October 05, 2006

Mark Foley’s Situation Reflects Unfavorably on Us All:

I woke up this morning at 4:00 AM and could not get back to sleep. Today I’m exhausted and miserable thinking about the national news. Originally, in 2005, I separated my political material from this blog because I felt it distracted attention from the details of my diurnal existence. However, I am so upset and miserable about what has happened in this congress in general, and now specifically with the Foley affair that it is affecting the pattern of my daily life. So, here it is, my attempt to clarify my worries about Mr. Foley’s sad situation in order to put an end to this disrupting influence in the pattern of my existence.

As I lay tossing and turning in the dark this morning, I tried to apply some logical thought to my upset. I thought about the accusation that Mr. Foley had cybersex with at least one of his past pages. First, I questioned the implications of a cybersex act. The term involves no physical contact. One cannot crawl into ones computer and meet another person in the circuitry, nor in the empty space of wires, host computers, and satellites that comprise cyberspace, and make corporeal contact. Thus, the term “cybersex” at least as it exists at this point in time, is a misnomer. One can type messages to another person, even see the other person in real time as a small pixilated image, moving in fits and starts, fantasize that he or she is physically present, and fantasize having sex with them. However, having actual sex with them is impossible. Thus, cybersex involves an act of masturbation. It may be more erotic than looking at a photograph of a naked man or woman, I don’t know, not having done such a thing (H-m-m-m-m), but it is no more than masterbation. Second, I questioned the pedophile connection to Mr. Foley. I remembered that our conception of pedophilia as sick and evil is a contemporary idea. For instance, the ancient Greeks looked upon the physical/sexual relationship between an older educated man (erastes) and a younger man (teenager) who was involved as apprentice, and/or as student (eromenos) to the older man’s role as educator and mentor, as noble and special. While I realize that we live in a culture that considers a pedophile to be vile and sick, and has laws in place to punish him, I know it has not always been so. These thoughts do not in any way exonerate Mr. Foley, but they do serve to place his possible role as pedophile – remember, he stands accused only - in context.

Unfortunately X-Congressman Mark Foley’s descent into the abysmal pedophilic degradation in which our culture seems to revel, like a gourmand on a binge, reflects on all gay men because so many people in our already diseased culture believe that all gay men are pedophiles. In actuality, scientific research into pederasty (the actual sex act performed between an older individual and a child) shows that our expectations concerning the two participants in pederasty, and the results of such a relationship are totally incorrect. First, empirical research is difficult to find, and is often unreliable.1 Second, it would appear that it is rare for an act of pederasty to stand in isolation. Third, more often than not, it involves a long term relationship between the younger man and older man, not a single act. Forth, more often than not, the younger member of the pair grows up to be heterosexual. Fifth, often the older man is heterosexual and married. Sixth, more often than not, the younger member of the pair grows up to be married, father children, and lead a monogamous heterosexual adult life. 2 In fact, it would appear that much of the current view of pedophiles as sick predators is a contemporary reaction that is at least partially based in hysteria. 3 Having said all that, I certainly will distance myself from the homosexual or heterosexual pederast who would rape children just as I distance myself from the heterosexual male who would rape a grown woman. That this particularly frightening incident (because of its national focus) involves a closeted homosexual man who just happened to be a six term congressman in the United States Congress, and who also had so much to do with The Child Protection Act of 2005, should give caution to us all, homosexual and heterosexual. That it comes at a time when it will undoubtedly influence the upcoming mid-term elections is a plus for Democrats does make me happy. However, I ask the question – how much of our reaction to Mr. Foley’s pedophilia is pure hysteria based in a social malaise that has to do with a more than myopic cultural preoccupation with sex in general?

1. Brongersma Edward, JD, “Boy Lovers and Their Influence on Boys: Distorted Research and Anecdotal Observations.” Journal of Homosexuality, 20-1/2, 1990. http://www.ipce.info/library_3/files/brong_90_frm.htm. Viewed Thursday, October 5, 2006, 10:54 AM. EDT.
2. Tindall, Ralph H., PhD., “The male adolescent involved with a pederast becomes an adult.” Journal of Homosexuality, Vol 3 (4) Summer 1978. http://www.ipce.info/library_3/files/tindall.htm. Viewed Thursday, October, 5, 2006, 10:56 AM. EDT.
3. Gieles, Frans, “Is pedophilia a mental disorder? Discussion in Archives of Sexual Behavior (Dec. 2002),” in Ipce Newsletter, Number E 15, March 2003. http://www.ipce.info/newsletters/nl_e_15.htm. Viewed on line, Thursday, October 5, 2006, 11:02 AM, EDT.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you are sick....I hope you are well soon. Tim

4:49 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home