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Can you be born a paedophile? Watch

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    I tend to agree with those that think paedophilia is usually the result of abuse in childhood, but you can often say the same for psychopathy and any number of psychiatric disorders and it becomes very difficult to analyse scientifically or create any blanket ruling.

    I remember a famous American case involving a child called Beth Thomas, a 6-year old girl with psychopathic tendencies eventually diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder as a result of being sexually abused as a baby. As a young child she tortured and killed animals, tried to kill her younger brother and sexually abused him by trying to pull/'break' his penis and penetrate his anus. The consequences of child abuse can manifest in a multitude of different ways - inappropriate sexual attitudes and behaviour are just one.

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    (Original post by Scienceisgood)
    This may sound strange but I view paedophillia as perhaps another sexual orientiation/mental problem.

    BEFORE YOU NEG ME.

    This is because paedophiles are sexually attracted to children just as someone is sexually attracted to a member of the opposite or same sex. This HAS been observed because there was this one guy (can't remember name) and he developed a brain tumour, however, over the course of having this tumour, he developed a paedophilic attraction, when it was removed, his paedophilic urges were removed.
    It then returned and the process started over again.

    So, clearly there is something in the BRAIN which causes these feelings towards children to occur, I AM NOT defending paedophiles, however, I think it is clear from this we don't know enough about the human brain.

    Clearly something changed in this guy and the tumour caused it. I got this story from my bio teacher (who happens to be head of bio and chem) lol.
    The discovery that paedophillia has a biological cause should not come as a surprise. Where else would you find the cause of an abnormal behaviour (or ANY behaviour) other than the brain? How can science help us here? Even if we were to identify specific areas of the brain that cause paedophillia, or genes or abnormal neural connections how would this change the way we treat peadophiles in society?

    What this really boils down to is a question of free will and whether those with abnormal/antisocial behaviours have moral responsibilty. If we say that they have free will then they are abhorent criminals, if not then they are ill and need help. But in order to do this we need to have a closer look at what free will really is, something that as a society we are uncomfortable doing because we may find out something that we don't want.

    With complete knowledge of the human brain we would probably find similarities between the brains of the 'bad' people in society e.g the murderers, thieves and rapists, but a full biological understanding gives us little extra information that will be helpful when deciding on who to punish. As neuroscience grows as a field will we end up with terms such as aggressive disorder, stealing disorder, obsessive raping disorder? When will we realise that we have a heck of a lot less free will than we commonly think?

    (btw I am mainly playing devils advocate here, I am a compatabilist, and still believe that many murderers and 'bad' people etc. should still be held morally responsible.)
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    I don't think it is impossible.

    I remember reading a story about man who started having a sexual interest in children and a brain tumor was found not long after he had these urges. Had the tumor removed and the urges disappeared; the urges reappeared sometime later and it was discovered that the tumor had returned.
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    I don't think you can completely dismiss the idea that some people are 'born' paedophiles. Was every single person convicted of sexual offences against children abused as a child? I'm sure a lot were, don't get me wrong. But I doubt every single one has been.

    And what about all the paedophiles who haven't committed any crimes? There's pretty much no way to come to any conclusion about them because there's no way to know who they are.

    (Original post by Scienceisgood)
    This may sound strange but I view paedophillia as perhaps another sexual orientiation/mental problem.

    BEFORE YOU NEG ME.

    This is because paedophiles are sexually attracted to children just as someone is sexually attracted to a member of the opposite or same sex. This HAS been observed because there was this one guy (can't remember name) and he developed a brain tumour, however, over the course of having this tumour, he developed a paedophilic attraction, when it was removed, his paedophilic urges were removed.
    It then returned and the process started over again.

    So, clearly there is something in the BRAIN which causes these feelings towards children to occur, I AM NOT defending paedophiles, however, I think it is clear from this we don't know enough about the human brain.

    Clearly something changed in this guy and the tumour caused it. I got this story from my bio teacher (who happens to be head of bio and chem) lol.
    I do believe this, but it's not specific to paedophilia. There was someone who supposedly turned homosexual after being in an accident and suffering a head trauma. Now he also had amnesia so it's possible he was in the closet before and he just doesn't remember it, but at least he himself is convinced he wasn't gay before the accident.

    There's also stories of people's accents changing after being hit on the head, and all sorts of things. The fact that this happened doesn't really tell you anything about whether it's nature or nurture in typical cases.

    (Original post by Spontogical)
    Knowing this country, in 25 years time Adults will be allowed to marry children.
    Why do you say that? :confused: And you could argue that it's already legal for adults to marry and have sex with children because for some purposes 16 and 17 year olds are considered children.

    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    The problem with thinking there might be some kind of genetic predisposition to paedophilia is that it opens up all kinds of wierd avenues of thought, like aborting babies who have the (non-existent) 'paedo-gene', etc.

    There is a huge scientific literature on paedophilia and the overwhelming evidence is that it is strongly statistically linked to abuse during the childhood of the paedophile.
    As I said above, I bet most of that literature is based on studying sex offenders. That doesn't tell you anything about the paedophiles who haven't offended.

    Realistically, it's most likely a mixture of both nature and nurture. Maybe there are some people who are born paedophiles and will turn out to be paedophiles regardless of their upbringing. There's probably also people who are that way just because they were abused themselves. And people who are somewhere between the two.
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    This is actually a really sensitive topic. I think it's clear that pedophilia is not due to choice, but it's whether it can be cured or not. If it can, then I guess you could argue sexual orientation can be changed. And this would lead to all sorts of interesting issues. And this may also support that theory which states "everyone is bisexual with preference".

    Regardless of morals, there's nothing wrong with who you're attracted to. But there is something wrong with your urge being so uncontrollable that you would consider physically forcing & abusing someone to satisfy own sexual desires. This is also similar to rapists. So this means that pedophiles are likely to be purely sexual rather than crave for love.

    Most of us look for a committed sexual relationship which also involves the other person actually liking us and consenting to sex. But pedophiles act on their sexual urges only.

    So perhaps, there's a link between empathy and pedophilia. Also, empathy and rapists. In this case, may be there is a genetic predisposition which makes one have strong sexual feelings towards kids and also damages empathy. Or they are many 'undesired' genes where one might (pure sexual urges and lack of empathy) be present in rapists where as both might be present in pedophiles. (sexual urges towards children and lack of empathy). Or it might be environmental. Hmm...
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    I think you have to view paedophilia like a socially and legally unacceptable fetish. People don't choose to have fetishes, but it is unclear whether they are genetic or a product of early socialisation. Either way, it's clear that you don't choose to be sexual attracted to children in the same way that you don't choose to have a thing for bondage and whips.

    It should also be noted that paedophilia is the attraction to children, not necessarily acting on it. Obviously it's not something that gets discussed openly like a foot fetish because of the stigma.

    In theory, there could be thousands of paedophiles with phenomenal self-control that are probably deeply depressed and live in sexual hiding. If that's even a little bit true, those people are really admirable, IMO.
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    (Original post by Runninground)
    ....
    Personally I don't think so, because I see homosexuality and heterosexuality as being sexual norms, either of which you can inherit. Paedophilia is not a sexual norm, it's a deviation from the norm, and I believe this deviation is caused by environmental factors such as abuse, lack of or unusual relationships with those around you eg parents, etc.
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    Maybe, maybe not, I'm not a scientist so I don't know exactly, if it's the former I would never actually hate someone for being a pedophile, so long as they never acted on their desires.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)

    There is a huge scientific literature on paedophilia and the overwhelming evidence is that it is strongly statistically linked to abuse during the childhood of the paedophile.
    How strongly linked? And how do you explain paedophiles who didn't suffer abuse in their childhood?
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    (Original post by abc:))
    Personally I don't think so, because I see homosexuality and heterosexuality as being sexual norms, either of which you can inherit. Paedophilia is not a sexual norm, it's a deviation from the norm, and I believe this deviation is caused by environmental factors such as abuse, lack of or unusual relationships with those around you eg parents, etc.
    So much wrong in one post, wow.

    How do you know paedophilic thoughts aren't inherited? Just because they aren't the social norm? Well, the exact same thing could be said for homosexuality, cause you know....most people aren't gay..
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    (Original post by Tyler Varona)
    So much wrong in one post, wow.

    How do you know paedophilic thoughts aren't inherited? Just because they aren't the social norm? Well, the exact same thing could be said for homosexuality, cause you know....most people aren't gay..
    I don't KNOW anything, I purposely said 'think'. It's my opinion.


    EDIT - And 'believe, personally, I see it as'.
 
 
 
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