Normalization as a misnomer

I used to be puzzled by people who claim that fictional cp would “normalize pedophilic thoughts” in the minds of those who they would refer to as pedophiles.

Surely to a “pedophile”, “pedophilic thoughts” would already be a “normal” aspect of their cognition. In the same way that sexual thoughts about ones objects of attraction are normal aspect any sexual beings cognition…

The fact of the matter however is that “normalization” has nothing whatsoever do with the prevalence, or “normalness” of the thoughts with regards to those who have them. Normalization as a term concerns only the “social acceptability” , perceived or real without respect to prevelance , frequency or the like.

People who claim the above that “fictional cp would normalize pedophilic thoughts” are making the argument that such outlets would lessen the self stigmatization “pedophiles” feel over their own attraction. They are not actually claiming that it would intensify said attraction, increase their frequency, or duration - Which even if true would still make this an argument of dubious practical merit. They’re actually admitting that their argument is one predicated on pure spite although it might not appear that way on first blush.

Don’t let them obsfucate their real message with loaded language like “normalization”. Don’t let simply let them claim some moral high ground. Deconstruct their arguments, reframe them , and reverse the dynamic of the conversation.


I’ve gone over this extensively in my thread:

It’s essentially a pearl clutching strategy under the guise of a cultural context, a pessimistic and fallacious form of confirmation bias.
Once you’ve deluded yourself into believing that “X normalizes Y” you’ll begin to draw connections between events under that lens which otherwise wouldn’t be there.

It’s a lot like karma, or religious people who claim that their preferred deity did it. They’ve already planted the seed of hopeful expectation, so anything that fits that prefabricated observation will fulfill their arbitrary connection.

A commonplace fallacy I see people make with regard to “normalization” would be “the material normalizes rape” then having a sex crime occur, and blaming the existence of such materials on the crime occurring, typically insisting that such material exacerbated the risk of it occurring, thereby holding the material accountable in a way that nobody involved in the production could have controlled beforehand or even foresaw.

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It only normalizes something when that something is something that I don’t like.

Any fiction has the potential to normalize something apparently. Did you know that violence has been increasing lately? And guess what? Gaming has been rising as well. See the connection? Idiots certainly make one.

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The real kicker here is that people who say this almost always specify that’s it the attraction/urge that’s being normalized.

Going to the video game example, it’s one thing to say that commiting fictional violent in video games normalizes those acts as an idea, although such a statement would be demonstrably false. But it’s another thing entirely to say the committing violent acts in video games normalizes the innate desires in the minds of those who have them.

What does the latter of these two even mean? Why are on earth would it be problematic for people to normalize desires and urges that they cannot help but have?

The answer is simple - they would no longer be able to see these so called “deviants” suffer simply because of who and what they are, and revel in the schadenfreude that knowledge produces.