Pedophiles Definition Characteristics Treatment Law Enforcement Psychology Essay

This paper explores all aspects of Pedophiles. It provides the definition for pedophiles in the past, and provides the present day definition for pedophiles. The paper describes the characteristics they possess and how you can identify them. Pedophilia is a topic that is not touched on enough which is why the recidivism rates are so high and most are not aware when it is occurring or who can be vulnerable to this act. Also provided is the times of vulnerability to children. This paper explores different treatments set in place for these offenders. Several psychologist ideas are listed throughout the page and provided is the criteria for pedophiles. Lastly, the paper will attempt to explain what law enforcement officers are doing to reduce of even eliminates the rates of pedophiles with our help and the help of higher resources they have at hand. At the end, you will see how the development of the Internet and computer-mediated communications has fostered the growth of a wide range of deviant sexual behaviors.

According to the book, Investigating high-tech crime, pedophiles have been around for most of recorded history. The older term, paederast refers to a man who has intercourse with a boy. Today, a pedophile is defined as an adult who is sexually attracted to children. Both definitions are similar and the only difference now is that we now acknowledge the fact that pedophiles are not only limited to men. Many people have different views on the matter of what should be done to pedophiles when they are caught. For example, some believe that they should be put to a horrible death and others like internet users believe that they should be locked away for life without the possibility of parole. It may sound a bit harsh to some but when you think if you or someone has been a victim of this cruel act, your opinions would greatly differ. In no form is this act considered acceptable. It is frowned upon all across the world and although they may be true, this does not stop the perpetrator from committing this illegal act. This paper will accurately define pedophiles and how they work. It will also list the different categories of pedophiles and explain how law enforcement is working to stop them with our help and the help of the resources they have at hand. There are different measures used to stop this act and we will attempt to explore them all.

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As defined above, a pedophile is an adult who has a sexual interest in children and the study of a pedophile is referred to as pedophilia. Pedophilia is an extreme issue and is not talked about enough. Nor are there enough precautions or warnings set in place so that these things do not happen. Statistically speaking, the numbers are outrageous. For example, According to Highlights of the Youth Internet Safety Survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice, “one in five children (10 to 17 years old) receives unwanted sexual solicitations online.” The study from June 2000 also finds that 1 in 33 received an “aggressive sexual solicitation’ defined as the subject asking for a physical meeting, calling the youth on the telephone, or sending gifts, money, or mail. This is a serious problem because it shows that they safety of children are at risk even in the comfort of their home while using the internet. It is extremely important to note that because this topic that is not touched on enough, children are not aware of the dangers associated with any kind of contact with individuals over the internet. It is rarely talked about in school and it is, it is talked about very little because of fear that they might scare the child. Then the chances of the child learning about this at home are slim- very slim. It is found in most case the offender is an adult male. One study found that 96% of the offenders in sexual assaults were male. With the numbers of male pedophiles being so high, it is important to note that pedophiles come in both sex. History reads that a large number of pedophiles existed and all of them were males. You find one instance where a woman is the pedophile but that was extremely rare. Today, there are several examples of women pedophiles. If you turn on your television and direct it to the news channel, you will most likely find a story where a school teacher was engaging in sexual act with the professor. Because you see on the news that there are very few cases of women pedophiles that does not mean that there are a few that exist. This is now occurring all across the world and not only within school grounds. Some students may be too embarrassed to report it and others may feel threatened. Whatever the case maybe for not reporting it, the fact is that this vile act exist and can be happening in your own backyard. As the rate of men pedophiles seem to remain constant, the rate of women being the pedophile is on the rise.

Pedophilia is a documented psychological disorder. It is described and defined in the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders-4th Edition. According to the DSM-IV, three criteria must be met for a diagnosis of pedophilia.

For at least half year, the person has experienced sexual fixation, fantasizing, or sexual activities with a preadolescent child.

The fixations, fantasizing, or activities will have caused problems for the pedophile in the person’s public life, job, or some other important area.

The pedophile must be 16 years old or older, and the victim must be a minimum of 5 years younger than the pedophile.

These three criteria’s are used to classify any and all pedophiles in Justice System. In addition to these criteria’s they have established several categories for pedophiles. One of the first distinctions made when classifying pedophiles is to determine whether they are “exclusively” attracted to children “exclusive pedophile” or attracted to adults as well as children “non-exclusive pedophile”. A vast majority of studies show that most pedophiles are part of the nonexclusive group. Another way they are categorized is by particular age and sex of the child that they are attracted to. For example, in the case of a male pedophile, if he is attracted to male children, he will be labeled “homosexual pedophile”. If he is attracted to female children, he will be labeled “heterosexual pedophile”. There are some cases in which the pedophile is attracted to both sexes and is then labeled “bisexual pedophile”. The percentage of homosexual pedophiles ranges from 9% to 40%, which is approximately 4 to 20 times higher than the rate of adult men attracted to other adult men. This does not imply that homosexuals are more likely to molest children just that a larger percentage of pedophiles are homosexual or bisexual in orientation to children. Individuals attracted to females usually prefer children between the ages of 8 and 10 years. Pedophiles can be further broken down into three additionally categories with each being more dangerous than the last. The first category is the secretive pedophile. In this case the person may seem completely normal but are sexually aroused by children (i.e. secretive). The second is the child pornography collector and the third is the active pedophile. This person actually performs sexually acts against child and they may manufacture child pornography. By categorizing these different pedophiles, law enforcement has a better understanding of who they are working with. However, officials generally categorize pedophiles using just two of the categories-exclusive, and non-exclusive. Identifying personality traits and type of the sexual offender or pedophile can determine if the offender will be responsive to therapy. It also helps to aid officials in their judgment on what kind of punishment the individual should receive.

Most psychologists would agree that there is no known cure for pedophilia. However some believe that some symptoms can be either limited or completely controlled. There are those psychologists who advocate the use of hormone therapy. With this they can try to limit or even eliminate the sexual desire within the pedophile. The other set of psychologist believe that this is a matter that can only be dealt with one day at a time. In this method, they believe that the pedophile must learn to control and limit their desire without any treatment. You can compare this method to a baby trying to walk. At first they will fall and fall again but eventually, no matter how long it takes they will eventually grasp the concept of left foot, right foot. I, personally prefer the first method which include the use if hormone therapy because it targets the pedophiles desire and problem area. It seeks to find exactly where they need help and immediately begins to work on it to limit the urge and eventually eliminate the desire all together. The one day at a time method is the same as an alcoholic struggling to not take a drink. It’s almost guaranteed that they will relapse and have that drink and eventually give up on bettering themselves altogether. This can be viewed as one of the reasons why recidivism rate for pedophiles is so high.

Relapse is a significant issue in treating pedophilia. For purposes of the paper, a relapse means the victimization of another child. Sex offenders are four times more likely to be rearrested for another sex crime than released non-sex offenders are (book). Some studies have reported that certain classes of pedophiles (e.g., homosexual, nonrelated) have the highest rate for repeated offending compared with other sex offenders. Generally, homosexual and bisexual pedophiles have higher recidivism rates than heterosexual pedophiles. Incest pedophiles generally have the lowest rate of re-offense (internet). Today, pedophiles still hold one on of the leading rates in recidivism.

Officials have found that there is a distinct pattern between the age of the child and the time that the child was molested. A child younger than 12 were most likely molested at 3 in the afternoon and around normal meal time-8:00, noon, and 6:00. Assaults made to 12-17 year olds were the same as those younger than twelve but also revealed assaults occurring between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. This information showed that the child is most vulnerable to being molested at times where the adult is more apparent. During meal time, an adult is present and after school and adult takes the child home. The time between eight and two, the child is asleep and no one else is up so it’s the perfect time for an offender to act. In addition, Federal statistics for all reported sexual assaults showed that 34% of sexually abused children were younger than 12 years and 33% were between the ages of 12 and 17. Females were the most commonly abused, with the percentage of abused females increasing with age. Juvenile boys who were sexually assaulted comprised a larger percentage of the total number of abused children than adult men (18% vs. 4%).

Eight times out of ten, when this act takes place, the child knows the offender. Whether it they’re a relative or non-relative (neighbor, family friend, or local individual with authority). Pedophiles often intentionally try to place themselves in a position where they can meet children and have the opportunity to interact with children in an unsupervised way, such as when babysitting, doing volunteer work, doing hobbies, or coaching sports. Some even go as far as stalking the children and recording their even move and eventually making it part of their daily routine to do what the child does. For example, if a child’s weekly routine is go to school, go to soccer practice, grab something to eat with a friend, and then head home to do some homework, the offender will be parked outside the school yard until they are released, meet the child at soccer practice, beat them to the ice cream polar, and be waiting outside their home to make they get home safe. This is the offender’s way of connecting with the child. The child in return she this is okay and thinks the gesture is extremely nice and then begins to open up to the offender not knowing they are placing themselves in a dangerous predicament. The offender may also by the child gifts as a way to lure them into the trap. Offender may use several techniques in attempt to gain access to the child. These techniques include but are not limited to means of persuasion, friendship, and behavior designed to gain the trust of the child and sometimes even the parent. Female and younger children are often molested in their own home or the residence of the offender, whereas male and older children are most likely to be molested outside their home in locations such as roadways, fields or woods, schools, or motels or hotels.

It is by far extremely difficult to estimate the true prevalence of pedophilia because 1) few pedophiles voluntarily seek treatment and 2) because most of the available data are based on individuals who have become involved with the legal system. The numbers of individuals who have pedophilic fantasies yet never act on them or the number of them that do act on them but never get caught is unknown. This is why it is important for law enforcement to let their presence be known in all place so that these numbers can be lowered or even eliminated. Studies and research projects can but only go so far, after that, it’s time for officials to step in and put there foot down because most would agree that it is their job to protect us. Children are usually unable to protect themselves because of their level of physical and mental development; frequently they do not like to talk about the abuse. They may delay disclosure or tell only part of the story. In most cases, children who were abused multiple times response was that they felt partly responsible. Other times, an emotional bond or attachment exists between the child and the offender. This is when children may want the abuse to stop, but they may not want the offender to be punished. This degree of attachment is explained as the attachment theory. For the purpose of this paper, attachment is an emotional bond to another person. Psychologist John Bowlby was the first attachment theorist, describing attachment as a “lasting psychological connectedness between human beings”.

Law enforcement lacks greatly in response to pedophiles. Just recently, in Overland Park, Kansas, a man in his twenties jumped into a community pool naked with children all over. H then purposely waited for the police officials to get there and was arrested to only learn that he will not be charged of face any kind of penalty. There is a serious issue right there because law enforcement officials did not reprimand him in any way. With that being said, law enforcement officers today can respond to pedophilia in several different ways. The first way and one everyone finds to be the least effective way is a passive, reactionary response paradigm. The police wait until a juvenile victim reports being sexually assaulted under this model.

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