Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pedophila is Sexy

With the recent uproar surrounding the bust of the polygamous compound down in Texas, I took the time to do a little theorizing why pedophilia seems to persist, contrary to opinions that state that only "backassward third world countries" do that. I started with examining the American perception of "sexy", although I am fairly certain that this social feminine norm holds constant for most modern cultures. Then, I looked at the tendency of college males to "date down". I finally try to make sense of this all in a larger scheme of what our society thinks is "sexy", and how that might fuel pedophilia.

I feel that it should go without saying that I am firmly anti-sexy. I really dislike the constant barrage of female sexuality to sell products. Considering that the mainstream definition of "sexy" is submissive or only sexual in the context of pleasing men, I have no desire to be sexy, nor do I have any desire to see "sexy" images day in and day out.

Probably the thing that bothers me the most about "sexy" is this infantilization of women. If you do not possess a Y chromosome then age, maturity, and ambition are not tolerated. You are to be stupider than your man, lest you intimidate him. If you are smarter, do not tell him so. The Cloud-Father hath gifted man with a penis, making his opinions more important than yours. This is especially apparent when a stronger female, denying the power of socialization, dares to be particularly outspoken or "shrewish". Inquires are made to her mental state. Her voice is "shrill" and her displays of any emotion are weepy. Perhaps her anger is "hot" or "sexy". She is urged to stop fighting and start fucking. "You quarrel like a married couple," they say. "You would have hot hate-sex together."

The message is clear: women are babies, mentally ill, PMSing, or need a good dose of masculine throbbing superiority. They are not entitled to an opinion, unless it is demonstrably flawed or analogous with your own. Like I said earlier, a woman's place is making babies and boners, not instigating meaningful conversation.

What is the consequence of this infantilization? I would not be incorrect to say that I am fairly certain that men are attracted to younger women for precisely this reason: the fetishization of youth, stupidity, and weakness. In circles of my friends, my male friends will openly discuss how they prey on high school girls. My female friends will then confess that they dated college boys in high school, and usually lost their virginity to them. This trend rarely goes the opposite way.

The popular sentiment is that men date younger women because women mature faster than men. I say that is bullshit. Regardless of the growth of breasts, hormones are not responsible for my twenty-two year old male friend dating a sixteen year old girl. What he likes about her is her innocence and her gullibility. She probably has never had a serious relationship; she wants desperately to please him. If he was to stop calling her, she would have no way to contact him. In short, she is malleable. A female university student would not sleep with him for his approval. She also would not be impressed with his age and his car. In short, he would put himself in a position where he is as vulnerable to rejection as his paramore by dating his equal.

This is simply not done. Why would a man want a wise college woman when he could have a younger high school teenager desperate to sleep with him to explore her sexuality or to please an older man? Why would a man place himself in a position where he is equal, god forbid, to a woman if he can maintain superiority with his age and her idealism?

The very things that draw men to younger women are the same things that draw pedophiles to children: malleability, gullibility, innocence, virginity, and youth. On the long spectrum of sexual encounters beginning in rape and pedophilia and ending in genuine consensual sex, men dating women much younger than themselves for those reasons is closer to the morally wrong end of the spectrum then the consensual one.

In all honesty, I am not all at shocked when it is revealed that so-and-so is a pedophile. In a world where sexiness is submissiveness, youth, and stupidity, children are not that separate from the collective vision of the ideal woman. I do not think that there is something concretely wrong with pedophiles. Equating the "disease" of pedophilia with sociopathy or real psychological issues conceals the point and fails to hold men responsible for their actions. Pedophilia is the darker cousin to the very real and very prevalent image of "sexiness" that our society holds as the feminine ideal. The only disease pedophiles have is the egocentric view that they are entitled to rape (and sex with children is nothing but rape) children because they have internalized their masculine socialization to a greater extent than other men. Perhaps their self-esteem is especially low, so they feel that they cannot have consensual sex with someone of age because no one would be attracted to them. Perhaps they are married men that molest young girls because they feel that they are entitled to some sex that does not come accompanied with a human being expecting them to be decent to them.

Many men like to fuck dolls. They watch porn in which the actress takes abuse and exists solely for the pleasure of her audience and any man on camera without a care to herself. A sick man will internalize this image, and seek women out that adhere to this porn star image. A particularly immoral man will not only internalize this image, he will purposely groom someone malleable and immature to service his needs like the porn he watches every day, or in the movies he sees in the theaters. These men are pedophiles, and they are criminals responsible for their own actions. They are not insane, nor are they tugged about by a nonexistent brain in their penis that overrules their sense of morality. They are men that think that they are entitled to sex with someone that asks nothing in return.

My point is that the mental states of a man who preys on children or a college-aged man who preys on sixteen year-old girls are not dissimilar. They are both products of our culture and masculine socialization.


Goose said...

I think I am offended, I think you would throw me in the same group as child rapists just because as a high school senior I went to prom with a freshman. Nothing happened, other than having fun at the dance, I can give you that peace of mind.

Also, Knock it off with the cloud-father crap, please. Even if You don't believe in God, you do not need to insult millions of people world-wide who do.

It is the exact same as if I called you a godless heathen communist.

Lindsay said...

I think Jen's suggesting a far more spread out age range than you're referring to. Dating within high school is different than someone in college dating someone in high school or having vastly different age ranges - 7+ years while the young woman is still maturing.

Goose said...

well maybe you are right Lindsey, this post is generally confusing.

I will say this, if she is under 18, it is statutory rape. I think that enforcing that law would solve the issue that Jen sees.

Andrew said...

First off, I would like to say I am a college age male, and secondly, my girlfriend while not significantly younger than me (1.5 years) certainly does not look to be 19, more like 16. Then again I don't look 21, just ask "Goose" or Aimee. I will admit I am most definitely attracted to her innocence, but in my case I feel it has nothing to do fwith malleability, if anything she has changed me more than I her. Her innocence, or at least my perception of her innocence and gentle demeanor have served as a foil to my typical anger and unrest (which I hope you can relate to as young liberals in our current state of affairs).
Furthermore, I find that I was initially attracted to her because she valued being cute rather than being sexy.

My point is, at least in my case, as well as other people I know, the attraction to innocence and youth stems from a genuine dislike of the predominately "fashionable" "frat-girl" image that is popularly imposed on college aged girls; you know, the drunken, easy, frayed jean skirt and letter-jacket wearing mess with caked on cosmetics thick enough to suffocate a small horse that you see stumbling around on "wasted Wednesdays pledging at 2:00am. I'm sorry, but if given a choice between that and an innocent and generally malleable girl, I will risk being called a pedophile, and run off with Shannon for now.

Also, I think there needs to be some finer definition here. You seem to be arguing against ephebophilia. I would agree that ephebophiles are being trained and encouraged by our popular media. The difference between a pedophile and a ephebophile is that the latter is attracted primarily to adolecents; that is, an individual of some sexual maturity. While generally inexcusable, I would be careful to judge all relationships between college age and high school age individuals.

I believe pedophilia to be a mental disease. Just because the individual has a disease does not excuse his actions. Plenty of manic people have gone on violent rampages and have subsequently been held accountable. We don't look at Sueng Hui Cho as a sympathetic character, cursed by his anxiety and depression; he is a cold blooded murderer in our eyes. But he was still mentally diseased.

As for you "goose", "The Cloud-Father" is a secular albeit satirical analog for a generally Abrahamic, though by extension, any god. Why should she insult the billions of other people who don't believe in yours by mentioning yours over theirs? And furthermore you need to learn to contextualize, she was making a satirical statement that certain people believe "men are entitled because God made them better", and frankly if she put it in those terms I think you would have been offended, too. Then again, conservatives have generally put stock in that sentiment for many years, so maybe not.

PS Atheists aren't that different from Christians, they just believe in one less god.

Jen said...

I knew this post was going to get flak. That doesn't mean that I regret any of it though.

Andrew: I am not talking about happy girls that don't dress like frat girls. Please don't paint college females into this bizarre "whore/Madonna" dichotomy, it's generally not appropriate. I am referring specifically to large age and maturity differences, not temperamental differences (angry verses placid, for instance).

My point still stands that men that attracted to significantly younger and less mature women display the same preferences that pedophiles do, albeit on a smaller scale.

I could say that some pedophiles do have mental disorders such as depression, self-esteem issues, anxiety, or sociopathy. Those genuine diseases exacerbate their want of malleable and young women to pedophilia standards. However, pedophilia itself is not a disease; it's a symptom of either socializations or another disease. For allegorical purposes, consider the flu. Having a flu is a having a disease. Having an upset stomach is a symptom of the flu. An upset stomach is not a disease in and of itself.

Andrew said...

Well I am not necessarily saying all college age girls are drunken messes; merely that the ideal is too common and propagated by pop culture du jure (and lets face it a significant measure of the males buy into the image as well).

As for pedophilia and ephebophilia, I still want to stress the significance between sexual attraction to underage girls who are capable of reproduction, versus sexual attraction to preadolescences. Biologically speaking there is a drive to attract sexually active younger members of the species as youth generally reflects health. Not that this condones or excuses ephebophilia, simply that it explains the urge as less nurture and more nature. While I think you are right that our society enables the act to happen, I by no means think that it is unnatural.

And before you tear into me for trying to excuse an act as "natural" I will continue to point out that what separates humanity from the rest of the animal kingdom is our consciousness; we are aware, and as such we are able to control our natural urges. We don't defecate the second we feel the urge, we don't immediately attack those who threaten us with their presence. In fact as humans we are the only animal to go out of our way to take risks that affect our general wellbeing. If there is a natural attraction to significantly younger individuals in the species that does not mean that we must act upon those feelings.

Furthermore, I would like to point out that a significant number of pedophilia cases involve the victimization of young boys by both men and women. I understand that your main argument is that our society's standards largely seek to infantalize women. While I agree that this belittlement is wrong and needs to be rectified, I do not agree that this is the cause for most cases of pedophilia.

If I came of as busting out the 88mm Flugabwehrkanone, it is because in my opinion, your argument (that pedophilia is the result of the infantilization of women) makes women the ultimate victim of this crime, rather than the actual victims.

Dana Seilhan said...

Wow. The amount of defensiveness and missing-the-point in these comments is just staggering. Nobody cares why you're dating someone young enough to be your kid sister, dude. The fact you think you need someone "innocent" as opposed to, not a drunken frat girl, but someone more comfortable in her own skin and more experienced in life speaks volumes of you.

And I don't see anything particularly harmless about fetishizing an entire age group no matter how old they are. If you can't see a woman as a human being, but only as Part Of A Group, and if you can only value her as being part of that Group, there's something wrong with you.

Leftmost said...

I seem to be one of the only guys who would actually like to be with a real women who is maybe just a few years older than me and definitely stronger. I couldn't be with a girl who kept looking to me for direction or constantly praising me for some skill I had or something. I'd want that real person-to-person connection.

Angela Damianakis m.s.w said...

O.K. I was hesitant to venture too far from the main page because of my sensitivity to 'nudity' but I am so very glad I did. This raises such important concerns and enlightens the oppressive condition facing girls and women who are conditioned only to find the good husband.