The New Scholarship on Star Trek and Pedophilia: ‘Don’t Let Her Touch Your Wand, Jim!’ In May, Yale cyberlaw expert Ernest Miller noticed an astonishing tidbit in a Los Angeles Times story on the Toronto police Sex Crimes Unit’s pursuit of pedophiles:
All but one of the [over 100] offenders they have arrested in the last four years was a hard-core Trekkie.
Miller was skeptical but the cops basically stood by their story–at the least, a “majority of those arrested show ‘at least a passing interest in Star Trek, if not a strong interest.’” Not just an interest in science fiction generally, mind you. But Star Trek.
The conventional explanation for this seemingly bizarre correlation was that pedophiles must simply be trying to use an interest in Star Trek as a device to lure their prey. But Ellen Ladowsky, an L.A. therapist, thinks there actually is something inherent in the show itself that makes it “irresistible to perverts.”. She lays out her case in HuffPost. Sample:
[W]hen it comes to relationships off the ship, Captain Kirk displays a truly astonishing emotional poverty. He goes from planet to planet, having trysts with an assortment of nubile women, but never forms any real attachments. … [snip] …There’s a pervasive message that women are toxic. In an episode called Cat’s Paw, there is an evil sorceress who separates the crew from each other and from the starship. The perpetually indignant Dr. McCoy cautions Kirk, “Don’t let her touch your wand Jim, or you’ll lose all your power![”] On the very rare occasions where Kirk seems to find love, his partners quickly die off. After one of his loves has croaked, Kirk admonishes Spock “Love, you’re better off without it.” [Emphasis added]
Ladowsky argues pedophiles naturally identify with the crew’s “utopian interracial and interplanetary world” as a model for “denial of the difference between the sexes and the difference between the generations.” And then there are the monsters:
[I]f the pedophiles are identifying with the crew members, who do the monsters represent? Possibly aspects of the pedophile’s mind that are split off because they are unthinkable, and projected into someone else. On the Enterprise, aggressive impulses aren’t battling it out with libidinal ones as they are here on earth. In the Star Trek universe, every “bad” impulse is attributed to an external force. When it comes to sex, for example, it’s always an outside influence that takes possession of the crew’s minds and bodies, causing them to behave in erotically driven ways. Child molesters have a similar mechanism at work. They deny having any sexual impulses themselves; they frequently claim that it was the children who seduced them.
Ladowsky only discusses the original Star Trek series, not the Next Generation and subsequent follow-ups. But her post certainly seems a big step in the direction of an actual explanation. Give her tenure! …