The sexual preferences of most humans in fact are narrow

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What we tend to forget is how narrow the sexual preferences of most humans in fact are. Heterosexuals do not find all members of the 'opposite sex' attractive; on the contrary, men and women are commonly very clear and specific as to the age-range, size, height, shape and personal qualities of the people who most appeal to them sexually; who hold a special magic for them. If a man declares he is particularly 'turned-on' by tall, slim, redheads in their early twenties, and is to be found chatting up girls of this type at every opportunity, no one is likely to express any surprise or objection, nor will psychiatrists spend much time in explaining his preference in the language of compulsions, fixations, or early seduction experiences. I see no reason to think that an attraction to children in or approaching early adolescence is either more or less mysterious, (or more restricted), than a penchant for redheads. The important difference between them rests not on the dubious assumption that one is 'normal' and the other so perverse as to require special explanation, but on the social rule which permits adult men to have sex with adult redheads if both so please, but forbids them to do so with children. The rule may be perfectly sensible; but it cannot be invoked to prove that sexual attraction to children is pathological. [...]

All children, as they approach and pass through adolescence, need a wide range of friendships with loving adults outside their own family prepared to treat them increasingly as equals. Our social and sexual conventions, which tend to confine children's permitted extra-familial contacts to close relatives, or to formal encounters within the institution of school or youth organization, too often deny children these vital experiences. I do not contend that paedophiles should be recruited in large numbers to supply them; but I have argued that, if a child does develop a warm relationship with a paedophile which includes shared sexual pleasure, the sex is unlikely to do the child much harm, and the friendship may well be more beneficial than otherwise.

source: Article 'The adult' by Peter Righton (Director of Education, National Institute for Social Work); From the book 'Perspectives on Paedophilia' edited by Brian Taylor (Lecturer in Sociology, University of Sussex); Batsford Academic and Educational Ltd; 1981