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The Last Taboo:

Paedophilia, innocence and morality

The Last Taboo

Liz Kelly, Darren Langdridge, Teresa Morgan. Shaun Ley hosts.

Paedophilia is one of the most reviled phenomena in today's world. But why do we hold childhood innocence to be sacrosanct? Have we recently revealed the devil incarnate or have we found new witches to hunt, relieving old ones of their scapegoat status?

The Panel

Oxford classicist and theologian Teresa Morgan, psychologist of sexuality Darren Langdridge, and sociologist and feminist Liz Kelly contemplate our last taboo.

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How Old Is Old?
Esther Rantzen
Jump to what you want to see in the debate
  • Darren Langdridge
    The Pitch
    Locking up paedophiles is not the right solution to the problem
  • Liz Kelly
    The Pitch
    The word paedophile creates a monster
  • Teresa Morgan
    The Pitch
    Paedophilia has never been ubiquitous
  • The Debate
    Theme One
    Paedophilia and the nature of evil
  • The Debate
    Theme Two
    The sexualisation of childhood
  • The Debate
    Theme Three
    Should we trust our children?
Join the conversation

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Hannah Carter on 17/02/2014 4:19pm

Kelly makes an interesting distinction about the medicalisation of the condition. If perpetrators are sick, with a clinical diagnosis for their ailment, then surely our entire understanding of all criminality risks being undermined. Will rapists be deemed sufferers of nymphomania?

Ali Bloom on 20/12/2013 3:35pm

I don't not think that a fear of paedophilia can be too heavily criticized, but it's interesting to contrast that fear with adult obsession for youthful sexuality.

Kels on 19/12/2013 4:19pm

I wonder whether we would still think paedophilia was stifling our children's freedom if the conviction rates were higher. We all encounter risks everyday but somehow still manage to walk down dark roads largely unscathed. This is because we know that the chances of somethign happening are incredibly rare, and also that if something was to happen, that we could report it and carry on. We need to remove the victim status of those affected by crime in order to truly combat the issue.

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