In response to a recent comment by Eeyore:
… Where is the line between the supposed necessity of keeping kids in the dark about sex and sexual experiences, and abandoning an entire segment of society who might actually have a positive role to play in the lives of some children? After all, gay people do not appear to serve any sort of biological survival of the species, but they do have roles, and do make good contributions to their societies. It would seem to me that we could be positive contributors as well, if only given the chance. I'm not looking for the "normal" label. I'm just looking for tolerance for something the "object" of my affections seems to often want herself.
Before I state my hypothesis, I first need to quote from a 2010 study on the potential evolutionary benefits of homosexuality.
"One possible explanation [for the existence of homosexuality] is what evolutionary psychologists call the "kin selection hypothesis." What that means is that homosexuality may convey an indirect benefit by enhancing the survival prospects of close relatives. Specifically, the theory holds that homosexual men might enhance their own genetic prospects by being "helpers in the nest." By acting altruistically toward nieces and nephews, homosexual men would perpetuate the family genes, including some of their own."
The article focuses upon a distinct and widely accepted gender category in Samoan culture, called fa'afafine – neither male nor female. Fa'afafines are effeminate males who are sexually attracted to other males. They are willing to babysit a lot, tutor their nieces and nephews in art and music, and help out financially (i.e. paying for medical care and education and so forth).
However, fa'afafine energies and attentions seem to be focused upon close child relatives. They show far less interest in unrelated children. I believe this is where pedophilia may fit in from an evolutionary perspective.
What if pedophile males (PM) were willing to do the same, but for unrelated children in the community?
PMs would focus their attentions on unrelated children, who for one reason or another, received less parental attention. Perhaps the parents were overwhelmed by basic survival activities. Perhaps the child was “special” or “different”. Perhaps he or she was unwanted. In any event, a PM would step in and nurture the child, without the burden of full parental responsibilities.
However, in the absence of any Westermarck effect, PMs could also experience sexual attraction to such children. As along the child is not of reproductive age, this might be a tolerated behavior within the community, especially considering the precious survival resources that the PM was willing to devote to the child.
Naturally, PMs would also need to contribute their fair share of work benefiting the community in other ways.
The enduring benefit to the community is that as the children age into adolescence, the PMs refocus their attentions upon younger available children, thus insuring that young underappreciated children would be continually cared for.
Now, this is just a hypothesis. It would need to be supported by research. [However, in the current climate, such research may never be forthcoming.]
Just my two cents.