I Think People Who Can’t Discern Between Sexual Orientation and Paraphilia Should Shut Up

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Wow, harsh title. I guess I’m just tired of society being so ho-hum when people are just wrong in what they say. No, it’s not that they have a “different opinion.” They just have no clue what they’re talking about.

Here’s a quick primer. Everyone has a sexual orientation. Everyone. And it only means one thing. It means to which sex(es) a person is oriented. It’s right there in the name. You can be oriented towards males or females or potentially both or potentially those whose sex defies the binary. But, that’s pretty much it. It has been measured, documented, and defined over and over again and that is all that it means.

Guess what’s not a sexual orientation? Necrophilia. Death is not a sex. Here’s another one: pedophilia. Kids are not a sex. So guess what? Those are not sexual orientations; they never have been considered sexual orientations; and they never could possibly be confused for sexual orientations if you have any clue whatsoever what you’re talking about! They are called paraphilia and they are considered disorders and they have nothing to do with sexual orientation.

But you know who doesn’t know what he’s talking about? Oklahoma State Senator Steve Russell.

This bright gentleman is convinced the new hate crimes law hinders free speech and religious freedom. I wonder if he read it? Or did he just buy into the crap they were preaching at that pathetic rally they held on Monday? The law makes it pretty clear it can only be enforced for violent crimes, not speech. If he doesn’t think the government should be protecting special classes of people, why didn’t he oppose hate crime protections based on religion?

But here’s where Russell lets us know that it’s not just a difference of opinion, it’s ignorance:

“The law is very vague to begin with,” Russell said. “Sexual orientation is a very vague word that could be extended to extremes like necrophilia.”

No, you’re just wrong. You, sir, are JUST PLAIN WRONG! A lot of links show up in the ads on this site for online degrees. Senator Russell, please enroll in a Psychology 101 class before you open your mouth again about these issues. You’re hurting people.

You know who else is hurting people with ignorance? The Catholic Church of course! They’re good at that.

As you may recall, in response to the huge scandal of lots of little boys (and some girls) being sexually abused by priests…

In 2005, the Vatican issued a policy statement that men with “deep-seated’’ attraction to other men should be barred from the priesthood.

How convenient for the Church. They can use one thing that they’re wrong about as a scapegoat for another thing they’re wrong about. Too bad they weren’t smart enough to leave it at that. See, they commissioned this study and found just the opposite:

A preliminary report commissioned by the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops to investigate the clergy sex-abuse scandal has found no evidence that gay priests are more likely than heterosexual clergy to molest children, the lead authors of the study said yesterday.

We tried to tell them that, but I guess they needed to hear it for themselves. That’s right. There is absolutely no connection between having a sexual orientation toward other men and having a paraphilia for nonconsenting children.

I wonder if they’ll ever learn. I’ll let Dan Savage take us out…

According to the authors of the study the Church has to distinguish between sexual identity and behavior and be on guard against pedophile priests, not gay priests, “and to look at who the offender had access to when seeking victims.” This study is going to throw a serious wrench in the Vatican’s efforts to pin the whole clergy sex abuse scandals on teh gays.

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There are 5 Comments to "I Think People Who Can’t Discern Between Sexual Orientation and Paraphilia Should Shut Up"

  • Marc Malone says:

    I don’t think it is that they don’t understand, I think it is that their power comes from the construction of fear.  Saying that gay people rape children participates in that fear culture and strengthens their power base.  You are right though.  Society needs to speak up when people speak untruths.  And we need to stop believing that politicians, who often see their job as getting elected and re-elected, have any sort of credibility when talking about things other than the political process.  Sometimes I want to yell at them–“Cite your sources!”

  • KDLiam says:

    The American Psychological Associations definition (not to be confused with the American Psychiatric Association, and yes there is a difference!) would concur with your assessment of the situation Mr. Ford.
    Sexual orientation refers to the “sex of the person” to whom you are attracted to, hetero-homo etc.
    The logic is fairly simple, and arguably since pedophilia is recognized largely as an interest toward individuals of a prepubescent state of life (some even say it should include those individuals just beginning puberty).
    Sexual orientation may be a factor should we consider the scenario of a male adult pedophilia attracted to prepubescent males and the like but the key here is the age and perhaps the maturity/awareness state.

    Does a child know enough about the ways of sexual and non-sexual relationships to be able to distinguish between the two?
    Surely, it is conceivable the adult engaged in the pedophilic act is aware of the difference and knows that the child does not.
    Presuming the child does know, what then? Legally speaking the state of maturity and awareness is less integral than the age disparity.
    But Psychologically?
    It should be looked into with earnest seriousness if we are to find a solution or at the least a better understanding (not to be equated with acceptance) of this particular paraphilia.

  • mysticvortex13 says:

    I thank you for clarifying to me that orientation refers to the gender and not the fetish.. However, I must still disagree that paraphilia exists. If someone is turned on by harming others nonconsensually , my hypothesis is that they instead have a preexisting condition of asexual nature to blame. Sexual acts cannot in and of themselves be mental illnesses.

    I also disagree that all illegal “paraphilias” are rape inherently. Necrophiles could hypothetically donate their bodies through a government program, much like organ donors do to scientific and medical pursuits now, to other necrophiles when they die, thus eliminating both the issue of consent and any body theft necessities.

    I do not believe all instances of pedophilia or zoophilia are rape either but I’ve yet to come up with a feasible scenario to outlet them legally.. Other than jacking off whenever your dog tries to hump your leg for the latter.. Which is kind of pathetic really..

    • mysticvortex13 says:

      Sorry, forgot to specify it needn’t only be one preexisting condition to blame.. Could be any of a number of other mental disorders…

  • Ettina says:

    But why single out gender of a target as the only thing you can base an orientation off of? Why do you want to define sexual orientation as only involving gender?

    Saying something is or isn’t a sexual orientation doesn’t indicate whether it’s acceptable or not, to me. It indicates whether or not it’s a core, immutable aspect of your sexual identity. Pedophiles really can’t help being attracted to kids, but that doesn’t make acting on their attractions any less harmful.

    And I don’t see why considering pedophilia an orientation would have any relationship to whether pedophiles are more likely to be gay or straight. (It gets messy defining the preferred gender of pedophiles. Many pedophiles are not attracted to adults of either gender, but may be attracted to girls, boys or either gender of children. To me, a guy who is only attracted to pre-pubertal boys doesn’t have much in common with a gay guy, because he won’t be interested in dating gay guys. But those pedophiles who are attracted to both adults and kids are predominantly heterosexual.)

    LGB people aren’t acceptable because they “can’t help it”, but because acting on their feelings with other consenting people doesn’t harm anyone. That’s the bottom line. Can you act on your feelings in a manner that is healthy for you and your partner? Pedophiles can’t, LGB people can.

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