Reading your post, I'm not sure why you're arguing with me; we seem to be in agreement on many points of this.
I hope you don't mind my using this as an opportunity to sharpen my reasoning skills anyway. I'm not really sure where I stand, I just desire to identify and reject ideas that have always been held "just because," as many of them (for me personally) are rooted in religion with a moral code that depends on an external source of justice. I reject that now and I find many of my otherwise "natural" ethics rationalized only because of that. I'm not suggesting pedophilia is an appropriate relationship model now just because it's rejected in my former religion, but if it's going to be inappropriate, the reasons have to be grounded in more than "just because" or "ew." I know that's not what you're advocating, I'm just trying to explain myself and my purpose in this discussion. Still, I hope you don't mind. I do appreciate your attention to my questions.
I'm sure it is; the test-case is a 31-year-old man, because that's Joe's age, and an 11-year-old girl, because that was the age of the model he posted in the other thread as an example of someone he found sexually attractive.
She was 11? Wow, coulda fooled me! I recall hanging out with a friend of mine in a hostel when he started flirting with this woman. She was cute as a button, laughed at all his jokes, they got along really well. She made some comment some teen movie star (Corey Haimes, I think) and he realized she was younger than she looked. She was, I think 13, and he was 22 or 23 at the time. I swear to gods she appeared at least
17 to me, and I had no reason to rationalize her looking older. He was crushed because her age was a turn-off for him, but the attraction he first felt was completely involuntary. A photo of an 11 year old who looks like she could be 16 doesn't suggest to me that 11 is the general attractive age. I live in the United States and most 11 year olds still look more like kids than adults to me. In Asia I think that's even more the case (just guessing), but I also get the impression most mature Asian women have the kind of body structure that could pass as teens in the U.S.
It's a fact that step-children are more likely to be sexually abused by their parents than biological children. That's a good reason to be vigilant in those scenarios, and it's why adoption agencies' enquiries are so intense.
Vigilant to the point of denial of privileges just because they could be abused? Why the special privileges for step-dads, priests, teachers, and therapists (everyone but pedophiles) then? What's the difference? Why are pedophiles more dangerous given the same conditions as others who could (and do) abuse certain relationships?
That's not the same as being a parent 24/7.
True enough, but my job was considerably more awkward and potentially dangerous than anything I've done as a parent. It's part of being a mature, responsible adult to compartmentalize one's life into appropriate outlets. Women expect that from their gynecologists, men expect that from their proctologists, patients expect that from their therapists, step and foster daughters expect that from their step and foster fathers. Not everyone gets it, and I don't mean to trivialize this because the trauma is great and can (and often does) last a lifetime.
But I'm not addressing the trauma, I'm addressing the idea that pedophiles are in some way less capable than non-pedophiles when it comes to suppressing an involuntary, physiological response to a given stimuli. I don't yet know why that is. Is it just an assumption because pedophilia is a natural kind of taboo and we naturally feel repulsed at the idea? If so, that feeling isn't evidence for the legitimacy of the claim. Are pedophiles more prone to abusing people they are attracted to than other groups who could (and sometimes do) abuse relationships in which they have the emotional and mental upper hand? It could be the case, I just don't know that we really have the data on this one way or the other.
You may consider it so, but I'd still like to know your answer.
I don't doubt that. It's a loaded question, though, and a red herring, and appeal to emotion, fear, and other subtle and not so subtle problems.