So just a few months ago, the Washington Times ran an article about the strong stance the American Psychiatric Association was taking regarding pedophilia, and not accepting it as a sexual orientation. This lead the APA to differentiate between pedophilia and pedophiliac disorder, mainly based on: preference/consummation vs compulsion/consummation. This really just gets at coding a different DSM diagnosis for the degree of impulse inhibition one may have over their actions, rather than thoughts and desires.
A more recent article highlights neuroscientific findings contrary to this, that are generally upsetting to most, but might encourage us to think about how to ethically, legally or medically deal with individuals who are aware they are attracted to children, but do not want to act on it…as well as those who do act and what to do with them.
The evidence suggests pedophilia results from atypical wiring in the brain. Cantor calls it “cross-wiring”: the stimuli that usually evoke nurturing and protective reactions in adults is instead evoking sexual reactions in pedophiles.
Similar experiments are being conducted across the globe, most notably at Berlin’s Institute of Sexology and Sexual Medicine, but Cantor’s research has greatly influenced the view among researchers that pedophilia has a biological basis.
[T]he idea that pedophiles are born, not made, can be used to support opposing political views — some will say “lock ’em up and throw away the key,” while others will call for sympathy and therapy. (via)
Side bar: The US makes it nearly impossible to get preemptive help before an act is committed, due to mandatory reporting laws for therapists. Because of this, support groups are springing up online. Remember, just
because there may be a biological basis, it’s not a way to excuse behavior, but it could
mitigate punishment. These things tend to be about understanding the condition, prevention and treatment… as well as punishment for criminal actions.
Last note: our lab is now analyzing millions of sex crimes across the country to see just how effective & successful sex offender regulations have been over-time, in a way that’s never been done before. I’ll get to link up our data and talk about this soon, but I always like to hear what you guys think.