Monday, February 06, 2006

Homosexuality and Pedophilia

Dateline recently ran a series of stories that busted child-predators and pedophiles on national TV. They did that with the help of, an online watchdog of child-sex offenders. I must applaud the amazing achievements of private enterprises like Dateline, Perverted-Justice and Oprah in their agenda against pedophiles. They have done a lot more in much less time than government and law-enforcement agencies. Many people rightfully condemn pedophilia with the harshest of words. It is certainly a very heinous crime specifically because of its nature of creating life-long victims of very young minds. However, I will state this quite emphatically: Pedophilia is not an illness. It cannot be treated with psychological rehabilitation. Pedophilia is the same thing as homosexuality in that they are both expressions of an alternative sexual attraction besides the majority behavior of heterosexuality. The crucial difference between the two is that pedophilia is a CRIME because it willfully and ruthlessly exploits the persona and psyche of an individual who is incapable – psychologically and, in many cases, physically – of assenting to a mutually acceptable behavior. It is a physical and psychological rape of an individual who cannot yet assent to the manner of an activity he or she is being forced (seduced) to engage in. This applies equally to children and adults who are mentally incapacitated. Homosexuality was also at one point considered an illness (and many still do), and homosexuals were subjected to all forms of “treatments” in utter futility, and sometimes to destructive ends. Now, having recognized that homosexuality is merely another kind of expression under the complex diversity noticed in human sexuality, we understand that homosexual behavior is not only moral, but its free and proper expression among consenting adults is also perfectly healthy. Pedophilia is similar in that it is also a form of sexual expression that is borne out of the immensely complicated patterns of human sexuality observed among the 6 billion humans on this planet. It cannot be treated as an illness because doing so – as in the case of homosexual treatments – invariably backfires, is futile, and could be very destructive to the self and to others. Therefore, we should simply reject the so-called “benevolent” notion of “treating” the psyche of pedophiles to cure them of this 'illness'. It is incurable precisely because it is not an illness to begin with! We cannot risk having another child molested because we hoped we had treated the pedophile’s psychological illness. Moreover, it is only when we recognize that pedophilia is not an illness that we can morally condemn the actions of a pedophile as being criminal. The sexual urge is too strong to argue that pedophiles can be forced into abstinence and be taught to live among people and children. Forcing abstinence on a pedophile is similar to forcing abstinence of homosexuals – the consequence of that we notice with some frequency now among homosexual Catholic priests – in a majority of cases, it just does not work. I have some degree of sympathy for pedophiles simply because their sexual urges are motivated by their sexual orientation. I cannot say if it is entirely biological or entirely environmental; that is for science to decide. I lean toward the opinion that it is an intricate interaction between the biological and the environmental. Nonetheless, knowing that Human Beings are not helplessly subjected to biological instincts like barn-yard animals, knowing that we have free-will and volition to understand morals and rights and boundaries, there can be no arguable excuse for a crime against a child by saying that it is determined by one’s nature. Similarly, some homosexuals find it hard to morally defend homosexuality if it is understood to be a choice, and therefore, they hastily try to force their opinion that homosexuality is genetic and biological. I don’t think science has yet come to a conclusive decision on that issue, but the philosophical defense of homosexuality is not affected by any latest discovery of science. The fundamental principles of philosophy are already set, and allow proper guidance to the conclusion that homosexuality – as chosen or unchosen – is fully moral. Actually, to be more precise, the state of being a homosexual is really amoral if it is biological. It is the proper expression of homosexuality among adults that I regard as being subject to moral scrutiny. And in the event that science discovers that homosexuality is infact a choice or an influence, even in that case choosing to be homosexual can be a fully moral and ethical choice. And so, understanding that the sexual motive is strong, and understanding that pedophilia is not an illness, and understanding that demanding abstinence from them while placing them fully within a surrounding of young children is futile and dangerous, I believe that it is best for society – and pedophiles – that they be isolated from society altogether.


Blogger Ergo Sum said...

As an after-thought: I'm sure there are many peripheral aspects of pedophilia that can be psychologically treated, for example, their addiction to the internet, their addiction to sex, their issues with self-esteem or self-worth, their own issues with repression or molestation, etc.
But, notice that these treatable issues could be common among any group of people... not just pedophiles. In terms of the actual sexual attraction to young children, I don't believe it is an illness that should or could be treated.

2/06/2006 05:54:00 PM  
Blogger JohnJEnright said...

I wonder if it's possible to be a pedophile but limit one's expression to fantasy. I don't know. I don't think it's good for them to take jobs where they deal with kids, but naturally they are atrtracted to those job.

2/06/2006 10:43:00 PM  
Blogger Ergo Sum said...

It probably could work for some, but I doubt that many (or all) pedophiles could be restrained only in fantasies... at some point, the urge to manifest fantasy into reality does take over. In light of this, it is interesting to put Rand's formulation of psycho-epistemology in our understanding of such people. Pedophiles, in that they have an alternative sexuality, are not really that different from homosexuals... though the most crucial and moral difference lies in their actions (not states of being).
Rand had suggested a strong connection between one's sense of life, one's psycho-epistemology, and one's explicit philosophy on life. Peikoff and Sciabarra seperately explore the implications of Rand's theories on sex and fantasies (fetishes, etc.)

2/07/2006 09:21:00 AM  

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