A few days ago, the cardinal of the roman catholic church in South Africa got a lot of publicity. He claimed that pedophilia should not be seen as a crime. This publicity has mostly been negative, and rightly so.
The cardinal fails to make the basic distinction: between a persons sexuality and how this person handles his or hers sexuality. These are not only two very different things, but also things that it is very destructive to mix up.
In the case of pedophilia and child sex abuse, the former is sexual attraction towards children, while the later is to actually approach children in a sexual manner.
People who fail to make this distinction when it comes to pedophilia will make one of two mistakes. They will unjustly condemn chaste pedophiles who stay away from children, or they will excuse actual child sex abuse. The cardinal is making this later mistake.
As I explained in a previous video, pedophilia is very different from other sexualities. Separated from heterosexuality, homosexuality and sadomasochism by the fact that children cannot give valid consent. Separated from fetishism, by the simple fact that inanimate objects don’t have any feelings or need for personal dignity to protect from sexual exploitation.
This means that pedophiles who are attracted to adults as well need to focus on this later attraction. It also mean that exclusive pedophiles need to confine themselves to fantasies and masturbation. Both kinds of pedophiles need to stay the hell away from children. As an adult, I can handle if a woman or ay man lusts after me or develop a crush on me. Children, however, are not ready to handle the desires of adults. And they shouldn’t have to be ready for that. Let them be children.
It is true as the cardinal says, that pedophiles can’t help being pedophiles. And that we shouldn’t blame them for their feelings. However, this does NOT excuse ANY form of child sex abuse.
What we as a society need to do is to help innocent pedophiles to stay away from children. Since I have worked a bit with rehabilitation of convicted pedophiles, this lack of preemptive measures used to be a big source of annoyance for me personally. The programs we had to offer is in my opinion quite good, but all the clients I had were men who had already committed a crime. They were not allowed to sign up for the program without committing a crime first. Some of them would have signed up right away, had they been given the chance.
Luckily, Sweden now has a hotline called Preventell. If you speak Swedish and have undesired sexual urges, please call them. If you know someone who fits that description, please give him or her their homepage or number. Preventell dot se or 020-66 77 88. If you know of such hotlines or similar resources for other languages, or better yet a global directory for them: Please notify me, and I will link it in the description of this video.
Pedophiles are not necessarily the monsters that the cardinal unwittingly portray them as in his misguided compassion. If it was true that they just can’t help abusing children, we ought to lock them up for life even before they commit those inevitable crimes. But those crimes ARE not inevitable!
Every heterosexual, homosexual or sadomasochist is required to stay celibate until he or she find a compatible partner for a mutual relationship on fair terms. For many, this means years without sex. Sometimes the entire lifetime. While this sucks, it is endurable. For pedophiles, there are no compatible partners. Fair terms for mutual relationships are not available.
This sucks as much for them as loneliness sucks for the rest of us. But many of them, probably most of them, are decent human beings. Persons who are able to control themselves. They don’t need people who indirectly tell them that it doesn’t matter whether they abuse children or not. They don’t need people who out of hate or misguided compassion tell them: “you might as well go ahead and live down to our lowest expectations”.
Preventing a case of abuse from happening in the first place is far better than forgiving it afterwards. What children need is that the pedophiles abstain from exploiting them. Not that the abuser says a certain number of “Hail Mary” after the deed is done.