News and commentary about the Great Frontiers

ISS007-E-10807 (21 July 2003) --- This view of Earth's horizon as the sunsets over the Pacific Ocean was taken by an Expedition 7 crewmember onboard the International Space Station (ISS). Anvil tops of thunderclouds are also visible. Credit: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

Image Credit: ISS007-E-10807 (21 July 2003) – Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

Imaginary Monsters and Human Beings


People use their anonymity on the Internet to safely explore who they really are. This helped me to make my homosexuality something manageable to consider long before I had sex for the first time. I am comfortable enough now to no longer need anonymity. I take ownership of who I am, labeled with my name and image, whatever the consequences may be.

The Internet also allows pedophiles and fetishists to explore their sexualities anonymously. Attempts to nullify this effect have and will continue to fail because the information and access to it and each other cannot be contained. When driven, the anonymous will create deeper darknets.

There is clearly a line to be drawn in sexual activity, based on the rights of all parties involved. Many people find homosexuals equally as depraved as pedophiles. This is a conclusion reached not through logic and reason, but through personal issues and emotions. Consenting adults may do basically everything they want with each other, however disgusting, because we recognize their right to make their own decisions and act on them. Children, animals, and the mentally-challenged cannot consent based on their sexually immature modeling of reality. Adult sexual interactions with them can never be acceptable because they cannot appropriately consent.

We start to address this unacceptable activity by first acknowledging that victimizers are also victims. Despite their outward appearances, they are not sexually mature adults with healthy sexual histories. They require compassion and advocacy even as we place temporary walls between them and their goals.

We must take the time and money to better understand human sexuality and the biological, environmental, and other factors that affect it. Unfortunately, research into subjects that make people uncomfortable garner little public and financial support, and we remain dangerously biased toward male heterosexuality. We know surprisingly little about human sexuality despite the incredible technological tools available for our use.

Why do some so-called sexually mature adults develop particular sexualities and fetishes for those who are not sexually mature or able to consent? It seems more than mere coincidence that pedophiles tend to be victims of child abuse themselves. It has been suggested that many fetishes develop from abuse both sexual and nonsexual. Furthermore, while we continue to believe that such acts are strictly sexual expressions, to the victimizer they are generally something else entirely, such as expressions of control over a universe they perceive to be horrifyingly chaotic.

People shriek and demand witch hunts for pedophiles while remaining ignorant of the real issues at the core of this phenomena. Only logic and reason can prevail over the most depraved sexual predator, a human being created not by supernatural forces but by poorly understood mechanistic processes like disease and abuse. Until we begin to support research and technology that attacks the roots of problems like pedophilia instead of only their consequences, we will continue to watch the horrors of the world pick us off one by one.

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