I can't remember how I came across this article today, which was posted on Gawker back in September 2012, Born This Way: Sympathy and Science for Those Who Want to Have Sex with Children, but it struck a nerve in me. I couldn't help but respond in disgust and surprise. While I have empathy for those who suffer mental illness or disorders and are born with physical disabilities, the actions of anyone's behavior are not excusable because of their disorder. Otherwise, it would be acceptable to empathize with a majority of criminals who suffer mental illness yet have committed heinous crimes, such as Jared Loughner, Adam Lanza and other serial killers or mass murderers and criminals.
However, I do not believe it is right to exclude pedophilia from a form of mental illness or disability,as some psychiatrists and academics have proposed. I also do not believe it is a 'sexual orientation' nor is it 'normal' and acceptable behavior in civilized society. Children are not mentally, emotionally and physically capable of dealing with the emotions that go with sexual intimacy, let alone the potential physical risks involved from pregnancy to sexual disease. Young children are also not able to provide proper nutrition, care and a home environment to a child should they conceive. God forbid society ever becomes accepting of such inappropriate behavior.
Homosexuality is still not acceptable in the majority of society, even though homosexual activists have succeeded in having it become more normalized in the media, on television, in movies,etc and have pushed same sex marriage on some states and countries as acceptable. While we can love, treat others with respect and accept them as human beings, it doesn't mean we must also accept inappropriate behavior. Pedophilia is not about love, but lust and an uncontrollable sexual urge or reaction to a situation rather than the mature love one finds when in an adult relationship with another adult of the opposite sex. Of course homosexuals believe that as adults they are in a loving and mature relationship with another adult and therefore should have the right to marry, however, this relationship takes away from the whole concept of what marriage is meant to be, the union of a man and woman to share life, parenting and old age with in a relationship as nature intended. Marriage is also a religious sacrament to most people and therefore trying to redefine what God intended is an abomination.
The article starts by describing a pedophiles disturbing encounter and sexual molestation of his seven year old niece:
It's not easy to listen to Terry talk about the time he had sex with a seven-year-old girl. But after his psychotherapist put us in touch, he agreed to lay it all out for me during a phone call and email, and I was enthralled the way one might stare at a man falling from a bridge. Terry is 38, a small-business owner, and deeply religious—he ends all our correspondence by saying, "Blessings to you, Cord"—but back then when it happened Terry was 20 and a meth head. He was living with his then-wife, his marriage to whom had made him the co-guardian of her two nieces and a nephew. The one niece was a baby, but the other was seven, and it wasn't long before Terry, addicted and in a marriage he calls "abusive," fell for his niece and began a sexual relationship with her.
It started with him walking around the house naked with an erection, making sure to amble past the little girl and inspire her curiosity. After doing that a couple times, Terry began to masturbate with the door open. When his niece would come to watch, Terry would tell her that what they were doing was a secret that she couldn't tell anyone. "In my mind, I had the thought that I would never hurt her and that she would grow up trusting me," Terry said. He says he wanted her to look up to him.
The third time Terry masturbated in front of his niece, he did it while she was in the room, and he played a pornographic movie on the TV. "Do you want to try what they're doing?" he asked her, motioning to the woman riding the man onscreen. His niece said yes, and she took off her shorts before straddling him. To avoid getting too graphic, Terry said he knew almost immediately that he was going to injure the girl if he went any further—"she was so small," is how he puts it. "That's when the reality clicked in and I grabbed her and lifted her off of me and sat her next to me on the couch," he says. "I got up and walked out of the room saying, ‘Lord, what am I doing! Lord, forgive me for what I have done!'"The article continues to discuss how society treats pedophiles as sex offenders, incarcerates them and outcasts them. It also discusses how some researchers believe that pedophilia is an illness some are born with, despite there being no proof of this, nor any proof of homosexuality being something anyone is 'born with'. The article then goes on to discuss how some researchers believe pedophilia is a 'sexual orientation', similar to what homosexuals claim homosexuality is and therefore we should accept it and instead of incarcerating them we should empathize with them and offer mental health or addiction type therapy for them, like we do for alcoholics or drug abusers. I found this somewhat ironic, considering those who advocate for homosexuality are unwilling to provide any kind of therapy/treatment for homosexuals in the same manner, yet they claim homosexuality is a sexual orientation.
In an ABC News article from 2003, a corrections officer from Los Angeles told reporter Michael S. James that imprisoned pedophiles "usually don't make it" without protective custody. Leslie Walker, a prisoner's rights activist, told James, "[Child sex offenders] are at risk of being murdered, having their food taken, having their cells defecated and urinated in. Their life is truly a living hell." Good, most people will say. But there is a growing number of researchers, many of them out of Canada, whose work suggests that pedophilia is an illness deserving of the public's sympathy the way any brain disorder is. Some of the scientists say pedophilia is a sexual orientation, meaning that it's unchangeable, regardless of how much jail time or beatings or therapy someone is dealt. Others have reason to believe that pedophiles are born that way, and that some of them will suffer through entire lives without hurting a single child. If this research proves to be correct, it should help shape both our public policy and our public attitude, so that we're protecting kids while also protecting pedophiles from angry mobs, cellmates, and themselves.If pedophilia is a mental illness or disorder and unchangeable, then we are right to keep such people locked up and away from society to prevent them from harming innocent children. They may not be accepted in prison, but they are not wanted in society either to roam and potentially assault our children. Just as we must keep those who are potentially violent and dangerous away from others, we must keep people like that away from the general population before they commit crimes.
On Valentine's Day of last year, Dr. Vernon Quinsey, then of Queen's University, and Dr. Hubert Van Gijseghem (pronounced HI-sheh-hem), who was retired from the University of Montreal, testified before the Canadian Parliament's "Committee on Justice and Human Rights." The topic of the day was mandatory minimum sentences for people convicted of sexual offenses against children. For about two hours, Quinsey and Van Gijseghem discussed what they believed would be the appropriate course of action when it came to imprisoning people caught with child pornography, or attempting to have sex with a minor.
What Van Gijseghem meant by "real pedophiles" is the definition most of the scientists I spoke to use and the definition we'll use throughout this article. That is, people—the overwhelming majority of whom are men—who have an unwavering sexual attraction to prepubescent children. When you start to read a lot about pedophilia, you realize that the dialogue gets muddied because so many laymen use the term "pedophile" to mean anyone who sexualizes a child. But a 21-year-old who has intercourse with a 16-year-old, while not a good decision maker, is probably not a pedophile. Nor is someone who, say, exposes himself to a 5-year-old boy necessarily a pedophile. They may have committed a pedophilic act, but unless they have a clear preference for undeveloped children the way heterosexual men have for women, they are not pedophiles.Personally, I believe anyone who harms a child should be imprisoned for life, if not given the death penalty in cases of murder and sexual assault. I think our legal system has been too lenient on sex offenders, allowing them out again to repeat the same crime again. Keeping dangerous people from society is not about providing therapy, even though that is what many liberal groups like the ACLU might believe, but it is about protection of society from evil doers and criminals.
Van Gjiseghem says what he and his colleagues mean by sexual orientation is a person's inborn and unalterable sexual preference, irrespective of whether that preference is harmful to others or not. Currently, there is no significant longitudinal evidence that pedophiles can be made to not be attracted to children, and thus it can be defined as their orientation. And if pedophilia is a sexual orientation, that also means it's futile to send pedophiles to prison in an effort to alter their attractions. Doing so is akin to sending a homosexual child off to a religious-based institution that claims it can "pray the gay away."This statement clearly shows the danger of accepting pedophilia as a sexual orientation, just as the homosexual advocates have accepted homosexuality as a sexual orientation is legalization of the act. If we accept pedophilia then we can not punish them for physically acting on their desire to have sex with a child. The pedophile will claim it is love, just as homosexuals claim they have a right to love who they want. While we don't jail homosexuals for their actions, since it is normally behavior between consenting adults, we do imprison pedophiles who sexually abuse children, because it is sexual abuse and a child does not understand the mental and emotional ramifications of consenting to such behavior and are often 'groomed' into trusting the perpetrator.
The article further goes on to express sympathy and empathy for those who are pedophiles, and compares rejection of pedophilia to criticism or alienation that homosexuals have endured, and states that because of societies disapproval pedophiles are not tolerated in society:
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