The Mr. Snuffleupagus Effect: Ephebophilia Is Somewhat Common

WARNING: The following content is for mature audiences only. It facilitates an educational dialog and not a formality to support or denounce opinions of others.

Sometimes we hear of a term that we think means one thing but actually means another. Hearing the word pedophile used openly typically is brandished similar to how people swear or say faggot to others. Another misconception is how sex registries brandish those on it as a pedophile list or child rapists. It simply isn’t true. But sadly society has in its head that it is true because once it’s said enough over and over then it must be true?

Pedophilia is an ongoing sexual attraction to pre-pubertal children. It is considered a paraphilia, a condition in which a person’s sexual arousal and gratification depend on fantasizing about and engaging in sexual behavior that is atypical and extreme.

I am no psychiatrist nor an individual credible enough to clearly understand the “underage community”. There will be a continuous debate on legality, clinical disorders, mental state, age of consent, assault, and so on. To be quite honest it is a taboo subject matter that society often expresses in pejorative terms. But with the open debate about sexual consent and the vastly differing laws, age requirements, and false labels it is worth a serious discussion to best determine if society or a minority group is overstepping its bounds?

The word pedophile by dictionary terms means, “a person who is sexually attracted to children.” But to the medical professional community, it defines it as, “primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children.” But to inject a bit of maturity for a sensitive discussion, I feel that the classic pedophile definitions are children that have not reached the physical features of puberty. I may be wrong by other individuals or professionals. But there is my open opinion on the matter. Is pedophilia acceptable in forms of direct contact? Certainly not! But I think society has branded it to the lowest criminal forms. Merely the appearance of expressive classical paintings with nude children can raise eyebrows and suspicions if someone hints at the appreciation of the artistic value. Naturally, from our personal experiences in puberty, we understand that females develop much earlier than males. Somewhere about 5th grade, many girls have begun the transformation into womanhood. Around 7th grade, many males begin noticeable changes into manhood. The birds and bees stories of decades past have been replaced with smartphone app-based searches making the days of the random Playboy magazine hidden dad hid under the bathroom sink cabinet just past the roll of toilet paper a thing of the past. It is something we don’t talk about, but somehow all know the taboo rules of discretion – even as kids in middle school.

But a question that commonly is raised today is, “kids shouldn’t be on the registry because of curiosity?” However, it is acceptable to legislate a harsh prison term for consent, but statutory rape of a 17-year-old girl caught having sex with a 20-year-old boy? Now, remember that I used manhood to describe a 7th-grade boy but boy to describe a 20-year-old male? Why is the fine line of age a sticking point to levy harsh penalty? First: It is the law. Second: It is a feeble attempt to protect innocence. Third: It is the last form of control by others before the other person reaches his/her own legal decision making. Lastly: It has a punctilious conviction.

An example is if a 30-year-old woman has sex with a 16-year-old boy then its called just that; “had sex.” But if a 30-year-old man has sex with a 16-year-old girl, it is called rape. The highest age of the individual could be any significant legal age, and the outcome would be the same. However, the man would be labeled a pedophile, but the boy would be often celebrated in taboo discussions as “one lucky boy!” Funny how society separates sanctions.

When we frame any sort of sexual abuse as a “sexual relationship” or call a male survivor of sexual abuse lucky, we harm survivors of any gender.

But puberty has a funny way of throwing off how the value of maturity is measured. In life, at one time or another, we have met a person that we thought was an attractive woman or man only to learn that the person was 14 years old. It is as if we somehow accidentally internally label our mental assessments as pedophilic or inappropriate thoughts. Does that imply that we all carry pedophilic thoughts? It is a deep conversation perhaps we are afraid to answer because if we do so in an honest manner it could greatly impact the future standing as a trusted individual.

Recently there has been chatter about child sex dolls being banned in individual states? I don’t know how or what to think of that? I have heard of a collector edition Bennie Baby but a child sex doll. Does it come with a birth certificate? I am bewildered as to how this came to be an issue. If a product has a likeness image of a child then its illegal – if used for sexual arousal purposes? Personally, it’s a creepy feeling, but I have to question if a child sex doll could be in comparison to a small condom? Is that suggesting a micro-condom could be used by a minor versus an adult? It’s a silly comparison but to label a product as an age when it’s not in actuality that age presents a mindboggling rational as to why this law was introduced in the first place? Did a Senator catch a Congressman with one? Anyhow. I digress.

There is a thing that most often jokes about commonly known as the midlife crisis. A midlife crisis is a transition of identity and self-confidence that can occur in middle-aged individuals, typically 45–64 years old. Within those discussions, we often read or hear rumor of the 40-something male buying a sports car to meet some random girl half his age. The age is of the girl is indeterminate. But raises the issue if the man is labeled an Ephebophiliac? The reverse can be said for women past the age of 40 and the random “pool boy” stories.

Ephebophilia is the primary sexual interest in mid-to-late adolescents, generally ages 15 to 19. The term was originally used in the late 19th to mid 20th century. It is one of a number of sexual preferences across age groups subsumed under the technical term chronophilia.

I get a chuckle about this particular subject. Women, and now men, have begun this craze of shaving, waxing, or removing pubic hairs from the groin area. Instead of hygiene, comfort, or other indiscretions, it poses a unique question if a man or women with pubic removal looks more pre or post-pubescent? Is this another taboo talking point subject because people want to suggest shaving is for one thing but represents another? But teens are doing the same thing by shaving when nobody, depending on the age of consent laws, can physically venture in that territory. The act of removing pubic hairs isn’t about metrosexual or self-confidence traits. Perhaps it is a hint of post-pubescent suppression for many under the guise of hygiene and appearance.

To be blunt, all of humankind has pedophilic thoughts. It doesn’t suggest that everyone acts out on them with physical touch or leering. The same similarities are how I view humankind with homosexual feelings. Again, it doesn’t suggest that people can become gay just as gay people don’t suddenly become heterosexual. The world has curiosities, and sometimes those curiosities cross a particular line society deems inappropriate with a set of sanctions. A former friend of mine lost his job with a police department because he voluntarily shared during a polygraph interview that he viewed child porn once. It is where a moment that we desire honesty, integrity, and a clean soul intersects quelling with an emotion that can never be eternally spoken. The sex registry isn’t filled with an overwhelming majority of pedophiles, rapists, ephebophiliacs or focused voyeurism individuals. Instead, the sex registry is the epitome of a weaponized all-inclusive mischaracterization of the word pedophile created by politicians and reinforced by pro-registry advocates.

Research has disproven the perception that sex offenders are especially prone to recidivism. In reality, recidivism rates for sex offenses are lower than for all other major types of crime, and the U.S. Department of Justice has found that only about 3 percent of child molesters commit another sex crime within three years of being released from prison. Meta-analysis of hundreds of studies confirms that once they are detected, most convicted offenders never sexually reoffend. (Not all sex offenders who victimize children are pedophiles; only about 40 percent of convicted sex offenders meet the diagnostic criteria for the disorder.) – Psychology Today

Before anyone interprets any ideas about the many classifications of pedophiles, they should never propose they are physically harmful or in similarity to murderers. There is no evidence that I can find to suggest pedophilic classes pose any threat to communities, society, or humanity. I personally do not know anyone that is or claims to be a pedophile. When
Milo Yiannopoulos once said, “In the homosexual world, particularly, some of those relationships between younger boys and older men — the sort of ‘coming of age’ relationship — those relationships in which those older men help those young boys discover who they are and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable, sort of rock, where they can’t speak to their parents” is that discussion that many interpreted as support for pedophilia when in fact it was the opposite. He went on to say, “sexual attraction to someone who is 13 years old. Pedophilia is attraction to children who have not reached puberty. That [discussion about sex and labels] is not what we’re talking about.” Shortly after because Yiannopoulos shared a candid story about his life and backlash, he resigned from his position at Breitbart News.

Perhaps a reason we are scared to talk openly about pedophilia is that we often don’t know anything about it. It is similar to how once the birds and bees were a right of passage became relatively impermissible. Sexual imagination is disallowed to be discussed in public and often in private settings. It isn’t just an elephant in the room issue. Sexual exploration has become the Mr. Snuffleupagus effect. If society and globalization are to remedy attempts at reducing child human trafficking in the sexual context, then we must have an open and candid conversation about the epitome of sexual taboos. Otherwise, if the professional medical community can’t properly address preventative care, then it will only be treated when the action is too late.

Mature Decision Making​

I recently read about a 16-year-old person soon to be graduating from high school – and Harvard University. It had me thinking about maturity, development, and the method in which we as adults defines an individual as capable of making adult decisions?

Some would argue that a 16-year-old person graduating from a prestigious university is an exception to the rule and in fairness a rare event. However rare events are measured by people using loose fact-finding data to justify an answer. If any 16-year-old person anywhere in the world didn’t graduate from high school early or be enrolled in a college does that make them less of a gifted individual allowable to make his/her own adult choices? The quick answer would be a resounding “No” by most. It seems that the exception rule is based upon privilege with an acknowledgment by others in power or control. A measurable formula is when others suggest gifted and talented acts by potential candidates, but they are not selected or overlooked in the rare process to seek mature and gifted students. It is strange that America has a vastly large magnet or gifted-talented educational programs, but the identity of allowing adult decisions and seeking qualified candidates are decided from ungifted or unqualified individuals. Instead, we continually drop the pursuit of maturity and gifted people through the cracks of our politized educational system using a formula of standardized tests that most people find boring and not engaging. These identifiers are our main selection process in the discovery of the future Stephen Hawking? No wonder its difficult to find maturity or raise the bar because of how we developed the bar or challenge.

Another maturity example that differs is that the Army of the United Kingdom allows military enlistment beginning at age 16 compared to the U.S. Army enlistment at age 18. The drinking age in the UK is 18 while all of the United States is 21. The age of consent in the UK is 16 while Americans have a mish-mash of consent ages usually beginning at age 18 but with various stipulations. A college education typically starts in the UK at age 16 while American colleges roughly range at 18 or just after high school. Does this suggest that American culture is lagging in maturity and development behind other industrialized nations?

Additionally, does it indicate that our system of the age of suffrage it out of date or lacking useful data? If you take notice that the UK enjoys a safe maturity level of age 16 across the board. Perhaps this is why that nation doesn’t have significant incarceration, sex registry, or costly educational system? It does beg to question American methods and practices if we can look outward for a moment.

The question about maturity and development is highly questionable because American culture takes excellent value in placing a numeric value on all individuals rather than exploring scientific data or the exploration of the exceptional rule. It seems as if the UK has done its fact-finding and created a uniformed and easy to understand practice all while embracing trust and maturity of its youth. This is not to suggest that we should begin immediately lowing ages to “keep up with the Joneses” per se. What I am suggesting is that we became a bit more uniformed and aligned with other industrialized nations especially in a globalized society filled with internet, apps, and shared educational values with regards to sciences, maths, and culture. Otherwise, if we fail to discuss the educational and maturity benefits of shifting the goal post of developmental maturity programs, then we will become as complacent as our poorly designed Great Depression educational school calendars that we continue to use today.

Sexting Is Not Pornography

Growing up as a teen I had no idea what age of consent meant. Typically most teenagers understanding of the law is obey the speed limit, don’t drink and drive, and basically, don’t harm another person. However, in today’s modern society age of consent issues have become an uncomfortable leap forward in birds and bees education because of its effects on families and anyone capable of holding a smartphone. Studies show that sexting and exchanging nude photographs is somewhat common among youth. Kids do not understand the law because sexting, to them, is a private exchange between two consenting parties.  Essentially, to their interpretations, is has become a new safer sex method and replacement to defunct gloss magazines. When a parent or adult explains to youth the consequences of sexting as an issue that could wind them up in jail, it seems like a parental discussion rather than a stern warning. That is until it actually affects them with criminal charges. Youth understanding the effects of sexting is a hit and miss market because of public embarrassment to begin discussions about sex education. Long gone are the boy’s bathroom gang holding up proof of girls panties too as a measure they have reached some form of adulthood. Smartphones have replaced such high-school rituals. When parents become involved because of policing private exchanges, the complications get much worse and in most cases places adults in a precarious situation because there is no pamphlet to explain what crosses parental discipline versus notification of authorities. This is why children are now the most vulnerable to be listed as sex offenders in the United States because in many cases police bypass the parental obligations and enforce laws intended for professional performance to become cosigned parents and social workers.

 

If you ask youth in American what is the age of consent, meaning what is the legal age to engage in sexual intercourse or behaviors, then you indeed hear varied answers. A reason for this is that America has differing age requirements. Some states begin the age of consent at 16 and others allow at age 18. A few states remain at 17 throwing a wrench into what is the actual standard age. All of Canada age of consent is 16 while Mexico ranges from age 12 to 14. To make matters more complicated many states enacted stipulations for example where participants must be no more than five years older than the minimum age requirement. In many cases, the law is vague but enforced with rigor under a complicated and somewhat prejudicial system. When you throw in sexting requirements let’s say a boy from West Virginia meets a girl over the border in Virginia then it becomes a legal fiasco and a miscarriage of justice because the consent elements differ. If its confusing for youth or teens, imagine how it may be viewed by legal scholars?  But it is more confusing for visitors from either Canada, Mexico, or Europe to understand our convoluted age of consent despite all those Hollywood films that assert two kids sneaking away while the folks aren’t home. The innuendo is clear, but the lesson for society is assorted and troublesome.

 

If the age of consent isn’t bad enough to understand imagine when kids lie about their age in an attempt to be older than they really are? Many children listed on the sex offender registry are placed there because the age mentioned is not a legal defense according to law. Police and prosecutors will defend that kids should be vigilant in requiring proof such as to never assume. Yet will continue to seek criminalized sanctions to send a message to others. It seems to me that any arrest sends a strong message which may be strong enough to curb particular behaviors. We have become a bit puritan without attempting to regulate reasonably the age of consent policies rather than teaching sex education, safer sex techniques, or perhaps why abstinence is beneficial? America continues to sideline critical conversations because it may lead to curiosities creating a mound of issues.  The fact is that sex among youth is a crucial dam about to break because Americans have created cumbersome laws and basically criminalized the ability to openly discuss how to fix it.

 

First and foremost, children should never be listed on the American sex offender registry. But it appears to fall on deaf ears because youth are the most exploited segment of choice by police because of strict felonious anti-child pornographic laws. Essentially, the police mantra of “protect and serve” means protect the law and serve warrants.  I agree that pornographic laws should be enforced if producers fail to maintain proper accountability and record keeping. However, youth exchanging should be left to the consideration of judges to provide a blanket of discretion. Prosecutors should be the peoples advocate rather than the politicized ax men relegating its interpretation of the law. Prosecutors and police should begin to embrace the spirit of the law to advocate communities how to curb or suggest improvements. Yet those individuals continue to pass the buck by saying, “if you want the law to change, talk to your politician.” Youth are not out trying to professionally produce porn materials as some in the moral leaning right tend to assume. Teenagers are caught in the middle of interpretations where technologies surpassed the law. As for sex education in schools? Don’t get me started. Just remember that President Clinton could expend his load on Monica’s dress. But Joycelyn Elders was fired for talking about it.

 

Sexting isn’t going away anytime soon. Youth have learned to circumvent technology by no longer engaging in SMS texting or using software to delete its traces. This is why smartphone applications such as Snapchat, Signal, or Smiley Private texting are huge hits. Applications such as Blur, WhatsApp, and Digify allow photos to self-destruct. I learned all about these apps from my cousin. He said, “its two people sharing intimate photos instead of having actual sex. But the way the law is written means that if we have [consentual] sex then its legal and we risk an accident of maybe getting pregnant. But if we get caught sending photos then its jail. It doesn’t make sense?”  That phrase alone should make any person’s hair stand on ends. A 16-year-old kid appears to have more common sense than how a law was crafted. Additionally, it demonstrates that kids are responsible by reducing unwanted pregnancies. He went on to mention, “I can have sex at 16, but cant buy condoms until I’m 18?”  Laws are just as convoluted as the age of consent laws. The amount of technology is outpacing public policy and keeping a step beyond authorities. The critical question is when will it backfire and be evidence down the road? Current public policy and laws are not attempting to facilitate a unified national age to protect young people.

 

This is a discussion that folks must engage in and advocate updates to current policy. The conversation shouldn’t be centered around what you find acceptable because any family can create its own house rules. However, the conversation should be at the heart of a feasible and humane age in keeping with the rest of the industrialized world. Once we institute a level field that everyone can understand then and only then will be able to engage in sensible dialog.

 

For more information about American Age of Consent may be found here. I am unsure how accurate or up-to-date the information is. However, it does provide a sensible discussion value that in America the spirit of the law and determining a basic understanding is critically flawed.

https://www.ageofconsent.net/states

 

Age of Consent and Homosexuality

Today I was listening to a rather heated conversation about alt-right speaker Milo Yiannopoulos. Apparently, he was alleged to have spoken with an online broadcast about his sexual relationships at an early age with older men. The conversation went over the top, so to speak, and became a cross over the line where Yiannopoulos eludes to himself and his priest engaged in a sort of sexual circumstance when he was a pre-teen. Naturally, this is a profoundly disturbing revelation, but Milo does raise an interesting perspective and disturbing information about consent in America, the definition of classical pedophilia, and how homosexuality is labeled.

 

I am in no way defending pedophilia or Milo Yiannopoulos’s extreme rhetoric. However, he began this taboo conversation with some nearly correct facts. He was correct that pedophilia is listed for a child that is under the age of thirteen years old. The age of consent in America significantly differs state to state and is widely misunderstood. But most conservative Americans tend to create this false impression that homosexuality is linked to pedophilia. Because of what Yiannopoulos said I am confident that the religious right will once again begin to label the LGBT community as a precursor to pedophilia. Milo said, “if I were 15 and experimented with another boy a year older than I then we are freaks. But when a straight couple the same age does the same thing they are coming of age.”  He is correct there is a division of standards between the straight and homosexual community.

 

Let’s face facts. Milo knows how to cleverly troll the internet and media to begin a conversation – even if it’s the wrong way to start a discussion. But I chose to listen beyond the filth and shock to the story of many talking points of the LGBT community. Honestly, there is a divide in our nation with the LGBT age of consent standards. For example, in New Hampshire, West Virginia, and many other states the age of consent between a straight couple is 16 years of age. But the law in these states and others makes it illegal for a gay or lesbian couple to consent until age 18. North Carolina and other states have similar laws. Naturally, there will be either LGBT members remain in the closet until they are adults or the sex offender registry will continue to demonstrate a disproportionate amount of LGBT members because of outdated laws. So basically to combat the age of consent law many states raised the legal consent age to 18 making the slightest form of sexual contact a felonious crime. Maybe we can learn a lesson from our neighbors in France, United Kingdom and Germany where the age of consent is 16 regardless of the other individual’s age. But of course, they teach sex ed in schools where we are nearly forbidden to do so. Instead, you read your taboo sex discussions on internet boards. So much for America setting the standard.

 

Homosexuality in America will continue to become labeled with misinformation and slander as long as constructive sexual discussions remain hidden from view. Dr. Ruth was once a household name on television. She discussed many sexual behaviors but eventually was taken off the air mainly in part by conservatives that felt her educational comments and suggestions shouldn’t be heard during peak broadcast hours. Ruth was eventually moved to cable during the late 1990’s losing the critical audience she should have been talking to all along. I fear that Milo’s comments will hurt the gay & lesbian communities. Some people only hear what they want to hear and that may be “a gay man talked about his pedophilia experience” or something out of context but similar. That trolling moment is what scares me and how it can become similar to the debunked Hillary Clinton Pizzagate conspiracy.

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