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Vern Bullough

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Vern Bullough

Vern Bullough (July 24, 1928 – June 21, 2006) was a humanist, sexologist and pioneer for the rights of sexual minorities. He authored or edited more than 50 books in his lifetime, and contributed to hundreds more publications. His late wife of 49 years, Bonnie Bullough, co-authored many of his works. Bullough held positions in the American Civil Liberties Union, where he initiated the group's gay rights work, as well as in the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (president), the Center for Sex Research (founder), the American Association for the History of Nursing (founder), and the International Humanist and Ethical Union (co-president).

Popular misconceptions concerning minor-adult sex and child sexuality were an occasional subject of Bullough's writings. These writings affirmed the sexuality of children, and acknowleged that intergenerational relationships can have a variety of outcomes, including the positive. Responding to Richard Green's 2002 article, Bullough commented that, while pedophilia may not be pathological, the social mores against adult-minor sex should nonetheless be respected:

Rather than demonize the pedophile for what he thinks is his natural inclination, we have to emphasize that what was normative in the past is no longer the case. This does not make the pedophile a sociopath, but rather a person with a maladjustment to new societal norms. The pedophile can fantasize and I would encourage them to fantasize. It is the conduct that is unacceptable, not the fantasy.[1]

He also served on the editorial board of Paidika and wrote the introduction to Edward Brongersma's Loving Boys.


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Clive M. Davis (Handbook of Sexuality collaborator):

"I knew Vern for nearly 30 years. Most of those years I knew him from afar, standing in awe of this great man—the sexologist, the humanist, the pioneer, the historian, the advocate, the leader. Without question, Vern was among that handful of exceptional individuals on whose shoulders the rest of us in the field of sexology stand today—one of the giants, indeed, one of the genuine heroes. One dictionary defines a hero as “a person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, … a person noted for special achievements.” Clearly, dramatically, these criteria apply to Vern. Heroes are also role models, people we look up to. They are people who set the standards. He did that, and in so doing, challenged us all to meet those standards."

Judith Reisman[2]:

"The Northridge Center for Sex Research founder, Vern Bullough, a self-confessed pedophile and editor of the "academic" Journal of Paedophilia, is in the sexology mainstream seeking to legalize adult sex with infants and children."

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