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Authored by Darlene McCormick Sanchez via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Colorado mom Lydia Lerma feels punched when she hears the trendy new term “minor-attracted person.” Just thinking of the damage a pedophile inflicted upon her son, who was six at the time, causes pain.

An edited version of one of Balenciaga’s controversial adverts featuring teddy bears and children. The face of the child model has been blurred for this report. (Jam Press/Balenciaga)

Creating a polite-sounding term for someone sexually attracted to children enrages her.

Any push to normalize pedophilia or designate it as another sexual orientation to be tolerated is “unconscionable,” Lerma told The Epoch Times.

That’s a bunch of [expletive]!” she said of academics pushing acceptance of pedophilia.

They are going to face the greatest resistance that they have ever seen. Society is not going to let that happen.

Lydia Lerma of Colorado started a nonprofit that helps families hunt down fugitive pedophiles. (Photo courtesy of Lydia Lerma)

But in academic circles, some have begun to argue that pedophilia should be considered just another sexual orientation, not a mental disorder.

And a therapist who treats pedophiles told The Epoch Times that he believes pedophilia is on its way to becoming normalized.

‘Like Any Other Sexual Orientation’

In 2018, medical student Mirjam Heine, who said she had a background in psychology, gave a presentation called “Pedophilia is a Natural Sexual Orientation” during a TEDx event at the University of Würtzberg in Germany. A program guide for TEDx said she was mainly guided by the works of Prof. Dr. Klaus Michael Beier, the head of the institute for sexology and sexual medicine at the University Hospital Berlin, and the prevention network “Kein Täter Werden.”

In her remarks, Heine said pedophilia is an “unchangeable sexual orientation,” just like heterosexuality.

“No one chooses to be a pedophile; no one can cease being one,” Heine argued during her talk. “The difference between pedophilia and other sexual orientations is that living out this sexual orientation will end in a disaster.”

Most countries in the world, including the United States, outlaw adults having sexual contact or intercourse with children in most situations.

The term minor-attracted person grabbed headlines after professor Allyn Walker used it during a discussion on pedophiles in November 2021. Walker, a woman who transitioned to live as a man, was discussing her book: “A Long Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity.

In the interview with the Prostasia Foundation—a San Francisco organization focused on child sexual abuse—Walker said it’s less stigmatizing to use the term minor-attracted person than pedophile when referring to people “who don’t act on their urges to have sex with children.”

The interview drew fiery criticism. Within weeks, Walker resigned from her job as an assistant sociology and criminal justice professor at Old Dominion University in Virginia.

After stepping down, Walker said in a prepared statement that her research was “mischaracterized” by some in the media. Walker blamed the public outcry on intolerance for her transgender identity and said the research aimed to prevent child sexual abuse.

Later, Johns Hopkins University hired Walker to work at the Moore Center for Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse in Baltimore. She did not immediately respond to an Epoch Times email through the Moore Center requesting comment.

American singer Cardi B is showcased as the face of the Balenciaga fashion brand on a billboard on a wall of the Louvre museum in Paris on Sept. 1, 2020. (Stephane De Sakutin/Getty Images)

Two former colleagues at Old Dominion defended Walker in the journal of the American Society of Criminology.

“Our friend and colleague, Dr. Allyn Walker, was the victim of a trolling attack on their research and their person that resulted in the loss of their position at Old Dominion University (ODU),” wrote Ruth Triplett and Mona Danner.

The attacks, they wrote, were “centering around misinformation and links to Dr. Walker’s identity as non-binary, transgender, and Jewish.”

Growing Cultural Acceptance

The fashion house Balenciaga faced backlash recently after running an ad campaign depicting little girls holding a Teddy bear wearing bondage gear. One ad shows pages from a child pornography court ruling. Balenciaga later apologized for the advert.

A November headline from a Washington Post theater review read: “‘Downstate’ is a play about pedophiles. It’s also brilliant.” The off-Broadway play characterizes pedophiles as complicated and troubled victims of harsh punishment.

Jon Uhler is a 30-year veteran counselor who has worked with sex offenders in the Pennsylvania and South Carolina prison systems. Throughout his career, he has assessed hundreds of pedophiles.

Uhler, a member of the Association for Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA), said he’s afraid pedophilia is on the road to normalization.

Sex offender treatment specialists are now trained to view sex offenders as victims of trauma, he said.

The idea is that pedophiles are reenacting their trauma by choosing a victim of the age they were when abused, Uhler said. But that’s not accurate, he added.

Researchers are taking information from interviews with pedophiles and considering it to be true,  instead of realizing they’re dealing with the “world’s greatest deceivers,” Uhler said.

Even so, Walker’s ideas have permeated sex offender treatment circles, he said. Walker spoke at this year’s ATSA conference.

Creating a Protected Class

Normalizing pedophilia ultimately could lead to a major cultural change—elevating pedophilia to a protected class.

“They are going to push to have it recognized as a sexual orientation, which would grant it civil rights status,” Uhler said.

If that happens, employers could no longer discriminate against pedophiles in areas such as employment, he said.

And if teens are given the legal right to decide if they want to have a sex-change operation or take hormones to try to appear as the other sex, that could help make it legal for pedophiles to act on their sexual urges, he predicted.

If children legally can decide what they can do with their bodies, then pedophiles could argue that they should be able to consent to a sexual relationship, he said.

“They’re jackals that are feeding off the carcasses of these kids,” he said. “The predator’s interest is ultimately lowering the age of consent.”

The general public doesn’t understand what is happening, he said. It’s one of the defining issues of our time, he added.

Scott Clark, a minister who teaches church history and historical theology at Westminster Seminary in California, has called the destigmatization of pedophilia the last stage of the “neo-pagan sexual revolution.”

Clark hosts the Heidelcast podcast and writes The Heidelblog. Both tackle religious and moral issues facing modern society.

There’s a pretty obvious move to normalize pedophilia,” he said. “This invariable comes from adults. It’s not coming from children.”

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