Sex, juveniles, and adults: the recent hangups of an ascetic culture

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By: C.C.

I give a brief outline of what I think is the historical root of excessive violence, cruelty and asceticism (by which I mean the rejection and repression of essential pleasure). I think an understanding of this is necessary if one wants to see why many societies are so prone to violence and unable to handle sexuality in a clear-headed way. Then I go on to discuss a few recent historical and current societal beliefs and concerns which center around juveniles and sex and which are inspired by ascetic values.

Agriculture

The introduction of agriculture about 10,000 years ago drastically changed the hunter-gatherer diet as well as human culture, eventually leading to "civilization". Pastoralism, the herding of domesticated or partially domesticated animals, involves moving the herds to new grazing grounds, which retains the nomadic aspect of a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. But it introduces substantial group property: the domesticated herds. Pastoralism was often combined with cultivation of the soil, which first appeared around the same time. The private property introduced by both ways of living made it tempting for groups to carry out raids. Also, agriculture fostered rapid population growth and the consequent need for expansion and conversion of more soil for agricultural purposes.

Over time, pastoralist and agricultural societies became typically associated with warfare, cruelty against weaker groups and minorities (such as women, children, and homosexuals), and strict religious, antisexual asceticism. Christianity, among other religions, has a bloodcurdling history of extreme intolerance, oppression, and genocide. (With "Christianity", I do not mean simply the way of life that follows Christ; I mean organized religion with more or less mandatory doctrines that permeate every aspect of life, with the familiar historical results. I recommend that people who follow Christ but decry enforced asceticism not call themselves "Christians" - see also my discussion of sexual terminology below.) The same inhuman approach to humanity and life is found outside the Christian world, in the pre-Christian world, and in today's post-Christian world. Why are we such a cruel species?

Psychological effects of agriculture

"And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground." Genesis 4:2

Medical evidence suggests that the inclusion of certain agricultural products in the human diet has induced a numbness to pain and pleasure that causes humans to endure and normalize high levels of physical and mental stress, and to devalue and restrict the essential experience of pleasure. This behavior is pervasive today, which suggests that the agricultural diet is still taking its toll, as it has during the past millennia.

The main culprits seem to be cereals and dairy products. They contain exorphins; pieces of wheat and milk proteins that act like narcotics (the body's own narcotics are called endorphins). The researchers Wadley and Martin (see the Recommended reading list at the end of this article) believe that exorphin ingestion has pathological effects, since the human body is not evolutionarily adapted, or not sufficiently adapted, to the healthy processing of agricultural products such as grains and milk. They do think human infants thrive on mother's milk, which is lowest in addictive quality.

One of the reasons why humans began to rely on exorphin intake (that is, why they permanently adopted agriculture) may be that exorphins, acting like narcotics, are addictive in that they produce a chemical reward. Exorphins attracted people to settled agricultural living, and increased their ability to cope with the stress that resulted from strenuous agricultural labor. Observation of modern-day hunter-gatherers shows that they can often collect sufficient food for one day in three to four hours, even in the desert.

The opium-like properties of cereals and dairy products would furthermore have increased people's ability to cope with living in larger population densities. Overcrowding fosters stress and aggression, as is also evidenced by poultry bred for consumption and "living" packed together. Due to exorphins, people became more docile, which facilitated the development of classes: a stratified system of leaders and followers; of specialist groups privy to certain knowledge and skills. Among such groups are soldiers, priests, writers, and farmers.

Chemically induced numbness has serious effects on people's attitudes towards life, and consequently, on the rules and beliefs that they adopt. If the ingestion of exorphins tends to numb people to pain but also to pleasure, this could account for asceticism and inhuman moral restrictions, as found both in religions and in secular models derived from them.

The evolutionarily recent adoption of agriculture seems to have led to a host of behavioral problems which have a biological basis. Among these problems are the oppression of females and children, greed, warfare, the glorification of violence, enforced ascetic standards, the repression of natural urges such as the sexual urge, and the repression and persecution of deviant but innocuous thought and behavior. Of late, a combination of these problems has caused Western society (with its global influence) to fancy that sexual and "inappropriate" emotional relations between children/adolescents and older persons, or even among youngsters, constitute a pervasive and extreme threat to mental, physical, and moral health. (With women and gays now being somewhat liberated, who to oppress next?) The buzzword to summarize this ostensible threat became "pedophilia", a word invented a little over a century ago. The belief in this threat is on a continuum with the above-mentioned problems. While multiple branches of science show it to be both unwarranted and explicable, people continue to act upon it to the detriment of society at large.

Let's look at sexuality and (alleged) adult-juvenile sexual interaction in particular.

Children, sex, and nudity in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe

The notion that minors and adults are separate species, the former being absolutely innocent and the latter absolutely depraved and out to abuse the former, is not of all times. The Belgian historian Dr. Jos M.W. van Ussel has documented this. The next three paragraphs are derived from his book "Geschiedenis van het seksuele probleem" (History of the sexual problem).

In former centuries there was no such belief that a young person, no matter from what milieu, should only be initiated into the secrets of sexual life extremely gradually and with supreme care. Children slept in the same room as their parents, except in castles and, from the end of the seventeenth century on, in the houses of the upper middle class. Prior to the seventeenth century there were no nightclothes except for the nightcap. Mothers delivered babies in the presence of their children; daughters even helped them deliver.

Many games with young children, such as riding on the knee, had an erotic purpose: it was common entertainment for adults to make a child laugh by rubbing their genitals against the adult's and thus observing the child's first sexual excitement; the boy's first erection. (Males can have erections from birth on.)

Among the upper middle classes of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, it was common for the child, boy or girl, to sleep in the same bed as the nanny, and to be kept calm before sleeping by having his/her genitals fondled and allowing him/her to play with nanny's genitals. This was a pedagogical remedy and also a delight for the nanny.

The introduction of the concept of "pedophilia" in the nineteenth century

A sexual age of consent was not introduced in Holland until 1886. As a result of the growing view that juveniles are innocent and in need of protection (the latter is certainly true to some extent), concern grew about the sexual contamination of juveniles in the form of fantasies, masturbation, contacts, et cetera. The term "pedophilia", etymologically meaning child/boy love, was first used in an article by the German psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing, who identified and described numerous deviations from the heterosexual norm. Unlike the term "pedophilia", the term "pederasty" (adult male sexuo-emotional or sexual interest in adolescent males) has been around since the Greeks.

Von Krafft-Ebing is regarded as the first "modern" sexologist. It is very important to recognize that the decline of religion did not eliminate the morality it inspired. This morality was now secularized by some people and expressed, for instance, in psychiatric/medical terms (such as "perversion"). One of the early atheists-with-a-Christian-morality was Freud.

Children, sex, and Freud: repressed memory theory

"I dream of a primeval devil religion whose rites are carried on secretly, and I understand the harsh therapy of the witches' judges." Sigmund Freud

The Austrian psychiatrist Sigmund Freud (1856-1938) was a pioneer in the field of blaming any discomfort or disease upon childhood sex, especially sex with adults, and in pressuring patients until they either invented a sexual experience or agreed that a real sexual experience was to blame for all their problems.

A child of (t)his time, Freud focused on sex-related ideas and experiences as the explanation for much behavior, whether pathological or not. He hypothesized that precocious sexual pleasure caused anxiety, fear, and obsessive behavior due to unconscious conflict. Along came a lady, Emma Eckstein, who suffered from stomachaches and menstrual problems. Freud determined that her ailments were due to excessive masturbation. (Incidentally, routine infant circumcision started in the U.S. in the 1870s when cornflake inventor John Kellogg promoted it as a preventive measure against masturbation. Kellogg also promoted the "application of pure carbolic acid to the clitoris".) Freud thought Emma Eckstein could be cured if a fragment was cut out of her nose. A physician friend of his carried out the operation, leaving half a meter of gauze in the wound. He disfigured and nearly killed her. Freud claimed she had nasal hemorrhages because she had sexual longings for him.

Additionally, Freud thought she had repressed the memory of childhood sexual abuse. Suspiciously, the "memories" she and other patients recovered during therapy became more and more absurd as Freud pressed them to "remember" more. He explained trance tales of rape by black-robed Satan worshipers as incest memories conveyed in a religious lingo.

Freud developed a theory that memories of sexual abuse that were banned to the unconscious were the cause of all psychosomatic symptoms. One can see Freud's wishful thinking manifesting in extreme reductionism; blaming everything on one thing (just like the Fall of man caused by Adam and Eve is a primitive reductive theory seeking to explain all evil), and in the identification of sexual experiences as the cause of neuroses. What else than sex is the epitome of harm and evil in an ascetic culture?

Freud retrieved the supposed repressed memories of childhood abuse by manually squeezing his patients' heads, inducing them to relate what images came up in them. Eventually they would relate fragments that he could interpret as memories of sexual abuse. When appropriate fragments failed to surface, he claimed the patient was "in denial" and needed to try harder, until they came up with satisfactory images that "answer our expectations", as he put it. He wrote that when the patient would claim nothing had happened, "We must not believe what they say, [...] we must repeat the pressure and represent ourselves as infallible, till at last we are really told something." The patient needed to have full confidence in the therapist. Freud wrote that in a successful memory therapy, the patient's "resistance is for the most part broken." He recorded that after the extraction of recovered memories, patients would "still attempt to withhold belief from them, by emphasizing the fact that, unlike what happens in the case of other forgotten material, they have no feeling of remembering the scenes." This, too, he saw as denial.

By the end of the nineteenth century, Freud renounced his belief in repressed memories of child sexual abuse. But he maintained that precocious sexual experience lay behind all neuroses.

Freudian beliefs are not a specter from the distant past. In the nineteen-eighties, such beliefs were taken over by the mainstream and mixed with beliefs in secret, unprovable Satanic cult practices and a renewed fear of any confrontation of minors with sexuality. This development was mainly American, but it spread to other countries including Holland. Here are the predominant fears of an antisexual culture in which adults try to maintain their authority over minors; the ideas that are the most contagious and that speak to the collective imagination of a culture with its particular fears, uncertainties, and fixations.

Sex! Satanists! Children! The witch hunts and mass hysteria

The former psychotherapist Jeffrey M. Masson did much to revive the concept of repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse (or "seduction"). In his influential book "The Assault on Truth" (1984), which is still reprinted, he alleges that Freud was on the trail of real childhood sexual experiences of his patients and their negative consequences, but was pressured into silence by his colleagues. This idea has been elegantly refuted by the author Allen Esterson (see the Recommended reading list at the end of this article).

Masson was by no means alone in his Freudian belief that childhood sexual experience causes extreme harm and is pushed into the unconscious as the child grows up. The belief became a trend and caused an international epidemic of mass hysteria in the eighties and nineties for which innocent people are still in jail, as well as further demonizing the concept of sexual interaction between juveniles and older persons.

In 1983, a woman who was later diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and hospitalized for psychosis (isn't it typical of this culture) noticed that her two-year-old son's bottom was red. Her son went to the McMartin preschool near Los Angeles. She accused a teacher there and his parents of sadistic sex and sacrificial murder involving disguises, implements and animals. Police instructed other parents to interview their children, but virtually all the children denied being abused.

Therapists were better at extorting confessions: they used anatomically correct dolls, suggested scenarios, and warned children that not to tell the "yucky secret" meant being stupid. Denial was seen as proof that something must have happened. But paradoxically, it was also believed that the extorted memories must be real, since children presumably never lied about abuse. A girl related on television how therapists had kept suggesting the details of ritual sex games before the taped interview started. Children who later denied the extorted "memories" were thought to be under pressure. Hypnosis was applied. And to top it, whether the memories were literally true or not was not deemed important; the "emotional truth" was valid. Soon, several teachers were jailed and charged with hundreds of counts of sex abuse.

The accusations became more bizarre and pervasive at an exponential rate. Hundreds of children would have been molested in Satanic settings, involving the making of child pornography, major sacrifices, and exotic locations such as faraway farms, cemeteries and underground tunnels. No conclusive evidence was ever turned up (parents digging for tunnels found animal bones and declared that these were the sacrificed animals), but the media published only the allegations, convincing the public that the crimes were real.

Within months, several similar cases appeared throughout the country. Children were removed to foster care and sometimes interviewed over thirty times. All who were identified by children as perpetrators were arrested. Some children later admitted that they had lied to get the interviewers to leave them alone. By 1985, there was a widespread belief in epidemic Satanic crime and day-care abuse. Experts on Satanic conspiracies popped up and collaborated with prosecutors, police and social workers to organize networks. The cost, inefficiency, and damage done to patients by repressed memory therapy is reflected upon by Oellerich (see the Recommended reading).

By 1989, about a hundred people nationwide had been charged; about a quarter had been convicted - all on the basis of testimonies, for instance of doctors who pointed at tiny genital bumps and lines that were later shown to be normal physical irregularities. In 1987, a typical case broke loose in the Netherlands. Dozens of children were induced to relate bizarre crimes; there was no evidence. Investigations into such cases yielded evidence to the contrary, though. Apart from the documented mechanisms of mass hysteria (quite a bit more real than the Freudian concept of hysteria!) and corrupt research methods, there are the exams given to suspected ritual abuse criminals - people who were alleged to commit the most absurd and gross crimes - which indicated no psychological abnormalities.

In California in 1989 a ten-year-old boy was arrested for the "sexual abuse" of other children. In Holland in 1991 a twelve-year-old boy would have sexually abused two-hundred children. The L.A. "Children's Institute International" has a special program for child sex offenders. In Florida in 1989, a fourteen-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of the Satanic sexual abuse of young children. Media allegations included cannibalism and his parents' involvement in an international pornography ring. He was charged as an adult: if he were convicted, he would get a life sentence in a maximum security prison and not be eligible for parole. The prosecution spent three million dollars on the trial. The boy spent nearly two years in jail before he was acquitted of all charges. The chief prosecutor was Janet Reno, who never apologized and assumed the position of Attorney General in the Clinton Administration.

Sex abuse, Satanic coven and false memory myths indicate it, but the crusades, the inquisition, the historical witch hunts, and the Second World War, amongst countless other pointless catastrophes, should make it clear for all to see: humans can be made to believe anything and they will destroy, rape, and kill anything and anyone for their beliefs. To identify and counter this propensity, it is helpful to transcend cultural paradigms. But now no more about belief in nonexistent events.

Responses to scientific findings that contradict the victim-offender dichotomy

The following gives a good idea of scientific stances on adult-juvenile sexuo-emotional relations and sex. In 1980, the Dutch psychologist Theo Sandfort conducted a study of twenty-five boys aged ten to sixteen who were involved in ongoing sexuo-emotional relationships with adult men. He reported that for virtually all the boys, the sexual contact was experienced positively and had no negative effect on how they felt in general, and that the boys did not perceive a misuse of power by the men (Sandfort, 1982). Importantly, seven of the twenty-five boys interviewed by Sandfort had parents who were aware and accepting of their relationships. Sandfort made it very clear that the sample of relationships could not be held to be representative of all such relationships: the research only drew conclusions about these particular relationships. English translations of the findings appeared, and some American researchers responded to them. In the "Journal of Homosexuality", the American psychologist Robert Bauserman (1998) reviewed three independent criticisms of Sandfort's findings: those of the leading child sexual abuse researcher David Finkelhor, the child sexual abuse researcher David Mrazek, and the world-famous sex researchers William Masters (who died in 2001) and Virginia Johnson, which couple authored their critique together with Robert Kolodny. I will discuss just a few of their criticisms reviewed by Bauserman, and some of their responses to Bauserman.

All three criticisms complain that Sandfort's sample is unrepresentative, while Sandfort himself admitted this, and while Sandfort's objective did not require a representative sample. His research question was "whether a sexual contact with an adult could be a positive experience for a child", and his conclusion: "To the extent to which this research material can give a definite answer, the question must be answered in the affirmative". Bauserman notes that when studies into unrepresentative samples of adult-juvenile sex (such as clinical or forensic cases) yield negative results, they don't tend to provoke the reaction that the results cannot and should not be extrapolated to all instances of adult-juvenile sex.

Another criticism is that Sandfort would not have defined possible negative effects and asked the boys about them. Sandfort actually presented the boys with lists of positive as well as negative effects and asked them to indicate which were present in the relationship. He noted that "it was often difficult for the boys to discover any negative sides, which made it necessary to question them rather insistently".

Mrazek complains that Sandfort did not worry whether the boys' relationships might eventually cause them to develop deviations "from more normal heterosexuality". While this was again not within the scope of Sandfort's research question, which was whether a child could have a positive experience, other studies (as listed by Bauserman) found that this concern is unwarranted.

Mrazek further notes that Sandfort did not address the risk of promiscuous early homosexual contact, including an increased risk of contracting herpes and AIDS. But these diseases are neither limited to nor typical of man-boy sexual contacts, and there was no indication that the relationships induced the boys to promiscuity. Apart from the ethical side to promiscuity, medical health issues really affect all ages and should affect everyone's behavior. Men who spread sexually transmitted diseases among boys through unsafe sex should be punished - and men in Holland were recently punished for it in a case that involved prostitution. Bauserman points out that the sexual actions between the men and boys interviewed by Sandfort consisted mostly of mutual masturbation, followed in frequency by oral sex in which the boys were mostly passive, and anal sex in only a small minority of the relationships. At the time of the interviews, AIDS had not been discovered: its effects were first recognized in the U.S. in 1981, and its cause was still unclear in 1982 when Sandfort published his study. Yet, it remains a valid criticism that Sandfort did not address medical health issues based on the knowledge that was available at the time.

Mrazek berates Sandfort for not calling the boys "victims" and the men "perpetrators".

Finkelhor and Masters et al. fear that the boys were intimidated. Bauserman counters this concern by listing several studies that show that many boys maintain close ties with their partners well into adulthood: it is hardly likely that these boys just continued to be "intimidated" as adults. Bauserman also points out that the boys in Sandfort's study did report some negative experiences, but that these experiences were of the petty kind that occur in any close, long-term human sexuo-emotional relationship. The reporting of these negative aspects makes the boys' answers more realistically credible. Sandfort gauged the boys' sense of well-being in many aspects of their lives, such as parents, friends, home, school, and hobbies. They must have been good actors if they consistently managed to conceal the devastating effects of their relationships.

Finkelhor states that his own research shows that "most kids react negatively" to sexual relations with an adult. Bauserman points out that Finkelhor's 1979 study, while it's often cited as proof that such relations are negative for juveniles, shows that less that forty percent of the questionnaired male college students reported that they experienced their boyhood encounters as being negative. Additionally, Finkelhor's questionnaire asked the students to report all sexual experiences before age twelve, but only incestuous and nonconsensual experiences that occurred after age twelve.

Finkelhor argues that juveniles cannot consent to sex and sexuo-emotional relationships with adults. This argument is used the most to condemn such contacts and relationships, but it is the emptiest of all. It is never contended that persons under the sexual age of consent cannot give informed consent to all the other, nonsexual activities they engage in with adults, and often under the complete orchestration of adults (such as schoolgoing and churchgoing), and that such activities are harmful or morally repugnant for this sole (assumed) lack of informed consent.

Finkelhor, the authority on child sexual abuse, argues that "there were probably slaves who loved being slaves and were not hurt by it", but that slavery is nevertheless morally wrong. He implies that some boys may love being sexually abused and may not be hurt by it, but that sexual abuse is nevertheless wrong. Why any enjoyable and harmless activity should nevertheless be compared to slavery or called "abusive", then, is beyond me.

In his tiny response to the Bauserman review, Mrazek alleges that it is "based more on emotion than reason", without explaining himself. (Does he imply that Bauserman must be attracted to juveniles?) Mrazek accuses Sandfort's study of "inherent sample bias" (saying again that is it not representative, which we all know by now), "demand characteristics of the questions" (if anything, Sandfort had urged the boys to report anything they might think was negative about their relationship - besides, why do I suddenly think of Freud?), and "unchecked bias of the interviewers" (which would be a valid argument if Mrazek could show how Sandfort's presumed sympathies were detrimental to his study. Negative biases, on the other hand, are prevalent in research in the field and affect such research; for one criticism of biases, see Okami, 1990).

Mrazek writes that "Specific risks that are not even acknowledged in the book include contracting sexually transmitted diseases, legal prosecution, and breached confidentiality leading to peer discrimination and family disruptions." Apart from voicing legitimate concern about diseases that Sandfort failed to address, Mrazek here blames Sandfort for society's negative attitude. Although he professes concern about the effects of legal prosecution, in the next sentence Mrazek implies that Sandfort should have reported the boys' adult partners to the police ("These researchers [sic] knowingly colluded with the perpetuation of secret illegal activity"). Juveniles often experience parental and police intervention as upsetting, or even as the main cause of harm (see also Baurmann, 1983).

In his brief response to Bauserman, Finkelhor observes that "The real debate concerns the implications of such [Sandfort's] findings." So true. Apparently, he does not find it remarkable that twenty-five boys aged ten to sixteen were very happy about their sexuo-emotional relationships with men at a comparatively liberal period in Dutch history and with the parents of seven of these boys approving of their relationships. Also, only one of the boys was from an actively religious family. Finkelhor concludes by stating his long-standing belief that "the prohibition on adult-child sexual contact is primarily a moral issue". He might have added it's also an issue of political correctness - which is ultimately immoral.

Political condemnation

The same Robert Bauserman who scolded Sandfort's critics joined up with two other scientists and published an important study under the auspices of the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1998. The study, an extensive analysis of previous research in the field, so challenged orthodox beliefs about sex between juveniles and older persons that the Christian right caused a nationwide uproar and got the U.S. Congress to condemn it the following year and call it "severely flawed". For the entire story so far, see "The RBT Files" in the "Library" of the IPCE website (see the Recommended reading).

The knee-jerk principle

Immediate, automatic thought and action lacking tactics and long-term planning is part of the survival instinct. When an animal senses a predator, it doesn't stop to carefully weigh all possible actions, consider all of the potential pros and cons, then wait some more to let it sink in, and then take action. It would not survive. It reacts immediately in a way it deems instinctively appropriate. This instinct is playing tricks on humanity. When a climate change occurred 10,000 years ago, some humans adopted agriculture without being aware of the long-term adverse consequences, which are epidemic diseases, strenuous labor, overpopulation, the ruination of land, the development of class society with patriarchal and other dominance, the dependency on cereals and dairy products with their numbing properties, antihuman doctrines as found in many religions, envy due to private property, genocidal warfare, revolution upon revolution (including the sexual revolution) due to the explosion of utter misery, etcetera.

When the economy was in ruins in the young Weimar Republic, people sought immediate scapegoats, the extreme right grew in popularity, and in no time Hitler was in power. The principle of reductionism as discussed in the chapter on Freud was again put into practice: one cause of all problems was formulated (the Jews), one solution was proposed (Hitler). In the aftermath of the sexual revolution, with everybody still confused about sexuality and now thoroughly confused about its proper ethics, unaware that this is the logical result of a revolution, we see the formulation of one problem; "pedophiles" (or invisible Satanists, depending on the credulity of your audience), and one solution: more power to those politicians who are willing to make more laws in order to combat the hobgoblin. Meanwhile, conservatives thrive on the call for "decent" authorities who ought to come up with simple solutions. And the entertainment industry, including the "serious" media, thrive on the spectacularity inherent in specters on whom all the blame is shifted.

Recommended reading available on the Internet

  • www.edfac.unimelb.edu.au/EPM/papers/GW_paper.html - "The Origins of Agriculture - A Biological Perspective and a New Hypothesis", a paper by Greg Wadley and Angus Martin, 1993

The authors argue that it has not been satisfactorily explained why humans adopted agriculture despite the fact that the hunter-gatherer lifestyle is healthier, more reliable than early agricultural methods, and less labor-intensive. Research suggests that schizophrenia is related to the intake of cereals and milk. Other research has shown that cereals and milk have drug-like, addictive qualities, and can produce effects such as insensibility to pain and reduction of anxiety. Half the amount of an opium-like substance ingested by normal daily intake of cereals and milk is sufficient to "induce mood alterations in clinically depressed subjects". Meanwhile, food intolerance - which can cause anxiety, depression, epilepsy, hyperactivity, and schizophrenic episodes - is due mainly to wheat and milk. It has been estimated that fifty percent of intolerance patients "crave the foods that cause them problems", claiming that they help them feel better. The authors hypothesize that humans adopted agriculture due to the chemical awards of its nutritional yield, and that the drug-like substances in cereals and milk affect entire populations that depend on agricultural produce. Cereals are neither "just drugs" nor "just food".

  • www.agron.iastate.edu/courses/agron342/diamondmistake.html - "The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race", an essay by physiologist Jared Diamond, 1987

Diamond blames a decline in human physical health and the rise of class divisions and tyranny on agriculture. He says farming may have encouraged inequality between the sexes, but fails to explain how. (The disfranchisement of females was a gradual process that took millennia - I think it boils down to increased cruelty and decreased empathy fostered by agriculture and taken out on the weak.) This essay is too early to factor in the drug-like workings of agricultural produce, but it is a good lightweight introduction to societal problems in relation to agriculture.

  • www.geocities.com/satanicreds/all-tod.html - "The Tree of Destruction: A Synthetic Analysis of Human Societal Problems Since the Agrarian Age", an essay by Nakived, 1996-2000

Difficult, stunning, rich, naturally iconoclastic. By parodying the cabalistic Tree of Life, the author attempts to narrate the ramifications of what she thinks is the root problem of male-dominated, aggressive, repressive, class-structured, essentially self-destructive societies (like ours): agriculture.

  • www.kamakala.com/vamacara.htm - "Vamacara Tantra: The Left-Hand Path of Pleasure: Volume I: Origins", an essay by Roderick W. Marling

A look at the development of man's spiritual notions. The divine female was an early religious (or animistic) expression. The life-giving earth and the life-giving female were mystically unified. There is no evidence that early, matrilineal societies waged war on humans or glorified aggression. The male deity came later, being associated not with earth but with the celestial unseen, and eventually pushing out the female. The right-hand path (supernatural, and a noxious pipe dream as far as I'm concerned; opium for the hurting) is masculine; the left-hand path (natural, dealing with reality) is feminine - if you care for a generalizing dichotomy, that is.

  • www.kamakala.com/history.htm - "History: A Spiritual Analysis", an essay by Roderick W. Marling

This article gives a good impression of the development of patriarchal oppression. How patriarchal cattle farmers overcame peaceful and unprotected agricultural communities, introduced the male deity split from nature, glorified and put into practice militarism and violence, maimed their young (circumcision) and failed to nurture them (so they might be better fighting machines), conquered the world and stayed firmly in place.

  • www.human-nature.com/esterson - "Freud's Seduction Theory"

A site by the author Allen Esterson, debunking Freud's seduction theory, Jeffrey Masson's defense of it, and the psychological practice of making patients "remember" nonexistent events, which is inspired by Freud. Includes an exposé on Freud by the author Mark Pendergrast.

  • www.csulb.edu/~asc/child.html - "Rind, Tromovitch, and Bauserman: Politically Incorrect - Scientifically Correct", an article by Thomas D. Oellerich, 2000

An analysis of the academic approach to adult-juvenile sex over the past three decades, and of the toll that is taken by myths surrounding the issue. Oellerich starts out by mentioning the unwarranted political and moral condemnation of a recent study by the researchers mentioned in the article's title. The study, which was declared scientifically correct by the American Psychological Association, shows that adult-nonadult sexual behavior does not cause intense harm pervasively and that it can be experienced as neutral or positive by juveniles, depending on whether they are willing, on environmental factors, et cetera. The Oellerich article is a must-read for those who are interested in finding out what science has really established about sex between juveniles and older persons.

  • www.paedosexualitaet.de - The Pedosexual Resources Directory

Offers heaps of scientific information. Note that I discourage the use of such emotionally burdened and highly equivocal terms as "pedosexual".

  • www.ipce.org - IPCE

Perhaps the biggest online resource of (scientific) knowledge about sexual relations between juveniles and older persons and analyses of attitudes and policies in society.

  • www.violence.de - Neuropsychologist James Prescott about the roots of violence and depression

Not "boundless" freedom, but repression causes (sexual) excesses, violence and disrespect. The "sexual revolution" was a cry for freedom, but it was only partially successful. The repressive tradition of millennia has proven to be tough, and right now we are extra repressive in some respects as a frightened reaction to sudden uprooting changes. Compare Nazism as a reaction to attempted democracy in a post-imperialist, crisis-stricken (Weimar) Germany. Compare the failure of the communist state in post-imperialist Russia, a country now purportedly taken over by the mafia. People who don't know what freedom is can't be expected to just recognize it when they are first faced with it. Maybe their biological constitution doesn't even allow them to. Prescott contends that the greatest threat to world peace comes from those nations that deprive their children of physical pleasure and comfort and that are most repressive of (youth) sexual affection. See especially the acclaimed article "Body Pleasure and the Origins of Violence" (1975)

source: Article 'Sex, Juveniles, and Adults: The Recent Hangups of an Ascetic Culture' by C.C.; www.martijn.org; 2001?