These resources are for paraphiles other than MAPs – zoosexuals (zoophiles), necrophiles, erotophonophiles, etc. Some of these resources may contain anti-MAP attitudes or perpetuate stigma against MAPs. Use these resources at your own discretion. If you have any suggestions for this article, please contact us!
It's important to remember that paraphilias are part of sexuality. Paraphilias are not mental illnesses.
Autopaedophilia is a sexual or emotional attraction to oneself being a child, and autonepiophilia is a sexual or emotional attraction to oneself being an infant. Autopaedophilia and autonepiophilia are common among MAPs.
Autonepiophiles and autopaedophiles are welcome to join OMC and most MAP communities as MAPs or as MAP allies.
Ephebophilia is a sexual or emotional attraction to older adolescents (approximately ages 15-19). Teleiophilia is a sexual or emotional attraction to young adults (approximately ages 19-40). Mesophilia is a sexual or emotional attraction to middle-aged adults (approximately ages 40-60). Gerontophilia is a sexual or emotional attraction to older adults and elders (approximately age 60 and older).
Ephebophiles are sometimes considered to be MAPs because they are attracted to people who are below the age of consent in some parts of the United States. Most MAP communities welcome ephebophiles.
Zoosexuality – often called zoophilia – is a sexual or emotional attraction to non-human animals. The letter zeta (ζ) is often used to represent zoosexuality.
Many communities for zoosexuals permit the distribution of sexually explicit content. It is against the Community Guidelines of MAP Blogs and OMC to link to these communities or otherwise promote them.
ZooCommunity – A place for discussion, debate, help and emotional support in regards to an attraction to non-human animals.
Interspecies sexual activity between humans and non-humans is legal in many jurisdictions, as is interspecies pornography of humans and non-humans. Ensure that you know your local laws before engaging in these activities.
Interspecies sexual activity is legal in four US states and DC (as of 31 December 2020) –
District of Columbia
Follow your local laws, and never engage in coercive, forceful or otherwise unconsensual sexual activity with a non-human animal. Sexual activity between humans and non-humans carries a risk of some infectious diseases.
The ZETA principles are widely accepted guidelines for the ethical treatment of animals by zoosexuals developed by Zoophiles for Ethical Treatment of Animals. Not all zoosexuals believe in or abide by the ZETA principles. These ZETA principles were adapted slightly to suit OMC's style.
Bestow upon animals the same kindness one would wish bestowed upon oneself.
Consider the well being of an animal companion as important as ones own.
Place the animal’s will and well-being ahead of one’s desires for sexual gratification.
Teach those who seek knowledge about zoosexuality and interspecies sexual activity without promoting it.
Discourage the practice of interspecies sexual activity in the presence of fetish seekers (non-zoosexuals).
Censure sexual exploitation of animals for the purpose of financial gain.
Censure the practise or promotion of animal abuse.
'Contact ideology' refers to the beliefs of MAPs and allies about whether sexual activity or romantic relationships between children and adults are fundamentally abusive, whether social or legal reforms are necessary to prevent harm, whether the consumption or distribution of sexual imagery of children is abusive, and more.
Some readers may find this article uncomfortable. If you would rather not read about contact ideology, exit this page. If you have any suggestions for this article, please contact us!
Many communities use their own definitions and labels as they are highly debated within the MAP community.
Open MAP Community's Definitions
Anti-contact – An ideology among some MAPs that sexual activity between minors and adults would still carry a fundamental risk for harm that outweighs potential benefits even if it were to be legalised and accepted in society.
Pro-contact – An ideology among some minor-attracted persons (MAPs) that consensual sexual activity between minors and adults would be fundamentally okay if there was no risk of harm from societal stigma or from legal ramifications.
Contact Neutral – A MAP who is neither anti-contact or pro-contact. Some contact-neutral MAPs believe there is insufficient evidence in support of either side of the ideological spectrum.
Pedophiles About Pedophilia's Ideological Spectrum
Conditional-Contact – People who think that the morality of sexual contact with children depends on the circumstances of each situation and do not believe that the nuances/complexities of the discussion over morality or ideology can be concisely captured using labels but that generally each situation’s morality depends on the outcome and whether or not the child feels harm was done.
Pro-Legalisation – People who do not believe the current circumstances are appropriate to be sexual with children – unless laws towards children change – and would not act on it even if given the opportunity because of those circumstances, and they want to change the associated laws in their jurisdiction or beyond.
Pro-Social Reform – People who do not believe the current circumstances are appropriate to be sexual with children unless social attitudes towards children change and would not act on it even if given the opportunity because of those circumstances, and they want to change the associated social attitudes in their area or beyond. This is the most common 'pro-contact' stance.
Undecided – People who see the merits of arguments on both sides but opt not to take a particular stance for any number of reasons (not the same as using no labels at all). This is essentially middle of the spectrum.
General Reformist – People who believe that current legislation around age of consent or other laws on sex crime in their jurisdiction should be changed but do not believe that it should allow for sexual activity with young children (ie, Romeo/Juliet situations is okay, teen sexting is okay, sex offender registration laws are ridiculous, etc). They believe more should be done to protect children.
Anti-Contact – People who believe that sexual contact with minors is generally harmful – and that changing laws/attitudes about it will not make contact less harmful – or the belief that such contact should not be sought because it is, or has the high potential to be, harmful to the child.
Risk-Averse – People who are against 'acting on' attraction and think that friendship, employment around kids, sexual activity, fantasy, and sexual imagery are risks that can lead to a slippery slope. They may go even further to eschew any and all sexual thoughts/fantasies around children.
VirPed's Ideological Spectrum
This is a quote of VirPed's Ideological Spectrum posted on BoyChat that has been adapted to suit OMC's styling. Unfortunately, OMC was unable to recover an original link to this spectrum. If you are aware of a public place where this spectrum can be found, please contact us!
Hands-on Offenders – People who actually have sexual contact with kids.
Would like to but don't – People who think it's OK to have sexual contact with kids today, but don't – maybe no opportunities, can't find a kid they fancy or vice versa, don't think that the opportunities they find can be kept secret, etc.
Pro-legalisation – Against adult-child sex today, until/unless laws and attitudes changed – but very much in favour of changing those laws. Typically it is expressed with anger at society – it's a big deal to them emotionally.
Humble/Laid Back – Leaves it up to society to figure out appropriate ages of consent, realising that they have a selfish interest in lower ones, and maybe it actually does cloud their thinking, so they set that aside. Of course we all have our opinions and intuitions. To the extent they are for lower AoCs, they recognise that it's not helpful for them to advertise them publicly, and it's not helpful to dwell on them privately with anger or even intense focus.
Anti-contact – Thinking that adult-child sex is wrong, with a risk of serious harm that cannot be eliminated by changes in laws or attitudes
Visions of Alice's Definitions
This is a quote of Visions of Alice's Alicelovers Magazine Issue 4 that has been adapted to suit OMC's styling. The original work is hosted at https://visionsofalice.net/ezine.htm.
Anti-Contact Paedophiles – This is a term recently perpetuated by the mainstream media with the advent of Virtuous Pedophiles. This means minor-attracted persons who believe they should avoid children at all costs.
Freedom-of-Choice Paedophiles – MAPs describing themselves as believing in ‘Freedom-of-choice’ argue minors can and should choose whether they wish to have sexual interactions with any adult (and have or can attain the skills necessary to make these decisions properly). Although, it is regularly confused with the term ‘pro-contact’, some MAPs reject the rather broad definition of it in favour of 'freedom-of-choice'.
Paedophile obsessive-compulsive disorder (POCD), also called MAP-related OCD, is an anxiety disorder that revolves around a persistent fear/obsession of oneself being a paedophile. POCD can be treated by a medical or mental-healthcare professional trained in treating anxiety disorders, eg, a general practitioner (GP) or a specialist such as a psychiatrist or psychologist. This article is not medical advice.
Be mindful that these resources are not for MAPs. They are for people with POCD. Because of this, these resources may contain narratives that are anti-MAP and potentially even harmful to MAPs. Use these resources at your own discretion. If you know of any resources that you believe should be added to this list, please contact us!
POCD can be treated by a medical or mental-healthcare professional trained in treating anxiety disorders, eg, a general practitioner (GP) or a specialist such as a psychiatrist or psychologist. There are many local OCD specialists as well.
Mental Health Forum – A for people who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.
My OCD Community – 'My OCD Community is a safe, supportive, informative, and friendly community for all people affected by OCD.'
These resources are aimed at preventing MAPs from engaging in unlawful sexual activity with minors or from using sexual imagery of minors. Because of this, MAP wellness may not be the focus of these resources. Use them at your own discretion. These resources are not affiliated with or endorsed by OMC.
Be aware that many resources may utilise stigmatising language or negative attitudes towards MAPs. We cannot guarantee the quality of care you receive from these resources. If in doubt, do not disclose that you are a MAP. Never disclose unadjudicated illegal activity.
Miami Autumn & MSC Members – May 2021
It can be shocking to hear from your friend, family member or partner that they are attracted to minors. You may feel surprised or in-denial. You may even feel worried or like they betrayed you. It's completely understandable to feel this way. In our society, there are few things as looked-down-on as paedophilia. You are not alone in your reaction. You have every right to feel the emotions that you feel.
You may have not experienced this, but that doesn't exclude the possibility that your friend, family member or partner could come to you and confess that they have a sexual attraction to minors. As much as 1% of all people may have a sexual attraction to minors (Seto, 2016).
Minor attraction is innate, unchosen and unchangeable. Anyone of any age, gender, race, religion, etc. can be a minor-attracted person (MAP). Even minors themselves can have a sexual attraction to much younger minors. In fact, most people first realise that they're attracted to younger minors when they're about 13 or 14.
Importantly, simply having an attraction is not the same as engaging in illegal sexual activity. Most MAPs have never engaged in illegal sexual activity with a minor and never will. Correspondingly, the majority of illegal sexual activity with minors is committed by non-MAPs ('situational offenders'), not by MAPs. Attraction does not equal action.
What to do
Maintain your relationship. They are still the exact same person as they were before they told you about their minor attraction. They are still the same friend, family member or partner who loves you. They are still the same sibling that you grew up with. Minor attraction is just one part of who a person is. Do not let this one thing ruin your relationship with this person. Repeat and emphasise that you still care about them and that they're still your friend/family member/partner.
Manage emotions. A conversation cannot be productive when people are upset. If either you or the person you're talking to is experiencing immediate distress, the best actions are to provide support, receive support and calm down. Engaging in sensitive conversation when distressed is a recipe for disaster.
Practise active listening. Listen to understand, not to respond. Pay attention to what's being said, maintain intermittent eye contact, use touch when appropriate and ask clarifying questions.
Ask questions. Asking open-ended, non-judgmental questions is an excellent way to further your understanding about this person's experience, how minor attraction affects them and what they need from you. When you don't understand something, ask for clarification. If you would like more information about something, ask them if they can tell you more about it. Avoid 'why' questions as they can come off as interrogatory. Example questions:
'How did you first realise that you're attracted to minors?'
'How does being attracted to minors affect you?'
'Which ages and genders of minors are you attracted to?'
'Can you tell me more about... ?'
'What can I do to best support you?'
Intervene to support, not to prevent. The large majority of MAPs have never engaged in illegal sexual activity with a minor and never will. Most MAPs are not at an increased risk for this behaviour, and it is not your duty to prevent this person from engaging in it. A focus on prevention creates the assumption that you view this person as a liability rather than as an individual worthy of support. It creates an atmosphere of mistrust. Forgetting the focus on prevention and providing them with needed emotional support and friendship will foster mental well-being and lasting relationships.
Maintain confidentiality. Minor attraction is one of the most sensitive things a person can disclose about themself. They trusted you with this information with the confidence that it will be kept private.
What NOT to do
Do not make assumptions. All MAPs are different. Even if you know a great deal about minor attraction, you do not know how minor attraction affects this individual person. Never assume that they feel one way or the other. When a person confesses to you that they're a MAP, it's essential to approach the conversation without any kind of preconceived notions.
Do not ask whether they have engaged in illegal activity. According to research, the large majority of MAPs have not engaged in illegal sexual activity with minors. Asking whether they have engaged in illegal activity creates an atmosphere of interrogation and mistrust that can be destructive to relationships. They most likely have not engaged in illegal activity, and they will almost certainly not tell you about it if they have, so do not ask. If they want to tell you, then they will tell you without you asking.
Do not attempt to change them. Minor attraction is not changeable. Trying will only cause harm to them and to your relationship.
Do not express approval or disapproval. It is not your place to judge them. Instead, listen to them, validate their emotions, ask appropriate questions and support them emotionally if needed.
Do not take it personally. You may feel like they betrayed you by keeping this a secret. And, although it's understandable to feel that way, it's important to understand that they have likely been hiding this for years and have told very few people if anyone. Secrecy is essential for survival as a MAP. It can be very distressing for MAPs to have to keep this lifelong secret from their loved ones and even more distressing for them to tell others. Them keeping it secret is not personal.
Do not accuse them of being an unfaithful partner. It's natural to feel a bit jealous at the thought of your partner being attracted to people other than you, but understand that attraction is not something that can be chosen. They did not choose to be attracted to minors. It doesn't mean that they find you any less attractive or that they no longer want to be with you. It's simply another part of who they are.
When a person confesses to you that they're attracted to minors, it may be unexpected. It may be upsetting. But, it doesn't have to be the end of your relationship. They are still the same person that you have always known and loved.
Going forwards, focus on your relationship with this person. Focus on being their friend and caring about them as a person. Even long past their initial confession to you, continue to practise the advice in this article.
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, please contact me
Miami Autumn – March 2021
Emotional abuse can affect anyone of any age, especially children and the elderly. MAPs could be vulnerable to emotional abuse by anti-MAPs and by the general population because of stigma and discrimination. Emotional abuse is preventable. All people can help by learning what it is, what effects it is associated with and how to prevent it.
Emotional abuse (also referred to as verbal abuse) includes behaviours used to “manipulate, intimidate, and maintain power and control over someone” (Brennan, 2020). Emotional abuse can manifest as a variety of behaviours:
Harming others (including pets)
Stealing or breaking possessions
Damaging or destroying property (including slamming doors)
Other aggressive, manipulatory and derogatory behaviours
Emotional abuse often affects children and often gets ignored when it is disregarded as being “discipline.” Emotional abuse is not discipline — it is abuse. Emotional abuse, including yelling at or shaming children, is ineffective at changing children's behaviour in the long term and is harmful (Sege & Siegel, 2018).
According to a meta-analysis conducted by Norman et al. (2012) that included 124 studies, emotional abuse is associated with various illnesses:
Preventing emotional abuse begins first with recognising all people, including children, as individual humans who are deserving of health and well-being. Emotional abuse does not become permissible under certain circumstances (such as when angry at a spouse or when attempting to discipline a child); it is always abuse.
Caregivers of children should practice positive behaviour management strategies and avoid all forms of punishment (see: Toddler discipline without shameNote: this is relevant to children of all ages, not just toddlers).
If you or a loved one is experiencing emotional abuse or is engaging in emotional abuse, please contact a medical professional for advice. This article is for education only and is not intended as medical advice.
Abercrombie, H. C., Frost, C. P., Walsh, E. C., Hoks, R. M., Cornejo, M. D., Sampe, M. C., Gaffey, A. E., Plante, D. T., Ladd, C. O., & Birn, R. M. (2018). Neural signaling of cortisol, childhood emotional abuse, and depression-related memory bias. Biological psychiatry. Cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging, 3(3), 274–284. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsc.2017.11.005.
Carpenter, L. L., Tyrka, A. R., Ross, N. S., Khoury, L., Anderson, G. M., & Price, L. H. (2009). Effect of childhood emotional abuse and age on cortisol responsivity in adulthood. Biological psychiatry, 66(1), 69–75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.02.030.
Farrell, C., Doolin, K., O' Leary, N., Jairaj, C., Roddy, D., Tozzi, L., Morris, D., Harkin, A., Frodl, T., Nemoda, Z., Szyf, M., Booij, L., & O'Keane, V. (2018). DNA methylation differences at the glucocorticoid receptor gene in depression are related to functional alterations in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity and to early life emotional abuse. Psychiatry research, 265, 341–348. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2018.04.064.
Norman, R. E., Byambaa, M., De, R., Butchart, A., Scott, J., & Vos, T. (2012). The long-term health consequences of child physical abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS medicine, 9(11), e1001349. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001349.
Tang, R., Howe, L. D., Suderman, M., Relton, C. L., Crawford, A. A., & Houtepen, L. C. (2020). Adverse childhood experiences, DNA methylation age acceleration, and cortisol in UK children: A prospective population-based cohort study. Clinical epigenetics, 12(1), 55. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13148-020-00844-2.
Miami Autumn – March 2021
Anti-MAPs (antis) have a long history of harassing, doxxing and endangering minor-attracted persons (MAPs). Hence, security and privacy are necessities for MAPs; this includes both social and technical implications. If you have any suggestions for this article, please contact me.
I. Social protection
It is strongly recommended to use a pseudonym when participating in MAP communities or discussing minor attraction online. Effective pseudonyms are difficult to tie back to a MAP's personal identity. Be aware of what is being shared and whether it may be identifying. Overly specific details shared from a MAP identity could potentially lead back to a personal identity.
Details such as a general age (eg, 20s) or general location (eg, United States) alone are not identifying. However, when combined with other data (eg, time zone, state/city, occupation, exact age, birth month, interests, hobbies, etc), a person's identity can be narrowed down to relatively few people. While this alone isn't necessarily dangerous, it can be in some circumstances, especially if a MAP's personal identity is also public (eg, on public social media, published literature, etc).
In addition to being cautious about what's shared through their MAP identity, a MAP should also be cautious about what's shared through their personal identity. It's advisable for public figures in the MAP community to consider limiting or deleting personal social media accounts and making an effort to reduce their digital footprint. Techlore has an excellent video tutorial about how to accomplish this effectively.
Publicity and permanency
Assume that MAP communities are public and that anyone can gain access to them if they are dedicated enough, and assume that anything said on the internet is permanent. Even if something is deleted, there is no guarantee whether someone may have already saved it offline, especially on public social media sites such as Twitter, Mastodon or Reddit.
Trust and sensitive information
In MAP communities, trust is earned, not given. Always question the possibility that someone isn't who they say they are. Be cautious when sharing sensitive information, and never publicly admit to unadjudicated illegal activity.More...
Only disclose sensitive information if everyone in the conversation is also willing to disclose the same sensitive information.
When disclosing any kind of sensitive information, do so on a secure, end-to-end encrypted platform such as Session, Element, Signal or Telegram secret chats (regular chats are not end-to-end encrypted on Telegram). Direct messages in most MAP communities and public social media are not private and can be read by community administrators. View the messaging and email section for more info. Open MAP Community has an option for encrypted DMs; however, members should still not rely on that to keep them safe and should instead use a more established encrypted messaging platform such as Session.
Disclose sensitive information conservatively and gradually. Talk to the person for at least several weeks, and ask questions to affirm their trust. Ask how they feel about the topic, drop hints at it, etc. Be reasonably confident that the person is who they say they are and that they can be trusted with the information intended to be disclosed.
Always keep in mind that publicly disclosing unadjudicated illegal activity is a rule violation in most MAP communities and is dangerous. Never publicly admit to unadjudicated illegal activity.
II. Technical protection
People rely on their browser to protect them from online tracking. Common browsers like Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge allow people to be tracked and have poor privacy customisation options.
Tor Browser is the best browser for privacy and security. It is designed to make people using it look like everyone else using it, so people cannot be targeted by trackers. When using Tor Browser, web traffic is routed through the Tor network (view the networks section for more info), which means that websites and attackers cannot see a person's real location; they can only see that a person is using Tor.
Tor Browser is based on Firefox, which is also a solid option for secure browsing if it is customised and paired with a virtual private network (view the networks section for more info). Safari is another secure browsing option for people who use iOS and MacOS.
To ensure that a browser isn't storing local logs of browsing activity, enable private browsing mode. Some browsers allow private browsing to be set as the default browsing mode. Tor Browser is always in private browsing.
Tor Browser offers three security settings: standard, safer and safest. These options are sufficient for nearly all browsing circumstances. However, if online activities require the utmost security, people should use TailsOS (view the operating systems section for more info) with the safest security settings in Tor.
In Firefox, browser fingerprinting can be resisted by going to about:config and toggling privacy.resistFingerprinting so that it is set to true. This setting is enabled by default in Tor Browser.
For iPhone users: The official Tor Browser is not available on iOS because iOS requires browsers to use WebKit (Tor Browser is based on Firefox, not WebKit). iPhone users can use Onion Browser by Mike Tigas, which is endorsed by the Tor Project. Onion Browser is open-source and provides adequate privacy/security for nearly all use cases. However, Onion Browser has some known limitations.
Never use the Android Tor Browser or Onion Browser for activities that require utmost security. Mobile devices have inherent limitations that cannot be surmounted, and this could place people at risk in some situations.
Unless a device has been encrypted, chances are that all of the data on that device is accessible to anyone who gets ahold of it. Encryption protects people's data by making it appear to be a string of random characters until a passphrase is entered to decrypt it.
VeraCrypt is free and open-source encryption software that can be used on Linux, MacOS and Windows. iPhones are encrypted by default when a passcode is enabled, and encryption on Android phones depends on the model.
Important: If a device is powered on and a passphrase has been entered to decrypt it, then it is not fully encrypted again until it is powered off. In order to encrypt the device completely again, power the device off; do not just lock it.
Most operating systems have native encryption software that can be utilised. VeraCrypt is free, open-source and cross-platform.
Android – depends on the model and may require people to manually enable encryption in settings or download an app that encrypts the device.
iPhone – encrypted automatically when a passcode is set in the Face ID/Touch ID & Passcode menu in Settings.
MacOS – has FileVault start-up disk encryption that can be enabled in the Security & Privacy menu in System Preferences. Disk Utility can be used to encrypt external drives and create encrypted volumes within MacOS.
VeraCrypt – available for Linux, MacOS and Windows and can be used to encrypt system partitions as well as to create standard encrypted volumes and hidden volumes.
Direct messages in most MAP communities and public social media are not private and can be read by community administrators. When disclosing any kind of sensitive information, do so on a secure, end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) platform such as Session, Element, Signal or Telegram secret chats (regular chats are not E2EE on Telegram). End-to-end encryption ensures that message content can only be read by the person sending the message and the person(s) receiving the message.
It is highly recommended for MAPs to use a separate email address for their MAP identity that is not tied in anyway to their personal identity. Protonmail and Tutanota are two email providers with strong privacy practices. Email is generally not considered a secure form of communication; however, Protonmail and Tutanota allow the option to send E2EE emails that require a password to open. If both people are using the same email provider, then emails are sent E2EE without requiring a password.
Session is open-source, E2EE and uses an onion-routing network to ensure that people using the app are anonymous. It does not require a phone number, email address or anything else to register.
Element is open-source and has an option for E2EE (it is not always enabled; it must be enabled manually). Element requires a real email address to register, but this email address is not displayed to other people.
Telegram is partially open-source and uses E2EE in secret chats (regular chats are not E2EE). Secret chats are only one-to-one; E2EE group chats are not supported. Telegram requires a real phone number in order to register, and this phone number is shared by default; however, phone number sharing can be disabled in the Telegram settings. When adding a new contact, Telegram shares people's phone numbers by default, but this can be prevented by disabling it when adding new contacts. If Telegram has access to a person's contacts, it will allow people to find each other using their phone numbers.
Signal is open-source and E2EE. It requires a real phone number, and this phone number is shared with others.
One method that antis use to dox MAPs is to send a link to a website that will gather the MAP's internet protocol (IP) address, giving the anti the MAP's approximate location. With that information, antis can narrow a MAP down to very few people and figure out the MAP's personal identity.
To protect against this, MAPs can use Tor. The Tor network is a decentralised network of servers that provides people with anonymity. When a person is connected to Tor using the Tor Browser (view the browsers section for more info), websites they visit are only able to see that somebody using Tor is accessing their website; they cannot see the person's real IP address.
MAPs can also use a virtual private network (VPN), which acts as a proxy between a person, their ISP and the websites they’re visiting. VPNs are similar to Tor in this regard, but they are less secure/private than Tor. ProtonVPN is a free VPN with strong privacy practices. Other solid choices for VPNs include IVPN, Mullvad VPN, NordVPN, and ExpressVPN.
Without any special precautions, internet service providers (ISPs) and other attackers like the police can view all of the websites people visit and the data transmitted to and from them (eg, browsing activity, passwords, etc), and the internet protocol (IP) address of the person transmitting the data (which can be used to find people's approximate locations).
By using HTTPS, which is relatively standard now, the data transmitted to and from websites is encrypted so that only the person sending the data and the website they're sending it to can see it. However, websites that are visited are still visible to the person's ISP and to attackers, and the person's IP addresses is still visible to websites and to attackers. Even if a site is not using HTTPS, Tor still encrypts traffic in transit to Tor relays. When using Tor, a person's ISP can only see that they are accessing Tor, not what websites they are accessing. EFF has an awesome visual representation of how Tor and HTTPS work to protect people's privacy.
Tor is more secure/private than a VPN because a VPN only provides pseudonymisation, meaning that people who use VPNs still look unique; whereas, Tor provides anonymisation, meaning that everyone using Tor appears the same. In addition to this, VPNs require trust in the company operating them to keep their data private. Tor is open-source and decentralised, so trust is not required.
Both MacOS and Windows collect data on people by default. However, on MacOS, this data collection is minimal and anonymised so that it cannot be traced back to a person's real identity, and most of this data collection can easily be opted out of in System Preferences. Windows, on the other hand, tracks people who use it, and it is difficult (and in some cases impossible) to opt-out of data collection. Regardless of their operating system of choice, people should spend time exploring the settings and disabling any unnecessary data collection.
For people who want the most private and secure option, Linux is the desktop operating system of choice. It is free and open-source, and there are many different distributions of it for a variety of uses. TailsOS is a linux distribution that runs off of a USB drive. TailsOS is amnesic, meaning that data is stored temporarily in RAM and is deleted when the operating system is shut down, and all network traffic in TailsOS is routed through Tor (view the networks section for more info), making people's internet activity anonymous. Other Linux distributions include Debian, Ubuntu, and many more.
On mobile, iPhone (iOS) is a more secure and private option than company-built Android phones (eg, Samsung Galaxy). iOS has minimal, anonymised data collection that can be easily opted out of (much like MacOS). Stock Android phones like the Google Pixel can be used to install a custom operating system like CalyxOS or GrapheneOS.
It's a good idea to shift thinking from passwords to passphrases. Using a short phrase comprised of words that are not commonly used is more secure than using a single word or a random string of few letters. This also makes it easier to remember because words are easier to remember than letters. Including number and symbols can also improve passphrase strength. Some examples of strong passphrases (do not use these specific passphrases):
#23 Nikes Having Gargantuan Yippees & PhD Floppers
Using a secure password manager is a convenient way to have passphrases stored for easy access. Most browsers have a built-in password manager; however, these password managers are not always as secure as other options. Firefox has a secure built-in password manager. BitWarden is a free, open-source password manager. People who use MacOS and iOS can use iCloud Keychain, which is end-to-end encrypted but is closed-source.
We know that attraction to minors and sexual activity with minors are different: 91.3-95.2% (0.99 CI) of minor-attracted persons (MAPs) have not been convicted of engaging in sexual activity with a minor (Bailey et al., 2016), and 76.5-92.0% (0.99 CI) of persons who have been convicted of engaging in illegal sexual activity with a minor are not attracted to minors (Kesicky et al., 2014).
Yet, MAPs rely on organisations like the Association for Sexual Abuse Prevention, the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, the Global Prevention Project, the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse, Stop It Now, B4U-Act (“before you act”), etc to find therapy and other professional resources.
Am I alone in feeling that the only reason why these organisations care about MAPs is for the purpose of preventing them from acting sexually with minors?
I dream of when the health, safety and well-being of minor-attracted persons is a priority rather than a means to an end.
Bailey, J. M., Bernhard, P. A., & Hsu, K. J. (2016). An internet study of men sexually attracted to children: Correlates of sexual offending against children. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 125(7), 989-1,000. https://doi.org/10.1037/abn0000213.
Notes: 1) These studies (and millions more) are available for free on Sci-Hub! Remember to use Tor when accessing anything that requires anonymity. 2) Both studies referenced contain methodological deficits that could affect the reliability and generalisability of their results. 3) If you're wondering why I use the terms “sexual contact” and “sexual activity” instead of “abuse,” then stay tuned for upcoming posts!
It’s a phrase that's been repeated to me by professors and classmates, by coworkers and colleagues. It means, when someone makes a mistake, the goal should be to empathise with them first, before seeking to correct their mistake.
It wasn’t until recently that I realised just how relevant this phrase is to the MAP community. We are arguably the most-hated people on Earth, yet we continue to vilify one another for differences in beliefs, mistakes we've made and struggles we've faced. When can we realise that ostracisation and hate have never helped anyone?
I understand how frustrating it is to feel at odds with someone else’s beliefs or their actions. I know how awful it feels to have your efforts undermined by others. But, please, before you spark an argument with someone, try to understand them. Support them emotionally, ask questions about why they feel the way they do, find common ground to stand on and focus on points where you agree.