chapter  9
22 Pages

Political defenders of ‘intergenerational sex’

ByDavid Pilgrim

This chapter argues the moral panic claim alone could not be the basis for pro-paedophile lobbying. Other civil libertarian arguments also needed to be invoked by advocacy groups like Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), North American Man–Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) or International Paedophile and Child Emancipation. The first wave of libertarian reasoning from self-interested members of PIE or NAMBLA relied on two core and yoked arguments: the self-evident status of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) as a moral panic and the right of children and adults to have unconstrained sexual intimacy. The second wave has tended to limit itself to the moral panic point alone. Political libertarians like Frank Furedi and the Edinburgh social-work group focus on defending the moral panic position. Their work and the pro-paedophile case are aligned in their logic because both problematise whether or not CSA is a social problem and its harm is exaggerated.