It is not a particularly new phenomenon to have nouns reworked and used as verbs. Some common phrases which do this are ,“to host a party”, “to chair the meeting”, and “to gift” your favorite charity. For some of these examples, the meaning is often appropriate as it conveys accurately the descriptions they intend to define. For others however, one in particular, the meaning is not only inaccurate, it is demonstrably false. This is especially true when the word itself is misunderstood and defined improperly.
The word pedophile or paedophile is a noun. The correct definition is a person (noun) who is sexually attracted to prepubescent children. Since attraction is not the same thing as behavior, and people may or may not act on their desires, using this word as a verb is misleading in the least, and for the most part, disingenuous. Phrases such as “pedophile activity”, lend the impression that a pedophile is necessarily a child molester, and that all child molesters are pedophiles, yet neither is often the case.
Because this word is so misunderstood, even demonized, I will define two kinds of pedophiles in the simplest possible terms. The first is the self-absorbed, or “bad” pedophile. He is the one who most often finds his way into the media spotlight. The “bad” pedophile doesn’t have any emotional feelings for children. He just knows they “turn him on” and he seeks self-gratification using little more than their physical form and his own desires. He is not overly concerned with their feelings, or in some cases, even with the issue of consent. He will use guile, deception, and if necessary, force in order to obtain what he wants from them. The “bad” pedophile is essentially the Chester the Molester caricature who stalks playgrounds, kidnaps and murders innocent young children, and seeks them out with only one thing on his mind: sexual gratification. He is a hunter and a predator, who deals in secrecy and deception, with little regard for the consequences. Fortunately, for both society and our children, the “Bad Pedophile” is very rare.
To most people in mainstream culture, the above description of the “Bad Pedophile” is the only one they will consider. To them, every pedophile is a “Bad Pedophile”. This however, is far from the truth. In fact, the second type of pedophile, “The Child Lover”, is far more typical.
I will not try to argue that Child Lovers are perfect or free from human flaws, they are not. But, they are not the embodiment of evil either. A Child Lover is an adult who is both sexually AND emotionally attracted to children. He is the one who falls in love and regards the physical and emotional well-being of the child to be paramount. Although he has desires, often strong desires, he also has a heightened sense of self-control, and an awareness of the damage that a child can incur if he succumbs. It is in large part for this reason, that the majority of Child Lovers never act on their urges. Therefore, most Child Lovers do not engage in “pedophile behavior”. Or do they?
When the word “pedophile” is used to describe a verb, as in “pedophile behavior”, the word is just as misunderstood as when it is used as a noun. Positive pedophile behavior within the Child Love demographic is seldom mentioned, because pedophile behavior in general is little understood, and filled with exaggeration, falsehoods, and hysteria. Even highly intelligent, well educated, and ordinarily thoughtful people seem to think that a pedophile is only after one thing: sexual gratification. They all seem to agree that only the “Bad Pedophile” exists and that “Child Love” is an attempt to put lipstick on a pig.
As a Child Lover myself, I can attest to the existence of this latter group of caring, responsible, and loving people who are attracted to children. And, I am not the only one. Sites like Puellula have introduced many child lovers to each other, many meeting someone like themselves for the first time. When a young pedophile comes here, or to one of the other sites on the ’net, he may be surprised to find many of his fellows to have a code of ethics, sense of morality, empathy, and a strong emotional love for children. He may in fact learn that he has a choice and that it is not pre-ordained that he will kidnap, rape, molest, or kill the ones he loves.
Here are some of the things Child Lovers commonly do with children:
- Help them with their homework
- Fix their bicycle or other toys
- Listen to them in a nonjudgmental manner
- Appreciate the child for who she is now, not only for who she will be when she grows up.
- Respects the child as a human being.
- Plays games (non-sexual) that the child wants to play
- Offers encouragement, compliments, and validation of the whole child.
- Goes for walks, just to talk.
- With parents permission, takes the child on trips and/or excursions
- Let’s the child know that she is lovable, desirable, and worthwhile.
These are just ten example of true pedophile behavior. These are the things I, and others like me, do with children.
Who are the pedophiles and how do you recognize them? Pedophiles are everyman. There is no accurate profile which fits all. A minority are selfish child molesters, but the vast majority are people you know, like, and respect. He may be the favorite uncle to whom the kids all gravitate, the most popular teacher in your local school, or that coach who went the extra mile for your son or daughter. Anyone who makes children the focal point of their lives may be one of us.
In this day and age however, the erotic side must be suppressed due to the severe consequences involved. The punishment that is handed out to both the child and the adult if they are discovered breaking the taboo is immense. For the adult, a lengthy prison sentence, virtual ostracism from society, and a ruined life. For the child, the consequences are more subtle, but possibly even more traumatic. She is told she is a victim and must undergo harrowing, emotionally draining “therapy” in order to become a “survivor”. No true Child Lover would ever want to be responsible for putting a child on that treadmill of despair. For the responsible Child Lover, there is simply no choice; self control and celibacy must be the watchwords.
But despite the very real need to keep the libido in check, emotional bonds still develop and both the child and the Child Lover benefit from this love. I know many adult women, with whom I had a very special (non-sexual) relationship as children. They remain friends of mine and have recounted fondly the many good times we had together when they were young. Pedophilia, if it denotes behavior at all, is much more likely to be the story of life-affirming friendship, rather than exploitative and destructive predation.
If society MUST use the term “Pedophile” to describe behavior, I would hope that they first sweep it out from under the rug and learn what that behavior really is. Yes, there is sexual desire that draws us close to children, but there is, first and foremost, love. The majority of children who suffer abuse, suffer it at the hands of friends, neighbors, and family members, not Child Lovers.
In summary, the word pedophile means something different to different people, depending on the demographic defining it. For the mainstream, it is synonymous with “child molester”. But for those of us who live with the attraction, it means exactly what the roots say; pedo = child, phile = love. Hence a pedophile is someone who loves children. And, in this world of hysterical, anti-child sexuality, a true Child Lover is not very likely to put his loved ones in a situation where they are abused and traumatized by these wolves in sheep’s clothing, for keeping children safe and feeling loved is a Child Lover’s first priority.