Jan. 13, 2012
This week brought yet another of those youve gotta be kidding stories.
The Associated Press reports that the Greek government has expanded its list of officially recognized disabilities to include pedophiles (as well as exhibitionists, kleptomaniacs, and pyromaniacs).
This mean pedophiles in Greece may now qualify for government-funded disability paynot despite, but because of, their pedophilia.
I assume that the disability classification stems from identifying pedophilia as a mental illness. Yet not every illness is a disability. Wikipedia offers several definitions of disability, but a central concept is the existence of a restriction in the ability to perform a normal activity of daily living. Pedophiles do not have a restriction in the ability to perform a normal activity. They have an inclination to perform an abnormal activity. This is not a disability.
Taking pedophilia out of the realm of moral judgment and into the realm of mental health is one step toward normalizing it. Some advocates, like those at a conference in Baltimore last summer, would like to go the rest of the way and remove pedophilia from the list of mental disorders altogether. Now Greece is on the verge of actively subsidizing it.
Taken to an extreme, the Greek action runs the risk of creating a truly perverse incentivefor otherwise healthy individuals to become (or pretend to be) pedophiles merely in order to obtain government support payments.
Fortunately, Greek disability advocates have condemned the move as incomprehensible. Yannis Vardakastanis, who is blind, said, Its really not not serious to grant Peeping Toms a 20-30 pecent disability rate and 10 percent to diabetics.
Given the fiscal crisis that has confronted Greece in recent years, it boggles the mind that they would even consider giving payments to pedophiles.