August 16, 2011

"What purpose does calling someone a ‘pervert’ or ‘predator’ serve anyway, other than to express contempt and hatred?"

"How is this productive?... Stop buying into and promoting false stereotypes. Stop demonizing a whole class of people, and start learning the facts."

73 comments:

David said...

Now they are "minor-attracted persons." Wow.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

What purpose does calling someone a ‘pervert’ or ‘predator’ serve anyway, other than to express contempt and hatred?

That sounds like a pretty good purpose to me.

rhhardin said...

Child abuse, drunk driving and dangerous dogs are the big three public problems invented since I grew up, in a world that seemed to do fine without the attention.

We kids wandered miles of landscape without getting hit by drunks, adults or dogs.

Stray dogs were an attraction, in fact.

We were seldom allowed to keep them though.

Stan said...

So let's get this straight -- It's fine to express contempt and hatred for people who try to keep the federal govt from spending us into 3d world misery. It's not okay to express contempt and hatred for people who prey on small children.

Maybe I should have said "let's get this bent."

Henry said...

I'll go along with this if the shooting of pedophiles is also decriminalized.

What purpose does calling someone a "vigilante" serve anyway?

raf said...

I would have no problem with recognizing that pedophilia is not a mental illness, as long as we can preserve or strengthen the standard that acting on the impulse is criminal. After all, there are many criminal acts which are not considered mental illness -- in fact, they are almost mutually exclusive terms, these days. It would be better to consider "minor-attractedness" as not-mentally-ill but wrong, than to allow someday for a mental illness defense against a charge of sexual abuse of a minor.

But falling back on cynicism, if it is legitimated by the mental health "profession", it will probably lead the way to legitimacy in the criminal code.

Scott M said...

Contempt? Definitely. Hatred? probably too strong a word unless my child is involved (then it's hatred, vengeance, and wrath that Shakespeare would be proud of). Castration? Definitely.

Mary Beth said...

Good, we can stop pretending that we are trying to cure them and just lock them up forever.

damikesc said...

Can't figure out why psychology is a joke of a medical field. They don't remotely loony or anything.

Rob said...

Let us think about the nature of these sexual relationships, the physical nature. At what age should someone be able to consent to such a relationship? Read the article and the comments. The goal here is not merely to remove the "illness" stigma. The goal is to legalize sexual contact with minors. No.

Shanna said...

What purpose does calling someone a ‘pervert’ or ‘predator’ serve anyway, other than to express contempt and hatred?

It's shunning bad behavior. W"e don't do it very much anymore as a society, but if we are going to do it for anyone, going after "child predators" seems like a good choice!

lyssalovelyredhead said...

A few thoughts:

1) That article literally nausiated me.

2) I was a psych major and thought that I would become a practicing psychologist. I'm so glad that I didn't.

3)I feel like I missed something (and don't wish to re-read it)- they want to decriminalize it and not report it when the perp is in treatment, but also want to destigmatize it as a mental illness? If it's an illness, I could (sort of but not really) understand decriminalizing it, in the sense that it should be treated rather than penalized. (I don't agree, but it at least appears rational.) If it's not an illness, then it must either be accepted as normal and victimless behavior, or treated as wrong and penalized. So, assuming that I understood the intent correctly, they're asking for acceptance and for the behavior to be considered OK (and presumably victimless). See above, point one.

4) There are plenty of cases where contempt and hatred are perfectly appropriate, even necessary for a functioning society.

5) I wouldn't trust Berlin around children.

-Lyssa

Bob_R said...

To answer the idiotic rhetorical question - the purpose of labeling this desire a disease is that it cannot be acted on with consenting adults. That seems to be a pretty good definition of a mental illness to me. The purpose of public shaming is to force people to get treatment for the disease.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Also, I tend to reject people claiming that destigmatization of homosexuality leads to things like this- afterall, they are completely different in that homosexuality involves (well, should involve) only consenting adults.

But that slippery slope argument always comes back to bite me.

Paddy O said...

"What purpose does calling someone a ‘pervert’ or ‘predator’ serve anyway,"

A demon is already demonized, calling it by name is stating facts.

PatHMV said...

The fact is that if you are sexually attracted to young children, you're a sick fuck, and an even sicker fuck if you act on those attractions. Child molesters are the worst of the worst, and should be locked up for as long as we can possibly arrange.

Bob_R said...

I will say that there is a legitimate argument to be made that laws like those against cartoons and cgi movies that depict pedophilia but don't involve children are counterproductive or a violation of first amendment principles. But those argument are based on the idea that pedophilia is a disease and these outlets are harmless sublimations of it.

MadisonMan said...

Maybe they should pray before they make the final decision.

And yes, I did misspell that as 'prey' first.

Snark aside, acting on the impulse is and should remain criminal. Everything else is just window-dressing.

Peter said...

IMHO it's not about labelling, it's about normalizing this deviance along the lines of, "They can't help it they're born that way so it's not appropriate to punish them."

Then again, if it becomes possible to detect persons who are sure to criminally offend before they do so, there would be a strong justification to protect the public by restricting their rights.

Which would surely raise some major constitutional issues. Yet if you postulate a certainty that someone will injure children, how could you not act to prevent it?

Robert Cook said...

Anyone who would molest or rape a child is a predator and should be held in contempt, particularly if they offend repeatedly and without trying to stop themselves, and the predators themselves should feel intense shame.

While I can accept that people may develop feelings of sexual attraction to children without choosing to have those feelings, (after all, who would want to cultivate such desires in themselves if they were not there innately?), such persons must also be responsible enough such that they do not act on their desires. (And I'd bet there are people out there with attraction to children who would never act on their desires.)

traditionalguy said...

Sexual immorality is a religious concept.

Without God, everything is permissible.

How do we know what is a crime unless we have a law to identify it?

For years the SCOTUS has been heroically unclassifying crimes as serious ones deserving a death penalty in our law.

The rape, kidnapping, and everyday ordinary murder with a single shot have been seen as normal enough to rate down there with the human instinct of to steal.

Quayle said...

"Anyone who would molest or rape a child is a predator and should be held in contempt, particularly if they offend repeatedly and without trying to stop themselves, and the predators themselves should feel intense shame."


Oh, that's just what people used to say about blacks marrying whites.

You hateful bigot!

Who are you to impose your morality on others?

You are on the wrong side of history!

lyssalovelyredhead said...

I'm somewhat sympathetic to the idea that the urge towards children is either inborn or established at a very young age, therefore more of an illness than anything else.

But, to my mind, urge is a very, very different thing than action. If you cannot control your actions, you cannot be a part of society. Cut yourself off from temptations, check into an institution, have yourself imprisoned, kill yourself if that's what it takes. Even if one can't help the urge, this kind of action has absolutely no excuse.

- Lyssa

Calypso Facto said...

Let's send Dirty Harry to the conference and see if he agrees.

Pogo said...

Gee, no one saw this slippery slope problem when we wuz talkin' gay marriage.

Nope, totally unrelated issue! What does dissolving one tradition have to do with dissolving the other?

And your visceral disgust against folks just born that way is itself a sign of pedophilophobia.

Don't be such a hater.

Shanna said...

afterall, they are completely different in that homosexuality involves (well, should involve) only consenting adults.

I don't think there is any conflict, in that I think being attracted to small children is its own thing, and has nothing to do with which sex one is attracted to. (I don't think there is anything strange about being attracted to, say, a 16 year old. You shouldn't act on that interest if you are 40, but biologically I don't think it's strange. Being attracted to a child who has not reached puberty though is very, very wrong).

Pogo said...

Shanna is clearly a pedophilophobe.

Hater!

G Joubert said...

The template being followed was established in 1972 when the APA voted to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. Same same, whether or not homosexuality is a mental disorder.

gerry said...

From the article:
B4U-ACT has been active attacking the APA’s definition of pedophilia in the run up to the conference, denouncing its description of “minor-attracted persons” as “inaccurate” and “misleading” because the current DSM links pedophilia with criminality.

“It is based on data from prison studies, which completely ignore the existence of those who are law-abiding,” said Howard Kline, science director of B4U-ACT, in a July 25, 2011 press release."


Interesting. Prison studies were used in the efforts back in the 1970s to remove homosexuality from the list of psychological pathologies.

A NAMBLA slippery slope.

Just think: in a short decade one won't be able to criticize adult-minor sex without being labeled a bigot.

TV sitcoms featuring adult-minor couples will be the wave of Emmy nominations for daring to discuss the burgeoning debate.

A new musical talent called Lady AgAg will feature a song at the Oscars called "Born that way, too".

Will pedophilic clergy be culturally rehabilitated as victims of bigotry?

Will there be safe zones on playgrounds for pre-pedophiles?

The mind boggles.

Mike K said...

There was a time, when I was just entering medical school, when I was very interested in psychiatry. I had had a very impressive experience with one in a summer job. Then I met other psychiatrists and realized that I didn't want to be one.

rhhardin said...

Who did the "Chester the Molester" cartoons? Some mens' mag in the 60s or 70s.

Back then it was just an object of contempt and ridicule among the usual readership.

So contempt was there, but not the tendency to public emergency.

ErnieG said...

If "minor-attractedness" is not perversion, then perversion is hard to imagine.

Shouting Thomas said...

A shame based society works better than a therapeutic society.

That's why religious indoctrination is the sensible thing to do for children.

The issue isn't whether or not shame (or religion) make rational sense. The issue is what works.

That's why all this BS debate about whether God exists or not misses the point completely. Raising children with the fear of God works. They become better people than those raised without the fear of God.

Shame works. The therapeutic nonsense doesn't.

Shanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
caplight said...

Since I am sure most prisons have several copies of the DSM and that they are well read and understood by prisoners I think we can assume that child molesters will be treated much better in prison once they can get this through. Perhaps just circulationg this article will help.

edutcher said...

This is the great big dirty secret of the homosexual rights movement.

They have no problem whatsoever with NAMBLA or similar organizations.

And this is what will sour the public's view of them in the end (no pun).

Pogo said...

Apologies to Shanna for my snarkiness.

Christopher in MA said...

"Chester the Molester" was a "Hustler" feature by the cartoonist Dwayne Tinsley - who, ironically enough, did hard time for sexually abusing his own daughter. And, as Pogo says - well, golly! How on earth could we have seen this coming?

Mark Shea, the Catholic apologist, put it best: "The day will come when the Church is condemned, not for failing to prevent pedophilia, but for trying to prevent it."

Paddy O said...

Also, what purpose does it serve?

It serves to invoke shame. Shame is the level of punishment that precedes legal involvement.

In our society, we have moved away from shame as a positive force and it has become itself a dirty and rejected word. But in human society shame has a very strong role in maintaining community standards, encouraging people to police their own behavior so that society does have to enforce it.

Tim said...

The leading edges of western liberal "thought" is where civilization begins to crumble and have no meaning.

Shanna said...

Apologies to Shanna for my snarkiness.

It's ok. I was about to comment and then realized I misread so I deleted. No big deal.

rhhardin said...

"Chester the Molester" was a "Hustler" feature by the cartoonist Dwayne Tinsley - who, ironically enough, did hard time for sexually abusing his own daughter.

Strange, why did he draw them?

It's not what the readers took from them.

Amartel said...

They are continuing to prepare the battlefield. It won't work this time, nor the next nor the next nor the next etc. But that's not how or why this fight gets fought. It's the suggestion, repeated and repeated and repeated, that they're not so bad, that you should be ashamed of your emotional gut response, that you're response is not logical. Over time, it puts you/society on the defensive.

gerry said...

There is no purpose in expressing contempt and hatred of a person and is wrong.

Expressing contempt and hatred of an immoral action, a sin, is acceptable and good.

mythusmage said...

I don't know all that much about pedophilia, but this I do know; it hurts children. Sometimes it kills children. It is a pathology and share many traits with other pathologies. MRIs have shown that pedophile brains don't function like normal brains, and have a number of abnormalities.

I recall the story of a man who suffered brain damage due to an accident. After the accident he started going after small children for sexual reasons. He was put on an anti-depressant and his urge for kids stopped. Whenever he stopped taken his medication for any reason his urges returned. If that doesn't tell you something...

William said...

A lot of these child molestors were themselves molested as children. I have some sympathy for them, but I don't see how you can allow them full leave to roam. That seems to be their sexual orientation, and some are quite aggressive predators. Perhaps you could parole them to retirement communities in Florida. I think the shame and contempt in which they are held probably inhibits the behavior of many of them. Shame and contempt serves a useful function in this world.

bagoh20 said...

The urge of men to have sex with women regardless of their giving permission is pretty natural and hardly a sickness, but I don't hear anyone suggesting rape should be decriminalized. Natural has nothing to do with it, just as in murder, theft or most any other crime. It's denying others their rights, that's the illegal part, not your urges.

traditionalguy said...

Nietzsche called the "will to power" the basic human personality trait.

The will to self control must be created by an outside authority.

Thus the truism that responsible people need no authority exercised over them, but irresponsible people do.

I have witnessed a community south of Atlanta that was 95% white and most of them church goers change in 10 years to 85% black.

The court house, jails and probation office changed from small, neat and rural to a huge, 1000% larger, operation where the Grounds were abandoned to trash and vandalism. The new residents demanded that outside authority to make their community functional.

Likewise, the abusers of children for sex are not going to stop unless there are parents who want them stopped.

PatCA said...

The trouble with this state of perfect freedom that we demand for everyone, even criminals, is that we can't or won't determine if something is a crime until after the act has been committed. Many more children will thus be hurt or killed. But that's okay, right, because, aw, pedophiles are mostly just nice people!

As for normalizing pedophilia, of course people are doing it. Remember Sandy in Glee, the pedophile singing teacher who was on parole and always touching the boys? So funny, so cute! Soon after his introduction, he was cut from the show. I guess Glee finally found out how low it could go--this time.

Pogo said...

Don't be a hater, bagoh.

Denying others their rights is just who they are.

Shanna said...

As for normalizing pedophilia, of course people are doing it. Remember Sandy in Glee, the pedophile singing teacher who was on parole and always touching the boys? So funny, so cute!

He touched a (high school/16-17yo) boy once and was fired for inappropriate behavior with a student. He's not the hero of the show. Glee, at least when it's at its best, is a dark satire, not a warm and fuzzy show, so it is going to have awful people in it.

Soon after his introduction, he was cut from the show.

No he wasn't. He's a recurring character.

Shanna said...

Also, Sandy touched a boy on the shoulder.

Alex said...

I have another policy with regards to these "persons". Shoot on sight.

PatCA said...

Shanna,
I did not call him a hero.

And I saw Sandy rub his hand up and down a boy's chest, supposedly to help his breathing during singing. This was after he was arrested for the prior incident.

Perhaps he is back, but not as often as he was in the beginning, but I stopped watching. Glee is more than dark, it's ugly.

Oligonicella said...

traditionalguy --

"Sexual immorality is a religious concept.

Without God, everything is permissible."

Oh, bullshit.

Oligonicella said...

Shouting Thomas --

"They become better people than those raised without the fear of God."

Orifice - extracted.

The Crack Emcee said...

"How is this productive?... Stop buying into and promoting false stereotypes. Stop demonizing a whole class of people, and start learning the facts."

I say things like this every day. Nobody cares. Anti-cultists and pedophiles:

Lonely.

traditionalguy said...

Oligonicella...What do you want to bet that while abuse of dogs has suddenly become a heinous and serious crime (See, Mike Vick) the sexual abuse of children is only another human need that should not make one into a pervert or criminal.

Where does that change in community morality come from?

I postulate that it comes from trying to make sense out of life on earth without using God's Word given through Moses to steer us into a good moral community.

The oldest form of child abuse was parents offering up new born babies to be burned alive by priests as a sacrifice to the Canaanite god to increase crop harvests for another year.

Then along came Moses and his Torah. Suddenly men, women and children were more important than the local demon gods.

Must we all now become Canaanites again to enjoy a less restrictive sex life?

Stay tuned for the answer.

TMink said...

It is not a false stereotype, it is a true generalization. It is important to recognize and accurately lable predators so we can dispatch them.

It is important to call perverts perverts so that we can recognize their behavior patterns.

And a sexual attraction to minors is a real problem if you are not a minor.

Deal with it or not, but there it is and there it will stay.

Trey

TMink said...

I occasionaly have the urge to steal things. But I don't act on them.

That is why I am not called a thief!

It is about the choice, the action, not the temptation or urge. But these folks are given over to sin and they just want to incrementally be able to perpetrate children. It is a long strategy and should be called what it is.

It is a good thing to lable poison.

Trey

rhhardin said...

I occasionaly have the urge to steal things. But I don't act on them.

My own urge is actually to return things. I think that's pretty common.

rhhardin said...

A couple of essays speculating on what I find interesting, namely how it is that sexual predators are a huge public problem - supported by what you could characterize as hysteria, which is what makes it interesting - rather than the joke they were before the 70s.

It's not that people were dumber then, just not hysterical. Statuatory rape laws had existed for a long before them, so the crime was recognized.

My own speculation is that an industry arose around the hysteria, in which case we're being collectively had. The OP essay might be looking for a way back, which is not bad to try.

The WSJ's Dorothy Rabinowitz got a couple of Pulitzers exposing the hysteria around 2000 or so, that had to do with prosecutorial career advancement, playing into the public hysteria.

Anyway the essays

Ian Hacking pdf from Critical Inquiry (U Chicago) 1991

and a chapter from Guggenbuhl-Craig _From the Wrong Side: A paradoxical approach to psychology_, "Myth and Reality of Sexual Abuse of Children", unfortunatly no link, and Amazon doesn't even recognize the book, Spring Publications 1995, that wonders about the inability of audiences to tolerate the idea that there's something to look at here.

The book also has a chapter that I bought it for, "The Blessings of Violence" as well. Who can resist that ad.

rhhardin said...

One of Guggenbuhl-Craig's throwaway speculations was that it marked a transition from a patriarchal to a matriarchal society, and this provided a concrete villain.

A comment thread recently went into how no male can be seen with a strange child even to help. It's very dangerous to the man.

That sort of supports GC.

Stephen A. Meigs said...

I think that adolescent girls should be allowed to have sex if they want it and their parents approve. Girls have not had much time to consider what they need from sex and are unusually easy to trick. But girls have evolved to realize this. If a girl wants sex, it could mean that she was tricked or forced into it, but if it doesn't, then her affection is likely to be extraordinary considering that if her affection were not extraordinary, she would presumably wait to examine her judgment more carefully. It's like buying a new outfit that one sees at a store. If one buys it right away, that is likely to be a sign that the outfit is very desirable, since doubts occasioned by the outfit's undesirability tend to make one want to wait to look at the other outfits and to think about the decision more. Unless, of course, one was manipulated by a pushy salesman.

But there are deeper, underappreciated phenomena going on, I think. Whether someone be morally virtuous tends to be (comparatively) easy to judge; indeed, if it weren't, people would not have evolved to possess unselfish virtue. The reward of being by nature a morally virtuous person is that similarly unselfish, morally virtuous people will love you better on account of recognizing your virtuous nature, and that reward makes up for the unselfishness that by definition is sacrificial. If morality weren't fairly easy to judge, being moral would be such a cross to bear no one would have evolved to have the tendency. Even girls can mostly tell who the good, moral males are. Morally virtuous people don't tend to be skilled at deceptions and very much tend to be honest about everything. So though bad males may get sex from girls because they are deceptive, good males essentially never do. The only reason a good male could tend to get sex from girls as opposed to older females is that he is great. If a girl has sex with a morally virtuous male (who presumably has morally virtuous ancestors), her youth will select in intraejaculate sperm selection for DNA from his ancestors who tended to have sex with girls, which will be his greatest, most desirable DNA, because those ancestors won't likely have been deceptive (remember non-deceptive males who sexually attract girls tend to be great). To sum, girls naturally get real sexual pleasure from moral virtue in their male sex partners in a way that they can't very easily get when older, and since even girls can fairly well judge moral virtue, they tend to more want to have sex with moral males than older female would want. Girls are sexually more innocent in their pleasures than women are, and so those who would deny girls their natural sexual pleasures are denying the most innocent sexual pleasures that exist among people.

Of course, girls really are weaker and more vulnerable to deception and sodomy in particular. Mostly I think that parents should be expected to consent to any sex that young daughters have. Those girls in the 60's who before they changed claimed to believe in youth rights and free love, well, they too often believed in sodomy too. And alas the sodomy mostly they still believe in. They, many of them, they got abused back then and though finally it dawned on them their abusers weren't going to become the great men the sodomy made them out to seem they would be, the new males they later chose too often found it convenient to make them view their youthful mistakes as being something to blame on having had sex too early rather than on having become addicted to sodomy. That way, the new batch of more monetary successful males who outbid their predecessors could keep the sodomy going, much to the their now whorish victims' blessings. So sex with girls is a kind of unusually useful red herring for a fairly large batch of screwed-up people and their (pedantic style) abusers to hold up by way of distracting people from the evils of sodomy.

Pragmatist said...

Maybe the purpose is to accurately describe the action and actor. Some people get off on defending the indefensible and trying to mainstream the marginalized. Sometimes they are on the margins for a reason.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

rhhardin, I'm curious whether you're trying to say that this is something that 1) happens, but is rare and people are overly hysterical about (which is probably somewhat true), 2) doesn't really happen (enough to worry about), or 3) happens but is not a big deal and shouldn't be anything to get upset about.

I didn't find your post clear.

- Lyssa

rhhardin said...

I'd say it happens about as much as it happened when I was a kid, which was not enough to worry about or organize your life around defensively. It was roughly at the level of "Don't take candy from strangers" and that was that.

Which is not the case today.

The world seems hysterical today, so the culture has changed.

To whose benefit, is the question I wonder about, being a cynic about all things TV-initiated.

My guess is some industry has risen around it, which gives it stability. These are the "owners" of the new public problem, which according to sociologist Gusfield is the route to political power.

G-C's offhand suggestion that it has to do with a matriarchy replacing a patriarchy has an intersting side to it.

Above all explain the cultural change first.

The cultural change is playing into something as well. Both vicious dogs and sexual abuse have played to the children.

G-C concludes that the hysteria is from a partial archetype (being a Jungian), that the child figure is completely and absolutely innocent, and so anything bad that happens happens because of absolute evil; which mistake, he says, does not take children seriously as human beings.

Take just that last part: it does seem to me that we kids were taken seriously when I grew up in a way that kids are not now.

Does that relate to escaping mothers? Which we did as kids.

And thus the matriarchy.

Vicious dogs killed less than a dozen kids a year (2 years? not sure which it was) both then and now, which statistically is zero.

Lots of kids bitten, though. Usually boys bitten. The ones who stick their fingers in the dogs' eye. "That's when I learned not to do that."

Ohio's vicious dog law used to say, and may still say, that no dog shall be deemed vicious if it bites while being tormented.

That bit of law knew about boys and dogs both.

Bruce said...

Sorry, but the idea of "normalizing" pedophilia just isn't going to fly with the vast majority of people, myself included.

That being said, I'll go off on a slight tangent/soapbox: *Many* registered sex offenders are so for reasons which are not really legitimate. I agree with the idea that it's wrong to have contempt and hatred towards registered sex offenders - simply because the sentence is misused/overused.

(I do not think it's wrong to have contempt for those who have actually molested a child).

My eye-opener was finding out that two people I know are registered sex offenders. I was shocked - they seemed like normal, upstanding people, how could they be rapists and perverts and pedophiles?

One of them, when in his twenties, had too many beers out with friends, was walking home, and peed on the side of a closed store late at night. Not acceptable behavior, but you know - 20s, too much beer, late night. He got caught relieving himself, and got a citation which through zealous prosecution made him registered sex offender. (Exposing genitals in public, you see, makes this a sex crime). I'm not defending his right to drunken semi-public peeing, but calling him a registered sex offender and making him go around to all the neighbors introducing himself as such (which he did have to do and will have to do any time he moves) seems way out of line.

The other is a 40-something dad who has a 11 year old daughter. The daughter had a school friend, whose mother was addicted to hard drugs and often homeless. When the friend's mother disappeared for several weeks, he let the friend stay in his home (along with his own daughter and wife of course). The thanks he got was to be charged and convicted as a registered sex offender. He had an unrelated/non-custodial minor girl living with him, and that is enough. He was not alone with her. There was not even an allegation of physical or sexual contact with the girl at the trial, simply being in that living situation was sufficient to convict him.

Again I blame a prosecutor that is over-zealous and not using common sense. The girl's mother started the legal process, thinking she'd get drug money out of it. But once the prosecutor was involved, and she realized there wasn't money to be had, she could not drop the charges as it was the state charging him at that point. Also, why is he guilty, but his wife is not? She was just as much a part of it, but was never charged. He is a registered sex offender for life now, and lost his job and his apartment because of it. People don't want to hear an explanation. Luckily his wife, daughter, and friends understand what really happened.

My soapbox basically boils down to: Don't assume a "registered sex offender" is necessarily an evil to be hated. Those who do commit an actual sexual offense, yes - but there are a lot of people on that list due to some technicality, rather than due to some valid reason.

rhhardin said...

or 3) happens but is not a big deal and shouldn't be anything to get upset about.

I'd guess that the helping industry makes the damage as great as possible.

Because it used to be no big deal.

The level you'd see is some strange uncle.

Freud wrote somewhere that the reports of sexual abuse couldn't possibly be correct considering the number of them he heard about, that is, they must be made up.

So, long ago, it happened a lot, which is probably the same as today; but the hysteria was absent.

Today it's something to cash in on, whatever else it is.

Sociologist Goffman wrote in _Asylums_ that the first thing the mental health institution does is render the patient an object fit for its treatment.

I say leave all these avenues open as something to be determined, simultaneous variables rather than givens supplied by TV news.

Amartel said...

"Sorry, but the idea of "normalizing" pedophilia just isn't going to fly with the vast majority of people, myself included."

Watch.
It could happen.
Not too long ago, "pedophilia" was no big deal anywhere. It still is normal or at least unquestioned in some parts of the world. Obviously, the idea of your kid getting screwed by some awful perv deviant would send anyone into a rage, but I submit that the societal hysteria about pedophilia is not generated by a revulsion against child sex per se (see, e.g., fashion mags, gossip rags, various movies) but by contempt for the Church and other selected symbols of authority.

Also, prosecutors totally target sex offenses. They're high profile, easy to prosecute, low hanging fruit, with great publicity.
Prosecutors abuse their position and overprosecute for just these reasons. Don't even bother denying this, any prosecutors out there. You know it's true.

HKatz said...

Because it used to be no big deal.
Except to the people it happened to, especially depending on its severity and the length of time they experienced it. And their families (not that it doesn't happen within families too).

But in terms of the general public, yes, it wasn't discussed nearly as much - they also didn't have our mass media and the internet where you can read these stories from newspapers in every town in the US and around the world, including those places where it's more legitimized.

It still is normal or at least unquestioned in some parts of the world.
This might also be a part of what fuels any hysteria in places where it isn't normal. People here see that it's an age-old human impulse, at times legitimized in society (with the victims being both girls and boys, in different ways), and so this impulse must always be simmering just beneath the surface in our own corner of the world, human nature being what it is. Hence the need for constant vigilance...

A separate idea that sometimes comes out in these types of arguments is that in those parts of the world the child really doesn't suffer because no one is telling the child it's a bad thing. I'm not saying this is what people are arguing here on this thread, but it's something I've seen elsewhere - that if only it were normalized, then adult-child relations wouldn't be a cause of potential great trauma and pain to victim. Given what I've read of children who have had sex inflicted on them by adults in places where it is more normalized (including accounts from the children themselves, like those who escaped from such situations), this is largely wishful thinking for some people.

but I submit that the societal hysteria about pedophilia is not generated by a revulsion against child sex per se (see, e.g., fashion mags, gossip rags, various movies)
That's interesting to consider; the more we're sexualizing children, the more we feel a hysterical panic as a society... are people worried that the fantasies of the media will have an effect on encouraging the reality of pedophila? Is that even the case? (I mean, pedophiles find anything with children enticing - not just fashion mags and movies that have a sexual edge, but anything that other people would see as an innocent picture of a kid).

The societal revulsion as you put it might not exist when it comes to the fantasy of extreme youth and sex. The reality of it on the other hand, the messiness and painfulness of it, is almost never like the fantasy. People know it and are afraid maybe as a society.

PETER V. BELLA said...

You mean now we have to tolerate, accept, empathize, and sympathize with fiends, freaks, perverts, degenerates, predators, and deviates?

Amartel said...

HKatz, the point I was making does not contradict the FACT that pedophiles are dangerous and destructive. That is unquestioned. The point was that the effort to normalize, as referenced in the article, is not so farfetched and don't think it can't happen. It's how people like this work, drop by drop. A hint here, an accusation there, and suddenly you're being told to be nice to the pedophiles, to understand and sympathize with their struggle. Once the hysteria, which was generated not by revulsion against pedophilia generally but by hatred and resentment of authority, they'll be back.