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Can you be a pedophile without sexually abusing children?

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Congressional candidate Nathan Larson says he's a pedophile.


By Meagan Morris, Metro

An independent congressional candidate from Virginia claims that he is a pedophile.

"A lot of people are tired of political correctness and being constrained by it," he told HuffPo. "People prefer when there’s an outsider who doesn’t have anything to lose and is willing to say what’s on a lot of people’s minds."

The website Babe found posts to various pro-pedophilia forums and message boards that traced back to an IP address for Larson’s campaign. When asked by HuffPo if he’s actually a pedophile, he said it’s a "mix of both."

"When people go over the top there’s a grain of truth to what they say."

He also admitted to raping his deceased ex-wife repeatedly and also wrote a post on his former website suiped.org that advocates some pretty horrific ideas.

"Why doesn’t every pedo just focus on making money so they can get a pedo-wife and then either impregnate her with some f***toys or adopt some f***toys?" he wrote in October, according to HuffPo. "That would accommodate both those who are and aren’t into incest. And of course, the adoption process lets you pick a boy or a girl."

But he told HuffPo that the term "pedophile" is "vague" and "just a label." He said that it’s "normal" for men to be attracted to underage women and hasn’t committed any crimes.

Does pedophile = child sexual abuser?

There’s a growing number of experts who say that a person who identifies as a pedophile is not necessarily someone who also sexually abuses children.

"It is very important for the public to understand that most child molesters are not pedophiles," David Finkelhor, a professor of sociology and the director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, told Broadly.

"[Many people] have the impression, when you talk about someone being a pedophile, that they have a permanent and unalterable sexual interest in children and, therefore, they are going to be dangerous under any circumstances and under any form of management — and that's not true."

Some liken it to a sexual orientation, just like heterosexuality and homosexuality, where a person is "attracted to child features."

"An individual with pedophilia has the same ingrained attraction that a heterosexual female may feel towards a male, or a homosexual feels towards their same gender," an anonymous criminal psychologist wrote in a 2016 AMA (Ask Me Anything) post on Reddit.

"We know that individuals with pedophilia may engage in sexual behaviour with adults," the psychologist continued. "For some, they may use this as a cognitive distortion to explain away their sexualization of prepubescent children."

And not all pedophiles act on their attractions and "are appalled by [them], and understand that it would be harmful to act on [them]," Finkelhor told Broadly.


There isn’t hard data to compare the number of people who identify as pedophiles with the number of child sexual abusers.

"As you might imagine," Finkelhor told Broadly, "it's relatively hard to get people to admit to that kind of interest." There is still a lot of fear in seeking treatment because of societal stigma and laws that require clinicians to report any possible sexual offenses to police.

Is Nathan Larson still running for Congress?

Larson’s web host pulled down his websites after they were exposed because of content that advocates rape, Hitler and declaring women as property.


"Women are objects, to be taken care of by men like any other property, and for powerful men to insert themselves into as it pleases them," he wrote in a now-deleted blog post.

He also spent 16 months in prison for threatening to kill President Barack Obama. But he is still running for political office — at least as of now.

"A lot of people who disagreed with someone like Trump," he told HuffPo, adding that people "might vote" for candidates like him "just because the establishment doesn’t like them."

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