Are Mental Health Professionals Working to Normalize Pedophilia?

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The New American

Thursday, 18 August 2011 00:00

Written by Dave Bohon

As law enforcement agencies around the world continue to round up adults who prey on children, a small group of mental health professionals appears to be trying to facilitate a change in how pedophilia is defined and diagnosed. In fact, as reported by the Daily Caller, just such a group used an August 17 conference in Baltimore to discuss how “pedophiles themselves could play a role in removing pedophilia from the American Psychiatric Association’s bible of mental illnesses — the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), set to undergo a significant revision by 2013.”

The conference was sponsored by B4U-ACT, which the Daily Caller described as “a group of pro-pedophile mental health professionals and sympathetic activists.” According to information provided on the group’s website, the focus of the conference was to bring together researchers and mental health professionals — as well as “minor-attracted persons” — in order to discuss, among other issues, ways in which pedophiles “can be involved in the DSM 5 revision process.” 

The Daily Caller noted that B4U-ACT has been actively attacking “the APA’s definition of pedophilia in the run-up to the conference, denouncing its description of ‘minor-attracted persons’ as ‘inaccurate’ and ‘misleading’ because the current DSM links pedophilia with criminality” — a “stigma” B4U-ACT members would apparently like to see changed. 

In a July 25 press release, the organization announced that it had sent a letter to the board of trustees of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) “notifying the organization of the inaccuracies and misleading information contained in the current draft of its [DSM], currently under revision.” 

Howard Kline, science director for B4U-ACT, claimed that the currently proposed DSM revision for pedophilia “is full of inaccurate and misleading information on people who are attracted to children or adolescents. It is based on data from prison studies, which completely ignore the existence of those who are law-abiding.” 

Kline complained that the APA’s “proposed new diagnostic criteria specify ages and frequencies with no scientific basis whatsoever,” and insisted that the revised DSM for pedophilia “should meet a higher standard than that.” Naturally, he offered the assistance of B4U-ACT in the revision process, with the assurance: “We can help them, because we are the people they are writing about.” 

According to B4U-ACT conference description, “controversy has arisen” over such DSM issues as the “diagnostic thresholds” of pedophilia (meaning, apparently, the point at which someone is determined by a mental health professional to be a potential or bona fide pedophile); the “stigma” that results from such a diagnosis; and whether or not some pedophilia — such as sexually targeting minors in their early adolescent years (known clinically as hebephilia) — should even be considered a disorder. 

Dr. Judith Riesman, who has spent decades researching and exposing efforts to normalize pedophilia in society, told the Daily Caller that the conference fits nicely into that normalization strategy. She said the first step “is to get the public to divest from thinking of what the offender does criminally, to thinking of the offender’s emotional state, to think of him as thinking of his emotional state, [and] to empathize and sympathize.” She added: “You don’t change the nation in one fell swoop; you have to change it by conditioning. The aim is to get them [pedophiles] out of prison.” 

The Daily Caller also noted that Dr. Richard Kramer, B4U-ACT’s director of operations, as well as conference keynote speaker Dr. Fred Berlin of Johns Hopkins University, “have actively opposed sex offender notification laws.” 

In 2009, Berlin wrote on the website “What purpose does calling someone a ‘pervert’ or ‘predator’ serve anyway, other than to express contempt and hatred? How is this productive? It certainly doesn’t protect children. I would urge all SO [sex offender] activists to listen to their own message: Stop buying into and promoting false stereotypes. Stop demonizing a whole class of people, and start learning the facts.” 

While Kramer insisted to the Daily Caller that he opposed removing pedophilia from the DSM, and that “society’s interests can best be served by supporting both criminal justice interventions and public health initiatives,” the news website noted that in 1990 the “Baltimore Sun reported that Berlin refused to report pedophiles under his care who were actively molesting children.” 

As reported by LifeSite News, on its own website “B4U-ACT classifies pedophilia as simply another sexual orientation and decries the ‘stigma’ attached to pedophilia, observing: ‘No one chooses to be emotionally and sexually attracted to children or adolescents. The cause is unknown; in fact, the development of attraction to adults is not understood.’ The group says that it does not advocate treatment to change feelings of attraction to children or adolescents.” 

Dr. Riesman said the efforts by mental health professionals and others to normalize pedophilia is a continuation of a strategy she observed decades ago. “I first met up with what I had come to call ‘the Academic Pedophile Lobby’ in 1977 at the British Psychological Society Conference on Love and Attraction, Swansea, Wales,” Riesman told LifeSiteNews. “I delivered a research paper on child pornography in Playboy 1954-1977.” 

She recalled that other researchers and academics at the conference, “some hired by pornographers, presented ‘scientific’ papers advocating the legalization of child pornography, prostitution, and an end to age of consent. They promoted their ‘scientific’ claims for early childhood sexuality to lawmakers and fellow academicians via both legitimate and pornographic media.” 

Riesman charged that, even without the changes desired by the people at B4U-ACT, the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders “is typical of this degeneracy since they already had lightened the diagnosis of pedophilia as to make it almost meaningless, requiring that the pedophile be ‘bothered’ by his and her abuse of children and so on. We now have women and children sexually violating children as well as men.” 

Riesman warned that such degeneracy “will continue to spiral down into, well, we’d have to say the abyss of hell, unless we retrieve our laws, our mass media, and our schools.”

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