After reading the collection of articles entitled "boylove" in the last issue of the Gauntlet, I am prompted to respond. Keeping in mind that the individual who collected said articles must be philosophically/logically and ethically versed, I must restrict my arguments from influences of emotional disgust, moral outrage, social norms etc. in a preempt of a prescriptive accusation. Rather I must respond on rational and intuitive grounds which lead me to argue that sexual relationships between adults and children do not promote a relationship based on equality. Ultimately, I am arguing that an equal relationship cannot be established due to the inability of prepubescent children to give informed consent to an adult on such matters. It is my opinion that prepubescent children are not equipped with the necessary reasoning nor sexual development required to make such decisions. Furthermore, informed consent is not something that can be developed or taught to a prepubescent child. This is to say that a child can appear to be informed and agree to sexual actions with an adult, however, only after an adult has convinced them that such behavior is normal. The fact being prepubescent children are not yet sexual beings. This being not a judgment on my part, but rather a relation of the terms. What it is to be a prepubescent child is the same as "not yet sexual being."
From the collection of articles I take it that a pedophile wants to argue for the social acceptance of pedophilia. One argument the pedophile attempts to construct is the implication that there is a similarity between newly accepted, sexual preferences (i.e homosexuality) and pedophilia such that since homosexuality has become accepted so should pedophilia. Without giving any grounds for how they are similar, the pedophile wishes that we simply accept that pedophilia is a sexual preference. Failing to find a similarity i am struck with the vast difference that is apparent once one considers informed consent. Unlike homosexuality or any other form of consenting adult sexual relationship, pedophilia is based on an unequal relationship where the adult constructs or imposes the grounds for consent. Since children are not in a position to be able to give the informed consent necessary for a sexual relationship, they cannot be a member of a consensual relationship. In this manner the pedophile is someone who engages in non-consensual relationships through coercion or force. This definition means that pedophiles are on par with rapists and all together different from participants in adult sexual relationships.
By opening up the definition of sexual preference, the pedophile wants to argue that since he has wanted a relationship with children from a young age he has developed a sexual preference. What becomes troublesome is that under such a redefinition of sexual preference there remains little grounds for what a sexual preference is. If we are to accept the pedophile's position solely on the grounds that he has always felt that way, there remains very little that we can exclude. We would be forced to accept anyone who claims to have had sexual inklings of a great many other kinds (necrophilia, "natural rapist," etc.) as having sexual preferences.
A third argument that the pedophile proposes is the social normalcy of pedophilia. Here he points at an African and Australian tribe cultures where pedophilia is socially normal. Aside from the ambiguity over the extent to which sexuality is involved, the scale and nature of these practices and the effects these practices have on neighboring communities, it is unclear what relevance this has on our culture. Since there are a few very small cultures where such practices seem to be functional and deemed socially normal doesn't mean that they can nor should be adopted in our culture. Given the difficulties that sexually abused children face throughout their life, it is very unlikely that any such practices that the pedophile proposes could be anything but harmful.
This brings up the final point that the pedophile wishes us to accept. There is an implication that "boylove" can be a socially beneficial and harmless relationship, if performed correctly . The pedophile would have us respect their position as the sexual educator or compassionate babysitter. The pedophile must see himself as aiding in the sexual growth of these children. What is omitted from the articles is any discussion about the effects of pedophilia on child development. In actual fact we find is that victims of pedophiles (whether convinced, coerced or forced) grow up battling many psychological and social problems. Furthermore, there is a very high rate of reciprocated sexual abuse, such that if one was abused as a child there is a much higher chance they will abuse children later on. This implies that pedophilia is not a sexual preference, rather it is a learned behavior.
It is apparent to the average reader and even more apparent to any one who has experienced the effects of pedophilia that such practices are not socially acceptable. As much as the pedophile thinks that their behavior can have beneficial results the reality is that victims of pedophilia suffer long lasting problems (personal and social). Those who attempt to groundlessly justify their pedophilic lifestyle are clearly in denial of a serious and damaging social behavior.