I participated in the gambling poll this weekend and wrote a post regarding my experience with gambling. Then, while doing some research, I stumbled upon some sites that discussed pedophilia, its causes and treatment.
Treatment. That word has been bothering me all weekend. If indeed pedophilia is a psychiatric disorder and a very strong, often uncontrollable obsession, that might be treatable, what is an appropriate reaction to illegal and immoral acts caused by this disease?
Let me make one thing perfectly clear, as a compulsive gambler, I have committed acts that could have caused my arrest and prosecution. And if I had gotten caught and if I did not make amends for some of them, I fully realized, understood and accepted the fact that I would have to pay for my transgressions. And I believe most pedophiles possess this same awareness.
That said, let me get on to the more controversial portion of this essay. Society should absolutely do whatever necessary to protect children from pedophiles; however, society should become aware of the psychological aspects of the disorder and act accordingly.
While there does not seem to be a definite correlation between being sexually abused as a child and being a pedophile, low self-esteem and depression are two major characteristics of the condition that may lead to the commission of offenses against children. Depression may be the result of a biochemical imbalance of the brain, stress, sexual abuse or some other trauma in early life.
There is some evidence that pedophilia may run in families, but it hasn't been 100 percent proven. Other factors including, abnormalities in male sexual hormones or the brain chemical "serotonin". Again, this has been hypothesized, and hasn't been totally proven. Twenty years ago or so, it was believed that children who were sexually abused, grew up to be abusers themselves. Nowadays, research has proven that there is no evidence that children who are abused are more likely to sexually abuse a child later in life.
Researchers have described a crime cycle that those pedophiles who do commit offenses against children seem to go through. The benign but still very disturbing activity of observing children either at the beach or park or in photos and obtaining sexual arousal, is a way many pedophiles make themselves feel better about themselves. Often, there comes a time when this is not enough and they progress to more destructive and illegal behavior such as
Internet pornographic activities and finally acting on their impulses with a real child.
As they reach this stage of the crime cycle, if they do not receive help, chances are they will act on their impulses, committing acts that at the time they believe will make them happy, yet invariably result in even lower self-esteem and depression.
This criminal cycle continues (entering the depression, low self-esteem stage, then turning towards children).
This is the most common and basic cycle that a pedophile will have. Each individual's cycle will vary, depending on his or her situation. Many pedophiles feel down or constantly depressed. This can be magnified by a stressful job, legal troubles, family break ups, etc. This is the most crucial stage in getting help. After this stage, begins the acting out or offending is very near.
Some pedophiles will resort to the Internet to view child pornographic material and not offend against children, while others will make victims. Pedophiles will feel a sense of belonging and love with their victim, but in turn, it can ruin the child's life. After the act, many pedophiles will begin to feel ashamed of their actions, and the worry of what will happen next. This can be magnified if the victim comes forward, and the media comes into play. Without proper help, the cycle will continue circling, even though many know the consequences of their own actions.
During the recovery stage, if the person decides to get help, he or she will develop and understand their own crime cycle. This is very important in the recovery process, because it allows you to work avoiding stressful situations in which offending could occur.
STAGE 1: The first stage is acceptance. The pedophile must accept that you have a problem. Denying this stage, will not change his ways. He must want to get help without somebody else pushing him to get it. He must have the will power to complete the process, as it isn't easy, and can be very long.
STAGE 2: Victim empathy. He must understand the harm that he caused to his victims. This is usually shown during trials and court processes. Denial can come out during this stage. For example, rationalizing their behavior. This stage, the offender usually shows denial. Before, accepting the harm he caused his victim, he may feel physically weak, nausea etc. The pain he feels for victim empathy should be much greater then his own personal loss!!
STAGE 3: Confusion. Most people in recovery will be confused a lot. Some may be scared (ie, if they are charged), abandoned by peers, depressed. During this stage, counselling helps. For example, one on one discussions with doctors or group therapy. Medication might be prescribed at this stage, for depression, or to minimize abnormal sexual urges. Group therapy will allow him to express and relate his problems with others.
STAGE 4: Working with his problem. Joining adult organizations and clubs, may help him to feel better about himself. Taking himself out of dangerous situations (ie swimming pools etc) is key. At first, it may be difficult, but studies have constantly shown that if he takes away the source of the problem (children), sexual urges tend to decline a little.
STAGE 5: Starting Over. This is very difficult, but it can be done. At this stage, he knows his deviant cycle, dangerous situations. He learns how to work around those situations, without having deviant thoughts. He may have entered a relationship of some sorts, and are happy.
Posted by wordworks2001
at 5:41 PM EST