Debate Guide: MAPs are invalid
Attraction to minors is NOT a valid sexuality like LGBT, whatever label you put on it. Their age is not their sex! Child and Teenager are not genders, you disgusting invalid! You're not with us!
This "identitarian" argument is often, but not always made by LGBT people who like to claim that MAPs can not be gay, homosexual or queer under any circumstances, and should voluntarily distance themselves from the LGBT Movement. They pursue this argument in seeming ignorance of how common minor attractions are, and how minor attractions must by necessity coexist with gender-based attractions. Sexuality experts, and the "Bible of Psychiatry", the DSM appear to endorse the idea of attractions to particular subsets of minors as sexual orientations.
One thing that proponents of this argument almost routinely ignore, is that nobody actually uses the term "MAP" to denote a sexuality. "MAP" is in fact an identity; an umbrella term used to unify people with differing attractions, who have been put in the same boat as a result of political/cultural circumstances. Pedophilia and Hebephilia are examples of sexual "orientations" that fall under this umbrella. The historical reasons for the MAP identity are, ironically, related to the ostracism and distancing of people with an attraction to minors, within a formerly accepting LGBT Movement.
Contradictions of the identitarian argument
Another point here, is the lack of consistency. If boylovers are "not homosexual" because sexuality is exclusive to gender-preference (as anti-MAPs like to claim), then heterosexual pedophiles and hebephiles can not be deemed "straight", either. We would then have to ask, what exactly is this well-documented tendency of pedophiles and hebephiles to gravitate towards one or the other gender (BL/GL), if it is not a gender preference? It appears that the insistence upon a complete divorce of homosexual MAPs and the LGBT community, is entirely political/ideological. MAPs are already members of the community, just as they are part of mainstream society.
The distancing of MAPs also covertly legitimizes the concept of chronophilia as a secondary spectrum of desires and identities. Age-structured relations have been present throughout the entirety of human (and gay) history, yet have now (modern LGBT people would maintain) been rightfully excluded from the category "sexualities". If age/physical development attractions are of such great operative importance re. what is considered to be a "sexuality" or otherwise, they must clearly be something.
In the above argument of LGBT "validity" proponents, it is held that if pedophiles or hebephiles of any gender preference aren't also attracted to adults, they can't be considered gay (or, as we contended straight). So, to expand on the argument's absurdity, we might ask ourselves - what if a MAP has a non-preferential, secondary attraction to adults? Can they now ascend to the status of fully fledged queer, homosexual, or indeed heterosexual? What about a 13 year old boy who is attracted to other 13 year old boys? We'd have to maintain that because his psychological target is not an adult, he can not be considered "gay", does not "know himself", and should remain open-minded to the idea that he may in fact be pederastically inclined. After all, there is no solid evidence that these attractions will change as he ages, only prejudiced assumptions and dating norms. If LGBT "validity" identitarians were to stay true to these principles, they would have to give up their pursuit of LGBT youth organizations and policies, for example.
It should also be noted, that many liberals will assume the unsubstantiated hypothesis of a changing, "age-appropriate"/"corresponding" age-based attraction in pubertal youth mentioned in the above link. They typically do this when they attempt to defend youth-on-youth sexual activity and attractions as "normative" vis-a-vis minor-adult relations. So, they have essentially claimed that age-preference (chronophilia) changes over time in a "normative" pattern. It must then follow that non-normative variation in such preferences also exists, as it does with gender preferences (homosexuality). Once again, their narrative is covertly legitimizing chronophilia, by taking an expedient and short-termist approach to their own present struggles/realpolitik.
Finally, LGBT identitarians must also be asked if they believe that gender is socially constructed (most of them do). If they agree, ask them what this spells for the "validity" of sexualities based solely around gender, as opposed to, say "biological" features such as physical maturity or species.
LGBT people will sometimes attempt, for example, to erase the inherent homosexuality of boylovers by claiming that male attraction to boys is fundamentally different to homosexuality, or an entirely "separate phenomenon". They might contend that boylovers are more attracted to adult females than adult males, but this is incorrect. Studies of physiological response in pedophiles and hebephiles suggest that not only do they express defined gender preferences, but that their secondary and tertiary preferences are towards the same gender as their primary preferences. This includes attraction to adults of the same gender as the minors. Similarly, it has been found that some of the same variables seen to exert an effect on the likelihood of homosexuality developing in a child (i.e. birth order), govern the likelihood of homosexuality in pedo/hebephiles.
The invalidity of "validity" as an argument
The concept of valid and invalid sexuality is clearly chauvinistic and a questionable idea in and of itself. This strategy of "othering" and erasure appears to be a rehash of 1980s respectability politics deployed by the conservative moral majority, albeit under the pretense of social-justice literacy. Decades before that, the German Nazi party also invalidated pederasts; the only difference being that those boy-lovers were not the only hunted demographic. The Nazis made sure that they were joined by "normal" teleiophilic homosexuals - the sort of people who now ritualistically invalidate pederasts. Nevertheless, some modern day homosexuals might tentatively agree with the Germans and maintain, in their vanity, that pedophilia and hebephilia are mental illnesses and therefore "invalid". In doing this, "liberal" gays should be congratulated on confirming that pedophiles are entitled to care, respect, protection, social interaction and "safe spaces" in which to "recover". After all, a good LGBT person with a firm understanding of their own history must surely not submit others to the ableism and carceral psychiatry that was once used against their own people.
Ultimately, we must ask: What constitutes a valid determinant of "sexuality"? Any intellectually honest, or historically literate LGBT campaigner or liberal should be able to explain this in a way that does not rely on normativity.
Lessons from history
Homosexuality has, of course, been age-structured throughout history (see also, resources such as Greek Love: Pederasty throughout the ages). Normative, modern-day teleio-homosexuals would be invalid by most classical standards, as they date exclusively within their own adult age group. However, experience tells us that modern-day homosexuals take differing roles indicative of the age gap in classical pederasty, often explicitly power structuring their sexual lives.
Historical examples of LGBT-MAP unity
The modern LGBT Movement has a rich history of embracing pederasts/pedophiles, providing shelter to "loved boys" and agitating for the removal of Age of Consent laws - for example, at the 1985 ILGA conference. In 2021, Newgon compiled a large article documenting numerous examples of LGBT-MAP unity, running from the 19th Century, all the way to the 1990s:
Sometimes, gay people who are ignorant of history, try to deny that MAPs can be "queer". In fact, the term is probably more befitting of MAPs than modern LGBT folk, with the latter's reaction to the former proving that very point:
- Validity Policing - See for quotations and rebuttals to the charge that MAPs aren't "queer".
Ultimately, many MAPs are unwilling to adopt LGBT identities, and the idea that they are somehow attempting to re-enter the community is no more than a common culture-war trope.
- Debate Guide: Corresponding age attraction
- Research: Pedophilia as a sexual/erotic orientation
- Research: Prevalence
- Blanchard, R., Kuban, M.E., Blak, T. et al. Sexual Attraction to Others: A Comparison of Two Models of Alloerotic Responding in Men. Arch Sex Behav 41, 13–29 (2012).
- Blanchard, R., Beier, K.M., Gómez Jiménez, F.R. et al. Meta-Analyses of Fraternal and Sororal Birth Order Effects in Homosexual Pedophiles, Hebephiles, and Teleiophiles. Arch Sex Behav 50, 779–796 (2021).
- Human Rights Wrongs, by Andriette, 1998
- Allyn Walker's 2022 article on MAPs and identity labels