Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Artemisia » Thu Oct 16, 2008 2:18 pm UTC

Thanks everyone for their kind words :) I'm glad my post was read as it was meant: constructive. Thanks all for reading, too.

The way I see the problem with child abuse is the by definition existing inequality. Two 12yearolds who are experimenting with each other sexually will probably not feel harmed later on in life, unless one of them is using force/blackmail etc. to get what they want. That's my view on it, at least. Possibly society is being too protective of children finding out about sex. Kids are curious, about literally everything, and have no shame (which is developed later, during puberty). maybe if it opened up a little bit to the idea that children explore sexuality on their own level, without that being a "bad" thing per se, maybe then it would be easier for children to talk about these things when they are happening in a bad way.

In the same stream of thought, I think it is very hard to explain to children why they should object to certain things adults may do to them. In my view, children are completely surrendered to the integrity of the adults that surround them. The only thing one can do is make sure the child knows that if those things happen, it's important (and completely safe) to tell mommy/daddy about it. I wouldn't know exactly how that works, but I can see how this could decrease the number of incidents, and halts child abuse in an early stage.
Especially in incest-cases it's important to take notice of them and as a parent act upon it by never leaving your child alone again with 'uncle Bill', without actively pressing charges against him.

Which leads me to another thought: paedophiles are possibly the scapegoat for all child abuse while in actuality, I don't think they're responsible for even half of the cases. Incest is a far more harmful experience, and happens a lot more often, performed by people who are not paedophile, but abuse children because they are an easy, moldable and quiet target.

As for society dealing with paedophiles: I personally think that encouraging treatment in the form of councelling is great, especially when they have been convicted before. But as has been said here before, making it mandatory will kill its effectivity.
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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Belial » Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:03 pm UTC

@Belial: you said "Treatment is not punishment."
Well actually it depends. In communist Russia many people who were against the oppressive system were judged "mad" and sent to asylums. That is definitely punishment. Some countries also tried to "cure" homosexuality with electro shcok treatment. Definitely punishment.


Okay, let me explain something:

Every time someone does something to you that you find unpleasant, or even wholly negative, DOES NOT QUALIFY AS A PUNISHMENT.

For example, if I run up and steal your wallet, that's not a punishment, that's just douchery. Also, crime.

For it to be a punishment, there has to be a quality of tit-for-tat, a retributive process. "You did this bad bad thing, therefore I'm going to make you suffer for it".

So in order to say that treatment of pedophiles is a punishment, you'd have to prove that one is more interested in making the pedophile suffer (as the russians were) than you were in making him better or safeguarding the rest of society.

Pointing out that the pedophile loses his freedom doesn't prove that, if the loss of freedom serves an end within their treatment. It's still not a punishment.
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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Kachi » Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:12 pm UTC

Even with that word shuffling trick, there's no explanation for how incarceration is essential to the treatment. If you're arguing that it's for the protection of others, you have to explain to me why that can't be accomplished with simple supervision of the individual.

And we're still talking about individuals who have yet to do anything wrong, aren't we?

Look, when people are talking about punishment, they're talking about mandatory incarceration, which serves four purposes. Punishment is only one of them. Other purposes are to serve as an example to others, to prevent the offender from repeating for the duration of their stay, and to protect that person from retaliation from people unsatisfied with the punishment.

So explain to me how that is any different from this "treatment" we're talking about. A difference of intent doesn't change the sameness of the result. Frankly, I think most of these people would rather be castrated than serve a life term, so if we're going to talk about mandatory treatment, let's just skip right to chopping balls off.

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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Elvish Pillager » Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:30 pm UTC

I think we should stop using the word "punishment", since there's a clear divide between what different posters are using it to mean.

Regardless of what it's called: Setting up a system that would mandate "treatment" for known non-offending pedophiles creates even more incentive to remain silent. There's virtually no way to identify someone as a pedophile if they neither come out nor offend.

Here, I'll divide them into four categories:
A) Those who neither are willing to come out nor want treatment.
B) Those who are willing to come out, but do not want treatment.
C) Those who seek treatment.
D) Those who offend.

Naturally, mandating treatment will not affect group C, since they are being treated already, or D, who are handled in their own way. Nor will it affect group A, since they will never be identified as pedophiles. In short, only group B is affected - and since they don't want treatment, the way they are affected is that they now don't come out.

That doesn't accomplish anything.
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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Belial » Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:42 pm UTC

Kachi wrote:Even with that word shuffling trick, there's no explanation for how incarceration is essential to the treatment.


According to the treatment regimen Jestingrabbit put forward, it would only be necessary in certain cases, on the judgement of the therapist.

And, interestingly, that's not a word shuffling trick. It's knowing what words mean.

Here, I'll divide them into four categories:
A) Those who neither are willing to come out nor want treatment.
B) Those who are willing to come out, but do not want treatment.
C) Those who seek treatment.
D) Those who offend.

Naturally, mandating treatment will not affect group C, since they are being treated already, or D, who are handled in their own way. Nor will it affect group A, since they will never be identified as pedophiles. In short, only group B is affected - and since they don't want treatment, the way they are affected is that they now don't come out.


Okay, let's look at group B. You're assuming that they want to come out, but that they don't want treatment, and if treatment was mandatory, they would sink back into group A: no longer willing to come out. Which assumes that their aversion to therapy is greater than their willingness to come out. It ignores the possibility of a weak aversion to therapy: people who wouldn't normally seek therapy, but will if they have to. Kindof divides our hypothetical group B in half.

And considering that they're already getting over that whole "everyone I've told now fears and loathes me" thing, I can imagine the therapy is a huge hurdle.
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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Malice » Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:02 am UTC

Belial: ignoring practical considerations, how can you legally and ethically justify holding people against their will (even on the word of a therapist) who have done nothing wrong?
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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Belial » Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:05 am UTC

The same way we already do:

If their psychological condition is deemed to pose a threat to themselves or others.

You are aware that you can already be committed to a mental hospital against your will, right?
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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Kachi » Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:11 am UTC

So you're willing to infer a risk to others based on nothing other than an existing urge, with no other considerations for the individual's mental state?

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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Malice » Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:38 am UTC

Belial wrote:The same way we already do:

If their psychological condition is deemed to pose a threat to themselves or others.

You are aware that you can already be committed to a mental hospital against your will, right?


Not unless I have a mental illness. And not unless it is that mental illness which is causing the threat.

Example: I've been fantasizing about poisoning random strangers' coffee for twenty years. I'm perfectly mentally healthy--I just like the idea. I can't be thrown in jail for that, because I haven't done anything. Even if I am later diagnosed with having been depressed for the past year, I can't be put into a mental hospital on the grounds that I might poison somebody. They can only put me there if my mental illness, my depression, is going to cause me to, say, commit suicide.

And as I argued earlier in the thread, pedophiles may have a mental illness, but their desires aren't caused by it; the illness is depression and other related symptoms caused by societal oppression and disapproval. Their desires are as natural as any other sexual preference; you can no more lock them in a mental hospital for wanting to molest than you can lock homosexuals in a mental hospital for wanting to sodomize.

If you want to mandate treatment for offenders, I'm 100% behind you. If you want to mandate treatment for people because of their thoughts, I'm 100% against you.

Beyond the ideological considerations, there's a practical one, too: the slippery slope. We've already seen it--homosexuality deemed a mental illness, and that fact deemed justification for locking gays up, purely because the establishment didn't like them. It's not out of the question to imagine something else happening of the same sort, if you continue to set precedents; eventually, maybe being a Communist or a Socialist is deemed a mental illness, and we'd better lock them up before they try and spread their propaganda. I'm not saying you advocate that; but your exact same position can be used by other people to do terrible, terrible things.

(Note: It's also arguable as to whether the statute means "threat" or "imminent threat" but for that I'd have to look up the actual laws.)
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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby mrandrewv » Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:17 am UTC

Belial: even if we buy that the mandatory incarceration is somehow "not punishment", and I really do think that it is just semantics at this point, that won't solve the problem.

And the problem is that it will certainly seem like punishment, both to those are experiencing it, and those who are thinking about coming out.

And yes, people can be committed against their will. But only if they are proven to be a danger to others or themselves and the rule of thumb usually is: are they going to hurt someone sometime within the next few weeks, or are they actually psychotic.

(Psychotic meaning suffering a serious break from reality, not necessarily violent)

Usually you need to have both, and the legality of such actions is obviously a mine field. So hospitals will only commit people of they are PROVEN to be an immediate danger.

And we still haven't dealt with the problem that forcing people to do therapy makes it so much more difficult for the therapy to suceed.

In order for any therapy to suceed you need to empower the client. The days of the therapist being an authority figure are long gone, or at least they should be (and as a side note if any of you have been in therapy for a year, and don't feel any better, it's time to fire your therapist, because they are made of fail).

Anyway my actual point is that the hardest part of this is getting the non-practicing paedophles to come out and seek treatment.

Therefore anything reasonable that increases the likelihood of them coming out is good, and anything that makes it less likely is bad, within reason of course.

The compulsory punishment-treatment makes it alot less likely that they will come out, so I don't think it is a good idea.
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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Artemisia » Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:29 am UTC

In NL there is a forum for paedophiles where they come out, and can discuss their thoughts on paedophily together. Anyone is welcome to join the discussion, and its readable for non-users as well (open platform).

I know the Dutch secret service (AIVD) keeps a close eye on that forum. They track down every IP, make sure there is no exchange of child porn or name lists (but the open structure prevents these things as well, obviously), and every paedophile that comes out there is at the very least monitored.

Personally, I think it's a great initiative, and I've read some good debates on there. Giving people a place to vent may prevent them from suppressing feelings until they snap. In my view this is more effective than mandate treatment, which even increases the suppression of feelings since paedophiles then rather keep their mouth shut.
If suppression leads to worse behaviour, then this may cause more children to be harmed than keeping an eye on things, thus keep them better controlled.

[edited for spelling errors]
Last edited by Artemisia on Fri Oct 17, 2008 11:49 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Gelsamel » Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:34 am UTC

A think a good idea is to remove any restrictions stuff like lolicon, perhaps even advocate it, that way paedophiles won't be as sexually repressed.

Then again I think it's a good idea to remove restrictions on most everything.
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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Belial » Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:50 pm UTC

Malice wrote:And as I argued earlier in the thread, pedophiles may have a mental illness, but their desires aren't caused by it; the illness is depression and other related symptoms caused by societal oppression and disapproval. Their desires are as natural as any other sexual preference; you can no more lock them in a mental hospital for wanting to molest than you can lock homosexuals in a mental hospital for wanting to sodomize.


And a violent schizophrenic's desire to kill, or a depressed suicidal person's desire to kill himself are also "natural" in that they arise out of the person's own unaltered brain chemistry. That....doesn't mean anything. Their urges, if acted upon, are harmful to others or themselves. Thus, when they are strong enough, it is mental illness.

Contrast with homosexuality.

mrandrewv wrote:And yes, people can be committed against their will. But only if they are proven to be a danger to others or themselves and the rule of thumb usually is: are they going to hurt someone sometime within the next few weeks


Interestingly, that's the criteria by which the treatment curricula listed goes from "outpatient" to "inpatient". It's almost like you didn't read it.
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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby grendelkhan » Fri Oct 17, 2008 5:03 pm UTC

Apologies for my lateness on the reply; I'm attempting to catch up.
qinwamascot wrote:Yes, but in this case, he isn't deceiving himself, nor can you say that in general people are. Some pedophiles do deceive themselves and rape children. But then again, some rapists deceive themselves and rape adults. Arguing that a larger percentage of pedophiles are convinced of something like that is ludicrous and unfounded; I have seen no statistical information supporting such a claim.
I'm afraid I must have left my well-designed and comprehensive surveys of pedophiles-who-are-not-necessarily-child-molesters in my other pants. The magical ones.

I'm drawing on what I've read by "out" pedophiles, who have a tendency to go on long, long rants about the need for ten year olds to have freedom and agency.
qinwamascot wrote:As for your actual argument, perhaps he will break down at some point and rape someone. We can disagree over the likelihood of this. But if we are going to punish him for it, should we not also punish everyone who ever has any desires to do anything bad? I know that I personally would find it extremely amusing to take an axe and break through my door. I don't know why. I have always wanted to do so with this particular door. However, I won't, because doing so would be harmful. Likewise, he would like to rape children, but won't because doing so would be harmful. I realize the desires are very different, but assuming (or even predicting) that one will give into desire is false.
That sounds like it might make sense, if you ignore everything about the massive prevalence of child sexual abuse, the vulnerability of children above and beyond that of adults, and the depressingly common justification dance that pedophiles do--which is to say, pretty much all of the thread up to this point.

If you were in this guy's shoes, wouldn't the moral thing be to consider the Copernican principle, assume that you don't possess extraordinary willpower (though it pains you to admit it), and distance yourself from children? Wouldn't you never, ever offer to babysit for someone or take a job in an elementary school? If you really understood that there's a significant likelihood that if you're around children, you'll commit a vicious and unforgivable crime against them, a crime that would outweigh whatever good you could possibly do with your life, wouldn't the moral course of action be to isolate yourself from them? Leaving aside all the obfuscatory handwaving about involuntarily committing people, isn't that the rightthing for the individual pedophile to do? And doesn't isolation serve a better cause than any amount of self-righteous yammering about being a sexual minority Just! Like! Gay! People! would?
qinwamascot wrote:It's not about managing not to molest someone; if you really think that you aren't looking at this objectively. It's about coming out and telling people that he is a pedophile. That in itself takes tremendous willpower because people will come out strongly against it. By doing so anyways, he is strengthening his commitment to not rape anyone.
I can just imagine that conversation. "I will, for the rest of my life, want to rape kids. It's likely that I want to rape your kids right now. But I'm going to try really hard not to rape your kids. Let me know if you need a sitter!"
qinwamascot wrote:Any psychiatrist will tell you that by doing so, he puts himself in by far the least likely category to commit any crimes of this nature. It's not managing to not molest people; it's coming out with his story.
Can you back up that claim? How much less likely? Compared to what?
qinwamascot wrote:Sure, we can treat people who are convicted. That is not problematic. But exiling them implies they can never return, which is exactly the problem here. The goal of legal consequences should be to get people back into society as productive individuals and correct misbehaviors, not just punish them. The former is proven successful while the latter fails in every major study on criminal justice.
You seem to be mixing up the goal of punishment with the goal of isolation. The facility described is there for the latter purpose. I doubt anyone wants to live there, but that's what it's for.
qinwamascot wrote:It's not illegal now, and it was never illegal to draw, only to distribute. The court struck down the old restrictions as unconstitutional abridgments of freedom of speech, and the people . You didn't address my question as to why this is at all wrong though.
I didn't address it because I didn't take issue with it. I pointed out that, while it's de facto legal, you may still get partyvanned and have your machinery seized by the Feds, even if all you carry are plain text files.

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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby grendelkhan » Fri Oct 17, 2008 6:01 pm UTC

Artemisia wrote:Personally, I think [the Dutch forum for pedophiles is] a great initiative, and I've read some good debates on there. Giving people a place to vent may prevent them from suppressing feelings until they snap. In my view this is more effective than mandate treatment, which even increases the suppression of feelings since paedophiles then rather keep their mouth shut.
It doesn't bother them to know that they put themselves on all sorts of watch lists by coming out? Clearly it's not as negative a consequence as being involuntarily committed, but I'm surprised that the chilling effect doesn't keep people away.
Belial wrote:And a violent schizophrenic's desire to kill, or a depressed suicidal person's desire to kill himself are also "natural" in that they arise out of the person's own unaltered brain chemistry. That....doesn't mean anything. Their urges, if acted upon, are harmful to others or themselves. Thus, when they are strong enough, it is mental illness.
If there was ever a place that I thought was safe from the clutches of the naturalistic fallacy, it would be a discussion about pedophiles. Clearly my sights have been set too high.

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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Belial » Fri Oct 17, 2008 6:36 pm UTC

Please don't doublepost.
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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Malice » Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:13 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
Malice wrote:And as I argued earlier in the thread, pedophiles may have a mental illness, but their desires aren't caused by it; the illness is depression and other related symptoms caused by societal oppression and disapproval. Their desires are as natural as any other sexual preference; you can no more lock them in a mental hospital for wanting to molest than you can lock homosexuals in a mental hospital for wanting to sodomize.


And a violent schizophrenic's desire to kill, or a depressed suicidal person's desire to kill himself are also "natural" in that they arise out of the person's own unaltered brain chemistry. That....doesn't mean anything. Their urges, if acted upon, are harmful to others or themselves. Thus, when they are strong enough, it is mental illness.

Contrast with homosexuality.


A strong urge does not constitute a mental illness (homosexuality). A harmful urge does not constitute a mental illness (see: abusive husbands). Even a strong, harmful urge does not constitute a mental illness (see: serial killers).

You can't simply claim that anybody who really wants to do something bad is insane. That may be how Victorian villains did it, but these days we rely on science, not moral judgment, to determine what is or is not an illness.

In DSM-IV, each of the mental disorders is conceptualized as a clinically significant behavioral or psychological syndrome or pattern that occurs in an individual and that is associated with present distress (e.g., a painful symptom) or disability (i.e., impairment in one or more important areas of functioning) or with a significantly increased risk of suffering death, pain, disability, or an important loss of freedom. In addition, this syndrome or pattern must not be merely an expectable and culturally sanctioned response to a particular event, for example, the death of a loved one. Whatever its original cause, it must currently be considered a manifestation of a behavioral, psychological, or biological dysfunction in the individual. Neither deviant behavior (e.g., political, religious, or sexual) nor conflicts that are primarily between the individual and society are mental disorders unless the deviance or conflict is a symptom of a dysfunction in the individual, as described above.


Emphasis mine. Pedophilia is not associated with present distress or disability (no more so than homosexuality, at least). It may or may not be a manifestation of behavioral, psychological, or biological dysfunction in the individual; I don't think anything of that sort has been proven either way yet. It is sexually deviant behavior, resulting from a conflict primarily between the individual and society; but again, it cannot be proven to be a symptom of dysfunction in the individual, any more than homosexuality can. Therefore, in my opinion, it cannot be described as a mental illness.

(And don't say, "But it's in that same book!" I addressed that earlier in the thread.)

Again, the harmful result of this particular healthy mental state does not change the fact that it is a healthy mental state.
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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Belial » Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:34 pm UTC

It is sexually deviant behavior, resulting from a conflict primarily between the individual and society; but again, it cannot be proven to be a symptom of dysfunction in the individual


Which is nonsensical, because "functioning" and "nonfunctioning (dysfunction)" are defined by society.

But even leaving that aside, the painful and distressing symptom as stated can just as easily be the selfsame stifled sexual urges, which, in the eventuality that they threaten to harm another person (and any expression of them at all would be harmful), would prove justification for incarceration.
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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Malice » Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:01 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
It is sexually deviant behavior, resulting from a conflict primarily between the individual and society; but again, it cannot be proven to be a symptom of dysfunction in the individual


Which is nonsensical, because "functioning" and "nonfunctioning (dysfunction)" are defined by society.


I refuse to accept a system in which society can say, "You there, with the hat. I disapprove of your hat. That's deviant hat behavior right there. Take it off. I said take it off! NOW! ...oh, you think you can throw a punch at me? That's hat-rage, mister. We're going to have to lock you up. Clearly your hat is a sign of insanity."

I may not know the difference between function and dysfunction, because I'm not a mental health professional, but I'm pretty sure it means something more along the lines of "Your kidneys are not functioning properly" than something like "You just can't seem to hold down a job".
In that sense, a pedophile's brain is functioning just fine.

But even leaving that aside, the painful and distressing symptom as stated can just as easily be the selfsame stifled sexual urges, which, in the eventuality that they threaten to harm another person (and any expression of them at all would be harmful), would prove justification for incarceration.


Threatening to express those urges may be grounds for incarceration. Having those urges is not proof that those urges are in imminent danger of being expressed. Nor is it necessarily true that those urges must be stifled (pornography provides some relief); nor is it necessarily true that those urges will inevitably cause pain and distress. None of these things can be generalized to "all pedophiles should receive mandatory treatment, regardless of prior action."
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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby BlackSails » Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:47 pm UTC

Malice wrote:I may not know the difference between function and dysfunction, because I'm not a mental health professional, but I'm pretty sure it means something more along the lines of "Your kidneys are not functioning properly" than something like "You just can't seem to hold down a job".
In that sense, a pedophile's brain is functioning just fine.


If 90% of the population had schizophrenia, then schizophrenia would be normal, not a disorder.
If most people were three feet tall, dwarfism would be normal, not a disorder.
If most people couldnt process phenylalanine into tyrosine, then phenylketonuria would be normal, not a disorder.

Functional/dysfunctional can only be established in relation to some reference point, which is generally taken to be the average across all of society.

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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Noc » Sat Oct 18, 2008 1:54 am UTC

I'm not sure if I've got the wording exactly right, but I'm pretty sure that the gist of it is that something becomes a "disorder" (or something similar) when it begins to significantly impact your ability to function normally in society. For instance, there's nothing wrong with someone who's shy . . . but if someone is so terrified of people that he never leaves his house, won't apply for a job, and can't even make himself return any calls, then it starts being considered a "disorder."

Except in cases of things like schizophrenia, which is a degenerative condition and is a result of your brain not working properly, a lot of psychological disorders are things that involve the brain functioning "normally," but to the extent that its detrimental to the individual's life. Phobias are an example of this: the brain can pick them up as natural process (it's in our nature to learn to be scared of things, after all), but while it's not a matter of your brain being "broken," it IS a matter of your brain's current state (which is something that you don't really have very direct control over) functioning in a way as to significantly impair you from living normally.

Suicide's another example; people don't ponder suicide because a spring popped loose between their ears and now they're being irrationally compelled to kill themselves. But people become suicidal as a result of severe depression and high stress . . . and while it may be an extension of your mind's normal range of functions, it's a decidedly harmful one that leads to people bringing harm to themselves irrationally. Which makes it a "disorder." Because it's something that's "out of order;" it's something that impairs one's ability to function normally.

Things like psychopathy or pedophilia are disorders because, for the same reasons, they impair people's ability to function in society without harming others. Again, there's nothing "broken," but the mind in question's worked itself into a shape that's causing normal functioning to be a problem, and probably needs external aid in order to be pushed back into line so everyone involved can continue on normally.

[Edit for more relevance: And yes, "functioning normally in society" is, in many cases, a very subjective thing. And when psychology was in vogue, earlier in the century, we used this reasoning to do all sorts of silly things. Remember when being a Commie was a psychological condition? It wasn't quite so long ago that homosexuality was, too. And we still have a lot of issues to work out with this sort of thinking; the mass diagnosis of ADD, for example, in kids who's only real condition is of being kids.

But still, the psychological idea of a "normal life" is pretty broad. And it's pretty clear that, say, being suicidal isn't conducive to it. Neither is being irrationally terrified of people with red hair. And neither is having a constant compulsion to sexually abuse children.]
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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Malice » Sat Oct 18, 2008 5:40 am UTC

Bah. Fine. Fine. It's legal. That doesn't make it right, and it doesn't mean I fucking like the idea. We should not be locking up people who have done nothing wrong on the assumption that they're going to break down and commit a crime. Even if you can manage to twist "society doesn't like people like you" into "you have a mental illness," I still think it's wrong.
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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby qinwamascot » Sat Oct 18, 2008 5:59 am UTC

Noc wrote:But still, the psychological idea of a "normal life" is pretty broad. And it's pretty clear that, say, being suicidal isn't conducive to it. Neither is being irrationally terrified of people with red hair. And neither is having a constant compulsion to sexually abuse children.


These are arbitrary, and I disagree with all three. I think it is possible to be suicidal, but also be mentally sane. I also think it is possible to be irrationally afraid of things, but mentally sound. Plenty of people are afraid of weirder things, like the number 13 (a mathematical construct!) so I don't see a problem with being afraid of people with a certain hair color. Certainly some people are afraid of black people, and that's just skin color, which is not really different.

If you put pedophilia in the same class as these, I'd say that the person should seek treatment, but we should not mandate it. Which is exactly what I've been saying.

Noc wrote:Except in cases of things like schizophrenia, which is a degenerative condition and is a result of your brain not working properly, a lot of psychological disorders are things that involve the brain functioning "normally," but to the extent that its detrimental to the individual's life. Phobias are an example of this: the brain can pick them up as natural process (it's in our nature to learn to be scared of things, after all), but while it's not a matter of your brain being "broken," it IS a matter of your brain's current state (which is something that you don't really have very direct control over) functioning in a way as to significantly impair you from living normally.


Being a mild schizophrenic myself, I have met people who are a lot worse off than me. Most of them could still lead relatively normal lives. Paranoid schizophrenia is far less common than you might think, and only the most extreme cases necessitate treatment. Just like only the most extreme cases of pedophilia (i.e. intent to, or act of, child molestation) should require treatment. We basically agree, except that you put the point at which normal functioning stops at the thought of acting in a certain way, while I think it is the intent or act in question.

Also, why should the government impose a certain degree of normalcy on people? If someone is insane by all accounts, but also provably totally harmless, is it right to force them to change? If they are happy with their current state, should we mandate that they change it to something that could very well make them less happy?

Gelsamel wrote:A think a good idea is to remove any restrictions stuff like lolicon, perhaps even advocate it, that way paedophiles won't be as sexually repressed.

Then again I think it's a good idea to remove restrictions on most everything.


Are you in favor of things like child pornography, or just artwork depicting children? Because if you're talking about the former, I have to disagree, if only because I think it would be abused. The latter is not a problem though (for me).
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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby ManaUser » Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:46 am UTC

This thread has covered alot of ground... there a bunch of things I'm tempted to reply to, but seeing as I've come in late I'll stick to what I see as the most important point. And that is what looks like a huge leap of logic to me.

Why do so many people assume that a person such as =lordogreus poses a danger to children? He said he's sexually attracted to girls and he doesn't like that he can't talk about it, that's it. How does anyone get from there to "he's a danger to children"?

All indications seem to be to the contrary. He states that is repulsed by child abuse, and does not even look at child porn. He neither spends a great deal time with children, nor feels out of control to the point where he must avoid them. And to top it off he has a completely harmless outlet for his attraction, art.

It seems like a stretch to even call him "sick". As far as I saw he didn't mention suffering any particular distress over it besides at the fact that he feels compelled to keep it secret.

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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Kachi » Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:05 am UTC

I can't help but keep going back to all of the guys that I know who -really- want to have sex with girls, but don't. Not because they can't, either. They choose not to simply because they don't want to for a number of reasons. Oh sure, this girl is practically throwing herself at him, but he resists because he doesn't want her to get the wrong idea, or he didn't bring a condom, or he might even have an STD. For any number of reasons, I've known fellow males to turn down the single most compelling urge that they have.

And I have to imagine that for a pedophile, that one little possibility that they will emotionally scar a person for life is probably enough to stop them from acting on it -unless- they are demonstrably deluded. Now, if some pedophile is clearly deluded so much so that they have said things like, "I don't see what's so wrong about it," or, "The children should be allowed to do what they want," then I am not opposed to a mandatory detainment for treatment (though that does not necessarily mean that I condone making this a life-long detainment).

For someone that knows it's wrong and doesn't want to harm a child, that is reason enough for me to believe that they can handle their urges. If a "normal" guy can not sleep with a woman (frame of reference, mine) just because he doesn't want to give her the wrong idea, even though he -really- wants to, then an otherwise normal person who is attracted to children can restrain themselves from causing severe emotional trauma to a child.

I mean, consider all of the men out there who go their entire lives on porn and the powers of their imagination to quell the urges that strike, and somehow manage never to rape a woman.

I guess I just don't see where the prevailing argument for locking these people up doesn't meet with making sure that everybody who isn't getting any is in imminent danger of committing a sexual assault. You have to give a little benefit of the doubt and consider that humans have the ability to delay gratification, which is what separates us from animals in the first place. You can not assume the worst about people, no matter what their urges. You simply can not assume that a person cannot control their urges. Period.

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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Gelsamel » Sat Oct 18, 2008 2:16 pm UTC

qinwamascot wrote:
Gelsamel wrote:A think a good idea is to remove any restrictions stuff like lolicon, perhaps even advocate it, that way paedophiles won't be as sexually repressed.

Then again I think it's a good idea to remove restrictions on most everything.


Are you in favor of things like child pornography, or just artwork depicting children? Because if you're talking about the former, I have to disagree, if only because I think it would be abused. The latter is not a problem though (for me).


The only problem I have with the former is that children can't really give consent properly for things like that. In a world where everyone was well informed and mature and made their own decisions without a big power play going on then that's fine, but we don't, so it's not fine.

The latter is essentially the same thing as for the former, except there is no need for consent, there is no abuse of the children in that case.
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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Noc » Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:46 pm UTC

qinwamascot wrote:
Noc wrote:But still, the psychological idea of a "normal life" is pretty broad. And it's pretty clear that, say, being suicidal isn't conducive to it. Neither is being irrationally terrified of people with red hair. And neither is having a constant compulsion to sexually abuse children.
These are arbitrary, and I disagree with all three. I think it is possible to be suicidal, but also be mentally sane.

I wrote:Suicide's another example; people don't ponder suicide because a spring popped loose between their ears and now they're being irrationally compelled to kill themselves. But people become suicidal as a result of severe depression and high stress . . . and while it may be an extension of your mind's normal range of functions,

So . . . yes. you're agreeing with me. On the other hand, it's not a stretch at all to claim that being suicidal is a bad thing. I'd go as far as to say that it's a very bad thing that could cause very bad things to happen without treatment.

I also think it is possible to be irrationally afraid of things, but mentally sound. Plenty of people are afraid of weirder things, like the number 13 (a mathematical construct!) so I don't see a problem with being afraid of people with a certain hair color. Certainly some people are afraid of black people, and that's just skin color, which is not really different.

I wrote:Phobias are an example of this: the brain can pick them up as natural process (it's in our nature to learn to be scared of things, after all), but while it's not a matter of your brain being "broken," it IS a matter of your brain's current state (which is something that you don't really have very direct control over) functioning in a way as to significantly impair you from living normally.

Again, I don't think the point that I'm making is the point that you think I'm making. As with being suicidal, I'm specifically making the case for many psychological disorders not being a matter of classical "insanity" in the sense of "something being broken." We develop fears for plenty of things in life simply as a matter of normal functioning, and no one's advocating treatment for people being scared of things. What I AM saying is that if someone has an intense enough and irrational enough fear of, by my example, people with red hair, it could very well impair their ability to function normally. As in, a person who's too scared to leave their house because they're afraid of bumping into a redhead, or will have a panic attack if one sits next to them on the bus, or won't pick up vital medication at a pharmacy because the clerk is a redhead.

So while I may have, perhaps, an irrational fear of large men in blood-stained aprons breaking down my door in the middle of the night with a hatchet, it's not something that's going to impair my ability to function normally. If I'm agoraphobic, and am so afraid of the outside that I never leave my house, then there's a problem. Both phobias can be picked up the same way by a mind functioning perfectly well . . . but that doesn't make the latter less of a problem.
If you put pedophilia in the same class as these, I'd say that the person should seek treatment, but we should not mandate it. Which is exactly what I've been saying.

I didn't make the argument for treatment in my post. I've been keeping out of it, because I already said my piece a while ago, and reached an impasse. I was just clarifying things for Malice. [Edit: I do talk about the treatment issue some more below, in response to your later points. But there was nothing about it in my above post. For clarification.]
Noc wrote:Except in cases of things like schizophrenia, which is a degenerative condition and is a result of your brain not working properly, a lot of psychological disorders are things that involve the brain functioning "normally," but to the extent that its detrimental to the individual's life. Phobias are an example of this: the brain can pick them up as natural process (it's in our nature to learn to be scared of things, after all), but while it's not a matter of your brain being "broken," it IS a matter of your brain's current state (which is something that you don't really have very direct control over) functioning in a way as to significantly impair you from living normally.
Being a mild schizophrenic myself, I have met people who are a lot worse off than me. Most of them could still lead relatively normal lives. Paranoid schizophrenia is far less common than you might think, and only the most extreme cases necessitate treatment. Just like only the most extreme cases of pedophilia (i.e. intent to, or act of, child molestation) should require treatment. We basically agree, except that you put the point at which normal functioning stops at the thought of acting in a certain way, while I think it is the intent or act in question.

Again, I wasn't making an argument for or against treatment. I brought up schizophrenia because it's an example of a psychological disorder that is actually a matter of something being broken. Schizophrenia, whatever the severity, is not something a healthy human mind does normally. As you said yourself, not every case is crippling, but I was bringing it up to contrast this sort of disorder, which is a matter of something being broken, with disorders like phobias and pedophilia, which are matters of the human mind working normally but detrimentally.

Also, why should the government impose a certain degree of normalcy on people? If someone is insane by all accounts, but also provably totally harmless, is it right to force them to change? If they are happy with their current state, should we mandate that they change it to something that could very well make them less happy?

Well, there are two issues here. Well, three, I think. There's things that fall into the range of "making life less optimal." Most phobias fall into this category, for instance; it would definitely be easier to function without them, but they aren't necessarily crippling. There's things that fall into the range of "liable to cause imminent self-harm." Being suicidal is one of these; the point here is that someone who's acutely suicidal needs help, or else they stand a good chance of killing themselves. The argument for this is that someone who's suicidal is not, almost be definition, in a rational enough state to seek help on their own, so someone else needs to step in to mandate it in order to prevent them from harming themselves. Thus, government mandated treatment.

The third problem is a matter of people who are liable to cause harm to others. The government shouldn't be the ones to impose a certain degree of normalcy on people, but they should be able to provide a certain degree of safety. And the argument (at least the good arguments) for mandatory treatment of pedophiles isn't that it's "weird, and unnatural, and that they should lock those freaks up before it spreads." It's that the pedophile in question is constantly compelled to do something that would cause harm to other people. And that, when it goes beyond a matter of personal normalcy and enters into the realm of whether or not other people are safe in the person's vicinity, then it's definitely the government's job to step in.

Now, clearly there are degrees. For instance, I still have a lingering attraction to teenage girls, because not so very long ago I was a teenage boy who was attracted to people my own age. Technically this would count as pedophilic urges, but you know what? It's really not an issue. I don't spend any amount of my time constructing elaborate fantasies about me and high school freshmen; the most this amounts to is passing someone on the street and thinking "Hey, she's pretty cute. But . . . wait a minute, she's, like, fifteen. So much for that." And I'm clearly not about to submit myself for treatment for having been a teenager a few years ago.

But then again, this would hardly be enough to classify me as a pedophile, in the same way that my fear of people pointing loaded guns at me and demanding my wallet hardly amounts to a phobia. But the most dangerous people, i.e. the people most likely to offend and act on their urges, are those people in who the urges are fully and deeply ingrained. And these are the people who are the least likely to seek treatment. Part of this is because of the stigma, which is a tricky problem to solve and one I don't have a solution for. But the other part is that the most dangerous examples don't see this as a problem at all, and don't see why they should seek treatment in the first place for something that's only natural. These are people who are being urged to cause harm to other people around them, and don't see anything wrong with it.

Mandatory treatment for these cases is really the only thing the government can do. They can't do nothing, because other peoples' safety is at stake. And preemptive incarceration, locking people up for crimes they haven't committed yet but might, is clearly out of the question. But mandating that someone to submit to a psychological evaluation and successive treatment is a far cry from incarceration. And, if I remember correctly, the evaluation is usually an important part of the process, because it enables this differentiation between people who are at a high risk of offending and people for who there isn't a problem.

As opposed to simply using the dictionary definition of the term, which would involve flashing a photograph and asking "Would you tap this?"

"Uh . . . sure?"

"WRONG! She's underage. You're off to the happy house."
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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby ManaUser » Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:47 pm UTC

Noc wrote:Now, clearly there are degrees. For instance, I still have a lingering attraction to teenage girls, because not so very long ago I was a teenage boy who was attracted to people my own age. Technically this would count as pedophilic urges,

Actually no, that would not technically be a pedophilic urge. Pedophilia is an attraction to prepubescent children. Attraction to people who have reached sexual maturity but not the cultural/legal age of adulthood is called... normal.

Noc wrote:but you know what? It's really not an issue. I don't spend any amount of my time constructing elaborate fantasies about me and high school freshmen; the most this amounts to is passing someone on the street and thinking "Hey, she's pretty cute. But . . . wait a minute, she's, like, fifteen. So much for that." And I'm clearly not about to submit myself for treatment for having been a teenager a few years ago.

But you do raise a good point. I imagine that the majority of people find some minors sexually attractive. But for the most part it doesn't cause any trouble. If she was 7 instead of 15 and you reacted the same way, it wouldn't be normal, but would that really be any more of a problem?

Noc wrote:And preemptive incarceration, locking people up for crimes they haven't committed yet but might, is clearly out of the question. But mandating that someone to submit to a psychological evaluation and successive treatment is a far cry from incarceration.

I have to disagree. I would not call forced psychiatric treatment "a far cry from" incarceration. They are both very severe deprivations of liberty. In fact I'm not certain which is worse. It could be argued that messing with a person's mind is is infringing on a more basic human right that physical imprisonment.

Either way you're depriving someone of liberty, not for actions, but for thoughts, and I can't get behind that. IMHO it would be better in the long run for everybody if we kept the medical treatment strictly voluntary. Especially with mental health I think it's extremely important that people know they can trust their doctor, therapist, etc absolutely and will not be forced into anything. Otherwise they will be less likely to seek treatment at all.

That leaves the "justice" system for dealing with people who don't want treatment. It's not perfect, but it's better than mixing the two. And by the rules of that system we only take away a person's liberty for actions, not thoughts. It doesn't have to be a successful crime, but just thinking about it is not enough.

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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Noc » Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:10 pm UTC

I have to disagree. I would not call forced psychiatric treatment "a far cry from" incarceration. They are both very severe deprivations of liberty. In fact I'm not certain which is worse. It could be argued that messing with a person's mind is is infringing on a more basic human right that physical imprisonment.

How are you defining "psychiatric treatment?" Do you think I'm talking about mandatory incarceration in a mental institution? Mandated electroshock therapy? Lobotomy? A treatment regimen pulled verbatim from A Clockwork Orange?

Try "mandatory, two-hour-long sessions with a counselor once a week." I hope you're not equating being forced to see a counselor with being thrown in jail. That would be silly.
Either way you're depriving someone of liberty, not for actions, but for thoughts, and I can't get behind that.

The issue here isn't a matter of "Thought Policing," of making sure people don't have bad thoughts that could lead them to commit crimes. As is mentioned before, we all contemplate doing harmful and illegal things at some point in our lives, and it would be both silly and dangerous to start cracking down on this, 1984 style.

What makes something a psychological disorder instead of a "bad thought" is the persistence and intensity of the emotional urging. As I mentioned, and which you agreed with, having a fleeting attraction to someone that's underage isn't an issue . . . and it clearly isn't something that would mark the person in question as having a psychological disorder.

By definition, psychological disorders are persistent and compulsive. If it's something one has no chance of acting on, if it's not something that's persistently influencing your actions, then it's not a disorder. If it is, though . . . compulsions are compulsions. They're constant, and perennial, and nagging, and they don't let you go. Panic attacks aren't things people shrug off; someone who's severely OCD doesn't stop counting the leaves on a sidewalk because they really do have a bus to catch. Psychological disorders are very real things, and have very real effects on people's actions.

Clearly, the evaluation I mentioned in my post is necessary to determine whether a particular individual's case of the disorder is severe enough to make him a high-risk venture . . . if, if left untreated, the individual has a very good chance of harming someone. There are systems in place now, in most states, to prevent mental-health patients from being spuriously institutionalized; so nothing I'm advocating will reach the level of enforcing punishments for "thought crimes." The dangers of this exist, but they come from the direction of national security and anti-terrorism measures, rather than overzealous sanctions against the mentally ill.

(I believe. It's been a long time since I've done the research on this. Mental health was a debate team topic back in High School, but I'm currently fuzzy on the specifics. And I'm sure that there are still plenty of problems with the way the legal system handles mental illness . . . but this doesn't mean that the legal system shouldn't handle mental illness.)

Anyways, my point stands, and the point is that psychological disorders are very real things that have real consequences in the actions of those possessing them, and need to be governed by real laws and dealt with on their own ground. Especially when it involves harm coming to others.
IMHO it would be better in the long run for everybody if we kept the medical treatment strictly voluntary. Especially with mental health I think it's extremely important that people know they can trust their doctor, therapist, etc absolutely and will not be forced into anything. Otherwise they will be less likely to seek treatment at all.

This would be better, definitely, in a perfect world. As it is, there are enough fears of their doctor, therapist, etc being an absolute incompetent quack. As it is, people are going to psychologists to get their kids diagnosed for ADD because they'd rather keep them drugged than deal with rambunctious children. As it is, people sue hospitals when overworked and sleep-deprived doctors make mistakes. And as it is, people are unwilling to seek treatment for a psychological disorder because they know that anyone who finds out about it - including, perhaps, the therapist they go to - will write them off as a crazy, perverted deviant instead of giving them the support and help they need to make the disorder a non-issue.

It would be great, and definitely better in the long run, if we could trust all of our doctors and shrinks to be competent, and if we could feel that we can go them for help if we need to. And if we could trust society to be both informed and understanding about these issues, so that once we've received treatment for something the problem is still not held against us. But this is not the world we live in. If it was, we wouldn't be faced with this problem in the first place! THOSE are the issues we have to solve, and if we solve them, then there might be a time when mandatory psychological treatment isn't necessary. But we do not live in that world, and refusing to confront the problem of mental illness in legal terms will do nothing to hasten it along.
That leaves the "justice" system for dealing with people who don't want treatment. It's not perfect, but it's better than mixing the two. And by the rules of that system we only take away a person's liberty for actions, not thoughts. It doesn't have to be a successful crime, but just thinking about it is not enough.

But the justice system doesn't work, for this. As mentioned before, the numbers for childhood sexual abuse are awfully high; 10% of boys and 20% of girls, I believe. (I'll try and track the quote down, but there's a lot of posts to sift through, and there's a good chance it was mentioned in the other thread too.) There's a tremendous stigma not only against pedophiles but against those who come forward as victims as well; if we look at trends in recent, high-profile cases such as the clergy sex-abuse scandal, there's a very strong pattern for victims keeping mum about the abuse for decades, often until the statute of limitations has passed.

And not only is the threat of legal reprisal in the face of such actions ineffective in the light of perpetrators feeling as if they can "get away with it," it's also not a helpful way to deal with a psychological compulsion. You can't beat OCD out of a child, for example, no matter how hard many parents in the past have tried. Being told that what you're doing is wrong and being punished for it often only creates further cognitive dissonance, which doesn't help matters at all. And the person involve often still won't seek treatment, for the reasons I mention above.

The best way - I'd even say the only good way - to deal with a harmful psychological compulsion is with proper psychological treatment. The threat of incarceration after the fact is not only an ineffective deterrent, but it also does nothing to solve the underlying problem, and will do very little to prevent an offender from offending again.

. . .

I wish I had the research and the numbers for all of this around. The numbers involved are really telling, if I remember them correctly; unfortunately, I don't have the time to set aside a couple of days for the purpose of rounding all of this informationb back up.
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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby qinwamascot » Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:56 pm UTC

Gelsamel wrote:The only problem I have with the former is that children can't really give consent properly for things like that. In a world where everyone was well informed and mature and made their own decisions without a big power play going on then that's fine, but we don't, so it's not fine.

The latter is essentially the same thing as for the former, except there is no need for consent, there is no abuse of the children in that case.


Agreed. The only problem I have with actual child porn or children having sex is that children don't have the information and judgement.

Noc wrote:I didn't make the argument for treatment in my post. I've been keeping out of it, because I already said my piece a while ago, and reached an impasse. I was just clarifying things for Malice. [Edit: I do talk about the treatment issue some more below, in response to your later points. But there was nothing about it in my above post. For clarification.]


Wow, then I misread your whole post :oops: . Sorry! That's what I get for staying up till 6am. Just disregard anything I wrote then.

Noc wrote:But then again, this would hardly be enough to classify me as a pedophile, in the same way that my fear of people pointing loaded guns at me and demanding my wallet hardly amounts to a phobia. But the most dangerous people, i.e. the people most likely to offend and act on their urges, are those people in who the urges are fully and deeply ingrained. And these are the people who are the least likely to seek treatment. Part of this is because of the stigma, which is a tricky problem to solve and one I don't have a solution for. But the other part is that the most dangerous examples don't see this as a problem at all, and don't see why they should seek treatment in the first place for something that's only natural. These are people who are being urged to cause harm to other people around them, and don't see anything wrong with it.

Mandatory treatment for these cases is really the only thing the government can do. They can't do nothing, because other peoples' safety is at stake. And preemptive incarceration, locking people up for crimes they haven't committed yet but might, is clearly out of the question. But mandating that someone to submit to a psychological evaluation and successive treatment is a far cry from incarceration. And, if I remember correctly, the evaluation is usually an important part of the process, because it enables this differentiation between people who are at a high risk of offending and people for who there isn't a problem.


OK, I guess I agree with most of this. The problem I see is that I don't think constantly having urges in the point at which treatment is mandated. I think it's when the person can no longer control the urges, and has either the intent to, or has already committed the act in question. However, this kind of policy does have the problem that more child abuse is likely. Unfortunately, this is unavoidable, but I don't even think it would get better if we mandated treatment.
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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Princess Marzipan » Sat Oct 18, 2008 10:16 pm UTC

Noc wrote:It would be great, and definitely better in the long run, if we could trust all of our doctors and shrinks to be competent, and if we could feel that we can go them for help if we need to. And if we could trust society to be both informed and understanding about these issues, so that once we've received treatment for something the problem is still not held against us. But this is not the world we live in. If it was, we wouldn't be faced with this problem in the first place! THOSE are the issues we have to solve, and if we solve them, then there might be a time when mandatory psychological treatment isn't necessary. But we do not live in that world, and refusing to confront the problem of mental illness in legal terms will do nothing to hasten it along.

But the justice system doesn't work, for this. As mentioned before, the numbers for childhood sexual abuse are awfully high; 10% of boys and 20% of girls, I believe. (I'll try and track the quote down, but there's a lot of posts to sift through, and there's a good chance it was mentioned in the other thread too.) There's a tremendous stigma not only against pedophiles but against those who come forward as victims as well; if we look at trends in recent, high-profile cases such as the clergy sex-abuse scandal, there's a very strong pattern for victims keeping mum about the abuse for decades, often until the statute of limitations has passed.


So because society has an irrational hatred of pedophiles, the optimal course is to infringe on the pedophiles' rights, because society will actually go along with it.

Except that we're talking about America, where (supposedly) freedom is more important than someone's right not to feel icky about someone else.

Whether or not to force treatment anyway is rather bollocks, for a simple reason: how the hell do you know if someone is a pedophile? If you're forcing treatment they don't want, they're not going to come clean about it. So what do you do? Hold random pedophile screening tests? That's not exactly kosher or constitutional.

The solution is exactly what you say is too hard. Making people understand that pedophiles are people too, and that if we accept that, we can have them as productive members of society who don't actually rape children. We can offer treatment, but not force it. Then EVERYONE wins, including society as a whole.
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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Noc » Sat Oct 18, 2008 11:02 pm UTC

So because society has an irrational hatred of pedophiles, the optimal course is to infringe on the pedophiles' rights, because society will actually go along with it.

That's not the point I was making. The point I was making is that since psychological treatment is the only good way to solve the problem, and because pedophiles will (because of stigma and/or a general distrust of the mental health field) not seek treatment themselves, and because a pedophile who needs treatment and doesn't seek it is very likely to hurt someone . . . mandatory treatment is a good idea.

Whether or not to force treatment anyway is rather bollocks, for a simple reason: how the hell do you know if someone is a pedophile? If you're forcing treatment they don't want, they're not going to come clean about it. So what do you do? Hold random pedophile screening tests? That's not exactly kosher or constitutional.

Which is a good point, actually, and one I didn't address because it hadn't come up yet. Clearly something has to happen to bring this the the authority's attention first. But there are a lot of things that can mark someone as a candidate for treatment that fall short of actual instances of abuse; being found with child pornography, for example, or having one's information ferreted out by a cop posing as a child on the internet. Something similar is already the case with people who are suicidal; we don't conduct random tests to ferret out anyone who may be having suicidal thoughts, but if someone attempts to commit suicide a court can order them to undergo counseling. I'm proposing that a similar system is the proper way to deal with pedophilia.
The solution is exactly what you say is too hard. Making people understand that pedophiles are people too, and that if we accept that, we can have them as productive members of society who don't actually rape children. We can offer treatment, but not force it. Then EVERYONE wins, including society as a whole.

Or we don't. As I mentioned a post of mine a LONG while ago, destigmatizing pedophilia is not necessarily a good solution. For instance, look at what happened with ADD; it lost its stigma, and people accepted that that someone with ADD is not an inherently crazy person. They're just a normal person, with a condition. And what this turned into was that ADD became an excuse. It was a desirable trait, because it meant that you couldn't be blamed for a lack of self control. "You're not a bad person just because you have ADD" turned, very quickly, into "There's nothing wrong with having ADD."

This is because our culture has a very difficult time with the concept of undesirable traits. We understand the idea of "Be who you are, and the bad things that people say about you don't matter," and we understand the idea of "You're worthless and not good enough because of this." What we don't understand very well is the concept of "You are otherwise a decent person, but this is a very bad thing that you need to fix." It makes things complicated; it means that we have a much harder time arriving at judgments about people. So we default to one or the other; either it's okay to be like something, or its not.

And I think that the prorogation of the idea of pedophilia being just something you do, that you can't really be blamed for, would result in more harm than good.

Obviously, a society that's more educated about mental health issues is not a bad thing. And that's something we can do. But trying to maintain an optimal level of disapproval of pedophilia, while keeping the stigma down enough to allow people to come forward and be treated, is a tremendously tricky thing that I don't think we'd ever be able to do.
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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Princess Marzipan » Sat Oct 18, 2008 11:24 pm UTC

Noc wrote:
Whether or not to force treatment anyway is rather bollocks, for a simple reason: how the hell do you know if someone is a pedophile? If you're forcing treatment they don't want, they're not going to come clean about it. So what do you do? Hold random pedophile screening tests? That's not exactly kosher or constitutional.

Which is a good point, actually, and one I didn't address because it hadn't come up yet. Clearly something has to happen to bring this the the authority's attention first. But there are a lot of things that can mark someone as a candidate for treatment that fall short of actual instances of abuse; being found with child pornography, for example, or having one's information ferreted out by a cop posing as a child on the internet. Something similar is already the case with people who are suicidal; we don't conduct random tests to ferret out anyone who may be having suicidal thoughts, but if someone attempts to commit suicide a court can order them to undergo counseling. I'm proposing that a similar system is the proper way to deal with pedophilia.


Right, and you have child pornography, that's already illegal, and presumably some sort of therapy is part of your sentence before your debt to society is considered paid.

If you collude with children with the provable intent of having sex with them as is set up by Internet stings, that's already illegal, and presumably some sort of therapy is part of your sentence before your debt to society is considered paid.

(As a side note, I don't think the material should be illegal to possess in theory, but since it can't created without exploitation, and because possession indicates a demand which requires a supply which leads to further exploitation, I will concede that the right to own child pornography does in fact infringe enough upon a child's right not to be exploited in that manner to justify making it illegal.)

Noc wrote:"You're not a bad person just because you have ADD" turned, very quickly, into "There's nothing wrong with having ADD."

Ah, but there ISN'T anything wrong with being a pedophile - just with being a practicing one.
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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Noc » Sat Oct 18, 2008 11:34 pm UTC

Right. So I'm not arguing for a new range of laws to seek out and mandate treatment for all the closeted pedophiles out there. [Edit: Mostly because of the logistical challenges inherent in conducting such a campaign without violating everyone's civil rights in the search.] What I am arguing for is the idea that mandatory psychological treatment for pedophiles (even ones that haven't actually molested anyone yet) who come to the law's attention is a good idea.
Nougat wrote:
Noc wrote:"You're not a bad person just because you have ADD" turned, very quickly, into "There's nothing wrong with having ADD."

Ah, but there ISN'T anything wrong with being a pedophile - just with being a practicing one.

But there is, because you're being psychologically motivated to do things that are harmful to others. Saying "There's nothing wrong with being a pedophile as long as you don't practice" is like saying "There's nothing wrong with being an alcoholic as long as you don't drink;" it's true, as long as your willpower is maintained, but you're in constant danger of falling off the wagon.

Except instead of getting drunk, you're harming someone. And it's not a good thing to be a lapse in willpower away from sexually abusing someone.

[Edited to fix tags. I'll respond to people tomorrow; it's been too long a day, and I don't think I've got another exhaustively explanatory post in me.]
Last edited by Noc on Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:30 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby If Chickens Were Purple... » Sat Oct 18, 2008 11:59 pm UTC

But there is, because you're being psychologically motivated to do things that are harmful to others. Saying "There's nothing wrong with being a pedophile as long as you don't practice" is like saying "There's nothing wrong with being an alcoholic as long as you don't drink;" it's true, as long as your willpower is maintained, but you're in constant danger of falling off the wagon.

There's nothing wrong with those things, they're just unfortunate for whoever has them. The word "wrong" here implies either wrong in a moral sense, which I don't think you meant, or wrong in as in 'freak of nature', which I don't think you meant.

What I am arguing for is the idea that mandatory psychological treatment for pedophiles (even ones that haven't actually molested anyone yet) who come to the law's attention is a good idea.

Except that the only way for closeted pedophiles to come to the laws attention is through the examples you gave, which are already illegal, like someone said. Unless they actually come out, but if we're just taking their word for it, it's useless. They could just claim at any moment during the treatment that they they've been "cured", and how would anyone know?

Also are we (by "we" I mean "whoever") saying that only people exclusively attracted to children need treatment, or everyone attracted to children? It's hard to tell when people are talking about one or the other, I propose we invent some vocabulary to solve this (if it doesn't exist already?)

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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Mane » Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:05 am UTC

Nougatrocity wrote:
Noc wrote:"You're not a bad person just because you have ADD" turned, very quickly, into "There's nothing wrong with having ADD."

Ah, but there ISN'T anything wrong with being a pedophile - just with being a practicing one.

Yes, and very soon this argument will turn into 'there is nothing wrong with being a practicing pedophile'

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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Princess Marzipan » Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:19 am UTC

Mane wrote:
Nougatrocity wrote:
Noc wrote:"You're not a bad person just because you have ADD" turned, very quickly, into "There's nothing wrong with having ADD."

Ah, but there ISN'T anything wrong with being a pedophile - just with being a practicing one.

Yes, and very soon this argument will turn into 'there is nothing wrong with being a practicing pedophile'


That's quite the logical leap, there.

From 'being a practicing pedophile is wrong' to 'there is nothing wrong with being a practicing pedophile.'

How exactly do you see that metamorphosis coming about, since you're so damn sure it'll happen?
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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Mane » Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:44 am UTC

Nougatrocity wrote:
Mane wrote:
Nougatrocity wrote:
Noc wrote:"You're not a bad person just because you have ADD" turned, very quickly, into "There's nothing wrong with having ADD."

Ah, but there ISN'T anything wrong with being a pedophile - just with being a practicing one.

Yes, and very soon this argument will turn into 'there is nothing wrong with being a practicing pedophile'


That's quite the logical leap, there.

From 'being a practicing pedophile is wrong' to 'there is nothing wrong with being a practicing pedophile.'

How exactly do you see that metamorphosis coming about, since you're so damn sure it'll happen?

Yes, it is a logical leap, but no less so then your 'there is nothing wrong with being a pedophile'.

See, but you're saying "there is nothing wrong with being a pedophile but there is something wrong with being a practicing Pedophile" at some point someone is going to say "there is nothing wrong with being a practicing pedophile, because there is nothing wrong with being a pedophile"

You may not be a 'bad person' if you have Pedophile, but that doesn't mean pedophile, of ALL sorts, practicing and non-practicing, isn't a mental disorder, which is really what I've found rather frustrating in this whole discuss; being a pedophile doesn't mean you're a bad person, no, of course not, but it doesn't mean it's a sexual orientation or that it isn't psychologically 'wrong', or if you wish, psychologically abnormal.

Unless, of course, you wish to explain how pedophile isn't a psychological disorder?

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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Princess Marzipan » Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:51 am UTC

If Chickens Were Purple... wrote:The word "wrong" here implies either wrong in a moral sense, which I don't think you meant, or wrong in as in 'freak of nature', which I don't think you meant.


Just so we're clear, this is the definition of wrong I am using. Thus, there is nothing wrong with BEING a pedophile. It does not mean you are terrible, bad, or any less of a person. However, there IS something wrong with being a practicing pedophile, because of the amorality in being sexually involved with children.

If this hypothetical 'someone' does show up and claim that there is nothing wrong with practicing pedophilia, they will be shown why they are incorrect.

So stop putting arguments into people's mouths.
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Re: Paedophile comes out on DeviantArt

Postby Mane » Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:11 am UTC

Nougatrocity wrote:Just so we're clear, this is the definition of wrong I am using. Thus, there is nothing wrong with BEING a pedophile. It does not mean you are terrible, bad, or any less of a person. However, there IS something wrong with being a practicing pedophile, because of the amorality in being sexually involved with children.

See, this is why (in philosophical papers and such) the philosopher tries to define the words they're using before using them, especially if those words are ambiguous.

That being said, I don't feel Morality is a useful tool because it is more or less subjective.

If this hypothetical 'someone' does show up and claim that there is nothing wrong with practicing pedophilia, they will be shown why they are incorrect.

They already exist; for a snap-shot; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pro-pedophile_activism


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