Children can experience “a sense of power and control in sexual encounters with adults” and sexual pleasure, according to a senior La Trobe University academic who supports the controversial Safe Schools Coalition Australia program.
Dr Steven Angelides is the Senior Grants Administrator of La Trobe’s Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS), which launched the “Safe Schools” program. He has argued that children are capable of consenting to sexual activity with adults, and that such activities are not necessarily harmful.
“I am deeply concerned about articles by Dr Angelides, whose views appear to be fundamentally at odds with those of parents,” FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips said today.
In a 2004 article “Sex and the Child”, published in the journal Meanjin [Volume 63, Issue 4], Dr Angelides wrote:
There is research to show that, as well as feeling a sense of power and control in sexual encounters with adults, children can frequently experience sexual pleasure … It is imperative that children’s sexual desires and sense of power and pleasure not only be recognised but also normalised.
Angelides has also written about pedophilia in relation to incest. In a 2003 article “Historicizing Affect, Psychoanalyzing History: Pedophilia and the Discourse of Child Sexuality” published in the Journal of Homosexuality [Volume 46, No. 1-2], he said:
“Above and beyond genuine fears of child abuse, I submit that pedophilia also activates adult memory traces of: our own incestuous desires as children; our own desires for children; our role in awakening the sexuality of children; our complicity in the cultural sexualization of children (thus the undermining our conscious investment in child protection); and our part in the denial of a signifier, or, discourse of child sexuality.”
“I want to argue, first, that infantile sexuality is a reality that must be substantively acknowledged, in order to argue, second, that it is the traumatic origins of infantile sexuality that is at the heart of our neurosis about pedophilia.”
“The problem is that our culture demands that any eroticized parent-child emotions and any overt childhood sexual desire remain unexpressed. We simply do not have a language to speak childhood sexuality, let alone a language to articulate the erotic bond between children and parents.”
Ros Phillips noted that Dr Angelides still lists both articles on his La Trobe staff profile page.
“There are growing parental concerns about the impact of the ‘Safe Schools’ program,” she said. “I call on federal and state governments to order a moratorium pending a comprehensive review of the program. The brief examination by Professor Loudon only skimmed the surface.”
- Family and parenthood
- Government and society