> I've had women strongly defend friends of theirs who have been convicted for such relationships and argue that it's normal and natural, guys being guys and falling for pretty young girls.
It really depends on what women regard as their being in their own interests. Let's say that there's a hot guy who has a few sex offenses in his record. A woman might be attracted to him and either excuse his past or even be turned on by the fact he was willing to be deviant and rebel against society's standards. She might be willing to support that he be released from prison and from other restrictions that keep her from having a relationship with him.
That doesn't mean that she's going to be okay with men continuing to pursue young girls, or especially having ongoing sexual relationships with young girls. That doesn't benefit her in any way; it makes men less available to her because they're chasing after those younger girls instead of focusing on having a relationship with her. So she will support a system that allows her to report him for having relationships with young girls, and break up those relationships so that he'll focus on her instead.*
This is not really compatible with, say, institutions like child marriage that some pedophiles might want. But we need child marriage in order to placate the concerns of fathers that their young daughters will be simply used for sex and then discarded. If child marriage isn't an option, then those dads will probably support stiff penalties for men having sex with their young daughters. So it's hard to reconcile the interests of these different parties.
A patriarchal system based on the authority of husbands over their wives, and the authority of fathers over their daughters (including the authority to transfer ownership of the girl to a suitable husband), will probably have better outcomes for girls than any of the alternatives, but that doesn't mean older women, who are already invested in a more feminist system, will support it.
These older women are more like obstacles than allies when it comes to accomplishing our goals; they need to be brushed aside or subjugated. One possibility that the Mormons came up with was to simply allow a desirable man to have both senior and junior wives. Some women tolerated such an arrangement if it had the backing of their society, and were able to even defend it by saying that they appreciated the help the younger wife offered in taking care of the kids, etc.
It's not always going to be possible to fully satisfy all stakeholders, though. I think the way forward is going to be to prioritize the interests and rights of men. That's the strongest group in society, and the one whose further empowerment is going to directly benefit us the most.
* She'll also support other restrictions on male sexual freedom, such as an International Megan's Law that keeps men from moving to the third world to have sex with young girls there. A man's doing that does not benefit first world women in any way, which is why you don't see opposing the International Megan's Law as an item that's very high on the agenda of predominantly female-controlled organizations like Reform Sex Offender Laws.
We can expect that such organizations will probably also not have much of a problem with, say, surveillance technology such as computer monitoring, ankle monitors, etc. that let the state keep an eye on what men are doing without interfering with their ability to have relationships with older women and provide for their families. The idea is to take away men's sexual freedom in a way that doesn't keep women from using them as workhorses and sexual slaves for their own benefit.
Women will focus on issues like registries and residency restrictions that (1) keep men from finding useful employment by which to support the family and (2) otherwise bring stigma and inconvenience on the family. The common thread here is that such reforms have a clear benefit for older women.
In contrast, First Amendment issues like being allowed to trade child porn featuring young girls will not be very prominent on women's radar screen as anything they want to support (unless they're a woman who's into that stuff, but those women tend to get lighter sentences in the courts, if they get prosecuted at all); on the contrary, they won't like the idea of men looking at those young girls and perhaps comparing older women unfavorably to them.
It also offends most women's sense of fairness that a man would get sexual pleasure from a woman without having to pay for it (whether by providing for the woman or being a hot guy who gives her an orgasm); they view it as a female performer's prerogative to get paid an amount of money commensurate to the fact that a child porn video is getting viewed and enjoyed by millions. If the girl in the video potentially will suffer shame for being a slut, then she will feel all the more entitled to restitution. So, we ended up with these "victims" pushing for legislation to require these CP offenders to pay up.
If you look at even the writings of a libertarian like Mary Ruwart, you'll notice, her arguments for legalizing child porn are based on the idea that it will help performers get treated fairly (presumably including being paid for their work). But, if we were to implement a market for child porn that's similar to the market for adult porn, it would probably have all the problems you see with the adult porn industry, including that a lot of the porn stars look pretty damaged, because that slutty lifestyle takes its toll.
In contrast, in a child porn series like the Vicky series, the girl looks healthier and happier, because it's her dad she's involved with and they have a loving relationship. She hasn't been damaged and worn out by relationships with other men, and she still has a youthful glow. The idea of men enjoying watching that kind of porn really triggers a lot of older women with slutty pasts, because they know a girl like Kylie offers something that they can't.