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Pedophilia-A Genetic Component?

Biology Pedophilia 2009

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#1 Vapor Trails

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 02:16 PM

As I've often stated, I'm a very analytical person. Pedophilia seems to be quite widespread. We have organizations like NAMBLA (North American Man-Boy Love Association). We've had reports of world-wide child porn rings being cracked by police. I've also seen on MSNBC a show where pedophiles are tricked by cops to come to the house of a child (in reality, a cop poses as the "child".)

Being analytical means going into areas that would terrify folks. Some folks think that there is logic in how nature operates. I disagree. Humans, by their very nature, are illogical oftentimes. Also-why would homosexuality exist in nature? Same-sex pairings don't result in reproduction. Sure-sex deals with social bonding, as well as reproduction. There is also the pleasure aspect to it. It's why men and women masturbate. It helps release stress.

However, in thinking about pedophilia, I wonder. Yes, there is the aspect of control over a young child-someone who is immature and doesn't have the capacity of reason that an adult usually would. There is also abuse in the abuser's own life that may trigger this behavior. But could there also be a genetic component?

To dismiss the possibility/idea of a genetic component for pedophilia would be, in my opinion, dangerously naive. As I understand it, there are some pedophiles who feel this insatiable lust-NEED-to have sex with children. I honesty don't think we can limit this to just arrested development/abuse in the pedophile's past.

So. Share your thoughts.

Edited by Ghost Rider, 02 September 2009 - 02:17 PM.

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#2 Balderdash

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 02:29 PM

I may be wrong but I do not recall ever hearing about any study that shows pedophiles in nature.  And could we have a discussion about pedophiles without bringing up homosexuals?

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#3 Rhea

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 02:31 PM

This is a fascinating scholarly report on pedophelia in general (this was a Dutch study, BTW) - I'm not going to try to quote it because part of it was based on a questionnaire given to pedophiles:

http://www.ipce.info...factual.htm#III

One interesting bit (talking about several old studies):

Quote

3. The study of Lolita (1977)
In both the above-mentioned enquiries the paedophiles attracted to girls are in the minority. In Breda, there were 10 (20%) bisexual paedophiles. And the PIE data show that among a total of 94 male paedophiles, nearly 20% were bisexually oriented.

In Breda, there were no really heterophile paedophiles. PIE, on the other hand, included some 13% heterophile paedophiles (12 in the 94). With such a small number, one would be inclined to underrate the number of heterosexual paedophiles in society. But the real proportion may well be quite different. A sex-magazine like Lolita (Chick) must indeed have a big print-run if its almost monthly publication with a coloured cover is profitable. And anyone who examines the other particularly-well printed heterophile/paedophile sex-magazines, which are printed in full colour, will suspect that the market for them is quite different from that for the still mainly black-and-white homophile/paedophile magazines.

I had never considered bisexual pedophiles, for some reason. OTOH, he seems to be linking homosexuality to pedophelia as the larger percentage - if 20% are bisexual and 13% heterosexual, then the rest must be homosexual. I  haven't read the whole thing yet.

As far as I know, they haven't found a homosexual gene yet, much less a pedophelia gene.

One of the interesting issues is: if you found out pedophelia had a genetic component would you still think it was wrong? My vote would be a resounding "yes!" Raping children can't, IMO, be excused by anything, period. It's like asking if you're psychotic is it ok to act on it if there might be a genetic factor - at least in my opinion.

Edited by Rhea, 02 September 2009 - 02:34 PM.

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#4 Vapor Trails

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 02:35 PM

View PostBalderdash, on Sep 2 2009, 02:29 PM, said:

I may be wrong but I do not recall ever hearing about any study that shows pedophiles in nature.  And could we have a discussion about pedophiles without bringing up homosexuals?

Well, I think there is a way of doing it that is respectful. I know I'm fully capable of doing it.
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#5 Vapor Trails

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 02:40 PM

View PostRhea, on Sep 2 2009, 02:31 PM, said:

As far as I know, they haven't found a homosexual gene yet, much less a pedophelia gene.

Well, there must be something in nature that "wires" certain folks into either straight or gay humans. I've heard it oftentimes mentioned that some people knew they were gay when they were kids.

Quote

One of the interesting issues is: if you found out pedophelia had a genetic component would you still think it was wrong? My vote would be a resounding "yes!" Raping children can't, IMO, be excused by anything, period. It's like asking if you're psychotic is it ok to act on it if there might be a genetic factor - at least in my opinion.

Totally agreed.

Gay or straight sex=fine, as long as CONSENTING ADULTS are involved, and no one is hurt.

Of course, pedophilia is illegal because we are talking about an adult & child having sex-and the child is way too immature physically and mentally to be involved in such interactions.
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#6 Vapor Trails

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 02:48 PM

Also-to add further controversy...

Are there examples in the animal kingdom where adult animals have sex with young animals/offspring? Keep in mind-we've found same-sex behavior in animals.
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#7 Cait

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 03:51 PM

This may not please anyone, but the fact that a man is sexually attracted to a 12 year old boy or girl doesn't mean he would act on it.  It's the out-of-control sexual predator that society is concerned with--not those members of society that have attraction only.

We all have strong attractions that we don't act on.  Think of all the times you have 'lusted' after some celebrity or actor/ress.  I mean seriously coveted him or her.  Then think about the number of fans with such crushes that  stalk and are a danger to the actor or actress.  It's the 2% who act criminally on attractions that we should be concerned with.

I'm not trying to defend men or women who are attracted to children.  I was molested as a child, and I know personally the impact of such a thing on the entire life of the child.  What I am saying, is you can't judge the real problem to society by looking at attractions alone.

I don't think you can even begin to look at a DNA connection by looking at attractions alone.  You can use an MRI to see what stimulates parts of the brain, but you don't get any help in discovering what might or might not lead to acting criminally.  You get no data on impulse control.

What makes one teenage boy restrain himself when a teenage girl or boy says "no", even though his hormones are raging?  What makes another teenage boy act on impulse only and rape a girl or boy?  It's not about attractions alone.  Both the boy with restraint and the boy who rapes have similar attractions at play.  Similar raging hormones.  The difference is in impulse control.  I would think that would be a more informative study.

I read an interesting article to day on psychopaths..

http://news.yahoo.co...rsremainelusive

Quote

Lack of empathy, guilt, conscience or remorse
Shallow experiences of feelings or emotions
Impulsivity and a weak ability to defer gratification and control behavior
Superficial charm and glibness
Irresponsibility and a failure to accept responsibility for their actions
A grandiose sense of their own worth

It would seem to me that we'd be better served studying what makes an individual a psychopath and go from there.  Attractions might be interesting, and might give us a better understanding of why attractions to one sex, age group, race, etc occur, but the criminality of such attractions is what we are more concerned with.

Personally, I don't care if someone is attracted to trees, as long as they don't burn down the forest in some kind of "If I can't have you, no one can", kind of psychodrama.  It's not the attraction, it's the criminal impulse that should concern us.

The attraction of a full grown man to a 11-13 year old girl is not that unusual.  Girls that age were married off throughout world history, and no one thought it was criminal behavior to have such an attraction.  The same is probably true of young men being desire by grown men.  The attraction hasn't changed, the laws regarding what is acceptable and what isn't have changed.  The attractions have probably always been there.  

BTW, I'm not suggesting that because an attraction to 12 year olds exists it should be acceptable.  Children cannot give informed consent, and without consent [imo] it is illegal.  I'm also not saying that because the Greeks recognized the man/boy attraction and it was legal, that they were more enlightened.  I don't think that at all.  I'm just illustrating that the attractions alone are not unusual.

I'm also pointing out that as laws and social mores changed the majority of people adapted to the changes.  Attractions still occurred, but fewer and fewer acted on their attractions.  What makes one man [or woman, I'm not singling out men here, just don't want to keep writing down all the gender identifiers] adhere to changing laws and another man disobey?  I think better answers can be found in looking at studies being done on psychopathic behavior, instead of just looking at what some men or women are attracted to...

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#8 RommieSG

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 04:58 PM

A fascinating aspect of this topic are the Japanese, and their affinity for what they call 'Lolis' or 'Lolitas'. Little girls dressed in frilly outfits, sometimes Gothic in nature. The age of consent is much lower in Japan, and it's not uncommon for men to be with 13-14 year olds. Anime characters of this type are very common, and very popular among Japanese Otaku, or hardcore anime fans. Chiyo Mihama from Azumanga Daioh could even be interpreted as one of these characters.

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While I don't believe it is a genetic component, I believe it is a cultural or environmental component. Depending on your surroundings is generally determinate of how you act.
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#9 Palisades

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 05:02 PM

View PostCertifiably Cait, on Sep 2 2009, 02:51 PM, said:

I read an interesting article to day on psychopaths..

http://news.yahoo.co...rsremainelusive

Quote

Lack of empathy, guilt, conscience or remorse
Shallow experiences of feelings or emotions
Impulsivity and a weak ability to defer gratification and control behavior
Superficial charm and glibness
Irresponsibility and a failure to accept responsibility for their actions
A grandiose sense of their own worth

Sounds like the banksters, lol!

Sorry for the off-topic post.

Edited by Palisade, 02 September 2009 - 05:05 PM.

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#10 Rhea

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 05:19 PM

View PostBalderdash, on Sep 2 2009, 12:29 PM, said:

I may be wrong but I do not recall ever hearing about any study that shows pedophiles in nature.  And could we have a discussion about pedophiles without bringing up homosexuals?

Baldy, if you read the paragraph I quoted from the Dutch study, you would have found the research quoted an earlier study that gave those statistics, and that what he was saying was that common sense alone would tell you that since the best-selling magazines among pedophiles all involve little girls, it was likely flawed, the inference being that the majority of pedophiles are either heterosexual or bi.

I thought the article was interesting because of the questions answered by pedophiles further down.

Edited to add: I agree with you Cait, that psychotics are fascinating (sociopaths maybe even more so). Maybe we could do a thread about psychotics.

Edited by Rhea, 02 September 2009 - 06:31 PM.

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#11 SparkyCola

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 06:49 PM

GR - animals take part in all sorts of horrendous acts. Before checking this, I had a feeling the answer would be a resounding YES. Apparently bonobos and stoats do it, and I wouldn't be surprised if dolphins do too, given some of the documentaries I've seen on them.

Can pedophilia be considered a mental disease/disorder?

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#12 Vapor Trails

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 07:31 PM

I hate making a quick post-but I'm taking a nap soon and I have to continue work on my new portrait:

View PostCertifiably Cait, on Sep 2 2009, 03:51 PM, said:

It would seem to me that we'd be better served studying what makes an individual a psychopath and go from there.  Attractions might be interesting, and might give us a better understanding of why attractions to one sex, age group, race, etc occur, but the criminality of such attractions is what we are more concerned with.

Why not ALL of it? Including what I brought up? The more info, the better armed we all are. :)
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#13 Vapor Trails

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 07:36 PM

View PostSparkyCola, on Sep 2 2009, 06:49 PM, said:

GR - animals take part in all sorts of horrendous acts.

Yup. And that's what we are: Animals. All this talk of "civilization" is only so much BS in my opinion. Sure, we strive for some sort of ideal, but due to our own illogical nature, we CONSTANTLY fall short. It's interesting how we apply one set of standards for ourselves, and another for other animals.

Quote

Before checking this, I had a feeling the answer would be a resounding YES. Apparently bonobos and stoats do it, and I wouldn't be surprised if dolphins do too, given some of the documentaries I've seen on them.

It doesn't surprise me either.

Quote

Can pedophilia be considered a mental disease/disorder?

Sparky

Isn't it considered this already, in some circles?

Edited by Ghost Rider, 02 September 2009 - 07:37 PM.

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#14 eryn

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 08:11 PM

View PostSparkyCola, on Sep 2 2009, 05:49 PM, said:

Can pedophilia be considered a mental disease/disorder?

Sparky


IIRC, Pedophilia is in the DSM IV under paraphilia and sexual disorders. I don't have the manual with me though so I'm not sure.
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#15 Balderdash

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 08:30 PM

View PostRhea, on Sep 2 2009, 03:19 PM, said:

View PostBalderdash, on Sep 2 2009, 12:29 PM, said:

I may be wrong but I do not recall ever hearing about any study that shows pedophiles in nature.  And could we have a discussion about pedophiles without bringing up homosexuals?

Baldy, if you read the paragraph I quoted from the Dutch study, you would have found the research quoted an earlier study that gave those statistics, and that what he was saying was that common sense alone would tell you that since the best-selling magazines among pedophiles all involve little girls, it was likely flawed, the inference being that the majority of pedophiles are either heterosexual or bi.

I thought the article was interesting because of the questions answered by pedophiles further down.

Edited to add: I agree with you Cait, that psychotics are fascinating (sociopaths maybe even more so). Maybe we could do a thread about psychotics.


Honestly, I should stay the hell out of this discussion because my father was a pedophile.  We talk about this issue as if it were about sex and while sex may be the vehicle it's not what it's all about.  And pedophiles don't just go for prepubescent boys and girls they go for little kids, tiny kids.  I read about a guy who raped, raped (for gods sake) a baby that was 8 months old.  I can't even begin to wrap my head around that...  

And then my other issue is I'm a lesbian, a homosexual, trying like hell to be allowed to be a part of the world I live in.  To have my orientation compared or even share the same sentence with a pedophile is just beyond whats decent.  

Pedophiles are not the same as homosexuals.  Pedophiles are not heterosexual or bisexual or homosexual.

I'm sorry, I'll try to be cool and calm but this is important to me.

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#16 Orpheus

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 09:30 PM

I think it is well established that most if not all humans have been/might be tempted to take something that was not theirs if if was precious to them and freely available for the taking, yet that does not make us all thieves -- or at least even the strictest moralist can draw  a fair, enforceable boundary between coveting thy neighbor's possessions and thievery.

I also think that it is questionable whether most animals can present applicable examples. In many, mating is driven by estrus, season weather, etc.; in others, "apparently sexual" behaviors are dominance behaviors and not sexual at all, except in the eyes of human observers. (It has been fairly well established that humans, and some other primates, conflate the two, using the same behaviors for both, but that lines of distinction can nonetheless be drawn.) Numerically, the majority of spicies may not engage in the kind of behavior to which human definitions can even be applied. How does the milting of laid eggs by male fish fit into this classification? Is all bacterial conjugation "rape" since it is never consensual? We apply a convenient filter on our picture of teh animal world, focusing almost entirely on a handful of large familiar families.

Further, applying any pretense of human psychology to distinctly distant species can't help but be anthropomorphism, and anthropomorphism is by definition a projection of our own beliefs, without regard to the unknown "psychology" and neurobiology of species under observation. The very act of rying to use them as models is, IMHO, flawed. Though I too can imagine that it could be potentially instructive, I feel it is far more potentially misleading. we simplay can't map stot brains to our own in any meaningful way. To some degree, biology must dictate morality because we're stuck with it: I think most people who feel cannibalism is evil would agree that limited cannibalism of the dead may be justifiable and necessary in a life-or-death circumstance. Any individual or group that chooses otherwise, when truly confronted with that choice, dooms itself and eliminates itself from the gene-pool and existence.

#17 Rhea

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 10:15 PM

View PostBalderdash, on Sep 2 2009, 06:30 PM, said:

View PostRhea, on Sep 2 2009, 03:19 PM, said:

View PostBalderdash, on Sep 2 2009, 12:29 PM, said:

I may be wrong but I do not recall ever hearing about any study that shows pedophiles in nature.  And could we have a discussion about pedophiles without bringing up homosexuals?

Baldy, if you read the paragraph I quoted from the Dutch study, you would have found the research quoted an earlier study that gave those statistics, and that what he was saying was that common sense alone would tell you that since the best-selling magazines among pedophiles all involve little girls, it was likely flawed, the inference being that the majority of pedophiles are either heterosexual or bi.

I thought the article was interesting because of the questions answered by pedophiles further down.

Edited to add: I agree with you Cait, that psychotics are fascinating (sociopaths maybe even more so). Maybe we could do a thread about psychotics.


Honestly, I should stay the hell out of this discussion because my father was a pedophile.  We talk about this issue as if it were about sex and while sex may be the vehicle it's not what it's all about.  And pedophiles don't just go for prepubescent boys and girls they go for little kids, tiny kids.  I read about a guy who raped, raped (for gods sake) a baby that was 8 months old.  I can't even begin to wrap my head around that...  

And then my other issue is I'm a lesbian, a homosexual, trying like hell to be allowed to be a part of the world I live in.  To have my orientation compared or even share the same sentence with a pedophile is just beyond whats decent.  

Pedophiles are not the same as homosexuals.  Pedophiles are not heterosexual or bisexual or homosexual.

I'm sorry, I'll try to be cool and calm but this is important to me.

Sorry, Baldy. I completely get it. I'm an incest survivor, and I feel the same way. Rape in any form is about power.

There's way too much we don't understand about pedophelia, though - obviously there's a huge psychological component (which is why castration works sometimes and not others), but I don't think there's much to prove whether there might be a physical component (hormonal balances? I've never looked for research) or even a genetic predisposition. As I was reminded by a neurologist when I was recovering from meningitis recently, there's a lot more we *don't* know about the human brain than we *do* know.

Edited by Rhea, 03 September 2009 - 09:29 AM.

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#18 Balderdash

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 07:38 AM

I also wonder if maybe we and by we I mean us in the US, aren't trying to put too much under the pedophile umbrella.  An adult having sex with a 12 or 13 year old male or female is nasty but is it really pedophelia?  In some countries, including the US not so long ago, it's fairly common practice to marry a 12 or 13 year old female.  On the other hand an adult having sex with a six year old is clearly pedophilia.

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#19 Annibal

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 09:11 AM

^ I was thinking about other countries when you said that. The book "Nectar in a Sieve" is from the point of view of a girl who is married off at 12 to an older man--around 30, I believe. Of course she hates it, and child brides is clearly an issue, but in a lot of cultures that is the normal thing to do--or was, I think in the last 50 years a lot of that has changed. And they end up loving each other a lot. It's a wrenching book in a lot of ways.

Is it possible to institute an international age where you're an adult? doubt it.

Although, Baldy, I would still call it pedophilia with a 12/13 year old. Not with a 14/15 year old, maybe, depending on the case, but with a 12/13 year old I would on the basis of puberty (a lot of kids at those age are either still going through it, or still haven't quite reached it.) and on how old the kids look in general. To me, and I'm 22, seeing kids in middle school is so weird because they look SO YOUNG to me. So the idea of anyone older than me approaching those kids with sex in mind is, at least in my opinion, pedophilic.
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#20 Cardie

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 09:27 AM

We also need to remember that pedophilia does not simply refer to adults being with partners we may consider children.  Pedophiles have psychological obsessions with children, dark drives to watch them, be near them, and have sex with them when the opportunity presents itself.  If one's culture allows marriage to young gfirls and you do so, you aren't the same as a guy who obsesses over young girls, abducts and rapes them, etc.  It's like drinking.  If alcohol is legal, you may drink, even if some people consider it a vice.  This is very different from being an alcoholic in the grip of a powerful addiction.

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