Sep 8 2011
Researchers push for APA to destigmatize pedophilia [Excerpts]
Several well-known researchers recently made unexpected arguments on pedophilia at an academic conference in Baltimore.
Liberty Counsel Action's Matt Barber attended the conference, which was sponsored by B4U-ACT, a Maryland-based organization* of psychiatric practioners seeking to eliminate what it considers "tremendous barriers" among mental health professionals, the public, and "minor-attracted individuals" (pedophiles).
Barber says while at the conference he felt he was on a different planet, as the presenting professionals argued to remove pedophilia from the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). That, he believes, would mean pedophilia would no longer be considered a mental disorder.
"The entire focus of the event was on the victimhood of the pedophile," Barber accounts. There was "very little concern for the children who are the victims of these individuals when they are raped, who these individuals lust after," he adds.
And he says the experts' discussions were focused on "destigmatizing pedophilia ... removing the stigma, and [getting] the public to stop demonizing pedophiles."
APA states it stands firmly behind efforts to criminally prosecute those who abuse and exploit children and adolescents. But Barber is concerned the APA is already moving toward declassifying pedophilia as a mental disorder "by saying that a pedophile is only a pedophile in their latest DSM...if they are distressed by their attractions or behaviors."
Barber believes that would bring the APA one step closer to de-classifying pedophilia as a mental disorder, as they did homosexuality in the 1970s.