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Annotated bibliography: Adult-minor sexual activity

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Finkelhor, D., "What’s wrong with sex between adults and children?" American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, vol. 49, 1979, pp. 692-697.

Sex abuse researcher David Finkelhor discusses the issue of informed consent when adults engage in sexual activities with children who have not yet reached puberty. Because such children are ignorant about sex and sexual relationships and do not have true freedom to say yes or no, he writes that they cannot give informed consent to sexual activity with an adult. His argument is independent of whether or not the child would be harmed.

Li, C.K., "Adult sexual experiences with children," in Li, C.K., West, D.J., & Woodhouse, T.P., Children’s sexual encounters with adults, London: Duckworth, pp. 139-316, 1990a.

Psychologist Chin-Keung Li delineates and critiques the argument that rejects adult-minor sex based on the principle of informed consent. He then describes and criticizes an opposing argument that favors acceptance of consensual adult-child sexual interaction.

Sandfort, T., Boys on their contacts with men: A study of sexually expressed friendships, New York: Global Academic Publishers, 1987.

Dutch researcher Theo Sandfort describes how power worked in the man-boy sexual relationships he studied.

Schmidt, G., “The Dilemma of the Male Pedophile,” Archives of Sexual Behavior, vol. 31, no. 6, 2002, pp. 473-477.

Schmidt explains how adult-child sex conflicts with principles of consensual morality and sexual self-determination, particularly due to the child's lack of knowledge of adult sexual scripts. Like Finkelhor, he presents an argument separate from the question of harm to the child. He also discusses how society should view the pedophile.

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