Michel Foucault wanted to normalize pedophilia

If you are wondering how we got to the point where pedophilia is being mainstreamed, here is part of the story: Michel Foucault—the heavily-cited progenitor of critical theory—on the attack in the 1970s against laws that protect children from adult sexual predation.

Keep in mind as you read this that Foucault himself has been credibly accused of pedophilia.

Hence there is a legislation that appeals to this notion of a vulnerable population, a “high-risk population,” as they say, and to a whole body of psychiatric and psychological knowledge imbibed from psychoanalysis – it doesn’t really matter whether the psychoanalysis is good or bad – and this will give the psychiatrists the right to intervene twice. Firstly, in general terms, to say: yes, of course, children do have a sexuality, we can’t go back to those old notions about children being pure and not knowing what sexuality is. But we psychologists or psychoanalysts or psychiatrists, or teachers, we know perfectly well that children’s sexuality is a specific sexuality, with its own forms, its own periods of maturation, its own high points, its specific drives, and its own latency periods, too. This sexuality of the child is a territory with its own geography that the adult must not enter. It is virgin territory, sexual territory, of course, but territory that must preserve its virginity. The adult will therefore intervene as guarantor of that specificity of child sexuality in order to protect it. And, on the other hand, in each particular case, he will say: this is an instance of an adult bringing his own sexuality into the child’s sexuality. It could be that the child, with his own sexuality, may have desired that adult, he may even have consented, he may even have made the first moves. We may even agree that it was he who seduced the adult; but we specialists with our psychological knowledge know perfectly well that even the seducing child runs a risk, in every case, of being damaged and traumatized by the fact that he or she has had sexual dealings with an adult. Consequently, the child must be ‘protected from his own desires’, even when his desires turn him towards an adult. The psychiatrist is the one who will be able to say: I can predict that a trauma of this importance will occurred as a result of this or that type of sexual relation. It is therefore within the new legislative framework – basically intended to protect certain vulnerable sections of the population with the establishment of a new medical power – that a conception of sexuality and above all of the relations between child and adult sexuality will be based; and it is one that is extremely questionable.


In this quote (emphasis mine) we see Foucault having made the defining Foucauldian turn: it can’t be objectively morally true that having sex with minors is bad, because objective moral truth doesn’t exist as such. For Foucault, the function of moral prohibitions is to mask power. And if this is the true nature of morality, then, like all moral prohibitions, the prohibition against having sex with minors is nothing more than a manifestation of a system of constraint. Thus, for Foucault, the only possible role objective morality can play in the matter is to act as an impediment to Foucault and his appetites. Laws that bar adults from pursuing sex with minors are merely exercises of power, forms of social control. Resisting all such forms of control is the central project of Foucault. It is precisely in terms of such resistance that Foucault defines freedom.

What’s striking here is that Foucault doesn’t even have to make the explicit argument against moral reality. The people he is criticizing–the “psychologists or psychoanalysts or psychiatrists, or teachers”–have already done the heavy lifting. Psychology has already replaced notions of morality with modern, therapeutic notions of being damaged or traumatized. This may seem like a semantic distinction; it is anything but. Once the right and wrong of moral realism are displaced by “psychological effects,” the door is open to challenging the interpretation of those effects. After all, what are psychological effects but subjective qualia, and who is to say what the value of such qualia are? Who are we, Foucault asks, to assume that pedophilia is necessarily traumatizing to children? After all, what if the child seduces the adult? And down the slippery slope we go. Sick stuff.

For context, here is a Wikipedia article describing the debate in France Foucault is addressing in the quote–specifically, a petition to decriminalize “consensual” sex between adults and children younger than 15:


Note the list of signatories: a veritable who’s who of existentialism, postmodernism, critical theory, and proto-wokism: Michel Foucault, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jacques Derrida, Louis Althusser, Roland Barthes, Simone de Beauvoir, Gilles Deleuze, Jean-François Lyotard, and others.

Full text at the link:


Here is more Foucault, weaving his web of nonsense:

What is [morally] good, is something that comes through innovation. The good does not exist, like that, in an atemporal sky, with people who would be like the Astrologers of the Good, whose job is to determine what is the favorable nature of the stars. The good is defined by us, it is practiced, it is invented. And this is a collective work.


Leave a Reply