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Many people reject the idea correspondence with people in prison because of the images in their minds of who “criminals” and, especially “sex offenders,” are. Even other MAPs (minor attracted persons) tend to see incarcerated sex offenders as depraved and violent human beings who have done unspeakable things to children. In point of fact, most of these “monsters” are in prison for one of two reasons: either they participated in consensual sexual activity or they distributed (or just looked at) child pornography. Newspaper accounts give the impression that sex abuse charges are always about how a man forced himself on a boy or a girl. In the overwhelming majority of the cases, this is not true.

A “violent predator” is someone who has done something with a boy that feminists don’t agree they should do. They use the term “violent” in a metaphysical way. They believe that any sexual contact has “violent” consequences for the boy, and thus any sexual activity with an underage person can be labeled as “violent” regardless of whether anything happened that would fit the ordinary meaning of the term. In some cases the contact may actually have been initiated by the boy. See this account, for example. < http://www.uryourstory.org/index.php/our-own-stories/130-my-life-as-a-boy >So contrary to public opinion, boys do at times seek out contact with men.

Again, using terms in a contrived manner, we hear feminists claim that children “can’t consent.” This suggests that all contacts are attacks and/or made possible only by either force or threats. In reality, violent attacks on boys are very rare. Here is a link to the biggest study that was ever done on sex offenses: http://www.uryourstory.org/index.php/studies/63-sexuality-violence-and-psychological-sequelae >. It was some years ago, and in Germany. But the same general pattern would be true here, today. On page 424 the director of the study, Michael Baurmann, says "In terms of absolute numbers, younger pre-pubertal children rarely experience violence."

Before we pursue these thoughts to their illogical conclusion, however, lets pause to consider how we want to deal with that small minority of men who actually have done something harmful and/or unwanted by a child. Surely, most upstanding citizens would claim, he does not deserve normal human contact with respectable people.

It is my personal belief that God’s love is universal, and that we are called to extend our love and acceptance to every last human being, whatever he or she has done or neglected to do. Here’s a little story that argues for this perspective. http://www.uryourstory.org/index.php/stories/81-the-further-adventures-of-the-bodhisattva .

I realize that my universalist argument is unlikely to convince very many people. A majority of people, after all, no longer believe in any God at all, and many who do believe in God view Him or Her as a narcissistic despot who is capable of meting out horrible punishments to people whose worship or beliefs are somehow inadequate. I mention this theological point only in passing. It’s just my way of objecting to the way in which we keep dividing humanity into the acceptable majority and a minority that we cast out whether for religious or secular reasons.

But the reality is that, even if you divide humanity into the worthy and the unworthy by conventional standards, you will find very few people who are unworthy of receiving a few letters from the “outside.” The population of sex offenders in prison are for the most part victims of a moral panic about child sexuality. Once labels such as “monster,” “low life,” “pervert” etc. are peeled off, they look pretty much like any random cross section of humanity on the outside. There is really nothing distinctive or unusual about them except that most of them are MAPs who at some point allowed themselves to preform acts of love that are not condoned by our society. Some are smart and some are not so smart, some are tall and some are . . . well. I’ll let you add whatever dichotomies you like. They are this way and that way just like the people you see walking up and down the street. And most of them would love to hear from you.