Statement by Robert Knight

By September 23, 2002Defense of Family
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Press Conference on Harmful to Minors held April 25, 2002 by Concerned Women for American at the National Press Club. Statement by Robert Knight concerning Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex by Judith Levine (University of Minnesota Press, 2002)

If this were just about one book, we wouldn’t be holding this press conference.

But Harmful to Minors is more than just a bizarre decision by the University of Minnesota Press, perhaps to achieve notoriety by any means. Judith Levine’s opus is the logical product of a culture that has been softened up to accept the abnormal as normal, and to push the normal into a box labeled “narrow” or “intolerant.”

We are now being told that protecting children from early sexual exposure is a form of tyranny. We hear children described as “sexual beings,” as if sexual activity were the defining characteristic of their young lives.

Always, the mantra is that “science” has made religious taboos obsolete. “Science” shows us that children are sexual from birth, capable of sexual response and therefore available as sexual partners. “Science” tells us that religion is bad, because it represses natural sexual expression, especially that of children.

This view, argued on the fringe by pedophile authors over the past century, gained enormous respect when Alfred C. Kinsey published his books on male and female sexuality in 1948 and 1953, known collectively as the Kinsey Report.

Kinsey’s books redefined sexual normalcy and painted a picture of Americans awash in sexual activity of all kinds. Kinsey’s Sexual Behavior in the Human Male provided the scientific backing for the now-discredited assertion that 10 percent of the population is homosexual.

Thanks largely to the work of Dr. Judith Reisman, who co-authored the books Kinsey, Sex and Fraud in 1990 and Kinsey: Crimes and Consequences in 1998, Kinsey was unmasked as a charlatan. A biography by Kinsey insider James Jones in 1997 titled Kinsey: A Public/Private Life revealed that far from being a conservative husband and father, as the media had portrayed him, Kinsey was a homosexual sexaholic who favored sadistic practices, some of which may have contributed to his death.

Kinsey worked to lower penalties for sex offenders, and said he couldn’t understand why children were harmed by being sexually touched by adults. He based this on a series of sex experiments on children as young as 2 months of age. A chapter in Sexual Behavior in the Human Male reports on the molestation of hundreds of boys, with Kinsey concluding that the victims enjoyed the activity. The Family Research Council documentary The Children of Table 34 illustrates the extent of Kinsey’s criminal activities involving children and its effects on sexology, sex education and American culture.

Kinsey and his disciples began to evangelize for child sexuality. His co-author, Wardell Pomeroy, helped found the Sex Information and Education Council of the United States, which even today promulgates the Kinsey view that children of all ages are entitled to sex. Pomeroy has promoted not only child sex but has endorsed incest as well.

Kinsey’s close associate, Mary Calderone, who was Medical Director of Planned Parenthood and was SIECUS’s first president, described SIECUS’ mission as educating America with the “awareness of the vital importance of infant and childhood sexuality.”

Other Kinsey disciples went on to write the Model Penal Code, which has guided many states to reduce penalties for sex offenders. Kinsey remains the most often-cited sex authority in court cases, with literally thousands of references.

As for education, the Kinsey model of child sexuality, based entirely on criminal and fraudulent research, is the guiding principle behind much of what passes for sex education today, and it is the spirit behind Harmful to Minors.

In Harmful to Minors, Miss Levine makes only a passing reference to Kinsey (they are learning to cover their tracks), but speaks glowingly of SIECUS, Planned Parenthood and various pedophilic authors that reflect the Kinsey view of sex.

The Kinsey view is that all sex is merely an “outlet” and that children are “sexual beings” who deserve sexual autonomy. Kinsey dismissed the Biblical view of marriage as an old superstition, and says that all sex is good, at any age, providing consent is given. He even endorsed sex with animals, although it is hard to discern where consent plays much of a role. PETA, are you listening?

Levine’s book, which mocks religious tradition and promotes the “progressive” Kinsey view of sex, is a seemingly radical statement, but the basic elements of this view can be found in most sex education curricula, since they are based on the Kinsey model.

If Americans understood the radical roots of the sex education courses in their schools, they would be reaching for abstinence-based curricula as a literal life preserver even faster than they are now. Abstinence courses are gaining rapidly because they work, and because they place sex in context, as a wonderful and important part of a larger view of life.

The Planned Parenthood/SIECUS approach to sex education, endorsed by Miss Levine, has wreaked havoc on America, with millions of unwanted pregnancies, millions of abortions, and millions of cases of sexually transmitted diseases. In the 1950s, health authorities had to deal with two sexually transmitted diseases – syphilis and gonorrhea. Today, they are dealing with more than 25, including Human Papillomavirus, chlamydia, new strains of gonorrhea and the incurable HIV. Meanwhile, SIECUS and Planned Parenthood continue to promote sex to younger and younger children, with the promise that they’ll be “safe” if they just use condoms. They do not tell the kids that condoms are useless against regionally transmitted sexual diseases such as HPV, which causes 5,000 annual deaths from cervical cancer.

Miss Levine recounts incidents in which authorities overreacted and implicated innocent people with allegations of child sexual abuse. She has a point; some unscrupulous or overzealous child welfare officials have committed gross abuses. False charges of abuse are becoming staples in custody disputes in bitter divorce cases. But this does not justify portraying all protections for children as oppressive.

Children are being sexualized in our culture, from Calvin Klein’s deceptively youthful models to Hollywood’s non-stop promotion of sex. Dr. Reisman did a study for the U.S. Justice Department that showed men’s pornographic magazines like Playboy and Penthouse routinely have featured cartoons and pictorials that portray children in various sexual poses. The New York Times gives respectful reviews of the child pornography of photographer Sally Mann or deranged artist/author Henry Darger.

The Age of Consent is upon us, in which appetite and consent alone are supposed to validate whatever we do. In terms of sex, this has led us to books like Harmful to Minors, which lay the groundwork for a breakdown in cultural barriers against sex with children.

There is no way a child can give meaningful consent to sex; children lack the maturity to understand the lifelong consequences of sexual acts. Those who would make the case that children ought to be available as sex partners are the molesters’ best friends.

Next: Timothy Dailey, Ph.D., Family Research Council

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