Sunday, July 31, 2005
Pedophiles as The Enemy
Note: I am aware this post will be controversial. It is an honest attempt to answer a question posed by a visitor in a way that applies my previous writings. Comments, as always, are welcome. For the record, I agree with Senator Santorum's view on pedophilia.
My criticism of harsher anti-pedophile laws has drawn an interesting response (formatting mine):
You left an email from my blog, with a link to here, but no email address to respond to you, so I'm posting here. You say that the increased penalties will lead to MORE murders of children. Ok, fine if that is your opinion, but what I'd like to ask is what you propose should be done?
I, as a parent, am outraged that pedophiles are so prevalent in our society. I have been extremely lucky in that my kids are nearly grown and, so far, have not been molested. Someday I may be fortunate enough to have grandchildren and I want them to be safe.
Obviously the laws we have now are not working. Instead of being a naysayer and telling us what we have in mind won't work, why not put your logic to better use and propose something that will.
Thanks for listening.
I'm purposely not posting my email address or blog because I don't usually like to get into political discussions.
The commentator said "...as a parent" and "... my kids..." so I will assume that the commentator is wondering how society can help parents protect their children from pedophiles. I'm assuming the commentator is a mother, so I will refer to the commentator as "she" or "her" (if the commentator is a father, I apologize). And we both agree that the laws are not working.
From her comment and my short description, we know the outline of the conflict
Proganonist's preferred battlespace: The government and laws.
What are the strong points of the adversaries?
Parents: Super-motivated to keep their children away from pedophiles
Pedophiles: Super-motivated to sexually interact with children
The pedophile's sexual motivation is his schwerpunkt, his "center of gravity." Our laws are designed to subdue him at this strong point - to crush him in decisive battle.
It has not been working. His motivation exceeds the ability of the law to stop him. We cannot subdue him. The parent/pedophile war looks like an eternal struggle, with neither side able to concede. Both appear to be driven by biological urges deep enough to drown any compromise.
Several sayings can help us here
"If what you are doing is not working, stop doing it."
"An unchangeable fact is not an enemy. It is weapon."
"Just act recklessly and it will be all right."
The first reminds us that our goal is victory, not struggle. "Doing something" is not wise when that something is not working. It is more important to win that steadfastly keep to our old tactics.
The second reminds us that we should use every tool available -- including the enemy himself. If possible we should use thing that makes the enemy "invincible" against him.
The third reminds us when time is not on your side, "slow-and-steady" approaches are guaranteed to fail. Because we are substantially failing in our current strategy, every day we do not change is a day of failure.
So we need a new approach that uses the enemy's strength against him daringly.
To refresh, the strength of the pedophiles is their very strong motivation. Significantly increasing the cost does not significantly decrease consumption. (This also means that significantly decreasing the cost will not significantly decrease consumption.) As long as the pedophilia is able to pay, he will.
One approach would be to vaporize the planet in a hail of H-Bombs, except the cost of this is too high for the parents.
This option isn't as crazy as it seems. The parents are trying to protect their children, so if we could have a solution we knew work that would cause the death of millions of parents, it is likely the parents would accept it. That is how much they love their children. They are prepared to pay a very high price to ensure that their children are not used by pedophiles.
In the words of one parent:
I, as a parent, am outraged that pedophiles are so prevalent in our society. I have been extremely lucky in that my kids are nearly grown and, so far, have not been molested. Someday I may be fortunate enough to have grandchildren and I want [my grandchildren] to be safe.
We know that "subduing" pedophiles will not work, because they are too motivated. The only other path to victory is "subversion" -- to turn them so they help us. We need to rearrange the minds of pedophiles, so they desire to help parents.
Now how can we rearrange the minds of people who want to sexually used children in a way that is acceptable to people whose primary concern is protecting their children?
What could pedophiles possible want that would make them allies of the parents who are frightened of them?
What tool can we use to subvert pedophiles, to turn them?
Someone else's kids.
If we look at the problem as a diagram, we certainly see the logic of it, whether most parents care (which they do):
Recent evidence of an astonishly organized ring in France
The 45 victims, many the children and grandchildren of adults who stood trial for attacking them, ranged from a baby of six months to 14-year-olds. They suffered more than 100 separate sexual assaults.
suggests it it somewhere in between. The percentage could be vanishingly small. If say 2% of adult males are pedophiles (about the same percentage of adult males who are homosexualists) the remainder of all parents less those parents who are opposed to pedophiles would only have to be one in fifty. Throw in states that have more children than capital, and the threshold could be easily met.
This is a fact that cannot be changed. And a fact that cannot be changed is a weapon.
Parents, through the government and laws, could use this weapon to protect their children from pedophiles. The strength of pedophiles, their high level of motivation, can now be used with this weapon, other people's kids, to help the parents protect their children.
We could daringly build an extensive system of monitoring and reporting if we subverted pedophiles in this way. Parents could know more about pedophiles -- very high levels of disclosure could be required to participate in the managed market -- and have their children much safer from them -- their is an alternate, lawful supply -- if they would simply take up the weapon.
We can find a parallel for this in the Bible. King Saul had an enemy.
A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels ; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver's rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him.
An enemy that looked invincible
Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, "Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us." Then the Philistine said, "This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other." On hearing the Philistine's words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.
and a method of fighting that could not work
Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.
David found new weapons
"I cannot go in these," he said to Saul, "because I am not used to them." So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd's bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.
and won in a new way
As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.
So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.
Other people's kids is the sling. The pedophile's own motivation is the stone. And the children of concerned parents are children of Israel.
David recognized that an "honorable" way of fighting -- with sword and shield -- would lead to a dishonorable defeat and grave danger for sons of Abraham and the daughters of Sarah. So David found a new way.
Will parents? Or do they not care for their own children more than strangers?
Sounds suspiciously like appeasement. Give some of Europe to your enemy, but its okay, because ‘we’re monitoring him.’ Eh, maybe you shouldn’t make a Chamberlain of yourself again and sign over the Sudetenland. Monitoring is performed now, and doesn’t effectively removes the threat.
Why not consider preemption instead? NAMBLA and such organizations are large networks of pervs connected by email conversation, correct? Emails can be traced back to their origins through their IP logs, right? So, if we know that these pervs are located in isolated rooms in ordinary houses, chatting, is it inconceivable that we… I dunno, forget about jurisprudence and perform some “wet works.”
Yeah, its basically “precrime” death sentence, but its elegant, and wouldn’t cause more murders of children. Ideally, the links in the network are so loose that members won’t even notice their dwindling ranks. Regional police and the public couldn’t know about it, and neither could congress. It would have to be by executive order, and the president that signed off on it had better be ready to defect. Funding could be diverted from the Federal Reserve, which can spontaneously generate money, and manpower would probably stream from Delta’s resources. We might as well use their potential energy for something.
You chose the right biblical parable, but gleaned the wrong point from it. The correct lesson is that headshot are the quickest solution.
Eh, I'm just throwing this out.
Posted by: Typewriter King | Sunday, July 31, 2005
Lay off the crack will you.
I had to read this argument several times through before I understood it. I think I realized what you were suggesting, but I really didn't want to believe it.
Somehow in a very cold calculated way, you have decided that instead of looking into other ways to subvert pedophilia, you suggest giving pedophiles what they want as long as its not your, or anyone you know children. Arrogant bastard. Ok I promise, that will be it for the name calling.
I'm sorry, but that will only perpetuate a cycle of pain, anguish and grief.
Now, since we are in an open forum, let me explain why.
Is psychology, there is a debate as to what aspects of our personality are due to nature (genetics), and what aspects are form due to our environment. The nature vs nurture debate.
Take for example homosexuality. Its generally except in the scientific community that most cases of homosexuality are due to genetics (Christians will disagree, but science is not build on faith). There are also cases where a persons environment rewires a persons brain to be homosexual. Such as abuse occurring as a young child.
Pedophilia can be viewed the same way. Although we cant do much about genetics (Well the future could bring some interesting technology, as well as some other interesting ethics issues) we can do something about the environmental circumstances that perpetuate pedophilia.
Its probably not surprising to know that most pedophiles where not born that way. But instead were victims of pedophiles themselves. Then as an adult perpetuate the cycle. Unless they received appropriate intervention.
The approach is two fold. Help the victims and punish or reform the perpetrators.
If a young child is abused, the wiring in their brain can get all screwed up. But as a child, they are more open to being "fixed" as their brains are still in development. This can be done with the help of a therapist or councilor with experience in these situations.
We as a society can make all the counseling available to those who need it, but many will not seek it for two reasons. The perpetrator is a family member or it is admitting the crime as a victim is seen as shameful. As well as a child may not know that they are a victim of a crime.
We cant in this country persecute a person for a crime they haven't committed. So, we really cant find these people unless they commit a crime AND that crime gets reported. If a father molests a son, will it get reported? Not likely. We can however arrest a perpetrator with intent in a sting or honey pot scenario as long as the pedophile is not being entrapped.
Its hard to know what to do with someone who has been arrested for a pedophilia offense. Rewiring a persons brain is much harder as an adult than it is as a child. But at the same time, is life in prison without any chance of being released a fair punishment for the crime? We are dealing with two things here. A crime, and a psychological illness (or genetic disposition). We can punish a crime, but if we do nothing about the pedophilia, they are most likely to commit the crime again.
So the solution in the end is intervention. Though, especially with situations that occur within families, thats not always possible since no one else may know of it. I find it hard to think, that this is something we can completely eliminate. But we can however reduce it to something much more manageable.
But it will take time. Several generations before we will see a marked decrease of those who are pedophiles.
I want to touch on something else. There are really two types of pedophilia, what occurs within a family and what occurs by one or more persons in a community. As long as you know your friends and your children's friends, you donut have much to worry about with the first. But the second one you may. On the other hand, these people are allot easier to find as they are going outside of a closed family unit.
I still can't believe you would actually advocate feeding pedophiles with other peoples children. Do you have no heart? How can you justify this crime as long as its not involving children you know? With your use of bible quotes and wording of certain passages, you come off to me as a Christian. I'm all for Christian values and morals especially when it comes to helping other people. But it seems, based on your argument, you only hold those values to other Christians, and people of other faiths are somehow less worthy.
Whats utterly ironic is that the group with very human values as part of their belief system (Christians) are not part of the group of people who actually care about helping other people (humanists and other left or left leaning groups). But instead are for expecting everyone to make their own way, while ignoring the fact that capitalism guarantees that there will always be poor people. Human values but a very selective practice of those values.
I'm being very critical of your argument. Both because i feel that its arrogant and it doesn't make sense.
Posted by: Dan Johansson | Monday, August 01, 2005
I have to agree with Dan Johansson. Are you trolling your own blog? Is this some sort of "modest proposal" re: pedophilia?
This made no sense at all to me.
I don't get it. My brain hurts.
Posted by: jeremiah | Monday, August 01, 2005
One other thing.
Your first warning sign should have been the fact that you agreed with Santorum on something.
Posted by: jeremiah | Monday, August 01, 2005
Thank you all for your comments. I will try to respond to them shortly.
This was not a "troll" piece. It was what I would call a "scratch solution" - I wanted to see where my knowledge and thinking would take me. I purposefully didn't clearly write the conclusion because I did not want a reader to think that I "believe" my conclusion.
I think it does make sense to you, which is why you dislike it. So help me prove it wrong. :) Where did I make a mistake?
"lol" on the Santorum remark. :)
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Monday, August 01, 2005
It is just... wrong.
The whole flypaper strategy thing I guess.
Posted by: jeremiah | Monday, August 01, 2005
A few modest proposals, eh?
Where you are wrong is your premise: that parents only think their own kids should be protected. While I am far, far more likely to protect my own kids than I am the children of a stranger, I also would act to protect other children, because a systemic danger to children is a systemic danger to my children, and systemic dangers cannot, by their very nature, be put in a box and controlled. Jurassic Park (the book more than the movie) made this point very badly. (I mean, both made the point badly, but the movie was worse.)
So allowing attacks on some children does not increase the safety of my children, because there will always be those who do not want to be monitored (in fact, I'd bet most pedophiles would fall into this category), and would be covered by not being monitored: we'd be spending our energy monitoring the known perverts and wouldn't see the unknown perverts coming. Complacency kills.
A better solution is to simply make any child sexual assault a capital crime. Most pedophiles commit multiple offenses, and the recidivism rate is phenomenally high. Simply let people know that we understand they are ill, and can't help themselves. And that's why we have to put them down. It's nothing personal: we just have to ensure the safety of the rest of us.
Posted by: Jeff Medcalf | Monday, August 01, 2005
What other subversion attacks can we use?
I don't believe the nature v. nuture debate is meaningful. Genetic heritage, cultural traditions, previous experience, and new information all go into the analytical synthesis Colonel John Boyd called "orientation" (http://www.mindsim.com/MindSim/Corporate/OODA.html). So all of those factors effect every orientation we make.
(Now, we can see that pedophilia has existed in all known cultures, while homosexualism does not. Such would imply that pedophilia is more influnced by genetics than homosexualism. However, the point remains the same -- all four inputs effect every orientation.)
I agree with you that a genetic solution to pedophilia is out of reach for the time being. Perhaps later the correlation of forces will swing to our side. However, solutions made for the world as it exists have to focus on the environments (legal, economic, cultural, social, etc).
I'm unaware of statistics on how pedophiles are created or born.
I also agree with you that convictions for father-child pedophilia are unlikely.
I also agree on the compulsive nature of pedophilia, and the high recidivism rate.
I agree that intra-family and extra-family pedophilia are two distinct types. However, you might want to break extrafamiliar pedophilia into intracommunal (family aquantence) and extracommunal (family stranger).
I want to minimize suffering and death. There seems to be agreement that the current regime does not do this -- in the words of a suffering mother " the laws we have now are not working." If we believe that our current system is successful -- that we can tweak it to make the laws harser (so more deaths, less sexual uses) or softer (less deaths, more sexual uses) then there's no reason to change. If we believe our system is not successful, the merciful and kind thing is to build a new system.
Is it better to have laws that make us feel good (like the current system) and result that make us feel terrible, or laws that make us feel terrible and results that make us feel better? And why should bad laws make us feel good, and better laws make us feel worse?
Your introduction of faith into the conversation is interesting. I don't know how to handle it. I don't know the proper role of religious bias in our laws. Traditional Islam relates that Aisha was 6 when she married Mohammed, and 9 when the marriage was consumated (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aisha#How_old_was_Aisha_when_she_was_married.3F).
Would traditional Muslims be treated as less "worthy" if such a marriage was as legal in our country as in the Mecca of the Salaf? Muslim men? Muslim girls?
It's confusing. I don't know.
Humanism was created by Catholic monks, so I think the Humanism v. Christianity argument is as blurred as the nature v. nurture one.
Capitalism is greater than any other system for making everyone absolutely wealth. The reason butlers are paid more today than in the 1800s is not that they do so much more, or are better people: it is because capitalism has relentessly increased the cost of service in terms of capital.
Last, does the current system of outrages like this (http://tdaxp.blogspirit.com/archive/2005/07/09/failure-of-net-centric-policing-super-empowered-locals-or-su.html) increase or decrease community and belonging?
I enjoyed your constructive criticism, and look forward to more. :)
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Monday, August 01, 2005
I agree with you on the use of capital punishment. Communities should be able to protect themselves. As I wrote before
"You want to end pedophile attacks on your children? Move society to netpolicing -- give every man a gun, and make it clear that "honor killings" will not be prosecuted. Super-empower individuals."
That would do little to stop intra-family assaults, but would significantly cut into sexual predators of children.
As a phenomonon, though, pedophilia is worse than a "structural" problem. It is not caused by the structure of our civilization. It has existed in every society and with every social structure I know of.
Unless we make greap leaps in the area of eugenics, such problems are managed, not ended -- rearranged, not crushed.
You raise an interesting problem -- what about those who will not use a lawful system and commit their crimes here? It would be interesting to know what percentage of pedophiles such a group would be. I agree with you that for such wrongdoers, death sentences might be the best solution.
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Monday, August 01, 2005
I had not thought about it as "flypaper," but you are right. It largely collapses a vaporous cloud of disonnected radicals into an easily monitored system.
Thank you for the insightful comment.
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Monday, August 01, 2005
Quite interesting Dan, this argument also supports the idea of prostitutes for rapists. Of course only use the set of prostitutes that want to be raped.
And, lets let murders murder those who have suicidal tendencies. They don't want to live anyway.
I agree with Dan Johansson that you need to lay off the crack. I guess that's all you do out in the Prairie is do drugs.
Are you looking for publicity making such outrageous posts? Or, have you just given up on using common sense? And you have called my arguments misdirected. Shees...
Posted by: Dr. Forbush | Monday, August 01, 2005
Are you agreeing with me?
"Quite interesting Dan, this argument also supports the idea of prostitutes for rapists. Of course only use the set of prostitutes that want to be raped."
I support the legalization of prositution, and I have applauded free Iraq for making such a move
"And, lets let murders murder those who have suicidal tendencies. They don't want to live anyway. "
I support the legalization of euthanasia
Far from the Mexican border, South Dakota's drugs of choice are caffeine, alchol, nicotine, marijuana and methamphetamines. My indulgence is limited to the first two. Nonetheless, I thank you for your friendly reminder to avoid a more potent form of cocaine.
If this post is wrong, please tell me how. The most serious problems I see with it is that it assumes the current system is not working, and it gives only one way to subvert the pedophiles. What are the others?
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Monday, August 01, 2005
In the marketplace of ideas, even the crazy ones are allowed. But that doesnt make them less crazy :P.
I really find it hard to belive that we will ever totally get rid of pedophelia. Its such a complex psycological/genetic problem that we cant simiply treat it to make it go away.
But even more complex problem is how to deal with these people in our society.
We cant simply hunt down these people and imcarcerate or execute them. That would not only voilate human rights, but test our values as a free and democratic country.
Giving them children to do thier will, will only create a situation of complaceny and kinda only make it someone elses problem. Not only that, but he psycologocal effects on the children involved would be disaterous. (We need virtual children :P)
To take a principle from buiness managment, we can do alot to mimimize the risk. We just cant eliminate it.
So what can we do?
Require background check of people working with chilren. This is already done in a lot of places, but will only really work if they have a prior offence.
Educate those who work with children to identify those chilren that may be victims of sexual assult. This is not always going to work, as children dont always understand what happened to them.
Prision as punishment is not going to help pedophiles. Thats we all can agree on. But we dont really have good systems to help these people address thier problems.
Tracking of crimes in a national database to help catch the especially resourceful pedophiles.
We have systems to have drug or alchol addicts to come into treatment anoymously. Maybe we need something like that for pedophelia. I doubt a 12 step program would do much here. But getting someone in to deal with thier problems before they commit sexual acts will save pain for alot of families. I can imagine the radio ads now :P
For those children whom are victims. Make free therapy avaialable to them to deal with thier trama.
Puts some more minds on this and we should be able to come up with several more ideas as to how to minimize the risk to others of pedophelia. But as a said before, this isnt a problem we can eliminate, but we can deal with it.
Posted by: Dan Johansson | Monday, August 01, 2005
For a subversion strategy, this plunges past the borders of stupid into the depths of cretinism. Pedophiles help create the next generation of pedophiles by abusing children. By increasing the number of children abused in generation n, you create a larger pedophile population in generation n+1. This doesn't subvert pedophiles but rather strengthens their numbers and subverts the network of anti-pedophile parents.
Would you like to subvert pedophiles? Put them in a prisoner's dilemma. If they provide the evidence to convict three unknown pedophiles, they get a pass on one child rape. That would tend to isolate the network of cooperative pedophiles and put a hurt on organizations like NAMBLA.
Posted by: TM Lutas | Tuesday, August 02, 2005
I had considered a prisoner's dilemma scheme, but I do not believe it would be workable. Like during the witch craze, the incentive to accuse an innocent person would be very high. We agree on the danger of false positives, so I do not believe tha twould be workable.
I am ignorant of the causes of pedophilia. Are all children used by pedophile's more likely to become such themselves, or only children so used by their parents? Maybe the question becomes what is more influential: parents of adult-peers?
You have a good point about the need to have a strategy that creates a favorable correlation of forces. Would this post's proposal do that? Does the current system do that?
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Tuesday, August 02, 2005
One of the reasons pedophiles are able to continue doing what they do, for a time at least, is this: children are often threatened or shamed or both into silence. Empowering and encouraging children to talk about sexuality would go far in outing pedophiles. If conversations about sexuality were as casual as discussing the latest episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! or the newest video game, pedophiles would be more frightened of acting out their impulses, for fear of being caught.
Lowering the age of consent to 13 or 14 might help, and is somewhat in line with the proposal you have made. It would of course require early and frank education about sex and the empowerment mentioned above. Such a change wouldn't address the problem of extremely young children being molested, although it might tempt some borderline pedophiles to choose slightly older "partners" than they normally would, out of concerns for personal safety.
You could let children carry handguns, but I'm sure that would create more problems than it would fix. I suspect that American parents would rather we did this than lower the age of consent or talking about sexuality with young children.
Posted by: Curtis Gale Weeks | Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Thank you for the excellent reply. I agree with your take on the situation. I agree that it is a problem that will be with us for the forseeable future.
This is a touchy subject, and I am grateful for the feedback. Definitely, more "minds" help. And more knowledge -- I don't know too many factors to know if an answer is workable. I'd like to explore two areas of your comment more
"Giving them children to do thier will, will only create a situation of complaceny and kinda only make it someone elses problem. Not only that, but he psycologocal effects on the children involved would be disaterous. (We need virtual children :P)"
A primitive form of "virtual child" would be child pornography. Given the potential money involved, I think it's clear that "virtual child pornography" visually indistinguishable from the real thing is possible. Three years ago,the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that such products were lawful (http://archives.cnn.com/2002/LAW/04/16/scotus.virtual.child.porn/) (interesting, one of the dissentors was Justice O'Connor, making it 6-2 of current justices). Likewise a "virtual interactive child" could be created, either exclusively through software or with the help of actors keying in appropriate responses at the far end.
Among adult populations, access to pornography generally decreases promiscuity. I have heard that the reverse is true among sexual users of children, but I do not know of evidence of this. What would be the effect of further legimitizing the "grey market" of virtual child pornography? Might this be a way to decrease both child sexual use and child murder?
I don't know.
"Require background check of people working with chilren. This is already done in a lot of places, but will only really work if they have a prior offence."
Additionally, this has the same effect of harsher sentences: more child murders. Increase the penalty for an act and you increase the violence the criminal will use to cover it up.
"Educate those who work with children to identify those chilren that may be victims of sexual assult. This is not always going to work, as children dont always understand what happened to them."
True. Another problem is the harm that false positives cause
Two last points: I don't think a "12 step" program could work. The existence of a list of secret potential child sexual users would create a public outcry to make that list known. I think the uesrs of a "12 step" program would be at much greater risk of being revealed than subscribers to "virtual child" services, bceause the "12 step" program would not be for-profit, and so there would be less incentive to keep the customer happy.
And finally, what is the efficacy of theraphy in child sexual use cases? If a child does not realize that they were abused, would theraphy make things work? I don't know.
Thank you for the thought-provoking comment.
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Agreed that the family structure works to the advantage of pedophile parents. However, a weakening of it -- to have "governments strong enough so we don't need families" -- would be a very high price to pay. The effects of this "lakotization" or "family liberation" are very high, whether imposed on rebellious minorities (like the Lakota Sioux) or self-inflicted (as in contemporary Europe).
Lowering the age of consent, or otherwise adjusting that system, could be a step in the right direction.
Your thought that "such a change wouldn't address the problem of extremely young children being molested, although it might tempt some borderline pedophiles to choose slightly older "partners" than they normally would" displays an excellent understanding of "marginal" thinking. Widely used in economics, the concept of the margin is too often absent from political discussions. Thank you for bringing it up.
Could you expand on that?
From an "economy of force" viewpoint, I don't think it would be worthwhile to change the social norms of "talking about sexuality with young children." That proposal itself could cause a large backlash.
(Not that I worried about backlash when posting the initial article! :) )
Arming children is certainly "outside of the box" thinking! It would have to be a device capable of temporarily disabling an adult male while not causing death if used against a small child. Any thoughts?
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Dan, I thought that my comments would be "controversial," which, etymologically, is apt for brainstorming, when current methods, philosophies, and framing are not working to solve problems.
Unfortunately, I'm not sure that the problem of pedophilia can ever be eradicated. Shifting margins -- lowering the age of consent -- might simply redefine the legal definition of criminal sexual abuse of minors by redefining the term "minor." I.e., the activity will occur anyway but some would no longer be punished for what they already are doing or would do. Some might be tempted to do who and what they would not have done. This doesn't solve the problem of adults having sex with adolescents, but legitimizes it. I do think, however, that setting the age of consent so high is problematic for at least four reasons:
1. It is quite contrary to biological imperatives. Sexual maturity often occurs at a much younger age (and, according to some reports, is now occurring at an even younger age than ever before, on average), so laws setting a high age of consent tend to disregard normal biological impulses in both, teenagers and the adults who are attracted to post-pubescent teens, and can never be 100% effective.
2. The very fact of sexual activity between adults and teens, having been shoved to the margins and labeled a marginal activity, means that the sexual impulses, the psychology involved, even the sociological reality of such interactions are swept under the rug and are less likely to be fully addressed. It is the equivalent of sticking our heads in the sand to avoid dealing with the reality. We attack the symptoms of our willful ignorance by prosecuting adult offenders, but are less likely to deal with the causes in an effective manner.
3. I think that putting off sexual activity until the age of 18 -- probably a minority abstinence in any case -- gives adult parents and guardians an excuse to put off sexual education and discussion until a much later age. Children are not empowered with knowledge (of their own sexuality and even the sexuality -- sexual identity -- of adults), and so are more likely to become victims.
4. This is the big one and directly addresses a thought from my previous comment. Those adults sexually attracted to youths will be committing crimes whether they have sex with a teen or a very young child, younger children are less likely to understand what is happening and are more likely to be intimidated into silence, younger children are easier to abduct, so younger children become easier targets. If the pedophile is going to risk committing a crime, he's going to go for the scenario that is safest. (However, some recent reading suggests to me that certain pedophiles are attracted exclusively to the very young and would never consider going after a young teen.)
I've been looking for information about the effects of lowered ages of consent, trying to correlate between ages of consent and pedophilia, and am working on an entry for P.C. that will address it. I'm no expert. Initial review of some statistics suggests to me that lowering the age of consent wouldn't help terribly much if that's all we did.
"Lakotization" is an interesting term, but have you read Plato's Republic? He devised a strategy of educating children very similar to your ideas of lakotization but saw it as a positive method for developing the children (and the State via the development of children) rather than as a method for destroying a pre-existing network. Heh. I'm also suddenly thinking of O.S.Card's "Ender's Game..."
Since reading your reply last night, I've been thinking that the device best able to disable an adult male without harming other children would be some sort of tracking device: a kind of electronic chastity belt, but a bracelet rather than a belt. We track criminals this way already. The device could be locked on the arms of children, removable only by combination or special keys, and would send signals to a tracking system in the home; if a child moved outside of a predefined area or route, the bracelet would send a signal to the tracking system, which in turn would signal the parent or guardian via a similar bracelet or a cell phone. If all children wore such a device, pedophiles would be severely limited in what they could do -- except for pedophiles who are members of the immediate family, of course.
Posted by: Curtis Gale Weeks | Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Im just imagining what the privacy advocates might say about the child bracelets. Not to metion, if the security isnt very good, it could be used by pedophiles to track down children.
Posted by: Dan Johansson | Thursday, August 04, 2005
Well, sure. The thoughts had occurred to me, too. I suggested a tracking system in the home (rather than in a police station, etc.) as a possible way around the privacy issue. Encryption might help with security. I don't think that most pedophiles would be capable or motivated to break individual encryption, although perhaps a few could/would. No doubt, criminal rings might hack codes, etc., and methods would probably be devised by bored hackers -- maybe jamming.
We spend more effort tracking inventories and financial transactions than we do in tracking children.
Posted by: Curtis Gale Weeks | Thursday, August 04, 2005
You are a great marginal thinker. Economics went centuries without such obvious observations. Congrats :)
Lakotization is often self-inflicted by those who believe that man is born as a "blank slate." The consequences of autolakotization can be as "benigh" as Europe (where a post-War leftism has ravaged birthrates, atrophied economies, and looks to be brining an end to Western European civilization) to as malign as Pol Pot's Cambodia and the Kims' North Korea.
To a large extent, State Communism was a serious attempt to translate Plato's work into deeds. The consequences in Plato's ideal Republic would have been similar.
"Ender's Game" is a good analogy. Of all the graduates of Battle School, only one appears to have a chance at a "normal" life. Without revealing anything, the fate of the Jeesh by "Shadow of the Giant" is largely a spectrum of grim. Ditto the God Spoken on Path. If I remember correctly, in his introduction to Speaker for the Dead, Orson Scott Card wrote "I never thought much of what life would be like after Battle School for Ender, but I knew it would not be a happy one."
As to electronically monitoring children...
The effect is the opposite of a sexual liberation of children -- it would disempower them. Treat children like infants, and you raise adults who are used to being treated like infants.
Technology can be used in a Soviet/French/Cathedral/control-centric way to disempower individuals, or an American/English/Bazaar/warrior-centric way to empower them (see also http://tdaxp.blogspirit.com/archive/2005/06/30/blogs_versus_msm_in_the_18th_century.html). Instead of tracking inventory, teach them to be child warriors.
I've written before about the standing-up of a generation superempowered youths
Unlike childhood sexual liberation or electronic tracking, this wouldn't negatively effect the family structure. It's also politically and culturally easier. A child does not need to know what is happening to him to fight or think creatively of how to get out -- only that he does not like it.
Of course, still not a solution for father-child sexual use.A combination of a lowered age of consent, virtual child pornography, and exporting our problem seems to be the best we can come up with.
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Thursday, August 04, 2005
You say: "I have been extremely lucky in that my kids are nearly grown and, so far, have not been molested. Someday I may be fortunate enough to have grandchildren and I want them to be safe." The problem here is that there is so much misunderstanding. We just dump everything in one big pot: "molested". At what point is a child molested? If you tell a kid she's cute and give her a pinch on the cheek, is that molestation? Going a little further, what about a quick pat on the rump? Yes … but parents do that to their kids all the time ... What about an adult who really likes the company of children because he/she finds them fun and more enjoyable than adults and that relationship becomes physically affectionate. Should such touching that is first affection laced with a bit of sexuality be considered molestation? And of course what if the child likes it. We always have this image of the poor little innocent child crying and fighting, but in reality the child is probably giggling or in some way lapping up the attention. My point is, is that we need to first pin down just what "molestation" really is, and what pedophilia really is; then perhaps we can do something about it. I would really like to know what you mean by saying your kids have never been molested and exactly what you think a pedophile is. Are you saying they have never been touched by any person in a way that could be construed as being even slightly sexual? And is anything, no matter how slight, that is sexual, wrong? Pedophilophobia has overtaken the U.S., and we really need to better define just what it is we think is really traumatizing or socially unacceptable behavior.
Posted by: Mark | Sunday, January 15, 2006
This is an interesting debate but I find the initial ''solution'' to be quite... well... ridiculous. I hope nobody really believes in this, though in a world that has seen the Nazis, anything is possible.
Oh, just for the record, I'm a pedophile and I've never been raped. I wouldn't trade my childhood for anyone else's, it was happy and full of love. Uh, not the kind of traumatizing child molesting love. The good kind of love.
I'm currently doing research to help me understand how I got this disease, or how it can be reversed. Please resume your conversation.
Posted by: Cyclops | Wednesday, June 28, 2006
I find it interesting that you place pedophilia in the 2% range. That is someone who has a preference for prepubescent girls. I have been looking at some studies that range from 1% to 30% of the population. I do know that child porn is a huge business so I wanted to ask you with that in mind and knowing that a lot of people may not express their desires. do you still think it is around 2%?
Posted by: John | Friday, May 11, 2007