Could they ALL have been WRONG?
As far as we know, in all cultures and in every age, and to one degree or another, sexuality is a phenomenon which has given rise to many diverse opinions. Today, too, not everyone everywhere holds the same positions about sexuality. Views can change very suddenly, and sometimes very radically.
This collection of thoughts and statements by 50 recognized researchers and authors is without any doubt unique. Dave Riegel has searched out and presented relevant results of sexological research and philosophical thinking over the centuries in the field of boy/older male love, probing for the reality behind the myth reigning in this field. Society struggles with a fundamental problem.
The author leads us to long forgotten names, such as Bentham, Stekel, and others, and on up to the most recent ones. In a sense this volume can be considered to be a vademecum, a concise guidebook for both the academic and the layman. The whole is carefully arranged in a logical manner that leads the reader through the various themes.
The selection of observations here presented are perhaps startling to many readers. The love of a boy and an older male certainly is a controversial topic worthy of examination and reflection, and these excerpts and statements could well form the starting point for further discussions. All child welfare workers should read this compilation, and anybody dealing with perceived sex abuse (parents, teachers, officers, etc.) could find this book very helpful.
In the end the final and crucial question emerges: Could they all have been wrong? It seems highly improbable.
Experience has taught us that stigmatizing and criminalizing voluntary and desired boy/older male contacts can and does cause unintended but very real and serious conflicts and trauma. If the current repressive attitude towards these relationships continues, we must ask ourselves what the negative effects will be on the generation of boys which is growing up now.
Dr. Frits Bernard, Psychologist and Sexologist