Ben Levin defends child porn

Ben Levin

Ben Levin

The Nov. 16 Toronto Sun reports that former deputy minister of education Ben Levin, released earlier this year from prison after serving half of his three-year sentence for creating and possessing child pornography, is accessing academic studies on child pornography and defending such research into “harmless fantasies.”

Levin, an architect of Kathleen Wynne’s sex-ed curriculum, pled guilty in 2015 to creating and possessing child pornography and counseling others to commit a sexual assault. He was given parole in January 2017 on the condition that he cannot “possess or access pornography or sexuality explicit material in any form.” Sun columnist Michele Mandel reported that Levin identifies himself as “Research Ben,” who is “retired from the University of Toronto” on the website ResearchGate, used by academics. He has commented on 80 research articles, the majority of them focusing on child pornography.

Commenting on a study entitled “Schoolgirls and soccer moms,” Levin said “thanks for sharing this … it’s important to open up the world of pornography in a non-emotional way if we are ever to understand it’s (sic) place in human life.” Commenting on a paper called “How common is men’s self-reported sexual interest in prepubescent children?” Levin decries the “current view that any person with a sexual interest in children must be a ‘monster’.”

On a study entitled “The prevalence of paraphilic interests and behaviours in the general population,” Levin said that paraphilia is not a psychiatric illness and that those who define it as such “seem to want to restrict what counts as acceptable – or normal – sexuality activity.” He added, “the same kind of provisions were used in the past to criminalize homosexuality.”

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association defines paraphilias as “recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges or behaviors generally involving nonhuman objects, the suffering or humiliation of oneself or one’s partner, or children or other nonconsenting persons that occur over a period of six months.”

A York University PhD student told Mandel “the more I think about his research in these deviant areas after his previous conviction, the more I think about his audacity.”

Tanya Granic Allen, president of Parents as First Educators, questioned in a statement how Levin is “still online and still engaging topics of child pornography and pedophilia?” Worse, she said, “why do Ontario schools continue to use a sex-ed curriculum crafted by a convicted child pornographer.”

Ben Levin

Ben Levin

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