From: Louise <email@example.com>
To: donna laframboise <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Fw: the book memo send#1
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2001 11:32:36 -0400
X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2653.19)
Hey babe, [Back]
Here is the first installment.
----- Original Message -----
From: Louise <mailto:email@example.com>
To: Walter H. Schneider <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2001 5:24 PM
Subject: Re: the book memo
Ok Walter, here is about 4 hours of work.
pg 14 first para - "The main point of the first chapter of this book is that
pornography, together with the desires that underlie it, is natural and
healthy." No distinctions here for sex and porn involving kids, just blanket
statements that all sex and porn are good.
pg 15, 2nd para - "Turning more specifically to sexual attitudes, we again
find some remarkable variations across time and space - good evidence that
they are only the product of training, nor moral truths obvious to anyone.
(Basically, Ferrel argues that the variations in moral beliefs in the world
makes these values illegitimate - unlike most of us, who believe that sexual
mores are present in society for a reason, like protecting the vulnerable).
Even though they do change over time and place, as Ferrel describes on this
page, that does not mean the morals are less legitimate for that reason.
pg 16, para 2 - Here Ferrel describes in derrogatory fashion the limits
parents place on child sexuality. "Even among parents who do not overtly
punish their children's expressions of eroticism (which many do, physically
or psychologically) the message is sent in subtle ways. If a child is
playing with its genitals, the hand is pushed away...Of course, there is
also the perpetual anxious avoidance of nudity and of sex talk around
children. The message is subliminal but clear: there is something sinister
about sexuality and certain parts of the body."
What is sinister, in my view, is Ferrel's belief that we should encourage
childhood sexuality, making them vulnerable prey to the pedophiles who just
look for such children. That is why children who have been abused are more
likely to be abused again, because once sexualized, the pedophile's zoom
into the child with their radar for such things. Ferrel's views would make
children completely vulnerable to adults who want to have sex with them.
You want experts on this, I will give them to you.
pg 17, 2nd para - As for our own western culture.... In this paragraph,
Ferrel argues that since change has already occurred, it proves "the utter
madness" of assuming our society's moral standards have already been
perfected. Ferrel seems to want to open the debate up about sexual morals,
and yet, these things are never decided by anyone - they evolve naturally
over time in response to society's need for order and safety for its weaker
members. Sexual morals attempt to achieve that, though imperfectly. As
Ferrel notes, there continues to be debate on those sexual activities that
occur between two consenting adults, but it is not utter madness to protect
vulnerable people from the excesses of sexuality. Again, Ferrel makes the
blanket statement covering all sexuality, with no distinction for harmful or
child-involved behaviours. In some ways, Ferrel's book is revealing for
what he does not say, and I have found this throughout the book.
page 20 - 3rd para end, Similarly, this culture's traditional aversion to
sexuality is not adequately accounted for by real threats to well-being;
there is something profoundly irrational about it. Ferrel's penchant for
overstating here, disguises the fact that once again, most of our moral
beliefs are predicate upon the harm caused by unfettered sexual expression.
Who will sacrifice their children to give them up to those adults who desire
sex with them. Why is it irrational to Ferrel that this is so. Ferrel on
page 21, second para, believes that values "must be based on needs", not the
protection of the weak or the needs of society, a rather hedonistic view of
morals that is not supported in the evidence.
Page 22, para2 - "...things which are not in one's power to control are not
morally creditable or blameworthy."
Page 22, 3rd para - "The point about things one is not responsible for is
also significant for our purposes, since we don not have ultimate control
over our most basic capacities and needs." The "I can't help it so I must
not be held accountable for it" argument.
Page 23, 1st para - ...it is here submitted that sexual feelings are neither
more nor less noble, intrinsically, then any other basic needs. The desire
to share sex with another person is no more degrading to that person than is
the desire, for example, to share companionship. And presentations that
arouse or vicariously satisfy sexual desires are no more to be despised that
those that arouse or satisfy the desire for friendship, love, or self
respect." Again, no distinctions made as to unwanted desires, or child
In the same para, Ferrel equates the revulsion to pornography to be the same
as the feelings a racist has towards a mixed race couple. ...it is the
racist's response that is morally evil....the intolerance traditionally
heaped upon those who feel a need for such fantasies is itself morally
wrong." "Irrational attitudes toward sexuality have caused, and continue to
cause, vast amounts of human sorrow." The penalties for sexual deviance
cause more pain to the deviant, then does the behaviour the deviant submits
some to. Ferrel expands on this theme at page 27, 1st para, "Yet surely one
who says "you're different from me, so you're just an animal" in matters of
sexual needs and feelings is no less a bigot than one who reacts similarly
in matters of race." Here Ferrel clarifies his belief that societal outrage
towards certain sexual behaviour is biggoted no less than the bias of race.
pg 33, poor ferrel gets a little apoplectic when he deals with the criticism
that those who view porn don't care about the persons portrayed in the porn.
You should read the entire section from page 109 to 113, as this is the
short section where he attempts to deal with sex and children. My favorite
here is, "Although to do this subject justice would require an entire book,
it is essential here to say a few words about one thing: the common idea
that there is something inherently emotionaly unhealthful about children, or
even adolescents, having sexual knowledge or sexual activity. It is widely
averred, for example, that they are not "emotionally ready" for such things.
Or, in regard to children, that it is not natural for them to have sexual
feelings. The latter is a perfect example of rationalization and
ideologically induced blindness." Here is a man who has never had a child,
or been close to one, but assumes a great deal about childhood sexuality.
Who is doing the rationalizing here?
page 34, para 1, "...pornography exploits the people it portrays, or sex
itself, no differently than a television program such as The Waltons
exploits families or family life." Exploitation in porn would not be
equated by most of us as equal to portrayals of family life in the Waltons,
especially when children are used in its production.
pg 50. para 2 "A commonly expressed fear from the antipornography camp is
that little girls may suffer distress and damage to their self-image from
the sight of the naked women in pornography. The real source of any such
reaction would be the sex-negative emotions they have previously been
conditioned to have....the author of this book can report the effect such
exposure had on his self-image as a little boy: aside from statisfying some
powerful yearnings that had been denied, it gave him the reassuring feeling
that at least some people did not regard him as evil for having those
desires." I guess, society should just do as Ferrel says and expose
children to sex and porn, since after all, his own childhood should be
dictating to the rest of us what our morals and values ought to be.
Here's a good one, pg 110, "What evidently is true is that for many
individuals, owing in part to a greater dependency on genital friction for
arousal, sexual "awakening" can be long delayed by preventing the youthful
experimentation in which they would othersie naturally engage." So kids
would have orgasms much sooner, if only we would let them.
Here is another, same 2nd para - "As for the common idea that sexual
awareness and exploration are harmful to children or adolescents, it is no
less biologically false. Stories of emotional distress from early sexual
experience are often told in this society; but it is clear that the real
sources of such trauma...lie in the accompanying social attitudes." In
other words, children are not harmed by sexual behaviour, it is only our
response to it which creates trauma in them. I guess that's why sex abuse
victims are more likely to become prostitutes, addicts, drunks, have sexual
problems in adulthood, have psychological problems and commit suicide. It's
not the sex, it's what we think of it that harms children. I guess if we
accept the idea of children having sex, then they wouldn't get hurt,
according to Ferrel.
pg 111 - 3rd para. "It may even be the case, as various (unnamed)
researchers have suggested, that there is a valuable place for erotically
explicit materials in the education of children, especially given the fact
that our society's high degree of privacy deprves them of the exposure to
nudity and sexuality they would have in a more natural environment." Now,
peds tell us that this is how they groom children for sex, so I wonder which
"researchers" are actually advocacting this in the main stream. See, for
Elliott, Michele (1995) Child sexual abuse prevention: what offenders tell
us. Child Abuse and Neglect. 19:5. Pp 579-594.
On page 112, Ferrel believes that children are vulnerable to pedophiles
because they are not exposed to sexually explicit porn. He in the same
breath suggests that eliminating the porn materials would not stop the
pedophile from making his own "to use as "bait" to entice children into sex
with them." The idea is in 2nd para, One currently...that they naturally
So here, Ferrel acknowledged that pedophiles use born to bait children, but
nevertheless things society should provide this "education" to children.
The porn is used to break down a child's resistance to sex, but we should
provide it to kids en masse. Is this as weird to you as it is to me?
I just can't say anything about paragraph 3, it is just entirely
indefensible, so you check it out.
Ooh, here Ferrel makes a concession. "there is something to the idea that
if "kidporn" were legal, it would send the message to pedophiles that their
desires are socially acceptable. Even that is unlikely, perhaps, in a
society where they are often despised more than murderers."
pg 113, Given that children are particularly vulnerable to coercion,
protecting them from being pressured or forced into something which, in
present social conditions, can be highly distressing...is a serious concern
(though it is potentially no more so than the practice of coercing them not
to act sexually). Here Ferrel equates the pressure to force children into
sex as no more evil then the pressure he claims children experience from
being told not to have sex. Only forced or coerced sex with children is a
problem for Ferrel, because in his view, children want to have sex, only we
force them not to.
para 2, 113 - Ferrel asserts that those who campaign against child porn,
"...are constantly alleging, on the basis of no evidence whatever, that
pornography in general encourages child molestation." The truth is, it
almost axiomatic that a child molester who is caught will frequently have a
fine collection of porn, so that is evidence enough for most of us. In
spite of this, Ferrel claims on page 129, para two, that "many
psychiatrists...believe that pornography often has the effect of preventing
sexual violence." Dr. Money (Ferrel calls him the foremost expert on
childhood sexuality), he claims, says that "persons requesting help in a sex
offender clinic "commonly disclose in the course of counseling therapy that
pornography helps them contain their abnormal sexuality within imagination
only, as a fantasy." If so many sexual offenders are caught with porn, it
is obvious that the fantasy was not enough all the time, making porn the
instigator which feeds the fantasy to bring it to action.
I haven't read pages 130-164, but I will read those pages now, and get back
to you if I find anything else.