USA Today set on fire for promoting ‘complicated’ pedophilia study

USA Today published an article on Monday about misconceptions the public has about pedophiles, which sparked a storm of backlash on social media.

The article was originally titled “What the Public Keeps Wrong About Pedophilia” written by national correspondent Alia E. Dastagir. Throughout the article, Dastagir cites researchers who study pedophilia who argue that pedophilia, or attraction to minors, is “misunderstood” as being synonymous with child sexual abuse.

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St. Louis, Missouri. A USA Today newspaper distributor. (Photo by: Newscast / UIG via Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“Pedophilia is considered one of the most horrific social evils. But scientists who study the sexual disorder say it is also one of the most misunderstood,” Dastagir wrote. “When most people think of pedophilia, they assume it is synonymous with child sexual abuse, a pervasive social problem that has exploded to crisis levels online. Researchers studying pedophilia say the term describes an attraction, not an action, and uses it interchangeably with “abuse” fuels misperceptions. “

USA Today promoted the piece with several tweets throughout Tuesday.

“When most people think of pedophilia, they assume it is synonymous with child sexual abuse. A pedophile is an adult who is sexually attracted to children, but not all pedophiles abuse children. , and some people who sexually abuse children are not pedophiles. ”one tweet read.

Critics wasted no time in criticizing USA Today for publishing the article, with many saying they were trying to normalize pedophilia.

Curtis Houck, of Newsbusters, tweeted: “Ah, yeah. It’s gone with the liberal media celebrating and trying to normalize pedophilia. That’s right, guys. @USAToday, trying to de-stigmatize … adults having sex with young children. “

“THE UNITED STATES TODAY IS TRYING TO ‘UNDERSTAND’ PEDOPHILES !!! For me (and probably anyone who has watched) this is nothing more than the first step in trying to normalize this kind of behavior” , wrote Donald Trump Jr.

After an intense backlash on Twitter, USA Today deleted the original Twitter thread and posted a new thread to explain.

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“A previous discussion thread did not include all of the information and the story it was written about is behind a paid wall. We made the decision to delete the thread,” USA Today wrote. “The original thread was missing the context that was in the story and we made the decision to unwind the whole thread.”

The article, however, stayed on the site, but the title was changed to “The Complicated Research Behind Pedophilia”.

Anti-pedophilia graffiti is scrawled in chalk on the campus of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 (AP Photo / Ben Finley)

Anti-pedophilia graffiti is scrawled in chalk on the campus of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 (AP Photo / Ben Finley)
(Getty)

People continued to criticize USA Today for only changing the title and not deleting the article completely.

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