Over the course of this past summer, I read an abundance of classic novels including: “Brave New World,” “Catch-22” and “The Great Gatsby.” While these books were incredible, there was one book that really stood out from the rest: “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov. “Lolita” was not necessarily my favorite, but the subject matter was so controversial it had me hooked from the first page.
“Lolita” follows a middle-aged, pedophilic man who was obsessed with a 12-year-old girl by the name of Dolores Haze. The book possessed such impeccable prose that the reader feels sympathetic toward a pedophile, which is why this book is so highly regarded. Humbert (the name of the pedophile in the novel) describes the nature of his sexual preference, stating that it is naturally occurring.
Recent psychological discussion is in agreement with Humbert. Renowned psychologists are now beginning to classify pedophilia as a sexual orientation.
According to an article published on lifesitenews.com in 2011, Canadian psychology experts Dr. Vernon Quinsey and Dr. Hubert Van Gijseghem were the first to make national headlines in regards to this phenomenon. Dr. Quinsey and Dr. Van Gijseghem described their beliefs to members of the Canadian parliament during a hearing about increasing the penalty of those who commit sexual crimes against children.
“Pedophiles are not simply people who commit a small offence from time to time but rather are grappling with what is equivalent to a sexual orientation just like another individual may be grappling with heterosexuality or homosexuality. You cannot change this person’s sexual orientation,” Van Gijseghem stated.
Although pedophilia might be a sexual orientation, normalizing it is not what society needs. Psychologists argue that no amount of institutionalization or counseling will impede a pedophile’s feelings toward children, but there should be precautions taken to ensure the safety of defenseless children.
As stated above, Quinsey and Van Gijseghem related pedophilia to being heterosexual or homosexual. Pedophilic feelings are permanent in these people’s psyche, but acting out on these feelings endangers children. Homosexuality has become more accepted throughout society because the feelings between the two parties involved are mutual. A child might give “consent,” but the child is too young to fully understand what they are consenting to.
Normalizing pedophilia would eventually lead to the acceptance of it, and children will suffer.
Since pedophilia is detrimental to one of the parties involved, it should be monitored and punished. It is unfortunate that these people cannot follow through with their urges. Living in a world where you cannot express yourself sexually is a frightening one, and these people feel this fear every day. They were dealt the worst hand of them all, but it’s impossible to ignore the horrible effects their urges can have on young children.
Nonetheless, ethically, it seems wrong to normalize such behavior.
Chris Chipman is a junior english major and columnist for The Vidette. Any questions or comments regarding his column can be sent to email@example.com.