Tuesday, July 26, 2016

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. 

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