Pedophiles seek community online

In the age of MySpace, pedophiles using the net to feel better about child sex is a little hard to accept.

In the Internet stew that holds equal all things good, bad and in-between, a two-part article in The New York Times on the rise of a pedophile movement stands out as particularly hard to digest.

Through Internet chat rooms, podcasts and streaming radio, pedophiles from diverse backgrounds are able to share information, swap stories, politically organize and even give tips on how to distribute to children a printable booklet that extols the benefits of sex with adults. Despite the illegality and societal outrage having sex with minors, the Internet support group help them justify their behavior.

“It is rationalization that allows them to avoid admitting that their desires are harmful and illegal,” said Bill Walsh, a former commander of the Crimes Against Children Unit for the Dallas Police Department, who founded the most prominent annual national conference on the issue. “That can allow them to take that final step and cross over from fantasy into real-world offenses.”

The Times article goes on to explain the sophisticated Internet network which has been created — a "charity that raised money to send Eastern European children to a camp where they were apparently visited by pedophiles; and an online jewelry company that markets pendants proclaiming the wearer as being sexually attracted to children, allowing anyone in the know to recognize them."

Some pedophiles regard themselves as pushing for legalization of child pornography and the loosening of age-of-consent laws. They view themselves as fighting for children’s rights to engage in sex with adults. A dutch group formed a pedophile political party, and celebrated when a Dutch court upheld the party’s right to exist.

“Every human being, no matter the age, should be allowed to have consenting mutual sexual relations with anyone they wish,” a man calling himself Venn wrote. “All age of consent laws must, and forever, be abolished."

Chat rooms, podcasts and Internet radio stations continually reinforce views such as these. Podcasts featured discussions such as the, “benefits of age difference in sexual relationships”; “failure of sex offender registries”; “children’s sexual autonomy, practices and consequences” and “the misrepresentation of pedophilia in the news media.”

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