There\’s a bloody big difference between these two numbers

There is much more we don\’t know, including how many paedophiles there are: 1-2% of men is a widely accepted figure, but Sarah Goode, a senior lecturer at the University of Winchester and author of two major 2009 and 2011 sociological studies on paedophilia in society, says the best current estimate – based on possibly flawed science – is that \”one in five of all adult men are, to some degree, capable of being sexually aroused by children\”. Even less is known about female paedophiles, thought to be responsible for maybe 5% of abuse against pre-pubescent children in the UK.

Mainly because the definitions are so different.

\”Capable of being sexually aroused by\” is far too wide a definition to be of any damn use. You would find that 20% of men are capable of being aroused by having underpants that are too tight.

And one could certainly devise scenarios in which 100% of men are capable of being sexually aroused by a child. Stick a man in bed, blindfold, thinking that his inamorata is about to suck on his pee pee and instead of his inamorata substitute one of Tiberius\’ little Capri playmates*. You\’ll get evidence of sexual arousal there.

The rest of the article is actually very good (I\’ve highlighted an insane idea, not a bad part of the piece) and is well worth reading.

\”You are not guilty because of your sexual desire, but you are responsible for your sexual behaviour. \”

Absolutely.

For convicted abusers, Circles UK aims to prevent reoffending by forming volunteer \”circles of support and accountability\” around recently released offenders, reducing isolation and emotional loneliness and providing practical help. In Canada, where it originated, it has cut reoffending by 70%, and is yielding excellent results here too. The goal of all treatment, Findlater says, is \”people achieving a daily motivation not to cause harm again. Our goal is self-management in the future.\”

One minor complaint. This was originally a church led initiative. Would have been nice for that to have been mentioned, even in the Godless Guardian.

* Ermm, OK, they\’re going to be pretty worm infested by now but you know what I mean.

19 comments on “There\’s a bloody big difference between these two numbers

  1. Well, it is yes a pretty good article within current conceptual models. The problem is, whether the conceptual models are valid. It comes down to Hume’s “is and ought”. No amount of research is going to tell you what “ought” to be. The classic parallel is homosexuality. Fifty years ago, it was most definitely something you ought not to do, and was considered a serious sexual malfunction. Nowadays, you’re on dubious legal ground even criticising it, and if you are morally repelled by it you’re suffering from a mental dysfunction called “homophobia”.

    Age-based definitions are useless. If we look at how the human reproductive system is supposed to work- the “ought”- we would conclude that it is “normal” for a person to be sexually aroused by the secondary sexual characteristics of the opposite sex. As such, it is normal to be aroused by them regardless of age, and abnormal to be aroused by their absence. We might imagine a ten year old who has breasts and curved hips etc due to precocious puberty; such a girl would normally cause sexual arousal. If a woman due to some medical condition failed to go through puberty at all, keeping a child’s body, it would still be abnormal to be aroused by her if she were 25 or 40.

    People used to naturally understand this. As girls (and boys) transition from childhood to adulthood, they start becoming attractive. Hence “lock up your daughters”. There is no specific age you can place that at; it’s a physical thing. The current definitions of “paedophilia” do not seem to be primarily aimed at “paedophiles” at all, but at causing guilt and shame (and throwing the full weight of law) at attraction to teenagers- which, by the above physical definition, is normal. It is impossible to define what an “ephebophile” even is. Biology provides only one phase change, between child and adult, at puberty. So it is utterly unscientific to try to crowbar in another one, which is something like “above puberty but below the legal age” as a psycho-sexual category at all.

    So, it’s interesting to see in the article, the wrestling with trying to keep homosexuality separate from other sexual abnormalities, for political reasons. Yet, we can see a clear commonality; both conditions are malfunctions of the mate selection machinery. If your mate selection systems prefer the absence rather than the presence of secondary sexual characteristics, you’re “paedosexual”. If those systems prefer the secondary sexual characteristcs of the wrong gender, you’re a “homosexual”. If they prefer both, well that’s the danger of single sex private boarding schools.

  2. Reading my above post back, I realise that some other commenters may interpret it as having a go at gays. What I was trying to get at is that currently, conceptually, people are trying to use different conceptual models for different sexualities, which causes inconsistent and incoherent reasoning about them.

  3. So it is utterly unscientific to try to crowbar in another one, which is something like “above puberty but below the legal age” as a psycho-sexual category at all.

    Especially as YMWV depending on which jurisdiction you are in (because of the variations in the legal age).

    But it is a perfectly reasonable moral category? Analogous to, if far more serious, than speeding (to bring it to a less irate-able subject than sex.) Doing 70 in a 30 area is illegal – doing it on the motorway is fine. On the autobahn, you may be able to max out at the 100+ your car is capable of, despite that being illegal on any public road in the UK.

  4. SE-

    Well, in one sense anything is a reasonable moral category, because morals are basically arbitrary. Jews think ham sandwiches are immoral. Muslims think drawing pictures is immoral. Libertarians think welfare is immoral. Socialists think wealth is immoral.

    Anything can be a “reasonable moral category”, in that sense. We might ask better whether something is a “functional” moral category. That is, try to have the minimum of moral rules and then if somebody offers a new one like, say, “sporks are immoral”, we then ask whether this sort of cutlery sharia is really functionally useful.

  5. Women are responsible for far more than 5% of sexual abuse against children, pre-pubescent or otherwise. As a DI in a child protection unit in London explained to me, to bring charges and prosecute – for the matter to appear in these statistics – you need physical evidence.

    Women do not leave semen on their victims.

    But every single child in care, without exception, who has been subject to sexual abuse has a mother who was either passively or actively complicit, even when, as is usual, the blame is levelled entirely at men.

  6. We might ask better whether something is a “functional” moral category.

    When I wuz a young lad, in centuries previous, we indeed had a functional moral category for “above puberty but below the legal age”. We referred to it, as young lads might, as “jailbait”.

  7. @Ian B:

    I wouldn’t worry so much about causing offence to homosexuals as I am a happy (but closeted member of said faction).

    I would be more concerned about your excuses for paedophilia than anything else (including your already acknowledged hatred of moon bears).

    The question is Ian B, are YOU sexually aroused by those between puberty and the age of legal consent in whatever country you live in?

    Me thinks the lady doth protest too much…

  8. It depends if they’ve got nice tits. Which is the point I’m making. I doth not protest anything.

    I also have nothing against moon bears, but I have quite an animus against tranzi campaign organisations. But that’s another argument :)

    Look, let’s suppose history had gone somewhat differently and rather than breaking down, hatred of “miscegenation” had intensified and been medicalised. People might then make up a name for interracial attraction, and declare it a disorder. And then report terrifying statistics about how many men are miscegophiles. Researchers might attach sensors to test subjects’ penises and show them pictures of hot african women, and discover enormous quantities of latent miscegophilia. And then if somebody dared say, “actually that’s quite normal, many black women are very attractive”, people would say “I am horrified by your excuses for these miscegophiles” and so on.

    It is perfectly normal for some girls of 14 or 15 to be sexually attractive to normal males (of all ages). We do really need to be extremely clear about this.

    Also, I find many women of other races attractive too, despite having read various explanations that I should consider blond, blue eyed “germanics” the most attractive women in the world, and black ones look like monkeys, and so on. Fortunately those recommendations are restricted to a minority fringe, but a slight flap of the butterfly’s wing could easily have led to a different current moral code in which that was the hegemonic view. Always suspect the prevailing dogma; it’s really rather arbitrary.

  9. Researchers might attach sensors to test subjects’ penises and show them pictures of hot african women, and discover enormous quantities of latent miscegophilia.

    Isn’t this the premise of Tom Sharpe’s satire “Riotous Assembly”? Well, that and the injecting cocaine into the private parts of the cook …

    It is perfectly normal for some girls of 14 or 15 to be sexually attractive to normal males (of all ages).

    Yes and I first found this vaguely appalling (as opposed to entirely natural – it is the latter, it can be the former) when I was helping to shepherd my god-daughter’s 14th birthday party. I was very early 20s myself and can remember thinking “aargh, jailbait everywhere!” and retiring to shepherd from the comfortable distance of the bowling alley’s bar.

  10. “You are not guilty because of your sexual desire, but you are responsible for your sexual behaviour. ”

    Absolutely.

    Absolutely? This is what people used to say about Gays, as IanB points out. We now tend to accept that sexual orientation is so powerful it cannot be denied. That living without acting out your sexual desires is so bad that it is a crime for society to ask it of anyone.

    If homosexuality was illegal once more, would people agree that Gays had a responsibility not to engage in homosexual sex?

    There is a real moral issue here.

  11. The moral issue is really to do with the consent of the person you are acting out your sexual desires upon. So defining a cut-off age is obviously bullshit – some above the age are stripped of protection they deserve, others below it are nannied.

    The AOC is a bureaucratic convenience. Like so many things it is one that should be enforced with discretion and regard for circumstances. This would ironically be easier to pull off if the AOC were set unreasonably high age, say at 21 or 25.

    However the current climate is one in which since at least 1997 our masters have told us that all morality and law are absolutes, never to be questioned. So if your girlfriend is 15 years and 363 days old you are a monstrous pervert, if she is 16 years and 1 day you are a lucky bastard.

  12. JamesV – “The moral issue is really to do with the consent of the person you are acting out your sexual desires upon.”

    Well no it doesn’t because people get jailed because of cartoons. Even some Swedish guy is in jail because of his collection of Japanese anime. Not to forget the Australian who drew a cartoon of two Simpsons characters and was promptly arrested. It is a little more complex in the case of the American with the prior conviction who was jailed yet again for his diary. But in none of these cases was anyone else involved.

    It is clearly a case where we are disgusted and so we make the law reflect that disgust. I am not saying that is right or wrong. It is just the way it is. Just as Germany has moved to make sex with animals a crime. If no animal is harmed – and I doubt a sheep or a horse would notice much plus we have animal cruelty laws already – there is no obvious moral reason to make this illegal. A public health issue perhaps – God knows what diseases might cross the species barrier. But given we can kill and eat them in condition utterly dire, I don’t see the moral case for banning sex with them.

    “So defining a cut-off age is obviously bullshit – some above the age are stripped of protection they deserve, others below it are nannied.”

    Except it is impossible to prove whether sex with a minor is harmful or not. Perhaps some will survive fine. Perhaps not. It may be deeply hidden and express itself in unexpected ways. So it is really the only means we have.

    “The AOC is a bureaucratic convenience. Like so many things it is one that should be enforced with discretion and regard for circumstances.”

    Which it is. Although perhaps it is better to say it is enforced on the unpopular and not on the cool. So no one is asking David Bowie about his 13 year old girlfriend. Or Jimmy Plant. But Jimmy Savile’s name is mud.

    “However the current climate is one in which since at least 1997 our masters have told us that all morality and law are absolutes, never to be questioned.”

    I am sorry but I do not recognise this planet you are living on.

    “So if your girlfriend is 15 years and 363 days old you are a monstrous pervert, if she is 16 years and 1 day you are a lucky bastard.”

    An approach that TW likes when it comes to tax. But in reality the police do not prosecute sex with minors that they approve of. Between two 15 year olds for instance. But they do for sex that they do not approve of. Teachers running off to France with 14 year olds. Or more accurately, men having sex with minors as women doing it will get a much lesser sentence if any. I am not sure this is an improvement.

    But all British law and administration has tended to move towards the hard letter of the law and ignore any sensible common sense approach. Just lok at Health and Safety.

  13. SMFS-

    Part of the answer to this current bizarre form of society is that the Proggies have a conceptual model in which crimes can be committed against “classes”, and the classes are Platonic essences. Obviously derived from their leftist heritage.

    Hence, to get away from sex for a minute, you can commit a crime against “the elderly” even though no actual elderly person has been harmed. That is, by insulting “the elderly” or something.

    So if I draw a picture that Plod thinks is a 17 year old, I’ve harmed “children”, as an essential class, even though no actual child is involved.

    So then, the definition of what a “child” is gets extended. Of course, we are currently in the particularly loony situation that one can have sex with an actual 17 year old, but can’t draw a rude picture of one!

  14. Abnormal to be sexually aroused by pre pubescents, yes, but perfectly normal to like them, or else parents wouldn’t put so much effort into taking care of them. In effect they are designed to be pleasing, so that you will take risks to protect them.

    If you think of this from mother nature’s point of view, she wants children to be attractive enough to provoke protection but not attractive enough to provoke a sexual response. Given natural variation and millions of individuals, it’s bound to go wrong some of the time.

  15. If you think of this from mother nature’s point of view, she wants children to be attractive enough to provoke protection but not attractive enough to provoke a sexual response. Given natural variation and millions of individuals, it’s bound to go wrong some of the time.

    I suspect I’m one of them. When I hear a child crying, possibly for protection, my first response is a desire to put them in a soundproofed crate close the lid.

  16. ‘Society’ decided that it should be a criminal offence for ‘adults’ to have sex with ‘children’ and for ‘children’ to have sex with each other. We therefore have to define ‘adult’ and ‘child’ and how else to define them but age? Of course, if we say a person becomes an adult at 16 then it is technically possible to prosecute someone for having sex with a person aged 15 years 364 days, 23 hours and 59 mins and we can all laugh about how stupid the law is. But are such people prosecuted? No. Because, however stupid commenters think they are, prosecutors tend not to prosecute with disregard for any circumstances.

    So Much For Satiety,

    But in reality the police do not prosecute sex with minors that they approve of. Between two 15 year olds for instance. But they do for sex that they do not approve of. Teachers running off to France with 14 year olds. … But all British law and administration has tended to move towards the hard letter of the law and ignore any sensible common sense approach.

    In fact, the “hard letter of the law” is to prosecute the 15 year olds, while the “sensible common sense approach”, taken by the CPS (look at their legal guidance) is not to prosecute them. It is not a matter of the police “approving of it”, it is a matter of it not being their business. But if a defendant is ‘much older than the victim’, e.g. a teacher who runs off to France with a 14 year old, ‘the balance may be in favour of prosecution’ (see CPS Legal Guidance).

    (Note that in real life a teacher who ran off to France with his student was charged with child abduction, not a sexual offence.)

  17. SMFS:

    “If homosexuality was illegal once more, would people agree that Gays had a responsibility not to engage in homosexual sex?

    There is a real moral issue here.”

    Breaking the law is a moral issue in itself. If you don’t like the law as applied to yourself and others, campaign for it to be changed – but don’t break it.

    Wanting sex with a precocious 15-year-old is not particularly strange. It is neither immoral nor illegal. A precocious 15-year-old is physically ready for sex and MAY be mentally ready – nonetheless the law attempts to protect him/her from even considering that choice. Acting on the desire is therefore both immoral and illegal…the immorality is inseparable from the illegality.

    Wanting sex with a prepubescent (say, an 11-year-old) is the strict definition of a paedophile. It is considered strange…but it is neither immoral nor illegal. To act on that desire is illegal, and is also immoral because (as with the precocious 15-year-old) it involves breaking the law. Most of all, it is immoral because it is gross mistreatment of a fellow human, in a manner for which he/she CANNOT be physically or mentally ready.

    The law has to be defined in an objective measure, of which age is probably the best. The law therefore doesn’t extend to immature 16-year-olds…with whom having sex may therefore be immoral but not illegal.

    It is important to recognise that there are genuine paedophiles (sex with prepubescents) and the rest of us. It is not abnormal to find physically mature girls attractive – however, society rightly places constraints on our actions.

  18. It is strange to confuse the law with morality. The law may be congruent with morality, or it may not be. All sorts of ghastly laws have existed in the past, and it was not reasonably “immoral” to break them. At the risk of being obvious and cliched, nobody would suggest that the Jim Crow laws were “moral”. Neither was, here in Blighty, the gross indecency (anti-gay) law. A society that says, “it is illegal for men to kiss each other” is not being by any reasonable (modern) definition, “moral”.

    Also-

    Wanting sex with a prepubescent (say, an 11-year-old) is the strict definition of a paedophile. It is considered strange…but it is neither immoral nor illegal. To act on that desire is illegal, and is also immoral because (as with the precocious 15-year-old) it involves breaking the law.

    This is no longer true. The new laws have been constructed in a manner designd to identify “paedophiles” whether they act upon their inclinations or not. For instance, owning cartoons, video games, or collecting photos of children of a non-pornographic nature, or of adults “creating the impression of being under-age” have all been used as indicators to gain a conviction. The law is quite strongly predicated on pre-emptive identification of paedophiles regardless before their (presumed, inevitable) conversion of thoughts into acts.

  19. This is no longer true. The new laws have been constructed in a manner designd to identify “paedophiles” whether they act upon their inclinations or not.

    I entirely agree with Ian (which is rare.) I’ve been involved in investigations in to paedophile rape, been framed as a paedophile (incompetently, thankfully) and led investigations which turned around “is she 16 or merely looks 16″ (note – thankfully previous to SOA06). A son of one of Mrs SE’s close friends was convicted of possession of paedo material because of one photo in a batch of adult porn he downloaded (as a 17 year old.)

    Some cops are completely reasonable about the “public interest” test. Others are, for career or moral reasons, fanatical about the hounding of anybody they can grey, never mind blacken, with the paedo – or, now, extreme porn – scarlet letter.

    I have, even as a legal adult, thought “cor blimey, that’s gorgeous” about pre-legal females. I probably still will occasionally (although my taste has mutated with the onset of senility). As far as I’m aware, I’ve never shagged anything younger than me (and I was a late bloomer).

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