Watching a Great Paper Dive Into Pedophilia Chic

By Robert Knight
Seattle Catholic
May 1, 2003


When I was a news editor at the Los Angeles Times during the '80s, I thought I had seen the outer limits of liberal moral meltdown. On issue after issue, most staff members took the politically correct line, from abortion to welfare, gun control, tax increases, porn "censorship" and "gay" rights.

But the paper has now outdone itself, even by its own liberal standards. By awarding a Los Angeles Times Book Prize to the odious Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex, by Judith Levine, the Times has embraced pedophilia chic as its latest cause. I know some good Times staffers who must be mortified.

It seems those men who hang around the L.A. parks in raincoats stuffed with candy and porn tapes may be having a curious and undue influence in the inner sanctums of Times decision making.

Lest Times editors aver that this is an overstatement, consider that Harmful to Minors, published by the University of Minnesota Press, calls for lowering the age of sexual consent to 12, and teaching children about sex with other children and with adults, in all varieties. Levine praises a child-care center where "children of all ages may engage in masturbation without shame and consensual child-with-child sexual touching without adult interference" (p. 183). She promotes "outercourse," which "returns lovers to what Freud called polymorphous perversity-the infantile state of full-body sensuality, in which various body parts don't enjoy greater or lesser respect or greater or lesser capacity for pleasure. Male, female, or transgendered, we all have mouths, necks, toes, anuses, brains, and nerve endings" (p.196).

Passing off pedophiles as experts

The book depends heavily on pedophile sources, including works touted by the North American Man-Boy Love Association.

Levine cites uncritically such academics as Theo Sandfort (p. 58 and note on p. 247), a member of the editorial board of Paidika: the Journal of Paedophilia, which once ran a notice that told readers the journal is edited by self-admitted pedophiles. Levine identifies Sandfort only as a "psychologist." One of Sandfort's articles is "The argument for adult-child sexual contact: A critical appraisal and new data." Another is "Pedophile relationships in the Netherlands: Alternative lifestyle for children?"

How about Edward Brongersma, another Paidika board member, whose book Male Intergenerational Intimacy is cited on page 247 in note 47? He was convicted for having sex with a 16-year-old boy, and was the editor of Loving Boys: A Multidisciplinary Study of Sexual Relations Between Adult and Minor Males.

Levine finds numerous ways to cite Lawrence A. Stanley, who was arrested last year on child porn charges in South America. One of the references is to an article he wrote for Playboy magazine titled "The Child-Porn Myth."

Then there is Johns Hopkins Professor Emeritus John Money, who told Paidika that he saw nothing pathological about a 12-year-old boy having a sexual relationship with an older man, and presided over the sexual mutilation of a boy whom he then tried to insist could be raised as a girl. Money wrote that the transformation was successful, even though the boy rebelled, wore boys' clothing and eventually had a surgical reversal. The account is recorded in the book As Nature Made Him, by John Colapinto. Levine calls Money "one of the foremost authorities on sexual abnormalities."

The Times' judges call the book "a cogent and passionate critique of the war against young people's sexuality." Now that's a nice turn of phrase. Protecting children's innocence from premature exposure to sex is a "war against young people's sexuality."

Alfred C. Kinsey, the late, sex-obsessed fraud who is the godfather of the clique that is trying to mainstream pedophilia, would have been proud. Kinsey used slipshod "science" to mainstream sexual deviancy, including the notion that children are "sexual beings" from birth. Likewise, Levine gives an academic gloss to the campaign to strip children of protection from adults who take sexual advantage of them.

The Times judges also praise Levine's savaging of "abstinence-only" sex education, which she severely misrepresents, and they laud Levine for insisting on "adults' responsibility to give affirmative support to children's and teenagers' sexual development."

Given the well-publicized Internet stings of pedophile rings in the last couple of years, there is apparently no shortage of adults who would like to help children with their "sexual development."

It's one thing for the pedophile lobby to push its peculiar and dangerous notions. It is quite another for respected institutions like the University of Minnesota and the Los Angeles Times to hand them a megaphone.

Robert Knight is director of the Culture and Family Institute, an affiliate of Concerned Women for America and a former news editor for the Los Angeles Times.


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