S/O Pedophiles - Are ALL Pedophiles Criminals?
Okay. I would like to get your opinions on something that I have been thinking about since the pedophilia post first came up. Please take the time to READ the entire post if you're going to reply. I would like this to be a DEBATE, not a bash session.
I want to start by saying that while SOME of this post is based in fact and research, a good amount is personal opinion. I also want to say right off the bat that I believe ANYONE WHO CAUSES PHYSICAL OR EMOTIONAL HARM TO A CHILD IS A CRIMINAL. I believe ANYONE WHO HAS SEX WITH SOMEONE WHO IS NOT ABLE TO CONSENT TO SEXUAL RELATIONS IS A RAPIST. Now that we've got that out of the way:
- 1.sexual feelings directed toward children.
The definition of pedophilia is sexual FEELINGS towards children. The definition does not include any actual ACTIONS, simply feelings. There is a difference between pedophilia (a FEELING of attraction) and molestation or rape (the ACTION of acting on that attraction towards someone who can not consent). In my opinion, this does not necessarily make someone a bad person. Here's a hypothetical situation:
Situation A. John is a man in his 30's who has sexual feelings toward children. He has since he can remember. His feelings are so intense that he cannot have a functional sexual relationship with a woman, because he does not feel attracted to them. Grown women are too old for him to feel sexually attracted to. HOWEVER, John knows that if he were to act out his sexual feelings toward a child, in any way (actually having sex with a child, taking photos of children in illicit poses, viewing child pornography, etc), he would not only be a criminal but he would also be causing harm to the children. So, he does not partake in these sexual acts with children. He lives his life in celibacy. In fact, he refuses to even HAVE children because he is worried his feelings of fatherly love would be tainted by his feelings of sexual attraction. Is John wrong? Is he a criminal?
Let's take this a step further:
Situation B. John spends time with a prostitute who dresses up in childish clothes for him. She puts her hair in pigtails and wears knee socks and uses a childlike voice. This prostitute is 25 years old and well over the age of consent for sexual relationships. Let's ignore the fact that prostitution is illegal, and just consider the sex acts themselvess. Since the prostitute is able to consent, and John is not in any way acting out his attraction with actual children, is John wrong? Is he a criminal now? (Again, ignoring the fact that prostitution is against the law.)
I personally have a problem believing that John is a criminal in situations A and B. Yes, he has feelings that society says are wrong and immoral. However, John has done nothing actually illegal - he even refuses to put him into situations in which he feels he may not be able to control his urges. He keeps children safe by not giving in to his urges, and because of this, I personally don't think he has done anything wrong. Therefore, in my opinion, not ALL people who have sexual FEELINGS towards children are criminals.
I'd like to hear your thoughts on this.