I have recently had some conversations with people on another site, where the question of pedophilia was raised. Being reminded of the enormous ignorance that exists in the community regarding it, I have finally come to post on this subject; which I have planned on writing on for some time. This post ISN'T about recrimination.
Having had years of experience in dealing with people on BOTH sides of this problem in counselling (including in jails) and come into real life situations etc, I feel it necessary to clear up misunderstandings that aren't helping resolve the situation. I have read many one-sided articles on the subject of victims, but this will look more at that which isn't normally discussed. I will pull no punches and give the unsweetened facts, which will shock some people (particularly Utah members - that's a warning, not an insult - you live in more of a haven than I think you often realise). It isn't my desire to offend, but to inform. I would advise all to read this post as it is VERY important.
In using the word "pedophilia" I am referring to a sexual act done with a person not legally of age for such to occur, by a person over a particular age (whether the younger had expressed agreement or not). For example in some states a person 18 or over can't have sex with a person under 16.
While the vast majority of pedophiles (particularly those offending in the up to 8-years-old bracket) have homosexual tendencies, I'm mainly sticking to the concept of where an older male was involved with a younger female, as we don't agree with homosexuality anyway, so it doesn't require further special investigation. Also, while I'm trying to generalise, I'm not raising the situations where an older female is involved with a younger male, because people don't want to hear about that: It is an EXTREMELY sexist issue, where men generally get at least ten times the penalty of a woman, on the few occasions that women actually get charged at all.
Social Pedophilic Conditioning
Sexual abuse is on a serious increase within society. Why? Certainly increased amounts of pornographic material and greater ease of obtaining it don't help at all. But there is far more to it than that. People accept to be mindwashed that lust is a good, healthy, safe and normal thing. Advertisements jump up in front of us on television, showing us partly dressed people with (what's regarded as) perfect bodies.
What do children think when they see this? They will eventually wonder how their body rates in this concept that presents itself as being so important. Many girls will start to wonder whether their figure is trim enough and worry about their breast size. Boys will start to wonder about their muscle size and how their penis rates, in a world so absorbed in appearance and performance. Both are informed by friends, periodicals, television and even articles in the newspapers, that experience at sex is important. Even some "experts" claim that masturbation is essential to balanced living.
So in looking at this subject it must be constantly kept in mind that there is a lot of sexual pressure within our society. This is equally placed upon children growing up. What makes it even more dangerous for them is that they often think they know more about it than their parents _ particularly once getting into puberty age and beyond. However, in many cases the truth is that they are a bit like a young person getting into a car and feeling that they wouldn't die, and driving as if they can't. Such a person can be killed; and there's the point of what their reckless driving could do to others also. These young people are in a similar danger in regard sex and the results to themselves and others involved with them.
This leads us to the point that it is really a double-sided, not single-sided, problem. In saying this I'm not proposing that there are no true victims, by any means. But the problem itself can have both perpetrator and victim involved at times (regardless of debates on who knows what). Therefore both sides must be examined if we are to resolve the issue (which should be our objective, as best we can).
While we have a code of living that requires marriage before sex, we are all aware that the world doesn't share this value. So we don't have the problems involved. Yet in this subject the first hurdle we face in considering pedophilia is that there is no consistency of opinion on what age a person must be for sex to be legal with them. Some states go as high as 18. Austria says 14 and the Vatican City (under the Pope) says 12. Amazingly (and you may be horrified to learn that) Pygmies get married at the age of 8 today. Unfortunately there is no evidence to prove anything to resolve the problem. All are convinced that the "common sense" they have been brought up with is the right "common sense" in regard this subject of age.
Therefore in order to make this useful for ALL (and I write this for those who may be in the problem as well as those who aren't and those who could end up being so or involved with those who are) I would like to segregate somewhere. I would like to propose that there are 3 sections to this. Firstly there are those under the age of accountability (8) that are offended against.
The Scriptures set forth that people under 8 are totally offended against and CAN'T have any moral input whatsoever (D&C 68:27). Thus those offending against such have only one interest, and that has been their own.
However I was quite shocked when my children informed me that there were students of 8 having sex at their school. This wasn't typical for 8-year-olds at their school, fortunately. But it has to be accepted in the examination of the problem and its SOLUTION. To ignore this won't help in having an ability to understand and resolve the problems.
So the second segregation I would like to propose are those between 8 and 11 (I choose 11 as it isn't a debated argument, as females don't begin to physically and emotionally alter again until around 12). And thirdly there are those 12 to whatever (????).
So at the age of accountability mistakes can, and on rare occasions do, happen. The older the person becomes the less rare that becomes. Now I'm not going to add leaven to what God has said by creating my own extended doctrine beyond what he has laid down: Eight is the age of accountability. Yet we can all realise that while our spirits can recognise the difference between good and evil at this point, knowledge of what is going on in regard sex is basically pathetic from 8-11 in the majority of cases (particularly in Western societies). So we have to consider not only that going on inside a person but that in their heads (or lack thereof).
Some may be concerned at this consideration of people's input to the problem at this age. Yet how could anyone think that with such constant bombardment from the press that all not vigilant wouldn't be affected? Of course children are affected. Considering it otherwise is suggesting that children are wiser than their parents, and I would therefore ask to see their evidence for such an opinion. I think we all know that that's not true. And so if someone turns their back on this problem they are only supporting it's continuance, and males are leaving themselves wide open to sin. The main thing men need to do is just be aware of the problem and to ignore any such advances made by any under-aged female. I would, naturally, also advise any woman to be aware of any advances by an under-aged male, equally. This problem is so prevalent that I can’t emphasise it enough. This is not pleasing discussion; but needs to be addressed. The facts are plain whether we like them or not. Those hiding from it become no earthly use to anyone in the problem. In fact they give bad advice. So if you are offended or having trouble believing it, PLEASE read on, as you need to read this more than those who aren't.
Due to those things mentioned above and a female's desire to be appreciated some girls will show up their skirts etc to get a response from a man. They will give a solid stare that can give men the definite conclusion that she knows what she's doing (I have had girls give me this stare and watched them do it with others). She may even think she does.
The man then sees female parts that fit with his sexual fantasies (where such exist), and his thinking is perverted by lust. Don't consider yourself to be above or beyond sins' grasp. No person is, except he that has made himself free from these things (lust). And only by maintaining himself there will he continue to be confident in being free from these things. Play with fire and you will eventually be burned through and through. Sin always burns, its just sometimes we don't see it, or associate the problem with the action.
Much and all as it may seem amazing there have been those offending against someone only between 8 and 11 (on some few occasions) that have been confused to some degree by actions or statements expressed by the young person: Lust isn't the promoter of great intelligence.
Those involved in some sexual activity with someone of 12 or over OFTEN feel they have had an accepted loving relationship with the other person, whom they genuinely believed to have been old enough - this becomes a problem area in that nothing can really be proven conclusively about age and knowledge.
These things can happen so easily. Most people (dealing with someone 8 and above) to whom they happen don't set out for them to occur: They don't set out to have a relationship with someone under age deliberately.
The girl puts in a lot of effort to convince the guy that she's mature enough to make the decision and is sure of what she is doing. Virtually everyone likes to feel that someone is THAT taken by them (whether it is spiritually, physically or intellectually). The guy likes the attention and wants to accept her as if she were an adult, particularly if she is showing body parts. Lust takes over and does the rest. - I should further explain that this process of being convincing can take place over quite some time and a lot of effort and consistency by the female.
This appearance of knowing is fake. Those who fall into this trap eventually discover that the girl really didn't feel all that affection toward him, as she drops out of it fairly soon, in the vast majority of cases.
Socially Promoted Ignorance
A problem also associated with all this is that parents can tend to feel that their children know more about things than they do, so don't bother teaching them. Some parents tend to feel that their children know more about computers, drugs and sex. The reality is that if people of any age KNOW about drugs they won't use them. Some young people may be more aware of what's available; that's all. In regard to computers you'll find that most youth only have a very basic working knowledge of one or few programs. And while that may be more than some parents, in real terms that's not worth mentioning as if it's major knowledge of computers. Youth may know what sex is etc., but they haven't been given much responsibility for things in life, and it reflects into this area also (particularly under 12 and in societies that promote such ignorance). Also they have a greater percentage of disinformation relative to correct information than do their parents (though I do wonder sometimes). They haven't had as much time to see beyond the limelight of what's presented. They don't know unless taught the truth. They are partly afraid of what they don't understand, and this can lead to them putting on a front (even to themselves) that they do. If they can convince peers that they know what they're talking about, they feel that maybe this will help convince themselves that they do. This leads to more disinformation.
Part 2 will cover such things as empowering victims, assistance for paedophiles and false allegations.