From a child’s rights site:
The view that pedophilia is a sickness and a crime is a Gardner (1991, p. 118) suggests that Western society’s is “excessively moralistic and
punitive” toward pedophiles. Gardner maintains that “the Draconian punishments meted
out to pedophiiles …go far beyond what I consider to be the gravity of the crime.” The
current prohibition of sex between adults and children is an “overreaction” which
Gardner traces to the Jews.
It is of interest that of all the ancient peoples it may very well be that the Jews
were the only ones who were punitive toward pedophiles.…Early Christian
proscriptions against pedophilia appear to have been derived from the earlier
teachings of the Jews, and our present overreaction to pedophilia represents an
exaggeration of Judeo-Christian principles and is a significant factor operative in
Western society's atypicality with regard to such activities (Gardner, 1992, pp. 46-7).
Is a reflection of Western society’s
present position on this subject. As a product of Western culture, Gardner (1992, p. 49)
states: “I too have come to believe that sexual activity between an adult and a child is a
reprehensible act. However, I do not believe that it is intrinsically so; in other
societies and other times it may not be psychologically detrimental.” “The determinant
as to whether the experience will be traumatic is the social attitude toward these encounters”
(Gardner 1992, pp. 670-1).
Gardner (1991, p. 66) notes that he does not conduct therapy for sex abuse, unless he is
"100 percent convinced that the abuse has indeed taken place." In addition, Gardner
(1992, p. 535) states: "It is extremely important for therapists to appreciate that the child who
has been genuinely abused may not need psychotherapeutic intervention" [italics in the
There is a whole continuum that must be considered here: from those children who
were coerced and who gained no pleasure (and might even be considered to have
been raped) to those who enjoyed immensely (with orgastic responses) the sexual
activities. (Gardner, 1992, p. 548):"