Richard Dawkins defends “mild pedophilia,” says it does not cause “lasting harm”

by chrisuk 320 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • cofty

    Bucketshopbill - I only came across that quote a few days ago in a biography of the quantum physicist Paul Dirac. I agree the way men like Wilde and Turing were treated by the establishment was appalling.

    DogGone - I'm sure you would enjoy "The Moral Landscape" by Sam Harris. He roots objective morality in "the well-being of conscious creatures". I might start a thread on it.

  • fulltimestudent


    I do think Demokan brings up a very valid subject clearly linked to Dawkin's experience. But it is a very slippery one when it comes to the "age of consent" and legal issues that vary from country to country, and culture and highly charged with emotion.

    Reading Demokan's posts I was reminded of one of Pedro Almodovar's films. He made his film, "What Have I Done to Deserve This?"in 1984, and I think that the Spanish Age of Consent at the time was 13.

    The film was in the genre of Spanish black comedy. It told the story of a struggling housewife with an abusive husband and dysfunctional children. The youngest (aged 11 or 12) is having an affair with his (male) dentist, and when his mother says something about, he responds in almost the same words as Demokan. (i.e. Its my body, I'll do what I want with it.).

    Demokan's posts indicate that he may not have thought out all the issues.

    Assuming he is underage and takes the initiative to have sex with an older person of either sex, he is potentially involving the older person in a crime that could have serious consequences for the older person and even for himself.

    I said potentially, because Canadian Law (as defined by an entry in Wikipedia, which may not be the best source) has some exemptive clauses.


    The Tackling Violent Crime Act took effect on 1 May 2008, raising the age of consent from 14 to 16. [8]

    There exist two close-in-age exemptions, depending on the age of the younger partner. A youth of twelve or thirteen can consent to sexual activity with an individual less than two years older than they. A fourteen- or fifteen-year-old can consent to sexual activity with a partner who is less than five years older than they. [9]

    Criminal law (including the definition of the age of consent) is in the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government, so the age of consent is uniform throughout Canada. Section 151 of the Criminal Code of Canada makes it a crime to touch, for a sexual purpose, any person under the age of 16 years. Section 153 then goes on to prohibit the sexual touching of a person under 18 by a person in three circumstances: if he or she is in a "position of trust or authority" towards the youth, if the youth is in a "relationship of dependency" with him or her, or if the relationship is "exploitative". The term "position of trust or authority" is not defined in the Code but the courts have ruled that parents, teachers, and medical professionals hold a position of trust or authority towards youth they care for or teach. For determining whether or not a relationship is "exploitative", s. 153 (1.2) of the Code provides that a judge can consider how old the youth is, the difference in ages between the partners, how the relationship evolved, and the degree of control or influence that the older partner has over the youth.

    The "position of trust under 18" anti-exploitation rules were expanded in 2005 by Bill C-2 where a judge may choose to term a situation to be sexual exploitation based on the age of the younger party, age difference, evolution of the relationship (how it developed, e.g. quickly and secretly over the Internet), the control or influence over the young person (degree of control or influence the other person had over the young person). This passed before the 2008 amendments, and they were not repealed so they are still in effect and can apply towards adults in these situations with young persons over the age of consent and under 18 (16-17).

    Where an accused is charged with an offence under s. 151 (Sexual Interference), s. 152 (Invitation to sexual touching), s. 153(1) (Sexual exploitation), s. 160(3) (Bestiality in presence of or by child), or s. 173(2) (Indecent acts), or is charged with an offence under s. 271 (Sexual assault), s. 272 (Sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party, or causing bodily harm), or s. 273 (Aggravated sexual assault) in respect of a complainant under the age of fourteen years, it is not a defense that the complainant consented to the activity that forms the subject-matter of the charge.


    Hence a 15 y.o. (if the wikipedia entry is correct) could have sex with a 20 y.o and the older partner would not be committing a crime.


    It is also clear that Demokan is in an extremely angry phase of his life. I can understand his frustrations, particularly in connection with being forced to participate in JW activities.

    But anger is a poor motivational force when it comes to sex. Sex is a very powerful (and wonderful) force in our lives, and its easy for it to get out of control, which can lead to some unpleasant consequences. I hope this young guy only acts with a lot more forethought.

  • fulltimestudent

    There is another factor to be considered, which I thought would be better as a separate post.

    And that's the issue of what can be discussed publically, (and, maybe in some jurisdictions, privately). I am not clear on this issue, (and maybe the law itself is badly drafted), but there is a thought that just discussing an underage person having sex with an older person, could be breaking the law.

    Does anyone have a clear idea as to how far discussion can go?

  • frankiespeakin


    Canadian law has some interesting shades of gray to it definately not hard core black and white.

    Good point to consider btw:

    Assuming he is underage and takes the initiative to have sex with an older person of either sex, he is potentially involving the older person in a crime that could have serious consequences for the older person and even for himself.

    The danger here is that someone could say something to encourage this type of relationship and be guilty of some infraction unwittingly. None the less it does shed light on the various ways these matters are dealt with, and the different degrees of perpetrator and victims in this touchy subject.

  • Simon

    I think people may be misunderstanding what happened with Demokan - he posted inappropriate comments that were crude / smutty and off-topic and they were removed. The rest is then all just smoke and mirrors to distract attention and claim repression / martyrdom or whatever instead of the much simpler "I broke the forum guidelines".

  • frankiespeakin

    Jerry Lee Lewis marriage contriversy and the age of consent where he got married comes to mind:

    Lewis's turbulent personal life was hidden from the public until a May 1958 British tour where Ray Berry, a news agency reporter atLondon's Heathrow Airport (the only journalist present), learned about Lewis's third wife, Myra Gale Brown. She was Lewis's first cousin once removed, [12] [13] Myra was only 13 years old at the time. (Brown, Lewis, and his management all insisted that she was 15.) Lewis was 22 years old. The publicity caused an uproar and the tour was cancelled after only three concerts.

    The scandal followed Lewis home to the U.S. and, as a result, he was blacklisted from radio and almost vanished from the music scene. Lewis felt betrayed by numerous people who had been his supporters. Dick Clark dropped him from his shows. Lewis even felt that Sam Phillips had sold him out when the Sun Records boss released "The Return of Jerry Lee", a bogus "interview" cut together byJack Clement from excerpts of Lewis's songs that "answered" the interview questions, which made light of his marital and publicity problems. Only Alan Freed stayed true to Lewis, playing his records until Freed was removed from the air because of payolaallegations.

    The age of consent in Tennessee is 18. A close-in-age exemption allows minors aged 13–17 to engage in sexual acts with partners less than 4 years older. Penalties differ depending on the age of the minor, as well as the age difference between the minor and the offender. (see Article 39-13-506. Statutory rape). [92]

  • prologos

    Did somebody in Canada try to launch a court challenge on age discrimination on that?

  • DogGone

    Cofty, thanks. Looks like there are a few Sam Harris books I'll want to grab!

  • FlyingHighNow

    Demokan, if he is a 15 year old, is only doing what a lot of us at 15 did, thinking he understands the world in a mature way. I sure thought I did at 15. But I can tell him, the further you get from 15, the more you understand that you were only three years away from 12! You only became a teenager two years before that. Adults are aware of that. They be wrong to manipulate and take advantage of teenagers. They know you have burning hormones and curiosty. They know you suddenly feel grown up and smarter than adults and I used to tell my kids, "smarter than God." They will tickle your ears and tell you every little thing you want to hear, to get into your pants. Yes, you may be curious about sex and able to say you want to engage in sex. Does that mean you understand what it will do to your developing self? To your life? To your future and how you view yourself and your sexuality.

    You can make decisions. Yes you can. Does that mean you are capable of making good decisions? Some 15 year olds do make good decisions. They understand they still have a lot of growing up to do and that it's the time of life to concentrate on preparing well for adult life, not being a toy in the bed of an adult who doesn't care if you graduate from high school, go to college, enjoy being young and dating people your own age. That adult will rob you of every experience you are supposed to have at 15 and 16 and 17 and even 18, which sometimes is your senior year in high school.

    You can never go back and relive these years, once they are gone, that's it. Why jump into the adult world and throw those precious, vital experiences away just to satisfy curiosity? Why throw them away for some selfish adult who should be with other adults, but would rather exploit you?

    Um, pedophilia applies to below 18.

    Not it doesn't. " Pedophilia is defined as the fantasy or act of sexual activity with prepubescent children."

    Hebephilia is the primary or exclusive adult sexual interest in pubescent individuals approximately 11-14 years old, and is one of several types of chronophilia (sexual preference for a specific physiological appearance related to age). It differs from ephebophilia, which is the primary or exclusive sexual attraction to individuals in later adolescence (generally ages 15-19), [ 1 ] [ 2 ] and differs from pedophilia, [ 2 ] which is the primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children (with the prepubescent age range extending to 13 for diagnostic criteria). [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ]

  • frankiespeakin

    Thanks Flying for bringing to the table all those different kinds of philias, when I was 14 or there abouts i must of had all them. I can only speak for myself but at that age sex was on my mind from the time I woke up till I fell asleep at night, and getting those embassing boners just when you got to get up from your chair at school and go to your next class, they always popping up at the most embassing times.

    I used to fantasize about my old teachers, my young teachers, starting from age I don't know 11 or 12, I'm guessing but I think this was quite normal for boys and all part of the normal processes of puberty. It wasn't till I got arounf 16 that I started to here about the term 'jail bait' I was dating a girl a year in a half younger than me, but I didn't worry about it too much as I was not really sure if the law applied to my situation or not.

    I can see the reasonableness of say Tennesee's 4 year difference* because it would be a shame to have a young person life ruined by a too ridged law reguarding age while you are just getting used to these new feelings and what not.

    * The age of consent in Tennessee is 18. A close-in-age exemption allows minors aged 13–17 to engage in sexual acts with partners less than 4 years older. Penalties differ depending on the age of the minor, as well as the age difference between the minor and the offender. (see Article 39-13-506. Statutory rape ). [92]

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