“Child” and “Sex”: Two false and conflicting constructs

September 4th, 2007 by Llort

Do “children” really have any grounding in nature? By a grounding in nature, I mean a correlate in human genetics. Well, of course they do. “Children” are less developed (or indeed better adapted to their life phase) and that’s why we call them children. But why do we use “child” as a category for ages zero to eighteen? Does this category have any grounding in nature? Is there any marked state of physiological dis-continuum between the ages of 17 and 18? No. The meanings attached to the eighteenth birthday are wholly social in construction.
In reality, ”child” is a restrictive and unnecesary social construction. We may have to run around after teenagers and take legal responsibility for them, but this is not inherent to the person who we are caring for. It is a result of their social and legal infantilisation. Absolutes and labels such as “child” do not enlighten; they create potential for power abuse. We have constructed children as universally inexperienced and “naturally innocent”. Apparently, a “child” cannot operate at a “high level of social complexity”. This is either untrue, or otherwise the self-fulfilling product of an unnecessarily complicated social structure that we bar young people from determining, learning the complexities of, or taking part in.
Whilst this word may be used to describe simple biological character, it is also used in referring to a set of activities that are locked behind bedroom doors and represent a promise-land for our youth. You reach the “heights” of “having” sex. It is something that is attained, not simply “done” throughout our everyday lives. We have placed a strict taboo on “sex”, waging war on its destructive properties, rabidly shifting the blame for the vices which we have artificially linked to “it”, a classic case of mistaking correlation for causality. But regardless, “sex” is something done in a certain way by people of a set age and coupling.  
But what goes on behind the bedroom doors? The answer is a whole range of things. Multiple behaviours that range from petting, thru full on intercourse, to cock rings, gizzard plugs and bondage. These behaviours represent a wide range of human emotions, at different points of intensity on the scale of human affection. Yet we keep them all together in one space, away from those who may become corrupted or traumatised. As with most generalisations and labels, we do not allow ourselves to enjoy the full range of activities grouped under this name, characterising the whole group as dirty, corrupting or only suitable for experienced practitioners in private spaces. You better well make sure that you do “it” at the right time, with the right partner, and only when you’re “ready”.
Complicated and morally laden adult relationship models have a stranglehold over all that we term “sex”. It is not so much the activities themselves which are dangerous, but the way in which we treat them, and the consequences of not adhering to the normative pattern. We need only look at the history of homosexuality for such evidence.
And so, we have two constructs. First, the “child” as a phase of life that is discontinuous with others, marked by innocence and often highly enforced inexperience. They must be protected from their own curiosity, since “are children are our only resorce” (quoting someone from a recent newsgroup discussion). The little cherubs must be kept away from all of adulthood’s corruptions, so say the modern day romanticists of childhood. Otherwise, it will surely scar their minds for life; raping their souls. Once a victim, always a victim.
This construction comes into direct conflict with the hidden, genitalised and intercourse – focussed construction of sex. As “sex” is seen as either dangerous kink or courtship for intercourse and eventual reproduction, what could children possibly have to do with it? Why take the risk of introducing the psychologically undeveloped to the psychologically complicating?
If only we were to tear down the constructs of “childhood innocence” and begin to live by a “code” of affection more typcal of our own species’ history and near relatives. Such a “code” or absence thereof, may concievably allow us to see cuddling as being on a continuous scale with fellatio for example. If only we could reconceptualise everything under the generalising umbrella term of ”sex” as a harmless way of deriving pleasure alone, we would have no problem.

But the absolutism of [intimacy=reproduction=adult=complicated] and [young=child=vulnerable] says otherwise. And we buy into it as if it were our natural destiny.

9 Responses to ““Child” and “Sex”: Two false and conflicting constructs”

  1. Dan Says:

    Excellent essay.

    I wonder why violence is not hidden from children like sex is? Children are allowed to indulge in violence in video games and observe it in movies or on television, but not sex? Why is porn given a “XXX” rating while super violent movies are slapped with a rating “R” that most parents don’t even pay attention to?

    violence = simple = innocent fun

  2. Viamund Says:

    What you say is true Daniel. It reminds me of an article I wrote sometime ago
    It is time for us- we who believe in reason – to debunk all the superstition in this world. Such nonsense as fear, shame and lies that people want to be there for no reason other than the fact that they cannot envision a world without it. Ask yourself this… if not you than who? If it is not us it will not be others. We must debunk the myths. Let truth be the means to achieve this.

  3. Daniel Lièvre Says:


    I have to ask y’all – are you having any trouble accessing the website. It’s been down for me, and the hits have dropped markedly.

  4. Strato Says:

    Interesting piece Daniel. As you say, the term ‘child’ is a (highly artificial) social construct. I see it as being largely a product of industrialisation. In agricultural and so-called ‘primitive’ societies, we do not see the absurd protraction of childhood that occurs in Westernized societies – and all the time, the process is regressing rather than improving: raising the age of consent (eg Canada), raising the permitted school leaving age from 16 to 18 (eg the UK).

    Sexual activity is portrayed as an ‘adult’ activity, rather than as a natural form of human interaction appropriate to all ages; hence as the period of ‘childhood’ gets ever longer, more and more young humans are being artificially denied the right to follow their natural instincts. Not only do the young people themselves suffer, but society as a whole will increasingly bear the burden of their own making.

    Artificial repression can only beget humans who grow up in a culture of fear, anxiety and ignorance – hardly amenable to producing a society of well-grounded, rational adults. Indeed, undoubtedly society creates it’s own violent offenders. And, as has become all-too apparent, rather than take responsibility for the results of its own tyranny, it (and the masses it controls) will gladly persecute an apparently powerless minority to bear the brunt of its failed socio-economic engineering.

  5. Strato Says:

    Thanks for the beautiful accompanying artwork by the way!

  6. beapal Says:

    I totally concur on the artwork. For me, just another example of the total and pure beauty we see every day.
    Also, I want to thank the administrators and supporters of this site, long overdue for the misunderstood and beleagured pedophile and boylover, and their boys.
    Our group — Be a PAL — is united with other groups and individuals whose purpose is to education and enlightment about pedophilia and boylove, to end society’s perception, particularly in the media.
    It also stands for Protection and Love, that is, providing safety, shelter and understanding of young people trapped by an uncaring society.
    Again, it’s nice being a part of this community.

  7. Daniel Lièvre Says:

    beapal – Martijn.org was one of the first websites that I saw. I can’t find any evidence of your group, though. May you expand on who is involved, and how is it going to develop?

  8. Viamund Says:


    “the process is regressing rather than improving: raising the age of consent (eg Canada)”

    Actually the legal age of sexual consent is still 14 in Canada. The current Conservative government tried to raise the legal age to 16 – this is part of their agenda as they are attempting to end the separation between Church and State in Canada -. This is not a law as it has been stopped at the Senate and it will never become law in Canada. There is no reason for the legislation, it has angered many Canadians and it is in direct violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms – so if challenged it would not prevail . The Conservative government only wanted to placate the Religious Right (fear of sexuality is what these people are known for). So it remains age 14.

  9. Daniel Lièvre Says:

    Although your friend Stitches did at one time declare that the AoC had risen to 16, and that you were therefore a criminal.

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