SoBL has noted that the NYT have tried to make pedophiles victims. He does not take kindly to this:
I do not care if they are taking their meds. We make alcoholics jump through many hoops to get their driver’s license back, so why should we be helpful to pedophiles at all? That type of attraction is a disorder, and the sign of a broken human being. I looks at pedos as people we should be hanging in the town square when caught. Sure, it is a disorder, and a crime, and I do not want your part of the gene pool to pass on your pedo-ness or be free to roam and molest kids. These are not oppressed victims; these are people who are messed up in the head and should be sequestered.
I’m going to disagree with SoBL here, at least partially.
Before I begin, I should establish some definitions because people tend to use words related to this topic in a very slip-shod manner and I’m trying to establish a nuanced view here. I will also note that there are many problems in researching this particular area of study, so a lot of these numbers have wide variance.
A clinical pedophile is someone with a primary or sole attraction to pre-pubescent children. Of clinical pedophiles, true (or exclusive) pedophiles are attracted solely to children, while non-exclusive pedophiles have normal adult attractions in addition to their pedophilic attractions. Depending on the source, anywhere from 1-7% of men are clinical pedophiles, although, most estimates I’ve seen tend to be on the lower end. (I have not seen a number breaking down exclusive and non-exclusive pedophiles).
Besides the clinical pedophiles, there are those with pedophilic tendencies. These are men who are primarily attracted to adults, but also have some level of attraction to children. About one in five men have some level of pedophilic tendencies. (I remember reading somewhere that one study found that half of men have some level of attraction to children, but I can not find a source).
Not all clinical pedophiles are child molesters and not all child molesters are clinical pedophiles. A pedophilic offender is a clinical pedophile who molests children, while an situational molester is someone who is not a clinical pedophile but molests children. An archetypical example of a situational molester is a step-father who has a fight with his wife, gets drunk, then sleeps to his step-daughter because he’s horny and she’s available. The proportion of molesters who are pedophiles varies by source: Some sources say that less than 20% of child molesters are clinical pedophiles, while others put it up to 80%.
Many people also incorrectly use pedophilia to refer to attraction to the legally under-age but pubescent. Attraction to pubescent teenagers is not pedophilic. People attracted young pubescent teenagers are referred to as ephebohpiles and hebephiles.
An ephebophile is someone who is primarily or exclusively attracted to teenagers in their late adolescence (ages 15-19 or so). Given that I recently argued adolescence is an unhealthy, aberrent infantalization of adults, I obviously reject the category of ephebophilia as a pathology (as do psychologists), as attraction to adults is normal as is a strong preference for youth.
Someone who is primarily or exclusively attracted towards young but pubescent girls (ages 11-14 or so) is called a hebephile. There is overlap between pedophiles and hebephiles. I would say that while some level of attraction to young pubescents is normal, especially among men, a primary or exclusive attraction to young pubescents is probably unhealthy and pathological.
Hereafter, pedophile/pedophilia on their own refers to a clinical pedophile/pedophilia.
With words clearly defined, I will now explain why I disagree with SoBL. Pedophilia is a disorder, but non-offending pedophiles should not be “hanging in the town square.” A pre-disposition to a particular evil is not the same as committing that evil.
We’ll liken pedophilia to homosexuality. Sodomy is a sin, but those who are biologically pre-disposed to homosexuality can still have a fruitful and happy marriages without sin. Not all (clinical) homosexuals commit sodomy or try to normal homosexuality. Opposing pride parades and homosexual “marriage” does not mean we should condemn the homosexual living a healthy life with a wife and three children.
We can also liken it to rape. I’ve noted before that about one third of males have rape fantasies; a large portion of male population is inclined to this particular sexual crime. Only about one in six of those so inclined actually act on the fantasies (as I’ve noted before, about 6% of men are rapists). We do not imprison those males who merely fantasize about rape, only those who act. As well, it is not a sin to be inclined to rape, only if it the inclination becomes lust or action does it become a sin.
Likewise, just because a man is predisposed to pedophilia does not mean he can not still be a useful and accepted member of society. If he does not commit any evil actions and does not try to normalize pedophilia, he should not be condemned. He has certain inclinations, but he is not acting on them. He is committing no sin and no crime, and should not be punished as if he is.
Not to mention, we need to take into account the practicalities of the situation: Are we really going to jail/kill 2% of men? If we include everybody who has pedophilic tendencies (which SoBL seems to be indicating), then what? What could we possibly do with 20% of the male population?
This is why I disagree with SoBL. A natural inclination towards a particular temptation is not sin and persecuting people for crimethink, even if that crimethink is pedophilic in nature, is unjust.
This is not to say that nothing should be done. A known pedophile should not be put into position where he is left alone with children not his own (including step-children) and he should be barred from jobs that require regular interaction with children. We should not put temptation to crime and sin in front of a man with inclinations towards that particular crime/sin. Hence, we should keep pedophiles from situations where he has hidden access to children, just as we do not serve alcoholics wine, we (should) keep college dorms segregated by sex, we disallow men from leading girl guide troops, and we (should) ban homosexuals from leading scout troops.
As well, none of this is to say that a child molester should not be punished. If a man molests a child, he should be punished; in many cases executed. Given that about 25-50% of prosecuted child molesters commit future molestations, molesters who are released back into society should be watched closely to prevent them from interacting from children.