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Understanding the Pedophiles Among Us

Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Pedophilia  By John Cloud/Baltimore, 2003

Quote:
The flood of reports could almost make you think that everyone who sexually abuses a child is a Roman Catholic priest. In fact, the perpetrators are a disturbingly diverse lot. There's the Chicago-area nurse who molested up to 18 patients, including a 9-year-old girl who had suffered a brain aneurysm and later died. There's the 33-year-old Nevada day-care worker who committed hundreds of sexual acts on at least nine children, mostly ages 2 and 3--and videotaped them. Some of the most heartbreaking allegations involve the American Boychoir School, a top choral program in Princeton, N.J. More than a dozen alumni from the 1960s to the '80s now say they were sexually abused by at least 11 former staff members. Says John Hardwicke Jr., 44, who claims he was raped repeatedly at the boarding school: "What we all seemed to share was this sense of darkness."  ...

 

Many people assume that not only priests but also teachers, Boy Scout leaders and other adults who work with kids are responsible for most child sexual abuse, but that's a misconception. Half of child sexual abusers are the parents of the victims; other relatives commit 18% of the offenses. And the sad truth is that preventing incest is nearly impossible. Less than one-third of perpetrators know their victims from outside the home. But non-family abusers may be easier to pick out--many are adults who shower uncommon attention on children--and thus easier to stop.

Chances are that pedophiles know their victims and are more than often relatives of their victims. Sad but true.


Comments

kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

An article about pedophile deniers. Really fucking sweet Fidel. Yes indeed those tweens are just asking for it and its healthy for them to have sex with adults.  I'd tell you to fuck off but it is not allowed.  Do women like being coerced to have sex with a rich man as well?  I am sure the benefits must mean it is not sexual abuse but a mutually beneficial relationship.

Quote:

Judith Levine's Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex, scheduled to arrive in bookstores this month, asserts that "teens often seek out sex with older people ... For some teens, a romance with an older person can feel more like salvation than victimization."

 


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

No it's not an article promoting pedophilia nor even rape in general as you've apparently concluded. You might try reading the article.

Quote:
Some have attacked Levine's book as trivializing the pain that sexual-abuse victims can feel. The idea that a 12-year-old could consent to sex is "just dangerous in every way," child psychologist Joy Silberg said last week on Good Morning America. Silberg pointed out that many children who have sex with an adult are "severely sexually traumatized."


kropotkin1951
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Yup just like climate deniers it has both "sides" of the argument as if they were equivalencies.  "Some children end up liking sexual abuse,"  is all right to say as long as you also say some children find it traumatizing?

Fidel get it through your fucking brain, sex with children is always wrong and posting drivel that says it is okay sometimes is disgusting and vile.  It is rape propaganda from our rape culture.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Unbelievable. I'm going to cut you some slack and insist that moderators not reprimand you very harshly. You are obviously having a bad day and capable of better.


kropotkin1951
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LOL

You posted an article that included the statement, "For some teens, a romance with an older person can feel more like salvation than victimization."  In the context of sexual abuse that is not an acceptable point of view IMO.  I guess since the article tries to give priests a free ride on pedophilia the rest of the content is okay with you.  Its not okay with me.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Oh? My apologies. This thread is not the focus of anti-Catholic bigotry or otherwise hatemongering in general.

It's about understanding pedophilia. 

Totally different topic to the anti-Catholic hatefest as usual threads.

You might feel relieved not to have to post your daily hatreds in every semi-related thread for a change. 

You don't have to LOVE to HATE anyone here because it's about understanding real people with real afflictions and their real victims. 

No monsters in this thread just real human beings and human conditions.

Sorry to disappoint you like this.


kropotkin1951
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Any article that says sex with children is alright some of the time is a piece of crap, ergo this article is a piece of crap when it comes to understanding pedophilia.   What don't you understand about that Fidel?


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Let's discuss the article, shall we?


oldgoat
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Joined: Jul 27 2001

I just read the entire article.  It raises difficult questions (both emotionally difficult and and difficult from a technical social research point of view) and posits some challenging ideas.  I do not see where this is an article which promotes or excuses child sexual abuse.  It is an article which, in my opinion seeks to understand so that society can more effectively deal with a serious problem.  To some extent the piece dances with snowshoes through a minefield, on a topic which arouses vastley more emotional responses than reasoned ones.

This is not a pro-child abuse article, and DO NOT suggest, based on this posting that Fidel in any way supports or even excuses child abuse.  Don't go there.

An article like this can be difficult to read, and perhaps triggering for some.  Speaking personally, I was sexually abused over a number of years of my childhood, and there have been significant negative consequences.  I've survived.  In my years working in children's mental health, dealing with the negative effects of child abuse has been a big part of my life.  My wife is an intake worker with a local CAS.  Believe me, I am the last person on the board to allow anything resembling a post which appears to excuse pedophilia, but if we're going to deal with this in a productive and meaningful manner we have to ask the difficult questions, and look objectively at the answers as they appear.

 

ETA: @ fidel - please don't post something as provocative as this then call people stupid for reacting.   Thanks


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Thanks, Oldgoat. You've always been a fair and even-handed moderator.

I realize that it is a very controversial topic. That is why I assumed it had been discussed at-length already somewhere on babble. If it has been discussed, I haven't found very many threads covering it. 

I don't care if Catholic priests are mentioned here or not. My reason for being is not to shield guilty priests from blame and criticism. Just so long as something of the actual statistics and facts surrounding the subject are broached at some point. Growing up as  a child I had no idea. Then some idea from rumors and heresay. And then it comes out years later that the sweet little girl down the street who I often saw crying was struggling with her own personal hell, and I never knew. We did not know until she and her lawyer charged her step-father with sexual abuse and rape many years after the fact.


ryanw
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" Judith Levine's Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex, scheduled to arrive in bookstores this month, asserts that "teens often seek out sex with older people ... For some teens, a romance with an older person can feel more like salvation than victimization."

I think anyone could objectively read the title of that book and the content quotes and see that someone has taken an abused child's statements and used them for their own personal gains.


Fidel
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ryanw wrote:

" Judith Levine's Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex, scheduled to arrive in bookstores this month, asserts that "teens often seek out sex with older people ... For some teens, a romance with an older person can feel more like salvation than victimization."

I think anyone could objectively read the title of that book and the content quotes and see that someone has taken an abused child's statements and used them for their own personal gains.

Or perhaps the child just thought it was love and not rape or incest or whatever. Children are not fully developed mentally and often not able to decide what is legal, moral or acceptable between themselves and adults. They are emotionally vulnerable, and I think the article points it out that some child victims realize it was abuse only later in life. Not all abusers are violent rapists. Sometimes they are just  manipulative, and vulnerable children are easily manipulated. Abuse of any child is still an insidious crime regardless of whether they were forced or coerced/manipulated.


Ghislaine
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Fidel wrote:

[ Not all abusers are violent rapists. Sometimes they are just  manipulative, and vulnerable children are easily manipulated. Abuse of any child is still an insidious crime regardless of whether they were forced or coerced/manipulated.

Actually, anyone who sexually abuses a child IS a rapist. Rape is sex without consent and children are below the age of consent. 

There is no distinction or allowance for any conception of a child consenting via coercion or manipulation as you put it. When you are below the age of consent, it is always forced. 


6079_Smith_W
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Actually, Fidel, I think you answered that point yourself:

"Children are not fully developed mentally and often not able to decide what is legal, moral or acceptable between themselves and adults. They are emotionally vulnerable"

In fact, that latter part applies not only to children, but to anyone who is at the vulnerable end of a power relationship. It doesn't lessen the severity of the crime one bit.

What is the point here, understanding, or rationalizing? Because I understand that some abusers were themselves abused, and that they need treatment, and can potentially be rehabilitated. But I agree completely with Ghislaine. 

I hope this isn't just an attempt to take the heat off churches and the clergy, because frankly, their culpability as an institution goes way beyond the attack itself to coverup, and putting victims through hell long after the fact.

 

 


Fidel
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Ghislaine wrote:

Fidel wrote:

[ Not all abusers are violent rapists. Sometimes they are just  manipulative, and vulnerable children are easily manipulated. Abuse of any child is still an insidious crime regardless of whether they were forced or coerced/manipulated.

Actually, anyone who sexually abuses a child IS a rapist. Rape is sex without consent and children are below the age of consent. 

There is no distinction or allowance for any conception of a child consenting via coercion or manipulation as you put it. When you are below the age of consent, it is always forced. 

The key to the phrase there is the first part of violent rapists. Not all pedophiles are violent when raping children. It is possible for someone to be a manipulative pedophile. As the article points out very many pedophiles are familial relatives of their victims. And very many of them are relying on secrecy or reluctance of the child to blow the whistle on them becasuse the child believes doing so will result in damage to family reputation.  Child victims are often unwilling to bring ill repute on their fathers and uncles out of fear of family breakups, or in belief that they are protecting younger siblings from being harmed similarly. There are many ways in which manipulative abusers coerce their young victims.

And no one here is condoning rape of children, SmithW. And no, this thread is an attempt to understand pedophilia and how they are able to victimize children. And yes, that means admitting that children are vulnerable to more than just the clergy. The truth is that pedophilia is not limited to the priesthood. It's true. Sometimes the monetary incentives for blowing the whistle on poor unemployed uncle Herman or aunt Brumhilda are just not there, and the child has to wait years until they are of age to deal with the issue themselves.


kropotkin1951
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The problem is the focus of the author and his heavy reliance on Dr. Berlin who prefers the term "minor attracted" to describe pedophiles.  Apparently he believes that being attracted to children is the same as being a homosexual or heterosexual.  Just another preference like preferring chocolate ice cream to vanilla, no big deal. I for one am very very uncomfortable with this move to normalize sexual abuse as merely another urge.

Quote:

If I seek mental health services, does that mean I’m saying that my attraction to minors is a sickness?

No. We are trying to make services available to minor-attracted people who want them to work through issues unrelated to their sexuality, to deal with society’s response to their sexual feelings, or to develop satisfying and productive lives while living within the law. We are not advocating treatment to change sexual feelings.

Who are the people involved in B4U-ACT?

B4U-ACT is a cooperative effort of minor-attracted people and mental health professionals. Our board of directors consists of members of each group as well as laypeople. We also have a larger group of about 25 people involved in on-going dialogue who are either minor-attracted or mental health professionals.

http://www.b4uact.org/faq.htm


kropotkin1951
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Fidel wrote:

And yes, that means admitting that children are vulnerable to more than just the clergy. The truth is that pedophilia is not limited to the priesthood. It's true. Sometimes the monetary incentives for blowing the whistle on poor unemployed uncle Herman or aunt Brumhilda are just not there, and the child has to wait years until they are of age to deal with the issue themselves.

I got that from your first post Fidel and in fact I thought it was your main point.  I also find your use of the term monetary incentives to be disgusting and shows that like many mainstream Catholics you are more concerned with the liability of all the pedophiles in your midst than the children they defiled. 

I am one of those people who sued the catholic church successfully so  I find your monetary incentive comment to be a personal insult.  The church in tort law caused me substantial damage and then they played legal games for six years.  I held my cards despite going over a hundred and fifty thousand dollars in debt to lawyers and experts.  So fuck the catholic church and its legal team that is focused not on the victims but on preserving church assets. The Catholic church is liable for the DAMAGES of the actions of their priests.  This is not some sort of money tree the courts only award for actual damage.

Please refrain from using the vile term monetary incentive when discussing pedophilia. It is an affront to people trying to seek proper restitution from a tortfeasor.  It is not their fault that your churches assets have been compromised by priests who have committed hundreds of millions of dollars of tort damages against children in their care and control. They are not seeking an incentive they are seeking restitution for a wrong.


Fidel
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It's not apparent, no. Quick Google search of b4uact.org reveals no theories that being gay and male is predisposition for pedophilia.

It is somewhat apparent to me that the authors of that site do not equate pedophilia with being gay and male. They seem to categorize adult infatuation with children and adolescents by age ranges and developmental stages of the kids they are attracted to.


6079_Smith_W
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I just don't understand why you think violence has any relevance. VIolence might be an aggravating factor, but it has no bearing on how horrific the crime of child sexual assault is.

For that matter, whether a child understands the attack or not doesn't lessen the gravity of the crime.

 

 

 


Fidel
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6079_Smith_W wrote:

I just don't understand why you think that has any relevance. VIolence might be an aggravating factor, but it has no bearing on how horrific the crime of child sexual assault is.

We are trying to understand pedophiles. As it is with most every discipline, psychologists and social scientists in general can be lumpers and splitters with respect to their theories and terminology. 

There are physically violent and not-so violent pedophiles and every kind inbetween. It's just the way it is. You might not think it important to distinguish between one-time pedophiles and those with Clifford Olson-like ambitions, but there are those who do.

You are not a scientist, we know. But you can always try to understand the scientist-speak here in what is the science and technology forum. Give it your best effort.


kropotkin1951
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Sorry you misunderstood my sentence. He says that pedophilia, like homosexuality and heterosexuality, is not a choice.  He sees "minor attraction" as part of the spectrum of sexuality and that pedophiles fantasizing about children is just like other people who fantasize about adults. 

 


Fidel
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kropotkin1951 wrote:

Sorry you misunderstood my sentence. He says that pedophilia, like homosexuality and heterosexuality, is not a choice.  He sees "minor attraction" as part of the spectrum of sexuality and that pedophiles fantasizing about children is just like other people who fantasize about adults. 

From this and your earlier comments I can only presume that you lump all pedophiles in with proven child molestors, and I don't believe that is the case. Not all pedophiles act on their physical attractions to children. Strange but true and thank goodness for that I suppose.

OTOH, I imagine it to be a good thing that adults who sexualize children in their own minds are able to seek professional help in curbing their sexual desires for children. Because for now there is no such thing as thought crime. And I suppose we can be thankful for that, too.


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

Fidel wrote:
Not all pedophiles act on their physical attractions to children. Strange but true and thank goodness for that I suppose.

So, if a man has 2,000 child porn photos on his computer, is he acting on his physical attractions, or not? Just wondering about your definition.

 


Fidel
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Well we all know that's considered a crime. I would think he is acting on his desires. And the desire in this case as far as we know is to view kiddie porn.

But at the same time, would that person deserve the same prison sentence as a serial abuser, i.e. the stereotypical Catholic priest who's abused dozens of children over 10 or 20 years? I don't think so. And I think that scientists might even suggest that it is possible to rehabilitate the pedophile with a fetish for kiddie porn versus not for those with proven track records for physically raping children.


jas
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Fidel wrote:
 kiddie porn. 

I'm not sure much good can come from this conversation in general, but I and others have objected to the use of this term on Babble before, and I would ask Babblers again to exercise some courtesy, if not awareness, in refraining from using this stupid, erroneous term that trivializes child sexual exploitation.

There is no such thing as 'kiddie porn', okay? Images that exploit children are child sexual abuse. It is not "porn" of any kind. There is no other definition for this kind of exploitation. Can we agree on this?


Ghislaine
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Fidel wrote:

But at the same time, would that person deserve the same prison sentence as a serial abuser, i.e. the stereotypical Catholic priest who's abused dozens of children over 10 or 20 years? I don't think so. And I think that scientists might even suggest that it is possible to rehabilitate the pedophile with a fetish for kiddie porn versus not for those with proven track records for physically raping children.

The children used for filming child porn suffer double the abuse, so yes people seeking, purchasing and watching child porn are just as guilty. If there was no market for it, there wouldn't be so many children being targetted to create it. 

B4U-Act is an absolutely disgusting organization that deserves no credibility whatsoever.  They state: :

Quote:

We help mental health professionals learn more about attraction to minors and to consider the effects of stereotyping, stigma, and fear. That way they can be informed before they work with clients who are attracted to minors, and before they talk about or make public statements about minor-attracted people.

If you're a minor-attracted person:
You may be looking for mental health services to deal with anxiety, depression, anger, or other factors either unrelated to your sexuality or resulting from society's stereotypes and reactions to your sexual feelings. Or you may be wondering how to live life fully and stay within the law. But you may feel you can't trust therapists because they don't understand you, they'll judge you, or they'll report your feelings to others. We work toward the day when minor-attracted people can find mental health professionals they can trust.

Sexual attraction to minors should carry stigma! And why do they insist on using the phrase "minor-attracted persons"? From their Principles :

Quote:
 Some minor-attracted people seek services to help them deal with issues that result from society’s negative reactions to their sexual feelings. Others seek assistance and support in finding satisfying lives andrelationships while living within the law. We believe that in all these cases, clients should have access to compassionate and confidential services that meet their needs and that help them feel safe to talk openly about their sexual feelings.

Being "minor-attracted" is being presented as just another sexual orientation, with "society's negative feelings" about it being the real problem. Not as anything worthy of judgment or a desire to change. 

 

 


Fidel
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jas wrote:

Fidel wrote:
 kiddie porn. 

I'm not sure much good can come from this conversation in general,

It's not something people talk about, no. But we have umpteen threads on Catholic priests abusing children. Might it be a common view that only Catholic priests sexually abuse children? Or is this a warped and dangerous point of view on pedophilia? As the Time article points out, most sexual abusers of children are relatives of their victims. Are children being educated on the issue, or are they largely being left to their own devices to deal with on their own years after the fact? 

jas wrote:
There is no such thing as 'kiddie porn', okay? Images that exploit children are child sexual abuse. It is not "porn" of any kind. There is no other definition for this kind of exploitation. Can we agree on this?

Sounds good to me. But what about the other comments in this thread? Don't you find it somewhat disturbing that some of us are seemingly against allowing pedophiles any basic rights at all? 

In your world, and anyone can answer this,  how should society deal with pedophiles? Are all wrongs made right once the Church, the schoolboard, CMA, Children's Aid Society, the Boy Scouts etc cut them a cheque for X amount of dollars? What about less well off child abusers who are without connections to wealthy Churches and otherwise organizations with fat bank accounts? Who will compensate their victims?

Might prevention be the best approach, or perhaps a necessary approach that is lacking even today?


Ghislaine
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Fidel, pedophiles have their basic rights: the right to a fair trial, and if convicted the right to humane treatment in prison. 

I worked in child welfare and I am well aware that most sexual abusers are relatives. I am also well aware they often get off due to children scared to testify or not enough evidence. Children can at least get removed from these people's care based on the "balance of probabilities", but to lock them up requires evidence meeting the "beyond a reasonable doubt" criteria. So these children have to go to foster care, go through the trauma of testifying against their abuser and then know that they walked free. Don't tell me that they do not have their rights.


jas
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Fidel wrote:

jas wrote:
There is no such thing as 'kiddie porn', okay? Images that exploit children are child sexual abuse. It is not "porn" of any kind. There is no other definition for this kind of exploitation. Can we agree on this?

Sounds good to me. 

Thank you. It was just this phrase that I find offensive. 

As for the rest of the discussion, I think it's a worthy discussion for progressives to have, just not sure the Time article was the correct launching point. 

For me the questions around pedophilia (as opposed to child sexual abuse) remain:

- How "natural" is it in human sexuality through cultures and through the eras? I.e. is it nature or culture.

- How  is it expressed in tolerant societies?

- Do other species display pedophilic behaviour (as they do, for example, homosexual behaviour.) ( I don't think they do, which, to me, suggests that it is not as inborn as some pedophiles would like to claim)

 


6079_Smith_W
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jas wrote:

- Do other species display pedophilic behaviour (as they do, for example, homosexual behaviour.) ( I don't think they do, which, to me, suggests that it is not as inborn as some pedophiles would like to claim)

I'm not so sure that is a useful comparison.

After all not to anthropomorphize, but the equivalent of murder and rape are common enough among animals, and are even perfectly acceptible in some human societies.

I understand you are getting at whether it is innate or not, but I don't think that has any bearing on the fact that an offender should be treated with dignity and offered an opportunity to change, but that the acts themselves are unacceptable and criminal.

 

 


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