The ethics of pedophilia
Keywords:children, consent, harm, pedophilia, sexual ethics
Pedophilia is bad. But how bad is it? And in what ways, and for what reasons, is it bad? This is a thorny issue, and sadly, one seldom discussed by ethicists. In this paper it is argued that pedophilia is bad only because, and only to the extent that, it causes harm to children, and that pedophilia itself, as well as pedophilic expressions and practices that do not cause harm to children, are morally all right. It is further argued that the aim of our social and legal treatment of pedophilia should be to minimize harm to children, and that current practice is often counterproductive in this respect.