Jacob Breslow's child abuse promotion:
What went on at THAT conference?
Below is an abridged version of what happened at the US-based B4U-ACT in 2011.
According to its website, B4U-ACT promotes services and resources “for self-identified individuals . . . who are sexually attracted to children and desire such assistance”.
I am not linking to the original, because it is written by a right-wing anti-gay crusader, BUT, I have checked and double checked the facts, and it is bang on. This stuff actually happened and was said:
World renowned "sexologist" Dr. Fred Berlin of Johns Hopkins University gave the keynote address, saying: "I want to completely support the goal of B4U-ACT."
Here are some highlights from the conference:
Pedophiles are "unfairly stigmatized and demonized" by society.
There was concern about "vice-laden diagnostic criteria" and "cultural baggage of wrongfulness."
"We are not required to interfere with or inhibit our child's sexuality."
"Children are not inherently unable to consent" to sex with an adult.
"In Western culture sex is taken too seriously."
"Anglo-American standard on age of consent is new [and 'Puritanical']. In Europe it was always set at 10 or 12. Ages of consent beyond that are relatively new and very strange, especially for boys. They've always been able to have sex at any age."
An adult's desire to have sex with children is "normative."
Our society should "maximize individual liberty. ... We have a highly moralistic society that is not consistent with liberty."
"Assuming children are unable to consent lends itself to criminalization and stigmatization."
"These things are not black and white; there are various shades of gray."
A consensus belief by both speakers and pedophiles in attendance was that, because it vilifies MAPs, pedophilia should be removed as a mental disorder from the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), in the same manner homosexuality was removed in 1973.
Dr. Fred Berlin acknowledged that it was political activism, similar to the incrementalist strategy witnessed at the conference, rather than a scientific calculus that successfully led to the declassification of homosexuality as a mental disorder: The reason "homosexuality was taken out of DSM is that people didn't want the government in the bedroom," he said.
The DSM ignores that pedophiles "have feelings of love and romance for children" in the same way adults love one another.
"The majority of pedophiles are gentle and rational."
The DSM should "focus on the needs" of the pedophile, and should have "a minimal focus on social control," rather than obsessing about the "need to protect children."
Self-described "gay activist" and speaker Jacob Breslow said that children can properly be "the object of our attraction." He further objectified children, suggesting that pedophiles needn't gain consent from a child to have sex with "it" any more than we need consent from a shoe to wear it. He then used graphic, slang language to favorably describe the act of climaxing (ejaculating) "on or with" a child. No one in attendance objected to this explicit depiction of child sexual assault. There was even laughter.
(In fairness, Dr. Berlin did later tell Mr. Breslow that his words might "anger" some people and that he [Berlin] is categorically opposed to adult-child sex with "pre-pubescent" children. When asked about the propriety of adult-child sex with pubescent children, Dr. Berlin did not provide a clear answer.)
An inability to empathize with those who have experienced harm should be a red flag for all. The people at this conference are making all these excuses for their behavior and using objectifying or vague language that imply a complete lack of empathy. Children are utterly dependent on adults for food, shelter, and safety which means they're vulnerable, extremely susceptible to adult influence, and cannot provide meaningful consent. Their dependency is what makes child abuse in all its forms so egregious and harmful.
This rush to "destigmatize" needs to be examined. A certain amount of stigma around suicide has been identified as a protective factor against it (i.e. in cultures or religions where it is stigmatized, there's less of it). Stigma may arise due to recognition of actual harm and a societal commitment towards trying to prevent said harm. I wish there was MORE stigma around violence and all forms of abuse but our society seems to accept and even promote harming others "if it's justified" and that is exactly what the people at this conference are doing--justifying harm or obscuring the harm child abuse causes.
Some appalling concepts describing how the paedophile is maligned and discriminated against. Children are able to consent to any number of things, in that they indicate agreement to do something or say yes. But under what circumstances? There are endless accounts from young people and adults reflecting on the sexual abuse they experienced in childhood.
All were damaged by it, some unable to have emotional and sexual relationships, partly because of what that requires them to relinquish. Many people who've had their vulnerability exploited can't allow themselves to be vulnerable, despite there being no intention to exploit it on the part of the other person.
Some are unable to ever recover, and the responsibility for this lies with the person they might have said yes to, or put up no apparent resistance.