A trustee of the transgender youth charity Mermaids has resigned after he was questioned by media about a presentation he gave on paedophilia.
Dr Jacob Breslow, an associate professor at the London School of Economics, tendered his “immediate resignation” from the charity when asked to comment on the 2011 presentation by The Times.
Breslow gave the presentation at a conference organised by an American charity called B4U-ACT. B4U-ACT describes itself as a charity “run in collaboration between mental health professionals, researchers, and people who are attracted to minors.”
At that meeting Breslow gave a presentation titled Sexual Alignment: Critiquing Sexual Orientation, The Pedophile, and the DSM V. B4U-ACT described the presentation as “challenging assumptions about minors and sexuality which currently underlie policymaking and the DSM.”
B4U-ACT published accounts of the event, which includes the full text of the presentations given and any slides used, but Breslow’s presentation is missing from these accounts; instead there is a note saing that Breslow requested his presentation not be included.
Whilst the entire presentation does not appear to be available online, the abstract says that the presentation challenges “normative assumptions about sexuality, personal and political identity, and childhood.” The abstract goes on to state that “allowing for a form of non-diagnosable minor attraction is exciting” and that this new understanding of paedophilia “may displace the stigma, fear and abjection that is naturalised as being attached to Minor Attracted Persons.” It then goes on to say that the DSM’s approach to paedophilia has relied on studies which “ignore or disregard their own limitations…many tend to begin with the linkage of pedophilic desire to harmful and abusive relationships, and end up proliferating, rather than questioning, normative gendered and sexual intelligibility.”
Whilst we do not have accounts of the presentation from B4U-ACT itself, two academics did publish a paper on the event in the Ave Maria international Law Journal. Dr Judith Reisman, and Geoffrey Strickland, attended the conference in an adversarial capacity. In their paper they claimed that B4U-ACT, far from being a group designed to help latent paedophiles avoid abusing children, “works to incrementally legitimise what they refer to as ‘minor attraction’ and the inherently abusive sexual acts implied by this term.”
Their paper discusses the event speaker by speaker and they say that Breslow, during his presentation, “analogized asking a shoe if it wants to be worn to asking a child if he or she wants to have sex,” and that Breslow argued that, “just as the desire to and act of reaching sexual climax upon a shoe required a rethinking of the shoe and how it comes into being, so does the desire to and the act of reaching sexual climax upon or with a child require a rethinking of both the child and of the person for whom the child is a sexual fantasy or partner.”
We asked Breslow to comment on the above, both to provide context for the statements and to ask if he could confirm the paper’s claim that, during his presentation, he compared “cumming on a shoe” to “the act of cumming on or possible even with a child.” We have yet to receive a response beyond a statement that Breslow is currently on sabbatical from the LSE until January 2023. Breslow’s social media accounts appear to have now been deleted.
When asked for comment Mermaids told Gript “Jacob has tendered his immediate resignation. Mermaids was unaware of his historic appearance at the 2011 conference until recently.” The charity did not respond to questions we asked about the nature of Breslow’s involvement with the charity.