I did notice that when i read it in the paper yesterday.
Actually, i think the whole story is sort of fascinating. You’ve got a guy who, by his own admission, is a pedophile and devotes time to searching out children in public places, but who claims never to have touched a child sexually and has never been convicted of a crime.
The parents interviewed in the story want to prevent him from discussing his habits online, and the police are clearly spending time on him even though they apparently concede there’s nothing they can charge him with. I thought the final comment by one of the parents was interesting:
So, she concedes that LA is full of convicted child molesters (i.e., people who have actually been caught and convicted of sexually interfering with children), but the one she’s apparently most worried about is a self-proclaimed pedophile who makes no secret of his proclivities, who has no criminal record, and who apparently tells people by way of his blog exactly where he goes and what he does.
It strikes me that, of all the pedophiles in Los Angeles, this guy is probably the one i’d worry about least, precisely for the reason she states—everyone knows who he is and what he looks like.
It will be interesting if the people involved here succeed in getting any laws passed regarding the type of information the guy posts on the internet. As one of the legal scholars interviewed for the article said, it’s a very interesting First Amendment case.
Next to Terrorism, pedophilia seems to be the big bogeyman of this generation. I fully expect it to be studied, recognized, and properly dealt with in the next decade or so. But right now? It’s as bad as ‘The homosexual menace’ of the 50’s and 60’s.
Definitely. Every other news story about how your child is in danger and oh noe MY SPACE and the “Dateline: To Catch a Predator” seems to be full of vicarious thrills for people. Most kids aren’t going to be taken away by child molestors, but you know…what if?
True, although i think there is still an important difference.
There’s nothing inherently dangerous or abusive about a homosexual acting on his or her natural urges, assuming the other party is also a consenting adult.
But when a pedophile acts on his or her natural urges, the other party is usually, by definition, unable to legally consent, and is sometimes so young as to make any possible question of consent completely moot.
The problem is that so many people are unable to even listen rationally to arguments that attempt to differentiate those who are pedophiles from those who are pedophiles and act on their urges by molesting children. The cop quoted in the linked article is a good example of the prevailing attitude:
How does he know that? By the very nature of his job, it’s very likely that the only pedophiles he knows about are the ones who have acted on their urges, and who have been caught. A pedophile who admits his urges without having been caught actually molesting children, like the guy in the article, is a pretty rare case.
We had a case like that around here about a year or so ago. Some convicted pedophile was released from state prison and moved in to a house in the local community. Folks went ballistic, saying they didn’t want a pedophile living in their neighborhood, and essentially ran the guy out of town. My feeling was, that’s SO stupid – you know who the guy is, you know where he lives, the cops know who he is and where he lives – I’d rather be in that situation than one where you find out the guy that’s been living down the street for ten years has been molesting neighborhood kids and nobody had a clue.
We don’t know enough about pedophilia, that’s plain. Is it an inborn orientation like heterosexuality and homosexuality? If so, I have enormous sympathy and pity for those born pedophilic. As there is no way for a child to give informed, legally valid consent (and I would argue no way to give consent at all), the only ethical and legal choice is to remain celibate. Or is it a learned response to previous abuse? Is there any successful treatment - counseling, drug, or otherwise?
Are pedophiles primarily male, as their representation in criminal charges seems to be? Are there pedophiles who don’t try to rationalize their attraction and instead choose to avoid children?
It’s impossible to make informed decisions and write laws which respect individual rights when there is so little information. I don’t, however, think pedophilia is the “boogie man” the way homosexuality was back in the day. I agree with mhendo, that so long as it’s consenting adults in private, the government and society should stay the hell out. It’s a different matter with pedophilia, and it’s only been in the last fifteen years or so that we have admitted that child sexual abuse happens and has devastating consequences for the victims.
Is there some over-reaction? Certainly. There will always be something that fires the hysterical fears of people en masse. That doesn’t mean that there’s no inherent danger.
The guy described needs help. Lots of it. Running a blog where he admits to pedophilia, describes sexual thoughts of little girls, and recounts how he seeks children out? I can’t help but wonder if he’s trying to provoke someone into killing him. At the very least, he gets off on the persecution. I think the upset mothers are missing the point. I’ll bet the police are on to him.