Is it naive of me to think that a mother giving up her daughter for adoption wouldn't want her to be adopted by paedophiles, even if they claim to be non-practising? Would you be cool with that, Albeto, if it was your daughter? I see that by the time I've found this thread, many of my thoughts have already been expressed. The assumption that an attraction to young adults (which is what young teens are, and what we're talking about here, right?) ...
We're using Joe's definition of paedophile, attraction to a post-pubescent child; e.g. a 31-year-old and a pubescent 11-year-old.
.... is synonymous with an instinct to coerce sexual behaviors is an idea I no longer find persuasive.
Well, I never made that assumption, Albeto, so that's a strawman. Most paedophiles do not coerce their victims, if we're using the wiki definition of coercion:
the practice of forcing another party to behave in an involuntary manner (whether through action or inaction) by use of threats or intimidation or some other form of pressure or force.
Paedophiles attempt to persuade or seduce. Between adults, attempts to persuade or seduce are socially acceptable, as the participants are equals.
A 31-year-old man is not equal to an 11-year-old girl. There is an imbalance of power, knowledge, experience and most important, the ability to understand the potential consequences of sexual behaviour i.e. the ability to give informed consent to what is being proposed.
The thing is, if we strip away assumptions and stick to known facts, how much evidence is there for the claim that people who are attracted to very young adults coerce these people? It used to be thought that homosexuals "groom" young adults for their own sexual gratification, and I see the same assumption being applied here. I just wonder if it has merit or if it's an appeal to tradition, a tradition based on ignorance and prejudice
You could easily research that, Albeto. The wiki article says that [wiki]child grooming [/wiki] is a real phenomenon.
Most of us are perfectly capable of reigning in our biological urges when faced with people we find sexually attractive.
Yes, but adopting a child requires a level of physical intimacy which doesn't happen between adult strangers. To a (true) paedophile, a four-year-old may look like Brad or Angelina do to an adult.
Imagine that you were responsible for children who (somehow) looked like Brad or Angelina. And that you were responsbile for dressing and undressing them, and giving them baths and washing them all over. And that he/she was happy to curl up naked on your lap and kiss you and tell you how much they love you - that's what real children do. And all the time you're feeling this intense sexual attraction to them. You have an erection/you're wet.
See the problem there, Albeto? Regardless of whether the adult can resist this constant temptation, that bathroom scenario is pernicious. There's a sexual atmosphere in the room which should not be there. A child should not be the object of its parent's sexual desire, regardless of whether the desire is acted upon.
Therefore, paedophiles should stay away from naked children.
PS. The concept of the biological incest taboo is also relevant here. If the taboo operates effectively, it prevents intra-familial sexual desire and activity. A significant proportion of incest cases involve step-relations, because the taboo is less effective in those cases. With adoption, it's even less effective.
PPS: Albeto, I just realized that you didn't actually answer my question:
Would you be cool with that, Albeto, if it was your daughter?
Would you be happy for a (true) paedophile to bathe your 4-year-old daughter? Even though he assured you that he would never act on his sexual feelings for her, and that he would ignore his erection? And let's say he's trustworthy and he keeps his word - though he goes off later to masturbate alone about the experience.
Would you be cool with that?