Trans charity Mermaids addresses trustee who quit over speech to paedophile support group
A lecturer has resigned as trustee of transgender charity Mermaids after it emerged he spoke at a conference organised by a paedophile support group.
Dr Jacob Breslow, an associate professor of gender and sexuality at the London School of Economics, quit Mermaids after The Times revealed that he spoke at an academic conference when he was a PhD student, organised by a group called B4U-ACT, in 2011.
That organisation promotes the use of the term “minor-attracted people” rather than “paedophile” to describe those who say they are sexually attracted to children.
In a statement to PinkNews, Mermaids said the conference Breslow spoke at “is completely at odds with our values”.
“Once notified we took swift and decisive action to investigate. Dr Breslow tendered his notice on the same day,” a spokesperson said.
“We will be reviewing our processes and procedures in light of this event to make them even more robust. Safeguarding is of the utmost importance to Mermaids and the safety of the young people we support is our highest priority.”
In a description for his 2011 presentation, which is still available on the B4U-ACT website, Breslow wrote about planned changes to definitions of paedophilia in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
“Allowing for a form of non-diagnosable minor attraction is exciting, as it potentially creates a sexual or political identity by which activists, scholars and clinicians can begin to better understand minor-attracted persons,” Breslow wrote.
“This understanding may displace the stigma, fear and abjection that is naturalised as being attached to minor-attracted persons and may alter the terms by which non-normative sexualities are known.”
In the description of his presentation, Breslow criticised other studies about paedophilia which he said had used “problematic frameworks”.
“Many tend to begin with the linkage of paedophilic desire to harmful and abusive relationships and acts, and end up proliferating, rather than questioning, normative gendered and sexual intelligibility,” he wrote.
Dr Jacob Breslow resigned from his position at Mermaids
“How do we sit with this category of the sex offender if that’s the thing that we’re grappling with and make sure that we’re doing so in ways that push back against the production of that figure through the carceral state?” he asked.
PinkNews has contacted Breslow and the London School for Economics for comment.
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