In the end I think we will discover that sexual appetites are based in genetics and hormone levels in utero, but influenced by many environmental factors as well.
No matter what its basis however, it causes harm and is in no way a consensual relationship, therefore it should not be excused.
Comparing it to consensual homosexual relationships is fallacious.
First, let me say anything that involves non-consensual sex falls into the category of rape. I disagree with the law in that it does not provide fordegrees
of rape, such as degrees of murder. I think that anyone who has non-consensual sex with a pre-puberty child is a true pedophile. This person should be more severely punished than the rape of someone who is already sexually active.
Having said that, I will tell you a story many will not believe. I retired in Indonesia and have made a special point of seeking out the true customs and traditions of some of the rural people - both current and in the recent past.
Less than a week ago, I meet a 21 year old woman who was newly divorced. She conceived a child early in her marriage, and the child is now 8 years old. The woman had become pregnant by her husband and gave birth at age 13.
Her sister, age 13, was sitting next to her and I can only say this young girl had no signs of entering puberty in terms of body physique. However,his young girl was clearly aware of her femininity by wearing clothes you would expect on someone 5 years older would wear. She knew how to keep her hear cut and trimmed to look "sexy". [Of course, I have seen the same thing with young teenage girls in the US who wear makeup, etc.] She had begun menstruation. This young girl had a friend age 11 who was married and having sex with her husband - although not yet pregnant.
I asked if the young girls were physically forced to get married (as in some tradition or threat of harm)... and the answer was no. The 11 year old girl was courted by an older man who gave her gifts and offered her a better lifestyle than she currently had,( ie, plentiful food, better kitchen, larger more modern house, etc.).
Getting married young to an older man was a very common tradition in this village and had been for years. I asked if the young girls understood that marriage involved the physical act we call sex - and the answer was no. The girls were introduced to the whole concept on the marriage night.
The village was fairly isolated (as in far off the main road) but large - perhaps 8000 people. Most of the residents were distantly related family members, albeit many generations away. Second cousins were the closest family member who could marry each other. Surprisingly to me, many of the residents had gone to a university and were either professionals or held fairly high ranking government positions.
So many of the villagers had been exposed to modern media and modern thinking, so they could not in any way be classified as primitive. Rather they hold on to marriage traditions past down from many generations.
I don't have any editorial comment on this situation - I have long ago learned not to judge what I don't understand. I am a guest from a far away land who strongly holds onto his own moral beliefs. But I am in no way a missionary for another cause. In a strange way, I feel honored to have been so trusted that the women/girls would freely share the details of their life with me.
I throw this into the discussion only as a counter-weight to anyone who might think this is an easy topic, with an easy answer. They have a saying here, "beware of preaching into a mirror, you might find a monster preaching back to you."