What About the Children?

The New California Law Proposal

I’ve been really struggling on how to present what is happening in California, and let’s face it, all over the World. The issue of whether pedophilia is a disorder, is really not up for discussion, is it? It is truly a disorder, and at the very least, requires therapeutic intervention. This light-handed approach, however, only applies to those who identify as having thoughts or emotions about prepubescent children in a sexual manner, not those who have acted on their thoughts and feelings. Acting out fantasies with children IS a crime, should remain a crime, and should always have criminal consequences attached.

The kind of movement we see sweeping across our nation is not new. For the past fifty years, there have been books written, college courses taught, and even entire cultures created around the idea, and practice, of sex with children. I am quite sure there have been movements and pockets of advocacy for pedophiles from the beginning of time, simply labeled under the guise of a religious order and held in secrecy (so many are, even today). But, the fact remains, children are children. By the very nature of their physical, emotional, and cognitive development do not and will not, ever have the capacity to consent to such sexual acts.

The new law in California states that if a child “consents” and the age gap is 10 years or less, there will be no criminal consequence, a.k.a. sex offender registration. Essentially, if a 24-year-old perpetrates anal or oral sex with a 14-year-old and she claims it was consensual, all is well and good, according to the state statute. Does anyone else see this as a problem? The State of California has just declared that anyone can rape a child, claim the victim consented, and get away with it. This law does not explicitly state that pedophilia is or is not a thing, a crime, a disorder, etc. It doesn’t actually mention pedophilia, but seriously? Who on earth would choose to sodomize, perform or receive oral or vaginal sex, from a child and not be a pedophile, for that is the very definition.

Growing up with a predator, I totally understand why a victim would claim what has happened was consensual. Loyalty, self-blame, shame, dissociation, any number of psychological implications play a part when in comes to disclosure. Placing the burden of proof between rape and consent when there is a 14 or 15-year-old, or any child (under 18 years old) is criminal in in of itself.

As it stands, in California, vaginal sex is legal if both parties consent, even when the girl or boy is only 14-years-old and the age gap within 10 years. The new law would make it legal for an adult to perform or receive oral or anal sex with a minor, within a 10-year age gap. You can draw your own conclusions as to why that may be.

The bottom line is, pedophilia is a mental health disorder, pedophilia acted out IS a crime, and adults who choose to have sex with children; vaginal, anal, oral, or otherwise should be held responsible. I clearly recognize that there are laws out there that make it difficult for a 19-year-old to “date” a 16-year-old. I also recognize that law enforcement and judges have some discretion when it comes to these cases and Romeo and Juliet laws exist for a reason. What I do not agree with is a 10 year age gap being the bench mark, and 14 being the age of consent, developmental changes within children can vary widely from year to year. This change to the California statute provides a slippery slope into pedophiles declaring open season on children, simply because this law is “close enough.” Slippery slopes often become uncontrollable landslides, and the children will be the ones to pay the price.

~Amy Joy   

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