WASHINGTON (BP)–A trend toward normalizing pedophilia is the latest manifestation of a dangerous understanding of human sexuality that has become more prevalent over the last 30 years.
That assertion was voiced by a leading analyst of cultural trends, Carson Holloway, a political science professor at the University of Nebraska, was reported by CNSNews.com July 11 from a Family Research Council symposium the previous day titled, “From Playboy to Pedophilia: How Adult Sexual Liberation Leads to Children’s Sexual Exploitation.”
To reverse the trend, which poses a serious challenge to contemporary cultural conservatism, Americans must return to conservative sexual mores, Holloway said.
In a relatively short time, America has gone from a society that Alexis de Tocqueville, speaking 150 years ago, described as having stricter sexual standards than any other country, to one in which casual sex is depicted with approval on primetime television.
A great gulf now separates pre-1960s America from the present sexually liberationist ethos, Holloway said.
The change in sexual thinking and behavior was brought about by sexual liberationists’ rhetorical emphasis on the autonomy of “consenting adults” and the triumph of the notion that anything sexual is morally permissible so long as it takes place between consenting adults, Holloway said.
By insisting that there can be nothing objectionable about any sexual act that takes place between consenting adults, sexual liberationists deny there is a moral nature of sex, he said.
Similarly, the defense of pedophilia is repeatedly made on the basis that relations can be voluntary and that the young, who are more worldly wise than previous generations, can in some cases be the instigators of sexual activity with adults, Holloway said.
These social and cultural trends also are reflected in landmark legal decisions, he noted.
In April, the Supreme Court struck down a law that prohibited the distribution and possession of virtual child pornography that appears to depict real children.
“Reading the court’s opinion, I was struck by the extent to which the members of the majority at least don’t seem to live in the same moral universe as many of the rest of us,” Holloway said.
“We learn, for example, there’s a distinction between the indecent and the obscene, that pornography is not necessarily obscene and indeed that child pornography is not necessarily obscenity,” he added.
With its decision, the court put materials that foster pedophile fantasies in the realm of constitutionally protected speech, Holloway noted.
The federal statute, which was enacted in 1996, had banned a range of techniques, including computer-generated images and the use of youthful-looking adults, which were designed to convey the impression of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
The court ruled, however, that non-obscene child pornography can be banned if it is produced using real children. Such material, the court holds, does not have constitutional protection because of the state’s compelling interest in preventing the harm to children caused by their sexual exploitation, Holloway said.
“Thus the court seems to share the conventional view that the introduction of minors to sexual intercourse is wrong or abusive,” Holloway said.
The justices also made it almost impossible to punish anything as obscenity, Holloway noted. The court ruled that the federal statute prohibiting virtual child pornography didn’t take into account that for something to be considered obscene it has to appeal primarily to the prurient interest, violate community standards and be void of social, scientific, political or cultural value.
“What that comes down to is, if anything has the slightest sliver of culturally or socially redeeming value, then it can’t be judged obscene, even if it’s pure pornography from start to finish. And I think that’s effectively emasculating any kind of laws against obscenity,” Holloway said.
“It seems to me that any pornographic movie in which there’s even one line of conversation could be redeemed on that basis,” he added.
The cultural reaction to the behavior of President Clinton, who had sex with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, also demonstrated a change in Americans’ attitudes toward sex, and a trend towards more promiscuous sexual activity among young people, analysts at the seminar noted.
“Clearly Americans disapproved of what Bill Clinton had done, but they didn’t disapprove of it enough to want to get rid of him,” Holloway said, in response to questions.
People objected to Clinton’s lying and tampering with the administration of justice, but not to his sexual behavior, he said.
Holloway said there was a connection between the legitimization of homosexuality and the acceptance of President Clinton’s sexual behavior. Interviews with “the man on the street” revealed that people believed Clinton did “what any man would have done.”
“Well, if that’s your moral attitude toward sex, then there’s nothing wrong with anything any homosexual does either. It’s hard to see a principled objection to what homosexuals do if what Bill Clinton does is just okay,” Holloway said.
Morahan is a senior staff writer with CNSNews.com. Used by permission.