As I have said in previous blog entries as a society we tend to be in denial about us being animals. Yes we are animals. We are mammals just like cats, dogs, monkeys... we need food, sleep, affection... and part of being an animal is having sex.
Somehow the innocence of children has been totally idolized and sacred; hence children are shielded from all knowledge of sex; and instead we prefer to think that somehow they will find out at the right time all about it themselves or traumatize them with the reality of the changes in their bodies. Menstruation is hidden, adults having sex is hidden, ... from the children, like sex is disgusting, rather than children learning about it like it is normal, a natural part of life, therefore children are never exposed to it.
The problem with this is that children make easy targets for pedophiles with the child's absolute ignorance of what is going on.
One of the things we could do to ease the plight of the victims of pedophiles is to talk about the subject. And unlike this academic who doesn't think pedophilia is a crime, it is, but how it is handled should be carefully considered.
How we deal with people who perpetrate these crimes tells their victims how they should feel about what has been done to them. I imagine that children who have been the victim of pedophiles will somehow translate this disgusting thing that has happened to them as they are themselves disgusting, and hence because they have internalized this disgust go on to perpetrate these crimes on children once they grow up.
How we talk about pedophilia must impact how the survivors of these crimes will feel about themselves and what has happened to them. Because victims can be reluctant to expose the crimes they don't get any chance at receiving professional help with healing from these crimes - our society waits until they do these crimes themselves on other children and then they are punished, rather than being given help after surviving abuse themselves.
Again we see our society is punishment based rather than helping survivors of crimes. The economic argument is: we must have prisons to punish criminals but paying professionals to help survivors of crimes is a waste of money.
Another problem with shielding children from sexuality is that parents think their kids won't be curious about sex because they never openly talk about it. They assume their kids will never be interested in something their parents place a taboo on. The parents may require their daughters to take purity pledges or some sort of nonsense that this will somehow make their kids not want to explore until they are married. Well they are wrong and naive.
But hormones are normal and natural and again with kids not having enough information because of cultural context the kids are not properly prepared and they do explore and they often chose badly when they explore. They might explore siblings or neighboring children or even adults which can have lasting and bad consequences for all involved. And this is cruel. Kids may not know the threshold of normal hugging and affection and start acting sexually to siblings or others but don't really see the harm they are doing because they are kids themselves. They just don't get the consequences.
If we treat the subject as a huge taboo, if we treat the crime as totally repugnant - will impact how the survivors of these crimes will feel about themselves.