Welcome to the slippery slope. It’s hard to predict how liberals are going to process the latest scientific finding, which — lest they appear hypocritical — requires their empathy and tolerance. The Toronto Star reports that researchers with Canada’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health have concluded, after a decade of research, that pedophilia is a deep-rooted, unchangeable predisposition.
“Dr. James Cantor of CAMH,” a teaser to the article notes, “has shown pedophilia is like a sexual orientation — a deep attraction that cannot change. Now, pedophiles who have never molested children are seeking social acceptance.”
Whoa, not so fast. Why limit social acceptance to non-molesters? If pedophilia is just another “alternative lifestyle,” not a psychological aberration, then don’t confirmed molesters deserve the same love and understanding as the Gs, the Bs, the Ts, the Qs and all the other letters of the alphabet that once designated deviant behaviors? Oh, I understand: Pedophiles harm innocent children, usually irreparably. But where is the evidence that noisy public demonstrations by people in freakish attire, some of them half-naked, don’t have an adverse impact on young, impressionable observers? If the argument is that gay pride parades are infrequent, then isn’t the on-again-off-again child molester entitled to the same special consideration?
But back to the research. Says Cantor of pedophilia: “It’s either purely biological or a mix of biological and experiential.” He has even worked up a physical profile of pedophiles, whom he posits are more likely to be shorter, left-handed or ambidextrous, with slightly lower IQs, and having sustained a childhood head injury.
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He says sex offenders are different, too — with less connective tissue in the brain than other criminals. But Cantor and a former colleague, Michael Seto, clearly differentiate pedophiles from sex offenders. “Not all sex offenders who target children are pedophiles, and not all pedophiles are sex offenders,” he says, adding:
There is a big gap is in terms of prevention. How do we reach people who are sexually attracted to children and are aware of it?
One of those individuals is profiled (oops! — loaded word) in the article. His name is Ethan Edwards, and he openly confesses that he has always loved little girls. For years he told himself that his feelings were protective and loving, but when he reached age 50, he found that he could no longer suppress his desires.
I realized that young girls certainly took my breath away, more than grown-ups are usually charmed by kids.
To help deal with his impulses and those of fellow sufferers, Edwards, co-founded Virtuous Pedophiles, a website for pedophiles who have never molested children. The goal of the website, says Edwards, is to prevent child abuse, by reducing the stigma against non-offender pedophiles:
We do not choose to be attracted to children, and we cannot make that attraction go away. But we can resist the temptation to abuse children sexually, and many of us present no danger to children whatsoever. Yet we are despised for having a sexual attraction that we did not choose, cannot change, and successfully resist.
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