THE LURE OF AFFECTION AS A CAUSE OF PEDERASTY BY PARKER ROSSMAN
The following is one of the sections of the fourth chapter of Dr. Parker Rossman’s Sexual Experience Between Men and Boys (originally published in 1976), entitled "Why Do They?", introduced here, and intended to explain why in general some men desire boys, though in practice limited in its evidence to what was then recent in countries with a Judaeo-Christian tradition.
The Lure of Affection
Whatever later motivations and behavior there may have been, a vast majority of pederasts said that initially they became involved in sex play with a boy because of affection. There are obvious differences between the experience of single and married men. A single man in his late forties said: “I spend a lot of time with boys because I am lonely. There is this boy I taught to box, who has no father and who is as lonesome as me. I feel no lust, and nothing very illegal has happened between us, but something erotic, nurtured by our affection, keeps demanding more intimate expression. If I do the moral thing and end our relationship before it is too late, it will break his heart and mine.” A married man, by contrast, said: “The word ‘love’ so quickly and easily comes to the lips of kids today. They ‘love’ cars and hamburgers, so I must be cynical when a boy says he loves me, especially when I’ve just let him try to drive my sports car and he is experiencing hero worship. Such a boy said to me: “You’re the first person I’ve ever loved because I wanted to,” and then, to prove it, he hit me, which is approved affectionate physical contact at his age. I hit him back and he sparred with me, to hide the fact that he really wanted me to put my arm around him. There’s nothing romantic in our love, but I can’t resist the way he feels and the way he makes me feel.” Another pederast contrasted his love for his wife and the “lure of affection” he felt for a boy: “I agree with Eglinton who quotes Henry Stack Sullivan’s definition of love as ‘that state of affectional rapport in which someone else’s satisfactions become spontaneously as important’ to me as my own. Sullivan also said that a boy’s first such affectional relationship is generally with someone of his own sex, and is a normal step towards healthy sex with females. It is more harmful in my view to refuse sexual pleasure to a youngster than to indulge him. I think adolescents must have sexual freedom to heal the damage done by the notion that sex is dirty. It is really sinful for persons who work with kids to shame and refuse their affectionate gestures. Nor will I refuse to reach out to a boy when my heart says it is right.”
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