What constitutes legal and illegal behavior in America today is becoming increasingly more inconsistent and bizarre. Some mainstream media sources are now calling for people who make the personal choice not to vaccinate to be jailed, implying that they’re criminals, while other sources are now purporting that pedophilia isn’t even a crime.
A recent New York Times op-ed piece published by Harvard graduate and law professor Margo Kaplan attempts to make the case that pedophilia is a mental disorder rather than a felony offense and calls for the rules to be redefined. In Kaplan’s opinion, pedophilia is a condition that some people have rather than a crime that they commit, and she believes that it should be treated as such.
During a recent interview with Philadelphia magazine, Kaplan explained what she sees as a major variance between pedophiles and sex offenders. The former are merely born into a condition of being sexually attracted to young children, for which they have no control, she says, while the latter choose to act on their urges and harm children.
In line with what some had warned concerning the normalization of homosexuality — if people are born gay and accepted that way, the same argument could be used to justify pedophilia, was the claim — Kaplan’s position seems to be inching society one step closer toward vindicating pedophilia as just another form of unique sexual preference.
Though she still condemns pedophilia as a “mental disorder,” Kaplan’s softening on how she views adult sexual attraction to children is concerning, especially as other media sources like USA Today call for the jailing of parents who don’t vaccinate their children. Somehow, pedophilia should be treated with compassion, but not vaccinating with harsh punishment.
“Parents who do not vaccinate their children should go to jail,” wrote USA Today columnist Alex Berezow in an inflammatory rant that gained nationwide attention during the recent measles hysteria campaign.
So let’s get this straight — exercising one’s right not to undergo a high-risk medical treatment that admittedly can cause irreversible health damage is a jailable offense, but lusting after pre-pubescent children is just another type of sexual orientation?
It’s important to note here that in Kaplan’s original NYT op-ed piece, she classifies pedophilia as a sexual attraction that often constitutes a mental illness. This implies that the “condition” is sometimes not a mental illness. Does this mean that there are appropriate ways, in Kaplan’s view, of expressing one’s pedophilia in a way that does not constitute mental illness?
Kaplan doesn’t actually say it this way, emphasizing that pedophiles should have legal protections to seek out treatment for their disorder rather than to try to normalize it. She also agrees that pedophiles should still be held responsible for their conduct. But the underlying attraction, she says, is not a choice; pedophiles are born that way, in other words.
This reclassification muddies the waters in such a way as to open the door for the eventual normalization of pedophilia. Should enough out-of-the-closet pedophiles successfully make the case one day that they deserve legal protections to act out their urges with consenting children because they were born that way, then it’s only a matter of time before pedophilia is just another form of sexual orientation.
“To suggest that pedophiles are the result of neurologic disorders is an attempt to mainstream a group of people who do not need it,” wrote one NYT commenter. “If the sympathizers with pedophiles would talk to the victims of pedophilia, many of whom lead damaged and disastrous lives, it would be hard to imagine they would accept any pedophile under any basis.”