What should be Done with Nonviolent Child Molesters?

I’m no expert, but it seems likely to me that a sexual attraction to children is biological, and incurable. If a person is attracted to children, but never acts on that impulse, he or she can function in society like the rest of us. Fine. People can live without sex.

But what about those who act on their impulses?

Okay, jail. But unless murder is involved, pedophilia is not a life sentence. Sex offender registry? Does that do anything except deny an offender a job? Have you run a check on the people moving in on your block?

Is there a humane solution to this? Internment camps? Pedophiles spending their lives in comfortable camps away from society?

If at some future date, pedophilia was discovered to be genetic, would genetic screening and automatic internment be feasible?

Or, if pedophilia turns out to be genetic, would we have to rethink our attitudes towards pedophiles?

I’m thinking some sort of supervised living arrangements with therapy like group homes might be appropriate. Yes, it would be expensive, but not as expensive as locking someone up. I don’t think pedophilia being genetic should cause us to rethink our attitudes about it. There’s probably a genetic component (a survival instinct) to the ability to commit murder. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have laws regulating such actions or punishments to deter people from committing it.

Your argument justifies life incarceration. These people are incurable, they don’t need to be treated horribly to be kept apart from society, although some of them certainly deserve horrible treatment. Treat it as a mental disorder if you want, but don’t let these people loose to rape anymore children.

What do you mean by “nonviolent” child molesters? ANY child molestation qualifies as violence toward the victim. And if the cause of the disorder is in fact genetic, that doesn’t change anything.

This was exactly my thought. Molestation is, by definition, violence.

Taken for the sake of argument that attraction to children is at least partially genetic, I can sympathize with having an attraction one can’t act on. I see beautiful women I’m attracted on a daily basis, and I don’t act on it. Even sexual attraction aside, we all have urges and desires we, as part of society, choose not to act on in order to remain part of society. It’s unfortunate that some people may have more, stronger urges than others, some people have urges that are more offensive to society as a whole than others, but it’s a price we pay to have a functioning society. Unfortunately, there’s always some people that can’t or fear they can’t or just plain don’t want to, and to that degree, I do feel there’s a certain onus on society to help the former people because they realize their limitations and respect the boundaries society as created, not so much for the latter.

So, I’m not really sure what else can or should be done, other than making sure resources to help people seeking help can get them. But once someone has crossed that line, molestation, coercion, violence, rape, whatever, then society needs to protect itself, and that typically means imprisonment.

But the ideas in the OP seem bordering on eugenics. We have pretty good science that homosexuality and transgenderism have at least some genetic basis, if not for the fact that society has recently made some strong positive strides toward acceptance for these, should we have considered internment for them? Hell, there are still people suggesting that, and worse. And as far as genetics go, it’s not an exact science, someone might have certain genetic precursors and it just never manifests for various reasons. This becomes especially complicated when it comes to behavior. So, even if we could detect certain genetic markers for certain undesireable behaviors, we very well could be punishing people for those behaviors who might never have even done those things. This entire line of reasoning just seems flawed and treading on dangerous ground.

Disclaimer: I’m not a neurologist, sexologist, penologist, or psychologist, although I was once a social worker.

The way in which pedophiles differ from other people is not that they are sexually attracted to children but rather that they remain sexually attracted to children long after they are no longer children themselves, and that they do not tend to experience sexual attraction to appropriate adult people but instead are mostly exclusively attracted to children.

The injury done to children by child molesters is not that children are exposed to sex but that they are subjected to coercive sexual experiences, which tends to ruin a person’s ability to select and enjoy healthy positive sexual experiences. What makes it coercive is the inherent power imbalance between an adult and a child. Even without force or threat of force or pain, the greater ability of the adult to plan and manipulate and misrepresent things makes consent invalid. But the damage done is not done because sexual behavior is inherently damaging to children, but because of the unequal power involved.

I have been a child, but I have not, of course, been all children. I know for sure that some children have distinctively sexual feelings and sexual interests, whether they act on them or not; I tend to assume this to be true of most children but I don’t know that, and I do hear many people describing their awareness of sexuality and sexual feelings as only beginning at puberty, so there may be a range of difference there. I can tell you that the sexual feelings of children tend (at least for some of us) to be towards other children — our peers at that time.

A child molester may be a person who had not-unhealthy sexual feelings towards other children when a child, who somehow got “frozen” rather than continuing to be attracted to people roughly the same age as time goes by. Something traumatic may have taken place to create that “freezing”, or the complexities of adult sexuality may have proven unnavigable for some reason, leaving memories of childhood sexual feelings as recollections of some “better” form of it. I don’t know. But I am leery of assuming, with no evidence, that it must be caused by a biological predisposition or propensity. There’s a trendy pseudoscientific inclination to attribute all differences in sexual expression to genes and biology. I say “pseudoscientific” because many of the people making those arguments are not making them on the basis of evidence but instead on the basis of having decided that it is politically desirable for it to be true. (And that in turn is based on the annoying and nauseating notion that in order for a non-mainstream attraction of any sort to be OK it has to be something that the people manifesting it have “no choice” about).

Another distinct possibility is that child molesters are people who find the power imbalance itself to be erotic. We live in the world that eroticizes power imbalance. Depictions of mainstream heterosexuality are rife with portrayals of seduction, sexual predation, sexual conquest, sexual dominance, and sexual possessiveness and objectification. If someone finds that a compelling erotic motif but does not experience actual adult opportunities as opportunities to have that kind of power over another as part of sex, children may represent an alternative where that power imbalance may indeed be found. (As I said before, that’s exactly what makes it wrong and impermissible).

Taking them out for milk and cookies first is my guess.

Everyone draws the line differently. Most people would not want to socialize with Charlie Manson if he were paroled next week. I want nothing to do with anyone who has been convicted of harming a child.

I have refused to do business with a known child molester who had “done their time”, and if faced with that decision again I’m pretty certain my decision will be the same.

What are they supposed to do? Fuck if I care.

[Real] Sex offenders are quite different from you and I. They are not capable of respecting other people’s boundaries or following rules. Not just with sex, but with other things too.

So there needs to be “barriers” between these people and other’s they seek to violate. And note a barrier can simply be another person watching/supervising. And not allowing the offender to ever be alone with anyone they might violate.

Having a sexual attraction towards children, regardless of its origin, shouldn’t be a crime. It’s only when a person acts on that attraction that it becomes criminal behavior. So I would not support genetic screening and pre-emptive confinement.

Put a bullet in their skull and call it a day. There are already too many shitheads on this planet for us to tolerate the ones that can’t be cured.


I will never have the slightest bit of compassion for any child molester. They belong in prison, then under supervision. Period. The rights of innocent children trump their rights every time.

Are there any other “incurables” you’d like to have shot in the head?

I vote for the death penalty. I’ve encountered way more than my share of these monsters in my work as a Guardian ad Litem for victims. Some of the things I know can never be forgotten. There is no rehabilitation for these people. There is no way of undoing the damage they’ve done. Put them down to keep them from doing it again. Firing squad, lethal injection, hanging, electric chair, whatever method is convenient.

Until recent decades, a great many people would have said exactly the same thing about homosexuals.

Just something you might want to think about.

Serious question – are you thinking of most countries’ prisons, or of something like Norway’s prisons?

The whole concept of childhood innocence is a modern invention. Until relatively recently pre-teen children were working on farms, working in coal mines, slaughtering animals for food, seeing animals mate, selling matches on the street, etc.

“Nonviolent” and “child molester” is like talking about a peaceful serial killer.

And no, its not genetic. Child molestors do it either because they’re sadists who like the power, or they don’t wanna try with adults, kind of like most people with those ultra weird fetishes online (like super BBBW, blood, scat, etc.) think those are they only ways they can achieve pleasure, or both.

Better mental health treatment is how to lower child molesting.


So what? The whole concept of human rights is essentially a modern invention, and I’m nonetheless a fan.