Introduction (continued)

these allegations originate from a small but vociferous self-serving group who call themselves “victimologists,” and there is very little credible empirical evidence to support, much less prove, their claims.

This small book is for readers who feel that the negative media hype about such relationships may be less than factual and objective, and who would like a brief and easily read overview of the opposing positive sociological, psychological, and philosophical positions. The media and their religious and political bedfellows like to pretend that such viewpoints do not even exist, and that anyone who would dare to think such thoughts is a psychopath, or, using their favorite pejoration, a “pedophile.” Some readers may be surprised to discover that there actually are opposing arguments offered by mainstream thinkers and writers.

There is nothing new in this book. It simply reports on a sample of the numerous well qualified and impartial persons who, beginning many centuries ago and continuing right up to the present, have presented views of such relationships which disagree with the current commonly proclaimed positions. However, gaining access to the majority of these writings can be difficult, as many books had limited distribution, are now out of print, and used copies are scarce. Furthermore, scientific journals generally are available only at a few large universities or through severely restricted electronic access. Additionally, these authors' essential issues and points may be buried in long and sometimes bewildering passages loaded with obscure technical terminology.

 Drawing from the most pertinent and intelligible authors, it is the purpose of this book to bring together a collection of these substantive points in an excerpted format that is authentic and cogent, as well as comprehensive to the extent possible in such a synopsis. However, these excerpts have deliberately been kept brief to make them easier to read. Due to the desire to keep the book compact and readable, self-imposed space limitations meant that many articles and authors could not be included. Therefore this collection cannot hope to be exhaustive, but it is intended to be representative of the much greater amount of similar material that exists.

The diverse writings presented in this book, from so many authors over so many centuries, and from so many backgrounds and disciplines, provide a foundation for those who wish to give serious and thoughtful consideration to the non-victimological side of the question. Most of these writers speak of the harmlessness and even benefits of many, and perhaps the vast majority, of consensual sexually expressed relationships between boys and older males, while many others speak of the need to reexamine commonly held but unsupported negative beliefs by conducting new and extensive unbiased investigations. Given the unanimity with which they express their concerns, there are more than adequate grounds for one to question the improbable likelihood that all of these thinkers could have been wrong.

While these writers expressed ideas that were most often in direct conflict with the establishment, some of them also tended to employ the negative and pejorative language that permeated the societies in which they lived and wrote. Therefore in the source articles, and occasionally in the excerpts, one finds sexually expressed relationships between boys and older males described as “misguided,” “aberrations,” “vice,” “repulsive,” “degenerate,” etc., and participants described as “deviant,” “offender”, “victim,” etc. Readers should look beyond this superficial hyperbole to the larger and deeper thoughts which are expressed, and not pay overmuch attention to the terminology which the writer employed simply to communicate in the vernacular of his day.

The primary thrust of the articles is indicated by the title of the chapter in which they are placed, but few authors confine themselves to only one of these areas, so most often there will be considerable overlap into other categories. Some authors have different articles in more than one category, and occasionally more than one article by a given author, or articles by two or more authors, will be cited within one listing. For the benefit of those readers who wish to investigate further, the complete source information is provided within each article.