A TEDx speaker has argued that pedophilia should be accepted as “an unchangeable sexual orientation.”
Mirjam Heine presented her talk “Pedophilia is a natural sexual orientation” at the University of Würtzberg in Germany, and said that pedophilia is like any other sexual orientation.
“According to current research pedophilia is an unchangeable sexual orientation just like, for example, heterosexuality. No one chooses to be a pedophile, no one can cease being one,” Heine argued. “The difference between pedophilia and other sexual orientations is that living out this sexual orientation will end in a disaster.”
While Heine clarified her comments by noting that “abusing children is wrong without any doubt,” she said that a “pedophile who doesn’t abuse children has done nothing wrong.”
She also said that accepting pedophiles and encouraging them to not pursue their desires will help end their “suffering.”
“We shouldn’t increase the sufferings of pedophiles by excluding them, by blaming and mocking them,” she said. “By doing that, we increase their isolation and we increase the chance of child sexual abuse.”
She added: “We should accept that pedophiles are people who have not chosen their sexuality and who, unlike most of us, will never be able to live it out freely…. Most of us feel discomfort when we think about pedophiles. But just like pedophiles, we are not responsible for our feelings. We do not choose them but we are responsible for our actions.”
Heine’s talk, especially the notion that pedophilia is a sexual orientation like others, led to a swift backlash from the internet community.
In addition, it threatened to dredge up a frequent right-wing argument that advancing LGBTQ rights would eventually lead to the normalization of pedophilia — for instance, ChurchMilitant.com’s headline shouted “Next Up For Normalization: Pedophilia.”
According to Inquisitr, Heine’s talk was also heavily criticized by her academic peers, who argued that she failed to understand the research she cited to justify her argument and that her argument frequently changed over the course of the talk.
Behavioral psychologist and therapist Dr. Linda Mintle told CBN News that she disagreed with Heine’s presentation, saying: “Pedophilic disorder is a mental disorder. It is one type of mental disorder in the category of paraphilias.”
The American Psychiatric Association currently classifies pedophilia as a disorder in the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.”
Due to the backlash it received, TEDx eventually removed the video, though it has been widely copied and reposted on YouTube.
Watch Heine’s full talk below: