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Pro-c, (pro-consent/choice or contact) is a term used to describe a person - often a MAP or ally, as favoring the legalization of at least some minor-adult physical/sexual relations. This stands in opposition to anti-contact (anti-c) beliefs, although in reality they exist on a spectrum, with many underpinning themes such as intrinsic harm.
The meaning of the term has become warped in extremist anti-c circles to mean "advocacy for unlawful sex with a minor". However, there are a range of pro-c positions:
- Pro law change, pro-c (c-pro-c [neologistic - suggestion]). In this instance, a change in the law/social values is called for. This might be abolition or reform of Age of Consent laws, or non-prosecution at a set age, as per Newgon.
- Outright-pro-c (o-pro-c [neologistic - suggestion]). Holds that breaking the law is generally permissible, or even politically necessary (Illegalism). This is an incredibly rare position, and is to be found mostly thru closed peer groups and the dark web. It is generally thought that an outright position defeats the purpose of activism, so this might be one reason why it is so rarely seen.
The 2016 research of Bailey and also Jahnke in 2019 would appear to suggest that pro-c beliefs are not related to higher levels of offending. This is most likely because some pro-c positions are relatively moderate and pro-celibacy, while overstated anti-c beliefs can arise as a result of poor self-control and moral guilt. Research might later be conducted to determine whether outright pro-c and outright anti-c beliefs are correlated with high frequency of adult-minor sexual contacts, whilst more moderate pro and anti-c positions are related to non-offending.
Examples of nuance
The myth of crude "pro contact" ethical positions among MAPs and adjacent individuals is disproven by basic observation of the online community. A few examples follow.
Tom O'Carroll, author of Paedophilia: The Radical Case and Michael Jackson's Dangerous Liaisons, states the pro-c (or pro-reform) position succinctly. Reflecting on a legal case brought against him which divided the two brothers involved, Tom wrote:
When we defy the law we put children at grave risk of growing up feeling they must have been damaged – because our culture virulently insists it is so, on a daily basis – even when that is not how they felt at the time. Only in a culture which has changed so much that it is ready to accept more liberal laws will child-adult sexual relationships be ethically feasible. It is because I refuse to give up on that vision that I continue to write.
Ipce - Frans Gieles
Ipce has in the past welcomed anti-c, but also many pro-reform, pro-c academics and activists to real-life meetings. The Ipce secretary, Frans Gieles, a supporter of social and law reforms, states the following on behalf of Ipce:
Having read the conclusions of the meta-analysis of the Rind c.s. team, that feelings afterward about sexual experiences during childhood can be summarized as
- 1/3 positive, 1/3 neutral and 1/3 negative by boys,
- 1/6 positive, 1/6 neutral and 2/3 negative by girls;
hereby supposing that neutral in many cases means ambivalent;
having read that there are positive experiences as well as negative experiences;
having read that negative experiences may have caused harm;
we conclude as our ethical guidance: "First, do no harm!", followed by "and do not take the risk".
FreeSpeechTube.org was seen as a bastion of "pro-c" activism, yet posts alluding to a c-pro-c position are regularly upvoted considerably more than o-pro-c alternatives. This is yet further evidence of the nuances of pro-c MAP activist positions, and only a little searching is required to find many such examples of similar distinctions:
Many of us realize that sexual interactions and pleasure are not innately harmful for any human to experience. Many of us understand that it is the context in which these experiences happen that causes harm. For instance, force, fraud, bribery, blackmail, pain etc. will all cause harm to the individual victim to it in a sexual relationship. Most people in general agree with this. [...] I believe this post is important to make as I do not want people to take my theoretical positive view of adult/child sexual relations as support, encouragement or promotion of such relationships in our current culture. I actively oppose such relationships in our current culture. [...] Most often these people will claim they were ignorant, tricked and deceived. They will then impart a selfishness upon the adult, that the adult just used them and didn't care about them. They instill shame on their past enjoyment and the memory becomes tainted. From this develops anxiety, depression, attachment issues and even PTSD. This would be considered sociogenic harm. Harm from society, from cultural norms. The harm was not from the relationship or actions but from social factors. [...] To put it bluntly, a little girl is not harmed because someone older than her stimulated pleasure receptive nerves between her legs as she giggled and said keep going. A little girl is harmed because of the gauntlet she is put through socially, therapeutically and legally for daring to share that pleasure with someone deemed too old (remember, if she does it herself or with someone about her age then all the professionals suddenly deem it fine and normal).This is why I oppose adult/child sexual relationships in practice.
- As documented in this article's excerpt image, Allyn Walker used "pro-choice" (to describe others) in 2021. The activist known as Dissident used this variant as early as 2010 in essays and probably earlier on GirlChat. One point of interest, is that one or two MAPs have objected to this use, as it is an established term for those in favor of access to abortions, and is therefore seen to be "dishonest".
- Sara Jahnke & Agustín Malón (2019) How pedophilic men think about adult-child sex: effects of child gender and physical maturity, Psychology, Crime & Law, 25:1, 90-107, DOI: 10.1080/1068316X.2018.1503665
- Rendina HJ, López-Matos J, Wang K, Pachankis JE, Parsons JT. The Role of Self-Conscious Emotions in the Sexual Health of Gay and Bisexual Men: Psychometric Properties and Theoretical Validation of the Sexual Shame and Pride Scale. J Sex Res. 2019 May-Jun;56(4-5):620-631.
- Paedophilia: The Radical Case
- Heretic ToC
- Ipce's delineation
- FST archive (new site will redirect to a fediverse peertube instance)