Censorship! Persmuseum IISG

1945-2000: Mass Media and Censorship II
Edward Brongersma, Das verfemte Geschlecht
Edward Brongersma, Das verfemte Geschlecht. Dokumentation über Knabenliebe (München 1970); original Dutch edition: Pedofilie (Amsterdam 1961)
Paedophilia 1965-2000: from tolerance to taboo
Paedophilia has been a controversial subject over the years. In the 1960s the phenomenon gradually came into the public domain, due in no small part to the lawyer and socialist senator Edward Brongersma (1911-1998). He became known for his publications on the liberalization of legislation on public morals, in which he advocated greater freedom for young people to enter into sexual relationships. The 1970s - which were characterized by tolerance and public debate - saw increasing interest in intimate relations between children and adults. This theme was also examined in scientific studies, reports, theses (among others by Theo Sandfort, Monica Pieterse, Edward Brongersma), debates and congresses. The Dutch Society for Sexual Reform (NVSH) even set up a National Paedophilia Working Group.
In the following decades interest in and tolerance of the subject rapidly decreased. In the USA a veritable child-protection industry arose which - spurred by a strongly conservative, orthodox Christian lobby - capitalized on the feelings of the public. In Europe the Dutroux affair created a shock. The issue shifted more and more into the taboo zone, leading to what one can call 'social censorship'. Due in part to the strong influence of the media on public opinion, it now seems virtually impossible even to discuss the subject.
Call number: IISH
Archive Edward Brongersma