Homework Help

What Causes Pedophilia?Allow me to clarify my question. If sexual orientation is...

user profile pic

mountvernon | eNoter

Posted February 3, 2013 at 6:32 AM via web

dislike 1 like
What Causes Pedophilia?

Allow me to clarify my question. If sexual orientation is already determined at birth then are pedophiles be exempt from this rule? Why would it apply to homosexuals but not pedophiles?

Tagged with discussion, sexuality

8 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 3, 2013 at 6:52 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

I would make two points here.  First, I do not think that there is any reason to connect these two.  The question would be just as valid if it were to simply read “are all pedophiles born as pedophiles?”  I do not think that there is any need to link homosexuality to pedophilia.  Homosexuality is the attraction to other people of the same sex, whereas pedophilia is the attraction children and children cannot consent to sexual activity.  Thus, the one is heinous where the other is not.

Second, there is no firm consensus on the causes of pedophilia.  There are some scientists who believe that it is something that people are born with.  However, most scientists believe that it is in some way connected to nurture, not to nature.

user profile pic

litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 3, 2013 at 3:27 PM (Answer #3)

dislike 0 like

I agree that we have to be careful when discussing pedophilia in the same space with homosexuality.  However, if we look at each of these things related to sexual drive, we might ask: is who you are attracted to something you were born with?  In other words, were you born attracted to the opposite sex?  As the last response points out, there is no way to know for sure what causes pedophilia.

Pedophilia is labeled as a disorder (homosexuality is not).  It is a type of paraphilia (which means abnormal attraction).

Pedophilia is also a psychosexual disorder in which the fantasy or actual act of engaging in sexual activity with prepubertal children is the preferred or exclusive means of achieving sexual excitement and gratification. (http://www.minddisorders.com)

Since it is described as a mind disorder, it definitely could be something a person is born with.  However, it could also be caused by abuse or other issues in the person’s environment and how the person is raised.

Sources:

user profile pic

mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted February 3, 2013 at 6:01 PM (Answer #4)

dislike 0 like

In my anecdotal experience with pedophiles while volunteering in the jail system for crises, I believe that pedophilia has no current internal cause but are made by the abuse they suffer as children.  I am not offering any excuse for the behavior; I simply believe they are made, not born that way.  I would never put pedophilia in any category with homosexuality as I do not believe that they have any connection.  As for the doctors who study this disorder, causes remain a mystery in the medical books, and the disorder  considered almost impossible to cure.  The hope is to control the urges.  However, I find that by the time a pedophile is caught, the number of victims is substantial and their justifications for their behavior firmly in place.  

user profile pic

Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 3, 2013 at 11:06 PM (Answer #6)

dislike 0 like

The reason why homosexuality and pedophilia should not be related in one same question is because homosexuality is the sexual preference of someone of the same gender for the purposes of creating a typical and what we could call a normal emotional relationship. Therefore a homosexual or lesbian individual seeks to share a healthy emotional relationship, only with someone of his or her same gender. It is still under debate but more and more research links homosexuality to genetics, hence, the tendency of having such sexual preferences is not behaviorally acquired, but biologically inherited. In other words, homosexuality is not a learned behavior, and it is not pathological behavior. From what has been gathered so far, it may very well be a naturally acquired behavior in some individuals.

Contrastingly, pedophilia is a behavior that often arises as a result of trauma, which is a social and behaviorally-based obstruction of normal, cognitive development that results in pathological behavior. The pathology of pedophilia rests in the want to satisfy sexual needs using minors as the focus. Anyone who has gone through the typical developmental stages of growth and has met basic psychological and physiological needs, seldom seeks to satisfy basic needs in a manner which has been established in society as criminal, socially unacceptable, ethically wrong and morally disturbing. In not so many words, pedophilia is morbid behavior where one of the parties cannot intellectually, developmentally, nor legally, consent to the sexual advances of the other.

Homosexuality, in an enormously distant contrast, contends that two consenting adults, harbored under the rights granted to them as free citizens by the constitution, have elected to carry on a mutual, physical and emotional relationship. Whether one agrees or not with the genetic basis of homosexuality, the fact remains that it is still legal and non-abusive behavior while pedophilia is not only morbid and abusive, but also quite disturbing and highly punishable by law.

http://www.enotes.com/homosexuality-bisexuality-reference/homosexuality-bisexuality

http://www.enotes.com/pedophilia-reference

user profile pic

jpope1 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted February 4, 2013 at 12:15 AM (Answer #7)

dislike 0 like

There needs to be a few distinctions. First, in this context, to say a person is "born" one way or another is only to speak of a propensity, not an actuality. So the question of how one acts is still up for grabs, in terms of actualizing one's desires. Second, pedophilia is not a behavior that is genetically programmed in any human being. Pedophilia is the result of an aggregation of environmental and psychological factors. That's why we can see a genetic tendency toward homosexuality by looking at genetic make-up, hormonal factors in the womb,  birth order, etc, but we can't see any such correlations regarding pedophilia.

user profile pic

rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 4, 2013 at 12:56 AM (Answer #8)

dislike 0 like

I would make two points here.  First, I do not think that there is any reason to connect these two.  The question would be just as valid if it were to simply read “are all pedophiles born as pedophiles?”  I do not think that there is any need to link homosexuality to pedophilia.  Homosexuality is the attraction to other people of the same sex, whereas pedophilia is the attraction children and children cannot consent to sexual activity.  Thus, the one is heinous where the other is not.

Second, there is no firm consensus on the causes of pedophilia.  There are some scientists who believe that it is something that people are born with.  However, most scientists believe that it is in some way connected to nurture, not to nature.

Allow me to rephrase and clarify my question. If sexual orientation is already determined at birth then are pedophiles be exempt from this rule? Why would it apply to homosexuals but not pedophiles?

Your question equates the one with the other. It seems to be operating from the assumption that both are somehow either morally wrong, or a disorder of some sort. Pedophiles (I presume we are discussing those people who actually act on their desires, rather than simply those who have them) are engaging in an act that is fundamentally predatory, because it is by definition non-consensual. This is patently not the case with homosexuality. Whether or not pedophilia is hereditary--and I think this has been addressed well enough in some of the other responses--is really irrelevant to the issue of whether it should be tolerated. 

 

user profile pic

mountvernon | eNoter

Posted February 4, 2013 at 5:32 AM (Answer #9)

dislike 0 like

In my anecdotal experience with pedophiles while volunteering in the jail system for crises, I believe that pedophilia has no current internal cause but are made by the abuse they suffer as children.  I am not offering any excuse for the behavior; I simply believe they are made, not born that way.  I would never put pedophilia in any category with homosexuality as I do not believe that they have any connection.  As for the doctors who study this disorder, causes remain a mystery in the medical books, and the disorder  considered almost impossible to cure.  The hope is to control the urges.  However, I find that by the time a pedophile is caught, the number of victims is substantial and their justifications for their behavior firmly in place.  

Over 90% of convicted pedophiles are arrested again for the same offense after their release from prison. They should get mandatory life-sentences with no parole. The justice system should not be about therapy, but keeping society safe from criminals and ensuring horrible crimes like child abuse are not repeated. Life in prison - without parole - accomplishes this. Even if it just one innocent child, they should not be victimized avoidably just to give a criminal the possibility of successfully returning to society. Also, the possibility of pedophiles failing to register with the government upon release is alarming. They should be treated with justice, not compassion.

"There are 400,000 registered sex offenders in the United States, and an estimated 80 to 100,000 of them are missing. They're supposed to be registered, but we don't know where they are and we don't know where they're living.

- Ernie Allen, President of the National Center for Missing and Exploited

Children''More than 1/2 of all convicted sex offenders are sent back to prison within a year. Within 2 years, 77.9% are back.'' - California Department of Correction

yellodyno.com/Statistics/statistics_child_molester.html

user profile pic

mountvernon | eNoter

Posted February 4, 2013 at 7:06 AM (Answer #10)

dislike 0 like

Although homosexuality and pedophilia are distinct, they are not necessarily mutually exclusive. To say that there is no reason to connect the two is simply not true.

The majority of child molestation cases occur with the predator being the same gender as their victim. Let us look at the Catholic priest child molestation scandal as an example. The scandal was homosexual in nature. If men had sexual acts with teenage boys, then the acts were homosexual. Conservatively speaking, 80.9% of such cases were men with male boys. That is homosexual and pedophile activity.

Another instance of homosexuality being correlated with pedophilia is the Jerry Sandusky case. Although he was a heterosexual, him being married to a female, when he ventured outside the law with his sexuality he was a homosexual pedophile. He established the Second Mile charity foundation which he used to exploit underprivileged children for his warped and perverted desires. He was found guilty of 45 of the 48 charges against him all of which were the result of him molesting 10 young boys on a number of occasions. He also adopted six children from his charity guise, all of them being boys

If two consenting adults choose act out on their homosexuality then that is none of my concern. However, I have noticed a startling and somewhat disturbing correlation between pedophilia and homosexuality which I feel deserves some attention and discussion.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes