The Thoughts of Anonymous Pedophiles
June 5, 2001 8:15 PM   Subscribe

The Thoughts of Anonymous Pedophiles While researching an unrelated topic, I found a site called The Pedophilia Survey. This survey asks people who have sexual desires involving children to submit a paragraph or two on their feelings on the topic.
 
One of the respondents said: 'Pedophilia is a legitimate sexual orientation.' But, is it? Pedophilia seems so widespread that should, perhaps, we be researching the causes of pedophilia instead of just condemning it?
posted by wackybrit (46 comments total)


 
It's interesting to note how many of the respondents say that they would 'never ever hurt a child physically or emotionally'.. but that they would love to have sexual contact with a child.

It seems that the general view is that, in their eyes, being a pedophile is no different to being, say, a masochist or dominatrix. It's not normal sexual activity, but it's not 'wrong'.

This reminds me of a common argument used by those who support incest. "If the child consents, then surely there's nothing wrong?" their argument went. However, is a child (of, say, 11 years of age) in a position to initiate or consent to sexual contact? Me thinks not.

Hence, as far as I'm concerned, acting out pedophilic desires is wrong.. even if the child 'consents'.
posted by wackybrit at 8:28 PM on June 5, 2001


There's no doubt in my mind that it's completely wrong, but I do think it should be investigated. A pedophile isn't like a rapist, in the sense that rapist rapes to inflict harm on the victim (the familiar "it's about power, not sex"). Pedophiles often (usually?) intend their victims no harm at all, and many do feel it's a legitimate, but misunderstood, sexual "orientation".

I don't understand what goes on in a pedophile's mind, and I imagine very few of us do. But too often we fear what we don't understand, and that gets us nowhere.
posted by jpoulos at 8:42 PM on June 5, 2001


they do research the paraphilia -- over the fall semester, i took a class on the psychology of sexuality and we went over this at the end. they can spot trends, but i don't think they're aware of any particular genetic influences. here's what i remember:

there are many more men than women pedophiles. most pedophiles are "heterosexual" (which refers to the targeted victims, not the sexual orientation of the rapist per se), most prefer ages of i think 8-10, the younger the preference indicating an increasingly more severe psychological disturbance. many are victims of pedophilia as well, and women pedophiles are either that or BOTH psychologically fragile and being pressured by another male to act (i.e. generally not "just that way").

what is the most upsetting about the "child consent" argument is that most pedophiles are very manipulative. they use shame to keep their rape victims from talking, placing responsibility on their victims for what's happened, and all that on top of the trauma itself. therefore i would not put any stock in a "consent" argument (not that i thought you did, but for the sake of argument).
posted by moz at 8:50 PM on June 5, 2001


"I love them because they are honest, sweet and as I read here also not like older bitter women."

Y'know, you read through the comments, and there is a definite emotional leaning towards the innocence, straightfowardness, and dependence of children, versus the more complex needs and crosscurrents in adult relationships.

I don't know if it simply a desire not to or a deficiency in dealing with complex interpersonal relationships, but there's definitely a lack there...
posted by Perigee at 9:09 PM on June 5, 2001


Looking at the local news here at NYC, it seems sexual age of children have increasingly gone down. Even last year I would've laughed at the "7th grader kissing someone sexual harassment" news, but in the past few months police and teachers have caught 11 and 12 year old boys raping 11 and under aged girls. This week the rape victim was a 5 year old girl. I have no idea how a 5 year old girl even got into a school.

Last month during an online child-porn sting FBI found that a vast majority of the videos and movies were shot by teens themselves for trading/selling online. It was not some "sick old man."

And this week there is a 40 year old man fugitive in Boston who drugged and raped his daughters friends during slumber parties. He even video taped it.

While I am pretty sure that last man who drugged his daughter's friends and raped them should be jailed for life and made Big-Al's bride, I am not so sure of what to make of the other incidents.
posted by tamim at 9:21 PM on June 5, 2001


Convicted pedophiles should be taken out in the alley and shot in the head.

It won't solve the problem and it probably won't even deter most of these predators, but it will make the world a better place.

I don't expect to get any support on this opinion, and I know I'm advocating something that is extreme and shocking. I'll just say that I have thought about it a lot, and I think they should be shot.

"researching the causes of pedophilia instead of just condemning it?"

It's been researched. A lot. Conclusion? Some people are sick predators. How do you fix that? Reduce child abuse. Good luck.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:04 PM on June 5, 2001


I'd hazard a guess that all of those comments are fake.

And I do believe that there is a cause for every effect, even if Einstein's theory of relativity may soon be blown with the broken speed-of-light barrier. The smallest things can have enormous consequences when it comes to people's brains, memories, emotions - things we still don't really understand.
posted by kv at 10:28 PM on June 5, 2001


y6y6y6: everyone has types that trigger their hatred. for me it's unrepentantly homophobic people. i'd like to see them shot. but doing that wouldn't do jack shit to solve any problems, it'd just make me feel better.

as to whether pedophilia is right or wrong, i'd go for a more long winded 'it falls outside current society's acceptable boundaries', just as say bestiality still does, and homosexuality used to.

i think the sad thing is pedophiles probably don't choose to have those desires, they're just stuck with them, and stuck with the desire to act on them, knowing full well that it's not at all a good idea.
posted by titboy at 11:03 PM on June 5, 2001


I know a girl who was sexually molested as a child... Nothing terrifying or violent at the time, but it definitely scarred her and she put it all away until recently (a little experiment with mushrooms brought it out). She is now dealing with it, slowly, and has found that to be the source of some sexual problems/blocks she had been experiencing. How is that not harming someone?

This isn't a homosexual or bestiality kind of thing, it is definitely on par with rape because it HURTS the victim, maybe not at the time of the incident, but it will come back to haunt them, and very likely cause them to continue the cycle of abuse in their own lives.

" I've only been teaching a year, but I know my main motive is to be around and close to young girls. Middle school girls are extremely attractive to me because they're in that budding stage, and they sometimes look for older male attention (especially if their daddies aren't giving them attention at home)."

If thats not a clear-cut message to spend more time with your kids, I dont know what is.
posted by Espoo2 at 11:37 PM on June 5, 2001


> Convicted pedophiles should be taken out in the alley
> and shot in the head.

And their mothers, as punishment for raising such people, should have to pay for the bullets, clean up the alley afterwards, and then do community service for the rest of their miserable lives. Then the shooters ought to be gassed, because you can't have people like that running around loose. And the gassers ought to be jailed because executioners become too used to taking life. And the kids should be locked up, because you know they're going to be trouble and that many of them will in turn become pedophiles and other sorts of rapists. At the very least, their neighbors should be warned that sexually disturbed kids live nearby.

And convicted pedophiles whose convictions are later overturned should be unshot from the head, and the gassed should be degassed, and the jailed should be given back time.

There. Simple.
posted by pracowity at 11:47 PM on June 5, 2001


'it falls outside current society's acceptable boundaries',

This is what pisses me off, in the the 70's there was a lobby group who forwarded the idea that "consensual" adult /child sex was a good thing. Children can't "consent" in the way adults do.

Children don't need to know how to fuck (and yes that is what it is, nothing more). I lost my childhood because a teacher at my boarding school decided he couldn't control his urge to fuck children, boys. I've spent 20 years with it, it killed me. I work, I go out, I smile, I talk, I try and do good things but I'm carrying knowledge I don't want and my life scrapes thro' every day with hurt pain fear and loathing.

Ultimately I'm alone, scared and angry. Ibet the teacher got more help than I did. I'm probably a good person but I'll never be sure because my life was distorted/corrupted by someone who didn't give a shit whatsoever.

Research it or shoot 'em. Just get it to stop. It made me nothing.
posted by ybot at 4:50 AM on June 6, 2001


what annoys me is that they are calling it a "sexual orientation" which detracts from a real thing of sexual orietation, that being whether you would love a man or a women.

to call this a sexual orientation is wrong. it's sexual desire, not orientation. they have desires. children can't consent. "oh, thats does feel good, daddy, thank you." (Not a personal quote... hehe)
posted by benjh at 5:34 AM on June 6, 2001


Pedophilia is a particularly heinous form of rape. Why do I think that? Because the young victims of pedophilia are unable to consent to the actions forced on them by the adult and are even less able to cope with the aftereffects than most rape victims.

I think those guilty of pedophilia should be jailed for life in the general prison population. Maybe wearing a special uniform so that all the other prisoners know what they're in for. I hear they're not well received.

Of course, if one of those SOBs were to touch one of my kids, I'd have no compunctions in following y6y6y6's course of action, even if it meant I'd go to jail.
posted by CRS at 6:30 AM on June 6, 2001


I could agree with the argument that consentual sex between adults and kids is an orientation and not a perversion if we lived in a different society. If sex was not the big hush hush dirty little secret we make it into. As it is, there is too much societal guilt tied up in sex for it to be anything but hurtful and damaging to a child, regardless of the intentions of the adult involved. The flip side of that is that anyone in this society who would have sex with a child is most likely be mentally disturbed, either to get around the guilt, or because of it.

If sex were just another way to express affection things would be different. If a 12 year old who had a sexual encounter with an adult could talk about it with his or her friends and parents without worrying about the guilt and shame that we have attached to sex it might not be an unhealthy experience. As it is, I can't agree that it's an orientation.
posted by Nothing at 6:55 AM on June 6, 2001


From what I know, there are two distinct types of pedophiles. Ones who are only interested in young children -- and for them, that is their sexual orientation -- and ones who are interested in other age groups.
posted by jessamyn at 6:59 AM on June 6, 2001


Convicted pedophiles should be taken out in the alley and shot in the head.

Damn straight. Really, what we need to is convince pedophiles to commit suicide. But, since they are most likely cowardly pieces of barely human filth, they probably need some help.

Government has been typically very queasy about such things, because they are generally cowards of a different sort, and pracowity's brand of nonsense seems to strike some sort of chord among them.

The truth is, these a-holes know exactly what they are doing, they do it repeatedly, and they don't get better despite therapy and/or jail. Bullets are too good for them.
posted by UncleFes at 7:09 AM on June 6, 2001


I'm all for killing criminals. I've said it before. Pedophiles especially. But some folks have a problem with it.

And convicted pedophiles whose convictions are later overturned should be unshot from the head, and the gassed should be degassed, and the jailed should be given back time.

Yeah, that's too bad. But if you want an omelette you have to break a few eggs.

Either we kill them or we ditch that whole cruel an unusual punishment thing and do something permanent to them that will make them stop. Crush their genitals with a sledgehammer or something.

Ahhh... why waste time... Just kill them.
posted by Nyarlathotep at 8:20 AM on June 6, 2001



That sledgehammer-genital-crushing has some merit, by Hastur! But that would be cruel. We should dispatch them to the Big Sleep with a minimum of fuss.

As for the two distinct types, they should be "dead" and "Not yet dead, but we're working on it."
posted by UncleFes at 8:40 AM on June 6, 2001


Jesus fucking Christ. Whenever I hear about what a bunch of unrepentant lefties and bed-wetting liberals comprise MetaFilter's membership, I must remember to point to this thread.

I'm not going to cheerlead for pedophiles, of course (around here, it looks like that might get me killed), but I would like to point out that perhaps the amount of bloodlust displayed here doesn't exactly showcase a lot of you as people I want sitting in any seats of judgment.
posted by Skot at 8:49 AM on June 6, 2001


Yes, and we all know that saying something magically makes it happen. "I'm going to win the state lottery today!". POOF! "Pedophiles should be shot in the head!" POOF!

They're venting rage and disgust. ybot is venting rage at whoever hurt him in the past. UncleFes seems to be venting rage at the fact that punishment doesn't seem to do a lot for these disturbed people. A lot of us, myself included, are disgusted that there is a web page where these disturbed and dangerous people can rationalize their behavior and get support from other disturbed and dangerous people.

Saying I want to shoot them does not make it happen. The government will never let it happen. There are enough rationally-minded people (like you, Skot) to keep it from happening. But don't get so extreme on the counter-reaction, ok? We've all had some great discussions here, and I like to think I would enjoy a drink with most everybody on Metafilter. Just because some of us choose to express our rage/disgust in an extreme manner is not grounds for complete condemnation of us as members of a civilized society. Everybody's got violent tendencies - some control them better than others. You probably do. ybot probably doesn't.
posted by starvingartist at 9:01 AM on June 6, 2001


Most research into pedophilia has come to the conclusion that therapy really doesn't help. And that's what scares me - even if someone was caught and given "help", it probably wouldn't do anything. (I'm pretty close to a few victims, and once knew a perpetrator, so all of this is hitting rather close to the bone.)

Perigee wrote: "there is a definite emotional leaning towards the innocence, straightfowardness, and dependence of children, versus the more complex needs and crosscurrents in adult relationships."

I think that this gets pretty close to a significant part of the problem. Children are idealized as innocent and trusting -- and this makes them a really attractive target for people who cannot handle, for whatever reason, the messiness of adult relationships. Of course it isn't true; children are both trusting and vindictive, sweet and cruel. They just don't have the experience to hide it, and they aren't old enough to have the power to exert it on other people. Pedophiles get to enjoy this ideal of childhood *and* the power that goes along with being a grown-up, and kids, without most of the emotional resources we develop as we age, are left behind, traumatized. In my darker moments, yes, that makes me want pedophiles taken out and shot.
posted by ann?! at 9:10 AM on June 6, 2001


For once I agree with starvingartist. Someone mark the date on a calendar.

In any case, it has been said that most paedophiles are never caught, and those that are have typically violated dozens of children before being apprehended, and even then it seems increasingly difficult to bring these people to justice.

We have backed off of calling the acts of paedophiles "child rape" in favour of the more benign "molestation" regardless of the severity of the violation of the child. But every standard (legal, medical) children are incapable of providing consent, and the law has long recognised that sexual activity with someone who is incapable of providing consent is at best sexual assault, at worst, rape.

By invoking this more genteel word, we have made it far easier to downplay what these people do to children, and the damage that the victims are forced to carry throughout their lives.

If any group of people put together a web page that said "Rape is a sexual orientation, it is merely another choice, not a perversion. I don't feel guilty about wanting to rape women because I'm coming from a pure place of love." no one would give that garbage the time of day.

But apply such ridiculous rationalisations (staight out of the NAMBLA playbook, btw) to children and this becomes some sort of academic study. The only thing that we need to study, IMO, is where to find the space to lock all of these people up so that they can't get to our children.
posted by Dreama at 9:27 AM on June 6, 2001


I hear you, starvingartist, and I acknowledge that I was using a pretty wide brush. I guess what really disturbed me was not so much just the venting--I have been known to do this--so much as the patent glee with which the idea of murdering pedophiles seemed to bring. Taken as a whole, I just thought it was getting pretty (and I can't believe I'm using this word, but it seems to fit) gross.
posted by Skot at 9:32 AM on June 6, 2001


You know, I think this is a case where piling it on makes a difference.

Adults engaging in sex with kids is wrong. The younger the kid, the wronger (sic) it is. Couldn't agree more with the molestation is rape comments above. We should be doing more to discourage it, and probably more to punish it. (Complicated discussions about revenge vs. deterrent ensue.)

My impression is that if you lump together p(a)edophies with child molesters, and get accurate reporting (unlikely, I know), you're going to have a lot of folks lined up. That's a bad, bad thing.

The reason it's wrong(er) with kids is because at some point kids can't consent. In this case, much better to be on the conservative side of the line than to be closer to the edge.
posted by daver at 10:51 AM on June 6, 2001


by saying 'it falls outside current society's acceptable boundaries', i wasn't saying i think it should fall within. i was simply putting it in the context that there have been other cultures in other time periods where it has been within society's acceptance. but i can imagine it was just as damaging within those cultures as it is in ours.

certainly people have the right to feel anger, and a great deal, towards people who commit these crimes. but that anger doesn't lead to solutions.

to fix a problem, you have to find what's causing the problem, and remove that cause. to do that, you need to understand it.
posted by titboy at 11:24 AM on June 6, 2001


I guess what really disturbed me was not so much just the venting--I have been known to do this--so much as the patent glee with which the idea of murdering pedophiles seemed to bring. Taken as a whole, I just thought it was getting pretty (and I can't believe I'm using this word, but it seems to fit) gross.

I don't know if "glee" is the right word. Satisfaction at a job well done? Certainly. Knowing that my killing a pedophile saves uncounted children from a litany of foul abuse? There's certainly some pleasure in that. Natural male predatory aggression channelled to some good use? Better'n football.

As for the "gross" aspects of it, my Home Depot sells heavy-duty black plastic by the 200 yard roll.

Problem solved.
posted by UncleFes at 11:59 AM on June 6, 2001


I read once about a culture in which young girls who were about the be married were "trained" in sex by their oldest Uncle. Researchers were surprised to find not even a single case of trauma.

I'm not saying that we should be blaming our culture instead of the pedophiles; they know the culture and proceed anyway, leaving some very damaged children.

I just think it's important to critisize what we think are universal truths. Elsewise, we end up with senators trying to ban movies and video games to improve society, without any proof that it'll help.
posted by skyline at 12:25 PM on June 6, 2001


Hey Skyline: The Cherokee used to slit the noses of disobedient women and stake out captives over anthills. The Anasazi ate their dead. Are those good ideas too?

Just because some other culture says it's OK doesn't necessarily make it actually OK.

And I think your "researchers" were full of shit.
posted by UncleFes at 12:37 PM on June 6, 2001


"Just because some other culture says it's OK doesn't necessarily make it actually OK."

You're missing the point, I think. You just need a couple extra words in there -- "Just because some other culture says it's OK doesn't necessarily make it actually OK in our culture."

If I'm reading it right, the point here is that there are very few, if any, things that are universally bad. We don't accept sexual relations between older and younger people -- some cultures do. Some cultures in the middle east (I forget who) find it almost horrific to use one's left hand for eating -- we don't. Some african tribes make cannibalism part of their everyday lives -- some don't.

So, who's right? Well, they all are. To them, these things are abhorrent, to us, they're not (or vice-versa). We have no more right to say that we're better than they are because of it than they have to say the same about us.

"And I think your "researchers" were full of shit."

And I think you are. What's your point? Do you really think that sexual activity at a young age must always result in trauma, regardless of thier environment, culture, and upbringing?

The only reason it results in trauma here (USA and, presumably, most other equally "advanced" nations) is because these people grow up to hear how they have been abused, and see the huge social stigma placed on it, they learn that it was a horrible, horrible thing done to them, their "innocence" was taken away...etc, etc.

I bet if those same people, "abused" in the same way, were brought up to believe the exact opposite -- that what was done to them was the biggest act of love a small child could possibly recieve from an adult, and they should feel proud and etc and so on (or, at the very least, just brought up to believe that it was a normal part of life), that there would, indeed, be no evidence of trauma. Why? Because it wouldn't be a trauma.
posted by CrayDrygu at 1:07 PM on June 6, 2001


Is there a problem with the Anasazi eating their dead, that isn't culturally biased? Such an activity comes with it's own set of advantages and disadvantages. It saves resources, prevents disease caused by a rotting corpse, doesn't attract scavengers, etc. It's is absolutely not absolutely wrong; only wrong here.

But, as I said originally, pedophilia is wrong here because they know it's wrong here. Read more carefully.
posted by skyline at 1:19 PM on June 6, 2001


skyline and UncleFes are right, CrayDrygu. I don't really think this discussion is a hypothetical, universal one. Are there any MeFi'ers from the cultures that approve of paedophilia? Anyone? Come to think of it, the support forum in question was in English - are there any English-speaking cultures, or cultures where people would learn English, or even cultures where people regularly access the Internet, where this sort of thing is acceptable? Japan is the only one I can think of that comes close, and I don't think even they approve of sexual contact with an 8 year old (or younger... *shudder*) So I think it's safe to say that we are all coming from cultures that condemn this act as a disgusting, harmful practice tantamount to rape. Hypothetical discussions are kind of pointless in this immediate situation, I think.
posted by starvingartist at 1:40 PM on June 6, 2001


How about the culturally sanctioned practice of female genitalia mutilation. Arguably the culture approves of this. Does that make it less traumatic? What about circumcision?

Somebody's going to say that it's traumatic because of physical mutilation. 2 more points: who says having sex with children doesn't physically traumatize them. Also, do you really think the physical mutilation is the only mutilation happening in the culture above?

Just one more time to be clear: there are children (and other people too) who are simply incapable of making a responsible decision about whether or not to engage in sex. Having sex with them is worse than rape. Figuring out where the line lies is hard. Better to be on the very conservative side.
posted by daver at 1:57 PM on June 6, 2001


The "it's their culture" argument doesn't hold. If "it's their culture" is such a panacea, why does the Afghani Taliban get such grief for blowing up Buddhas and wrapping women in those black gowns? It's their culture, no? It's the culture of oil men to make money digging for and selling oil - why don't Bush and Cheney get any slack? It's the culture of the Japanese to kill and eat whales; but one boat goes out with a harpoon mounted on the bow, and all of Greenpeace is out there in their Zodiacs waving signs.

You'll have to forgive me my excesses on this subject, but it is difficult for me to remain objective about it - I have a one-year-old son. Anyone that lays a hand on him is taking a very bad chance - I know a lot of dark places, I am an active believer in the 2nd Amendment, and I have a great lawyer.

On the other hand, Cray, you are hereby exempted from babysitting FOREVER
posted by UncleFes at 2:15 PM on June 6, 2001


the people who know that it is wrong the most fall into few categories...the predators, their victims, and the loved ones of the victims. They all know it is rape.

everyone else is just wasting time even trying to imagine how bad it really is...as far as shooting them goes...i think it is letting them off easy.
posted by th3ph17 at 3:01 PM on June 6, 2001


Nothing said: I could agree with the argument that consentual sex between adults and kids is an orientation and not a perversion if we lived in a different society.

I totally agree with your post. Whether something is wrong or right is often down to society, and not some sort of 'universal' truth. There are societies in backwoods America that believe incest is right, and it's practiced regularly. It's right to them. Wrong to us.

ann said: Most research into pedophilia has come to the conclusion that therapy really doesn't help.

This is no defense for pedophiles, but weren't there similar findings with homosexuality? Then again, therapy does not solve many of the problems it claims to.

Daver is right too. There are 'normal' people over the age of 18 (or 16, wherever you live) who still can't really consent to sex. You hear about it all the time. Man sleeps with woman.. woman says she was confused, etc.
posted by wackybrit at 3:08 PM on June 6, 2001


When someone knows an act is wrong and can't stop himself from doing it anyway, it's my understanding that there's just not a lot that can be done to rehabilitate him. Lack of impulse control in many cases means the brain is simply wired up wrong, either due to physical defect or damage in the frontal lobe or some sort of mental trauma during the formative years. A habitual pedophile's thought processes don't work like yours or mine; there is no barrier between thought and action for him, no mental censor that steps in and says "that wouldn't be a good idea." It literally doesn't occur to him and he very literally cannot stop himself because the part of his mind that should stop him is broken. I doubt you any of us can imagine what it would be like to have a brain that worked that way.

You can't fix a lot of these people. The only thing you can really do is keep them away from people they might hurt. For the whole rest of their lives.
posted by kindall at 3:54 PM on June 6, 2001


Here's an article on kiddie porn hiding in plain view online.

My view on these folks is best summarized by Dennis Miller:
"You've got to promise me if...you ever get to the point in your life when you are so puzzled, confused and frightened that you feel the only way out is to abuse or molest a kid, well then, you have to kill yourself. You have to lean into the strike zone and take one for the team."
posted by owillis at 4:12 PM on June 6, 2001


You've got to promise me if...you ever get to the point in your life when you are so puzzled, confused and frightened that you feel the only way out is to abuse or molest a kid, well then, you have to kill yourself.

I'd personally say the same for if you wanted to abuse or molest an adult. No difference. Kids are no more sacred than adults.
posted by wackybrit at 4:57 PM on June 6, 2001


Kindall says: When someone knows an act is wrong and can't stop himself from doing it anyway, it's my understanding that there's just not a lot that can be done to rehabilitate him. Lack of impulse control in many cases means the brain is simply wired up wrong, either due to physical defect or damage in the frontal lobe or some sort of mental trauma during the formative years.

Would you also hold the same view on violence? Those who are quick to anger, and beat people up for no reason, for example.

Very 'Clockwork Orange'. Should people who are violent be kept away from others 'for the whole rest of their lives'?

I think there's a large connection between sexual and physical violence. It's something that the person cannot control (or struggles to control). Why should someone who beats up an innocent bystander get any less punishment than a man who rapes a child?
posted by wackybrit at 5:00 PM on June 6, 2001


Here are some reasons you might think about:
Beatings generally happen on the outside of the body. Many sexual assaults involve going inside the body. It's a crude distinction, and not always technically true, but true enough that it makes a reasonable argument. To further it, impulsively striking you takes little forethought and persistence. Penetrating you probably takes more.

The kids/adults distinction again. Unless your innocent bystander is a child, they're able to register some sort of consent or non-consent to the beating (non-consent in most cases I imagine). Simply being able to form this "I did not want this to happen" thought in a rational way puts adults a leg up. The psychic damage done to a child around this can be immense ("did I cause this to happen? Was it my fault?" etc).

Further more, adults have a greater degree of control about where they are. A kid (as an innocent bystander) in a house who gets beaten by a parent has little choice about being there in the first place. Adults do.

Many more, I'm sure...
posted by daver at 5:37 PM on June 6, 2001


OK, Wackybrit is hereby exempted from babysitting duties forever, too.

Miller had it right; if any of you out there are currently raping children, or even considering raping children in the future, best to go ahead and kill yourself. That's right, go ahead, bullet to the temple, noose from the crosstree, hair drier in the bath, whatever it takes.

If you opt for the gun method, though, try to arrange it so your foul little cowardly child-raping scumbag body is in the woods or something when you finally do the world a favor and put a bullet through your fetid brain. It's an awful mess.

Thanks in advance! :)
posted by UncleFes at 8:08 PM on June 6, 2001


Would you also hold the same view on violence? Those who are quick to anger, and beat people up for no reason, for example.

Some such people probably do have poor impulse control. I would say if they explode into violence repeatedly despite efforts to stop themselves, they might qualify for such a diagnosis.
posted by kindall at 8:26 PM on June 6, 2001


starvingartist: "skyline and UncleFes are right, CrayDrygu. I don't really think this discussion is a hypothetical, universal one."

Don't bitch at me about it, then. Talk to skyline and UncleFes about the two posts above mine. They're the ones who started talking about other cultures. I just continued it.

UncleFes: "So I think it's safe to say that we are all coming from cultures that condemn this act as a disgusting, harmful practice tantamount to rape."

Yes, we do. I believe I made it clear that I understood that in my previous post. As I said, I'm not the one who brought up other cultures. Skyline started it, you continued it, I was just continuing that part of the discussion.

"If "it's their culture" is such a panacea, why does the Afghani Taliban get such grief for blowing up Buddhas and wrapping women in those black gowns?" (snip other examples)

Because everybody believe that their way is the right way. This applies to cultures, religion, government, corporations... just about any structured group of people, really. And these people tend to feel compelled to convince others of their infinite wisdom.

"I have a one-year-old son. Anyone that lays a hand on him is taking a very bad chance - I know a lot of dark places, I am an active believer in the 2nd Amendment, and I have a great lawyer."

I'm glad. Seriously. I hope that never happens to you and your son, but if does, you have my best wishes for a favorable outcome in court.

"On the other hand, Cray, you are hereby exempted from babysitting FOREVER"

Good, I hate kids. However, I take offense at the suggestion that I'm a pedophile. God forbid someone say "yes, it's disgusting, but only because our culture agrees that it's disgusting."
posted by CrayDrygu at 8:39 PM on June 6, 2001


Montel, I think we're forgetting something very important in all of this. Ok, sure he touched some children. But the man is a great singer, and has entertained us for so many years.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:46 AM on June 7, 2001


And these people tend to feel compelled to convince others of their infinite wisdom.

So far as I know, the Taliban are not prosyletizers - you either are, or you aren't, a proper Muslim. Admittedly, my knowledge of Islam is limited, I could be wrong about that. But my point was that, either we should either allow ourselves the option of criticizing other cultures (criticize to equal making value judgements upon) or we do not criticize other cultures. I'm for criticism, because I believe that western European culture in general and American culture in particular is the most fair, most sensible, and least morally repugnant culture on earth. My believe thereupon is bolstered by the willingness of other cultures to assimilate aspects of American culture into there own (Milton, you know, free market of ideas).

However, I take offense at the suggestion that I'm a pedophile.

If it's just a cultural choice, why are you offended?

In any event, I didn't say you were a pedophile,- you're likely not to be. I just said I didn't want you babysitting my kid. I'm not in the habit of gambling with the safety of my family. Don't feel bad, the list of those who are precluded from babysitting my kid is long and distinguished. One's even a former president!

And thanks for the courtroom well-wishes! But fear not - I live in a good neighborhood, and I am quite watchful. It is my hope that such events will never come to pass. Best to be a responsible father beforehand than a vengeful revenant after, is my thought.
posted by UncleFes at 8:14 AM on June 7, 2001


"So far as I know, the Taliban are not prosyletizers - you either are, or you aren't, a proper Muslim."

I did say "tend to"...there are, after all, exceptions to every rule.

"If it's just a cultural choice, why are you offended?"

Because I dislike being called things that I'm not. Especially when those things carry a negative connotation, but even when they don't, usually.

"Don't feel bad, the list of those who are precluded from babysitting my kid is long and distinguished. One's even a former president!"

Somehow, that doesn't make me feel any better. =)

"Best to be a responsible father beforehand than a vengeful revenant after, is my thought."

Absolutely. Glad to hear you've found a good neighborhood to raise your child in. May it stay that way.
posted by CrayDrygu at 12:11 PM on June 7, 2001


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