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A slippery slope~"brain wiring"?

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 http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/21/opinion/cantor-pedophila-sandusky/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Do pedophiles deserve sympathy?

By James Cantor, Special to CNN
updated 10:32 PM EDT, Thu June 21, 2012
A convicted child molester on the roof of a prison in Dresden, Germany.
A convicted child molester on the roof of a prison in Dresden, Germany.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • James Cantor: In Sandusky case, a central element that has been overlooked is pedophilia
  • Cantor: One cannot choose to not be a pedophile, but one can choose to not be a child molester
  • He says recent studies suggest that biology plays a crucial role in sexual attraction
  • Cantor: We can help pedophiles by developing efforts aimed at counsel and prevention

Editor's note: James Cantor, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, is a psychologist and senior scientist at the Sexual Behaviors Clinic of the Center for Addiction and Mental Health. He is editor in chief of "Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment" and blogs at Sexology Today.

(CNN) -- One cannot choose to not be a pedophile, but one can choose to not be a child molester.

As details of the accusations of sexual abuse emerged from the Jerry Sandusky trial, and as the public looks on with horror, a central element to the case that has received scant attention is pedophilia itself.

"Pedophilia" was long used as a synonym for "child molestation," and both were often seen as psychological failures of self-control. Child molesters were thought to be acting out their own histories of abuses, reacting to fears of adult relationships, or manifesting a symptom that might be resolved in psychotherapy, after which they would no longer be pedophilic.

James Cantor
James Cantor

Recently, however, a number of studies have starting changing that view. It appears that one can be born with a brain predisposed to experience sexual arousal in response to children.

Pedophilic men have significantly less white matter, which is the connective tissue that is responsible for communication between different regions in the brain. Pedophiles perform more poorly on various tests of brain function, tend to be shorter in height and are three times more likely to be left-handed or ambidextrous (characteristics that are observable before birth). Although nonbiological features may yet turn up to be relevant, it is difficult, if not impossible, to explain the research findings without there being a strong role of biology.

Final defense witness is not Sandusky
Pivotal moments in Sandusky trial
Geragos: Sandusky could have a hung jury

No one has been able to find a way to change pedophiles into nonpedophiles. But that does not mean we cannot prevent child molestation. Sexual preference for children doesn't have to result in actual sexual behaviors toward children.

Cases of child molestation that involve long strings of victims over the course of years illustrate what can happen when someone gives in to, or outright indulges, his sexual interests, regardless of its potential damage on others. It is those cases that dominate headlines and provoke revulsion toward pedophiles.

But they are rare. An untold number of cases merit sympathy.

The science suggests that they are people who, through no fault of their own, were born with a sex drive that they must continuously resist, without exception, throughout their entire lives. Little if any assistance is ever available for them.

They are often unable to consult mental health professionals (because of mandatory reporting rules); their families will often disown rather than support them; and despite the openness of the Internet, there are few options for coming out and joining communities of other pedophiles for mutual support.

Having encountered thousands of cases, it is my experience that the pedophiles who do go on to become actual child molesters do so when they feel the most desperate. Yet, much of what society does has been to increase rather than decrease their desperation.

In the United States especially, the great majority of attention is on punitive measures, invoked after the fact. However, the more beneficial social policies may be those aimed at prevention.

The best example of this effort is the Prevention Project Dunkelfeld in Germany, supported financially by private donation. It began with a media campaign aimed at people struggling to resist their sexual interests to children. By offering counseling and other services, it is expected that they can remain offense-free. Hundreds of people contacted the Dunkelfeld project after it was established. People from all over the world, including Austria, Switzerland and England, turned to the assistance.

Another example is the Circles of Support and Accountability, which was developed in Canada. The programs are staffed by volunteers who have received training from professionals. They provide support to people who are under no mandate to attend but are nonetheless seeking help to not commit sexual offenses.

It's too early to tell whether these efforts are effective over the long term, but preliminary reports are encouraging.

Even though very few researchers study the causes of pedophilia, we hope that the scientific community will learn more as new tools and opportunities become available.

If it is the brain's wiring that ultimately determines who will go on to develop pedophilia, can we detect it early enough to interrupt the process? Until we uncover more information, we will do more good by making it easier for pedophiles to come in for help rather than force them into solitary secrecy.

by on Jun. 23, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Replies (41-50):
turtle68
by Mahinaarangi on Jun. 24, 2012 at 1:11 AM


Quoting Radarma:

 

Quoting turtle68:

damn...I really thought I was going to read the differences between white and black paedophiles..the latter getting less sympathy and moaning about it of course.

how disappointing.

 I just liked the response you offered after this one, and then I read this one (bottom up).

Would you like to hear about the differences? There are NONE; despite what MANY of the frequent AA posters here want you to believe. Yup, according to them, that pedophilia thing is a white man's evil.

But no worries, I won't post stats/studies/links, it would mess far too much with the "we are just innocent" shtick going on here.

There ya go, Turtle. But you already know all this. Aren't ya glad ya injected this post with your BS? **nods**

All I ever read from you is BLAH BLAH BLAH DUMBSHIT BLAH BLAH BLAH. 

Do you have any credibility left on this site? 

any yup I love seeing you reply and make a bigger fool of yourself LMAO

Radarma
by "OneDar" on Jun. 24, 2012 at 2:08 AM

 

Quoting turtle68:


Quoting Radarma:

 

Quoting turtle68:

damn...I really thought I was going to read the differences between white and black paedophiles..the latter getting less sympathy and moaning about it of course.

how disappointing.

 I just liked the response you offered after this one, and then I read this one (bottom up).

Would you like to hear about the differences? There are NONE; despite what MANY of the frequent AA posters here want you to believe. Yup, according to them, that pedophilia thing is a white man's evil.

But no worries, I won't post stats/studies/links, it would mess far too much with the "we are just innocent" shtick going on here.

There ya go, Turtle. But you already know all this. Aren't ya glad ya injected this post with your BS? **nods**

All I ever read from you is BLAH BLAH BLAH DUMBSHIT BLAH BLAH BLAH. 

Do you have any credibility left on this site? 

any yup I love seeing you reply and make a bigger fool of yourself LMAO

 It's funny the way you try and insult me, cute actually.

Nah, my ego is not all that caught up in what a few gals think of me on this board. Is yours? lol

You brought up race, I answered it. Keep it up, I appreciate the opportunity to dispel cultural myths. (pssst~there are black serial killers too, OH MY!)

:)

 

Its.me.Sam.
by Gold Member on Jun. 24, 2012 at 2:38 AM

i think its scares some people too much.  once you accept the idea that this could be something in them that isnt a choice... then it becomes hard to HATE them.  and it would be scary to think that harming children could be a malfunction in the brain that is beyond humanity in the thought and feeling way.  know what i mean?  like as it is we think ;they are horrible human beings..dirt..scum of the earth'.. BUT if science is showing us that they dont MEAN to be this way... then where does that displaced anger go?  anger at 'god' if you belive in 'god' for creating this defective person?  and then there has to be a point of having to 'help' them.   help them find a way to fix the malfunction so that they dont hurt kids...not many people would want to 'help' a person and have any sense of compassion for a person who is desiring to harm kids... if its a brain malfunction then they know it could be THEIR own son.. their OWN dad or husband that could be a molester and not even know it.  its complex.  

Quoting stringtheory:

Why do people think that finding a natural cause for a harmful trait means society must then be accepting of that trait?


Its.me.Sam.
by Gold Member on Jun. 24, 2012 at 2:50 AM

not sure what you mean - as in which mother would allow a self professed pedophile around their child post-treatment to test out the treatment?  if so then, thats silly because that wouldnt even be necessary.
and -
every single time you trust a person to be with your child...every teacher or caregiver or coach or uncle or nephew or other family member... you are testing your own theory of who you believe is trustworthy.  you honestly dont know who has what thoughts running through their heads... and any time you put your child in their presence you are banking on them not acting upon those feelings and thoughts they may have had... banking on your own theory that you can spot a pedophile and/or banking on your theory that those closest to you arent one.

i believe there is merit to this science.  at least enough to validate more in depth study. imagine how many people could be spared. imagine if they could pinpoint this kind of thing and found a way to help people..imagine how many pedophiles could come forward and admit to having to fight this urge and get some help to stop it before they ever offend.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

So someone please tell-: who will be the first mother here who will test this 'theory" whether or not "these efforts are effective over the long term" with their own children?

I work in the social services field. This is crap "science"


illegallyblonde
by Lawyerupbeeches on Jun. 24, 2012 at 9:13 AM
Sadly many sexual assualt cases go unreported. Children usually speak up, wanting the abuse to stop; however, the person they tell is the one that makes a difference in whether the abuse is actually reported. I have spent many years working with child sexual assualt victims. I can only recall one female offender. I've attending many conferences on this subject as well. It seems everyone has their theories on why people offend and why some are pediphiles.

As far as this being a biological trait, I'll shelve it next to fairies and unicorns.



Quoting Radarma:

 


Quoting illegallyblonde:

So where are all the women pediphiles if it's a biological trait?

 Decent question here....chances are sky high they are "out there" and severely under-reported.


 

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
EllysMom1005
by Member on Jun. 24, 2012 at 9:21 AM
Quoting illegallyblonde:

So where are all the women pediphiles if it's a biological trait?



Don't you watch the news? Wouldn't the cases of teachers sleeping with their underage students count? I believe that in the case of the notorious MK Letourneau the child was 12.
illegallyblonde
by Lawyerupbeeches on Jun. 24, 2012 at 9:25 AM
Of course it counts. But if you look at all reported cases, very very few of them are women offenders.

Quoting EllysMom1005:

Quoting illegallyblonde:

So where are all the women pediphiles if it's a biological trait?





Don't you watch the news? Wouldn't the cases of teachers sleeping with their underage students count? I believe that in the case of the notorious MK Letourneau the child was 12.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
EllysMom1005
by Member on Jun. 24, 2012 at 9:29 AM

But they do exist which is the only point that I was trying to make in response to your question below about where all the women pedophiles were.

Quoting illegallyblonde:

Of course it counts. But if you look at all reported cases, very very few of them are women offenders.

Quoting EllysMom1005:

Quoting illegallyblonde:

So where are all the women pediphiles if it's a biological trait?





Don't you watch the news? Wouldn't the cases of teachers sleeping with their underage students count? I believe that in the case of the notorious MK Letourneau the child was 12.


Ms.KitKat
by Platinum Member on Jun. 24, 2012 at 1:11 PM


Quoting americanmomm:

 

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

So someone please tell-: who will be the first mother here who will test this 'theory" whether or not "these efforts are effective over the long term" with their own children?

I work in the social services field. This is crap "science"

 excellent point.  the only sure way to know if this is curable, and i don't believe for a second it is...is to leave the "cured one" alone and unsupervised with children over and over again to test the theory.  this, of course , won't happen so all the studies in the world won't prove it one way or the other.  money better spent and time unwasted if we just use the guilty for hunting games or something.  the would make great target practice for us armed citizens.

I was nodding my head up and down for quite a bit until I got to the part about "hunting games," "target practice" and "for us armed citizens." As much as I believe pediphiles are the lowest form of human I still can not go THERE.

Ms.KitKat
by Platinum Member on Jun. 24, 2012 at 1:30 PM

I meant- how does one scientifically test whether or not the treatment was effective unless that individual - a self-professed pediphile is given free/full access, unsupervised access to children to determine treatment effectiveness.

I get what you are saying: no one knows- truly knows what is in the mind of our care-givers/family members. Even background clearances and child abuse clearances can be clear as the pediphile has not been caught yet. However- of course there must be a level of trust. How can you expect anyone to always be looking over their shoulder and constantly questioning : is he a pediphile? or is that one? You would drive yourself insane. With that level of trust, one must also be vigilant and not ignore some actions/behaviors/speech that may be suspcious(look at all the signs that went ignored with Sandusky). And then there must be education for both parent and child.

So- I go back to my initial statement- there is no way to test this theory: that treatment is effective. and because this theory can not be scientifically tested, it is therefore crap science.

 

Quoting Its.me.Sam.:

not sure what you mean - as in which mother would allow a self professed pedophile around their child post-treatment to test out the treatment?  if so then, thats silly because that wouldnt even be necessary.
and -
every single time you trust a person to be with your child...every teacher or caregiver or coach or uncle or nephew or other family member... you are testing your own theory of who you believe is trustworthy.  you honestly dont know who has what thoughts running through their heads... and any time you put your child in their presence you are banking on them not acting upon those feelings and thoughts they may have had... banking on your own theory that you can spot a pedophile and/or banking on your theory that those closest to you arent one.

i believe there is merit to this science.  at least enough to validate more in depth study. imagine how many people could be spared. imagine if they could pinpoint this kind of thing and found a way to help people..imagine how many pedophiles could come forward and admit to having to fight this urge and get some help to stop it before they ever offend.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

So someone please tell-: who will be the first mother here who will test this 'theory" whether or not "these efforts are effective over the long term" with their own children?

I work in the social services field. This is crap "science"

 


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