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Considering that Roy Moore, who's leading the polls for the election in Alabama, has been accused of being a sexual predator targeting underage women, and considering that the elected president of the USA, Donald Trump, is himself someone who has admitted to groping and spying on naked, underage models, and even said that he would like to have sex with his own daughter, my question is, to what extent is pedophilia an accepted sexual orientation in the United States?

I am from Denmark, and two politicians such as Roy Moore and Donald Trump would never have been elected in any major election in my country. Pedophilia is simply not accepted here from a moral standpoint.

However, considering the recent ongoings in the US, I am wondering whether the culture in the United States is different?

I expect appropiate answers to include references to studies (polls) made of the US population in regards to the topic. Any answers that are opinion-based will be ignored.

Note that I do believe this question is on-topic, since the moral standards and culture of a country dictates whom it elects as its politicians which in turn dictates which policies it enforces. For example, I find it highly relevant that a senator, who may possibly have a say on issues such as punishments for rape or the age of consent, is a pedophile.

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    I find it amusing that as usual, anything that is slanderous about USA or Trump is getting gazillion of upvotes. Did anyone bother reading the definition of what "pedo*" term even means? – user4012 Nov 29 '17 at 19:30
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    Why is Trump even included in this question? Given the obsession that the MSM has over every little thing that Trump does(two scoops, feeding koi, drinking water), I'm fairly confident we'd be hearing about it non-stop if there was even an anonymous 'source' that suggested Trump was a pedophile. – Jack Of All Trades 234 Nov 29 '17 at 19:35
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    @JackOfAllTrades234 - there are both Trump's bragging about walking in on beauty pageant contestants in their dressing rooms and named, on the record, accounts from Miss Teen USA contestants, some of whom were legally under the age of consent at the time, of him doing so. If you are still unaware of this, then your actual knowledge of what "MSM" does or says is not at the level that you seem to claim. – PoloHoleSet Nov 29 '17 at 20:17
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it reads as a rant rather than a sincere question. – user1530 Nov 29 '17 at 20:47
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    a) pedophilia isn't a "sexual orientation" b) support of a person isn't necessarily support of their behavior (even if it should be) c) Why Moore gets support actually has nothing to do with his behavior but rather due to a bigger trend of extreme partisanship and an uprising of a segment of the GOP. – user1530 Nov 29 '17 at 20:49
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It's less about what they are willing to support, vs what they are willing to overlook if it's a member of their own "tribe."

It's a much about spiting those they don't agree with, an unwillingness to accept that "their person" might be morally deficient, or that they might be wrong than any particular topic.

If you polled those supporting Trump and Moore, they'd probably come in heavily against molesting people who are legally minors, if you removed specific context or individuals and polled on the topic, alone.

If it's one of their people, they will either dismiss the events as not happening, will attack the accusers, will try to deflect, or will, then, not care.

Flip the accused to someone from a different political viewpoint, and the threshold needed for the accusations to be credible and factual and the actions that should be taken, as well as the general standards applied will switch so fast it should give all involved whiplash.

This is not exclusive to any party (though I've seen some analysis that shows certain groups are a bit more prone to entrenched support). I've certainly seen liberals attack LeAnn Tweeden and question her version and motivations once Al Franken was accused.

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    I expect all these things are true, but without the polls this is opinion. – user9389 Nov 29 '17 at 20:00
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    @notstoreboughtdirt the polls show Moore ahead. Unless there are polls showing a majority of voters are in favor of underage sexual relations, I'd say that is enough data to support this argument. – user1530 Nov 29 '17 at 20:50
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    For support of this, here is a FiveThirtyEight article. In summary, it says that people may dislike the politician personally, but they support what he stands for and will thus vote for them over a candidate who doesn't share those values. In practical terms, that means that Moore would be far more likely to lose support if he were going into a Republican primary now against other people with similar views, and not against a Democrat with opposed ones. – Bobson Nov 29 '17 at 22:36
  • In my opinion a better example than Al Franken/LeAnn Tweeden would be the strident defense of Bill Clinton against allegations of sexual harassment and rape. – Readin Dec 4 '17 at 0:17
  • @Readin - I disagree for a couple of reasons. During the Clinton time in office, he was under a constant barrage of absurd accusations - murders, a cocaine running operation from a dinky airstrip in Arkansas, a "death list," even Whitewater and related accusations that were exhaustively investigated - any credible or potentially credible accusations added to the pile of nonsense and crap suffered by association and "cry wolf" fatigue. Also, my mentioning Franken wasn't based on research for the best analogue, just from seeing it happen on my FB feed, personally. – PoloHoleSet Dec 4 '17 at 15:27
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This is an incorrect read of the situation. Moore's supporters, for the most part, simply don't believe the accusations1 that have been made against him. They support him primarily because of his political affiliation and opposition to abortion. The few who do think the accusations are true also think it's more important to oppose Jones (who supports abortion rights, among other sins), and have come up with ... shall we say, creative defenses2 of Moore?

Same thing with President Trump. His supporters simply attribute any negative stories about him to "fake news" or liberal media bias.

Which is really easy to do - news media have become so fractured and so targeted that you may simply not read or hear about such things if you only follow one particular news source. FOX News, for example, tends not to report on things that are embarrassing to President Trump, while the New York Times and Washington Post jump on them like a dog on a hamburger.

The US is in an unfortunate situation where party affiliation means more than just about anything else, and the partisanship has become toxic. Character and capability matter less than whether you have a (R) or (D) after your name. Note that plenty of Democrats are rallying around Franken and Conyers (who, to be fair, are "only" accused of assaulting adult women); like Moore's supporters, they simply don't believe the accusations, or if they do, feel it's more important to oppose the Republicans.


  1. And at this point, that's all they are - accusations. Nothing's been proven in a court of law. Personally, I believe the accusations have merit (multiple sources have come forward that all paint a similar picture), but that's not proof of anything.
  2. Such as comparing him and his wife to Joseph and Mary, which is a bit rich.

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    I'd maybe contest you argument that democrats don't believe Al Franken's accusations. He's admitted to them. I think people do see a difference in what he did vs., say, Weinstein, but I do think they believe what happened actually happened. – user1530 Nov 29 '17 at 22:31
  • @blip: Fair point. – John Bode Nov 30 '17 at 0:45
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There are few political topics in america that enjoy near unanimous support, and the proscription of pedophilia is one of them. Inmates that brutally assault pedophiles in prison usually receive praise, not scorn from the average individual outside(and were usually assisted by the jailers in carrying out their attack). Support for extreme punishment (sometimes lifelong) for convicted pedophiles is generally high, and it would probably be political suicide to 'soften' those laws once they form.

The disparity you are seeing, is the difference between someone damned by evidence, and someone who has merely been accused. To my knowledge, nothing equivalent to a smoking gun has appeared in the case of Moore, but his reputation is already damaged by the firestorm surrounding it. His support from the republican party rapidly drying up, and I've yet to see or hear any mainstream support that doesn't remain /only/ out of a belief that the accusations are false.

Anyone can make an accusation, the political impact of that accusation tends to be affected by their affiliated party's stance on that accusation, and how believable the accusation is. Being caught doing something that is taboo for your party, especially if there is photographic evidence, or texts, or worse, if it was strong enough evidence to find themselves in the middle of a criminal trial.

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    I'm skeptical of the conclusions from violent incidents. Even if it is statistical rather than anecdotal, all it proves is there is a reasonable number of people strongly committed to opposition (among a population selected at least partially for violence), and doesn't touch on how common acceptance is in general. A poll of "was it right that [pedophile] got shanked?" would shut me up pretty well. – user9389 Nov 29 '17 at 20:19
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    There are rarely 'smoking guns' in sexual harassment/assault cases. Not believing the victims has been an ongoing problem in society. At some point, we (as a society) need to take into consideration that the word of many women is true. Furthermore, given what this voting demographic was willing to believe about Obama and Clinton, to argue that they need to see 'actual proof' is pure B.S. – user1530 Nov 29 '17 at 20:52
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    @notstoreboughtdirt I'll admit the difficulty in finding anything close to a scientific poll that tracks support for extrajudicial punishment for these sorts of crimes, but vigilantism had been at the very least supported in our mass media, which is sometimes a decent gauge of society's sensibilities. To catch a predator was a massive success, even if it amounted to entrapment in many cases. Fictional characters like Dirty Harry, and The Punisher remain very 'american'. If it was reprehensible to a sizable portion of the population, these franchises wouldn't fare as well as they do. – Jack Of All Trades 234 Nov 29 '17 at 21:29
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    @blip I think you underestimate how often the accuser is believed. Especially when the person being accused is some average guy that doesn't have a high powered legal team to protect him. Also, given the very very severe consequences that go along with these sorts of accusations(both legal, and social), and the negligible consequences for a proven false accusation, the world you present seems like a terrifying place to live in as the sex that doesn't get that presumption of being truthful. – Jack Of All Trades 234 Nov 29 '17 at 21:39
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    @blip I have a feeling that the 52 individuals referenced by your link don't think the argument is at all flawed, nor would they probably consider false imprisonment to be an insignificant issue. They're also the lucky ones, where DNA evidence could exonerate them. My point is, and remains, in a situation where the stakes are as high as 'ruined life', it's more than reasonable to be skeptical of accusations without some form of strong proof. – Jack Of All Trades 234 Nov 30 '17 at 14:49
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Your basic question is founded on pedophilia, specifically sexual acts against a minor, while much of the current sexual predation revelations in the US involve young women, but not children. So your premise isn't accurate.

Nor is limiting this to a conservative party accurate, although they've had their fair share. Bill Clinton's predator ways have been well documented, and Anthony Weiner took sexual propositions to a disgustingly low level. Charges have been leveled against, and acknowledged to be true by, Al Franken and John Conyers... all left leaning US politicians.

Nor is this confined to the US. Silvio Berlusconi was caught soliciting sex. At least he was willing to pay for it, which is more than most pols do.

The UK is currently embroiled in the Westminster scandals. Plus piggate, which doesn't involve women. What it does involve, I'm not anxious to look too closely at. Whoa!

And it appears that some members of the European Parliament haven't been on their best behavior, either.

Even in Denmark, your film industry appears to be emulating Hollywood in more ways than one.

So to answer your basic question... no, there is nothing in the US culture that makes this more tolerable, because that behavior can be found in most western nations. It may well happen in more closed societies where there is no independent media, we just never hear about it.

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  • In what world is a fourteen year old not a child? – ubadub Dec 1 '17 at 6:13
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Political support in the US tends to be my team vs your team, not much different than a sports teams support. Yes, you can have some disagreements with the plays your teams coach makes and you can have a beef with your teams star player, but in the end you support your team regardless of those issues.

Trump has mused on this in the past (slight variation) https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jan/24/donald-trump-says-he-could-shoot-somebody-and-still-not-lose-voters stating that he could openly shoot someone (even shoot one of his own supporters) and would not lose a single vote from his supporters. If a person could take a bullet from Trump and still vote trump, then a 'little sexual misconduct' is a simple thing to dismiss as either 'made-up' or 'not that bad'.

Your claim of pedophilia is a long ways from truth though...statutory rape maybe, inappropriate conduct most likely, but not pedophilia.

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I'm not sure about Denmark but in the US a significant proportion of the population simply don't trust the media anymore. It doesn't help that pretty much all media is biased: It's common knowledge that Fox News tends to cover up for Trump while CNN and Washington Post tends to cover up for Hillary and Obama. Foreign countries typically get their news about America from CNN so that's why you have the perception about the US that you do.

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  • It's common assumptions. As much as I rail against Fox News, for example, their actual news casting isn't all that inaccurate (their opinion/entertainment segments--admittedly a bulk of their programming, is something else entirely). That said, at the moment, one party is absolutely doing everything it can to get their base to believe they shouldn't trust any media at all. – user1530 Dec 12 '17 at 4:40
  • The simple fact of the matter is that Europeans tend to trust authority, and the US's founding was based on the idea that authority can't be trusted. The concept of separation of powers was invented by the US for the purpose of limiting the power of authority. You can see the cultural difference in how Europe tends to have extremely controlling governments and a tendency to get screwed by fascism every few decades. – Dave Jul 19 '18 at 9:10
  • but that contradicts your answer. The reason so many people distrust the media is because their president--IE, the authority has told them not to trust it. – user1530 Jul 19 '18 at 15:11
  • Uhh no, the media's trust has been dropping for a long time before the recent president happened. He's just accelerating it. – Dave Jul 20 '18 at 17:56
  • "He's just accelerating it" = yes, exactly. Why is the "authoritarian" able to accelerate that in the US? Wouldn't that imply the US also seems to have a desire to trust authority. – user1530 Jul 20 '18 at 18:06