Childhood Sensuality Circle
Childhood Sensuality Circle (CSC) was an American lobby, educational and lay research organization, for the liberation of children and youth. Its main figure was Valida Davila of San Diego, California. During the 70's and early 80's, she published the CSC Nusletter, a bi-monthly publication presenting topical issues and the political opinions of the CSC. The emphasis was on the elimination of ageism: discrimination based on age. In 2015, twenty issues of this publication were made available on the internet for the first time.
The Nusletter reviewed many scholarly publications, including Lars Ullerstam's The Erotic Minorities, and Floyd Martinson's book Infant and Child Sexuality. In a 1979 policy statement, the Nusletter stated:
- We encourage self-determination for persons of all ages in all areas of their lives. Social and economic categorization based on age, sexual orientation, race or physical appearance is reciprocally destructive, and we would like to see this conviction take root among those who are committed to basic change.
Not much is known about Valida Davila. According to one record, she was born in 1901. This source says she had at least one son. Another source (NAFP-Bulletin 3 - 1978) says she was both a mother and a grandmother, and had worked as a teacher and social worker. Her involvement with CSC started in 1971 after her retirement. She had wide political interests, including health food, physical exercise and the rights of the elderly, in addition to her political involvement with children's rights, from corporeal punishment to circumcision and sexual education. She was one of the founding members of Black's Nude Beach in La Jolla. As a lobbyist, most of Valida Davila's political activity consisted of her correspondence with people around the world. She worked incessantly to influence politicians and people in key positions within the juridical and health care systems. CSC was not a pedophile organization, even if it did argue for the right to consensual sexual relationships between ages.
In June 1984, based on an unfounded suspicion, the police conducted a search of the premises of the CSC (Valida Davila's home), confiscating an archive of correspondence, a considerable collection of scientific documents, the entire library and above all the membership list of the CSC, which was held to be 'an international sex-ring of child molesters'. The researcher David Sonenschein mentions this when discussing his own difficulties researching related topics, described the event:
- In a move with some uncomfortable similarities to the 1933 Nazi raid on Hirschfeld's sexological institute, San Diego police forces seized the entire library of the lay research and educational organization, The Child Sensuality Circle, in June, 1984. It was over half a year before most, though not all, of the nearly 300 books, articles, and other documents on children's liberation were returned. No charges were filed against the group's leader, 84-year-old Valida Davila, a long-time progressive political activist. The news media participated with police in depicting her Reichian-influenced group as a "sex ring," and police fabricated reports of finding "kiddie porn" in the seizures (V. Davila, personal communication, 1984, 1985).
In February 1985, the prosecutor dismissed the case after having considered the evidence insufficient for prosecution. By that time Valida Davila had suffered from the financial cost of legal proceedings, the burden of the proceedings, and with her advancing age (she was by then 84 years old) she was no longer in a position to continue political work.
CSC was likely dissolved in 1987, and Valida Davila died in 1995.