Roberth H. Knight challenges Judith Levine who recently published a book through the University of Minnesota Press that argues for sexual activity between adults and children.
"Sex is not harmful to children. It is a vehicle to self-knowledge, love, healing,
creativity, adventure, and intense feelings of aliveness."
-- Judith Levine
In Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children From Sex, author Judith Levine makes the argument that children are being unjustly denied the opportunity to have sex with adults and each other, and she blames the "Religious Right," "religion," and "ignorance."
Levine cites the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) as a key influence in her work, along with other child-sex advocates such as James Kincaid, author of Child Loving: The Erotic Child and Victorian Culture. She also positively cites the 1998 article in the American Psychological Association's (APA) flagship publication Psychological Bulletin that urged people to use "neutral" terms such as "adult-child sex" and said that not all adult-child sex is harmful and some might even be beneficial. The APA article was denounced by Congress, the American Psychiatric Association, and by many American Psychological Association members.
The foreword, by former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, states that parents have "an overwhelming desire for their children to receive detailed sex education at school as well as at home," and attacks the "religious right" as "people who have a love affair with the fetus but won't take care of children once they are born." The solution, Elders says, is that "children must be taught sexual ethics. ... Teaching children to have self-respect, to feel good about themselves, to make good decisions: to me, that is sexuality education."
Elders was fired by Bill Clinton shortly after she began a campaign to teach children to masturbate and also made public comments about legalizing marijuana and other illicit drugs.
On Friday, this author debated Elders on FOX's Hannity & Colmes in a program devoted to Levine's book. On the program, Elders denied that Levine supports child abuse and said, "I think some children have [sexual] encounters with adults and may not necessarily have what we measure as harmful effects."
Harmful to Minors, published by the University of Minnesota Press, makes the case that children are capable sexual partners, are entitled to sex, and benefit from having sex with adults as long as the children consent to it. The real problem, the author says, is societal "hysteria" surrounding the issue of child sexuality. When children consent, the experience can be positive, she says. In an interview with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Levine said she admired the approach used in the Netherlands, where the age of sexual consent was lowered to 12.
Dr. Judith Reisman, author of Kinsey: Crime and Consequences, who unmasked the child sex experimentation in the Kinsey Report books, says child molesters usually begin their legal defense with the argument that the child consented. "The damage done to children from sexual relations with adults -- what the public thought was child molestation -- was almost always, in Kinsey's view, the result of overreaction and hysteria by parents, schoolteachers, police, etc.," Reisman wrote in Kinsey, Sex and Fraud: The Indoctrination of a People.
Likewise, Levine follows the Kinsey formula and spends a good deal of time battling "hysteria" on the part of people who think children should be shielded from early sexual exposure.
Here are a few excerpts from Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children From Sex:
"...the fear that children are having intercourse in middle school is largely unfounded; only two in ten girls and three in ten boys do so by the age of fifteen.... p. xxiv
"Indeed, the concept that sex poses an almost existential peril to children, that it robs them of their very childhood, was born only about 150 years ago." p. xxvii
(Editor's note: 2000 years ago, Jesus in Matthew 18:6 warned that it would be better to be tossed into the sea with a millstone around one's neck than to harm even one innocent child.)
Harmful to Minors says sex is not in itself harmful to minors. Rather, the real potential for harm lies in the circumstances under which some children and teens have sex, circumstances that predispose them to what the public-health people call "unwanted outcomes," such as unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, not to mention what I'd also consider an unwanted outcome: plain old bad sex. p. xxxiii.
When we are ready to invite children into the community as fully participating citizens... That will be the moment at which we respect their sexual autonomy and agency and realize that one way to help them cultivate the capacity to enjoy life is to educate their capacity for sexual joy. p. 224. (Editor's note: "sexual autonomy" is the term employed frequently by the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), which advocates man-boy sex.)
Sex is not harmful to children. It is a vehicle to self-knowledge, love, healing, creativity, adventure, and intense feelings of aliveness. There are many ways even the smallest children can partake of it. p. 225.
Levine herself contends that her comments on the subject of adult-child sex are being taken out of context. In a story Wednesday, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that that Levine "disapproves of any sexual relationship between a youth and an authority figure, whether a parent, teacher or priest. However, she said teenagers deserve more respect for the choices they make in consensual affairs."
This article was published by the Culture and Family Institute of the Concerned Women of America. (link closed). Reprinted with permission.