Turn on thread page Beta

Is unacted upon paedophilia just another sexual orientation and therefore not "evil"? watch

Announcements
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Jamie)
    hmm i had this debate years back with my anthropologist ex gf.
    my remarks to this are as follows
    1) alot of people talk of consent. stupid argument really. because consent is subjective. we have decided a 12 year old cant consent but a 13 yo can. its a legal argument. what about a really intelligent 12 yo? what about a really stupid 16yo?
    consent is legally defined, and is much harder to prove or disprove in the psych sense.
    2) i can and will compare with homosexuality. it was illegal. now it isnt it was age of consent 18. now its 16. why is that? well, its all changing attitudes isn't it. in some areas of the world there are different attitudes to ages of consent etc. in mexico i believe its as low as 12yo.

    in my opinion they should make a split in the term paedophilia to get rid of the key argument - nature.
    old enough to bleed, old enough to breed. there is some validity in this argument. hence why there should be a clearly defined split in having sex with someone under the age of consent, having sex with someone who hasn't reached puberty.

    if my arguments seem garbled, its because they are. paedophilia means different things to different people. the bnpers out there love to say mohammed was a paedo because he married a 12yo (which baring in mind the change in age of puberty probably relates toa modern day 7/8 yo)


    so yes, paedophilia could possibly simply be another form of sexual orientation/preference in some cases. but i think you should bare in mind that rape isn't about sex, but about power. and many cases of paedo are probably along this lines too.
    I am not particularly fond of the idea of a grown man in his forties having sex with a 13 year old, but the central disgust that pedophilia draws is not around 13-16 year olds engaging in sexual activity with 18+ year olds, but adults sexually abusing 0-13 year olds.

    Pedophilia is certainly a preference, but not an orientation.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by -1984-)
    'Relatively widespread'? Relative to what? Pedophilia is quite rare and only attracts grossly unproportionate media coverage because of the emotions it arouses among most people.
    This is taken from http://www2.hu-berlin.de/sexology/BIB/pedophilia.htm:

    In a sample of nearly 200 university males, 21%reported some sexual attraction to small children, 9% described sexual fantasies involving children, 5% admitted to having masturbated to sexual fantasies of children, and 7% indicated they might have sex with a child if not caught (Briere & Runtz, 1989). Briere and Runtz remarked that “given the probable social undesirability of such admissions, we may hypothesize that the actual rates were even higher” (p. 71). In another sample with 100 male and 180 female undergraduate students, 22% of males and 3% of females reported sexual attraction to a child (Smiljanich & Briere, 1996).
    So maybe more widespread than most people think. But I guess whether its widespread or not isn't that relevant.

    Reptophilia may be ingrained, but it is not an orientation because it is not directed at a group of people. And although strongly felt, it can be changed. I dont believe this is true of paedophilia.

    But you're right- much more research needs to be done. We dont know if granting paedophilia a more mainstream status, well a status at all, would lead to a better or worse society. I suspect it would lead to a better society as the acts would still be criminal but paedophiles would understand their "orientation" better and get mainstream help from law, science and the public.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Elmo_321)
    This is taken from http://www2.hu-berlin.de/sexology/BIB/pedophilia.htm:



    So maybe more widespread than most people think. But I guess whether its widespread or not isn't that relevant.

    Reptophilia may be ingrained, but it is not an orientation because it is not directed at a group of people. And although strongly felt, it can be changed. I dont believe this is true of paedophilia.

    But you're right- much more research needs to be done. We dont know if granting paedophilia a more mainstream status, well a status at all, would lead to a better or worse society. I suspect it would lead to a better society as the acts would still be criminal but paedophiles would understand their "orientation" better and get mainstream help from law, science and the public.
    Well, these figures show in my opinion that pedophilia is indeed a preference rather than an orientation. If nearly a quarter of the male participants reported that they have had a sexual attraction a child, and if we are going to assume that this is figure is suppressed by the societal disapproval of pedophilia, then perhaps pedophilia is for most people a 'choice'.

    Also, it would be interesting to find out what age these participants were talking about. 5 year olds? 10 year olds? or 14 year olds?
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I agree- the figures do indicate a preference to small children. But I was just trying to show that paedophilia at least in one form is widespread. "Real" paedophilia however is not such a preference- it takes up their entire life in the same way as you or I are defined by our finding or men/women attractive.. Them finding young children attractive is a major part of who they are, and that makes it an orientation, not just another sexual preference. Along with the fact that its not a choice and is probably genetically and well as environmentally determined (although theres probably no evidence yet of this).

    What is your definition of sexual orientation?
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    I'm of the opinion that a lot of people have dysfunctional sexual desires. In such cases,I believe that the NHS should be able to prescribe pills which suppress sexual desire. Of course, that is if such pills exist.

    I don't know about anyone else, but if I was stuck with a sexual desire like that, I'd want to get rid of it.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Elmo_321)
    I agree- the figures do indicate a preference to small children. But I was just trying to show that paedophilia at least in one form is widespread. "Real" paedophilia however is not such a preference- it takes up their entire life in the same way as you or I are defined by our finding or men/women attractive.. Them finding young children attractive is a major part of who they are, and that makes it an orientation, not just another sexual preference. Along with the fact that its not a choice and is probably genetically and well as environmentally determined (although theres probably no evidence yet of this).

    What is your definition of sexual orientation?
    I'd describe orientation in the same way that you talk about it really. Where there is very little choice, if any for the inclination, and it forms a major part of ones life, e.g, a heterosexual does not have much control over his or her feelings towards the opposite sex, and their entire life revolves around that orientation.
    Offline

    18
    (Original post by -1984-)
    Pedophilia is certainly a preference, but not an orientation.
    evidence?

    paedophilia is in alot of cases just as much a 'compulsion' as homosexuality.
    this is fact. the core of rehabilitating paedophiles psychological/psychiatrically is not based on changing their 'preference'/orientation, but instead on getting them to not act upon it.

    just as you can get a gay male to not act on his homosexual urges.


    the only real difference is societies perception morally.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Jamie)
    evidence?

    paedophilia is in alot of cases just as much a 'compulsion' as homosexuality.
    this is fact. the core of rehabilitating paedophiles psychological/psychiatrically is not based on changing their 'preference'/orientation, but instead on getting them to not act upon it.

    just as you can get a gay male to not act on his homosexual urges.


    the only real difference is societies perception morally.
    But surely you would accept this difference in perception to be important? We're talking about the abuse of children, here.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Cage)
    But surely you would accept this difference in perception to be important? We're talking about the abuse of children, here.
    Exactly.

    Talking about an adult having sex with a preadolescent child as if its the same as a man and woman having sex is silly.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    To some thieves, stealing may be a necessity. They may feel compelled to steal due to a rough upbringing and an environment in which they needed to be 'hard'. However what they do is against the law. In order for the law to be respected (the theory of vindication) then we must all submit to the law. Whilst paedophilia may or may not be immoral, it is necessary to call it a crime and punish the abusers, for we cannot live in a society where kids are sexually active; they are not mature enough. Besides, the judge encompasses mitigating factors into his judgement anyway.

    There is nothing wrong with having preferences or ill-thoughts (sans religious beliefs) however if we act upon them then we should expect punishment.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Very interesting thread. It's great that no one is freaking out.

    I too am concerned with the demonisation of people that don't act on these desires.

    http://daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/2...-and-rape.html is an interesting read and can apply to computer generated child pornograpy.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Cage)
    But surely you would accept this difference in perception to be important? We're talking about the abuse of children, here.
    No, we're not talking about the abuse of children here, thats the point. We're trying to seperate paedophilia from the abuse of children and trying to show that they don't have to go hand in hand. Therefore the difference in perception is uncalled for
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by -1984-)
    Exactly.

    Talking about an adult having sex with a preadolescent child as if its the same as a man and woman having sex is silly.
    I don't think there is a difference between having sex with a child and having sex with a man or woman except that having sex with a child will harm that child. That is what is wrong with it, the consequences. There is nothing inherently wrong about it. If we conceive of a 9 year old child with the mental maturity of 30 year old then I don't think it would be wrong for an adult to have consensual sex with that "child". What do you think?
    Offline

    18
    (Original post by Elmo_321)
    I don't think there is a difference between having sex with a child and having sex with a man or woman except that having sex with a child will harm that child. That is what is wrong with it, the consequences. There is nothing inherently wrong about it. If we conceive of a 9 year old child with the mental maturity of 30 year old then I don't think it would be wrong for an adult to have consensual sex with that "child". What do you think?
    well the maturity thing is a good point.
    the reason we say that whole 16yo for consent is playing averages. so some 14 yo will be mature enough, and some 18yo will not. same goes for 10yo. some will have the same maturity as a 13 yo. some as an 8yo.

    you have to reduce the argument to objective facts, and steer clear from subjective laws and morality.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Cage)
    But surely you would accept this difference in perception to be important? We're talking about the abuse of children, here.
    We aren't though. We are talking abou the sexual attraction to children, not the abuse that would potentially follow from that attraction. And since paedophilia IS a sexual attraction to minors, it could well be argued that it is an orientation it itself, in a sense. Or preference, if people want to split hairs, but that isn't really the issue. The issue is that you assume(alonog with everyone else) that a sexual attraction to children immediately equates to abusing them. And because people already jump to this conclusion, paedophiles are more likely to abuse children, because they feel they have been judged anyway, before they have even done anything wrong. Our general attitude in this country is creating a more dangerous place for chilren.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    As far as I can see, Pedophilia isn't a crime. Its a sexual orientation. and It is only a crime once acted upon - child molestation. Even then, it might not be nonconsentual. and so shouldn't be a crime, if the child is of an age where they understand the consicuences.

    I know a man who considers himself a pedophile. Love the guy, he's one of my closest friends. He's never acted upon his sexual orientation, and so I see no issues with him being free. If he acted on it...well thats a different story.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    This is an interesting thread.

    I would agree that nobody can help who they are attracted to, and that therefore, merely being attracted to children cannot be considered wrong. A friend of mine admitted a little while ago that he found small children 'quite hot', and also that he sometimes thought of young boys whilst masturbating. I'll admit that I found this a bit creepy, but he did go on to say that he'd never act on this, and I know he has 'normal' sexual relationships with women. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with this, though it does make me quite uncomfortable.

    I also think that the threat of paedophilia is blown out of all proportion, and that this is possibly actually damaging to children. First of all children are taught to fear strangers, which at least in my case had the main effect of causing me to be absolutely terrified when a little old lady spoke to me on the bus or something (stranger danger!). Secondly, children are allowed less freedom by fearful parents. And, more controversially, though I believe someone has said something to this effect already: Even those children who ARE abused are probably not helped by the current hysteria. I've read one or two accounts by people who were 'interfered with' as children, and the general consensus was that though the experience was a bit horrible and gross, they were nowhere near as scarred and traumatised as society would like to believe. One of these, a female coloumnist in the Observer newspaper, went on to say that what was more damaging to her than the abuse was the treatment by people afterwards who assumed that she was 'damaged goods', and the other, Richard Dawkins in 'the God Delusion', goes on to say that the physical abuse was far less traumatic to him than 'mental abuse' by the teachers at his school during the same period.

    There is also the issue of consent. The age of consent is, as many people have pointed out, pretty meaningless really in moral terms. My first boyfriend would have been, in legal terms, considered a child molester, however I was probably more mentally mature than he was, and certainly mature enough to know what I was doing and consent to it. Perverted, I think, is the fancying of pre-pubescent children.

    The other negative consequence of paedophile witch-hunting is that it means people are very very uncomfortable about acknowledging the natural sexuality of children, as to admit children have sexual feelings could be seen as in some way 'justifying' child molesting. It probably is not good for children if parents, seeing them touching their genitals as small children inevitably do, become uncomfortable, frightened and embarrassed, and tell the child off, or tell it that what it's doing is wrong and dirty... Thus happens guilt and shame and messed-up repressed feelings in later life. Of course, this isn't solely down to the hype about paedophilia, but it's certainly related, via the rather victorian idea of the sanctity of 'childhood innocence', and especially the innocence of young girls.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by The Strangest Quark)
    And, more controversially, though I believe someone has said something to this effect already: Even those children who ARE abused are probably not helped by the current hysteria. I've read one or two accounts by people who were 'interfered with' as children, and the general consensus was that though the experience was a bit horrible and gross, they were nowhere near as scarred and traumatised as society would like to believe. One of these, a female coloumnist in the Observer newspaper, went on to say that what was more damaging to her than the abuse was the treatment by people afterwards who assumed that she was 'damaged goods', and the other, Richard Dawkins in 'the God Delusion', goes on to say that the physical abuse was far less traumatic to him than 'mental abuse' by the teachers at his school during the same period.
    Yeah I agree. Theres a difference between a teacher stroking a childs leg provocatively and a teacher raping the child, but the two cases are pretty much bundled together and both teachers viewed as almost equally evil by the press. Its like "a paedophile is a paedophile, irrespective of what they do". Also I'm sure there are many cases, as you point out, where the child is pretty ambivalent about whats happening, and therefore these cases should be differentiated from those where it is forced upon the child.

    Also I think I have a problem with the current opinions regarding people who download child pornography. Clearly this should remain illegal as it legitimises the pictures and provides demand for them- but I wouldn't describe the people doing it as evil- just flawed. Its perfectly understandable, given their desires and the scope of options they have for relief, that they do do it. Although as someone pointed out- CGI porn is always an option!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Okay... well firstly i apologise if anything i say sounds too "attached" or emotionally thought out rather than intelligently. I will try and be as objective as i can in this.

    I think this thread is very interesting, and i really respect the fact that everyone is managing to have such a controlled discussion about an extremely controversial topic. One thing i would say though is that we need to differentiate between the two "forms", per say, of sexual desire towards minors. It is quite understandable, even by what is an extremely reactionary society, for a man to feel sexually attracted to a fifteen, perhaps even fourteen year old girl as so many of them develop at young ages. To me, even a person who acts upon their desires to girls of this age is not a peadophile in the truest sense - i find it extremely hard to believe that a man who is attracted to a seemingly fully developed fifteen year old girl would also be attracted to an eight year old - we can all acknowledge the extreme physical differences between these two ages. If peadophilia is a "preference" or simply a sexual orientation, then it is very unlikely that simply the fact they are under sixteen gets them sexually excited, it is far more likely to be a physical attraction. The physicality of an eight year old and a fifteen year old aren't comparable, imo, and here is where a distinction can - has - to be made. It is completely unfair to treat a man who "sexually abuses" a fifteen year old the same as a man who does the same to a seven/eight year old. Thankfully our judiciary system allows for this - but our society does not (as evidenced by countless ignorant emails to GMTV/jeremy kyle i sometimes catch *sigh*).

    Peadophilia should not be legitamised, even in it's cellibate state. I'm sorry but i simply cannot accept the fact that a man walking down the street may look at my three year old and feel sexually attracted towards her. It makes me feel so protective of her - not necessarily aggresive towards the man, but overally protective towards the child. If we legitimise this "sexual orientation" then people will have to accept what is *not* acceptable behaviour.

    On the same level, however, i do not believe that peadophiles should recieve the treatment, the outcasting from society, which they do. If we accept the fact that it is abnormal, rather than legitimising it, then surely we can do more to help create, as someone said, a safer environment in which all of us can lead happy, safe lives? Ignorance is not the answer - a lot of people let the conditioning of society upon them mask their minds, per say. "Men who fancy kids are going to sexually abuse them" - this is a rather unnecessary step in logic. I do not look at every man who looks at me in "that" way and think he is going to rape me. Even if people have repressed desires they can often appreciate the fact that they need to remain repressed.

    Sorry if this isn't very structured, i'm thinking off the top of my head.

    I will never be able to accept the idea that a person who feels sexually attracted to a little child is mentally sound. This does not mean that they should be victimised. This means they should be supported. It is not comparable to homosexuality because of the consent involved and the developed stage of the body.

    I never considered men who were sexually attracted to me when i was younger - perhaps even aged thirteen - to be peadophiles because i acted/looked/thought like someone much older. That end of the "peadophile" spectrum, if i may call it that, is such a subjective, hazy area that i do not consider it to be peadophilia at all. I am talking about very young children here. I know it must be difficult not having a parental relationship or responsibility over a young child yourself to understand the effect the idea someone may find your daughter sexually attractive has, or at least in my case - but i still am able to see past the kneejerk reaction i have and attempt to understand what is an incredibaly overlooked and complex area.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Je$$ica)
    Peadophilia should not be legitamised, even in it's cellibate state. I'm sorry but i simply cannot accept the fact that a man walking down the street may look at my three year old and feel sexually attracted towards her.
    Yet you cannot and should not be able to police the thoughts of others. If I went into a police station and admitted to having fantasies about sex with 3 year old children, but I did not own any form of child pornography, nor had a I ever acted upon my desires, what right would they have to reprimand me? A thought is a not a crime.
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
Turn on thread page Beta
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: July 25, 2007
Poll
Have you ever experienced bullying?
Useful resources

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.