...So it's actually more of an mental illness than sexual orientation. The pedophiles who were never molested in the past is actually a very tiny minority within the circle of pedophiles... around 2%. And even though this small minority was never molested, they still have an massive amount of other mental illnesses which may have worked in conjunction to give them pedophilic feelings.
First of all, Iâ€™d just like to thank you for zeroing in on one of more minuscule points of this thread and trying to make a big deal out of it. Way to move things forward, thank you. This is a topic about OBSCENITY LAWS, and whether or not theyâ€™re of benefit to society. While pedophilia will inevitably come up in such a discussion, it is not the focus and really Iâ€™m not all that interested in talking about it. If you are, Iâ€™d suggest you start a new thread. I likely will not be participating in it.
But since you took the time to type that I will waste some more of my time writing a response: First of all, just for clarity purposes, letâ€™s try to get out of the business of using the terms â€œpedophileâ€ and â€œchild molester/abuserâ€ interchangeably. They are not the same thing and itâ€™s helpful for us to know whatâ€™s being talked about. Pedophilia is a sexual preference for children. It is
considered by many a form of mental illness because of its potential detrimental effects, but the same has been and in some circles still is said about homosexuality. The pertinent point, whether you approach from a â€œsexual orientationâ€ or â€œmental illnessâ€ perspective, is that itâ€™s not something anyone chooses to be, which makes vilifying them on principle rather reprehensible. Child molesters, those who actually abuse children, have earned our contempt. Pedophiles, whether mentally ill or born with a bizarre sexual preference, have not.
As for this â€œ98 percent of them were molestedâ€ business, I sure hope you fact checked that, because taken at face value it sounds ridiculous. If youâ€™re really interested in this subject, hereâ€™s a pretty good study conducted by the GAO on whether or not there is a â€œcycle of sexual abuse,â€ as youâ€™ve described: http://www.gao.gov/archive/1996/gg96178.pdf
[gao.gov]. In short, they found the reported prevalence of sexual abuse among child sex offenders varied widely among studies (from 0 to 79 percent, though this variance is in part due to the differences of offender groups studied and definitions applied). Their conclusion, however, is that childhood sexual abuse is not what causes people to become child predators in adulthood. I'll quote from their brief:
Therefore, childhood sexual victimization would probably not be sufficient to explain adult sexual offending. While some studies indicated that sexual victimization in childhood may increase the risk that victims will become sexual offenders as adults, other studies found that many other conditions and experiences might also be associated with an increased risk. For example, one prospective study we reviewed found that children who were neglected were even more likely than children who were sexually abused to commit sex offenses as adults.
It was also found to be absolutely clear that most children who are abused do not grow up to victimize others, which right away should tell you there is something else
going on with that small minority who do, and which they have in common with the many other offenders who were never abused.
Also importantly, the VAST majority of actual child sex offenders (93 percent, according to at least one study http://www.childmolestationprevention.org/pdfs/study.pdf
[childmolestationprevention.org]) were found to be nonexclusive opportunists of one sort or another, so many of the people who commit sex crimes against children are not exclusively pedophiles, if they are pedophiles at all. They victimize children because children are easy targets, not because they have a sexual preference for them. The single most telling factor then in whether or not someone is going to take sexual advantage of a child is not whether he was abused as a child or is a pedophile. Itâ€™s whether or not heâ€™s a sociopath. And those people get into all types of other trouble as well. Personally, I believe anyone who has pedophilic urges and feels he may act on them should seek help and that the "witch hunt" attitude so many people automatically take on the subject prevents this from happening as often as it should.
Sorry for that wordy response, but there are a lot of points to be made there. I didnâ€™t cover everything, but Iâ€™m tired of typing. Now, like I said, if you really do wish to discuss pedophilia as opposed to obscenity issues, please go start a Fun Facts About Pedophiles thread. Just make sure youâ€™re actually dealing in facts. But like I said before, that's not something I care to discuss and it was not the intended focus of this thread.