In one of the interminable threads that devolved into endless discussions of pedophilia a couple of months ago, I raised an academic question about whether those who were commenting could come up with a reason why pedophilia was "wrong" without relying on a Judeo-Christian cultural context.   The history, I argued, was that in Greece and to a lesser extent in Rome, pedophilia in some forms was culturally acceptable; only those pesky Christians managed to radically change the culture.

For me it was just an academic speculation, but apparently I was much closer than I had ever considered possible.

In a recent interview with the Times magazine, Richard Dawkins attempted to defend what he called “mild pedophilia,” which, he says, he personally experienced as a young child and does not believe causes “lasting harm.”

Dawkins went on to say that one of his former school masters “pulled me on his knee and put his hand inside my shorts,” and that to condemn this “mild touching up” as sexual abuse today would somehow be unfair.


Child welfare experts responded to Dawkins’ remarks with outrage — and concern over their effect on survivors of abuse.


I'm just curious what people think?   Even in the midst of the groping, fondling, and raping of kids, and hiding/covering up of the crimes which occurred among clergy of my faith, it was exceptionally rare that anyone actually tried to condone it as being harmless. 

Tags: Dawkins, Richard, pedophilia

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Just urges or specific intent. With intent, I believe it's reportable in almost any jurisdiction.

If you are seeing a psychiatrist, urges must be reported.  I cannot say whether this actually achieves anything or whether it's one of those rules in place just to make the system look like it cares.  I believe the therapist does have to inform the patient of the fact they will have to report the matter.  I cannot imagine what is actually done with this information, though, once it has been reported.


Yes - urges need to be reported.

The way the therapist determines how likey you are to carry it out is by  how far you have taken the fantasy in your mind. Has it turned into ideation for example.

A therapist may not be too concerned if I mull over suicide but if I have an urge to suicide and I have planned it to the point that I see my own dead body in my mental scenario - then the therapist intervenes.

It makes sense for suicide, but what do you suppose is done with reported information of murderous urges?  I have no idea.


 They call it 'murderous rage'. Its one of the first things they determine in you when you see the therapist.

Mostly they know that these urges come from childhood violence. So then they work on your past.

I dont know what they do after that if they find the client resistant to change..

Maybe Kairan knows.


Yes, murderous rage, that's the term.  I can understand how the therapist/psychiatrist might have techniques to address it, but I was genuinely wondering who they are mandated to report it to, and what, if anything, is done with such information, by those reported to, not by the therapist or psychologist.

"what do you suppose is done with reported information"?

That's easy. It sits on a database avaiable to any competent hacker in the world. Then when, in traffic, you inadvertantly piss off a judge or the IT manager, the information is retrieved and acted upon to your severe detriment.

This is no joke. No data security system in the world protects against those who are meant to have access.

Does this happen a lot in your neighborhood, MikeLong? I've heard about Facebook bullies, and such, but not what you're talking about.

But I do know of a town in Florida where sex offenders go to live, when they can't find housing because of their conviction(s). (Can't remember the name of it, atm.)

So, if I say "Sometimes I feel like wringing my (partner's) neck," that must be reported. To whom? And as you are, I also wonder what happens then. Do they send jackboots out to arrest someone at their job.

I know therapists tell their patients what has to be reported, which of course means that the patient won't talk about it.

Great system.

In the UK, our hairdressers double up as our therapists.  Works loads better and you get a haircut at the same time :)


which of course means that the patient won't talk about it

Therapists have ways of getting at the things that arent talked about.They are good at their voodoo.

Yes, some pedophiles are monsters who destroy the lives of their victims. Others struggle to control their impulses and might seek treatment except for laws that require their therapists to report them and enroll them in an easily abused and hacked database. 

This article argues that by propagating the view that all pedophiles are monsters, we allow ourselves to overlook the molesters among us, because they don't fit the stereotype many people hold of what a pedophile is like. From the same article:

“It doesn’t protect children to have a stigmatized group of outcasts living on the fringe of society,” Spencer told me. “Anyone who’s serious about protecting children from abuse has to be just as serious about the needs of minor-attracted people.”

He doesn’t mean their “need” to have sexual contact with children, but their need for safe avenues to seek therapy, feel understood, and thrive as non-offenders. It’s a perspective being embraced by a growing number of clinicians, researchers, and therapists as well. Child sexual abuse is typically viewed solely as a criminal problem—something for cops to catch, courts to adjudicate, and everyone to fear. But some in the psychiatric community believe that preventing abuse calls for a much broader public health approach, one in which the potential abuser himself is reached and treated before doing harm.


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