Saturday, July 30, 2016

Resources: Pedophilia Posts, Articles, And Research

This is a list of posts, articles, and research about pedophilia. It is not exhaustive, but it will inform the average person of what pedophilia is, how it relates to child sexual abuse prevention, and how pedophilia is erroneously conflated with sexual abuse. If you know of an article or study that you think belongs here, please comment, and I will look into it.

"Comfortably Numb": A Journey Through Pedophilia, An Article By Ender Wiggin: This is an article written by a pedophile that is well-known on Twitter, about how he came to disclosing his attractions to young boys to his wife. It is a very personal story about one man’s struggle with pedophilia, depression caused by pedophilia, and coming to find hope in the midst of these seemingly insurmountable challenges.

"Help!" Life With Pedophilia: An Article by Ender Wiggin: This is an article written by a pedophile that is well-known on Twitter, and his recommendations for people who believe that “pedophiles should get help”. It presents some of the challenges inherent in “getting help” and some ideas around where pedophiles can go to get started on getting help.

'Pedophile Priest' and 'Convicted of Pedophilia': This post discusses two common phrases in media articles about sexually abusive priests and about child sexual abuse in general, and why these phrases are not only inaccurate, but minimize child sexual abuse as an issue.

A Parent's Guide to Pedophilia: My Child Has What?!?: This is a guide for parents in understanding pedophilia including what it means that your child has it, what some of the research says, and some direction in finding resources. 

Arguments for Childhood Sexual Encounters (And Why They Fail): This post is an assessment of an article written by an organization that advocates for the permissibility of children to have sexual relationships with adults, and why the arguments used by the organization fail to provide sufficient logical basis for why such relationships could be beneficial. In other words, it points out the obvious and not-so-obvious flaws in arguments for child sex.

Child Pornography Offenses Are A Valid Diagnostic Indicator Of Pedophilia: This study examined the presence of pedophilia in a range of specific offenses. Among its many findings is that 35% of sexual abusers met the diagnostic criteria for pedophilia.

Do Pedophiles Deserve Respect?: This post discusses pedophiles, what pedophiles are, and whether or not they deserve the same amount of respect that anyone else should receive.

Do Pedophiles Deserve Sympathy?: This is an article written by Dr. James Cantor, a well-known researcher in the field of sexual disorders, discussing how pedophilia is separate from child molestation, and makes some suggestions about how helping pedophiles rather than ostracizing them could help prevent child sexual abuse.

Dolls, Manga, and Other "Outlets": This post assesses the idea of pedophiles having an “outlet”, such as sexual cartoons involving children or child sex dolls, and how these “outlets” may or may not aid the prevention of child sexual abuse.

Facing Disturbing Truths About Pedophilia Could Help Us Keep Kids Safer (Pacific Standard): This is an article that was featured in the Pacific Standard about addressing some of the facts around pedophilia, and accepting these facts, can aid the prevention of child sexual abuse. His writing style is down-to-earth and makes points that are well worth thinking about, even if they are challenging.  

Help Wanted: Luke Malone Interview Of A Pedophile: This is a half-hour long interview with a pedophile about his journey through trying to find help with his sexual attractions. A written form of this interview can be found here.

Life As A Pedophile: This post is a long-forgotten article I wrote trying to describe what it is like to live with pedophilia, and what it means to attach such a stigmatized word to myself.

Mental Illnesses: This post discusses mental illness from the perspective of mental health advocates and how having a mental illness does not make you a better or worse person than anyone else.

Minor Attraction And Sexual Orientation: This post discusses what sexual orientation is, how it applies to people attracted to children, and some ideas around sexuality.

Non-Offending Pedophiles (James Cantor/Ian McPhail): This is an academic article written by James Cantor (Ph.D.), who researches sexual disorders and abnormalities, and Ian McPhail (M.A.), who heads Nextgenforensic, a blog discussing research around sex offense theory and practice. The article discusses the reality that there are pedophiles whose sexual interest in children remains purely an interest, and they do not act upon their interest to sexually abuse children or view sexual abuse imagery of children. Many areas are covered.

Non-offending Paedophilia (Flint: Beyond Choice & Reason): This article discusses non-offending pedophilia, or people with pedophilia who decide that they never wish to act upon their sexual attractions to children. It involves many challenging concepts about pedophilia that the average person may not be informed about.

Pedophiles Who Do And Do Not Offend: This post serves as an introduction for people unfamiliar or opposed to the idea that there are pedophiles, or people that are sexually attracted to young children, who do not sexually abuse children.

Pedophiles, Fantasy, And Child Molestation: This post discusses the ethics of sexual fantasy in pedophiles, and the risk that such fantasy poses to children.

Pedophiles, Pedophilia And Perverts: This post discusses three terms that are often used in articles about child sexual abuse, and how these terms can have a negative impact on the prevention of child sexual abuse.

Pedophilia, Sexual Attraction, Sexuality and 'Cures': This is a somewhat older post discussing the verbiage around pedophilia, and how some of that verbiage is not helpful to preventing child sexual abuse.

Podcast On What Pedophilia Is: Sickboy: This is an hour long podcast on pedophilia, done by Sickboy, which is a team of people who do podcasts on chronic illnesses and diseases. Their feature expert is Dr. James Cantor, an expert on sex, sexuality, and sexual disorders.

TEDx:Adelaide: How Do We Protect Our Children From The Unspeakable?: This is a 12-minute video from an expert in forensic psychology explaining how child sexual abuse can be prevented, why discussing the issue is emotional, and why discussing it is valuable.

Ten Things You Do Not Know About Child Sexual Abuse: This post is a list of ten facts that are absolutely essential to preventing child sexual abuse before it happens. Do you know the ten things? 

The Science of Pedophilia: Is It a Sexual Orientation?: This article discusses some of the issues and the cutting-edge science behind pedophilia, including whether or not it is a sexual orientation. 

Using Math To Determine Pedophiles Who Do And Do Not Abuse: This post illustrates approximately how many pedophiles do abuse, how many do not abuse, and how both of those figures compare to US statistics about sex offenders, child sex offenders, and repeat child sex offenders. The end result is an educated guess for illustrative purposes.

What Is Pedophilia? And Those Other Hard To Pronounce Things?: This post describes pedophilia and discusses the distinction between pedophilia, hebephilia, and ephebophilia. I also discuss some of the concepts of pedophilia from the DSM-V.

What Kind Of Help Do Pedophiles Need? "Help Wanted: Lessons On Prevention From Non-Offending Young Adult Pedophiles" (ATSA): This is a preliminary report featured in the Spring, 2016 issue of ATSA’s newsletter discussing some of the preliminary results of a study that was done on young adult pedophiles to determine what kind of support pedophiles need in adolescence.

What The Average Person Must Know About Pedophilia: This post discusses some of the basics about pedophilia, and why pedophilia relates to the primary prevention of child sexual abuse.

Who Does Pedophilia Affect?: This post points out some obvious truths to the Jared Fogle incident, and some not-so-obvious truths about pedophilia, child sexual abuse, and prevention that is lost on most people.

Why The Statistic Matters: Part One, Pedophilia: This post discusses four statistics about pedophilia, and why they matter not only to prevention, but to the world at large. Clearly, more research is needed.

Why Words Matter: Pedophile: This post discusses some of the stigma around the word “pedophile”, how the word should be properly used and understood, and why using it improperly is bad. 

Wiki: Ephebophilia: This is Wikipedia’s main page on ephebophilia, the condition of having a sexual attraction to older teenagers. It involves the age ranges covered, the word’s etymology, and its characteristics.

Wiki: Hebephilia: This is Wikipedia’s main page on hebephilia, the condition of having a sexual attraction to children in the midst of puberty. It involves the age ranges covered, academic discussions around diagnosis and criteria, and a thorough explanation of how hebephilia differs from pedophilia.

Wiki: Pedophilia: This is Wikipedia’s main page on pedophilia, the condition of having a sexual attraction to prepubescent children. It involves a detailed explanation for the criteria of pedophilia, what sorts of other issues are seen with pedophilia, treatments available, and how the term “pedophilia” and “pedophile” are misused in popular culture.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Issues In Mandatory Reporting

Introduction

Mandatory reporting can be an immensely complex topic to cover. Given the pushes in the United Kingdom for mandatory reporting, I think it is necessary to address some of the failures that mandatory reporting can have, as well as some of the misconceptions of what mandatory reporting calls for. I think that in the United Kingdom, there are particular concerns about whistleblowers who may wish to report what they know to be an abusive situation, but fear that their job may be on the line. This is a separate issue from mandatory reporting. So, this post will aim to address the difference between mandatory reporting and whistleblower protection, and the pitfalls of mandatory reporting.

Issues In Mandatory Reporting

One of the biggest issues that comes to mind with mandatory reporting is the reality of who sexually abuses children, or for that matter, the reality of who abuses children in general. The public perception seems to continue to be that dirty strangers and sex offenders abuse children, or sexually abuse children. However, the reality is that over 90% of those who sexually abuse children are people known and trusted by both the child and the community around the child. With sexual assault as a whole, that statistic is still above 80%. In other words, in the majority of these cases the perpetrator is someone who is known, trusted, and well-liked in the community of the child.

When you love someone, the last thing you want for them are the legal hassles of being arrested, charged, or convicted of a crime. You can tell yourself until you are blue in the face that it does not matter who the person is, if they are sexually abusing your child, you will report them immediately. I really do not care what you tell yourself, but the reality is not at all that simple. Say you are married with children, and you find out that your husband or wife is sexually abusing one of the children. You want them and the child, first and foremost, to get mental health help to wade through the issue and ensure it does not happen again.

Another common public perception is that most of the time someone does sexually assault or abuse someone, they will inevitably reoffend. Please stop here. Go to the right-hand side of this blog, and at the top you will find, “Resources:Studies And Articles”. Click it. You can pick any number of studies and articles in this resource, but the facts and statistics firmly establish the fact that most people who sexually take advantage of someone else will not do so again. The facts also show that help is effective in dropping the number of people who re-offend. While recidivism rates are far from perfect, they are a great general indicator of how likely to re-offend a particular criminal population is.

So, let us visit a few scenarios:
1.      A single parent who discovers that a teenage son or daughter is sexually abusing a younger sibling.
2.      A married couple with children, and one of the couple discovers that the other is sexually abusing the children.
3.      A married couple without children, and one of the couple discovers that the other is volunteering with children, and takes individual children to private places for unknown reasons. They suspect something might be going on.
4.      Someone who has sexual attractions to children, and fears they might someday act upon their attractions.
5.      Someone who has sexually abused a child and wants to get help to stop and make sure it does not happen again.

In each of these scenarios, which are likely very common, you have people who, under mandatory reporting laws, would not be mandated to report the abuse. However, if any of these people see a therapist, that therapist would be required, under mandatory reporting, to tell law enforcement about that situation. All of these people are either very close to the abusive person (1-3), or they are the abusive person (4-5). If they are aware that seeing a therapist means the involvement of law enforcement, how likely are they to seek help?

That just covers five scenarios not involving mandatory reporters. Now, let us take a glance at some situations that could involve mandatory reporters, under mandatory reporting laws:
1.      A social worker, teacher, or church official that becomes aware of abuse within the child’s family.
2.      A social worker, teacher, or church official that becomes aware that a coworker is abusing a child.
3.      A police officer that becomes aware that their partner or boss is abusing a child.
4.      A doctor or nurse that becomes aware that their direct supervisor is abusing a child.
5.      Someone who works in any one profession that requires mandatory reporting, but knows someone in their personal life who is abusing a child.

Suddenly, mandatory reporting stops being straightforward. Does the person in the first scenario do their duty and rip apart the child’s family, which is also traumatic for a child? Does the person in situations 2-4 shatter their workplace with such a revelation? If their country does not have whistleblower protection laws, which shield someone in those situations from losing their job, will they be risking their job? How likely are any of these people to say anything in the absence of mandatory reporting laws? How likely is it that, under mandatory reporting laws, these people will be making a difficult situation even more traumatic, not only for the child, but all of the people around them?

Mandatory reporting may sound like the right thing to do at first, but these ten situations raise a number of questions that do not have solid answers. Countries that have mandatory reporting, like the United States and Canada, sometimes will have procedures in place for law enforcement to limit the trauma of involving the police. These procedures are not in place in every situation, and come places will have child protective services, family court, or a similar setup to ensure that fairness and justice are both in place. Child advocates, lawyers, judges, juries, therapists, social workers… the complications to each of these situations are not as simple as “make them report it to police”.

Whistleblower Laws

Some countries, like the United States, have what are called “whistleblower” laws to protect people who know of illegal activity within the company from facing retaliation for reporting the illegal activity to the police. These whistleblower laws do not mandate that people report such activity, but they do give them legal protections and courses of action to take if their employer retaliates against them if they choose to make such a report. These laws give added protection and are aimed at limiting the actions that employers can take in response to such a report being filed.

Pedophiles

I must stop a moment to address something that most people do not consider, and that is the reality that pedophiles do not always abuse children. A pedophile is someone with sexual attractions to young children, and there is academic evidence to suggest that not all pedophiles are even a danger to children. Observing that reality does not make me some kind of “sex offender advocate”, or mean that I am “taking the side of sex offenders”. It means I recognize a fact that is related to the issue of child sexual abuse. I have discussedthe estimates that can be made based on what we know about these issues, and these estimates show that using the most conservative estimate of the number of pedophiles, only 8% or less are known to sexually abuse children.

With that being said, and as you probably realize with me having to dedicate an entire paragraph to explain it, pedophilia is an extremely stigmatized condition. If you wish to know more about this stigma, please copy “stigma against pedophiles” into Google, as it is not the main focus here.

However, it should be pointed out that most mental health providers do not have specific experience with pedophilia or other sexual issues. There have also been many horror stories of pedophiles being reported to the police merely for talking with a therapist about their attractions in order to get help with them. Therefore, the common assumption among pedophiles is that if their country has mandatory reporting, it is not safe to talk with a therapist about the issues they are experiencing. Sexual abusers who are sexually attracted to children (“pedophilic”, in other words) make up about a third of sexual abusers. Imagine if even half of those people felt they were able to get professional help, before they had sexually abused a child.

Conclusion

Mandatory reporting is not an ideal solution to child sexual abuse. It can cause more issues than it solves by pushing people further away from mental health help, and it can have the added effect of stigmatizing mental health issues. Other solutions besides mandatory reporting, like whistleblower laws, should be considered in the UK instead, and a closer look must be paid to the child sexual abuse prevention program Don't Offend: Germany's Prevention Program. The United States has had a “Help Wanted” study this year to look at what pedophiles report that they needed in adolescence to help them with pedophilia. A great many organizations exist to reduce and eliminate the stigma around mental health issues. We must investigate other alternatives to mandatory reporting. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Resources: Studies And Articles


"Frightening And High": The Supreme Court's Crucial Mistake About Sex Crime Statistics: This academic 14-page essay was written to discuss many of the facts and assumptions made in the Smith v. Doe case that went before the Supreme Court of the United States in 2003, attempting to challenge the constitutionality of Alaska’s sex offender registration act. It discusses why the court erred in its decision, and why the “facts” that were used in the decision were inadequate to establish the decision that was rendered.

After Jacob, work harder to prevent child sexual abuse: Instead of just reacting to perpetrators, create programs so they don't offend in the first place: This was an op-ed written by Dr. Elizabeth Letourneau, who is the head of the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. It is a fantastic showcasing of what primary prevention is, how we can do better, and what we should do to prevent sexual abuse. 

An Evaluation of Sex Offender Residency Restrictions in Michigan and Missouri (U.S.D.O.J.): This report was published in 2013 under a grant by the United States Department of Justice, and discusses the effectiveness of restrictions that regulate where sex offenders can be and live. Among their findings is that, “residency restrictions had little effect on recidivism,” and, “that restrictions may further complicate reentry.” It is a fairly long read at 80 pages, but would be extremely useful for legislators, advocates, and researchers.

ATSA: FAQ On Sexual Abuse: This is a resource compiled by the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers that covers eight topics within sexual abuse prevention: Definition, profile of an abuser, who the victims are, what motivates abuse, sexual offender recidivism, sex offense treatment, the efficacy (effectiveness) of treatment, and sex offender management/supervision.

Burn Your Sex Offender Map (Free Range Kids): This is a blog post from Lenore Skenazy of Free Range Kids about the efficacy of sex offender laws, public notifications, and just who qualifies for the label of “sex offender” and how that label has become as useless as the laws that aim to protect.

Characteristics of Crimes Against Juveniles: This study overviews crimes against juveniles broadly, and discusses risk factors and realities of those who commit crimes against juveniles and the victims themselves. One of the statistics cited is that 90% of crimes are perpetrated by those known to the child.

Child Abuse Prevention: Huffington Post: This is an article that featured in the Huffington Post, written by Paul Heroux, a representative in the state of Massachusetts, about how child sexual abuse and sexual assault can be prevented. His statements may challenge your ideas of prevention.

Child Pornography Offenses Are A Valid Diagnostic Indicator Of Pedophilia: This study examined the presence of pedophilia in a range of specific offenses. Among its many findings is that 35% of sexual abusers met the diagnostic criteria for pedophilia.

Do Pedophiles Deserve Sympathy?: This is an article written by Dr. James Cantor, a well-known researcher in the field of sexual disorders, discussing how pedophilia is separate from child molestation, and makes some suggestions about how helping pedophiles rather than ostracizing them could help prevent child sexual abuse.

Do Sex Offender Registration And Notification Laws Affect Criminal Behavior?: This is a study done on sex offender registration and notification and the effects that these laws have on recidivism (reoffending). They conclude that registration can result in slightly less recidivism depending on the size of the registry, and that community notification may deter first-time offending, but can result in slightly more recidivism due to the interference to an offender’s life.

Does A Watched Pot Boil? A Time-Series Analysis Of New York State's Sex Offender Registration And Notification Law: This study was published in volume 14(4) of Psychology, Public Policy, And Law in 2008. It looked at 21 years’ worth of arrest data in New York, both before and after New York State’s Sex Offender Registration Act. It found that 95% of all sexual offense arrests were from first-time sex offenders.

Facing Disturbing Truths About Pedophilia Could Help Us Keep Kids Safer (Pacific Standard): This is an article that was featured in the Pacific Standard about addressing some of the facts around pedophilia, and accepting these facts, can aid the prevention of child sexual abuse. His writing style is down-to-earth and makes points that are well worth thinking about, even if they are challenging.

Facts About Sex Offenders (SOSEN): This is a brochure that was put together by the Sex Offender Solutions & Education Network to address many facts about sex offenders. It is a great overview for the average person that is unfamiliar with sex offenders and the risk they pose to children.

First, Save The Children: Punitive laws intended to protect children from sexual assault too often make them less safe: This is an article in The Economist that discusses the prevention of child sexual abuse from the perspective of prevention over punishment. While it is somewhat lacking in references, it does present a unique perspective in prevention.

Help Wanted: Luke Malone Interview Of A Pedophile: This is a half-hour long interview with a pedophile about his journey through trying to find help with his sexual attractions. A written form of this interview can be found here.

Housing Sex Offenders: What Aids The Prevention Of Further Sexual Crimes? (CSOM): This is just one page of a plethora of information that was put together by the Center for Sex Offender Management, which is a project of the Office of Justice Programs of the United States Department of Justice. This particular page discusses housing options and what works best for sex offenders. It indirectly addresses laws that ban sex offenders from certain places, among other topics.

How Safe Are Trick-Or-Treaters? An Analysis Of Child Sex Crime Rates On Halloween (ATSA): This article was published in volume 21 (3) of Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, and analyzed data from 67,307 sex offenses from 67,045 victims and found no significance between Halloween and the rest of the year in regards to sexual offenses.

Jacob Wetterling Resource Center Sex Offender FAQ: This is a resource put together by the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center to cover general information about sexual offenders. Many great questions about sex offenders and sex offender laws are covered here, and while they are somewhat specific to Minnesota, their information does apply to many other states as well. Jacob Wetterling was kidnapped at 11 years old in 1989, and his family’s efforts have formed the basis for sex offender registration. His family are outspokenly against what sex offender laws have currently become.

Juveniles Who Commit Sex Offenses Against Minors (U.S. Department of Justice): This is a study published in the December, 2009 issue of the Juvenile Justice Bulletin, a publication of the United States Department of Justice: Office of Justice Programs. Many issues are discussed about juvenile sex offending, but the larger takeaway for most people will be that a quarter of all sex offenders are juveniles (25.8%) and that 35.6% of sex offenses against juvenile victims are committed by juveniles.

Megan's Law: Assessing The Practical And Monetary Efficacy (U.S.D.O.J.): This article was a study funded by the United States Department of Justice, and found that Megan’s Law (notifying the public about particular sexual offenders) had extremely limited effects in New Jersey. The first two pages beginning at “EXECUTIVE SUMMARY” are a great place to start.

National Reform Sex Offender Laws: This is a United States organization dedicated to injecting facts into the discussions about sex offender laws. They wish to reform sexual offender laws so that they are more effective in keeping things safe. Their vision is, “Effective, fact-based sexual offense laws and policies which promote public safety, safeguard civil liberties, honor human dignity, and offer holistic prevention, healing, and restoration.”

New evidence says US sex-offender policies are actually causing more crime: From Quartz, this article details studies about sex offender residency restrictions and registration requirements- and how they make the public less safe. While those in the know may not find the evidence to be "new", they may be to anyone not up to speed on what the US is doing to protect children.

No Easy Answers: Sex Offender Laws In The US: This is a study from Human Rights Watch detailing some of the laws against sex offenders in the United States, their efficacy, and contains many criticisms of sex offender laws. Their conclusions, among many others, are that "sex offender registration, community notification, and residency restriction laws are ill-considered, poorly crafted, and may cause more harm than good," and, "The evidence is overwhelming, as detailed in this report, that these laws cause great harm to the people subject to them." It is a lengthy read.

Non-offending Paedophilia (Flint: Beyond Choice & Reason): This article discusses non-offending pedophilia, or people with pedophilia who decide that they never wish to act upon their sexual attractions to children. It involves many challenging concepts about pedophilia that the average person may not be informed about.

Non-Offending Pedophiles (James Cantor/Ian McPhail): This is an academic article written by James Cantor (Ph.D.), who researches sexual disorders and abnormalities, and Ian McPhail (M.A.), who heads Nextgenforensic, a blog discussing research around sex offense theory and practice. The article discusses the reality that there are pedophiles whose sexual interest in children remains purely an interest, and they do not act upon their interest to sexually abuse children or view sexual abuse imagery of children. Many areas are covered.

Parents Protect: A Parent-Oriented FAQ: This is a very expansive list of general questions that most parents ask about child sexual abuse. Many topics are covered, and this is a great place for any parent to start learning about child sexual abuse and how to prevent child sexual abuse.

Podcast On What Pedophilia Is: Sickboy: This is an hour long podcast on pedophilia, done by Sickboy, which is a team of people who do podcasts on chronic illnesses and diseases. Their feature expert is Dr. James Cantor, an expert on sex, sexuality, and sexual disorders.

Predator Panic: A Closer Look (The Committee For Skeptical Inquiry): This is a report that featured in the Skeptical Inquirer in October, 2006 that discusses sex offender laws, their effects, and how panic around “sexual predators” is not making America a safer place to live and raise children.

Predicting Relapse: A Meta-Analysis Of Sexual Offender Recidivism Studies: This study is a somewhat older analysis of 61 studies looking at the recidivism of sex offenders. It published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, volume 66 (2) in 1998, and found that child molesters and rapists recidivate at different rates. They found a sexual recidivism rate (overall) of 13.4%, which was 18.9% for rapists and 12.7% for child molesters; A nonsexual violence recidivism rate (overall) of 12.2%, which was 22.1% for rapists and 9.9% for child molesters; Additionally a general (any crime) recidivism rate (overall) of 36.3%, which was 46.2% for rapists and 36.9% for child molesters.

Punishment That Doesn't Fit The Crime: This is a New York Times piece on juveniles who are placed on the public (yes, you read that right) sex offender registry, and the consequences of these miscarriages of justice.

Sex Offender Laws In The United States: Smart Policy Or Disproportionate Sanctions?: This study published in the 2015 volume 39 (2) of the International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, and discusses the basis of US laws, challenges to those laws, the efficacy (effectiveness) of those laws, and compares the US approach to these laws to that of other countries.

Sex Offender Myths: The Foundation For Sex Offender Laws (Women Against Registry and Once Fallen): This is a comprehensive list of myths and the facts that counter them around sex offenses and sex offenders. It is long and involved, but it covers a very wide range of common misconceptions around sex offending.

Sex Offender Myths: This is a somewhat older (2010) article about the facts and myths around sexual offenders, done by corrections.com, a site dedicated to criminal justice issues.

Sex Offender Registration And Notification: Limited Effects In New Jersey (U.S.D.O.J.): This article ran in the April 2009 issue of the National Institute of Justice, a publication of the United States Department of Justice: Office of Justice Programs. It discusses an analysis of the effects of Megan’s Law, or notification in the community of specific sex offenders, and the efficacy of registration and notification. Repeated in their findings are the phrases “no demonstrable effect” and “did not have any effect”. At 3 pages, it is a fairly short read.

Sex Offender Residency Restrictions: This public policy brief from the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers in 2008 concludes that restrictions on where sex offenders can be and live do not have any effect on sexual offender recidivism. At 2 pages, it is a fairly short read.

Sex Offender Solutions and Education Network: This is an organization that discusses sex offender laws and restrictions from a more legal and civil-rights oriented position. They cover many recent issues involving sex offender laws as well.

Sex Offenders: Recidivism, Re-Entry Policy And Facts: Huffington Post: This featured in the Huffington Post in 2011, written by Paul Heroux, a representative in the state of Massachusetts, and discusses some of the facts around sex offenders, prevention, and what works best to prevent further sex offenses from sex offenders.

Sexual Assault of Young Children As Reported To Law Enforcement: Victim, Incident, And Offender Characteristics (U.S.D.O.J.): This report from the United States Department of Justice’ Bureau of Justice Statistics was published in 2000, and gives a broad overview of sexual assaults against juveniles.

Sexual Offender Laws and Prevention of Sexual Violence or Recidivism: This article published in volume 100 (3) of the American Journal of Public Health in 2010, and discusses the policies aimed at sex offenders and how effective these policies are. They discuss some of the collateral consequences of sex offender policies, effects on recidivism, and conclude that such policies may do more harm than good.

TEDx:Adelaide: How Do We Protect Our Children From The Unspeakable?: This is a 12-minute video from an expert in forensic psychology explaining how child sexual abuse can be prevented, why discussing the issue is emotional, and why discussing it is valuable.

The Accuracy Of Recidivism Risk Assessments For Sexual Offenders: A Meta-Analysis Of 118 Prediction Studies (Public Safety Canada): This is a meta-study with a total sample size of 45,398 sex offenders. Sexual recidivism was found at 11.5%, violent/sexual recidivism was found at 19.5%, and general (any crime) recidivism was found at 33.2%. Results are on page 6.

The List: This is a New Yorker article discussing juvenile sex offender registration and its effects. It also discusses some of the reasons behind current sex offender laws including how they were formed and what their basis was originally. It is rather lengthy, but a great read.

The Prevention Of Childhood Sexual Abuse (Prevention Effectiveness): This is an exhaustive article written by David Finkelhor, a well-known sociologist, about the methods currently being used to prevent child sexual abuse. He discusses tertiary, secondary, and primary methods of preventing child sexual abuse and the efficacy of each of these methods. It is a fairly long read at 19 pages, but discusses many policy recommendations and may be a useful read for legislators, advocates, and researchers.

Report to the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission: Sex Offenders: This is an exhaustive study looking at sex offender recidivism, treatment, sentencing, and the effectiveness of SORN policies. The executive summary is an excellent read for anyone unfamiliar with how sex offenders are managed. 

We Need To Support Pedophiles To Prevent Child Sex Offending: This is an article discussing how “child sex offender” and “pedophile” are two separate ideas, and how aiding pedophiles and supporting them can help ensure that child sexual abuse is prevented before it happens.

What Is The Most Common Age Of A Sex Offender? (Surprise!): This article gives a brief overview of examples and studies of why the sex offender registry has serious flaws, and in most cases is completely useless at protecting children. Namely, that most offenders on the registry commit their crimes as children. Written by Lenore Skenazy of Free Range Kids.

What Kind Of Help Do Pedophiles Need? "Help Wanted: Lessons On Prevention From Non-Offending Young Adult Pedophiles" (ATSA): This is a preliminary report featured in the Spring, 2016 issue of ATSA’s newsletter discussing some of the preliminary results of a study that was done on young adult pedophiles to determine what kind of support pedophiles need in adolescence.

Why Sex Offender Registries Don't Work: Quartz: This is an article discussing the Brock Turner sexual assault case, and provides some of the history behind sex offender registries and challenges the notion that sex offender registries are useful in aiding public safety.

Wiki: Child Sexual Abuse: This is Wikipedia’s main page on child sexual abuse, and contains many facts, links to studies, and general information that people might find useful if they have a limited knowledge of the subject. It is academically oriented and should not be triggering for most people.

Wiki: Ephebophilia: This is Wikipedia’s main page on ephebophilia, the condition of having a sexual attraction to older teenagers. It involves the age ranges covered, the word’s etymology, and its characteristics.

Wiki: Hebephilia: This is Wikipedia’s main page on hebephilia, the condition of having a sexual attraction to children in the midst of puberty. It involves the age ranges covered, academic discussions around diagnosis and criteria, and a thorough explanation of how hebephilia differs from pedophilia.

Wiki: Pedophilia: This is Wikipedia’s main page on pedophilia, the condition of having a sexual attraction to prepubescent children. It involves a detailed explanation for the criteria of pedophilia, what sorts of other issues are seen with pedophilia, treatments available, and how the term “pedophilia” and “pedophile” are misused in popular culture.

Wiki: Sex Offender: This is Wikipedia’s main page on sexual offenders. This is a fantastic resource if you are unfamiliar with the facts about sexual offenders and sex offender laws.


Women Against Registry (WAR): This is an organization dedicated to the cessation of sex offender registries, on the basis that they harm families and the very children that sex offender registries aim to protect. They have many resources, and are dedicated to righting the wrongs that the sex offender registry has imposed, not upon the sex offenders themselves, but the indirect consequences of these laws: The spouses and children of sex offenders. 

Resources For Educators And Volunteers

5 Tips To Teach Children About Consent: This is a fantastic article by Dr. Holly Silva discussing some of the things that children can be taught so that their bodies remain theirs, not others'. This can help the next generation of children prepare themselves to have healthy boundaries, know the basics of consent, and other great mental health skills.

ATSA: FAQ On Sexual Abuse: This is a resource compiled by the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers that covers eight topics within sexual abuse prevention: Definition, profile of an abuser, who the victims are, what motivates abuse, sexual offender recidivism, sex offense treatment, the efficacy (effectiveness) of treatment, and sex offender management/supervision. 

Defining Child Sexual Abuse: A Therapeutic Approach: This post defines what child sexual abuse is from a therapeutic, victim-centered perspective and why such a definition is more valuable than a legal definition. 

Do Pedophiles Deserve Respect?: This post discusses pedophiles, what pedophiles are, and whether or not they deserve the same amount of respect that anyone else should receive.

Does A Watched Pot Boil? A Time-Series Analysis Of New York State's Sex Offender Registration And Notification Law: This study was published in volume 14(4) of Psychology, Public Policy, And Law in 2008. It looked at 21 years’ worth of arrest data in New York, both before and after New York State’s Sex Offender Registration Act. It found that 95% of all sexual offense arrests were from first-time sex offenders.

Flyer for Educators (Half-sheet, PDF): This is a flyer that contains information specific to educators about child sexual abuse, and how educators can be involved in the prevention of child sexual abuse. It is designed to be printed double-sided.

Flyer for General Public (Half-sheet, PDF): This is a flyer that contains general information about child sexual abuse, including some warning signs in potential abusers, links to pertinent posts, and where to get more information. It is designed to be printed double-sided.

For Critics: Why I Discuss Some Topics: This post is an explanation of the difficult and emotional topics discussed on this blog, and why discussing them is necessary to the prevention of child sexual abuse.

Glossary: This is a glossary of terms that I use throughout my blog that may be new to the average person.

How To Talk With A Potential Abuser: So, you have someone in your life that are exhibiting many warning signs that they may be a potential abuser. Now what do you do? How to you start that conversation? Why should you start a conversation? Many areas are covered in this post. Bear in mind that most sexual abusers are those known and trusted in their communities. 

Interactive Victim Resources: This is a list of resources put together by Darkness To Light that is specifically aimed at victims of child sexual abuse in the United States. If you live outside the United States, Googling “sexual abuse victim resources in [your city/country]” can help put you in touch with resources in your area.

Jacob Wetterling Resource Center Sex Offender FAQ: This is a resource put together by the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center to cover general information about sexual offenders. Many great questions about sex offenders and sex offender laws are covered here, and while they are somewhat specific to Minnesota, their information does apply to many other states as well. Jacob Wetterling was kidnapped at 11 years old in 1989, and his family’s efforts have formed the basis for sex offender registration. His family are outspokenly against what sex offender laws have currently become.

Juveniles Who Commit Sex Offenses Against Minors (U.S. Department of Justice): This is a study published in the December, 2009 issue of the Juvenile Justice Bulletin, a publication of the United States Department of Justice: Office of Justice Programs. Many issues are discussed about juvenile sex offending, but the larger takeaway for most people will be that a quarter of all sex offenders are juveniles (25.8%) and that 35.6% of sex offenses against juvenile victims are committed by juveniles.

Parents Protect: A Parent-Oriented FAQ: This is a very expansive list of general questions that most parents ask about child sexual abuse. Many topics are covered, and this is a great place for any parent to start learning about child sexual abuse and how to prevent child sexual abuse.

Pornography: This post discusses some of the ethical issues involved both in adult pornography and “child pornography”. It also discusses “child sexual abuse images” as an alternative for “child pornography”, given that children cannot consent, are not paid, and are not acting in such material. 

Primary Prevention Basics: This post is a general overview of some of the many topics involved in the primary prevention of child sexual abuse, and why these topics are both controversial and necessary to ending the epidemic of child sexual abuse.

Reporting Allegations to Law Enforcement: This is a post on the process of reporting allegations/disclosures of sexual abuse to law enforcement, and the myriad of factors you may be considering in contacting law enforcement. It also gives advice on where you can get help through this process to ensure it is handled well to limit the trauma to the victim.

Reporting Suspicions to Law Enforcement: This is a post detailing what kinds of suspicious things should warrant an investigation by law enforcement, and who you can contact regarding any kind of suspicion around child sexual abuse and related issues.

Secrecy And The Dark: This is a post discussing the role of secrecy in sexual offending, and how secrecy and failing to discuss sexual crimes can contribute to more sexual crime.

Stop It Now: Adult's Behaviors With Children And Youth: This is a comprehensive resource that covers a variety of topics, such as safety plans, motivations for child sexual abuse, common misunderstandings, internet safety, and more.

Stop It Now: Children's Sexual Behaviors And Development: This is a resource from Stop It Now! that can give you an idea of what sorts of behaviors from children are expected at certain age ranges, and which behaviors are considered abnormal by experts. This is a very useful resource in understanding how sexuality develops in children, and when signs of advanced development could indicate something more going on.

Stop It Now: This is the main help directory for Stop It Now! Stop It Now! is a child sexual abuse prevention organization headed by a sexual abuse survivor, and their aim is to prevent sexual abuse before it happens. They have distributable resources, guides, and information that you can use for free. This is a great resource for anyone interested in any topic within sexual abuse prevention.

Stop It Now: Worried About An Adult's Behavior?: This is a comprehensive resource for anyone who wants to know how to spot potentially problematic behavior beforehand (prevention) and how to intervene in abusive situations (intervention). Many topics are covered.

TEDx:Adelaide: How Do We Protect Our Children From The Unspeakable?: This is a 12-minute video from an expert in forensic psychology explaining how child sexual abuse can be prevented, why discussing the issue is emotional, and why discussing it is valuable. 

Ten Things People Should Know About Child Sexual Abuse: This is a post discussing some basic facts that most people do not know about child sexual abuse.

Tips For Educators: This is a post aimed at educators describing how they can be helpful in preventing child sexual abuse, and where they can find more information about the subject. 

Virtuous Pedophiles: Online Support for Pedophiles: This is an online support group aimed at pedophiles and others with sexual attractions to those under the age of consent. It operates as a forum. Virtuous Pedophiles can also be found on Twitter.

Warning Signs in Potential Abusers: This post is a list of behaviors that anyone can spot in someone who may be at-risk for sexually abusing a child, or may have already done so. This also includes some advice about your options for what you can do if you are seeing multiple warning signs in a particular individual. The presence of a single warning sign should not necessarily be cause for concern, while multiple warning signs should be.

WhatIs The Biggest Factor In Child Sexual Abuse?: This post discusses the biggest factor that allows child sexual abuse to continue, and why no one likes talking about child sexual abuse. It will challenge you.

WhatThe Average Person Must Know About Pedophilia: This post discusses the reality of people attracted to children, why it would be valuable to help them, and where people can send them if they need resources.

Wiki: Pedophilia: This is Wikipedia’s main page on pedophilia, the condition of having a sexual attraction to prepubescent children. It involves a detailed explanation for the criteria of pedophilia, what sorts of other issues are seen with pedophilia, treatments available, and how the term “pedophilia” and “pedophile” are misused in popular culture.

What The Average Person Must Know About Pedophilia

Introduction

I have spent a lot of time on this blog addressing many resources that may be available for people who are wrestling with pedophilia or minor attraction. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the average person has no idea why this is valuable, why they should care, why it is helpful to be aware of these issues, or how they can be helpful.

Let me just bluntly address the reality: Our best estimates are that 2-20% of the adolescent and adult male population have an ongoing sexual attraction to prepubescent children (pedophilia), or will have such fantasies throughout their lifetime. While that estimate has its own controversy, that estimate does not even cover attractions to teenagers, only children under 13, so it is very likely that we all know someone who wrestles with an attraction to children in some form. That is significant. What is also significant is that the average mental health professional has no specialized training in treating a sexual attraction to children.

Pedophiles Who Abuse, Pedophiles Who Do Not

As I have addressed before, using our most conservative estimate of 2% of adult/adolescent males, and other factors, we can guess that just under 8% of pedophiles molest children, but pedophiles account for 1/3rd of child molesters. If we were able to get even half of the pedophiles who molest children to help before they do so, that would be a 15% decrease in child sexual abusers. That would be a big deal. 

Cure?

Some have said that there is no "cure", and have used this statement as if to say that pedophiles are just destined to molest children. However, the presence of a sexuality, and the reality of the estimates I just reviewed, show that the vast majority of those with sexual attractions to children will never act upon them. The idea behind getting these people help is to put that number closer and closer to 100%. That cannot happen if people believe myths about pedophilia, or do not know where to send people to get more resources.

Limited Resources

The fact of the matter is, there are very limited resources available for pedophiles. Mandatory reporting in many countries, like Canada and the United States, can be confusing to navigate both for potential clients and for mental health professionals, particularly if they have no specialized training in sexual topics. There are resources that I link on this blog, located in Resources For Those Worried About Themselves. I also have a guide that a pedophile can use to navigate this difficult subject.

But the fact of the matter is that these resources are hard to find, and only a select few people have the training and experience to know about them. Most people are apathetic, or simply are uninformed. On the internet, finding these resources requires exactly the right search words, and most people trying to find help are not going to know what those are, if they even have internet access.

So How Can You Help?

You read this post. You know about the link I just gave you. And the reality is, you probably know someone who could benefit from these resources. They are unlikely to ever say anything unless they know you are a safe person to talk to. Maybe you are a professor at a college. Mention these resources, and discuss offending vs. non-offending pedophiles with your students. Maybe you are a teacher of high school students. Simply say, “No matter what issue there is related to sex and sexuality, there are resources to help you and I can help you find them.” As a teacher, I am sure you can find a creative way to integrate the information. Maybe you are a parent. Ensure that your child knows that no matter what issue they struggle with, you are there to help them and they are not alone. 

Just knowing about this blog and its resources means that you know where to go to get more information on these subjects, and knowing that means you know where to direct people. These may be challenging subjects, but the more we talk about it, the more awareness there is.