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.

People Are People

There is a time in our lives where meeting someone we may be attracted to leads to some somewhat embarrassing moments. That particular moment is when you approach someone at a bar or social setting and ask them out only to learn that they are gay or lesbian. Immediately the apologies and blushed faces are apparent where the brain exclaims, “I wish there were labels to identify who is who?”  Our obsession with labels or our own personal gaydar has become slightly problematic that when someone hears pansexual, gender non-binary or aromantic. It becomes a lesson defining moment sometimes leaving us more confused than educated. Even for the LGBT community, such labels create a learning moment. At least LGBT members embrace most anything thrown at them to learn and assimilate. It is a shame that same quality isn’t shared in the heterosexual community as a whole.

But when labels transfer away from sexual identity towards registered offenders, those on parole, individuals with criminal records, or just everyday humanity, then the labels become forms of weapons with mass destruction appeal. Often we hear of the stereotypical and somewhat sexist, racist or name-calling tone of “Tyrone, that black dude that looks like he was just released from prison” or “Chris, the guy that looks like a molester.”  There is no basis as to why people enjoy appalling and unpleasant descriptive values when attempting to describe one another. But such sarcasm spills over without defense from humanity to uncomfortably laugh at such descriptors. It is slightly similar to how Nazi’s attempted to label Jewish citizens by nose size, eye and hair color, or particular skull features. It was all hocus-pocus noise however people actually believed it – and some supremacists still do today.  Perhaps our obsession to label is a convenience? Somewhat like unofficial nicknames were given as a child that stuck with us. However, if someone has a criminal record, is a registered offender, or is a member of the LGBT community shouldn’t be the sole basis to stigmatize or label individuals. Doing so is not only wrong and hurtful but is nothing more than adult versions of bullying. The past is the past, but adults should learn to act like responsible adults.

I don’t introduce my friend Martin as, “this is my black friend Martin.” Instead, I introduce as “this is Martin.”   I don’t say, “this is my dike friend Carol.” Instead, I say, “this is Carol.” If an individual wants to learn more about them instead it is an LGBT or perhaps rumor that need put to rest, there are times and appropriate places to continue that conversation as long as it is respectful and allows open dialog.

Recently there was a discussion about how to label registered sex offenders.  This was perhaps a thorny issue to tackle. However, I strongly feel and suggest that all forms of labels that diminish the humanity value offer more harm than good. I suggested, “this is Steve” followed by “someone affected by the registry.” That way the conversation can begin if Steve is a registered offender or if Steve has a family member on the registry. But we will constantly learn that ill winded people will suggest “Steve, that dude that looks like a creeper.”  We see the postings and hear the noise all the time yet do very little to advocate or redirect improved language. Comedy is one thing if you are a skillful comedian. However, there is nothing funny about the misuse of labels and how it stigmatizes others.

Gender may create a bit of an issue for many trying desperately to become politically correct. First of all, there is no political correctness in the LGBT world. It is learned as you go because diversity knows no limits. The term mister goes a long way but can be interpreted as differences between LGBT members. However, straight men shouldn’t begin throwing the enthusiastic term of girlfriend around unless you are sensibly fashionable, have perfect teeth, and can recite all song lyrics by Madonna. I have discovered that titles should be a doctor, professor, queen, princess, mom, dad or other obtainable and qualified appropriate titles. Sure, the LGBT community does occasionally throw the term Miss Thing around, but in a lighthearted joking manner. The LGBT community is one of the communities that embraced people of color, those affected by HIV or AIDS, the homeless, transgendered, convicted, and registered offenders. Why? Because it was those labels and human beings that were shunned and abandoned as a second-class citizen. While the heterosexual community tends to forget its cruel past, the LGBT community continually reminds its members to not forget how we got there and keep moving forward. That is the real gay agenda to allow everyone to become inclusive and break down barriers that divide us.

There was a time where there was a gay club, and a lesbian bar usually separated miles apart from one another (because gay men could figure out where to put the pool table as it would take away from the dance floor). Today, the gay clubs are united dance clubs where people of all backgrounds are free to be themselves and sometimes experience conditions they never thought would be mentally possible. You don’t turn a person gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Just as you don’t make a criminal or sexually deviant. People make mistakes and poor judgments. Pay the price and move on. There are situations no matter how brief that people experience for themselves. Labels create obscurity of learning from one another. But labels are an eerie reminder of the pink triangles during the Holocaust. Never again will LGBT members be labeled and ridiculed by policy.

The musical artist Depeche Mode wrong a song called People Are People. The lyrics are:

People are people so why should it be

You and I should get along so awfully

So we’re different colors

And we’re different creeds

And different people have different needs

It’s obvious you hate me 

Though I’ve done nothing wrong

I never even met you

So what could I have done

I can’t understand

What makes a man

Hate another man

Help me understand

These lyrics from the 1980’s describe a time where racism, religion, sexuality, and only being different created a mound of labels. Perhaps people should learn from those lyrics as to become less obsessed with labels and more driven to become assimilated into a society that embraces and accepts them for face value.

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