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Do you know what Pedophilia is?

Do you know what Pedophilia is?

By Tanisha Poddar

Pedophilia is a paraphilia that involves an abnormal interest in children. A paraphilia is a disorder that is characterized by recurrent intense sexual urges and sexually arousing fantasies generally involving: nonhuman objects; the suffering or humiliation of oneself or one's partner or animals, children, or other nonconsenting persons. Pedophilia is also a psychosexual disorder in which the fantasy or actual act of engaging in sexual activity with pre-pubertal children is the preferred or exclusive means of achieving sexual excitement and gratification. It may be directed toward children of the same sex or children of the other sex. Some pedophiles are attracted to both boys and girls. Some are attracted only to children, while others are attracted to adults as well as to children.

The sexual behaviors involved in pedophilia cover a range of activities and may or may not involve the use of force. Some pedophiles limit their behaviors to exposing themselves or masturbating in front of the child, or undressing the child, but without genital contact. Others, however, compel the child to participate in oral sex or full genital intercourse.

The most common overt aspect of pedophilia is an intense interest in children. There is no typical pedophile. Pedophiles may be young or old, male or female, although the great majority are males. Unfortunately, some pedophiles are professionals who are entrusted with educating or maintaining the health and well-being of young persons, while others are entrusted with children to whom they are related by blood or marriage.

Pedophilia might well be evaluative bad in the sense that it would be better if a given person were not a pedophile. Being a pedophile is unfortunate for the pedophile himself, who will most likely not have a good sexual and romantic life, and for a number of children, who might be seriously harmed by his actions. Pedophilia might also be psychiatrically bad in the sense that it might be a mental disease. But is being a pedophile, in the sense of having a sexual preference for children, immoral? 

For something to be subject to moral assessment, we usually assume that it must be something that, in some sense, we control or choose. If something is entirely outside of our control, such as our genetic makeup, it seems that though it might be more or less fortunate, and perhaps more or less pathological, it is not properly subject to moral assessment.  Being a pedophile is also highly disadvantageous, so it is also puzzling, on a more general level, why anyone would choose a pedophilic preference in the first place. Though this issue cannot be settled here, it seems most plausible that pedophiles do not choose their preferences, and that though their preferences might well be both unfortunate and pathological, the mere fact of having such preferences is neither moral nor immoral.

In the earliest stages of inappropriate behavior, Aversive stimuli such as electric shocks have been administered to persons undergoing therapy for pedophilia. This approach has not been very successful.

In 2002, the most common form of treatment for pedophilia is psychotherapy for longer time period does not have a high rate of success in inducing pedophiles to change their behavior.

Pedophilia may also be treated with medications. The classes of medications most often used to treat pedophilia which block the uptake and metabolism of testosterone as well as reducing blood levels of this hormone. The anti-androgens in particular have been shown to be effective in reducing the rate of recidivism.

Surgical castration is sometimes offered as a treatment to pedophiles who are repeat offenders or who have pleaded guilty to violent rape.

Increasingly, pedophiles are being prosecuted under criminal statutes and being sentenced to prison terms. Imprisonment removes them from society for a period of time but does not usually remove their pedophilic tendencies. In 2002, many states have begun to publish the names of persons being released from prison after serving time for pedophilia. Legal challenges to this practice are pending in various jurisdictions.

The prognosis of successfully ending pedophilic habits among persons who practice pedophilia is not favorable. Pedophiles have a high rate of recidivism; that is, they tend to repeat their acts often over time.

The rate of prosecution for pedophiles through the criminal justice system has increased in recent years. Pedophiles are at high risk of being beaten or killed by other prison inmates. For this reason, they must often be kept isolated from other members of a prison population. Knowledge of the likelihood of abuse by prison personnel and inmates is not, however, an effective deterrent for most pedophiles.

The main method for preventing pedophilia is avoiding situations that may promote pedophilic acts. Children should never be allowed to in one-on-one situations with any adult other than their parents or trustworthy family members. Having another youth or adult as an observer provides some security for all concerned. Conferences and other activities can be conducted so as to provide privacy while still within sight of others.

Children should be taught to yell or run if they are faced with an uncomfortable situation. They should also be taught that it is acceptable to scream or call for help in such situations.

Another basis of preventing pedophilia is education. Children must be taught to avoid situations that make them vulnerable to pedophiles. Adults who work with youth must be taught to avoid situations that may be construed as promoting pedophilia.

Many states have adopted legislation that requires periodic background investigations of any adult who works with children. These persons may be paid, such as teachers, or they may be volunteers in a youth-serving organization.

There are many countries who with the help of organizations support sexual contact between adults and children. The North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) is a pedophilia and pederasty advocacy organization in the United States. It works to abolish age-of-consent laws criminalizing adult sexual involvement with minors and campaigns for the release of men who have been jailed for sexual contacts with minors that did not involve coercion. In 1997, NAMBLA was the largest group in IPCE, an international pro-pedophile activist organization. Since then, the organization has dwindled to only a handful of people, with many members joining online pedophile networks.

NAMBLA's website states that it is a political, civil rights, and educational organization whose goal is to end "the extreme oppression of men and boys in mutually consensual relationships". According to NAMBLA, some of the organization's positions are:

·       Supporting and promoting man/boy relationships: the organization says that when consensual, these relationships are not harmful or amount to child sexual abuse.

·       Age of consent reform: what NAMBLA describes as "empowerment of youth in all areas, not just the sexual"

·       Opposition to corporal punishment, kidnapping and rape.

In achieving these goals, NAMBLA aims to co-operate with the mainstream LGBT community and women's liberation movements.

Virtuous Pedophiles is an Internet -based mutual support group for pedophiles who acknowledge having a sexual interest in children and do not act on their attraction.   Members support each other in trying to lead normal lives without committing child sexual abuse.  Members share the belief that sexual activity between adults and children is wrong and always will be. They also work against the stigma attached to pedophiles.

In Germany, there is a project called “Prevention Project Dunkelfeld” where they give free treatment to pedophiles.

To report child abuse content in India, contact the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights or CHILDLINE on the phone number 1098. This is a 24x7 national emergency helpline for children in distress, needing care, and protection, and is supported by the Ministry for Women and Child Development, Government of India.

In the meantime, we still need to protect our love ones. We need to understand that this disorder could happen to anyone. Statistics from cases have proven that these victims were molested 90% by their acquaintance and only 10% by strangers. Before you regret it, be communicative and open to your love ones. Inform them those "strangers" are dangerous. In addition, educate and tell them that their genital part cannot be touched by anyone.

 As the victim of this disorder, they will be traumatic. They need support and guidance from the expert to handle their depression and frighten. Support, care and love from the family and relatives are important, since it will encourage them to move on and forget the past. These kinds of attitudes are needed to break the "cycle" where the traumatic victims will grow up and build this depressed condition to something worse, like pedophilia.

 One cannot choose to not be a pedophile, but one can choose to not be a child molester.

–James Cantor

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