Virtuous Pedophiles (aka Virped, founded June, 2012) is an online forum and peer support community for MAPs, particularly pedophiles who agree to conduct themselves in a socially-appropriate fashion, including the complete rejection of reform positions on sex between adults and minors (sometimes referred to ACNOMAPS - Anti-contact and NOMAP). Members have presented themselves as battling against unwanted impulses, leading some to describe them as subservient to the predominant medical narrative of pedophilia. Virped nevertheless pursues an agenda of destigmatization in their limited public advocacy work. The two founders of the group use the pseudonyms Ethan Edwards and Nick Devin, and formed Virped because they objected to B4U-Act's noncommittal stance re. their deeply held anti-contact views. There are over 2000 users registered, including parents of children, parents of pedophiles, and a few sex researchers. Websites that have pursued a similar approach are the German website Schicksal und Herausforderung (German for Fate and Challenge) and the Czech forum ČEPEK.
The group's efforts have been supported for their potential benefits by several human sexuality experts. The group was acknowledged in a New York Times editorial about the distinction between pedophilia and child sexual abuse by law professor Margo Kaplan. Kaplan wrote, "It is not that these individuals are 'inactive' or 'nonpracticing' pedophiles, but rather that pedophilia is a status and not an act."
Virped has been active on Twitter for some time; @virpeds has an account creation date of October 2015. Before this date, they were given some support by James Cantor, mentioned by CBC News, Karen Franklin and the Kinsey Institute.
Strict moderation and criticism
Virped have pursued strict rules of moderation from the outset. According to their founder:
- "we do not allow discussions of whether adult-[minor] sex is fundamentally OK [...] We banned discussion of Trump some time ago, and more recently have banned anti-vax positions [...] we don't allow jokes with the N-word"
Their history with the boylove community goes back some time, and tends not to be particularly positive. They have at times been described as cult-like in their mode of operation. The group's use of potentially mischaracterizing terms such as pro-contact and anti-contact has also drawn criticism in some quarters, as has the idea of pro-c MAPs being "lectured" on moral values by forum members, some of whom are ex-cons.
Virped's FAQ states "we would certainly wish that any newborn baby not turn out to be a pedophile". This hard medicalist focus has been cited as somewhat concerning, given one of their main supporters is Dr. James Cantor, who aggressively focuses his research on finding biological markers for pedophilia.
Reduction in activity
Insiders have reported a reduction of forum activity in 2021 and 2022 - including, but not limited to the absence of key representatives and their activist initiatives.
- "Meet pedophiles who mean well: The men behind VirtuousPedophiles.com are attracted to children but devoted to denying their desires". Salon.com.
- "Many researchers taking a different view of pedophilia". L.A. Times.
- "Savage Love Podcast (episode 321) Starts at 21:30". Retrieved 27 April 2014.
- BoyChat post: Introducing (drum roll): Virtuous Pedophiles!
- BoyChat post: Virtuous Pedophiles is a hoax, nothing more
- BoyChat post: Who is lying here?