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Is being a pedophile a choice or genetic

Discussion in 'Culture & Religion' started by starburst, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. starburst

    starburst New Member

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    Well there is a long thread about weather being homo is a "lifestyle choice" or something genetic. Well, if your sexual attraction is genetic, then wouldn't those that see people under the age of 18 as sexually attractive fall under the same provisions as those that are gay. Many people now feel that this pedophilia cannot be cured. And there have now been studies that show 20% of all males may have a attraction to those under age. So how should they be treated.
    So what are we to do about the millions of men, and women, that have affection for those under the age of 18?
     
  2. SW85

    SW85 New Member

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    Pedophilia is not specifically love for anyone under the age of 18. It's perfectly legal, for instance, for a 21-year-old to have sex with a 17-year-old in most states, and where it's illegal, it is banned on grounds of statutory rape, not pedophilia. (My native Maryland, I think, prohibits an adult from having sex with anyone under the age of 18 if there is an age difference of more than 5 years). Nor does it bespeak mental illness for, say, a 45-year-old man to be sexually aroused by an attractive 16-year-old girl (it may be illegal for him to act on those desires, but it's perfectly normal to experience them). It really crosses the line into pedophilia when an attraction exists for someone who has not yet fully developed the basic physical features of thier sex.

    As for what you say, well, there is already a small movement, following in the footsteps of homosexuality, demanding the legalization of other aberrant sexual practices on the basis that the practitioners do not choose who they're attracted to. Peter Singer has made such arguments in favor of bestiality, and I don't think I need to remind anyone of NAMBLA.
     
  3. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    Pedophilia has nothing to do with 16and 17 year old girls, pedophilia has to do with pre pubescent children and I believe that in all likelyhood, a genetic component for this disorder will be found.
     
  4. Dude111

    Dude111 Member

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    I cant figure out why someone would want to do anything with anyone underage!

    It is just sick!

    I think 25yo women are MUCH MORE attractive!


    I do believe this IS A CHOICE though while being HOMO is not a choice..

    You can try and fight the desire to like male or female but you will always go back to what your are REALLY ATTRACTED TO.....

    People who get involved in relationships with the opposite sex when they like the same MAY HAVE good intentions,but they will most likely have mental issues trying to deal with someone they really arent attracted to..
     
  5. top gun

    top gun New Member

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    I think the reason pedophilia manifests itself while an interesting debate doesn't really change the dynamic of the problem nor it's consequences in anyway.

    There are laws to try and protect children from sexual contact period.

    If pedophilia is a learned action... then that person has learned a disgusting and illegal behavior.

    If that action is bred in, as in some type of a genetic disorder... then that person is still committing the same disgusting and very justifiably illegal behavior on a child.

    And palrider makes a good point that there is a major distinction between a pedophile and someone that just happens to be over the age of 18 who say dates a 16 or 17 year old.

    Although you still can then can get into "age of consent" or what used to be called "statutory rape" circumstances. The legal variable in these cases often is... has the minor been legally emancipated or if not did the parents allow the relationship.

    This all has no correlation to adults with adults or any gay angle though.
     
  6. Agnapostate

    Agnapostate New Member

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    That wasn't a necessary comparison to make. Sexual contact with animals is not equivalent to sexual contact with children in a utilitarian model, despite the claims of William Saletan, because there is an additional element inherent in sexual contact with children that is not present in sexual contact with animals, that being the issue of long-term psychological harm.

    Hence, Singer can retain a consistent utilitarian ethical perspective if he were to support the permissibility of sexual activity with animals but oppose the permissibility of sexual contact with human children.

    At any rate, we are all utilitarians at our meta-ethical core.
     
  7. Mare Tranquillity

    Mare Tranquillity Active Member

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    In the end I think we will discover that sexual appetites are based in genetics and hormone levels in utero, but influenced by many environmental factors as well.

    No matter what its basis however, it causes harm and is in no way a consensual relationship, therefore it should not be excused.

    Comparing it to consensual homosexual relationships is fallacious.
     
  8. Agnapostate

    Agnapostate New Member

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    What's funny (and somewhat sad) is that I didn't find this thread by looking around the board. I found it through a Google search of Peter Singer.
     
  9. Hobo1

    Hobo1 Active Member

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    First, let me say anything that involves non-consensual sex falls into the category of rape. I disagree with the law in that it does not provide fordegrees of rape, such as degrees of murder. I think that anyone who has non-consensual sex with a pre-puberty child is a true pedophile. This person should be more severely punished than the rape of someone who is already sexually active.

    Having said that, I will tell you a story many will not believe. I retired in Indonesia and have made a special point of seeking out the true customs and traditions of some of the rural people - both current and in the recent past.

    Less than a week ago, I meet a 21 year old woman who was newly divorced. She conceived a child early in her marriage, and the child is now 8 years old. The woman had become pregnant by her husband and gave birth at age 13.

    Her sister, age 13, was sitting next to her and I can only say this young girl had no signs of entering puberty in terms of body physique. However,his young girl was clearly aware of her femininity by wearing clothes you would expect on someone 5 years older would wear. She knew how to keep her hear cut and trimmed to look "sexy". [Of course, I have seen the same thing with young teenage girls in the US who wear makeup, etc.] She had begun menstruation. This young girl had a friend age 11 who was married and having sex with her husband - although not yet pregnant.

    I asked if the young girls were physically forced to get married (as in some tradition or threat of harm)... and the answer was no. The 11 year old girl was courted by an older man who gave her gifts and offered her a better lifestyle than she currently had,( ie, plentiful food, better kitchen, larger more modern house, etc.).

    Getting married young to an older man was a very common tradition in this village and had been for years. I asked if the young girls understood that marriage involved the physical act we call sex - and the answer was no. The girls were introduced to the whole concept on the marriage night.

    The village was fairly isolated (as in far off the main road) but large - perhaps 8000 people. Most of the residents were distantly related family members, albeit many generations away. Second cousins were the closest family member who could marry each other. Surprisingly to me, many of the residents had gone to a university and were either professionals or held fairly high ranking government positions.

    So many of the villagers had been exposed to modern media and modern thinking, so they could not in any way be classified as primitive. Rather they hold on to marriage traditions past down from many generations.

    I don't have any editorial comment on this situation - I have long ago learned not to judge what I don't understand. I am a guest from a far away land who strongly holds onto his own moral beliefs. But I am in no way a missionary for another cause. In a strange way, I feel honored to have been so trusted that the women/girls would freely share the details of their life with me.

    I throw this into the discussion only as a counter-weight to anyone who might think this is an easy topic, with an easy answer. They have a saying here, "beware of preaching into a mirror, you might find a monster preaching back to you."
     
  10. Mare Tranquillity

    Mare Tranquillity Active Member

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    Outstanding! Your posts get better and better. Few people realize how much diversity there is in the concept and practice of "marriage" around the world and down through history. Defining it just one way is bigotry and denies the humanity of others.
     
  11. Agnapostate

    Agnapostate New Member

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    Again though, descriptive rather than prescriptive. Cultures other than ours do obviously have different approaches to sexual ethics, but that doesn't establish them as commendable or desirable states of affairs.
     
  12. Mare Tranquillity

    Mare Tranquillity Active Member

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    True, but equally it does not rule them out as being commendable or desirable either.
     
  13. Agnapostate

    Agnapostate New Member

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    Hence, it might be best to study the populations of several countries generally alike in demographics but with differing ages of consent. Western Europe contains ages of consent ranging from 13 to 16, and it would be interesting to study the average mental health of the citizens of different nations to determine whether higher ages of consent protect people from long-term psychological harm.

    I won't say anything on the topic of the age of consent as a whole, though; I'll merely comment on that particular study method.
     
  14. Hobo1

    Hobo1 Active Member

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    I believe you would find in a sociological study like you describe that a lot would depend on the environment of the people. In an agrarian society where the young people have not higher aspirations (like college, etc), with limited opportunities, and peers that marry at the same age - I think you would find limited psychological harm. Conversely, in a country like the US, if a young person marries after graduating from high school, they will likely would suffer from low esteem their whole life because they never took advantage of opportunities.

    All of this is quite different than a young person who is abused by a pedophile.
     
  15. Agnapostate

    Agnapostate New Member

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    Having realized that an adequate response to this thread was never actually offered, I'm inclined to believe that pedophilia is caused by neither genetic disposition nor personal choice. Rather, I'm a cautious supporter of the hypothesis of pedophilia being a neurodevelopmental disorder of some variety with a causal relationship with either head injury or a condition that inclines one toward head injury.

    To first consider the nature of pedophilia's possible status as a neurodevelopmental disorder, an interesting case documented by Burns and Swerdlow in Right Orbitofrontal Tumor With Pedophilia Symptom and Constructional Apraxia Sign may provide appropriate insights. Consider this excerpt:

    In layman's terms, the "impulsive sexual behavior with children" was documented after the formation of an orbitofrontal tumor in the patient's brain, and his pedophiliac interests disappeared after the removal of said tumor. Now, a somewhat similar result can be derived from Casanova et al.'s Hippocampal pathology in two mentally ill paraphiliacs. Consider the abstract:

    Tost et al's. Pedophilia: neuropsychological evidence encouraging a brain network perspective also provides similar credence to a broadly neurodevelopmental hypothesis. Consider the abstract:

    I'm inclined to believe that pedophilia's origins as a neurodevelopmental disorder can be traced back to the incidence of head injury in early childhood. As with the broad hypothesis about the neurodevelopmental elements of pedophilia and related paraphilias, there are important empirical sources to consult on this matter.

    For instance, it's of considerable relevance to consider the implications of Blanchard et al.'s Retrospective Self-Reports of Childhood Accidents Causing Unconsciousness in Phallometrically Diagnosed Pedophiles. Consider the abstract:

    All in all, I'm inclined to believe that the continued classification of pedophilia in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and related and similar publications as a mental illness is appropriate, since there is significant evidence that indicates that it is a neurodevelopmental disorder with causal origins in head injury or some other condition that creates a greater propensity to sustain head injury.
     
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