That's not Pedophilia!

I've been in something of a writing malaise as of late, and as a result, I've been spending time doing other things, like helping set up a new website I'll be contributing to (for gaming, not cimate stuff). I feel kind of bad about not posting more here, but honestly, the other things I've been doing feel far more productive.

That said, I did see two things I couldn't ignore today on Twitter. I'm going to talk about one today and the other tomorrow. For today's, no real context is needed but most readers have probably heard Senator Roy Moore has been accused of sexually molesting teenage girls. A user on Twitter, who I believe is aso a commenter here, wrote this in regard to those accusations:

Moore's accuser was a 14 year old girl who says he, when he was a 32 years old assistant district attorney, invited her to his house and gave her alcohol. She says they kissed and he undressed the both of them, so that she was weraing just her underwear and bra while he was just wearing underwear. Then, she claims, he made her put her hand on his genitals.

But this isn't pedophilia, because her underwear stayed on!

28 comments

  1. On a somewhat technical note, what Roy Moore was accused of is not pedophiia. Pedophilia is the sexual attraction to prepubscent children. An attraction to children who are ~14 years old is called ephebophilia. This distinction is relevant in clinical discussions, but most people simply refer to it all as "pedophiia" so the distinction should be a non-factor.

    But it's certainly a better argument than saying a child kept their underwear on so it wasn't pedophilia.

  2. Certainly doesn't appear to fit the classic image of pedophilia. Had there been consensual sex it would be closer to approaching statutory rape. Some 14 year old girls can certainly appear very mature. But a 32 year old district attorney should know better.

  3. I do wish people would refrain from using "pedophilia" to refer to attraction to early adolescents as it waters down the horrors of pedophilia, but good luck getting people to use accurate terminology. Whatever the case though, whether or not someone's underwear comes off is a non-factor. A child's underwear staying on doesn't somehow make things better.

  4. Some 14 year old girls can certainly appear very mature.

    The determination is inherently subjective, but I can certainly say that I've never seen a 14 year old girl that I would describe as looking "certainly very mature." Perhaps "very mature" for her age - but even that's a reach, IMO.

    But a 32 year old district attorney should know better.

    That also seems rather mild. Should see a psychiatrist immediately, IMO, might be a better admonishment. And certainly should step down from a position of power.

  5. Any concern at all for the accused?

    Google "day care witch hunt".

    It is next to impossible to defend against an accusation of such an alleged crime that allegedly took place 40 years ago, on an unspecified date.

    The accused in this case is not pleading an underwear defense. He says it didn't happen.

    Are you legal eagles aware of any actual evidence the judge done the alleged crime? Do you wonder just a little bit about why this suddenly came up, after 40 years?

  6. You are right the correct term is something like ebhebophilia.
    I was not aware that pedophilia involved only molestation.
    If the accusation encompasses more than that, then I'm wrong in my comment and he is accused of pedophilia
    (other than the child vs teen distinction that I wasn't making).

    EDIT: Now that I think about it, if the story had been against a younger child, this objection wouldn't have occurred to me. So I knew molestation counts as pedophilia, but messed it up here. I was thinking that people were interpreting pedophilia here as he had sex with a child(teen), and objected to that, but that is not the actual meaning and I knew it.

    I agree with the actual tweet about not supporting a pedophile because they will vote your way on abortion.

  7. Don Monfort, the underwear defense is perhaps the strongest evidence in favor of the accuser. There are holes in her story, such as having a phone in her bedroom or meeting around the corner from her house and it's about a mile away. Also, the met at court leaves out what actually happened in court. She was ordered to go live with her dad. So the events in her story must have happened in about 12 days. The behavior problems she accuses Moore of were preexisting, and the reason for the change in custody.
    If she is lying, it seems weird that she would lie in such a way and not claim that he had sex with her.

  8. You very often don't make good sense, Mike. Her story is not evidence. It's a story. You can read anything into to it that you wish, but it is still just her story.

  9. Your right, not evidence, but the detail makes it more believable to me.

    >This distinction is relevant in clinical discussions, but most people simply refer to it all as "pedophiia" so the distinction should be a non-factor.

    In the replies to that post, many people made that distinction. Author conceded the point(and seemed to reply to all but me as my point was too ridiculous perhaps).

  10. I don't intend to discuss whether or not the accusations against Roy Moore are true. I've seen enough defenses of him already to The last year or two have gone a long way in making it seem people as a whole don't care about sexual harassment/assault if doing so interferes with other aspects of their lives. That said, I do want to comment on one think MikeN said:

    Don Monfort, the underwear defense is perhaps the strongest evidence in favor of the accuser.

    I can't agree with this. While this detail does make this accuser's story seem more plausible, I would say the strongest evidence in favor of her story is the fact Roy Moore admits, or at least refuses to deny, that he dated teenage girls while in his 30s. If a man in his 30s dated 17 year olds, that lends a lot of credibility to the idea he tried the same with people a couple years younger.

    But honestly, after listening to Moore says these charges were raping his state and constituents, I wouldn't care if he was innocent of the accusation by this 14 year old (which is not the only accusation). This guy is a creep who should never have held office. That's enough for me.

  11. Joshua says:

    The determination is inherently subjective, but I can certainly say that I've never seen a 14 year old girl that I would describe as looking "certainly very mature." Perhaps "very mature" for her age - but even that's a reach, IMO.

    For what it's worth, I've seen 13 year olds who looked like they were 17. I've seen 17 year olds who looked like they were 23. I don't know what that would have to do with Roy Moore though. According to his accusers, he didn't pick up a stranger on the street with no idea who she was or what age she was. They say he did things like pick them up from school and/or talk to their parents. There was no mistake about how old they were.

    Don Monfort says:

    It is next to impossible to defend against an accusation of such an alleged crime that allegedly took place 40 years ago, on an unspecified date.

    I have to say, one good defense against accusations like these is not to date teenage girls when you're in your 30s. That seems like something that is pretty easy to do, and it would go a long way in not giving people a reason to believe you would date a 14 year old while in your 30s.

  12. > I have to say, one good defense against accusations like these is not to date teenage girls when you're in your 30s.

    They were mocking Mike Pence for his rules. Certainly a good defense against accusations. On the other hand, just when did Roy Moore start dating his wife?
    They married when she was 22 I think.
    One guideline presented by Clay Travis is W>=M/2+7

    > lends a lot of credibility to the idea he tried the same with people a couple years younger.

    Yes, except that none of the others are claiming the same.

    I think someone put up the latest accusation against Franken to get him to resign. It's the only one he's completely denying. The others he responds with I'm sorry. I have a different memory. Won't call the women liars, won't admit, says I'm sorry, and dodges and repeats.
    They were worried that Roy Moore might win, so now they need him out to get rid of the 'what about Franken' excuse.

  13. Brandon has never been to Alabama. The age of consent down there in the deep South is 16. Lots of sweet sixteens running with 30+ year old geezers. There is no evidence of Moore abusing, molesting or even having consensual sex with any teenage girl, period. But if Moore did date some teenies, he should have known that after 40 years in public service, in the final stage of a big political campaign, he would face vague accusations of alleged crimes from some little babies, who suddenly realized they had been wronged in the distant past. The folks down in AL will sort this out without much regard to a lot of self-righteous pontificating, from kibitzing foreigners.

  14. Yeah, the latest accusation against Franken is that he tried to kiss her. Hang that devil! And these girls want to be Navy Seals and Army Rangers.

  15. I've seen a lot of very interesting comment threads on the climate-o-sphere, but this one's a real doozie.

  16. >Lots of sweet sixteens running with 30+ year

    That's not unique to Alabama. Very common in Mexican culture. Planned Parenthood sees many of these, and the Kansas AG tried to prosecute them for not reporting it. He ended up losing his re-election, then losing his spot as the local DA, and nearly getting disbarred, all bankrolled by Planned Parenthood.

  17. Lulz. It's common for 30 year olds to date 16 year olds in this area so 30s olds who run around with 16 year olds should be welcome into our nation's government!

    There's a reason I said I wasn't going to discuss whether or not these accusations are true.

  18. Brandon -

    That's only the tip of the iceberg (of beautiful arguments).

    Here's another (of the many): "Because some women want to be Navy Seals and Army Rangers, they (and prolly all women, in fact) should just accept sexual harassment and shut up about it."

    I guess one possible positive outcome of all the recent public attention to sexual harassment is the potential that these dinosaur intellectual and moral belief structures are on the road to extinction. Maybe not, but one can hope.

  19. Joshua:

    I guess one possible positive outcome of all the recent public attention to sexual harassment is the potential that these dinosaur intellectual and moral belief structures are on the road to extinction. Maybe not, but one can hope.

    I don't see any indication that is the case. If anything, events of the last year or two are suggesting these sort of arguments will be accepted by people when they find it convenient. I wouldn't be surprised if things get worse from here.

    And because it's strange timing, look at this tweet I posted and what came before it. A female talked about the problems of harassment and misogyny women face in science. Andrew Montford (of Bishop Hill) found a tweet in which the same lady called Judith Curry a denier, equating this to what the woman discussed. Curry went further, explicitly saying:

    But the irony of a bullying female scientist complaining about online bullying of female scientists is a bit much . .

    According to this, the harassment and misogyny women face is just "bullying" like that Curry faces when called a denier. Montford has done this sort of thing plenty of times in the past, like this case I discussed. I don't think one can see this sort of thing and conclude these people care to any meaningful about these sort of issues. If they did, they wouldn't use them to try to score cheap rhetorical points.

    Quite frankly, people who do things like this disgusting.

  20. You know Don Monfort, there isn't a person in this world who would fault me for banning you from this site. I won't because I think such measures are unnecessary and unhelpful, but I am going to start imposing some small restrictions tied to basic civility/content. If all you're going to do in a comment is insult people, I will delete it from here on. I am tolerant of insults, especially ones which at least have some humor/insight to them, but I am tired of having you flood this site with comments that contain no substance at all.

    If you have points to make, make them. If all you have are insults, don't bother posting them. I don't mind being the subject of abuse, but I'm not going to have pages consist of nothing else.

  21. Brandon -

    According to this, the harassment and misogyny women face is just "bullying" like that Curry faces when called a denier.

    Nice catch, Brandon.

    It's rather remarkable the logic that ensues when people are focused on an agenda of vindication for what they perceive to be their victimization.

    Montford has done this sort of thing plenty of times in the past, like this case I discussed. I don't think one can see this sort of thing and conclude these people care to any meaningful about these sort of issues.

    I think that maybe, at least theoretically, the problem there is that you're trying to extrapolate from not entirely representative sampling like that which Don presents. While he may be fairly representative of a fairly sizable segment, there are those who, at least sometimes, demonstrate a different pattern of behavior. That isn't to say that I don't think that a tendency towards political expediency, as seen by people selectively exploiting these kinds of circumstances to advance an agenda on the one hand, and then turning around and ignoring them to advance their agenda in a different context, isn't wide spread. But for me, the question is whether all of that plays out as a kind of signal against the noise. Ultimately, the test is whether or not there is some large pattern of progress.

    Is there less sexual harassment of women now than there was in previous decades, or centuries, or millennia? I'm reluctant to say for sure, but I think there are reasonable reasons to think that maybe there are. And that change has taken place (if it has) despite the political expediency of people more than willing to exploit the issue by treating it selectively. I think that there is probably some progress during the course of my lifetime from the days of Anita Hill to the days of Al Franken. It isn't a perfect or monotonic progression. And certainly, much of it has taken place in the form of political expediency (e.g., people who defended Clinton turning around and castigating Franken a relatively short time later, McConnell saying that be believes the women one day, and that Moore should withdraw from the race, and then saying that "The people of Alabama should decide" the next day). But just because that political expediency exists does not, necessarily, imply that there isn't some overall measure of progress. It's kind of a variant of the tu quoque fallacy. Just because people are hypocrites doesn't mean that in the end, they aren't making a valid argument.

  22. Brandon -

    To add:

    I don't think one can see this sort of thing and conclude these people care to any meaningful about these sort of issues. If they did, they wouldn't use them to try to score cheap rhetorical points.

    No doubt, but for me the most important question is how relevant are "those people" relative to the overall problem.

    Quite frankly, people who do things like this disgusting.

    Sometimes I'm disgusted by it; sometimes less so. First of all, it is what it is. Secondly, I know that I'm subject to a similar tendency to exploit issues for rhetorical gain - it's a fairly common attribute of human nature; I certainly believe that the basic pattern isn't disproportionately distributed according to ideological orientation (except, perhaps, with people who are outliers). Finally, my level of disgust is somewhat mitigated by the possibility that in the end, progress may be possible despite the existence of "those people."

  23. Joshua, I mentioned two people and what they said then referred to "these people." The phrase "these people" was meant to refer to two people I had been discussing, nobody more. Similar things might be said about other people, but in this case, I was limiting my discussion only to those I mentioned.

  24. I am banning myself. This self-righteous, self-aggrandizing vanity blog is a complete waste of time.

  25. Don -

    How many times on blogs have you cried and claimed you were taking your ball and going home, only to come crawling back to write another slew of insult-filled comments? I'm guessing I've seen it happen maybe 10 times or more. It was like a monthly event at Judith's back in the day.

    I certainty hope you don't mean it this time because I can always count on you for the kind of doozies you've written in this thread. But if you do mean it this time, don't let the door hit your ass on your way out.

  26. Don Monfort, you are welcome to ban yourself if you wish, but the last time I saw you say you were going to stop commenting somewhere, you were back within less than 24 hours. Color me skeptical.

  27. This is what I meant to say:

    “You know, it doesn’t sound like it went beyond there were still clothes on,” Wade interjected. “It doesn’t sound like it went beyond anything, and that as soon as the girl said she wasn’t comfortable he took her home.”

    If this focus group is telling the truth, then this dating of teens was common in Alabama.
    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/12/09/flabbergasted-frank-luntz-shocked-as-alabamians-back-roy-moore-in-vice-news-focus-group/

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