Put Down the Candy and Let the Little Boy Go
Just when you thought the counter-culture had finally won and there were no more repressive mores to overthrow, academia lurches forward into a whole new cesspit of social innovation. Mark O'Keefe of the Star Tribune of Minneapolis reports on a trend to excuse sex between adults with children, illustrated by the impending publication of the book Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children From Sex by the University of Minnesota Press. It seems that a growing number of academics, such as Harris Mirkin of University of Missouri-Kansas City, have decided that prohibitions against having sex with children are just another set of repressive constructs: "Children are the last bastion of the old sexual morality," he wrote. For good reason, one might counter. According to O'Keefe: "These academics seek to change the language, moving away from 'pedophilia,' which often evokes a charged negative response. ... In its place would be more neutral terms such as 'intergenerational sex' or 'adult-child sex.'" Yes, people do tend to react negatively toward pedophilia. Maybe that's a clue.
This story also featured in James Taranto's Best of the Web on opinionjournal.com.