Anyone else watch that paedophile documentary?

paedophile next door

(WordPress is trying to change it to ‘pedophile’ (sans the a).I resist the Americanisation of the English language.)

There was a documentary on last week about paedophiles called The Paedophile Next Door. I managed to catch the last 5 minutes of it on a break in the middle a very long night shift, before I was bleeped to prescribe some paracetamol or something. Anyway, the long and short of it was that this guy ‘came out’ as it were, as a paedophile. His point, which I thought was a good one, was that paedophiles only get help once they’ve actually DONE something gross, and not preventative therapy that will stop them getting to the point where they do gross stuff. His theory is that if more paedophiles came out, there would be less stigma, and more help could be available.

I agree with him. I kind of felt sorry for him. While I do understand  (as every practising Christian who believes in abstinence does) the frustration of having a sexual desire that you choose not to act on (I’m just keeping it real here), I can never imagine what it’s like to have a desire that is so socially unacceptable that you cannot tell anyone. In fact, it’s not even one of those taboo sexual fetishes that are legal, but still kinda unacceptable – it’s completely illegal and seen as disgusting enough to alienate you from everyone you care about.

I don’t know if I should feel sorry for him…after all he is a paedophile and as a society we always view them with contempt and not pity, but the way he spoke about it gave the sense that in a similar way to people who label themselves as homosexual or queer – it was something that he felt he did not ‘choose’.

Which obviously doesn’t mean that because he didn’t choose to feel that way, that paedophilic behaviour is acceptable. So if lack of ‘choice’ doesn’t make a behaviour that is sexually deviant morally acceptable, there have to be other factors that determine that….I’m not going to use this space to discuss what those factors are.

Essentially, he hasn’t acted on a desire that probably seems extremely natural to him but which he’s also personally disgusted with, and that takes strength of character. I do admire his bravery in seeking help before he’s committed a crime, and being open with something that could have significant repercussions for him, but my feelings about paedophiles in the community remain the same.

I don’t feel like he should be allowed around children unattended in any capacity (and I’m sure he might agree with me), I feel that it is right for the public to made aware of whether they live near to a sex offender, and I feel that once a paedophile acts on their urges, they should have lifetime imprisonment or at the least monitoring/tagging. Same with anyone who has committed violent rape or is a diagnosed psychopath who has attempted (possibly unsuccessfully) to harm people. I just personally think, with some crimes or psychiatric conditions, you’ve forfeited your right to be released into society – or unfortunately suffer from something that makes you unable to function in society. What I’m not sure about, is whether someone who hasn’t acted on their paedophilia but has expressed that they have those urges, should be taken out of the community.

One important thing I noted was that Eddie stated that his paedophilia was awakened when he stumbled on it watching pornography. Which came first? The paedophilic desires, or the child pornography?  I think it’s important to note that in a world where we’re constantly visually stimulated, our sexual inclinations can actually be conditioned by what we see, so that what feels like a ‘choice’ may actually be a sexual behaviour that has been formed by what we’ve seen. As opposed to our sexual behaviour informing what we watch.

Thoughts? Should Eddie be locked up because he’s confessed that he is a paedophile? Is the whole way we talk about paedophilia skewed? Is it a choice?

6 Comments

  1. December 3, 2014 / 10:50 pm

    I watched it and i was angry at first then felt sorry for him at the same time. I had conflicting emotions, society has taught us despise paedophiles with all we have, but at the same time maybe they do need help… Its just such touchy topic, i didnt know how to feel by the end of it, make sure you catch the whole episode when you’re not working on 4od! 🙂

  2. December 4, 2014 / 5:15 pm

    I actually read a very long report on preventative treatment of paedophiles and it made a lot of sense to me. I mean a lot of people have urges they never act on, try not to act on or maybe even definitely must not act on. Which is ok, after all I think we generally can agree that just have an urge or a lust for something should not be criminal as long as don’t actually break the law.
    And since once he seeks/gets (hopefully!) help he is less dangerous than before, I as a society we should be very careful not to deal out punishment for him coming out, all we would achieve is discourage others. Had he not come out until he acted on it – that is a problem. Him having an urge harms nobody. It’s a bit like some people may wish they could kill someone (usually a passing urge though) and then don’t do it.

  3. Max
    December 7, 2014 / 5:11 pm

    I don’t think he should be locked up in prison. However, I do think he should be put in an environment where he is away from children, whilst receiving some form of help, such as mentoring. Locking him up in prison alone, will not help his condition.

  4. John
    December 21, 2014 / 12:09 am

    Professor Tromovitch and the psychologist Bruce Rind (of Temple University) in 1998 published an article written together with based on a peer-reviewed meta-analysis of 59 studies which used the self-reported experiences of child sexual contact with adults by 35,703 college students. A substantial majority of the people in this study did not report any harmful effects of (non-coercive) sexual experiences (as opposed to victims of coercion), and a substantial minority even stated these intergenerational sexual contacts and relationships had a positive effect on their life. This article was published in the Psychological Bulletin, the prestigious, official journal of the American Psychological Association (APA).

    Predictably, this caused a storm in the mass media and in the political elite. Apparently for the first time in US history, both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate condemned this scientific paper and threatened to withdraw funding from the APA, so the APA apologised for publishing it. 12 past and present presidents of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex sharply protested against the APA’s response to the public and political pressure surrounding the study, stating that it “cast a chill on all such research”. The American Association for the Advancement of Science refused APA’s request to review the study, stating they saw “no reason to second-guess the process of peer review used by the APA journal in its decision to publish” and that they “saw no clear evidence of improper application of methodology or other questionable practices on the part of the article’s authors”.

    More recently, the Harvard lecturer Susan Clancy came to the similar conclusions in her book “The Trauma Myth”. In the 1970s and 1980s, Donald West, Professor of Criminology from the University of Cambridge, advocated the abolition of the age of consent in scholarly books. See also Professor Richard Green’s article (he is a psychiatrist from Cambridge University and UCL) “Is Paedophilia a Mental Disorder”.

    In the words of Karin Freimond (“Navigating the Stigma of Pedophilia:
    The Experiences of
    Nine Minor-Attracted Men in Canada”, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Simon Frasier University, 2013): “Many adults who are attracted to minors experience intense suffering as a result of contemporary attitudes about them and current methods of relating to them. Even when no crimes have taken place and no sexual interaction with people below the age of consent has occurred, people who are sexually interested in children and adolescents encounter incredible stigma. They experience fear about the possibility of their desires becoming known to others, and they cope with depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. These individuals are often completely alone in dealing with their feelings, as they may be too worried about the negative consequences that could arise from talking to loved ones. Further, they may feel restricted in seeking help from therapists, as mandatory reporting laws in many jurisdictions require counsellors to report their clients to the police if they express sexual interest in children. If the nature of their sexuality is revealed, these people are at risk of experiencing physical violence, losing relationships with their friends and families, being fired from their jobs, and encountering financial destitution. The situation facing this population is troubling, and researchers argue that a new, more compassionate approach is needed in order to help people who are attracted to children lead more positive lives (see Cantor, 2012; Goode, 2010).”

    Much more pleasurable to dehumanise all the paedos regardless of their behaviour, to cage them or drive them to suicide. As Felix Guattari wrote (“A Shock to Thought: Expression After Deleuze and Guattari”), there is a certain “Jewishness” about paedophiles which provokes a “racist” reaction.

  5. fari
    February 7, 2015 / 2:28 am

    i take exception to your ‘tags’ on this girlwithafro.

    • February 7, 2015 / 8:35 am

      Yeh, I will change them actually, I didn’t mean to ‘link’ homosexuality snd paedophilia in that way actually…I think I was trying to make the point that we can’t decide whether a behavior is sexually moral/immoral on whether people feel it is natural/ they were born that way.Apologies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *