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Pedophilia-A Genetic Component?

Biology Pedophilia 2009

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#21 Vapor Trails

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 09:40 AM

View PostBalderdash, on Sep 2 2009, 08:30 PM, said:

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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I'm sorry for your hurt, and that this is such a sensitive issue for you. I've always tried to be sensitive to gays and lesbians. In a way, I do understand the pain one would have to go through as a homosexual-it's the CONSTANT BULLYING they go through. I was bullied, so I know what that's like. The unfortunate thing is that for gays and lesbians, they have to live with the threat of bullying EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THEIR LIVES. :( :angry:

My parents had foster kids who had been sexually abused. That's a tough deal.

Speaking of which:

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I'm TERRIBLY sorry for your pain. :(

Perhaps, with this discussion, we can all get further insight on how these people tick-and in doing so find ways to improve things.
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#22 Rhea

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 09:41 AM

View PostCardie, on Sep 3 2009, 07:27 AM, said:

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.

Cardie


Agreed. Obession and power.

And I also agree with Cait that a man who sleeps with a 14-year-old may also be in an entirely separate category than a man who can only become aroused by prepubescent children.

OTOH a man who can ONLY be aroused by 14-year-olds has a problem, both societal (depending on the age of consent) and emotional.  What attracts a man to exclusively to very young women (again, I'm talking postpubescent - say 12 - 16)? Emotional immaturity? Some kind of sexual inadequacy? I tend to think that men who only like adolescent girls are terrified of sexually mature women, but that's just an opinion unsupported by an facts. I'll have to see if I can find me some real facts..  ;)

Edited by Rhea, 03 September 2009 - 12:51 PM.

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#23 Balderdash

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 10:34 AM

View PostAnnibal, on Sep 3 2009, 07:11 AM, said:

^ 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.

I think that I pretty much agree with you but I don't know if that has to do with my own history and or the fact that I'm American and our "values" are different than most of Europe, hell the rest of the world.

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#24 Chakoteya

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 03:05 AM

This is a very difficult subject because whether or not there is a genetic component, there seems to be a deep seated psychological component in the male to be attracted to young females for family raising. Even our own enlightened culture panders to this in the mass media and the images it uses, implying that women have to maintain youthful looks in order to be 'wanted' in a romantic sense - no laugh lines, flat (no babies carried) abdomen, pert breasts (not breast-fed a child yet).

Biologically it probably made sense when life expectancy was comparatively short for women, who only rarely made it to menopause until the last few centuries unless they were rather well off. A young woman just entering her menses was fit, healthy and likely to produce at least one offspring for the man. And an older man with established property and possessions would be able to take care of her and her child more easily.

However, from way, way, back, human society seems to have decided that sexual contact with a pre-pubescent was not acceptable, and conventions developed about asking permission from the father before marriage/intercourse could take place. I'm not sure why. Maybe a girl and boy were somehow more equal before puberty made their differences even more obvious than they were before? Once the genetic roles were clearly established, their society decreed that they could be treated as the rest of the adults and become active procreators for the group? Just a personal theory you understand.
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#25 Rhea

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 04:37 PM

My brain is reeling.

While looking for studies on a possible genetic predisposition to pedophelia, I stumbled on this site:

http://www.pedophile.../myth-facts.htm (A self-justifying site for pedophiles, as best I can tell.)

Every single reference they gave was to this site:

http://www.mhamic.or.../introintro.htm

This site specifically adresses male homosexual attraction to minors (or as they say "Child molestation is a crime. Pedophilia and ephebophilia are not.) YMMV

THEY at least gave citations to some scientific studies.

I read a number of the shorter articles (you're welcome to track the sources as well). This is, I believe, the sum total of what anyone really knows about this subject, factually speaking:

Pedophiles are attracted to prepubescent children; ephebophiles (a new term for me) are attracted to post-adolescent minors.

Studies of convicted offenders may or may not be valid because they're only the ones who got caught - in other words, the ones lacking self-control.

Is is just me, or is this one of the mostly poorly understood deviant behaviors among humans?  :suspect:

Edited by Rhea, 04 September 2009 - 04:37 PM.

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When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#26 Vapor Trails

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 06:36 PM

Rhea,

I'll definitely check out the links.

And...

Quote

Is is just me, or is this one of the mostly poorly understood deviant behaviors among humans? :suspect:

That's why I said to Cait earlier that ALL possibilities should be looked at. The more we learn, the better armed WE ALL are.
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#27 Rhea

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 08:02 PM

Sorry about no quotes, but the two websites justifying pedophelia are just sick, even when they're couched in indirect terms, and it takes a bit of time to read the references in the footnotes of the second site.
The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#28 GiGi

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 11:02 PM

View PostCardie, on Sep 3 2009, 07:27 AM, said:

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.

Cardie
Right on Cardie.
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#29 Chakoteya

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 06:04 AM

I think we all know that the male gets maximum pleasure when the orifice he is penetrating is nice and tight, right? So I reckon that's the component that spurs some on to mess with children - it doesn't get much smaller and tighter than that for their pleasure. And we know that the hormones produced by gratification are addictive, yes?
It's sick and revolting to think about, and yet for some bizarre reason some people want it that way whilst knowing that society is against them. Hence the additional crimes of kidnap and sometimes murder that accompany their actions. *shudder*
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#30 Nikcara

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 08:50 PM

^ I don't think that's really the case though (about why some men molest children).  Not to be too crass but frankly I doubt most men could even get it up with a small child.  They would simply not be aroused by that.  And while they are much rarer it would completely fail to explain female pedophiles (I also think they get caught less often, but I've heard enough stories of creepy woman giving a 6 year old a blowjob or other forms of molestation)  

Here you can find a link to an article about genetic predisposition for pedophilia.  I'll quote the abstract below

Quote

A naturalistic, double-blind, family history comparison of sexual deviancy in the first degree relatives of inpatients with pedophilia and nonpedophilic paraphilia was done. Both proband groups were similar in demographic characteristics, except that pedophiles had a later onset of illness and were older during hospitalization. All patients were men. Sexual deviancy was found in 18.5 per cent of the families of paraphiliacs; only 3 per cent of a psychiatric control group had a family member with sexual deviancy. The preponderance of affected relatives were men. The types of sexual deviancy found in the families of the groups differed. Sexual deviancy among the pedophiles' families consisted of pedophilia. In families of nonpedophilic paraphiliacs, sexual deviancy was predominantly a paraphilia not involving children. These data suggest that pedophilia is familial; however, further studies are needed to delineate the manner of transmission. Nonetheless, pedophilia is found more frequently in families of pedophiles than in families of nonpedophilic paraphiliacs. This indicates specificity in the familial transmission. Thus pedophilia may be independent of the other paraphilias.

So in other words, this study did find that genetics played a role in the likelihood of developing pedophilia but did not find the same correlation with other types of deviant sexual behavior ("nonpedophilic paraphiliacs").  That study was done in 84.  All the most recent studies I've found on my somewhat brief search of the topic assume an underlying biological problem which they are attempting to elucidate.  I can provide links to at least the abstracts here if anyone's interested.  Unfortunately for most of these you have to either be a student or pay quite a bit to get the full articles.
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#31 Rhea

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 11:41 PM

^I'd be interested. I ran into the same problems you did - not being able to register because not being a student or not wanting to pay just to get one article.

This may help for those unfamiliar with the term "paraphilia:"

http://www.medterms....articlekey=4767

Quote

Paraphilia: One of several complex psychiatric disorders that are manifested as deviant sexual behavior. For example, in men the most common forms are pedophilia (sexual behavior or attraction toward children) and exhibitionism (exposing one's body in public setting). Other paraphilias include compulsive sexual behavior (nymphomania and priapism), sadism, masochism, fetishism, bestiality, and necrophilia. Treatment may include cognitive behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, behavior modification, antidepressant medications, and medications that alter hormone production, particularly of testosterone. However, the cause and treatment of paraphilias are poorly understood, and treatment is rarely effective. In addition, many professionals prefer not to pathologize sexual behavior that involves only willing adults, even if the behavior might be deemed deviant in mainstream society. In cases where the behavior is potentially criminal, as in pedophilia, treatment is usually offered within the penal system.

That article you cited is friggin' expensive. $35 for access to that single article. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease reprints don't come cheap.  :blink:  I'm fascinated, but not to the tune of $35. ;)

This is an interesting article:

http://serendip.bryn...3/pgaughen.html

Quote

Pedophilia is one of a group of psychological disorders called paraphilias, which are disorders of sexual attraction and include such deviant behaviors as exhibitionism, voyeurism, sexual masochism and sexual sadism. They are considered illnesses if they cause problems for the person having the urges or for others. Pedophilia is considered one of the most dangerous of these disorders because sex with a child is always criminal and exploitive. Although the term is popularly used to describe adults who are sexually drawn to children, it technically refers to urges toward pre-pubescent boys and girls (5). The onset of paraphilic sexual interest usually occurs before the age of 18. The average age for the onset of nonincestuous homosexual pedophilia is 18.2 and 21.1 for nonincestuous heterosexual pedophilia (2). The clinical evaluation of pedophiles reveals them to be a diverse group. They differ educationally, vocationally, religiously, and socio-economically. They vary in the amount of force or aggression used in their pedophilic acts. They also vary in the many different causes that lead to the development of their sexual problem. For some child molesters, their sexual acting out can be explained by the presence of a psychosis or an organic brain deficit. Individuals with a history of closed or open head injuries and individuals with a diagnosis of schizophrenia may become sexually aggressive because of their unique mental disorder or because of their brain injuries. For example, there are recorded brain damaged individuals who molest children because of impaired intellectual functioning. Their pedophilic behavior is not the result of a primary sexual disorder but of an organic disorder. No single explanation can account for all the different pathways leading towards pedophilia.

Quote

Power and control are critical factors for the pedophile. The child is pliant and yielding, unlike an adult who may be rigid and unyielding. The child can be coerced and brought under control through simple requests and demands; the child will yield to the adults power and control because he or she still lacks autonomy and self-initiative to that extent. If the adult is in a more influential role such as a priest, coach or teacher, the child is particularly vulnerable. For a pedophile, the emotional congruence factor is critical. The perpetrator is often developmentally arrested and may be at the same pyschosexual age as his victims. The pedophile may emotionally and sexually identify with the child who becomes his or her victim. Pedophiles may even engage in sexual acts appropriate to their arrested pyschosexual age such as just showing or touching.

Edited by Rhea, 06 September 2009 - 12:09 AM.

The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#32 Chakoteya

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 02:43 AM

I'm still not convinced about genetics as a convenient explanation for tendency towards paedophilia. As soon as something involving aberrant behaviour is claimed to 'run in the family' I have to suspect a learnt component to the it. Sorry, but that's just me.
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#33 Annibal

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 09:23 AM

^I would hardly call it convenient, though I agree that I don't think it would be. I think it's way more complex that JUST genes.
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#34 Rhea

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 09:32 AM

^Absolutely. The rest of the article talked about possible endocrine system differences, and the fact that pedophiles seem to have a higher epinephrine level than the norm, but they don't actually know. I don't know why the tendency to be a pedophile can't be genetically inherited, just as the tendency toward alcoholism runs in families.

This article is a slight detour, because it talks about incest among the Amish (and incest is, after all, a form of pedophelia):

http://www.legalaffa...bi_janfeb05.msp

Quote

When she wrote the letter that she hoped would protect her sister, Mary Byler was lying on a twin bed, surrounded by rainbow-colored walls and a sky-blue ceiling decorated with bright white clouds. A stereo sat on the floor beside her. There were no signs of the Amish upbringing she had left behind—no plain wood furniture or chamber pot. Nothing except a stuffed doll that had belonged to her 6-year-old sister. The little girl had put the doll's bonnet on backward.

Mary fingered her long brown hair as she thought of her sister. And she thought about her older brother, Johnny, and his refusal when she'd asked him to go to therapy the day before. She started writing. "When I was 4 years old, I was molested, when I was 6, I was sexually abused (rape) from then on till I was 17," the 19-year-old put down. "There was nothing I could do about this abuse as it was incest."

Mary gave the letter to a friend, who drove 30 minutes northwest of the house where Mary was staying in the Wisconsin town of Viroqua, past a couple of dirt roads, a string of red barns, and frozen cornfields. He waited until nearly midnight on a cold evening last February, and then put the letter in the mailbox at the white shingled home of Sam Mast, an Amish minister in the community where Mary's family lived during her teenage years.

Mary's father was killed in a buggy accident when she was 5; she remembers him pulling her onto his lap and fondling her at their home in the small town of Sugar Grove, Pa. After her father's death, Mary's family moved 100 miles south to New Wilmington, Pa., another small town, where the back roads are filled with brown buggies and white shingled homes. There, Mary's two older cousins and brothers began molesting her. Johnny told the police that his cousins encouraged him, "as far as breaking her in." (The cousins denied that, but admitted to molesting Mary.) By the time Mary was in her teens, she was being raped regularly by Johnny, who is seven years older, and her brother Eli, who is four years older. Once, Eli climbed on top of her while Johnny held her down.

There was no escape. Mary was grabbed in the bedroom, in the barn, in the outhouse, milking the cows in the morning, and on her way to school. "It did not matter how hard I tried to hide," Mary would explain in her letter to Mast, which she also sent to other Amish clergy. "If I ran upstairs to go to bed or to hide because I was at home with the boys, I'd be locking my door and turn around and there was someone crawling through my window. So my windows were always locked . . . Then they started taking off my door."

Edited by Rhea, 06 September 2009 - 09:38 AM.

The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#35 Nonny

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 01:47 PM

View Posteryn, on Sep 2 2009, 06:11 PM, said:

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.
Paraphilias

Quote

According to the   Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders    (known as the  DSM) fourth edition text revised (  DSM-IV-TR  ), the manual used by mental health professionals to diagnose mental disorders, it is not uncommon for an individual to have more than one paraphilia. The  DSM-IV-TR  lists the following paraphilias:  exhibitionism  ,  fetishism  ,  frotteurism  ,  pedophilia  ,  sexual masochism  ,  sexual sadism  ,  transvestic fetishism  , and  voyeurism  . The  DSM-IV-TR  also includes a category for paraphilia not otherwise specified, which is the category for the less common paraphilias, including necrophilia, zoophilia, and others.

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#36 Nikcara

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 07:49 PM

View PostRhea, on Sep 6 2009, 04:41 AM, said:

That article you cited is friggin' expensive. $35 for access to that single article. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease reprints don't come cheap.  :blink:  I'm fascinated, but not to the tune of $35. ;)

This is an interesting article:

Ack - sorry about that.  I am a student so I forget to look at how expensive some of these things are.  Unfortunately I can't think of a good way to get you the full article without violating copyright laws
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#37 Nikcara

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 07:54 PM

View PostChakoteya, on Sep 6 2009, 07:43 AM, said:

I'm still not convinced about genetics as a convenient explanation for tendency towards paedophilia. As soon as something involving aberrant behaviour is claimed to 'run in the family' I have to suspect a learnt component to the it. Sorry, but that's just me.

Sadly I do not have a link to the article I read this in...but I do remember a study of children of men convicted of pedophilia.  Even the ones who were given to the care of the state from an extremely early age and never knew the father/uncle or that branch of their family had an elevated risk for developing pedophilia.  Not that they were inherently doomed to this problem, but more likely to develop it.  Those who actually had been molested had a much higher chance of developing it, but it does suggest a genetic component as well.
We have fourty million reasons for failure, but not a single excuse  -- Rudyard Kipling

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#38 Rhea

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 08:18 PM

View PostNikcara, on Sep 9 2009, 05:49 PM, said:

View PostRhea, on Sep 6 2009, 04:41 AM, said:

That article you cited is friggin' expensive. $35 for access to that single article. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease reprints don't come cheap.  :blink:  I'm fascinated, but not to the tune of $35. ;)

This is an interesting article:

Ack - sorry about that.  I am a student so I forget to look at how expensive some of these things are.  Unfortunately I can't think of a good way to get you the full article without violating copyright laws


I know. But the abstract sounded great, didn't it.

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View PostNikcara, on Sep 9 2009, 05:54 PM, said:

Not that they were inherently doomed to this problem, but more likely to develop it.  Those who actually had been molested had a much higher chance of developing it, but it does suggest a genetic component as well.

I agree. It wouldn't surprise me at all. Just as a predisposition to alcohol doesn't mean you're going to be an alcoholic.

Edited by Rhea, 09 September 2009 - 08:20 PM.

The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#39 Chakoteya

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 03:25 AM

The issue I have with genetic components to behaviour is that it can be used as an argument to remove the person's ability to choose their own actions, as if a human is just a robot controlled by a programme, which they clearly are not. The genetic programming may dictate our skin, eye, hair colour, height, hormones and other chemical and involuntary functions like breathing, but it does not make you lift your arm and shoot someone with a gun, or commit lewd acts on a child. That is a matter of individual choice, and deliberately putting themselves into the situation where such actions are possible. And to the people who claim 'I had no choice' I reply, there are always choices. If you are standing on the edge of a cliff you have multiple choices - step back, step sideways, step forward, jump up and down, sit down, kneel down, lie down. No conscious deliberate act is forced on you by genetics. You are the one who chooses to do it.
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#40 VulcanMaster

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 07:20 AM

Let's, for the sake of argument, accept that Pedophilia has "a genetic component".

What are the implications? Iím thinking mainly, but not exclusively, in terms of how pedophiles are dealt with by the law.
This statement is illogical, since all SIGNATURES are.



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Biology, Pedophilia, 2009

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