Issues of Agreement That Shape B4U-ACT’s Focus
B4U-ACT believes that clinicians, researchers, and minor-attracted people can agree on several crucial issues that form the core of B4U-ACT’s work. These issues include the need to:
- disseminate accurate and hopeful information about minor-attracted people to clinicians, the public, and minor-attracted people
- make hopeful and compassionate mental health services available to minor-attracted people. Access to mental health services should not be denied due to one’s sexual attraction to minors or one’s beliefs about these attractions.
- place top priority on the well-being of children and adolescents, including those who are developing an attraction to younger children, and protect them from harm
- facilitate dialog among clinicians, researchers, and minor-attracted people toward mutual understanding and empathy
- reduce stigmatization of people due to their feelings of attraction to minors
- work cooperatively to address these needs
Issues of Disagreement
There are other issues on which thoughtful people have diverse opinions. Based on both our reading of the literature and our interactions with others, we are aware that researchers, clinicians, and minor-attracted people may disagree among themselves on their conceptions of childhood, adolescence, effects of sexual behavior, and morality. Attention to such issues is productive only when pursued with a desire for mutual understanding. Too often, however, it leads to contention that impedes dialog and diverts resources from addressing areas of agreement. Therefore, B4U-ACT focuses on the issues of agreement listed above.
We all agree on the importance of helping children lead happy lives and grow to be confident, healthy adults. B4U-ACT also emphasizes the equally important goal of helping minor-attracted adolescents and adults to achieve mental health by not being villainized and by having access to welcoming, compassionate, research-based mental health services. Additionally, we believe that people should abide by the law because of the potential risk to children and minor-attracted people of doing otherwise. Through all of these ways, we can ensure the well-being of both children and minor-attracted people.
The most effective approach to prevention is to address the issues of agreement above. In the long run, this approach will contribute to the mental health of minor-attracted people, maximizing their ability to contribute positively to society. Such an approach requires the development of cooperative relationships between mental health professionals and minor-attracted people, the elimination of harmful stereotypes, and the reduction of stigma, secrecy, and fear that make mental health services inaccessible.
Statement adopted November 12, 2011