The problem of men using children in sex has somehow become a major fear in our society without ever exposing networks of men doing so. Every other variant of sexual interests has had them, why no social and economic networks of child molesters, no major purveyors of children and child pornography arrested? The highest-level person actually arrested for sex with underage girls is Jeffrey Epstein, and he was let off lightly. The highest-level person who was arrested for acts associated with sex with boy children was Dennis Hastert. He was also let off lightly. Both people were part of very powerful groups in business and government.
The first thing to be evaluated is “Is it real?”
No question, pedophilia is real. And, no question, most of the people molesting children and young adults are people close to them, and predominantly men on girls. It is the pattern in every human society, a result of our primate ancestry. Extreme acts are revealing of basic patterns.
You only need google. Many many arrests for child pornography and answering ads for sex with children, and of people low enough in society to have contact with children, and more than a few people trying to make a living from exploiting one or a few children. The FBI obviously has put a lot of effort into exploring darknets and rolling up distribution.*
Also, no question the networks of pederasts at the highest levels of our society are real, the case of the case of Dennis Hastert shows that the CIA has procurers for them, and that all the intelligence services have active blackmail operations on pedophiles. Hastert was a major CIA asset in Congress, and was allowed his boys as a reward. The case of Jimmy Savile, and here, and also Jeffrey Epstein say known pedophiles are acceptable to all of our higher level society, as do the scandals in the Catholic Church across many countries and times, and the many orphanage scandals ditto.
I am a standard educated libertarian sophisticated in my social attitudes : Whatever, so long as everyone is a consenting adult. We are quite conventional, standard middle class in our neck of the country, but nevertheless have friends who are in or have been in nearly every arrangement you read about in novels, and their experiences don’t seem to have hurt them or society, in fact some are quite intelligently in everyone’s interest. From that POV, the many affairs the the FBI found among high-level Republicans during its COINTELPRO-II are certainly an indication of dishonesty, but more examples of a standard mismatch of biological imperatives of individuals vs social institutions such as marriage throughout history, and thus not in themselves much of an indication of the state of our nation.
Look, we are entering a mine field here, tiptoe with me. Assume I am doing my very best to infect you with the worst idea you can imagine, that I have every evil intention for destroying you and your entire culture, ethnic group, eradicating every member of your lineage. There, properly protected by a great gulf of distrust, we can converse as rational individuals without fear of harm to either mind or soul.**
Definitely an indication of our society not being able to handle these mismatches intelligently, however. Christian societies are not much help when it comes to discussing sexual matters, they don’t if they can help it, and take extreme moralistic positions that prevent thought. Muslims may be worse, or at least have more extreme disparity between permitted behavior public and private.
Our western morality says that children cannot consent, and parents cannot consent for them in such matters. We have become very strict about that in all ways, including parents not being able to deny medical treatment. Other societies are now and ours has not been not so strict about their boys, most societies stop monitoring boys about age 16, and the poor of all societies have had to sell their girls into slavery whenever the cost of food went up relative to the price of labor. “Dancing Girls of Lahore”, quite an excellent book on the Pakistani underclass, but you can find cases everywhere there are poor.
At the same time, our attitudes are not realistic about children and sexuality. I know more than a few people who said they started sex at 12 to 14 and loved it. One young woman said she had been seduced by a teacher at 14. She said she never felt exploited (in my judgement she was, the girl was a party-favor for rich and wealthy as the woman climbed a social ladder, such interesting stories), they have had a relationship ever since, across 3 marriages. That young woman did not have a life as successful as her intelligence should have allowed, imho, but both her personality and background were against her, both had made her vulnerable, imho. King John married a 12 year old, historical accounts say they were very happy in an intensely sexual relationship.
People mature at different times, in earlier days the girls were married at 16, by 18 you were an old maid, the lower classes even younger. One still-evolving standard in modern middle-class morality seems to allow anyone 18 and above to have as much fun as they would like through early adult-hood to late 20s for women and early 30s for men, then settle down and have children. That is better than previous patterns, in terms of divorce rates, but we also know of many unhappy marriages.
I am not advocating anything except recognizing that our Puritan-derived morality and consequent inability to think about issues in basic biology and human development produces inconsistencies between appropriate social behavior and our biological natures, and our inability/refusal to deal with those conflicts with any tools except social and legal prohibitions set the society up for wide-spread corruption. Our deep state mafias require that corruption for their power, and that power is the major threat to the peaceful future of our world.
I do not have an answer, but point out that the answer we have come to, various reasons for looking away, has produced the system that allowed Epstein and all of the other components of our various mafias to corrupt it.
Societies are open, evolving, complex systems in which literally everything is connected through many chains of causal connections. We have allowed our selves to attempt to deal with society’s inevitable problems and injustices piecemeal, a long series in time of attempts at improvement. Many of those have been laws prohibiting greatly desired activities in sex and drugs. Inevitably such things corrupt the society, and the US as yet has no effective mechanisms to deal with mafia infestations.
A series of local optimizations does not often produce the global optima, statistically never and rarely anywhere close. Computer systems have a similar problem, so complete rewrites for most-used tools and most-used libraries are a planned part of the process of improvements. Social custom and the law have no equivalent concept. We consequently fall into far more difficult problems far more often than anyone can anticipate. The concepts we base our thinking about in these areas are inadequate.
That calls for evolution, not more and better planning. Repeal laws and begin talking about the problems in as realistic and objective terms as we can muster.
Simple clear communications with a focus on reality is how civilization advances, not more wise elders telling us what to do. Wise elders worked when they were the best way we had of communicating and focusing and they were our local elders who know our local problems, but modern intellectual tools have moved far beyond that. We still depend on wise elders, and that isn’t working. Probably has not worked ever since government took over the wise-elder position for all of us, we can just see it now.
*That is, of course, fully as hopeless as the DEA’s eliminating drugs, or even reducing their availability.
**While carefully correct and exactly what you should be doing, nevertheless that kind of disclaimer works to make you trust me, you do realize? Never trust disclaimers and warnings, they are often the message. They work as well as no-lock brakes, just make you more confident, the accident rate and infect your mind rate doesn’t change. Proven fact.
And, were I someone preaching man-boy love or some such, I would put all this exactly as I am doing. Distrust isn’t enough, you have to think everything you want to have an opinion on through for yourself, or you will find your mind working for people like me.
As I worked through the Sandy Hoax cases, in each the early tell was the government’s being so careful with the information, and the major difference between the genuine open investigations and the coverups was whether people could argue. Of course I would tell you to think everything through for yourself, and provide links that make your progress to my pov inevitable. Really for yourself.
Another link to guide you.
Added later : Dennis Hastert didn’t get off scott free, surprisingly. So some time in a Club Fed with good medical care for a 74-year-old man and a quarter million dollar fine. Justice department needed to do something to prove it doesn’t let everyone of the elite go free.
Added yet later : Sandusky case has tarred the entire state leadership.