Originally published at: https://prostasia.org/blog/in-defense-of-thoughts/
Something I didn’t think I would need to do when I started writing about fandom discourse three years ago (although that’s too charitable a name, “wank” is the more accurate term), was that I would always have to keep the psychiatric diagnostic tools DSM-V and ICD-11 open on the side. I thought I was simply…
Originally published at: https://prostasia.org/blog/in-defense-of-thoughts/
Where’s the line between the socially acceptable “kink” and the medical “paraphilia”?
The simple answer, in my view, is far more interesting. Any and every permutaiton of human sexuality could be considered “paraphilia”. Podophilia is a sexual interest in feet. Most paraphilia are fairly benign and not given a second glance. The ones which are are the most unusual, or which for better or worse, end up being associated with crime.
The difference between a paraphilia and a sexual orientation is a sexual orientation is an immutable feature with very significant effects on someone’s life. Conservatives hate this term as they assume that acknowledging something is an orientation is the same as giving someone carte blanche to do whatever they want.
In the worst case scenario in that fantasy world where we get a vaguely worded amendment and the Supreme Court was forced to intermediate. They would look to strike a balance between preventing discrimination (stopping someone from being fired from a mundane job on grounds of their thoughts and contact offenses). They have already done this with child pornography where they decided to strike a balance between free speech and disincentivizing people from using children to produce pornography. This is not a new concept. Such a law is unlikely to actually happen and tends to be a part of conservative conspiracy.
Drafting a line about what is moral and immoral is not the business of a pretigious psychological institute. Neither is it drawing arbitary lines about what they deem pathological, which is often based on flawed nonsense. If Congress wants to pass a law forbidding something, they can do it, regardless what a psychologist says. There needs to be no legal fiction in a psychology book.
The politicization of the American Psychiatric Association and similar institutes in recent times has passed the absurd and into the extreme. No one has to play along with the game and invent disorders which only serve to promote stigmatization and deny people jobs on grounds of being diagnosed with a problematic “paraphilia”. Something as simple as applying for a medical license can require disclosing your “diagnosed paraphilias” to a board to decide if you’re worthy of it.
Legality is not morality. Don’t spread dangerous disinformation, or seek to further distort reality.
- engaging with X fictional content is the same as acting on the paraphilic urges/fantasies.
It is. It is illegal. Don’t try to distort definitions in a significant portion of the world.
In additon to this, it really doesn’t matter if someone looks pictures of kids for sexual purposes, so long as they don’t go bothering them. Some countries might criminalize even this, but it is an absurd notion. Are they touching them? Are they sending thoughts through space? No. The issue with the YouTube pedophiles was not so much people viewing for unknown undefined purposes, something which is impossible to stop and may be harmful to try, but all the flirting, sexual comments, and so on.
Sexual images are markedly more controversial, particularly ones which are deliberately created and spread as such. This is still a matter for Congress to deal with about where to draw the line or not. It too enters the realm of it is bad because it is illegal, rather than it being illegal on any particularly meaningful grounds, when balancing interests. Such an argument is intellectually dishonest, and Prostasia is intelligent enough to consider indirect harms when considering this issue.
Finally, many people like to live in a fantasy parallel universe filled with people with absolutely no control over their behavior, mysopeds around every corner ready to abduct their children, and satanic rings controlling the world from the shadows. I prefer to live in reality. I have yet to encounter such things and I can safely say I have seen hundreds of people.
The closest I have come to the dreaded “mysoped” are people with dark fantasies, although they know better than to carry out those fantasies in reality. I had some dark fantasies when I previously suffering from manic disorder, although most of my fantasies now are loving and wholesome. I didn’t consider carrying them out in person at the time even remotely.
These dreaded people hiding around every corner ready to molest? It looks uncommon enough for Pedophile turns in pedophile to shake the fabric of Virped (you may or may not say it was necessary or it could have been stopped in another way), but turning in anyone is going to spook others and the idea of making a mistake is terrifying.
How about other molesters? A resident former molester here was suffering from gender dysphoria at the time (an important disorder which merits better treatment. the way we treat trans individuals is appaling, especially in conservative areas, some are even beaten to death by bigots on the streets). Some look to be isolated from support circles and society and rely too much attention from children. Some suffer emotional abuse and neglect. It is not a matter of inventing a “disorder” which covers a million unrelated issues and tries to push one size fits all quack solutions like Seto, Federoff and Rahm are doing, but to take strides towards a better society in many areas. This is intellectual dishonest and looks to obfuscate the real problems.
Why is our society one where individuals can be pushed away to the margins with friends or family to help them? Why are individuals dscriminated against? Why do current constructs like the sex offenders register only aggravate these problems, rather than alleviating them? Why is our society gradually becoming an impersonal one where community ties are falling apart? Is this part of urbanisation?
It is important to note I can acknowledge having disorders, when such things constitute an actual disorder like manic disorder, but would you say government officials suffer from Greed Disorder or Corruption Disorder, or heaven forbid, Authoritarian Disorder over some superficious acts or symptoms? APA has received much criticism from psychiatrists and researchers for this superficial approach.
If an actual disorder were to appear to be a “societally normal” (as far as the psychiatrist knows…), would this mean being normal inherently means being disordered and unstable? Why is it that a “disorder” is based on superficial symptoms? Why is it society hides behind veils of politically worded “disorders” rather than looking at the real problems in society?
I am somewhat impressed how someone can come to a conclusion of what act means regardless, when one psychologist and another psychologist may end up reading it in a completely different way. And yet, someone will end up pitching a niche way of reading it as gospel. This is dangerous as it obfuscates the meanings of words and prevents problems from being addressed. It isn’t as if this approach was entirely wrong to begin with. And ICD-11 appears to be a draft. The way ICD-11 is worded even, you don’t actually have to be a pedophile to meet the definition of the pedophilic disorder. ICD-11 simply proscribe a set of superficial symptoms, which are about as superficial as most of the people in this field, and society even at handling this issue.
I wrote more but my browser crashed.
Your daily reminder that… Urges do not exist. Behaviors do not exist. People stabbing their genitals actually turn out to be trans, like everywhere else. Some people who have been abused aren’t pedophiles, but sometimes behave in a similar fashion. Some people have OCD. Some people like taboo things. All these things automatically “turn you into a pedophile” by the diagnostic criteria.
Some people who have been abused might have OCD, unusual learned arousal patterns, and repeat learned behaviors. They might be distressed by it as it is clearly caused by PTSD, not an imaginary disorder based on superficial symptoms. Some claim they have “cured” their pedophilia, of which they do not have.
The latest round of inhumane experimentation comes from Michael Seto, a man who has always been unscrupulous who likes to treat imaginary disorders by looking at levels of chemicals inside the brain which has a superficial resemblance, drills in, and delivers electric shocks to try to cure an “imaginary disorder”. He might be another one to cancel. Stigmatizing terms cause real harms. It is not a game or a joke. When we speak of superficial symptoms, we truly mean superficial symptoms are dangerous.
The number of researchers who should be disbarred and stripped their medical license never ceases to increase. Next thing you know, they will start performing lobotomies and some retard will claim this is the same as popping pain killers. According to a poll on that miserable excuse for a site, Virped, there are many self-hating people who would be willing to undergo a lobotomy, they desperate need a real shrink (who isn’t a quack) and a country which isn’t run by sociopaths bent on screwing them.
If a man looks at an attractive woman on the street, does he suddenly have “urges”? This is all I have to say to make the whole concept absurd. Take note of the stigma / non-stigma doublespeak. Attractive / urges. Normal sexuality / behaviors. There are people who never have relationships with women for one reason or another, they don’t go out and start raping them. The idea someone has no control over themselves like that is utterly bogus. There are entire communities of unsavory characters who call themselves incels.
Linked to an article promoting conversion therapy disguised as faux concern by deranged psychopaths who care little about anyone’s mental health. You are seriously pushing your luck, my urges to report Prostasia to QAnon are growing. I couldn’t possibly allow myself to act on such urges, could I.
When you link to a pile of shit, no matter what superficial premise it may have, everything ends up reeking of dung. I will assume you were lazy and didn’t bother reading the article, you couldn’t possibly be trying to convey the message that conversion therapy is ever okay, would you? I’ll contain these clearly problematic urges.
I’m sorry if you think that he promotes conversion therapy, but Michael Seto is one of the world’s top scientific experts on pedophilia and the author of “Pedophilia and Sexual Offending Against Children” which is a leading treatise on the topic. He’s far from a bigot…
Vice, who I took the time to mail with a very lengthy rebuttal, but who never got back to me.
Seto is another problematic character. In a paper earlier this year which is available on Psyarxiv, he drilled into people’s heads and ran electric shocks in a vain attempt to try to treat an imaginary disorder (superficial symptoms lumped together), because he found vague correlates. I don’t believe his chronophilias paper referenced in the article references conversion therapy, but I could be wrong. I haven’t gotten the time to check every single link.
I don’t know what sort of ethics board approved that, but it is indicative of a greater social issue, that such a thing could ever be approved. In terms of expertise, for years, people have followed the words of Ray Blanchard, who thinks many transwomen are really like that, because of a sexual fantasy. The biggest reason he is hated by the LGBT Community is he insists every transwoman who is also a lesbian is lying. People have also followed the words of every pedophile molests 250 children Gene Abel. Cantor has gotten better lately, but I remember the “every pedophile has below average IQ, are left-handed, have on average multiple head injuries”, and to top it off, the media runs some people they think are freaks as a cherry on top.
There are plenty of quacks to go around, these are some of the ones in this field where their flaws are suddenly non-existent and they can rebrand themselves as “pedophilia experts” (and get those awards from APA to inventing a “cure” like Dr. Federoff) as a lack of an opposition means they can make things up. I don’t have any respect for experts, especially when they live in a parallel universe. I didn’t have much of an opinion on Seto prior to this week, he publishes what seems to be factual, but he might have a screw loose. Most of his research (which I have seen) looks okay, it is that outlier paper.
Okay, thank you for your response
Addendum: Electric shocks to the brain, are not only trying to solve the wrong problem (and clearly shows the researcher doesn’t view their subjects as human), but pose a serious risk of brain damage and even making someone lose their memories. This is a major concern noted for ECT, (zap the brain and pray whatever the mental disorder someone has magically goes away) which is likened to lobotomy by some. This is a person, not just a bag of chemicals, to tweak as you please until they “seem” to do what you want in some narrow case. Big Pharma has this same problem, but they have an actual profit motive to sell their drugs.
It isn’t. Acting on your urges and expressing yourself in such a way that isn’t characteristic of pedophilic disorder is arguably therapeutic and far more healthy than repressing and routinely denying your interest at any given point.
Loli/shota isn’t illegal in the United States, and neither is DDLG or other adult niches and adult subcultures.
This is a strange argument for you to be making.
My contention is limited to the context by which I referenced in my reply.
It really depends on how “acting out” ought to be perceived. I took issue with that statement from your post because people tend to overlook the applicable usage of certain words or terminology without understanding their originating context, relative to the topic at hand.
A likely candidate for pedophilic disorder sexually abusing a child is an example of “acting out”. That same person consuming CSAM is another example.
Someone consuming stories or comics with pedophilic themes or imagery, where it is firmly apparent that the characters and narratives are entirely fictional, wouldn’t fit that definition.
Two consenting adults engaging in DDLG roleplay during sexual intercourse within the privacy of their own home or bedroom is another example of such.
There is no such thing as a “pedophilic disorder”. It has been from the start, as recognized by several scientists, a very convienient euphemism for a preferential, or an exclusive attraction. Ultimately, the goal is to pivot an individual towards adult interests, so they no longer have distress from never being able to have a relationship. If this is what we mean, we should use the proper, clear terms and avoid using euphemisms.
An attraction is not an on or off model, but a spectrum from more exclusive to less exclusive. If someone is over a certain event horizon, it’s going to be very difficult to reorient them. Perhaps impossible, as they’re going to have associated diminishing levels of attraction. In today’s society, without any crazy androids, or age reversing therapies, this would mean abstaining from meaningful relationships.
It is unknown how useful any sort of roleplay would be, but there are many descriptions of trouble, and even repulsion of adult characteristics to the point where this may be impossible. As it turns out, it may depend on the individual, however exclusives often note being bored at the adult body, and could get more fulfillment out of masturbating on their own. This might vary by the individual, although this could be a sign of additional factors to this date unknown.
There is also a spectrum between allo and auto, and perhaps, even a certain degree of elasticity but built on a specific base parameter. If someone is very anxious, it appears as if they become less elastic and double down on a specific parameter, but this is yet more nuance which is not taken into account by models, which is otherwise fairly known. Some might also have an additional “paraphilia” (I know some hate me using a medicalized term to describe some things but it hard to think of what to use).
There is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Self-Dehumanization, and conflicts with society, but there is no actual disorder. This is a purely societal construct for use in diagnosis codes for risk assessments, however it has little utility beyond that. It is simply a placeholder and it lacks any sort of “useful” detail.
Further, construing an act or a decision as a “disorder” is absurd. Being poor increases the possibility you will commit theft. If someone commits a crime, however without any legitimate purpose, like having a preferential attraction (this appears to be what you’re using “disorder” as a replacement for), then that is particularly atrocious. This would also be considered the “disorder”, but it is clearly a disregard for other people.
I wouldn’t mind if they were punished more severely (they’re not), as they have no reason not to have engaged in legal materials or appropriately aged partners. Lopsided sentences also impair research, as someone is going to pretend to be “normal” to avoid getting hit with a harsher sentence, which means any “research” is going to be on pure guesswork of who is or isn’t that condition. Decades of research must have been lost on this point alone, as well as various therapeutic opportunities.
We have also spoken about how “ideology” can influence someone’s behavior. Depression also. This “disorder” is also very narrowly construed, with different scientists having radically different takes on it. It is also empirically impossible to measure, and even a bit nebulous.
Incidentally, hypersexuality which would arguably be a factor in adult and child offenses, is not officially listed as a disorder, for what some may consider a similar reason, of it really being a placeholder diagnosis. This doesn’t mean there aren’t Sexually Dangerous Person lists and criteria used by law enforcement, and courts to determine which individuals are more dangerous than others. Rather, it serves a purpose of dictating moral mores, in a clinical “criteria”. If anyone has ever been “anxious” at any point, this is grounds to never get a psychology or medical license, as this would lead to a recorded diagnosis.
And yes, looking at cartoons would be grounds for pedophilic disorder, in a country where that is illegal, although it is a weird thing to think about. The entire concept and construction is that it is a “disorder” based on a conflict with society, that is a disorder invented because of a societal moral more. Consuming stories with pedophilic themes is illegal in Canada and New Zealand.
But, even without these patently absurd examples to make a point, the entire diagnosis and it’s formulation is fundamentally flawed. It also creates a want to have it both ways standard of doling out a substantially harsh sentence, while simultaneously saying an individual is “sane enough” to not be covered by a defense of insanity. Are they insane? Or are they not? They cannot be “both”.
To add to this idea, while someone would be loath to entertain the idea, having a therapist who is a pedophile for a pedophile would resolve a lot of problem. A pedophile can understand another’s problems therefore they would be less likely to under-report or over-report, although some psychologists in general, like those in Germany prefer to under-report.
Such a therapist would also be more relatable. Someone would be more comfortable opening up to someone who they think could understand their issues, than someone who might not have a clue. This would help in achieving therapeutic goals. Such a thing would enlist pedophiles as “allies” to reduce people’s anxiety, which some think contributes to offending, which would help alleviate the us vs them mentality which has infiltrated the mental health system.
A pedophile would also be equipped to criticise peer reviewed research, or otherwise produce their own for others to postulate on, and either agree with or criticise / reject. This may improve the overall quality of research.
I could go on as to why some mentalities are very problematic.