CRIME WITHOUT VICTIMS, DENMARK CA. 1943-86
Forbrydelse uden offer, En bog om paedofili, edited by the “Trobriands” collective of authors and introduced by the eminent Copenhagen sexologist Preben Hertoft (1928-2017), was published in Denmark in 1986. A translation from the Danish by Dr. Edward Brongersma was published as Crime Without Victims. A book about paedophilia by Global Academic Publishers, Amsterdam in 1993.
It is a study of sexual relationships in Denmark between adults and children below the prevailing age of consent of 15, largely composed of interviews in which participants of one kind or another speak for themselves. The ages given for the interviewees appear to relate to 1986, the date of publication. Some were still then involved in such relationships, whilst the earliest experiences recounted were those of 55-year-old Holger when he was 12, so in about 1943. Of the twelve relationships concerning which one of the participants was interviewed, six involved boys over 12 and were unambiguously Greek love, two were more ambiguously so due to the ages of the boys, one was patently pedophilic and three involved girls. Greek love was therefore the main topic.
As was fashionable even among psychiatrists in the 1980s, both the editors in the Preface and Dr. Hertoft in the Introduction misdefine “a paedophile as a person, generally a male, who feels himself particularly attracted to young persons ranging in age from pre-puberty to those who have recently reached sexual maturity” in conflict with its definition when coined (and generally maintained in at least scientific literature to this day) as “a person attracted to pre-pubescent children.” The definition they chose to adopt is understandable in view of their objective of shedding light on a phenomenon partly defined by the legal and social prohibition in Denmark of sex with children under fifteen. However, both in the interests of accuracy and to explain the book’s inclusion in a website devoted to Greek love, it should be pointed out that the various authors repeatedly state that easily most of the relationships they are describing as “paedophile” were between men and boys either approaching or having just reached sexual maturity. In other words, they were really hebephilic, so their choice of words here is deeply misleading.
The contents as listed at the beginning of the book are given here in large type, followed by synopses in smaller type which should be sufficient to explain why each item is or is not of Greek love interest. All of the latter are or will be presented on linked web pages. Shorter passages of relevance are quoted on this page.
Preface / The Editors
Explains that the editors’ aim is, through allowing children, parents and “paedophiles” to speak for themselves in interviews “to try to induce parents, teachers, psychologists, judges and other authorities to listen more closely to what the individual children have to say; to what they delight in, and to what is felt by them to be disgusting.” The editors have avoided letting their personal feelings and moral conceptions intrude so that the reader can make up his own mind, but they note nevertheless their own conclusion that true molestation may inflict irreparable harm, but “that relations of mutual love, if allowed to develop freely, have an enriching influence on children, furthering their development.” [There is nothing peculiar to Greek love in this]
Introduction: Paedophiles Don't Hurt Children / Preben Hertoft, Sexologist
“from Politikens Kronik, 15 December, 1984”. Begins with the assertion that sexual assault can never be justified and adults bear a special responsibility in their contacts with children. Explains that during the last few years a number of “paedophiles” had come to him because they were unhappy or misunderstood, feeling sure they did act responsibly and had given needed help to children in trouble. Attitudes to sex between adults and children vary culturally, but are generally negative in Scandinavia because it is confused with sexual assault which is untypical. Pornography, prostitution and incest are all separate problems not intrinsically related to “paedophile”relationships. The age and gender of the child should effect attitudes; in practise these are based on the myth that most “paedophilia” involves rape of girls, whereas in fact it mostly involves older, self-aware and actively participating boys. The story of 12-year-old Bent is given as a typical example [the only section of the introduction to focus on Greek love]. Consensual sex with children “seems to produce no damaging effects”. Research does not bear out the assumption that it is mostly neglected children who are willing. Hertoft hopes for calm reappraisal of the subject and new discussion on the age of consent with more factual information leading to more realistic attitudes.
Part I: Discussions
The Image of the Child Molester.
Not only is not quite clear if the author of this section is Preben Hertoft or someone unnamed, but it is also not clear if its six sub-sections are even by the same person.
Having established as a premise that at the age of 8 to 10, children become socially aware and discover their sexual needs and boys become attracted to men they can admire, the dangers of boys’ sexual curiosity and quest for emancipation being frustrated are illustrated through the story of a boy who is a composite of “various boys we have known.”
・ Coming Out
On the difficulties and conflicts experienced by “paedophiles” trying to come to terms with their feelings. [Of little and only indirect relevance to Greek love]
・ The Social Function of the Child-Lover
Explains how due the climate of repression, the public never learns that, in contrast to its rarely-true stereotypical image, “paedophiles” genuinely love children and respond to the genuine needs of children, especially deprived ones. On the special responsibilities that their relationships entail. The following alone in this is of direct Greek love relevance:
There is often a problem with boys who lack all confidence in adults. Parents, foster parents and pedagogues cannot have any real influence over them, as the boys think they are simply stupid.
In his book, the sociologist Parker Rossman […] describes several cases of delinquent boys whose violent behaviour proved to be based on sexual frustration. Meeting their erotic needs proved to be the key to obtaining their confidence. It is this phenomenon which outsiders find the most difficult to accept.
・ The Parents
Explains how the prevalent lack of understanding among parents about the sexuality of their own children is likely to lead to severe misunderstanding and negative reactions on their part if their child is found to be having sex with an adult, exacerbated by possible conflict and jealousy over the adult’s influence. Outlines the miserable conflict this can cause the child and suggests ways the “paedophile” can safely try to resolve this and help the child with his parents. [Nothing peculiar to Greek love in any of this]
・ Homosexuality and Male Identity
Explains that boys in or approaching pubescence are attracted to men irrespective of whether or not they may be “gay”, that the taboo against men responding to this instils homophobia in boys, and that sex with men will not change boys’ sexual natures.
・ Another Bad Story: A Case of Blackmail
The story of a man blackmailed by the step-father of a boy (apparently in his earliest teens) he had helped considerably and had some consensual sex with.
What Science Tells Us / Arne Frederiksen
First makes the obvious point that “paedophilia” as used in the book encompasses many quite different phenomena.
・ Human Sexuality has Many Functions
Explains that sex in general can be about many things besides procreation, and gives several instances of this which are typical or unique to man/boy sex or attraction:
Another form of sexuality is apprentice-love. This is the attraction a young person may experience towards an adult whom he or she sees as a model or teacher. Apprentice-love is, in other words, an erotic attraction between pupil and mentor, used in the widest sense of the words.
A bond of love between teacher and pupil gives both parties the patience and energy necessary to further the process of instruction. In our Western culture an intimate relationship between teacher and pupil is not allowed. In many other cultures, especially those of the East, such relationships are more widely accepted and are consciously used to further the child's pleasure in learning.
Best known is certainly the practice in ancient Greece of every respectable man having taken an adolescent in his custody to be his lover and to teach the path to manhood and courage. Sexual relations between the two acquired a ritual significance whereby the adult injected his "masculine power" into the boy. In our time, too, we may meet with "masculine power" rituals in some primitive cultures.
We find another form of apprentice-love in the open hero-worship which is so characteristic of boys. When we look at the books, comics and movies boys are interested in we see that there is always a super-hero for boys to admire and adore. The boy identifies with Tarzan or James Bond, imitates him, wants to be like him.
The boy strives to be a man, and, by imitating his idol, he learns the role of the male in society. Obviously, a boy cannot learn the male sex role from a woman, and therefore this form of love is of necessity homosexual, even though the boy may not be gay in the traditional sense.
・ Sexual Assault
Explains that children are rarely raped or coerced, though horror of this is the principle basis for objections to adult/child sex, and that such cases as exist are almost entirely males with girls and mostly within the girl’s home.
・ Damaging Effects
Here Frederiksen addresses the trauma suffered by children (assumed on sound grounds usually to be girls) from both real sexual assault and from being forced by the authorities to adopt the role of victim exacting punishment when the sex was willing and with a loved one.
・ Desired Relationships
Emphasises the gulf between unwanted sex, inevitably traumatic, and sex that the child has (as often) wanted, whilst also acknowledging secondary damage in the latter case from the negative reaction of parents and others.
・ Homosexual Paedophile Relations
Explains that these are much the most frequent form of “paedophile” (as the word is dubiously used in this book to mean sex between adults and anyone below the Danish age of consent of 15) relations due to their character, and goes on to explain their common characteristics and, in particular, how they are distinct from gay relationships from the points of view of both the men and the boys involved.
・ Heterosexual Paedophile Relations
Addressing here only man/girl relationships, Frederiksen briefly points out first that relatively little is known about them, especially as regards the consensual relationships pursued by men with a genuine preference for girls, and then how psychically different they are to the Greek love just discussed.
・ Female Paedophilia
Addressing here almost exclusively women/girl relationships, Frederiksen points out that very little is known, but that what is known shows remarkable parallels with pederasty.
・ Bibliography and Notes
44 books or articles, those of which are relevant to Greek love should at least be found listed in the “Other Histories” or “General Non-Fiction” bibliographies of this website.
The Sexual Child / Bent Petersen, Cand. Psych
Initially points out that babies are born sexual, but there are emotional barriers to acceptance of this.
・ The Israelites
Attributes “the attitudes towards sexuality which prevail in our society”, meaning hostility to male extra-marital sex, to those adopted by the Israelites only after their Babylonian captivity beginning in 597 BC.
Laments the enduringly negative failure of Christians, in adopting Israelite mores, to distinguish between tribal laws, the laws of nature and science.
・ The Greeks
Three short paragraphs summing up Greek pederasty too briefly for serious consideration.
・ The Romans
Two paragraphs summing up too briefly for serious consideration Roman hedonistic attitudes to sex with the young.
・ Other Cultures
Points out how helpful anthropological studies “of so-called primitive cultures” are in understanding the variations in human sexual behaviour, then observes that sex between those of widely different ages was common without being founded on sexual preference.
・ Our Culture
Outlines the severely negative effects of child sexuality and non-procreative sex being severely tabooed in “our” culture.
・ Punishment by God
Laments the poorly-explained conflict imposed upon children between prohibition and their needs and desires.
・ Sigmund Freud
Notes what Freud showed about children being sexual and the negative effects of society being in denial of this.
・ Sex = Sin
On children being taught against nature that sexual desire is shameful.
・ Masturbation in Children
On children being unnaturally deterred from self-stimulation, particularly harmful in modern society where they are also shielded from ordinary daily observation of nudity and sex.
On how Kinsey affirmed Freud’s findings on the sexuality of children, showing it to be unashamed; lamenting the negative consequences of denial of this.
・ Kiddy Porn
Addresses the irony of moral panic suddenly arising in Denmark in 1984 over child pornography, despite its commonly being harmless and expressive of positive feelings, while in contrast there was indifference to both the American capacity to wipe out humanity with atomic weapons and the harm done by indoctrinating children with anti-sexual beliefs.
Affirms the general benevolence of ”paedophilic” feeling, and that such harm that arises from its consensual expression is purely due to the negative reaction of society.
Part II: Interviews
Counsel for the Defence: "Examining a child witness is always risky." / Manfred Petersen, attorney
A counsel for the defence in court cases who mostly dealt with cases involving boys of 7 to nearly 15 (the age of consent) answers the author’s questions: two-thirds of this concerns legal procedure and shed no light on Greek love, but the third reproduced on this website is relevant to the topic.
The judge: "The emotions involved should be kept at a level suitable to the child." / F. A. Wehner, Judge at the Tribunal of Copenhagen
A judge discusses the principles determining guilt and punishment of adults for sex with children (ie. those under 15), and advocates “very harsh” punishment (meaning one year’s imprisonment) for some consensual acts. [Though the interview concerns every form of adult/minor sex, most of this is of Greek love interest due both to the interviewer’s interest in the pederastic liaisons that constitute most of the book, and to the light the interview sheds on Danish law in 1984 and the thinking behind it interesting].
"One night going home from Scouts" / Holger, 55 years old
Holger describes war-time sexual adventures with both men and other boys, starting when he was twelve.
"You won't get a colour television if you don't stop seeing Niels" / Per, 16 years old
A boy describes his liaison, sexual since he was thirteen, with a man who had earlier befriended him at a summer camp, determinedly pursued despite parental hostility.
""I was afraid that it could turn into abuse / Sus, 24 years old"
A man discusses his full-blown love affair with a boy of 13, tacitly accepted by the commune in which they were both living.
"An incredible number of children are left to themselves" / Erik, 42 years old
A nearly exclusive boysexual discusses his liaisons with a rich variety of pubescents.
"I suspect he'll go with my little brother later" / Stefan, 10 years old
Stefan describes in very positive terms his love affair, involving cohabitation and sex (unspecified apart from his being fellated) about twice a day with a boysexual.
The same boy’s mother describes his affair, expressing certainty that her son is in love with the man, and that both the man’s love and the sex are meeting important needs of her son.
"There was always a streak of sadomasochism in me" / Martin, 19 years old
A full-blown Greek love affair between a man and boy living together since the latter was thirteen, the sex (initially provoked by a spanking, hence the title) beginning just after the boy opted to stay with the man following the end of the latter's five-month marriage to his mother.
"If I had enough money, I wouldn't do it" / Peter, 14 years old
A boy hustler from a fairly unhappy home recalls his experiences of and feelings about both selling himself to men from roughly the age of six and of loving them.
"I think I'm wasting my time and energy here" / Joey, 33 years old
A genuine paedophile, long active with boys of 2 to 11, but preferring those of 4 to 6, discusses his experiences in the USA, the Netherlands (where a conviction resulted in a sentence of “two weeks imprisonment on probation”!) and Denmark, and his disillusionment with “the West”.
"I've always done what they say I shouldn't" / Tommy, 20 years old
A man discusses his liaisons from the age of 12 with two men (one of whom was still the most important person in his life despite a decline in their sexual activity) as well as girls and women.
"I spend so much time with children that people ask me if it's because I'm a paedophile" / Kaj, 27 years old
A man recalls his physically affectionate but unconsummated love affair at 22 with a girl of 12.
A Case of Assault. "I desperately wanted to escape or scream, but I couldn't make a sound" / Linda, 28 years old
A brief account of the trauma suffered by a girl groped by a young man at the age of 10 without the slightest signs of willingness, included by the authors “to make a comparison possible” between commonly-encountered cases of child-love and the “fortunately rare examples of sexual molestation or violence against children.”
"He was not a kind of father figure" / Lotte, 27 years old
A woman describes in positive terms her liaison of a few months, initiated by her aged 10, with a male teacher of about 30, and then, soon afterwards, a longer and more intimate relationship with a woman teacher of about 40.
"He Understands Me Better Than My Own Mother" / David, 16 years old
A boy discusses at lengthy his secretly-conducted love affair since he was 13, ongoing but showing signs of sexual conclusion, with a man of 37.
Reading Material on Paedophilia
Nineteen books and two periodicals are listed, of which both the latter and such of the former as are of much Greek love interested are to be found in this website’s bibliographies.
 As explained in this website’s footnote to it, the interview of David, 16, can be shown from internal chronological evidence to have been conducted in 1986.
 Hertoft is explicit about this in his Introduction: “the legal age of consent […] in some ways this defines what is understood by the term paedophilia.”
 It seems probably to be, as he says in his Introduction, which immediately precedes it, “I will try in the following pages to clarify the subject.”
 Preben Hertoft: Klinisk Sexologi. 2. udgave. Munskgaard, København 1980, p. 278-289. [Frederiksen’s footnote 13]
 G. Parker Rossman: Sexual Experiences Between Men and Boys. Association Press, New York 1976. [Frederiksen’s footnote 9]
 Thorkil Vanggaard: Phallós. Jonathan Cape, London 1972. [Frederiksen’s footnote 17]
 Tom O'Carroll (Paedophilia, The Radical Case. Alyson Publications. Boston 1982) cites various reports on foreign cultures where different kinds of adult-child sex contacts are common. [Frederiksen’s footnote 24]
 Benoît Lapouge, Jean-Luc Pinard-Legry: L'enfant et le pédéraste. Editions du Seuil, Paris 1980, p. 89--104. [Frederiksen’s footnote 44]
If you would like to leave a comment on this webpage, please e-mail it to email@example.com, mentioning either the title or the url of the page so that the editor can add it.