New York State is just silly…

by the squid

Today New York State signed into law legislation which would require pedophiles to register their screen names and e-mail addresses that so they can not be used when trolling for children on the social networking sites. I am not a fan of pedophiles, they are the lowest of the low. However, I am a fan of human nature.

My spidy-sense makes me think that those who are trolling on social websites posing as teenagers looking to “score” with the under-age are not the “follow-the-rules” type of people. The new law demands that the CONVICTED sex offender notify the proper authorities within ten days of changing or adding a new screen-name or e-mail address.

“Under the new law, registered sex offenders must also disclose all their user names and e-mail accounts for the purposes of chat, instant messaging, or social networking. If they create any new online profiles, they must notify the state within 10 days or face prosecution for a new felony. “

That is just silly.

Lets assume, for argument, that a person is going to notify the proper authorities of his new e-mail address and/or screen name. This person has ten days of “free trolling” before they have to tell someone. I suspect that in 10 days, a lot of damage can be accomplished. On the other hand, for the person who doesn’t follow the law, if caught using an unregistered e-mail address and/or screen name, they will be charged with a felony. I don’t see the penalty of charging a felon with another felony.

And what about the pedophile who takes an e-mail address or screen name of an innocent person?

Chances that the morally corrupt follow the rule of the land: Nil.

Chances that the morally corrupt are found on the social network sites: Nil + 1.

Chances that this was a waste of time for the legislators and governor who signed the bill: Massive

Another argument, for a whole other day is: When does a person who has committed a horrible crime, such as a sexual assault, and served their time and paid their debt to society, get to live their life unencumbered by the law? Murderers don’t have to register as murderers, there could be one living as your neighbor and you’d never know. Murderers don’t have residential restrictions as sex offenders do. People who drive drunk and kill people are not asked to not live within 1,000 feet of a bar.

Don’t get me wrong, sex offenders are the lowest of the low and need to have harsh penalties imposed, but at what point is their debt to society paid off?

20 Responses to New York State is just silly…

  1. It sounds like the law is trying to throw a firewall around online sex predators. except it does look like the people who wrote it have only the dimmest understanding of how the internet works.

    But as to your discussion for another day, one of the problems with trying to use the court system to deal with sexual predators is that often the witnesses suffer from such significant mental health issues there’s a distinct need to settle the case – often for far shorter amounts of time than a murderer might face, even in a plea deal. Although DNA technology and other forensic tools are making the prosecution easier, these remain incredibly difficult cases to bring to court.

    So what ends up happening is a reduced prison sentence and an offender essentially signing up to be monitored by the nanny state afterwards. If they can survive prison.

    The studies across the board indicate, in general, sexual offenders don’t rehabilitate and remain a threat to the community for the rest of their lives.

    It’s the kind of debt that never gets paid off. It’s the kind of thing that makes laws like this look laughable when compared to the actual scope of the problem.

    A BAC monitor can be installed on a car and reduce someone’s ability to drive while drunk. Murderers go to prison for a long time, and I don’t know of any serial killers ever let out on parole.

    Yet people worry that if sex offender penalties are increased, juries will balk, or worse, offenders will have more reason to kill their victims in an attempt to avoid prosecution. Trying to confront this societal problem requires a careful assessment of the risks and benefits of each possible action.

    NY, it seems, has decided to do the equivalent of nothing, besides continue to fool itself with the idea that it can adequately manage sexual predators in the community. That they passed a law that won’t accomplish what it appears designed to do says it pretty loud and clear.

  2. k@th says:

    castration.
    it’s incurable and we let them back into society for our tax dollars to ‘babysit’ poorly, which is just plain stupid. a molested kid often grows up to molest other kids, the cycle continues. someone who we know will spend their lives attempting and succeeding to strip others of their rights and dignity, to bury their childhoods and deny them a healthy adult life, should have to forfeit their own rights.
    castration.
    eunuchs are people, too.

  3. castration does not work. first of all, sexual assault isn’t about sex, it isn’t always committed with a penis, and it isn’t always committed by men. also, if you take away a weapon, a serial offender will find another one. so castration doesn’t address the problem and it does not stop the problem. to claim otherwise relies on dangerous misunderstandings about sexual assault and predators.

    it is so easy to find something that sounds so simple and perfect and point to it as “the answer.” there is nothing easy and simple about addressing serial predators. removing part of their sexual functioning doesn’t make anyone safer, it even could give them more of a reason to commit crimes that at their barest essence are about power, rage and hate.

  4. k@th says:

    My previous tongue-in-cheek comment aside, I answer in all seriousness:

    I will preface by saying that I am referring only to pedophiles, not rapists, in the more general category of sexual predators. This is significant, as root causes are different in both populations, and since adults who are raped do not evidence higher rates of repeating the same action on others. I cannot find any research to support your statement that castration is ineffective. You may certainly claim distaste for the method, or issues regarding individual rights—but these would all be based on personal opinion, not factual findings in relation to its efficacy.

    I believe you could find Osama before you could find a psychologist who sincerely disagrees with the basic fact that testosterone levels are extremely highly associated with aggression, as well as sexual drive. It is no secret that the largest number of criminal activity, and aggression, is seen in the male, teenage and young adult population. Based on the overwhelmingly larger number of male pedophiles, I make a generalization that I don’t believe to be inappropriate here.

    Chemical castration (by way of Depo-Provera shots) show a reduction of assaults from 75% to 2%. It can hardly be stated that it “does not work.” When even ONE pedophile is treated, we are saving hundreds of victims (the victims, victims of victims, etc.). With brief prison sentences, abbreviated further with parole, we have an abysmal record of handling the issue of pedophilia in this country, and we have a huge problem with it, accordingly. This is a cyclical abuse problem, and it is gross negligence to put predators with this high a recidivism rate back into society, to perpetuate this crime on future generations. I implore the public to get informed on this issue.

  5. I can only assume that you are simply making data up if you don’t cite a source.

    And I stand by my assertion that sexual assault in all of its forms and against all of its victims is not related to sex in the way you continue to insist that it is. It is a crime of power, not biology.

    When I followed your advice to get more informed, it sure doesn’t look like any of the experts think your idea is worthwhile at all:

    http://www.rainn.org/public-policy/sexual-assault-issues

    http://www.nsvrc.org/projects.aspx

    http://www.nyscasa.org/current.html

    ———-

    “In the US, the hormonal drug Depo-Provera is often used. This is injected progesterone, used worldwide as a long-term female contraceptive, which also inhibits testosterone production in men. But nobody believes drugs are a magic bullet. Sex offending is usually about power, violence and humiliation – not libido.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2007/jun/14/ukcrime.health

    “Some medical experts say a major drawback of castration, whether chemical or surgical, is that not all child molesters are driven solely by a sex urge. Other factors, like a violent nature or exhibitionism, can also be at work, and require psychiatric treatment.

    ”There’s no easy answer here,” said Dr. Fred Berlin, the founder of the Sexual Disorders Clinic at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. ”There are things that you can’t punish away or legislate away. It’s not enough just to say, ‘Let’s lock ‘em up and castrate the bastards,’ however horrible their misdeeds. Some people you just lock up. Some people you lock up and treat. Some people you treat. It’s complicated.” ”

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9402E1DC1339F934A1575BC0A960958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=2

  6. k@th says:

    I don’t recommend “assuming,” ever. I think we both know a two-second google search can get you all the sources you’d like, and I’m not working for an ‘A’ here, prof twit, all the same, as the issue is one of import:

    http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1778

    http://english.pravda.ru/world/europe/13-06-2007/93263-castration-0

    On the following site, please note the par. and a half above the illustration, beginning “These studies suggest..” Also, note that this doctor’s concerns are ones of ethics, and skepticism as to whether the states can administer it appropriately, yet he fully confirms its efficacy regarding treatment of pedophiles. I cannot even fathom the “ethics” that would wait until a pedophile admits to 240 molestations and “opts” for this treatment. Where is the ACLU for the victims?–

    http://www.papillonsartpalace.com/unkindes.htm

    From Wikipedia, so as to signify the sexual orientation of the behavior of pedophilia (of which I continue to insist):

    “Pedophilia or paedophilia is the sexual preference of an adult for prepubescent children,[1][2][3][4] or, according to the DSM, a form of paraphilia in which a person either has acted on intense sexual urges towards children, or has sexual urges towards and fantasies about children that cause distress or interpersonal difficulty.[5] A person with this attraction is called a pedophile or paedophile.[6] In some individuals, pedophilia may remain limited to sexual fantasies or urges only; in others, those urges may be expressed through the sexual abuse of a child,[7] which is sometimes termed “pedophilic behavior.”[8][9]

    The term “pedophile” is sometimes used to describe those accused or convicted of child sexual abuse under sociolegal definitions of child (including adolescents younger than the local age of consent in addition to prepubescent children).[10] Some researchers have described this usage as improper and suggested it can confound two separate types of offenders, child molestors and rapists, thereby obscuring results of ongoing research.[2][10]”

    Also, I’m at a loss to find any information at any of the sites you posted that refute, or even mention, the use of Depo-Provera, or other antiandrogen, in treatment of pedophiles. One of them (nyscasa) even has an “I pledge to end sexual assault” brochure that confirms that 98% of sex crime perpetrators are male, as i have inferred, but then includes that the male perpetrator can help end sexual violence by acknowledging his own victimization. This may in fact be a breakthrough in the treatment for a rapist, but is definitely not in the case of a pedophile. Pedophiles are not rehabilitative. I can’t say that enough. There has not been any success with “rehabilitating” a pedophile. And I stand by the fact that pedophilia is entirely a different class of sexual aberrant behavior. At any rate, the crime of power argument is dissolved by the DSM definition of pedophilia as “sexual urges for children.” This is about a sexual orientation.

    I will grant you that I’ve learned that as of 1996 there is apparently less argument for victims growing up to become abusers, but it does not erase the devastating effect on the life of the victim. Antiandrogen drugs are providing the best treatment we currently have available for pedophilic behavior.

  7. The saddest thing about this thread is that we easily are allies in the fight against violence and exploitation. Yet at first you feel it appropriate to crack jokes about the subject, which I found insensitive and hurtful given the subject matter and it generated a swift response from my corner.

    When you say you’re not going for an “A,” my first thought is of course you’re not going for an “A,” making a clear and reasoned argument is a distant second to your actual intent – which is to belittle, demean and harass someone you don’t even know. I’d like to give you the benefit of the doubt, despite the venom in your tone.

    I linked to the policy priorities for organizations that play a large role in lobbying and the development of education programs related to sexual assault (the ACLU for ‘victims’). The reason that you could not find any mention of chemical castration is because it isn’t a priority to the experts in the field. It is not considered an effective response to the problem.

    In the decade I devoted to studying these issues and working in various capacities as an advocate and eventually an attorney, I found that it is close to gospel that there is “no excuse for abuse.” Abuse is a volitional, criminal act.

    Trying to cast it as a physiological problem obscures what the crime actually is. It removes responsibility for the crime from the offender and places it in a realm beyond their free will.

    If such a thing was an acceptable concept about abuse, then any rapist could claim a medical condition made them do it. Nobody would ever go to jail.

    That’s why chemical castration meets such resistance when it is offered as a ‘magic bullet.’ It divests the offender of personal responsibility, which is an unacceptable response to the crime of sexual assault.

  8. lestro says:

    whoa whoa whoa.

    i don’t like the use of the phrase sexual orientation. we can not call this a sexual orientation. this is an aberration. maybe a disease. maybe an illness. something.
    but if we call this a sexual orientation, then we get into a slippery slope argument and a legal boondoggle over that and all of sudden, homophobes are using it as a reason to not let gay people get married.

    we also need to remember that the treatment of and the legal ramifications of this are two sides of the same issue. both must be dealt with in the case of child molesters (though given what the rumors are about the treatment of child molesters in prison, i almost say just toss them in with the general population…).

    that being said, it is an interesting issue and though not perfect, perhaps the reversible nature of chemical castration makes it a possible treatment for this disorder or disease, or whatever. especially in the case of pedophilia, which does not seem to be about power in the same way as rapes and sexual assaults.
    not a magic bullet, but one of many tools to draw from.

    which gets us back to the squid’s original point on the ridiculousness of this new law in NY, and raises a new issue, something with which i agree: At some point we either have to say that these people have served their debt to society and allow them to get back to some semblance of a life or we have to admit that they can never be out in public again and stop treating them in a justice system that is built on the idea of rehabilitation, that one will learn a lesson and cease one’s criminal ways.

    forcing these people to register everywhere and live in select – often really shitty – sections of cities is not fair. it is impossible to get one’s life together with everything stacked against them like that. of course they revert. they are wearing a scarlet letter and pre-judged at every turn.

    it’s the battle between the parental side wanting to know where these people are and the basic violation of their rights and liberty, which we theoretically give back to them when they get out of jail.
    and if we don’t give criminals new skills while they are in jail, the only ones they have when they get out are the ones that got them locked up…

  9. k@th says:

    My first comment was meant to elicit discussion on this very important topic, and I believe it did so. I could have softened the tone for sensibilities, but then I’d have risked not getting responses and the opportunity for mutual enlightenment. I don’t think I said anything I ultimately couldn’t substantiate, and I believe it was for the greater good. Besides that, the general “feel” of this blog site has an underlying vein of humor. Were it strictly factual/scientific/serious in nature always, I would keep it level from the start. That said, had I known it would primarily be Twit and I discussing this, I would have kept it more neutral. You are probably correct, Twit, we have more similar than dissimilar views on the outcome of this, but I have focused on the differences so that we can perhaps learn something new.

    The perspective that pedophilia is a sexual orientation, at least in part, is becoming a prevalent medical opinion, which does hold serious ramifications to consider, and the numbers are chilling (speaking as a parent)—from some sources pedophiles are believed to comprise about 1/5 of the general population (I can’t find the source for the study I read before, so I’ll leave it for general consideration) when looking at research results and the prevalence of child pornography worldwide.

    From a pedophile’s view, addressing orientation–

    http://www.nj.com/specialprojects/expresstimes/index.ssf?/news/expresstimes/stories/molesters1_otherside.html

    Further on pedophilia and the mention of it as an “orientation”–

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,232584-1,00.html

    http://www.health.am/psy/paraphilia/

    Will the APA remove pedophilia from the DSM?–

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/926810/posts

    “…clinical experience with pedophiles suggests ‘it’s kind of a separate sexual orientation,’ says David Finkelhor, author of four books on child sexual abuse and director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire. ‘Often they have no attraction to adults whatsoever.’

    Bancroft agrees. ‘They’re men interested in children. They’re more interested in boys than girls, but they’re interested in kids, not adults.’ “

    The above from– http://www.usatoday.com/news/2002-07-15-church-gay_x.htm

    The question may well be whether we will have to designate an orientation as illegal. Would we ever? Will research disappear if the paraphilias are removed from the DSM? It also means that civil liberties groups would be in the uncomfortable position of determining their stance on defending them. Some members of the extreme religious right may use this to renew attacks on gays and lesbians they see as hiding behind an “orientation defense.” Still, we must remain open to what the science is suggesting, and often outright telling, us. At earlier times in history, this sexual attraction would not have been deemed “abnormal” at all, as child brides were more prevalent then. In today’s society, and with what we know about the still-developing mind of children, pedophilia is illegal and I believe it should remain so, regardless of its classification. I’d rather see treatment for pedophiles than children living a lock-up existence—one they’d have to have to avoid contact with pedophiles who are frequently in positions as camp counselors, ministers/priests, teachers, etc. And the information all points to anti-androgens as the most promising treatment.

  10. deaconloadz says:

    It all really boils down to when is the need for the safety of the tribe paramount to the liberty of the individual, right? I vote for the tribe when it comes to ANY crimes against children.
    And since when was our penal system about rehabilition. It’s really about punishment is it? Fuck em, lock them up forever. Stone them in the streets. I’ll bring sharp, pointy ones.
    There is a lot of gray in this world.
    This is black and white.
    Crimes against children can not be tolerated.
    Period.

  11. I think that trying to blame ‘pedophilia’ for child abuse is like trying to blame ‘heterosexuality’ for date rape.

    Regardless of the ‘motivation’ a perpetrator may have, the crime is that they made a choice to violate the rights of another person.

    This is why chemical castration is an unacceptable response to crime. As a response to a mental health issue, sure. But as loadz points out, this is black and white.

    No mercy can be shown to people who hurt children. But that is exactly what chemical castration is – an excuse for abuse. The idea flows from the misconception that offenders are “ill” and their choice to commit a crime is somehow beyond their control.

    It is not. If it was, they wouldn’t be found competent to stand trial or would plead insanity as a defense. Anyone who can’t meet those steep thresholds is responsible for their actions.

    Child abuse is not a disorder and it is not a disease. I realize it is tempting to think of it like that, because then it makes a certain amount of sense, and it then feels like it could be ‘cured’ and our society might finally be rid of it.

    But that is the province of lawyers who defend child sex offenders. The idea is to cast the defendant as innocent of a crime, a victim of their own biology, someone who should not go to jail.

    It took a long time for our society to disengage from the idea that a woman walking alone at night in a miniskirt isn’t asking to be raped. Our society is recognizing that there isn’t such a thing as a sexual urge so severe it releases a rapist from responsibility for their crime. We don’t blame heterosexuality run amok for rape, we see a criminal deciding to violate somebody else.

    Children’s rights always lag behind those of adults. All I am advocating for is that children be granted the same autonomy, the same rights to be left alone.

    We won’t excuse someone who “loves” women so much they feel overwhelmed with the need to rape them. Why would we ever excuse someone making a similar claim about a child?

    That is why I see calls for chemical castration as a response to crime as a slippery slope that risks defense attorneys being able to make successful arguments to allow their clients to escape punishment for their criminal behavior.

    I don’t want to be right, I’d much rather that there be a simple solution to this massive societal problem. I have seen too much, read too much and worked too hard in the trenches to not have formed a strong opinion on these issues.

    On behalf of the survivors and victims whose stories I cannot tell because of my duty of confidentiality, I speak out against the concept that “love” or “sex” was ever the cause of the crime.

    A child sex offender wants you to believe that it is their ‘uncontrollable urges’ and their ‘great love’ that made them hurt a child. A child sex offender wants to be offered ‘treatment’ so they can avoid all responsibility for their actions. They want to continue to blame the child for being too “alluring” for them to control themselves. They want you to think it is “too much testosterone” and that they are “sick,” because they don’t want to go to prison, where child abusers are targets for retribution.

    Someone who is not a criminal would seek treatment before they hurt someone, and they would stay away from kids to make sure they didn’t hurt them. The typical child abuser, however, doesn’t consider themselves ‘sick’ until they are caught, and before that, they seek children out in a methodical way. It isn’t a sickness, it is a decision to act on the ‘sick’ urges. Just like any serial predator, be it a rapist, child abuser or murderer.

    Children should not have less rights because some can yell louder on behalf of ‘pedophiles’ and advocate for them like their defense attorneys do. The idea that chemical castration is appropriate in response to a crime ultimately protects child sex offenders from the basic element of their crime, which is their personal responsibility for deciding to act on their ‘urges.’

    Adults have the right to have their attackers held accountable for their actions. Children should as well.

  12. lestro says:

    if you believe that pedophilia is not a disease and simply a crime then you have absolutely no choice but to leave these people alone once their time is served.
    period. they have served their time, stop monitoring them.

    but we know that that does not work. we know that is not the case. and we know that people who assault children will do it again.

    your definitions of “sick” are just as questionable.
    you are arguing that being attracted to children in a sexual way is not an aberration. you are saying it is normal in the same way that seeing a beautiful woman and wanting to be with her is normal and the urge should be controlled in the same way.

    i disagree. people who want to be with children are sick. there is something wrong in their heads. there is something misfiring. that does not excuse the crime, but simplifying it simply as a crime does not do it justice either.
    the DSM disagrees as well. it lists pedophilia as a disorder to be diagnosed and treated.
    it may be a crime if you act on it, but it is a mental disorder first and though the same term is used in the medical and legal professions that does not necessarily mean that they mean the same thing to each profession.
    failing to see the difference between the crime and the disease helps no one and oversimplifies the issue. you are confusing “holding them responsible” with “treating their illness,” two different things, both of which must be addressed.

    you seem to be very hung up on treating pedophilia the same as all other sex crimes and it is not. pedophilia is not like other sex crimes.
    unlike most rape and sex assaults, pedophilia is not usually considered a power issue and should not be treated as such. there is something wrong with people who want to have sex with children and that must be treated.
    now, the criminal aspect of violating someone else’s rights must also be dealt with, but simply punishing someone for a crime does nothing except let them out of jail some time later to do it again. these are not crimes of opportunity. these are not crimes of need or passion or greed. these are crimes that grow out of the person’s illness of wanting to fuck children.

    chemical castration does not offer punishment for a crime (that’s why we send them to jail too), but treatment for their illness and should be put in the tool box as a way to deal with these people.
    and maybe a child sex offender wants treatment not because they are trying to avoid responsibility but because they recognize they are sick and do not want to do it again.

    it is not about avoiding responsibility, it is about trying to prevent this from happening again and there must be treatment in these cases. ignoring that is ignoring the truth.
    and i don’t care how many sex offender cases you have worked on or whatever, in cases of pedophilia (though not sex crimes against adults) it is more often than not not a power or control issue and chemical castration has been proven successful in controlling such urges.
    granted, it is not nearly as effective for regular sex offenders, but doesn’t that indicate on its own that these are different crimes with different motivations that should be addressed differently?

  13. I am NOT “arguing that being attracted to children in a sexual way is not an aberration.”

    The cliche terms “power” and “control” are a clunky shorthand for the volitional choice someone makes to hurt someone else. The criminal asserts their power and control over the rights and body of another. They take power, they exert control – they make a choice.

    It is the lodestar around which any realistic response orbits. Any response that obscures this basic fact is dangerous to the community, because it ultimately excuses and encourages the crimes to continue.

    Someone can be ‘sick’ but not a criminal. I’m trying to draw a line between people who decide to commit crimes and those who don’t.

    “Pedophilia” is a mental disorder. Child sex abuse is not.

    “Heterosexuality” is an accepted sexuality. Rape is not.

    Anybody who commits a sexual assault, regardless of the age of the victim, is “sick” by any general definition – the behavior is aberrant, it hurts people and it is unacceptable in our society.

    I think it is inappropriate to blend ‘pedophilia’ and child sex abuse into the same concept and use the terms interchangeably. One is a mental disorder and one is a crime.

    I think the distinction is critical. ‘Pedophilia’ is a popular excuse for defenders of child sex abusers, and it is one of the tricks they use to groom children for abuse. That’s what gets me so riled – this idea that child abuse could ever be a consequence of “philia” aka “love.”

    It is one of the aspects of the crime that really does a number on the victims, and discourages reporting of the crime, just like the offender would hope.

    The internet has given many ‘pedophiles’ an outlet for their ‘urges’ because there is so much child pornography out there. Generally, when the police arrive with a warrant to seize the computer, the suspect often expresses relief that they have finally been caught. While child porn does hurt kids, because the production is a criminal act and the videos get used to groom children into victims, these are typically ‘sick’ people trying to deal with their ‘urges’ without actually going out to harm kids.

    There are many variations of child sex abuse. I suspect that much of it is intra-family, followed by people who place themselves in positions of authority over kids, and then the rarest variation of the unknown kidnapper grabbing a child from the street. What is going on internationally is horrific and defies comprehension, but in the US, there are definitely distinct variations of offenders that can be seen.

    From a criminal justice standpoint, it does not matter if the offender thinks that they were acting out of “love” or a “sexual urge.” From a mental health treatment standpoint, it is also important for an offender to accept responsibility, to see that their delusion of “love” is an unacceptable excuse to violate the rights of another.

    If there is an offender who wants to risk their health and grow boobs and gain weight because they insist they have no control over their own actions, I have no objection and I hope they smoke cigarettes while they’re dosed with the shot. But as long as someone has an “excuse” for their behavior they cannot be considered “rehabilitated” and they remain a danger to society.

    As long as we pat these monsters on the head and affirm that they know not what they do, we continue to place all children at risk.

  14. k@th says:

    I’d like to clarify, I am not arguing that it’s a conclusive finding that pedophilia is a sexual orientation, only that it appears to be a credible theory warranting further research, and viable and credible enough to call for a marked distinction between it and other sexual assault crimes. I stand by my first remark, that in short—it’s about men sexually attracted to children only, the criminal behavior for which our most effective treatment is anti-androgenic drug therapy…for probably an indefinite duration.

    I believe they are cognizant of the fact that they are committing a crime when they act on these “sexual urges,” however, I believe the temptation is often too great for the punishment of prison to be a disincentive. We can throw them in prison, where they will be kept separate from other prisoners due to the safety status they fall under, while tax dollars pay for housing and feeding them, only to be released into society in hopes they’ve “learned their lesson,” or at least, with the knowledge that they’ve “paid their debt.” Guess what? They’ve got lots of fantasies that kept them company while in prison that they now want to act out, because–nothing in their brain has changed. If it is the majority decision at some time that this IS a sexual orientation, then I would not see it as an excuse for criminal behavior. It is not a legal defense, but an understanding that the individual should be undergoing treatment.

    Actually, when I consider the number of special-interest groups for whom the re-classification of this disorder as an orientation would not “work in their interests,” it makes the voices proclaiming orientation, much louder for me. I am wary of individuals and groups who have a bias on any issue—in fact, I would think attorneys representing either “side” would be excused from the jury entirely if this topic were on trial, since clearly, any information seen to help the case of opposing counsel would not be welcome. As we are just discussing it here, all viewpoints shed light on the various perspectives, but it is interesting to note what influences them. I, am merely a parent and a teacher, who would like to see the most effective treatment we currently have available, in use to keep our children safer. I don’t think a prison sentence does anything but postpone the inevitable for a while, and all the data supports that conclusion. No matter how good the attorney, putting a pedophile away just saves the problem for another day.

    I prefer to look at just the science of it—the case histories, clinical drug trials, and various research done—revisit the definition of “sexual orientation” to see how well it applies, and try to determine a true understanding, so that we can effectively handle this in our society. It would seem we have the choice of putting them “away” for periods of time and trying to monitor their whereabouts the rest of the time, while leaving the public vulnerable; making drug treatment mandatory and indefinite in duration; or performing brain surgery on them. I think the drug treatment is the most sensible and humane, that truly can help both the public to keep children safe, and the pedophiliac to lead a productive life. At this point, I guess my own personal “defense,” if you will, rests.

    Thanks to Twit, for shedding perspective from “the other side.”

  15. I had planned to just ignore comments from you from now on, but since you continue to target me, I’m responding one more time.

    “I believe the temptation is often too great for the punishment of prison to be a disincentive.”

    Actually, the way it works is that abusers manipulate their victims, by threats or claims of “love” or whatever they can think up to discourage reporting the crime. That’s why prison isn’t such a disincentive, because the offender knows they are dealing with a little kid who is far easier to manipulate and scare than an adult.

    “We can throw them in prison, where they will be kept separate from other prisoners due to the safety status they fall under”

    That is hilarious. I really don’t think that happens as often as you seem to believe.

    “It is not a legal defense, but an understanding that the individual should be undergoing treatment.”

    My concern is that it is a potential legal defense. That’s my point throughout this. You remove the idea of free will from an offender’s actions (i.e. the temptation is too great) and it could become a ‘get out of jail free’ card.

    “I would think attorneys representing either “side” would be excused from the jury entirely if this topic were on trial”

    and you would be wrong.

    “As we are just discussing it here, all viewpoints shed light on the various perspectives, but it is interesting to note what influences them. I, am merely a parent and a teacher, who would like to see the most effective treatment we currently have available, in use to keep our children safer.”

    Requiring an offender to accept responsibility for their behavior is the most effective treatment.

    “I prefer to look at just the science of it”

    I suggest you try to find a book called “Transforming a Rape Culture” (eds. Buchwald, Fletcher, Roth) because maybe you could find a perspective there that could encourage you to not box yourself into such a rigid and narrow idea. The concept of cultural influences has been an underlying current to what I have been saying and why I have been so vocal in my challenges to your use of language and concepts about rape and child abuse.

    “Thanks to Twit, for shedding perspective from “the other side.””

    We are on the same side. We want to protect children and we are doing the best we can with the information we have available.

    Please note that in the future I will delete your comments off my work. Feel free to comment anywhere else, but please consider yourself banned from commenting on posts I publish under my avatar.

  16. k@th says:

    wow. as my kid would say, you need to “chillax.”

    and you may wish to reconsider blogging on a site open to public comment, if you’re going to personalize everything to this degree.

  17. when dealing with trolls, I consider it important to set boundaries. This site is open to public comment, but comments can get deleted. We don’t like to delete comments here, even when they are nasty.

    I feel like you have engaged in a pattern of conduct to me that has been personalized and harassing. It goes back farther than this post, but this thread has made it clear to me that enough is enough.

  18. lestro says:

    i disagree that calling it mental disorder or medical condition would make it a “get out of jail free” card. sure, it would be tried to be used as such. but if that were the case, drug addicts – addiction being a medical condition, of course – would be let out of jail when they rob someone to get money to feed their addiction.
    and that’s not happening.

    i do not think it would become an acceptable excuse, but it would certainly factor into treatment. after all, acting on these urges is the illegal part. having the urges is a mental disorder. if depo has shown to reduce those urges in pedophiles (again, pedophiles being a different breed than sex offenders), then use it. perhaps they won’t act on them.

    again, twit, i think you are very hung up on the legal side and only the legal side of this argument and how it would affect the larger prosecution, which is important, but always changing.

    and the difference in perspectives is your continued insistence on lumping together sex offenders and pedophiles. shift your perspective. it doesn’t have to be that way and until we recognize that these are different issues, children will remain at risk because we will continue to treat the people who have a mental disorder the same way as folks who simply refuse to control themselves.
    all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares.

    as for “cultural influences” we are not talking about those things. while those need to be addressed and changed in order to protect the safety of women and teens from sexual offenders and predators, changing the culture will do nothing to protect children from those who actually have something misfiring in their head that attracts them to pre-pubescent children.

    which, k@th, is the big difference in your “child brides” analogy. while in the past (and today in some cultures) younger women were more likely to be married off, it was never children, it was always girls of child-bearing age.
    what makes it a mental disorder is the attraction to pre-pubescent children.

    but i can not consider it a “sexual orientation” and feel it would be dangerous to do so simply because of the use of that language to protect the rights of gays. allowing the slippery slope of saying what sexual orientations we are ok with and which we are not (because if it is a sexual orientation, it would have to be protected) allows the fundamentalists in this country to use it to deny that a gay couple can raise children or be together in a hospital as one lays dying or going to surgery…

  19. k@th says:

    I really have no idea of what you are referring to, Twit, and I am actually quite sorry that you perceive I have some personal vendetta against you. I attack topics, not people. Particularly people I don’t even know. I may wish to challenge you, but I assure you that I have always approached these matters as an intellectual exercise, and nothing more. I have engaged in the same kinds of debates with very good friends, often agreeing to disagree in the end, and we never view these as personal attacks.

    At any rate, you contribute many thought-provoking blogs here, and as my input is such that you feel it has to be blocked, I will gracefully bow out completely from this site. I wish the Church much continued success.

  20. I appreciate that you are finally addressing the issue after I raised it. When you didn’t reply to the issue at first and continued to attack issues while abrasively referencing “twit,” I interpreted it as your agreement with the idea that you were far more interested in the personalized attack than the issues at hand.

    The written form leaves much to be desired when it comes to clear and effective interpretation and everyone comes with their own lens and interpretation of what is said. Which is why I brought up my interpretation, trying to give you the benefit of the doubt and get some clarification.

    I won’t stop writing because someone gives me a hard time, and I hope you don’t either. You’ve been a commenter at the Kiwi for awhile, which has a lot to do with why it was not my intent to discourage you from participating on the site.

    I was asking for space on my own work because I didn’t get clarification from you about whether this was a debate about the issues. And I didn’t make it particularly easy, and I apologize for things I wrote heatedly that came across as unfairly accusing and inflammatory.

    But if we could bury the hatchet, wipe the slate clean, you pick the cliche and let’s just start over, that would be my preference for how to proceed.

    I appreciate it that you took the time to reply, and I hope to see you back at the Kiwi, including my posts if you feel so inclined.

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