Foley may be sick, but he isn’t a pedophile

I really do think that Americans are stupid. Ex-Congressman Foley’s problem isn’t pedophilia, ya’ll. It is ephebophilia. He isn’t attracted to pre-pubescent children (aka, mentally and physically immature); he is attracted to post-pubescent children (aka mentally immature, with physical maturity). There is a huge difference between pedophilia and ephebophilia:

While ephebophilia (or hebephilia) is the preferential attraction to adolescents, pedophilia is the preferential attraction to children who have not reached puberty. According to some researchers, the two phenomena may be quite different in causes, characteristics, function, and prevalence.

This is how the US Conference of Catholic Bishops1 describes ephebophilia:

A fixated ephebophile possesses a primary sexual desire toward children between 14 and 17, with the adolescent victim being at least five years younger than the perpetrator.

Although the media usually throws pedophilia and ephebophilia into one category (that being “pedophilia”), the media really ought to start using the correct terms for what is really happening. Although ephebophilia is not always mentally disordered in nature (i.e. an older man’s passing, somewhat ephebophilic attraction to scantily-clad, 17 year old Britney Spears), it can at times, as in the Foley case, manifest itself in ways which are harmful, perverted and criminal (i.e. Foley had a “preferential attraction to adolescents who are physically mature but not yet mentally mature). The DSM ought to recognize ephebophilia as a condition capable of causing mental disorder, sexual perversion and criminal sexual abuse of minors.

Also… There is too much talk of “gay” and “homosexual.” Although this scandal might have started off at one time with people thinking Foley was “gay,” it has now become overly apparent that “gay” isn’t the issue: Ephebophilia and sexual perversion for which Foley needs help is the issue.

Foley needs to be investigated, charged and convicted of the crimes we all know he committed. On top of that, Foley needs intensive, psychological help. Furthermore, which ever Republican (or Democratic, for that matter) leaders who knew of Foley’s problem and crimes months before now and who did nothing to address it or stop it should either resign or be expelled from the House (or Senate or White House or wherever they work).

Teens who work for OUR Congress (and for that matter, teens and children everywhere) deserve to be safe while doing so, whether that means being safe from teachers, janitors, guardians and, yes, Congressmen and women.

1 – Let it be known that while I agree with how the USCCB describes ephebophilia, I do not agree with their contention that homosexuality is in any way connected to pedophilia or ephebophilia.

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11 Responses to “Foley may be sick, but he isn’t a pedophile”
  1. Ryan says:

    Yeah, Americans, those idiots, they should know the difference…
    Enough said.

    And I talked to a friend of mine on the Hill today about the whole thing – he said, basically, everyone knows Foley’s gay. They’ve been saying it in Florida for years. It’s not being thrown around hapazardly, like people do for, say, Santorum? Enough said.

  2. Matt says:

    Foley isn’t gay… he is a pervert with a perverted attraction to teens who aren’t yet mentally mature enough to make any of the decisions he wants them to make. Foley isn’t gay, although people might have thought that… he’s just an ephebophilic perv.

  3. Matt says:

    Well… I take that back… Foley may be gay… just like he could have been straight, but the PRIMARY issue of which we should be concerned is that fact that he is a pervert who tried (unsuccessfully, thank God) to harm minors.

  4. Foley didn’t send messages to young females. He sent them to young males. Attraction to members of the same sex is called….

    And Americans are dumb for semantic reasons? Surely you can come up with a better point than that. Pick whatever multisyllabic word you will, or just put it in the way that everyone means it: It’s pretty messed up to fuck children.

  5. Matt says:

    Luke said: Foley didn’t send messages to young females. He sent them to young males. Attraction to members of the same sex is called….

    Point taken… but Foley isn’t just “gay.” A lot of people, across the nation, have said stuff like “Foley’s gay scandal.” It isn’t a gay scandal. He isn’t going to be punished for being gay, he is going to be punished for wanting to have sex with minors.

    Luke said: It’s pretty messed up to fuck children.

    I wholeheartedly agree. I still think the media should be calling his problem what it really is, though. It isn’t pedophilia, it is ephebophilia and I think, because there is such a difference in the two, people should not only recognize the difference in their minds, but also in the media and in discussion of the issue.

    Also… another point I wanted to make: Foley didn’t go after these teens because he is gay. He went after them because he has a sick and perverted (and persistent) attraction to them, to people he shouldn’t be having an on-going attraction to… people he should have, if he had not have been sick, immediately recognized did not have the mental capabilities to make the decisions he wanted them to make.

  6. Michael says:

    Well, whether it is called pedophilia or ephebophilia, both are against the law for pretty much the same reason. These people are generally too young to protect themselves. The only reason for a different name is because one could have the outcome of creating a child.

    I do agree that Foley did not go after these children because he is gay. I think he did it to feel the power of having control over others. This is not an uncommon trait among politicians, especially those that reside in Washington.

    A final point that a pundit made recently. Instead of asking all of the various politicians about what other politicians are trouble (although those that knew need skewering). But somebody needs to also be asking all of the pages, male and female, who they view as being a problem.

  7. Matt says:

    Michael said: But somebody needs to also be asking all of the pages, male and female, who they view as being a problem.

    That is an awesome point. I’m sure the pages know a lot more information that is currently being let out and I’d go as far to say that Foley isn’t the only perv in DC. With as many people as we have up there (both elected and appointed and hired), there’s bound to be plenty of folks who could be potential predators on the pages (or anybody for that matter).

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] On Tuesday I posted about how I wish people would stop all the discussion of “gay” and “homosexual” in relation to ex-Congressman Mark Foley and how I wish they’d focus on his real problem of sexually perverted attraction to minors. […]

  2. […] When, as you say [referring to me, here & here], the real issue is abuse of his position, abuse of authority, sexual harrassment of subordinates, and quite possibly the sexual abuse of minors under a law that HE HELPED WRITE AND PASS! […]

  3. […] Connections to pedophilia (more appropriately, ephebophilia), he comes out as gay, people (Pat Buchanan) calls him a flamer (an old anti-gay adage), people (Pat Buchanan, again) making connections with NAMBLA, people calling this a “gay sex scandal,” so on and so on. […]

  4. […] Vanasco has a point, though. Foley’s problem isn’t pedophilia and that should be clear to any intelligent or educated person. It is a subject I’ve covered in some of my own posts. Furthermore, Vanasco makes a better point: The 16 and 17 year old victims in this case were legally “sexual adults.” Like in North Carolina, the age of consent in DC is 16. What makes this case complicated is the use of the internet and inter-state communication (where laws and statutes are often different on this subject). […]

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