Pedophilia is a sensitive subject. Naturally, people see pedophiles as dangerous sex predators better locked away. But is that really the best way to counteract the potential risk pedophiles pose to society?
The most vicious crimes imaginable are sexual acts on defenseless children, no one will argue about that. However, pedophilia is a reoccurring crime that no one can foresee or predict – except pedophiles themselves. First, we should start to define what pedophilia, as per definition, means.
Pedophilia: A Primary or Exclusive Sexual Interest in Children
The use of the word pedophilia is not clear most of the time, blurring the actual meaning a bit. At its very core, a pedophile is a person with a primary or exclusive interest in children. Pedophilia means that a person is over the age of 16 and has sexual attractions to children that are at least five years younger.
With all sexual crimes against minors, the sexual predators are quickly labeled as pedophiles. However, that may not always be correct. Be aware that pedophilia does not necessarily mean a person has or wants to act on its sexual desires. It is entirely possible to be a pedophile without ever touching a child as well as it’s entirely possible for someone to commit sexual acts on children without being a pedophile. While this distinction is not important for most people, a threat is a threat; it is a distinction that has to be made to be able to guard more children against possible sex predators and future sexual abuse.
Pedophiles Cannot Change
Pedophilia is a psychiatric disorder that, as of now, cannot be corrected. Recent studies do suggest that the brains of pedophiles are faulty, leading to wrong associations in dealing with children. The problem with pedophilia is, that it’s something in the brain, invisible to the outside world unless a crime happens. Or in the unlikely event that somebody confesses. And therein lies the crux of the situation. Society is not kind or offering help to pedophiles that have not committed crimes, although that would be the best and only way to prevent potential crimes in the future.
We are often too quick to judge. A person confessing his or her pedophilia usually gets a violent backlash from society. This, in turn, could go as far as to encourage crimes. Even if a pedophile decided to seek out professional help, pedophilia often gets registered, making it unlikely for people with the disorder to get help in the first place. The only possibility to prevent, or at least reduce, sex crimes against children is creating an atmosphere that encourages pedophiles to get professional help.
There certainly are people with the condition, that want to confess, get help and live a life without being a threat. After all having desires like pedophilia, along with a working set of morals, is a burden that most people would like to have corrected or suppressed. But is only achievable if we can reduce their fear of social persecution.
To be clear – people that have committed crimes against children should receive decisive punishment, there is no argument here. But what if a person, against his or her own brain, manages to resist and seek help? Shouldn’t they get all the support we can offer? Being it psychological examinations, medicine to reduce their sex drive, and maybe even voluntary castration. It is for our own benefit. We have to remember that pedophiles, as well as every other person, is not personally responsible towards whom they feel attracted. They are however responsible how they act upon these urges.
We do owe it to our children to encourage pedophiles to seek help and reduce the potential threats to our society with kindness as opposed to hot blind anger. Everything else is counterproductive.
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