Researchers Trying To Frame Pedophilia In Acceptable Light
Some pedophilia researchers are looking to change how the public views the sexual disorder and change what they believe to be misconceptions.
“There are child molesters and pedophiles. If you think of Venn diagrams, there’s a lot of overlap,” Anna Salter, a psychologist and sex offender expert said. “There are the people who are sexually attracted to children … (and then) there are some people who molest kids who are not pedophiles.”
Some scientists are highlighting what they say is the difference between those with an innate attraction to children and those who abuse children.
“The evidence suggests it is inborn. It’s neurological,” James Cantor, a clinical psychologist, and sex researcher said adding that a pedophile may not ever harm a child in order to be considered a pedophile.
There are also increasing efforts to change the stigma associated with pedophilia by many researching the disorder, including some researchers who say it would allow pedophiles greater access to help.
“Where do you want the person? Therapy is where he should be going, and all we’ve done is make it very, very difficult for a pedophile to get that,” Cantor said. “Which to me is insane. It makes the problem worse.”
The topic brings up several moral questions among pedophilia experts, with many stressing the damage caused by pedophiles who act on their impulses and prey on children.
“We need to say, ‘Offending is devastating. It damages the lives of victims. It has damaged your life. You can learn to control yourself. You have the capacity to do better,” Salter said.
Salter also said that while “pedophiles may not have control over the fact that they are attracted to kids, but they are responsible for whether they do or don’t act on it.”
USA Today posted the story highlighting Salter and Cantor’s comments in a Twitter thread early Tuesday, but the outlet later deleted the Twitter thread because they said it “did not include all information” on the debate.
“The initial thread lacked the context that was within the story and we made the decision the pull down the entire thread,” the outlet added.
The thread and its deletion led to criticism from prominent social media users who viewed the story as trying to present pedophilia in an acceptable light.
“Ah, yes. Here we go with the liberal media celebrating and trying to normalize pedophilia,” Curtis Houck, managing editor of NewsBusters, tweeted Tuesday.
“To me (and probably anyone who has been watching) this is nothing more than the first step of trying to normalize this kind of behavior,” tweeted Donald Trump Jr.