Pedophiles ‘R Us?

The Dubious Ethics of Pedophile Sympathizers

Is it just me, or has there been an enormous increase in news articles about academics calling for the destigmatization of pedophila in the last few years? In recent articles, Salvo contributors warned readers about a number of high-profile academics in the United States who’ve publicly called for more understanding about the plight of adults who experience pedophilic tendencies on the grounds that those feelings are not innately wrong. See here and here. But in our interconnected world, such sentiments don’t take long before they appear on the other side of the pond, as it were.

Now it’s the turn of a very dubious Professor of Ethics from Oslo Metropolitan University. Ole Martin Moen has come out in support of pedophiles, claiming that “the mental state of finding children sexually attractive is very common.” Moen, who is gay and identifies as “queer,” reckons that a significant percentage of high school students have “an innate pedophilic sexual identity,” and he includes that condition in with the panoply of conditions falling under LGBTQ+.

But Moen goes much further, calling not just for pedophilia to be normalized but also for it to be taught in schools and presented to children as a normal condition. Moen, who’s a member of Norway’s Board of Patient Organization for Gender Incongruence (PKI), a social and political lobby group for trans rights, wrote a paper back in 2015 entitled The Ethics of Pedophila, in which he claimed that deep down, we’re all pedophiles, justifying his point by arguing that many of us may have been sexually attracted to younger children at some time in our lives:

Many of us have been pedophiles at one point. When you were 11, it is not unlikely that you were sexually attracted to prepubertal children.

Moen explains:

Youngness, the property children have in excess, is a property that, when present to a lesser extent, is widely considered sexually attractive. As such, what makes pedophiles diverge from others is that they prefer more youngness than does the average person.

So that’s it: according to Moen, pedophiles are different from normal people only in their sustained, selective attraction to younger individuals.

And that somehow makes it morally acceptable?

Kiddy Porn Anyone?

In a bizarre development, Moen recommends that pedophiles should have access to “therapy,” suggesting that they could watch AI-assisted kiddy porn, so long as it’s computer generated and not involving real children. Indeed, in a collaborative work with Askel Sterri of Oxford University, Moen wrote a paper with the appalling title, Pedophilia and Computer-Generated Child Pornography in which the authors conclude:

We ask three questions about pedophilia: Is it immoral to be a pedophile? Is it immoral for pedophiles to seek out sexual contact with children? Is it immoral for pedophiles to satisfy their sexual preferences by using computer-generated graphics, sex dolls, and/or sex robots that mimic children? We argue that it is not immoral to be a pedophile, it is immoral for pedophiles to seek out sexual contact with children because of the expected harm to children, and it is morally permissible for pedophiles to satisfy their sexual preferences in ways that do not involve any real children.

Incidentally, Sterri has also published work on the ethics of sex robots (I kid you not), concluding that although acts committed with inanimate, non-sentient agents are amoral, “there may still be something wrong about the production, distribution, or use of such sexbots.”

What is especially alarming though, is that Moen’s disturbing ideas were re-published in the Palgrave Handbook of Philosophy and Public Policy, a textbook used by undergraduate sociology students the world over.

Dr Moen even thinks that pedophiles who do not abuse children ought to be praised for their “admirable will power.”  So, according to Moen’s logic, there is no difference between the pedophile accessing AI-assisted kiddy porn and those individuals who are caught with sexually explicit images of children on their laptops. Try telling that to the parents of the children who’ve been exploited!

Keyboard Jihadi

Although Moen says he disapproves of penetrative acts on children, he nevertheless argues that “adult-child sex is not categorically very harmful.” Moen likens pedophilia to homosexuality, apparently unaware of the suite of health risks associated with his own deviant sexuality.

But digging a little deeper, Moen has made the news for his role in targeting and harassing the Norwegian feminist, Christina Ellingsen, who now faces up to three years in prison for daring to tweet that a biological male cannot become a lesbian woman. Like some kind of cowardly, keyboard Jihadi, Moen has viciously attacked the Twitter account of Women’s Declaration International, his incandescent rage only matched by his vacuous rationality and morality.

This comes on the heels of other researchers getting their work cancelled for raising awareness of organizations who actively protect pedophiles. For example, Dr. Alaric Naudé, an academic in the social sciences and linguistics at Suwon University in South Korea, had his research on the Prostasia Foundation removed from The British Journal of Sociology and History just 24 hours after it was first published earlier this year. According to his article entitled, A Case Study via Sociolinguistic Analysis of [a] Covert Pro-Pedophilia Organization Registered as a Child Protection Charity, Prostatia claims to be about child protection but in fact cultivates a narrative that casts pedophiles as victims of “an oppressive social structure.”

Immoral Reasoning

What are Christians to make of Moen and the people he represents? Well, for one thing, Moen being appointed a Professor of Ethics is an oxymoron. There is no ethical reasoning to be found in Moen’s conclusions regarding the pedophile mind.

Christ warned that thoughts are equally condemning as actions, because all actions begin with thoughts. Such machinations as Moen’s should not even enter the mind of a morally upright individual. Taking a Romans 1 lens to this situation, Moen has been given over to a depraved mind, calling something wicked good and deeming it worthy of our sympathies. Apparently, Moen cannot even distinguish between artificially constructed “fantasy outlets,” such as sexbots and computer-generated kiddy porn, and the real world where pedophiles are brought to justice just for storing and sharing sexually explicit images of juveniles.

But blurring fantasy and reality is the trademark of delusional people. Will anything come of Moen and his deviant ideas on pedophilia? Hopefully not, but we still have a duty to call out such dubious ‘scholarship,’ before the ’P color’ is indelibly sewn onto the rainbow flag. No self-respecting sociology scholar should have anything to do with this kind of work, whether Christian or non-Christian. Common decency demands it.

is working on a new book, Choosing Binoculars: A Guide for Stargazers, Birders and Outdoor Enthusiasts, which will be published by Springer Nature in late 2023.

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