By Jonathon Van Maren
It was only two months ago that we covered the story of a transgender-identifying professor seeking to “destigmatize” pedophilia in her book The Long Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity. Alyn Walker wants people to use the term “minor-attracted people” (MAPs) rather than the term “pedophile” because it has less negative connotations and makes the case that sexuality is fluid while avoiding addressing the question of whether she considers pedophilia to be simply another sexual orientation.
On Monday, USA Today chimed in with an article by reporter Alia Dastagir on pedophilia with a similar perspective, advocating for “destigmatizing the attraction” and making the case that it is “among the most misunderstood,” noting that “[r]esearchers who study pedophilia say the term describes an attraction, not an action, and using it interchangeably with ‘abuse’ fuels misperceptions about pedophiles.”
Unsurprisingly, the article favorably quotes Walker, noting that “there is growing support in the field for Walker’s point of view” that if pedophilia is “destigmatized,” it might ultimately result in pedophiles seeking therapy rather than abusing children.
The article quotes researchers explaining that this is not a chosen attraction, and that pedophiles are simply born this way:
One of the most significant findings is that scientists who study the disorder say pedophilia is determined in the womb, though environmental factors may influence whether someone acts on an urge to abuse.