Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Great Debate: 'Pedophile' vs. 'Sexual Predator'

I'm going to disagree with The Editors over the definition of pedophilia on the grounds that such a definition is overly broad. Sure, Mark Foley is dirty and creepy, but is hitting on 16-/17-year olds as morally depraved as molesting a toddler? The term "sexual predator" is probably more appropriate, since the core issue here isn't really the absolute ages of the pages. Rather, the immorality of Foley's behavior arises from the following two factors:
  1. The relative age difference between of Foley and the pages
  2. The imbalance of power between Foley and the pages
Given the above, Mark Foley would still be conducting himself in an immoral fashion if the pages were 18. Calling him a "pedophile" focuses the discussion away from the above two items, while calling him a "sexual predator" focuses the discussion on the power imbalance which lies at the heart of the issue.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted to point out that 150 years ago a woman was considered a spinster and unmarriable if she was still single at 18. Most people were married off before what we now define as the "age of consent" at 16? Furthermore they were not treated, nor did they behave, as "children". The primary reason for this was that we simply didnt live that long. the average lifespan sitting around 40 for most of history.

I just find it amusing that the govenment is writing all this fancy legislation about sex and sexuality which runs counter to thousands of years of evolution. I wonder who is gonna win?

( that said, it has NEVER been acceptable to have sex with children, but children have previously been defined as not sexually mature. That is, not able to have children, or generally under age 12-13, not this more recent definition which seems to revolve around voting...
Given our considerably lengthened lifespans, I believe something has to be done to prevent the exploitation of children, but current law just feels like it is going in the wrong direction)

I post this anonymously because some readers will choose to read this as advocating pedophila and sexual predation, when it is just pointing out historical reality.

3:02 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Blog Information Profile for gg00