Debate Guide: Only a pedophile would make this argument
- "No one but a pedophile would argue for the age of consent to be abolished/[other point of view]".
According to this, every supportive member of the UK Communist Party or the Spartacist League must be a pedophile. And what would your logic infer about societies in which virtually no one objected to the absence of an age of consent? It is plainly nonsense.
Still, there does seem to be a trend towards a high representation of such people among advocates of more liberal laws on all forms of sexuality. This is almost certainly because "sexual deviants" of all kinds are not afforded the pleasure of happily ignoring a society that acts to systematically deny them physical and emotional outlet, whilst labelling them evil. On the other hand, those who once thought themselves not to be "sexually deviant", or otherwise denied their feelings are more likely to reflect honestly upon themselves once they have questioned and rejected the underlying disgust with which society treats their feelings. The personal becomes political. Remember that the prevalence of sexual attractions towards children (even in those who are not preferential pedophiles) is far more common than we realise. A study by Hall indicated that around 30% of men in the sample were equally or preferentially aroused by prepubescent stimuli.
There are of course other sexual minorities who may themselves identify as victims of the pedophile witch hunt. Some may be ephebophiles (preferring pubescents) and others may have a broader sexual interest which encompasses prepubescents at some level. None of these people necessarily express a preference for prepubescent children or members of the same or opposite sex for example. In this sense, such people are only necessarily pedophiles, heterosexuals or homosexuals in the Oxford Dictionary sense, where any attraction to an object qualifies one with the applicable orientation. Other non-pedophile advocates include various academics and authors who suggest that without societal interference, expressed adult-minor sexuality can be harmless.
Implicit in the current article's argument is the belief that a "pedophile's" argument is automatically "less than" by virtue of nothing other than its proponent's pedophilia. The following article deals with the raw ad hominem and associated appeal to motive fallacies.