having little say in who their princess and eventual queen would be. Children were often betrothed and sometimes actually married at very young ages. It was still frowned upon for their husbands to consumate the union until the girls were of an age to be physically able to give birth and not just the once. The Queen’s great, great, ……grandmother had her one and only child at age 13 (or roundabouts). It was her one and only and the speculation was that premature motherhood was the reason. The frowning on men jumping the gun in these circunstances was probably more because of the impact on childbearing potential than on the well being of the girls involved.

  37. SBK

    We ose any claim to be civilised if we don;t prioritise protecting the vulnerable.

    "1. How many sexually abused children do you PERSONALLY know? Not friend of a friend, not down the grapevine, but you personally know."

    Probebly more than I think I know. and there would be and will be a hell of a lot more if it becomes somthing that people think isn’t important to tackle.

  38. For some reason my connection was not working before otherwise would have responded earlier.

    DV-agree with post, completely.

    SBK, in my opinion, your comments are completely disgusting.

    I know people who are poor or who have a bad pension who nonetheless have happy lives, often much happier than someone whose life revolves around money and possessions.

    I believe that those molested as children–for the sake of the discussion, will say those below 14 used by adult men– will often go through life feeling great shame, guilt, sadness.

    Even the big, non "tabloid" papers must acknowledge at times
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/01/world/africa/01madagascar.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

    Pedophilia is a horrific crime, leading to a kind of death of the soul. I’d show little mercy to any adult guilty of it.

    And it is vile to compare this crime with "mortgage rates" or whatever you were trying to begin to say.

  39. mohammed was a pedophile. I think many followers of islam don’t see it that way – but it’s the truth.

  40. >>mohammed was a pedophile..<<

    I hope you never read the Torah, Monica, It allows for marriage of 3-year-old girls!

    A book obviously not for someone of your sensitivity.

  41. The Old Testament is common to both the New Testament and to Islam. The New Testament is clearly superior to the OT–you did not see Christ entering into sexual relations with children, nor did you hear him condoning such depravity.

    Six hundred some odd years later, you had the backsiding depravity of Mohammad and his child brides and all of it.

    But I don’t see where much is gained by bringing the Old Testament into this in a "gotcha" mindset. Though it is common to the religion of the cross and the religion of whatever the hell Islam is supposed to be, its a predecessor belief system that does not help in comparing and contrasting Christianity and Islam.

    And if you know of any place where large numbers of Jews are marrying six year olds, please advise. That would be news.

  42. >>is gained by bringing the Old Testament into this in a "gotcha" mindset.<<

    Phantom, but it was Monica who brought up ancient history in the first place with her (what she thought would be a) Gotscha against Mohammad and against Islam.

    Is there any place where a large number of Muslims are marrying 6-year-olds?