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.