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Internet "Creates Pedophiles" According to "Expert" 548

Brian Ribbon writes "In the latest sensationalist article about pedophiles on the internet, the director of a Spanish vigilante organization has claimed that the internet 'creates pedophiles'. While conflating pedophilia with child sexual abuse, the 'expert' quoted in the article incorrectly states that 'studies show that some pedophiles feel attracted to children from an early age, but the majority of them develop the tendency later on'; he then claims that 'the internet can become a catalyst for people belonging to the latter group.'"
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Internet "Creates Pedophiles" According to "Expert"

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  • Um (Score:5, Insightful)

    by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Monday February 11, 2008 @02:47PM (#22381622)
    Couldn't this very likely be true? And, more importantly, if it is, so what?

    The internet is an enabling technology for an awful lot of things, and the information easily available via the internet has, I'm sure, acted as a catalyst or even an initiator for all sorts of interests, even interests some may consider distasteful or even illegal. Fortunately, the positive aspects of this information tool are viewed by the vast majority of people to outweigh its negatives.

    This submitter appears eager to dismiss something that is probably quite accurate; namely, that the internet can catalyze or even create an interest in a predisposed person, who might not have had the opportunity, inclination, will, or knowledge to pursue it otherwise, absent this tool. Why don't we instead simply agree that while this state of affairs may be the case, it isn't the "fault" of the internet?

    The internet is a tool for access to information. That tool allows someone who may not have explored their pedophilia 50 years ago to do it now, simply because of the privacy and ease, and may even catalyze it or allow it to grow. That is, essentially, creating -- or at least solidifying -- "pedophiles", and I am not making any value judgment whatsoever. Just as the internet "creates" people who enjoy online games, or who have discovered and embraced any of a number of other topics they otherwise might not have without the unique and easy exposure the internet can provide in the comforts and privacy of one's home 24 hours a day, it is so for this as well.

    And why can't it follow that however small an increased number of people -- however small -- may act on those feelings of "pedophilia" who wouldn't ever have gotten to that point before because of their own inhibitions or any number of other reasons, jumping the gap to what the rule of law in many societies currently defines as illegal in the form of either child pornography or child sexual abuse, regardless of consent? (Whether pedophilia does not always equal child sexual abuse and vice versa is irrelevant.)

    The internet makes a great deal of things much easier. As such, it is going to support much easier access to information -- text, images, video -- and like-minded individuals that can undoubtedly support or encourage interest in just about any topic one can imagine.

    What is so hard to believe about that?
  • "Creates"? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by KublaiKhan ( 522918 ) on Monday February 11, 2008 @02:49PM (#22381664) Homepage Journal
    Perhaps "gives an opportunity for people with such inclinations to learn more" I suppose...but really, you may as well say that public libraries, with their chemistry and physics books, their copies of the communist manifesto and other 'inflammatory' tracts, create bomb-firing terrorists.
  • Well.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by katterjohn ( 726348 ) on Monday February 11, 2008 @02:50PM (#22381670)
    This is the same logic as TVs causing fat people. Yes, if you watch a lot of TV you're likely to become fat... but it's not the TVs fault. It's peoples' behavior and tendencies.
  • that's nothing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by circletimessquare ( 444983 ) <circletimessquareNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday February 11, 2008 @02:50PM (#22381676) Homepage Journal
    i heard that ideological motivation can destroy a person's ability to reason

    and that some people called "experts" mistake indoctrination into an agenda for actual education

    ban ideology!

    ban "experts"!
  • by provigilman ( 1044114 ) on Monday February 11, 2008 @02:53PM (#22381718) Homepage Journal
    Yeah sure, it's internet... I'm guessing that track pants with the words "Juicy" across the ass don't have anything to do with it though? And certainly not the thongs for 12 year olds...no, never!

    If there's anything leading to Pedophilia being activated later in life it's the over-sexualization of our kids, not the internets. It's all around us all the time...but the key here is "activating" them. None of this "creates" Pedophiles, but some of it might push someone on the edge over the brink.

  • by imipak ( 254310 ) on Monday February 11, 2008 @02:58PM (#22381792) Journal
    ...film at 11. C'mon, if you removed all the ill-informed people offering speculation and unfounded personal opinion as fact from the Internet, there'd be very little left apart from busty substances and badger paws.
  • I believe it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alan_dershowitz ( 586542 ) on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:03PM (#22381848)
    It doesn't matter what you believe or are feeling, the Internet is big enough that you can find a group of people just like you. The "I am not alone" feeling in combination with the protection of anonymity dissolves the taboo in the individual, which is the psychological wall that separates the acceptable from the unacceptable. After that point, nothing is preventing you from examining and exploring your thoughts, which naturally can cause them to grow, especially when you have others legitimizing them. You can't rationalize it until the taboo is broken. On the extreme end, this acceptance INSIDE the group leads the group to feel that there really is nothing wrong with what they believe, and they start working on legitimizing themselves. You can see this happening online today. there are already activists for such causes. They are explicitly using the civil rights and gay rights movements as templates for creating social acceptance. Keep an eye out for it.
  • /c/ (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:04PM (#22381866)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:05PM (#22381868)
    Exactly, why doesn this guy have the balls to say,

    "hey parents! STOP DRESSING YOUR KIDS LIKE SLUTS! are all of you insane?"

    also what nimrod parent allows unfettered and unmonitored internet access for a child?

    The fault of this lies completely in the hands of the parents.

    Make your fucking kids behave, you know how many delinquents my daughter has to deal with daily at school because the parents out there are useless? I'm talking $150,000 a year and higher income levels.

    Little tommy wants to shave 1/2 his head and dress like a pothead? smack the shit out of him.

    Dammit children need to be beaten a LOT more today.

  • by blcamp ( 211756 ) on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:05PM (#22381870) Homepage

    Anyone with an agenda can push any "theory" they like.

    Example? Water is dangerous and deadly... we should ban that, right? After all:

    It causes death due to accidental inhalation, even in small quantities.
    Prolonged exposure to water in solid form causes severe tissue damage.
    Excessive ingestion produces a number of unpleasant though not typically life-threatening side-effects.
    It's is a major component of acid rain.
    Gaseous water can cause severe burns.
    It contributes to soil erosion.
    It leads to corrosion and oxidation of many metals.
    Contamination of electrical systems often causes short-circuits.
    Exposure decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes.
    Found in biopsies of pre-cancerous tumors and lesions.
    Given to vicious dogs involved in recent deadly attacks.
    Often associated with killer cyclones in the U.S. Midwest and elsewhere, and in hurricanes including deadly storms in Florida, New Orleans and other areas of the southeastern U.S.
    Thermal variations in it are a suspected contributor to the El Nino weather effect.

    And on, and on and on...

  • by Detritus ( 11846 ) on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:06PM (#22381886) Homepage
    Pedophilia is not a crime. Sexually molesting children is a crime.

    Pedophiles are the modern equivalent of witches, used to rile up the mob. Even if they never touch a child, they are often treated like depraved criminals and imprisoned or murdered.

  • by eebra82 ( 907996 ) on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:07PM (#22381906) Homepage
    And how exactly is one supposed to become a pedophile? The internet can certainly help you in many ways, but it's not going to create pedophiles because of explicit content or whatnot. Much like television doesn't make people become serial killers.

    I haven't got the faintest idea why pedophilia exists, but my guess is early child abuse, abnormal levels of serotonin or a DNA flaw.
  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:12PM (#22381990) Homepage
    ...by the criminal statistics I've seen. Yes, the number of child pornography charges have exploded but the number of child molestation charges have not. All that's happened is that thousands of pedos have pooled all their pictures and videos made over decades and copied them around the internet. I guess it's something like the Drake equation, even if you assume this few are pedophiles, this few molest children, this few produce video, this few share it with anyone, this few leak to pedos in general - when you start out with billions of people spread over decades it hardly takes much for that to add up to quite a lot.
  • Aren't we all? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by popmaker ( 570147 ) on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:14PM (#22382006)
    "... some pedophiles feel attracted to children from an early age ..." Well, sure. I was attracted to a few twelve-year-olds when I was their age. Hope that doesn't make me a paedophile.
  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:22PM (#22382122)
    Reminds me of those rather disturbing images of Jon Benet Ramsey in those beauty pageants. Seriously, wtf kind of parent does that to a six-year-old kid?

    I once saw an interview with Dennis Quaid where he was asked about the idea of letting his kids become child actors. His response was something along the lines of "I think that would be tantamount to child abuse." I mean, can anyone look at the Britney Spears of the world and not see the dangers of pimping their children as some sort of sick commodities? Seriously, I've seen way more screwed-up parents in this world than pedophiles creeping around on the internet. If anything represents a risk to kids, it's terrible parenting more than anyone lurking in some chat room (which the kid wouldn't even be in if their parents were actually paying attention to what they're doing online).

    The internet is an easy target to blame. But if a lot of these parents want to spot the REAL problem, they might want to check out the mirror.

  • And I Quote: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:24PM (#22382146)
    From TFS:

    "studies show that some pedophiles feel attracted to children from an early age, "

    6 is an early age.

    If 6 is excludable because of the definition of paedophillia, then the qualification in that quote is redundant and misleading.

    If it isn't then a lot of kids are in trouble...
  • by JesseL ( 107722 ) * on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:25PM (#22382154) Homepage Journal
    Pedophilia is the sexual attraction by adults to prepubescent children. There is no specific act associated with pedophilia, outside the mind of the pedophile. You are advocating thought crime.

    Creation/possession/distribution of child pornography and child molestation are not the same thing as pedophilia.
  • Re:My computer... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:25PM (#22382162) Journal
    You're quite close. It's a well-understood phenomenon. A social system like the Internet allows people with extreme views to find others who share them. They can then more easily exclude people with more mainstream opinions and eventually believe the ones they keep encountering to be normal. This is true of pedophiles, sensationalist vigilantes and open source fanatics alike. It's not just the Internet; the mainstream media provides the same feedback loop (people read newspapers that agree with their ideologies, find them reinforced, and then forget that they are a minority).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:29PM (#22382218)

    Most definitions of pedophilia require that the pedophile themselves not be a child.
    Though the law may disagree (see e.g. those kids who got prosecuted for "child porn" offences for taking photos of each other naked).
  • by orclevegam ( 940336 ) on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:30PM (#22382224) Journal

    Anything that creates a market for the sexual abuse of children must be considered a crime-- even if the market's currency is "internet karma."
    Not that I necessarily agree or disagree with your point, but your argument is a bit flawed. Based on that logic looking at pictures of illegal acts would thus be illegal. It could be argued there's a market for pictures of accidents and death (certainly several sites dedicated to it, that whole train-wreck phenomena), in which the pictures may or may not be of a crime scene, but viewing of those pictures is not considered illegal. There are fetish sites out there that claim to have videos of people being raped (obviously staged as they're licensed, but that's irrelevant to the argument) as well as some genuine rape videos, but viewing of those videos is also not considered illegal. Sorry, but your argument simply does not stand up.
  • by QCompson ( 675963 ) on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:34PM (#22382278)
    This trend of classifying anyone attracted to teenagers as a "pedophile" or "sex predator" isn't helping.

    Someone sexually attracted to 5 year-olds and someone attracted to 15 year-olds is not the same thing. Not the same thing at all. Yet the "sex predator" hysteria in western countries has all but eliminated this distinction. Throughout most of human history, it would be perfectly natural for a someone to be attracted to a post-pubescent teenage male or female, but today many people arrested for sex offenses involving teenagers are mistakenly classified as pedophiles by the media, the public, and often even the arresting officers and the court system.

    For an adult male/female to have sexual contact with a teenage girl/boy demonstrates a bad sense of judgment, yes, and very likely they should be punished. However, classifying them as some sort of mentally-deranged freak isn't helping anything. It is natural for a male to be attracted to a fertile teenage girl with wide hips and large breasts. No amount of legislation or public hysteria will change that.
  • by rucs_hack ( 784150 ) on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:40PM (#22382348)
    Oh come now. Obviously the hidden paedophile who can practice his trade in secret for decades but doesn't attract the attention of the wider world is far preferable to the easily tracked, yet obviously far worse internet version.

    After all, it's not real rape unless its on the internet.
  • by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:42PM (#22382366) Journal
    Better than that, and no, I'm not posting AC... The basis of this business is to criminalize and excoriate one particular sexual proclivity.

    Recent and mounting evidence showing genealogical links to sexual behaviors supports the theory that ALL human sexual deviations are simply part and parcel of the wide array of possible human sexual behaviors.

    In civilized society, we generally deem pedophilia as abhorrent, aberrant, and evil but that does not mean those who practice it are necessarily evil. If indeed, there are genetic causations for such behaviors (namely ALL human sexual behaviors) then simply criminalizing it, and punishing those affected, and tarring all technologies involved with 'bad' labels is simply a head in the sand reaction to what is not understood, and consequently not tolerated.

    I believe that some study of ancient Greek society will show that pederasts were respected men of society, and only thought poorly of if their interests in the children did not benefit the child in an acceptable manner.

    So before we all start tarring people with the kristo-fascist brush, perhaps it is better to take a holistic approach to the problem. Punitive prohibition has not worked well for anything that I can think of.

    I'm not saying that we should all accept pedophilia as just another part of life, but I AM saying that the point-n-persecute justice system is not the right way to handle things because along the way someone will blame it on the Internet, or full moons, or the use of aspartame or some other crap that the sheeple will believe and vote for.

    God forbid that we should have to teach our children about society before they are 35....
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:47PM (#22382426)
    For offending male sensibilities. Or for any women in caught in public without a burka for enraging male sexuality.

    I'd subscribe to your newsletter, but you are full of crap.

    I love how the the slashdot crowd will respond to an unfair blaming of technology with an equally idiotic response.
  • by davidwr ( 791652 ) on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:54PM (#22382518) Homepage Journal
    A 14 year old who has the hots for her 5-year-old babysitting client discovers she's a pedophile "at a young age."

    Ditto the 18 year old who finds he likes the 10-year-old girl next door.

    The 35 year old who realizes his 8 year old son turns him on more than his wife, not so much.

    What the article is saying is there may be some people out there who are "predisposed" to such thoughts but who haven't been "catalyzed" into thinking about kids that way until they get exposed to the idea later in life. 50 years ago "later in life" might have been "never." The 35 year old father in this example might look at his son, get turned on, and think "this is just wrong." These days with all the stories in the press and access to child porn and pedophile-affirming web sites supposedly available to anyone who cares to search the Internet Underbrush[TM], this catalyzation may happen in the middle- or later-adult years. The father may say "Look at Michael Jackson. I'm not the only one who feels this way."

    As one of the first responders said, "so what." This is an inherent side-effect of freedom of information.

    The solution is not to hide the information, but rather to
    1) fight information with information by making it clear to would-be perps that such behavior is unacceptable and providing a safe way for them to see a shrink without jeapordizing their family life, their livelihood, and their freedom, or other negative consequences,
    2) providing parents, youth, and children with the physical and emotional tools they need to recognize when they are being abused and the tools they need to report such abuse,
    3) providing safe environments for our children that limit the opportunity for would-be offenders to offend.
  • by Thomasje ( 709120 ) on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:56PM (#22382538)

    Dammit children need to be beaten a LOT more today.
    Damn, this child beater gets modded "insightful"? Is this the same Slashdot that gave Obama a big nod in a recent poll?

    I scratch my head at all those teenage girls that dress like hookers, but if you think that that's all it takes to turn men on, you have a pretty narrow perception of what male sexuality can be like. I would bet that most child molesters are turned on by the children's perceived *innocence*, and as such I'd sooner expect someone like that to go after a girl in a modest, flowery dress, than one in hip huggers with a tongue piercing. A lot of guys are turned *off* by that kind of overt sexuality, and deviants (no judgement here) probably even more so than others.

    If I ever catch my neighbor hitting or otherwise terrorizing his kids because his boy wants to look like a hippie or his girl wants to bare her midriff, I'm calling social services on the bastard.
  • by davidwr ( 791652 ) on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:57PM (#22382542) Homepage Journal
    Pedophilia is whatever the psychiatric community says it is.

    Child porn and child abuse are whatever the lawmakers and courts say it is.

    The two are not the same.
  • by nick_davison ( 217681 ) on Monday February 11, 2008 @03:58PM (#22382556)

    The director of a Spanish vigilante organization has claimed that the internet 'creates pedophiles'
    In shocking news, vigilantes with little respect for due process, who work their asses off to entrap people via a given medium, find that there are strangely more people in that medium.

    It may be the medium...

    Or it may be the idiots going around trying to entrap out of a sense of outraged righteousness.

    There's a reason why cops aren't allowed to go up to guys on the street, hit on them, take an otherwise disinterested person and pretty much seduce him, drop in that it'll cost him, then prompty arrest him for solicitation. It's called entrapment. You're not catching criminals, you're making them where they didn't otherwise exist.

    Unfortunately, as To Catch A Predator has demonstrated, vigilante groups set up, hide their own law breaking, then self congratulate whe they manage to catch people who may well never have been an issue save for their aggressive response.

    Who's the real criminal here? The person who was minding their own business but slipped up when pressure sold? Or the person who does every last thing they can to inspire the crime and then self congratulates themselves for catching it?

    Yes, the internet breeds paedophiles. The question is whether it's anything inherrent in the net... or if it's the by product of righteous but misguided idiots who do everything they can to entrap people.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 11, 2008 @04:20PM (#22382862)
    I'm going to reply to this one, anonymously, for reasons that should be clear in a second.

    I lost my virginity at 12 years old, with someone the same age, consensually. Did it mess me up? No. I think I'm a fairly well adjusted person, I just happened to be fairly promiscuous from a young age. But it did give me something to spend a fair bit of time thinking about now that I'm older.

    Being in my mid-twenties, I've spent quite a bit of time thinking and dealing with the idea of seeing young teenage girls as attractive. I do not see myself as a pedophile, because I'm not attracted to children. Pre-pubescent girls are not attractive to me in the least. However, society as a whole demands that I view anyone under the age of 18 as a child. I think this is rather insane and, bluntly, running against a millions years of evolution.

    I've dated younger girls, but never more than socially (and of course legally) acceptable. I've been in situations where a relationship WOULD have been socially unacceptable, and managed to avoid them. Intelligent, mature (yes, they do exist) and attractive 16 year olds are hard to turn down.

    I'm not trying to excuse real pedophilia, nor would I. But the article suggests that a 13 year old is a child. They may mentally be a child, and they may not. They may physically be a child, and they may not. Many people, at 13, have gone through puberty, and may already be having sex. If I find a 13 year old to be sexually attractive, I am not a pedophile. I was having sex before then.

    If I ACT on my attraction, that is where the issue comes up.

    I admit I've never really said anything about this before, and slashdot seems a wierd place to do it, but after having spent several years with this concern, wondering if I was sick, etc, coming to this conclusion is the only way I can resolve it. The social pressure to view teenagers as children has caused me a lot of discomfort in dealing with this as I grow up, and I think that this hype of pedophilia is simply making it worse.

    I recall an 17 year old who made a sex tape of him and his 16 year old girlfriend. He turned 18, he was arrested and charged with production of child pornography. Congratulations, you've just destroyed someones' life for being human.
  • I doubt it. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jd ( 1658 ) <imipak.yahoo@com> on Monday February 11, 2008 @04:21PM (#22382870) Homepage Journal
    Nobody knows the scope of the problem, because it's doubtful the majority advertise their presence. Possible, but doubtful. You only hear about those who are caught, almost by definition. This number has increased with the Internet, but is that a smaller fraction of the total? A larger fraction? Exactly the same? Since the total is unknown and unknowable, I don't see how we can even begin to guess at whether something has altered it. How could you possibly tell? Besides, look at the scandal on the Pitcairn Islands, or the scandal in the Catholic church. Less as illustrations of how abuse can remain hidden in plain sight for decades - even generations - and more as counterpoints. Can you name a single colony that turned into a gigantic abuse facility by means of the Internet? Then, what of Cambodia? Thailand? Eastern Europe? Saudi Arabia? All regions in which human trafficking is commonplace, especially involving the underage. Not exactly countries known for a strong Internet presence. Italy, Germany and France are well-known as gateway countries in which such modern-day slavery is alive and well, but terrorizing and controlling the poor and desperate hardly needs high technology. America is well-known as a recipient country for all kinds of traffic, including human. Slaves, if found by the authorities, face prison and deportation. Slave owners rarely get a slap on the wrist unless, like that couple in New York, the problem is no longer ignorable. Yes, find online abusers. That's good. So long as you treat them as far as is possible. Punish the crime, fine, but treat the sickness or you accomplish nothing. It'd be helpful if they found more of the victims, but my guess is that you'll find them with the probably larger abuser population that's ignored. (If you don't find the victims, then you're not finding the real abusers at all, merely vicarious ones, and I'd be far more concerned with people capable of great evil rather than merely dreaming of it.)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 11, 2008 @04:22PM (#22382888)
    Mod parent insightful! Too few people are brave enough to speak up on this matter against the groupthink.
  • by Jesus_666 ( 702802 ) on Monday February 11, 2008 @04:27PM (#22382950)
    Not to forget:

    4) Destigmatize paedophilia so the afflicted can actually deal with it.

    Paedophilia isn't something you can outlaw into oblivion - paraphilias aren't something you decide to have, they're parts of your psyche. Thus, demonizing paedophilia so that the affected don't even dare to seek professional help isn't going to help anyone. Offering them safe, discreet counseling and perhaps ways of satisfying their desires without breaking laws and/or mentally scarring children is much better. One could try to suppress the paraphilia with help of a psychologist, but I don't expect that approach to be very useful.

    Paedophilia isn't going to suddenly disappear. We need to accept that it does occur amongst us and find a way to cope with it in a constructive manner. Whether that means mandatory (but discreet!) counselling, giving lolicon hentai to paedophiliacs to divert their attention from real children, psychological treatement or a combination of any of the above, we need to work on this.

    The internet can actually help with some of those approaches. Web forums could supplement/act as AA-style self-help groups where the members encourage and police each other to ensure they don't screw up. If Paedophilia wouldn't be treated as "OMG YOU'RE A MONSTER LEAVE MY CHILDREN ALONE AND DIE" by the general public, something like that would be very much possible; until then nobody would join such a forum for fear that some wacko obtains their personal information and lynches them.
    And of course it's easy to obtain lolicon on the internet; all porn is easy to obtain on the internet.

    Seriously; we need to actually work with these people, not against them. It's not like they're antisocial crimnal masterminds; they just have urges they can't legally fulfill. It's no wonder that they break laws, then (and kill children out of fear that they're discovered).
  • by mr_josh ( 1001605 ) on Monday February 11, 2008 @04:29PM (#22382968)
    There goes the boat. You have missed it. There's nothing wrong with waiting 15 years. But a person who is sexually attracted to children is just that. 20 years old isn't really a child. 25 years old, not a child. The gap is not the thing, the wanting sex with children is the thing.
  • by gallwapa ( 909389 ) on Monday February 11, 2008 @04:33PM (#22383018) Homepage
    I'm sure it has to do with emotional maturity, or what we perceive or believe to be the age of reasoning. A 10 year old doesn't have the same reasoning skills that someone of 20 does.
  • by ta bu shi da yu ( 687699 ) * on Monday February 11, 2008 @04:35PM (#22383034) Homepage
    I spoke to someone from Australia's DOCS once. He told me that what happens to the victim of paedophilia is horrendous.

    This "it's genetic so there's nothing I can do about it" is crap. People should learn to take responsibility for their actions. Paedophilia is wrong, and those who practice it should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
  • I would bet that most child molesters are turned on by the children's perceived *innocence*, and as such I'd sooner expect someone like that to go after a girl in a modest, flowery dress, than one in hip huggers with a tongue piercing.
    That's probably true for some, but I don't know about all.

    A big turn-on for me is an innocent or staid outward appearance (schoolgirl, business suit, librarian, etc.) when I know the innocence is an illusion (my wife pulls this off really well). I like the contrast. Someone else might like the same contrast the other way around, with a risque outward appearance on someone who really is innocent.
  • by QCompson ( 675963 ) on Monday February 11, 2008 @05:06PM (#22383390)

    Huh? Why should they be punished, exactly?
    Because I can understand the argument that a 13 year-old is not considered emotionally mature enough by society to consent to a sexual act with an adult. However, by no means would I advocate the draconian punishments now meted out by many governments for such an offense.
  • by Liberal Mafia ( 544475 ) on Monday February 11, 2008 @05:09PM (#22383438) Homepage
    All superbly insightful, except for the final sentence. We don't demonize heterosexual relations with adults the same way, and few crimes have such a low rate of apprehension and conviction as rape: yet heterosexual rapists sometimes kill the women they rape. I think murderous babyrapers kill their child victims for the same reason that murderous rapists in general kill woman, and murderous homosexual rapists kill men: sadistic pleasure, unbounded by any moral restraints.
  • The thing is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by StarKruzr ( 74642 ) on Monday February 11, 2008 @05:30PM (#22383660) Journal
    no child is harmed in the act of possessing or distributing child pornography. The harm is in the *creation* of it.

    So we have already legislated the existence of thoughtcrime.
  • by Captain Sarcastic ( 109765 ) * on Monday February 11, 2008 @06:11PM (#22384104)

    Paedophilia is wrong, and those who practice it should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    I wouldn't dream of arguing. Criminal behavior requires punishment as a form of "dis-incentive" for repetition.

    My biggest concern is when people decide that the fullest extent of the law isn't enough. Put them in jail for 10 years, fine. Make psychiatric counseling mandatory, even better - let's try curing the problem instead of just fighting it. All of these things are put into law.

    It's when you have people who decide to use the fear of paedophiles as a tool that I start getting upset. You have towns who "one-up" each other as to where they refuse to allow people convicted of sex crimes to live, to the point where a small under-a-bridge homeless community developed for convicted sex criminal. (Florida state police worked last week on breaking up the community.)

    Some more cynical types might see convicted sex offenders as a sort of "human guinea pig" when it comes to depriving them of various civil rights. We've seen situations where they've been put under 24/7 surveillance even after their sentence is up, we've had situations where vigilantes who saw their name on a registry site have paid them visits with shotguns, and we've seen cases where they've been told to leave hurricane shelters because of standing injunctions requiring them to stay a certain distance away from children. These people are handy to authoritarian figures, because it lets them work out the bugs on their surveillance systems / public registries / shelter admittance listings without actually endangering anyone the rest of the general public are concerned about...

    P.S. I can already hear some of the people now, saying, "Well, how would you feel if it were your 12-year-old daughter who was abused?" I'd have to say that I'd feel like it sucked... and I'd also have to ask when the law really was based on how I felt.
  • by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Monday February 11, 2008 @06:39PM (#22384388) Journal
    While I see your point, I did not mean to imply that, just using common type references wrongly. The point being that condemning any particular direction of human sexual behaviors brings ALL of them into question, at which point you have to ask who has the golden list of acceptable behaviors.

    Would you be willing to give up being attracted to big busted lithe and svelt blondes? (as an example) just because joe bloggs believes they are evil, or because mohammed believes they should show no skin of any kind in public other than their hands?

    The point being that group-think or mob rule usually does not lend itself well to reasoned and compassionate results. Condemning all persons of a given nature WHETHER OR NOT they have harmed another is simply barbaric. In support of this idea, loose morals regarding nudity and exposure to nudity in public at lower ages than in North America has links to reduced violent sex crimes.

    Religions as a whole TEND to rule out anyone that does not conform to the list of acceptable practices, including many human sexual orientation variants, and they do so without regard to cause or treatment never mind compassion or civility. This was the reason for the Catholicism comment.

    To condemn all people in a given group when it is MORE than likely that your family tree contains one or more people who fall outside your own sense of morals is what I was calling into question, not necessarily glass houses etc. Linking back to the genetics comment, the person condemning them is likely genetically linked to someone guilty of the behaviors they despise. That is to say that genetic purity is not probable and condemnation of those whop are less pure is hardly the best way to make your point. That said, such is the way of humankind. I was just making the statement that it is wrong.

    Additionally, sexual abuse of children or ANYONE is not a good thing but that does not rule out the possibility of beneficial aspects resulting from what we generally consider to be wrong because it's too much like something else that is disgusting.

    It's okay for a rich octogenarian to court, wed, and live with an 18 year old, but a 27 year old with a 12 year old is wrong... and we generally say that without consideration of benefits or harm to either party. Harm is assumed to be happening, or assumed to have happened or to happen in the future.

    Regarding someone who is viewing pederast material on the Internet... have they harmed someone? Perhaps it is argued that they contribute to harm if the material is created at the harmful expense of a child, but what if it is only written words? Written by another adult? What really is the harm? If the 'criminal' never touches a child, but enjoys reading such stories... where is the harm?

    Actual harm should be proven before punitive reactions are taken. Thinking as some do, that any material at all or even just thinking that way is criminal, well, I just cannot fathom how that is anything but unjust and the foundations of bad things to come.

    Remember, it could be your favorite sexual deviation that is next in the group-think mind. I do not support pedophilia, I just believe that society generally uses too big a brush to tar the bad people in the world.
  • by dpninerSLASH ( 969464 ) * on Monday February 11, 2008 @06:40PM (#22384400) Homepage
    I agree; to a certain extent pedophiles are victims of their disorder, and are deserving of sympathy.

    You're framing the "issue" incorrectly, however. Children are (largely) innocent and are incapable of exerting the control necessary to fend off this problem. We bring them into this world with the promise and understanding that we will defend and represent them until they reach the point where they are capable of doing so themselves. As a member of the adult community (whether or not one is a parent) there exists an implicit obligation to protect children.

    If a "cure" to this situation exists, I hope it is discovered. I even support the idea of public funding for research and treatment (within reason, of course). Save for that, if a pedophile simply cannot control him or herself, they have an obligation to permanently remove themselves from society.

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it is too dark to read.