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Author Topic: Child Molester at Birth?
vanilla
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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On a local talk radio program that was reviewing the current propositions on the ballot for the upcoming elections, a theory on pedophiles was stated as fact. Numerous times, actually.

A gentleman offering a large sum to supporters of Jessica's Law repeatedly stated that it is a scientific fact that pedophiles are born that way and can not be rehabilited because it is a medical problem. That they are born this way has been scientifically proven.

I have looked and I have not found scientifc proof of this. I have found theories, I have located pedophile support groups that peddle this statement, but no actual scientific or medical journals to support this "fact." Perhaps someone else can?

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WonkoTheSane
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No journals, but plenty of people spend a lot of time saying that you cannot help who you are attracted to.

Is is true that they have a high recitivism rate.

Wonko

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"It seemed to me that any civilization that had so far lost its head as to need to include detailed instructions for use in a package of toothpicks, was no longer a civilzation in which I could live and stay sane."

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Beyblader3258
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I can understand being born with a bit more interest in people sexually than most others, and that being a pedophile is merely one way of expressing it, but I can't see pedophilea being an inborn trait. Perhaps you could argue that it's a mental disease, but that just seems worng on so many levels.

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ravynwriter
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I'm related to a former pedophile. He offended when he was much younger and he himself was sexually abused when he was a child. He spent over ten years in an institution going through rehabilitation and counseling. He's been out nearly fifteen years now and has not reoffended.

I don't believe pedophilia is inborn. I believe a person can be predisposed toward it like some are born with addictive personalities that make them predisposed to becoming alcoholic or what have you, but I believe most pedophilia is caused by abuse or post traumatic stress that causes a person to desire to regain their 'childhood'...and the way some of them, unfortunately, try to regain that childhood is by connecting to or controlling (absorbing) children.

In dreams, sex as a symbol is usually not interpreted as truly a sexual thing, but a desire to make part of what one person has or is part of yourself. If you have a friend that's particularly creative and you wish that you were more creative, you might dream about sexual encounters with that friend. Pedophiles take that symbolism a step further, and by trying to reclaim innocence and lost childhood, attempt to absorb that into themselves via the only fully physical way they see as available to them.

This is only my opinion, from what I've seen and experienced. Pedophilia is mostly about regaining childhood or control of something they feel they've lost, a sort of 'revenge' (well, MY childhood innocence was torn from me so why should THIS kid have it when I couldn't? I'll take it away from them too!). In my opinion, a great deal of pedophilia can be treated and even rehabilitated, but its totally on a case by case basis. Each offender is an individual and their problem is individual.

But I do not believe any child is born genetically or mentally a pedophile.

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Methuselah
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quote:
Originally posted by vanilla:
On a local talk radio program that was reviewing the current propositions on the ballot for the upcoming elections, a theory on pedophiles was stated as fact. Numerous times, actually.

A gentleman offering a large sum to supporters of Jessica's Law repeatedly stated that it is a scientific fact that pedophiles are born that way and can not be rehabilited because it is a medical problem. That they are born this way has been scientifically proven.

It's a very common PR tactic, and one that truly annoys the hell out of me. As long as someone is stating that something has been proven, others believe it. And those that do bother questioning the "fact" get shouted down with "it's been PROVEN". [flame]

I like to counter with "Actually, they just proved beyond any doubt that that was patently and undeniably false, and that anyone who believed the original 'fact' likes to kill puppies and desecrate their bodies". [Razz]

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Gaia
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Not that I condone phedophilia in any way, but I do believe that you are born with your sexual preference be it to opposite sex, same sex, youger age (child), etc.

If you say that phedophilia isn't normal human behaviour, what is to stop you from saying the same about same sex attraction? Normal is such a relative word.

What I do believe is that you are predisposed to act or ignore those sexual urges. I was molested as a child also and although it did make me interested in sex younger that usuall, I never acted on it until I was older.

And remember that pedophilia, and for that matter same sex attraction, are a modern society "invention". The greeks, romans, native american (from latin america at least), Kings and queens from Europe, etc. were having sexual relations with kids and it was accepted as normal.

Again, I don't condone pedophilia, but that is what I think. And no, I am not say that same sex attraction is wrong or is morally reprehensible as is pedophilia, so don't even try to say that I do.

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Luka_the_Pooka
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by ravynwriter:
I'm related to a former pedophile. He offended when he was much younger and he himself was sexually abused when he was a child. He spent over ten years in an institution going through rehabilitation and counseling. He's been out nearly fifteen years now and has not reoffended.

I don't believe pedophilia is inborn. I believe a person can be predisposed toward it like some are born with addictive personalities that make them predisposed to becoming alcoholic or what have you, but I believe most pedophilia is caused by abuse or post traumatic stress that causes a person to desire to regain their 'childhood'...and the way some of them, unfortunately, try to regain that childhood is by connecting to or controlling (absorbing) children.

In dreams, sex as a symbol is usually not interpreted as truly a sexual thing, but a desire to make part of what one person has or is part of yourself. If you have a friend that's particularly creative and you wish that you were more creative, you might dream about sexual encounters with that friend. Pedophiles take that symbolism a step further, and by trying to reclaim innocence and lost childhood, attempt to absorb that into themselves via the only fully physical way they see as available to them.

This is only my opinion, from what I've seen and experienced. Pedophilia is mostly about regaining childhood or control of something they feel they've lost, a sort of 'revenge' (well, MY childhood innocence was torn from me so why should THIS kid have it when I couldn't? I'll take it away from them too!). In my opinion, a great deal of pedophilia can be treated and even rehabilitated, but its totally on a case by case basis. Each offender is an individual and their problem is individual.

But I do not believe any child is born genetically or mentally a pedophile.

Thank you for sharing that, how fasinating! I have a compleatly new perspective now [Smile]

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vanilla
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Methuselah:
It's a very common PR tactic, and one that truly annoys the hell out of me. As long as someone is stating that something has been proven, others believe it. And those that do bother questioning the "fact" get shouted down with "it's been PROVEN". [flame]

It annoys me as well. I was not that happy to hear this touted on a show whose hosts were voted "most powerful people" in my area, but I wanted to make sure that I was hearing an urban legend before I called foul.

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annabohly
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IMO, I think that some people are born homosexual, and others choose it. No one knows why people are the way the are, except the individual themself.

eta-this transfers to my belief of this topic as well

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Artemis
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quote:
Originally posted by ravynwriter:
In dreams, sex as a symbol is usually not interpreted as truly a sexual thing, but a desire to make part of what one person has or is part of yourself. If you have a friend that's particularly creative and you wish that you were more creative, you might dream about sexual encounters with that friend. Pedophiles take that symbolism a step further, and by trying to reclaim innocence and lost childhood, attempt to absorb that into themselves via the only fully physical way they see as available to them.

I've never heard this theory before. Do you have any support for it (article, books, links, etc.)? From my perspective, usually when I dream about sex with someone, it's just because I fancy them...but then I have always been one to call a spade a spade. [Smile]

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Auntie Witch
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I've had a student, 10, who was both a victim and a perp. For some kids, it's ingrained. This kiddo had been abused from ages 2 to 4, that we were aware of. To him, sexual contact was normal and expected. It was VERY hard to get him to understand that it wasn't. He did not act appropriately around girls, and could NOT see why it was wrong. [Frown] He was in a lot of therapy, but I am terrified to think what will happen to him if he doesn't become fully rehabilitated.

Unfortunately, from talking to other teachers, I've learned that this little guy was by no means unique. I can't say that he was "born" that way, but I can say that he was a pedophile (if a child as young as ten could be classified as such; he did tend to prefer younger children) as a result of early trauma.

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snapdragonfly
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It occurs to me to ask if there are known cases of young children, like that boy Auntie Witch mentions, who have been molesters themselves but do NOT have a history of sexual abuse?

Are there any, or many, adult molesters for that matter who were not molested as children?

Just because one is molested as child does not assure that one will be a molester, but I wonder if anyone ends up that way who wasn't, in some way, and I have not heard one way or the other - just that many molested kids do grow up to do it also.

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El Camino
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Just because something is strongly ingrained in a person does not necessarily mean that it is genetic. Socialization can be a very strong and long-lasting factor as well. Just because many pedophiles are permanently sexually attracted to children does not indicate that it is genetic, only that it is strongly ingrained in that person's psyche. But the human mind is very plastic, especially at an early age, and outside pressures can push it any number of ways.

The fact that many if not most child abusers were themselves abused as children and that this is a well-documented "cause" of being sexually attracted to children in many (but obviously not all) cases leads me to believe that it is due to socialization rather than genetic reasons.

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Steve
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quote:
Originally posted by WonkoTheSane:

Is is true that they have a high recitivism rate.

Wonko

Is the rate higher than that of other criminals? I've heard various statistics, so I don't know. I'm curious why you say it's a fact.
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liebeslied
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How would you know if someone was "born" a pedophile? "That baby's checking out that other baby's naughty bits! Pervert!!"

The classic "nature or nurture" test is the twin study, where you compare the behaviorial similarities of identical twins to those of fraternal twins or other siblings. Even better if you can find twins separated at birth. But (convicted) child molestors are rare enough that it would be hard to get a lot of data. Identical twins are pretty rare, as well.

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Stoneage Dinosaur
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Paedophiles are born that way. That is scientific fact. There is no real evidence for it, but it's scientific fact.

(10 points for reference)

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"You learn something new every day if you're not careful" - Wilf Lunn

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Dara bhur gCara
As Shepherds Watched Their Flocks Buy Now Pay Later


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You're talking Sense: Nonce-Sense!

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Evil_eyes
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I am on two sides of the camp. One side I believe something in the brain that triggers sexual desire didn't develope quite normally. The other side is that it is genetic and can be passed on to family members.

My experience is this. I have 3 uncles, and several cousins that are child molestors. All on the same side of the family, one of the cousins is the son of one of the uncles. With this I can assume that it runs in the family having several family members being child molestors sorr of like a trait being passed down by the generations.

On the other hand I can easily see the argument that something in the developmental process went wrong, and that all thought they might not ahve molested, something triggered them to do it, like some life altering event.

I hope I make sense.

E*E

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Neffti Noel
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Stoneage Dinosaur:
Paedophiles are born that way. That is scientific fact. There is no real evidence for it, but it's scientific fact.

(10 points for reference)

"Dr" Fox getting the Brass Eye treatment (although I think Dara got there first).
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Stoneage Dinosaur
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Yes, 10 points to Dara, with a consolation no-prize to Neffti for getting "Dr" "Fox".

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"You learn something new every day if you're not careful" - Wilf Lunn

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Esprise Me
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve:
quote:
Originally posted by WonkoTheSane:
Is is true that they have a high recitivism rate.
Wonko

Is the rate higher than that of other criminals? I've heard various statistics, so I don't know. I'm curious why you say it's a fact.
According to a 2001 report by the Center for Sex Offender Management,
quote:
child molesters have a higher rate of rearrest than rapists (52% versus 39 percent when tracked over 25 years).
Also,
quote:
One review of recidivism rates (p.7) found: "Incest offenders ranged between 4 and 10 percent. Rapists ranged between 7 and 35 percent. Child molesters with female victims ranged between 10 and 29 percent. Child molesters with male victims ranged between 13 and 40 percent.
From CSOM's Myths and Facts page:
quote:

Myth:
"Most sex offenders reoffend."
Fact:
Reconviction data suggest that this is not the case. Further, reoffense rates vary among different types of sex offenders and are related to specific characteristics of the offender and the offense.

Persons who commit sex offenses are not a homogeneous group, but instead fall into several different categories. As a result, research has identified significant differences in reoffense patterns from one category to another. Looking at reconviction rates alone, one large-scale analysis (Hanson and Bussiere, 1998) reported the following differences:

child molesters had a 13% reconviction rate for sexual offenses and a 37% reconviction rate for new, non-sex offenses over a five year period; and
rapists had a 19% reconviction rate for sexual offenses and a 46% reconviction rate for new, non-sexual offenses over a five year period.
Another study found reconviction rates for child molesters to be 20% and for rapists to be approximately 23% (Quinsey, Rice, and Harris, 1995).
Individual characteristics of the crimes further distinguish recidivism rates. For instance, victim gender and relation to the offender have been found to impact recidivism rates. In a 1995 study, researchers found that offenders who had extrafamilial female victims had a recidivism rate of 18% and those who had extrafamilial male victims recidivated at a rate of 35%. This same study found a recidivism rate for incest offenders to be approximately 9% (Quinsey, Rice, and Harris, 1995).

It is noteworthy that recidivism rates for sex offenders are lower than for the general criminal population. For example, one study of 108,580 non-sex criminals released from prisons in 11 states in 1983 found that nearly 63% were rearrested for a non-sexual felony or serious misdemeanor within three years of their release from incarceration; 47% were reconvicted; and 41% were ultimately returned to prison or jail (Bureau of Justice Statistics).

It is important to note that not all sex crimes are solved or result in arrest and only a fraction of sex offenses are reported to police. The reliance on measures of recidivism as reflected through official criminal justice system data (i.e., rearrest or reconviction rates) obviously omits offenses that are not cleared through an arrest (and thereby cannot be attributed to any individual offender) or those that are never reported to the police. For a variety of reasons, many victims of sexual assault are reluctant to invoke the criminal justice process and do not report their victimization to the police. For these reasons, relying on rearrest and reconviction data underestimates actual reoffense numbers.

Interestingly,
quote:
Myth:
"Juvenile sex offenders typically are victims of child sexual abuse and grow up to be adult sex offenders."
Fact:
Multiple factors, not just sexual victimization as a child, are associated with the development of sexually offending behavior in youth.

Recent studies show that rates of physical and sexual abuse vary widely for adolescent sex offenders; 20 to 50% of these youth experienced physical abuse and approximately 40 to 80% experienced sexual abuse (Hunter and Becker, 1998). While many adolescents who commit sexual offenses have histories of being abused, the majority of these youth do not become adult sex offenders (Becker and Murphy, 1998). Research suggests that the age of onset and number of incidents of abuse, the period of time elapsing between the abuse and its first report, perceptions of how the family responded to the disclosure of abuse, and exposure to domestic violence all are relevant to why some sexually abused youths go on to sexually perpetrate while others do not (Hunter and Figueredo, in press).

And according to the 2001 report quoted earlier,
quote:
being sexually abused as a child was not found to be related to becoming a repeat sex offender(p.11)
The idea that one can be "born" a pedophile stretches my credulity to the breaking point. Sexual orientation is not determined solely by genes; if it were, 48% of homosexual men with an identical twin brother would not have a different sexual orientation than their genetic clone. ( Here is a source for that figure.) Given the fact that some sex offenders are successfully rehabilitated but, to my knowledge, gays can't be made straight, I find it hard to believe that the former trait is inborn when the latter clearly isn't.

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"If God wrote it, the grammar must be infallible. Perhaps it is we who are mistaken." -MapleLeaf

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ravynwriter
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
I've never heard this theory before. Do you have any support for it (article, books, links, etc.)? From my perspective, usually when I dream about sex with someone, it's just because I fancy them...but then I have always been one to call a spade a spade.
Well, I've been doing dream research and interpretations since I was about twelve years old. Yes, some sex dreams are just that...sex dreams. Even Freud said 'sometimes a cigar is just a cigar'. But sex is also a very clear symbol for absorbing traits and trying to find a connection in ones self for things we see in others.

I believe www.dreammoods.com also touches on this in places.

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ravynwriter
I Saw Three Shipments


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Here, I found the exact interpretatation. As you can see, it speaks about the absorbing symbol as well as the actual desire symbol:

To dream about sex, refers to the psychological completion and the integration of contrasting aspects of the Self. You need to be more receptive and incorporate aspects of your dream sex partner into your own character. Alternatively and a more direct interpretation of the dream, may be your libido's way of telling you that it's been too long since you have had sex. It may indicate repressed sexual desires and your needs for physical and emotional love.

To dream about sex with someone other than your spouse or significant other, suggests dissatisfaction with the physical side of your relationship. On the other hand, it may be harmless fantasy. In such situations, you may find that you are less inhibited sexually and you can even bring that sense of adventure to your existing relationship.

To dream that you are having sex with an ex or someone who is not your current mate, denotes your reservations about embarking in a new relationship or situation. You may feel nervous about exposing yourself or currently feel a resurgence of those old emotions and feelings that you felt back when you and your ex were together. Believe it or not, it is not uncommon for people approaching their wedding to experience especially erotic adventures with partners other than their intended spouses. This may be due to the intensity of your sexual passion with your fiancé. It also relates to the new roles that you will be taking on and the uncertainty that that may bring.

If you are heterosexual and you dream that you are having sex with someone of the same sex, signifies not necessarily homosexual desire, but an expression of greater self love and acceptance. You need to be in better touch of your feminine or masculine side.

To dream that you are the opposite sex, suggests that you exhibit or need to incorporate those qualities of the opposite sex. Ask yourself, how do you feel being a man or a woman? In what ways can you incorporate those feelings into your waking life.

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bjohn13
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
The idea that one can be "born" a pedophile stretches my credulity to the breaking point. Sexual orientation is not determined solely by genes; if it were, 48% of homosexual men with an identical twin brother would not have a different sexual orientation than their genetic clone. ( Here is a source for that figure.) Given the fact that some sex offenders are successfully rehabilitated but, to my knowledge, gays can't be made straight, I find it hard to believe that the former trait is inborn when the latter clearly isn't. [/QB]
Thanks for the long article with all of the sites. It made for some good reading.

I'd just like to elaborate on the last paragraph a bit. The reason why pedophilia scares so many people is simply because of the fact that so little is known about it. People are complex, and I don't think any one factor can be looked at as being the cause. I believe there are several possible causes, and different individuals will react to those causes in different ways.

I'm sure there are people who are simply born pedophiles, and no amount of intervention is going to stop their desire of conjugal relations with children. However, I do believe that intervention can and will stop these people from actually having conjugal relations with children once they understand all of the repercussions. All is not a lost cause.

I also believe that there are people, probably a vast majority of us, who are born with a certain predisposition to become a pedophile, but need certain stimuli in order for that predisposition to come to fruition.

In the last category, we have the people who will not ever become a pedophile no matter how much stimuli they receive. I'm not 100% certain that this category even exists, which further clouds the possibility that some pedophiles are simply born that way.

However, with all of that being said, I think the most dangerous thing we can do to our children and the children of the future is to lump all pedophiles into one group. The black and white argument of "either all pedophiles are born that way or all pedophiles aren't" doesn't cut it in my book.

I also believe this is true in all cases of sexual orientation.

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NZUL
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I maintain that homo/hetero orientation is innate - whatever causes it, it's not a deliberate choice. Whether it's genetic, or conditions in the womb create it, or even the effect of certain actions in developmental years, it's not something I believe a person can choose or change.

I find it difficult to hold a different view of peadophilia. I want to, but I find it logically difficult. I want to say it's a choice and not innate, otherwise I feel I slip down the slope of "it's natural so therefore it's okay", and I want to protect the children. But what I want to believe doesn't form my beliefs (I hope).

So I say having a sexual attraction to children is probably not a choice, probably not changeable. But there is a difference between feeling something and acting on it. The law of the land is currently against pedophilic relationships. Here again, another slippery slope, as I could equally be accused of saying gays should just not act on their desires either. But I will cop out with basically the same statement I made on another thread about marriage - two fully mentally competent adults, of any gender, are capable of love and legally entitled to enter into lawful contracts. Therefore, relationships and marriage should not be denied them. Children are not mentally ready for sex and relationships, therefore relationships with children should remain on the taboo list.

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Nonny Mouse, on Santa's laptop
Once in Royal Circuit City


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The thing about not allowing pedophilic marriages/relationships is, it's not the pedophile who lacks the right to enter into a marriage/relationship. It's the child. The pedophile just has to put up with the fact that her partner-of-choice is not available to anyone as a spouse/lover.

In same-sex relationships between adults, we're looking at two (or more) potential partners both/all of whom are available as partners to someone. And so they should be able to choose whomever they want from that pool of available partners, so long as all involved parties fully consent.

Nonny

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When there isn't anything else worth analyzing, we examine our collective navel. I found thirty-six cents in change in mine the other day. Let no one say that there is no profit in philosophy. -- Silas Sparkhammer

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khadijah
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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I remember reading about, and hearing statistics in psychology lectures that it is VERY rare for a true pedophile or child molester to not have been molested themselves. It is a vicious cycle.

I could be wrong, but I do not believe pedophiles are born that way, I believe it is caused by an experience such as molestation during psychosexual development.

I also believe homo/hetero orientation is present at birth. I understand some think that these two things cancel each other out but I am looking at it from the point of view that normal (whatever that means) sexual attraction is that which is to a human being which has gone through puberty and is sexually mature. Now, this means it is not true pedophilia for someone to be attracted to a 13 year old girl who has gone through puberty and displays secondary sex characteristics.

whether or not pedophilia inherently hurts children or whether or not they are conditioned to believe it is wrong is an uncomfortable debate which hurts my head. anyway, i thought id just pop in and post. toodles. [Smile]

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Tarquin Farquart
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by khadijah:
Now, this means it is not true pedophilia for someone to be attracted to a 13 year old girl who has gone through puberty and displays secondary sex characteristics.

That would be Ephebophilia.

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pinqy
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Here's how I see it. The "normal" beneficial in an evolutionary/biological sense thing is to find sexually attractive a member of the opposite sex of breeding age (displaying secondary sexual characteristics). There's a grey area for those still in puberty and I'm inclined to the belief that it is more normal for a post-pubescent to generally be more attracted to other post-pubescents. Anything else will not result in offspring and therefore is outside the biological norm. (Note that I do NOT feel that abnormal=wrong as any kind of judgement).

In the case of homosexuals, it's irrelevant...consenting adults, no one suffers harm except indirectly in the case of societal intolerance and so there's no issue except in societies that need maximum fertility (in which case male homosexuality still isn't an issue unless it's close to 100%). It doesn't matter at all if homosexuality is genetic or is the result of psychological factors. From people I know, I think it's quite possible that homosexuality is the result of an difficulty in relating to one or the other sexes/genders and/or other psychological difficulties. But it doesn't matter and isn't an issue unless the individual thinks it is. So that point is moo*.

For pedophiles, it seems most likely to me that a sexual attraction to a pre-pubescent child is definitely the result of a psychological difficulty in relating. It could be a need to regain youth/innocence or it could be a need for control/power. Either way, it's a problem as pedophiles are more likely to coerce children as few if any pre-pubescent children seek/desire or even really understand sexual relationships. This crosses several lines, and does need to be fixed, even if that means isolation.

pinqy

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jamira
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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All sexual behavior, heterosexual, homosexual, monogamy, polygamy, pedophilia, and everything else may have a predeliction factor, as in bing predisposed to the behavior, and this would be related to heredity vs environment. But as it IS a behavior, it is a matter of the person controlling themselves. Freud called it a superego, and though his thories are often disdained, many of his concepts are used in a modified manner. At any rate, the behavior may be predisposed for the person, but it is still an act of will to carry out the predisposition or not. The fact that celibacy is an option for people (sometimes not by choice) shows that sexual motivations can be ignored. Not saying it's healthy, but neither is constantly acting on impulses. How this related to pedophilia is that the person may feel attracted to children, but societal norms and the person's own self control and discipline should be able to keep wrong impulses in check. The fact that there are so many people abused as children shows that this is not always the case. Which leads people studying this to believe that pedophilia is one of the strongest impulses relating to sex. And, it then can lead to higher rates of recidivism.
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Mr. Baggins
Deck the Malls


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There is a large, large correlation of "abused child" to "child abuser". I do believe that would tend to disprove any "they're born that way" claim.

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"The system would also let you send your picture and contact details to a rough trade gay contact mailing list saying you like to be surprised with power tools in a non-consensual role play scenario – but that doesn’t mean you SHOULD do it.!"

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Spooky Cactus
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by NZUL:

I find it difficult to hold a different view of peadophilia. I want to, but I find it logically difficult. I want to say it's a choice and not innate, otherwise I feel I slip down the slope of "it's natural so therefore it's okay", and I want to protect the children. But what I want to believe doesn't form my beliefs (I hope).

Just because something's natural doesn't have to mean it's okay. Rape, sexism, theft and cannibalism are natural in that they go on in the animal kingdom, but that doesn't make them okay.

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'When the world is dead and gone, we will still be Rocking On!' (J.P.McCartney)

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