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Author Topic: Is paedophilia more "natural" than we think?  (Read 11468 times)

Offline Pseudoscience-is-malarkey

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Is paedophilia more "natural" than we think?
« on: 13/01/2015 05:05:12 »
The BBC reported that a recent British study shows that most TOR network users exploit online anonymity to satisfy their pedophilic urges in the forms of downloading pictures and videos of children being abused (a light way of putting it).
The sheer volume of adults interested in having sex with children is astounding. A friend of mine from high school is serving a two year sentence for possessing and distributing child porn. A locally famous lawyer from my home city, who's commercials I have seen on television since I was a kid, was arrested two years ago for possessing loads of child porn. Law enforcement agencies in North America and Europe are in a consensus that they could multiply their child abuse task forces ten fold and still not be able to tackle all offenders. This has me deeply confused. I know historically (and presently in third world nations) men taking children as wives and lovers is not uncommon, but, how much is this? What is the science exactly?
« Last Edit: 23/11/2015 00:32:33 by Pseudoscience-is-malarkey »


 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Pedophilia, is more natural than we think?
« Reply #1 on: 13/01/2015 20:08:13 »
Perhaps adults have the physical strength, mental guile and social authority to force minors to fulfill the fantasies of the adult?
In contrast, a mature adult faced with the same demands would tell the would-be-perpetrator to get lost.

This was the accepted model of education in ancient Greece, and would have applied to many of the classical Greek philosophers.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Pedophilia, is more natural than we think?
« Reply #2 on: 14/01/2015 23:20:37 »
One of humanity's greatest charges is to protect our children (at least those children that aren't sent overseas to shoot each other). 

For many things it is reasonable to cut off childhood and adulthood at some time, but at least here in the USA we have different ages.

Hunting, carrying and shooting a deadly weapon: 12  (Oregon)
Driving Permit: 15
Driving License: 16
Voting: 16
Finish High School (around 18)
Active Military: 18 (although there are military schools and youth groups for younger children).
Sex, Pornography, etc: 18
Alcohol and Tobacco: 21

In many senses, most of these ranges are quite arbitrary. 

Consider that in one of the most famous love stories ever written, Juliet was apparently 13 yrs old (and Romeo was probably around 18-20), although some of the source material that Shakespeare used would have put her a little older (16?)

One of the risks of age differences as Evan mention is there is often an inequality between individuals.  Especially in settings where children frequently meet (schools, family, etc).  Is it appropriate for a school teacher that is around children all day, as well as having control over their lives, and perhaps to some extent idolized by the children to also have sexual relations with them?

However, certainly 16 yr old children, and probably much younger are already learning about love and relationships, and many girls (and boys) start having sexual relationships long before they turn 18.

A 12 yr old, however, may still be interested in the opposite sex, but may be quite different mentally. certainly far more impressionable.  At what age to kids stop getting excited about things like sitting next to an uncle at a dinner table?

Anyway, society has chosen in the USA and elsewhere to isolate children during the school ages as a way of protecting them, especially in situations where they are most vulnerable.

Also keep in mind, a century ago, school didn't stop at 18.  Many kids never received an education beyond about age 14.
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: Pedophilia, is more natural than we think?
« Reply #3 on: 15/01/2015 04:39:29 »
I suppose it depends on what one means by natural, but I have that same reaction of bewildered disgust with humanity when I hear things like that. I've had similar thoughts about the mass rape in worn torn countries.  (estimates of 500,000 women were raped during the Rwandan genocide, 64,000 women were raped in Sierra Leone,40,000 women were raped in Bosnia-Herzegovina, hundreds of women are raped every day in Syria, Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo.)
 I cannot fathom how sex could be seen as in anyway satisfying inflicted on a child, or any person against their will, resulting in pain or psychological trauma. It would seem to require a mind that is either completely devoid in reason and empathy, or utterly delusional. It also forces one to acknowledge that there is a significant subset of humans who are psychopaths and given the right circumstances, and no consequences, will act accordingly, and you also cannot avoid the statistical likelihood that some of them must be people you actually know. That's an extremely disturbing thought. It is I suppose a foolish naturalistic fallacy to think that no form of human behavior that persists from our Darwinian past can be vile or cruel. 
 

Offline Pseudoscience-is-malarkey

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Re: Pedophilia, is more natural than we think?
« Reply #4 on: 15/01/2015 22:52:08 »
Perhaps society places too much shame on sex? A person's virtue/honor can be destroyed for engaging in certain sexual behavior, legal or not. But, if we (society) were to place less shame (or none) on sex, might it be accurate to say that rape victims would not feel so guilty and worthless? In other words, do we, as a society, play a role in a rape victim's melancholy?

I do have a theory on child pornography and child molesters in general. Adults having sex with children is as old as humanity itself, but in the past hundred or so years we in the west have become educated on the psychological effects on kids that have sex. We now understand that there are two factors that go into whether or not someone is ready and capable for sex: there is physical maturity (puberty) and mental maturity, which usually does not happen until three or four years after puberty. We in the West understand these things and yet child pornography is uploaded and downloaded in overwhelming number. I think with sex, it is the forbidden aspects of it that turn a lot of us on- take Fifty Shades of Grey for example. Because of the significantly less taboos about sex, and the deluge of free porn online, the proverbial line that separates acceptable sexual behavior and the forbidden, is shrinking the latter, making the sexualization of children and general voyeurism the only things perverts can get off on.
« Last Edit: 15/01/2015 23:26:19 by Pseudoscience-is-malarkey »
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Pedophilia, is more natural than we think?
« Reply #5 on: 15/01/2015 23:25:44 »
It is inevitable that society will draw arbitrary lines between good (29 mph) and evil (31 mph) where the act itself (driving) is not absolutely and always bad. Hence pretty well every society we recognise as civilised has an arbitrary age of consent to sexual activity, and more or less vigorous pursuit and punishment of those who break the boundaries. So far, nothing of interest: we accept that the lines are arbitrary but there is little inconvenience involved in respecting them (raging teenage hormones, however infuriating, are transient).

The anomaly (and anomalies are always interesting) is society's attitude to images of illegal activity. Nobody is prosecuted for having a crucifix, however lifelike, nor indeed any other images of mass murder, theft, torture, or any other criminal activity, that come out of Hollywood or even television news, but the possession of a paedophilic image is a crime that merits punishment commensurate with the activity itself, and leads to parents being banned from photographing school sports and nativity plays (yet the Official School Photograph is an annual ritual). It can't be anything to do with "encouragement", or bank heist and war films would be banned, so what makes these images uniquely execrable?             
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Pedophilia, is more natural than we think?
« Reply #6 on: 16/01/2015 00:33:23 »
Part of the problem is consentual vs non-consentual, and power equality vs power inequality. 

Keep in mind that goals and people change, and most "relationships" for younger people end, sometimes badly. 

I have no doubt that many 16 yr old girls and boys are able to make decisions about relationships.  Probably even younger children.  Whether they will regret those decisions later is anybody's guess.  They certainly may misread cues, but life is about learning the right cues and interpretation of cues.

Whether or not their parents agree, many young children begin experimenting with sexuality far before they turn 18.

No doubt many teen relationships with older individuals are non-consensual, and based on power and dominance.  However, not all of them are.  It is not necessarily appropriate to lump all consensual and non-consensual relationships together.  However, with impressionable youth, they may change their mind to their parent's interpretation whether it represents the events at the time. 

What about an underage kid that sneaks into an adult night-club (over 18 or over 21).  Couldn't one argue that it is their desire to be there?

One of the things that has changed in the last century is that many of the consequences of sexual relationships (disease, pregnancy, etc) can now be effectively controlled, at least if people choose to be cautious.  So, chastity of old may no longer have any useful purpose, again, as long as the individuals exercise due caution. 

Perhaps the only exception to the reduction of consequences is the AIDS epidemic, and one of the risks that is apparently occurring in some African nations is the vertical transmission of the virus from older men to younger girls.

Perhaps there is incongruity in a society that celebrates youth and beauty together, then makes a disjoint in the application of the concept.
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: Pedophilia, is more natural than we think?
« Reply #7 on: 16/01/2015 14:12:00 »
Perhaps society places too much shame on sex? A person's virtue/honor can be destroyed for engaging in certain sexual behavior, legal or not. But, if we (society) were to place less shame (or none) on sex, might it be accurate to say that rape victims would not feel so guilty and worthless? In other words, do we, as a society, play a role in a rape victim's melancholy?

I don't doubt that societies that blame the victims or ostracize them add much to their suffering, but  even in a society with very liberal views about consensual sex,  rape is still criminal. From the point of view of the victim, it's essentially torture. Like torture, some experiences might be more horrific than others - torture ranges from "enhanced interrogation" to outright crucifixion. And kidnapping and repeated gang rape of a young woman by several soldiers might be more horrific than some other type of rape.

The only reason I make a comparison between these things is there is evidence that rape as the spoils of war or even a means of humiliating the enemy is a part of our evolutionary past, going back to hunter-gatherers, or perhaps earlier primates,  and hence can be said to be "natural." It is possible, too, that pedophilia is "natural"  in the same way. 


« Last Edit: 16/01/2015 14:22:40 by cheryl j »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: Pedophilia, is more natural than we think?
« Reply #8 on: 16/01/2015 14:21:44 »

The anomaly (and anomalies are always interesting) is society's attitude to images of illegal activity. Nobody is prosecuted for having a crucifix, however lifelike, nor indeed any other images of mass murder, theft, torture, or any other criminal activity, that come out of Hollywood or even television news, but the possession of a paedophilic image is a crime that merits punishment commensurate with the activity itself, and leads to parents being banned from photographing school sports and nativity plays (yet the Official School Photograph is an annual ritual). It can't be anything to do with "encouragement", or bank heist and war films would be banned, so what makes these images uniquely execrable?             

Well, because arguably children in pornographic photos are not actors, and cannot give consent for those activities or images. It's assumed that the sell and trade of those images will perpetuate more of the same.
 

Offline chiralSPO

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Re: Pedophilia, is more natural than we think?
« Reply #9 on: 16/01/2015 15:03:49 »

The anomaly (and anomalies are always interesting) is society's attitude to images of illegal activity. Nobody is prosecuted for having a crucifix, however lifelike, nor indeed any other images of mass murder, theft, torture, or any other criminal activity, that come out of Hollywood or even television news, but the possession of a paedophilic image is a crime that merits punishment commensurate with the activity itself, and leads to parents being banned from photographing school sports and nativity plays (yet the Official School Photograph is an annual ritual). It can't be anything to do with "encouragement", or bank heist and war films would be banned, so what makes these images uniquely execrable?             

Well, because arguably children in pornographic photos are not actors, and cannot give consent for those activities or images. It's assumed that the sell and trade of those images will perpetuate more of the same.

True. But *any* depiction, including animation/cartoons that involve no children whatsoever, are still included in legal definitions of child pronography (at least in some places).

I think some of the legislation in place has more to do with the fact that no lawmaker is willing to make any arguments that might make them appear to condone child pornography, so every law that is passed ends up being more restrictive and more punitive than the last one. It's the same pattern that we saw in the US from the mid 1960s through the end of the millennium with drug laws (though some of these are being eased/repealed now): mandatory minimum sentences that can be 25 years or more for possession of a few ounces of contraband (or grams in some cases)--even life imprisonment or death sentences, because some lawmakers got into a pissing match over who could have the "toughest stance."

Returning to the original question: I'm not sure that there is any useful distinction between natural and "unnatural" behaviors--if some people do something, doesn't that make it natural? If anything, it would be our own definition of pedophilia that is "unnatural." As cheryl j pointed out, just because something comes naturally doesn't mean it is "good."
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Pedophilia, is more natural than we think?
« Reply #10 on: 16/01/2015 17:39:41 »


Well, because arguably children in pornographic photos are not actors, and cannot give consent for those activities or images.

Neither, I gather, was Jesus, nor any of the pile of bodies photographed at Belsen.

Quote
It's assumed that the sell and trade of those images will perpetuate more of the same.

That makes a little more sense, except that the sale of crucifixes and other images of torture (practically half of most Spanish art galleries) is not deemed to perpetuate the evil, nor is the possession of war and bank heist films, however convincingly acted, or actual news photographs and videos, illegal.

Anomalously, it's perfectly normal on British television to see people, both real and actors,  consuming alcohol and illegal drugs, but not smoking. And I recall a few years ago in Canada you could advertise beer on TV as long as you didn't show anyone actually drinking it. The industry game was to see how close you could get to "simulated drinking" without censorship.

There may be a clue in the  vigorous stance previously taken by churches and politicians against homosexuality. "Methinks he doth protest too much" is a great Shakespearian insight. 
« Last Edit: 17/01/2015 00:51:11 by alancalverd »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: Pedophilia, is more natural than we think?
« Reply #11 on: 17/01/2015 04:06:08 »


Well, because arguably children in pornographic photos are not actors, and cannot give consent for those activities or images.

Neither, I gather, was Jesus, nor any of the pile of bodies photographed at Belsen.




Quote
It's assumed that the sell and trade of those images will perpetuate more of the same.

That makes a little more sense, except that the sale of crucifixes and other images of torture (practically half of most Spanish art galleries) is not deemed to perpetuate the evil, nor is the possession of war and bank heist films, however convincingly acted, or actual news photographs and videos, illegal.

Anomalously, it's perfectly normal on British television to see people, both real and actors,  consuming alcohol and illegal drugs, but not smoking. And I recall a few years ago in Canada you could advertise beer on TV as long as you didn't show anyone actually drinking it. The industry game was to see how close you could get to "simulated drinking" without censorship.

There may be a clue in the  vigorous stance previously taken by churches and politicians against homosexuality. "Methinks he doth protest too much" is a great Shakespearian insight. 

I think you might be misunderstanding me. I'm not saying pictures of child pornography cause people to become pedophiles. (I've certainly seen naked women in pictures and movies, and they haven't turn me into a lesbian. Nor have I ever attempted to capture a road runner, or dropped an anvil on anyone's head)

 I'm saying that contributing to the demand for child porn sustains the market, making it more likely that more children will be used in this way. I don't think the same thing could be said of concentration camp photos. (Although, I have heard debate about whether publicizing ISIS videos is exactly what they want, and counter-productive, or reveals the monsters they are, and alerts the world to the plight of their victims.  I think the videos should be shown and ISIS is hanging themselves with their own rope.)

At any rate, to be consistent with my argument, I would also have to concede that drawings or computer animations or books like Lolita would not be criminal.
« Last Edit: 17/01/2015 05:22:41 by cheryl j »
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Pedophilia, is more natural than we think?
« Reply #12 on: 17/01/2015 08:50:20 »
Is it an issue with imprinting?

Our first partner has a major psychological and emotional impact on us. If that first relationship is domineering, exploiting a minor who is powerless in that situation, perhaps it sets up that minor for a lifetime of (psychological) slavery?

I think that children are unable to establish a mature relationship in the same way that adults can, so we need to protect children from someone who would deprive them of that opportunity, later in life.
 

Offline Pseudoscience-is-malarkey

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Re: Pedophilia, is more natural than we think?
« Reply #13 on: 28/01/2015 02:08:10 »
After reading the responses to my post here I gather that we all are critical of the mainstream view of pedophilia. When I search for the definition of pedophilia, the consensus is that it simply means someone that has a sexual interest in prepubescent children. That definition discourages non-offenders from seeking help. The label “pedophile” should only be given to those that act on their pedophilic desires.

By the by, viewing child pornography is a way of acting on their desires.
« Last Edit: 28/01/2015 02:12:25 by Pseudoscience-is-malarkey »
 

Offline yamo

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Re: Is paedophilia more "natural" than we think?
« Reply #14 on: 28/04/2015 06:21:20 »
Bonobos <--man--> chimps.
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Re: Pedophilia, is more natural than we think?
« Reply #15 on: 28/04/2015 10:43:37 »
I'm convinced that a large number of people use the term "pedophile" to refer to what they would otherwise refer to as child porn. Then people think that "child porn" means someone below legal age of consent for taking photos. That includes 17 year old teenagers. Then people will misinterpret the term to mean that they're simply nude but not posed in a sexually provocative position (i.e. genitals emphasized, etc). So a photo of a 17 year old nudist at the beach might be mislabeled as child porn.

Also if its simply a physical attraction to post pubescent children then that is merely set by society and changes with differences in society. For example; Mohamed the Prophet married a prepubescent girl but didn't consummate the marriage until she reached puberty. She said that she loved Mohamed very much. And that was over a millennium ago so those societal norms can't be compared to those of ours today. Even today the legal age of consent is below the age of consent differs between countries being as low as 12 yo in some countries.

Here is a list of the legal age of consent world wide: http://www.ageofconsent.com/ageofconsent.htm

Notice that in Argentina it's 12/15/16
In Chile its 12
Colombia 12/14
Mexico 12
Netherlands 12/16
Nigeria 13
Oman none
Pakistan none
« Last Edit: 28/04/2015 10:54:42 by PmbPhy »
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: Is paedophilia more "natural" than we think?
« Reply #16 on: 28/04/2015 18:14:54 »
Bobobos may give a clue, because they all do it with each other as a social bonding mechanism without caring about gender or age. Homosexuality isn't mainstream, but we now view it as sufficiently common to count as normal. Paedophiles may be just as common, and if so, that could make them normal too, though they cannot act on their desires without abusing others, and that's the key difference - normal perhaps, but inherently wrong.

The police should be using the Internet to snare as many of them as possible rather than trying to warn them off and thereby allow them to go on hiding their true nature, and the simplest way to fix them would be to remove their dongles - I really can't see why people think there's such an ethical problem with that because it would be in everyone's best interest. If someone misuses a gun, they should have the gun confiscated.

A sign worth looking out for:-

I've only ever knowingly known one paedophile, though I've never seen him since I found out about what he had done - he was a sports coach at a club which I attended. There was a child there who was different from all the others, coming across as extremely unfriendly, primarily because of what felt like a hostile avoidance of eye contact (normal people have subtle ways of recognising each other's existence through rules of social conduct, and that involves occasional eye contact, so anyone who systematically avoids it comes across badly - I thought it was just me that this child had taken a dislike to, but it turned out that everyone else thought it was just them). I realise now that that child merely didn't want people to notice he/she existed. I mention all this because that's a key sign to look out for - if there's a child who comes across that way, keep a close look out to see if there might be something untoward going on. (It's also likely that this is a sign that paedophiles pick up on when looking for potential victims.) There were lots of things happening which in retrospect seem dead obvious now, but none of us picked up on them at the time. The coach was one of the nicest people you could hope to meet, but it was all just a well practised act. He took enormous risks, but all done with great confidence, so no one thought anything he did was odd, even though it occasionally was (e.g. going for a pee behind a wall rather than going the same distance to use the loo in a building). After a couple of years, the child suddenly started following me around and became friendly. That was weird. The next week he/she was clearly in a distressed state and appeared to be looking for help. The coach was on the case, so I left it to him to sort out. The next week the child was missing. I met the mother soon after and heard that the child had lost all interest in the sport and never wanted to go back, but two weeks before he/she had been enjoying it greatly and had been competing directly against me a lot of the time. Something was clearly wrong, and I told her so. She went home to interrogate the child and the whole story came out. That child was horribly damaged, but the coach was merely cautioned by the police. A few years later he was in court on a string of charges involving half a dozen children who lived near his home. Society still aren't taking this seriously enough. We need to move to a zero tollerance policy of snare and chop, and maybe over time we can eliminate some genetic content which pushes people in that direction. The same applies to rapists.
 

Offline jerrygg38

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Re: Is paedophilia more "natural" than we think?
« Reply #17 on: 10/06/2015 23:29:01 »
It seems to me that many people are only concerned with their own pleasures and have little concern for the pleasures of others.They think nothing of robbing a child of innocence for a few seconds of power lust. Now we have 50 shades of gray that people are wild over. The truth is that sexual pleasure decreases with frequency and experience. People take drugs and alcohol in an attempt to increase their pleasure. The take more partners. Then they feed on innocent children. Some must kill others to have sex with dead bodies. In the end only celibacy solves the problem. Then they can concentrate on enjoying children as children should be enjoyed by adults who care about others.
 

Offline chiralSPO

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Re: Is paedophilia more "natural" than we think?
« Reply #18 on: 10/06/2015 23:53:05 »
The truth is that sexual pleasure decreases with frequency and experience. ... In the end only celibacy solves the problem.

Is this knowledge coming from a celibate source?

Perhaps sexual pleasure per episode (if that can be quantified in a meaningful way) decreases as frequency increases in the high frequency limit (weekly vs every other day vs daily vs multiple times per day), but I think one would be hard pressed to show that sexual pleasure was any lesser after a month-long period of abstinence than after a year-long period.

In my experience, and from what I gather from others (admittedly anecdotal, not scientific, evidence), pleasure increases with experience in very high correlation. With the possible exception of the adrenaline rush that comes from trying something new, I would expect pleasure to increase with the increasing knowledge, ability, skill and comfort that all come with increased experience...
 

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Re: Is paedophilia more "natural" than we think?
« Reply #18 on: 10/06/2015 23:53:05 »

 

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