PHILADELPHIA, PA, June 29 ( – Julia A. Ericksen, Associate Professor of Sociology at Temple University points out in a recent article in the May/June issue of Society magazine that she prefers to “always use the term child-adult sex for sexual encounters involving both adults and children.” In “Sexual Liberation’s Last Frontier” she complains about the use of “emotionally laden terms like ‘pedophilia’ or ‘child sexual abuse’” and finds fault with researchers who use these terms since “most of their research attempts to measure the harm brought about by such activity.” Much better, she suggests, are researchers who “question the supposed long-term effects of such activity on the children involved.” “It is appropriate to undertake such research if only to wrest the terms of the debate from conservatives who have used pedophilia as a way to silence all attempts at sexual tolerance,” she says in a comment which appears to put ideology above the well-being of children. While she does say that equal and free consent cannot be given by both parties in cases of “child-adult sex”, she suggests that the reason is sociological in nature – a culture which recognizes a “difference in power between adults and children.”

Where does pressure to change attitudes regarding pedophilia come from? Ericksen answers that “in recent years … gay liberation activists have targeted the homophobia of sexologists” like herself. Ericksen also has a problem with stiff punishment for pedophiles. “As with the sodomite in the   nineteenth century, so in the twentieth century the pedophile’s punishments are so severe that most people guilty of the offense remain unpunished, protected by families which rightly fear the consequences of exposure.”

To contact Temple University with your concerns email President Peter Liacouras at:  [email protected]

You may also email Prof. Ericksen at:
[email protected]