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PaulS

Paedophiles- The Argument Against Accepting Something Only On The Basi

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This thread stems from dialogue elsewhere where I discussed how a fundy Christian friend of mine used the argument for natural sexual orientation against homosexuality.

 

Part of my argument for acceptance of homosexuality is that it is a natural sexual orientation. He argued that so is paedophile behaviour.

 

It would appear that paedophile behaviour is regarded as a mental illness (according to Wikipedia), but then so was homosexuality not so long ago.

 

To be clear I accept homosexuality to be a natural sexual orientation for some and I have no truck with homosexuality. I do not associate paedophile behaviour with homosexuality. A loving gay relationship is no different to a loving heterosexual relationship in my book. Furthermore I acknowledge that paedophile behaviour is harmful, hurtful, and cannot be permitted under any circumstance.

 

With that disclaimer out of the way, I am looking to discuss how people view the argument for gay acceptance because homosexuality is a natural sexual orientation and not a choice, in light that paedophile sexual orientation is possibly natural and not a choice.

 

A sensitive subject no doubt, but it's challenging me and I'm trying to understand it.

 

Any thoughts?

 

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I don't think we have to be trapped by the language we use in one debate as we move on to another. I think that "natural" and " not harmful" could be seen as a two part argument for acceptance of homosexual orientation. A scientific use of "natural" was a rhetorical tactic because "nature as God intended it" was used as a defense of heterosexual orientation. Once homosexuality is seen as "natural" the second defense was that is harmful to our children, our way of life, our own marriages. It did not have any traction. If a majority of us felt the homosexual orientation were in any way harmful it wouldn't matter whether we felt it was natural - like volcanoes and earth quakes.

 

 

That you used only the "natural" argument doesn't mean it wasn't the only one. And I think the "natural" argument depended on no harm being done. One had to prove no harm to effectivly argue " natural" The opposition just felt "not natural" was the best one and lost. Their second, that it hurts, found few believers so you didn't need to argue that it did not

 

The "natural" argument is a 'postmodern' argument. All local level group or individual worldviews are equal. The 'post-post-modern' argument is that some are better than others. Even if it is 100% natural, some natural events hurt and some don't. We avoid the ones that hurt.

 

 

Dutch

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Do you think paedophile attraction is natural, is a mental illness, or do you think paedophiles choose to be attracted to children rather than another sexual orientation?

As much as I would like to have an opinion now I am waiting on the science to inform me.

 

Dutch

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Thanks Dutch, you've added a bit of clarity to my own thoughts on this.

 

:)

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About pedophily. I see it like the idea of "evil children". It has happened that little children, without understanding, took a knife and harmed someone with it. Why does that happen? The children had some problematic issue in their character, perhaps a weird curiosity or aggressiveness, and they didn't have experience and wisdom. There was no one watching over them at the moment. Their parents didn't take enough time to teach their children about the badness of violence, so their conscience wasn't developed enough about such things.

 

Do we teach teenagers that they should never be pedophiles? And if they had the urge, they should go to a therapist? This doesn't seem to happen, and in fact if someone were to tell me these things as a teenie I'd feel it's freakish, that someone would want to teach me this. But the real pedophiles, well they are freaks, the sick feeling that we get about pedophily is true. But maybe the pedophiles actually know this. And feel the same about it, only for them now it's an impossibility to bear and to confess to someone. I mean, suppose you went to a psychologist and say, I have the urge to harm children. She'd probably get mad and call the police.

 

I have looked into pedophily recently online and found a site where it said, "Don't be an Doer of evil - if you have the urge, tell us, we will help you before you do something unspeakable." I think this is the right way to go about these things. Only people presume that everyone feels the same joyous love for children as most of us in fact do. They think that everyone, unless he is a dangerous madman, feels the same way about children. But pedophiles don't feel that simple joyous love about children. They give in to some weird temptation and if they are conscious of its evil, they don't go to people who could help. Therefor we should do like the website and talk about these things openly and on TV, AND assure pedophiles of our help if they come to us before they did this evil.

 

At that point, when the crime hasn't been committed yet, we can talk about the reasons why there is pedophily. We can talk of our ignorance, of what our parents did wrong, what the devil can do to the unwary, about the shitty life we're often thrown in, about the love we need and only few gave to us, and so on. That is all valid because at that point the pedophile is an ill person that is pitiful, not someone who has to be locked away to protect children. He is the "evil" child that is difficult and desperately needs more help and being watched over.

 

About homosexuality, that is love between adults. Pedophily is not love, it's a twisted and sick thing, it destroys a natural love for our human offspring. It's the absence of such love. Homosexuality is love, if done right. Same as heterosexuality, only a tad different. But the passion, the tenderness, the erotic attraction, the wisdom, the love suffering, and so on, it's all the same. The christian part of it is that we're keeping sex and romantic relationship holy, no matter if it's heterosexual or homosexual. Holiness has to do with "heal", which in the german translation also means "unhurt", "undisturbed", "pure". It means that we honor the other and his feelings and fears and will and desire and shyness and especially the human need that is in the other. That is how we are supposed to have our sexual relationships ... respecting the needs of the other and making your own needs known, and fashioning this into real amour. Is this possible with pedophily? No, it means extreme disregard for children, it is never holy. The need for children is for us humans to love them in the way that is good and proper for them. Warmth, sympathy when they hurt, LOT'S of empathy with their little minds and ways of feeling, protecting them, working for them, feeding them, sharing life with them in a wise and meek way. Seeing them in the image of God too.

 

That is my spiritual perspective. I'm not a very much scientifically educated man so I don't know what the scientific perspective would say. I only want to avoid the easy answer that you hear in the streets, like castrate pedophiles or burn them at the stake. I want to protect children from these things and yet also heal those pedophiles where this is still possible. With the criminal pedophiles, this must happen in prison though, and I don't think they can be let out again. In the prison though, they should receive kindness and forgiveness by people who have an understanding what horrible things can happen to humans and how, I venture to say, pedophiles also suffer from their condition and obviously couldn't help themselves out of it.

Edited by skyseeker
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There is an urge or inclination and then there is an action. In society these things need not be in agreement so that one can exist without violating the norms of society and reaping its wrath.

 

In my experience throughout life, many have indicated to me that they have had an inclination mostly temporarily but a few on a more permanent basis that would do some harm to another. Who can really say whether that is natural or not? It is enough for me to say it exists. While science and society can and does determine their own definitions and rules to justify or condemn, it seems to me, if there is a built in inclination for sexual attraction of male for male and female for female as has been determined then there is a good chance that no matter how repulsive to us , there is most likely a built in inclination for some adults to children (pedophiles) just as there is for those with what some might consider fetishes. I am of the persuasion at this time, through my own experiences in this life that in many cases we are born with some pre-existent fetishes (which now number in the thousands) for reasons i cannot say. While some have the potential for harm, others do not but i believe they are found as dispositions in small children previously unexposed to such things.

 

The point i am making is that while it is societies job to determine what is harmful and what is not, what it considers normal and what it considers not, and to protect its interests from harm, and there are differing professional opinions available, there is no scientific proof as of yet that pedophile inclinations are not hard or soft-wired in. Possibly even the same as those we might now consider in those of other sexual attractions that in societies conclusion do no harm.

 

I am with Dutch on waiting for more information and with Paul on being open to understanding.

 

Joseph

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Thanks Dutch, you've added a bit of clarity to my own thoughts on this.

 

I concur.

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We are getting into a very complex subject here. As a supervisor of Parole Officers, who in turn supervised adolescent parolees, I have read hundreds of case histories, many of which involved dysfunctional families. Incest, a form of pedophilia, was not unusual and had to be dealt with. Our main concern was the welfare of the youth and the legal issues involved.

 

None of these cases are simple and this subject cannot be enlightened with a few sentences.

 

The bottom line is: harming other individuals, particularly the young and helpless, is absolutely unacceptable and those who do so must be held accountable.

 

Hal

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Hal,

 

I am interested in your thoughts - do you think paedophiles have a natural sexual orientation towards children?

 

Paul

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I don't know. It is not simple. They are, in my opinion, aggressive, selfish, self-serving (usually alcoholic or drug addicted) individuals who have little regard for the feelings or safety of others.

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Thanks Hal.

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This topic for me started when comparing the argument for heterosexuaity & homosexuality being natural, versus a paedophile's sexual orientation toward children being natural.

 

But the more I have looked into it the more questions arise concerning paedophillia. In a sense I am trying to better understand if the way we look at peadophile offenders is justified.

 

If need be I will reiterate that paedophile behaviour is NOT acceptable under any circumstances, ever. I also have two sons, 8 & 6, and the thought of them ever being harmed by a paedophile sickens me. However I am trying to better understand paedophile behaviour.

 

Hal states above that in his opinion,paedophiles are usually alcholic or drug addicted. More and more research is being unconvered that suggests some people are genetically predisposed to poor impulse control (I generally think people don't set out to become alcoholics or drug addicts). So what does that say about a person who is 'naturally' sexually oriented towards children and who genetically suffers poor self control? Are they sick and twisted, or do they have an incredibly heavy burden to bear that most of us can never understand or appreciate?

 

It seems that our culture and legal system stands on the premise that when we do bad things we could always have chosen to do otherwise. But is research starting to demonstrate that this is actually not as black and white as it first seems? If I suffered poor impulse control because I am born that way, am I the same as a person who doesn't genetically suffer poor impulse control? And if that being the case, is it time to start looking at paedophiles as not simply sick & twisted creatures, as though they 'choose' to be what they naturally are, and time to consider a different view?

Edited by PaulS
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As Hal points out it is a set complex problems caused the behavior of selfish aggressive people. Our criminal justice system is our best response and I don't say that lightly. Occasionally I read a court record where the offender has been given many chances to change behavior - if only to show up at a scheduled time. Often the sad end of the story is prison time that could have been avoided. Our courts, our professional people are involved in this on-going conversation about responsibility and accountability. It is our best effort and it is good enough.

 

Here is a series of worthwhile lectures. The first link is for the sixth in the series

 

 

 

 

Check out all the lectures at Edinburgh University

 

http://www.ed.ac.uk/...ectures/archive

 

Dutch

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I suspect that alcohol has a lot to do with lack of restraint. I believe that a majority of the pedophile priests were probably alcoholic. The Catholic church used to have recovery "clinics" for alcoholic priests. I am aware of this because I knew of one in Port Townsend, Washington in the 1970s that had more than 70 priests "recovering" from alcoholism.

 

From reading hundreds of case histories of dysfunctional families, I know that alcohol (and sometimes drugs) was a primary factor in most cases.

 

Alcohol definitely affects restraint and good judgement.

 

I am not a teetotaler. But I do restrict myself to one beer (my favorite beverage) OR 6 oz. of wine per day.

 

Hal

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Thanks Dutch, and others.

 

Whilst I don't agree that our current best effort IS good enough neccessarily, I think it is beyond the scope of this forum to get much further. I appreciate the thoughts that others have thrown up too.

 

Dutch, I think the courts and our legal system are often a compromise between efficiency and cost, vs adequacy. It is what we have for now, but I would suggest our legal system has improved over the years and hopefully will continue to do so.

 

Cheers

Paul

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My friend who was a psychologist in a prison with a large number of child molesters clearly states that a pedophile can't be "cured". He or she will always have the urge to abuse. He also admits that prison is often the only answer.

 

steve

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I do have a question,

 

We all know a large percentage people who commit to another person end up cheating at one time or another. Is there any similarity between the impulse or attraction the cheater feels and the impulse a pedophile feels?

 

steve

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I do have a question,

 

We all know a large percentage people who commit to another person end up cheating at one time or another. Is there any similarity between the impulse or attraction the cheater feels and the impulse a pedophile feels?

 

steve

 

I don't know any paedophiles so I can't know if there is a similarity for certain. I do know several men who have cheated. I suspect there is a difference though. As you perhaps accidentally allude to - the cheating is 'one time or another', perhaps opportunistic, perhaps partly fuelled by alcohol or even because things 'aren't all that good at home', it may be about satisfying their ego even. I don't think it is their full time attraction so to speak.

 

Whereas I suspect to the paedophile, the impulse or attraction is constant, perhaps even almost the same as yours or my attraction to members of the same/opposite sex, whatever the case may be.

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As I mentioned, this was sparked by my conservative Christian friend diverging from the "homosexuality is un-natural" argument to now saying it IS natural, but that that's the problem (according to him).

 

It would seem to me that a more accurate comparison would be to that of a rapist. Both are based primarily in an urge to dominate. Therefore if you can make the argument that the urge to rape is "natural " then perhaps you could make the same argument as applied to pedophiles.

 

steve

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From what I read, paedophillia isn't about the urge to dominate but about a sexual orientation toward children. This article here makes the point that there are child molesters, and there are paedophiles.

 

http://www.webmd.com...ning-pedophilia

 

No, your article says ... "

Not all pedophiles are child molesters (or vice versa).

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Part of my argument for acceptance of homosexuality is that it is a natural sexual orientation. He argued that so is paedophile behaviour.

Personally I am uncomfortable with the natural/unnatural divide.

 

In my book mankind is part of the universe ... so is there anything unnatural in the universe? Perhaps a literal Biblical God?

 

If we are honest about this subject, it is whether we are comfortable with homosexuality paedophilia or not. While I am not, I can look back on myself and see some of the causes. (Primarily societal indoctrination).

 

I am suggesting a brute honesty - I don't like something therefore I will advocate against it. Rather than give it a label like "unnatural".

 

There are no unnatural atoms in this universe! And before some smart alec suggests that elements103 above are unnatural, they also have to say two ions smashing into one another producing fleeting new atoms is unnatural. Atoms smash into one another in the stars all the time.

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No, your article says ... "

Not all pedophiles are child molesters (or vice versa).

 

 

True, but the point I meant to make was that the article (and a number of others sources I have read thus far) idicates that peadophiles have a sexual orientation toward children - it says nothing about a sexual orientation toward dominating ("A pedophile is a person who has a sustained sexual orientation toward children, generally aged 13 or younger, Blanchard says").

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Personally I am uncomfortable with the natural/unnatural divide.

 

In my book mankind is part of the universe ... so is there anything unnatural in the universe? Perhaps a literal Biblical God?

 

If we are honest about this subject, it is whether we are comfortable with homosexuality paedophilia or not. While I am not, I can look back on myself and see some of the causes. (Primarily societal indoctrination).

 

I am suggesting a brute honesty - I don't like something therefore I will advocate against it. Rather than give it a label like "unnatural".

 

There are no unnatural atoms in this universe! And before some smart alec suggests that elements103 above are unnatural, they also have to say two ions smashing into one another producing fleeting new atoms is unnatural. Atoms smash into one another in the stars all the time.

 

That's how I am seeing it too Romanash, as Dutch presented too I believe. I was questioning if the natural sexual orientation of a person isn't a particularly strong argument for acceptance. Even if a person is sexually oriented toward children, it can not be allowed to play out because of the harm it does. Conversely, homosexual orientation is no more harmful than heterosexual orientation can be when otherfactors come into play (i.e. the same issues arise in sexual relationships between gays as straights and vice versa).

 

So I guess where all this started was that I was wondering if conservatives are going to start arguing the "yes, homosexuality IS natural" card because then they can try to pull it down with the "but natural doesn't mean wholeness" argument.

Edited by PaulS
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True, but the point I meant to make was that the article (and a number of others sources I have read thus far) idicates that peadophiles have a sexual orientation toward children - it says nothing about a sexual orientation toward dominating ("A pedophile is a person who has a sustained sexual orientation toward children, generally aged 13 or younger, Blanchard says").

 

The term "sexual orientation" has more than one interpretation. It could be behavioral or emotional or both. As used in American academic circles it refers to the emotional or affective component, the behavioral component is another issue. The problem here is more complex than a definition.

 

A concept to consider is the emotional development of children and the element of "doing harm". Where I live (California) all psychotherapists are mandated reporters. They must report pedophiles who act on their impulses. They are also governed by a set of ethics which requires them to "refer out" a client if their own internal ethics conflict. This is quite often the case, BTW.

 

Another concept has to do with mutuality and consenting. That is where a line becomes drawn that, in my experience, most Progressive Christians I know are willing to accept.

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