I initially held off on making this thread, but I feel as though it needs to be made.
It should go without saying that any form of sexual activity between an adult and a child (or minor) is innately abusive and harmful, and for the community which rallies behind a CSA prevention and child protection organization, I feel it is imperative we all be on the same page as to what is agreed upon if we, and @prostasia, are to be successful in our goal of seeing effective, rational, evidence-based approaches to tackle the problem of child sex abuse without infringing upon people’s civil rights, such as the right to engage in harmless sexual expression in the form of lolicon/shotacon, fantasy roleplay, and owning child sex dolls.
Adult-child sex is NOT harmless
Children, especially those prior to or in the early stages of adolescence, cannot consent to sexual activity with adults, unlike how can with peers of the same age bracket.
The degree to which a minor’s brain has matured compared to that of an adult’s with regard to sexuality precludes the consent question because such maturity and development is a factor which dictates how such things, like feelings, interests, and activities related to sex or sexual activity, are felt, known, understood, and experienced.
A child at the beginning of puberty taking or expressing an interest in sex, sexuality, and indulging in masturbation is still functionally a child.
Sure they may express an interest in the human body, sexual activity with their peers or even teachers, view and talk about pornography (which they likely shouldn’t), but that’s only indicative of a burgeoning interest in sex. But that doesn’t mean they understand it.
They don’t know how to identify, compartmentalize, control, or appropriately express these types of emotions, feelings, urges, or desires, as they lack both the knowledge and experience necessary. And even if and when they reach it, they lack the necessary neurological development to really cement such information into a universally meaningful way.
They don’t understand the intricacies of consent and how to identify or express a lack of it or how to identify or prevent acts of coercion, intimidation, be it physical or emotional, and how such things may affect the other person in both the short and long term.
This is why sex education is so important because it equips teens with the type of knowledge to go forward along with the self-awareness needed to be conscious of not only their own limitations and needs, but also those of others.
To assume or argue that older children and young teenagers being ‘sexual’ means a young boy or girl can consent to sex with an adult, a figure of authority in both social and physiological sense, and not run the extremely high risk of suffering trauma or harm to their psyche with respect to sexual matters is indicative of a lack of knowledge in this regard or a lack of care for the facts, either due to a level of personal disagreement or simply a desire and a goal to have sex with real children.
The harm, the trauma, and their effects on victims as a result of adult-child sexual activity is severe and comes from that innate fact: being between an adult and a child.
Children and teens (minors) naturally view and interact with adults differently than they would peers of the same age group. To minors, there exists a degree of reverence and intimidation that resonates from adults, whether it’s the result of their physical maturity or other aspects, such as wisdom, knowledge, or plain authority.
A minor is more likely to be intimidated and less likely to question or challenge them, such as when given a command or direction.
It is a subconscious bias that can be seen in just about all social structures or dynamics, such as within the workplace or other hierarchical social structures, to have authority and subordination.
To enable this to mix with an innately underdeveloped mind that is not experienced or knowledgeable of sex, sexual activity, etc. is to risk associating those with their early sexual development which has been observed to lead to immediate trauma in the short and long term.
If a minor says “I’m not comfortable with this” but the adult is insistent, either vocally or physically, then the child will not be in a position to where they can confidently decline or fulfill that declination of consent with physical resistance. At that point, they are at the mercy of a captor, not a consensual sexual experience with a partner.
Sure, one could argue that this type of behavior isn’t limited to just adult-child sex and that it can happen with adult-adult or even child-child, and you’d be correct to point that out.
But again - that observation does nothing to discount the inherent harmfulness of adult-child sexual activity.
This is why most countries have established ages of consent, which although can vary (16-18) is still grounded on this basic principle. to protect minors from this type of abuse.
Common Pro-C Arguments
A common claim I see by pro-contact pedophiles and proponents with this are historical arguments, whereby they wrongly assume that all of this risk and trauma are fairly new concepts and that such activities would not have been so commonplace in the years prior had these effects been “real”.
Aside from the fact that such customs were deeply rooted in religious practice and sentiment and that the cultures of those days were simply not as attentive to the needs or psychological well-being of people, let alone children, and that the rights of children were essentially non-existent or were simply deferred to their parents, who would often barter for goods and services with the virginity of their youngest daughters or turn over their children to work without pay in dangerous, unsanitary, and unhealthy conditions, this isn’t a valid argument.
With logic like this, one could very easily justify racial and cultural segregation or dated medical concepts, such as blood-letting as a viable means to cure infectious disease.
Anecdote or personal experience.
Another common argument I’ve seen regurgitated by pro-c proponents is the use of personal anecdotes or recountings of their own experiences or those of others, whereby they themselves had adult-child sexual encounters that they didn’t consider abusive or exploitive and look at fondly or that someone else, who was a young teenager or child married an adult and “turned out fine”.
These arguments are deeply rooted in a type of bias that can be difficult to correct for, yet still, one must keep in mind that anecdotes, especially those involving long far-off memories of one’s past, are hardly a valid or reliable means of ascertaining truth. Memories can be diluted by emotions one may feel later in life or even misplaced or recalled incorrectly. This can be seen as looking back with ‘rose-tinted glasses’ or the Mandela Effect, whereby certain memories about experiences may seem clear when that’s being recalled may not even be an accurate representation of the facts or what was felt.
A person recalling a Saturday evening romp with their neighbor’s wife as a young teen or experiencing fellatio by their English teacher may not recall the insecurity they felt and whether they initially consented to the activity in the first place. They may subconsciously choose not to recall those negative aspects about it and just choose to pretend it was consensual and harmless, rather than face the reality contingent on how they initially remembered it.
And even then - if we were to lend credence to the idea that these instances were not inherently exploitive of the minor parties involved, it still doesn’t discount the inherent risk of harm, or the psychology implicit within the subject at hand or the vast, overwhelming majority of cases where adult-child sexual activity was the cause of their trauma and psycho-sexual developmental complications and difficulties as a result of said activity.
You cannot be pro-contact without being pro-abuse. They are one in the same.