Hi Albeto, Reading your post, I'm not sure why you're arguing with me; we seem to be in agreement on many points of this.Could be.
I hope you don't mind my using this as an opportunity to sharpen my reasoning skills anyway. I'm not really sure where I stand, I just desire to identify and reject ideas that have always been held "just because," as many of them (for me personally) are rooted in religion with a moral code that depends on an external source of justice.
That's cool, Albeto. You're talking about received wisdom
, and you're now sceptical of it.
The major problem with this discussion is the absence of data. We don't know how many paedophiles/hebephiles adopt children; and more importantly we don't know what proportion of children are abused by those people.
If we knew that 90% of paedophiles abused their adopted children, we could justify forbidding all paedophiles from adopting children, on the grounds that the risk was too high; if it was only 1%, we might accept that level of risk.
But we don't have those figures; so it would make sense to err on the side of caution.
I'm sure it is; the test-case is a 31-year-old man, because that's Joe's age, and an 11-year-old girl, because that was the age of the model he posted in the other thread as an example of someone he found sexually attractive. She was 11? Wow, coulda fooled me!
You were supposed to be fooled. But I still think that Joe's point was spurious. See below.
I recall hanging out with a friend of mine in a hostel when he started flirting with this woman. She was cute as a button, laughed at all his jokes, they got along really well. She made some comment some teen movie star (Corey Haimes, I think) and he realized she was younger than she looked. She was, I think 13, and he was 22 or 23 at the time. I swear to gods she appeared at least 17 to me, and I had no reason to rationalize her looking older. He was crushed because her age was a turn-off for him,
Right, and that's how it should be. Such a relationship would be inappropriate, and your friend felt that, on a gut level.
When I saw Joe's photo, I guessed that she was 13. And I asked myself whether I should feel guilty for thinking that she was attractive.
So I asked myself whether I had ever felt sexual attraction for a 13-year-old before. And whether I had ever acted on those feelings.
And the answer to both those questions is yes. When I was 14, I fell in love for the first time with a beautiful girl named Rosamund. Who was 13. She fell in love with me and we went out for eighteen months. Seriously, she was gorgeous; long blond hair, she played tennis, she introduced me to Deep Purple. I was well smitten.
We never had full sex, too young; but we spent hours and hours learning how to kiss (in the back-row of the cinema, as tradition demanded - do kids still do that these days?), and generally exploring and fooling around.
And this sexual activity with a 13-year-old was entirely appropriate, given my age. We did what kids do.
So when I look at Joe's photo, I can easily re-connect with the 14-year-old I used to be, and look at her through his eyes; but then I look at her through my 58-year-old eyes, and I'm turned off, as your friend was.
It's a fact that step-children are more likely to be sexually abused by their parents than biological children. That's a good reason to be vigilant in those scenarios, and it's why adoption agencies' enquiries are so intense. Vigilant to the point of denial of privileges just because they could be abused? Why the special privileges for step-dads, priests, teachers, and therapists (everyone but pedophiles) then? What's the difference? Why are pedophiles more dangerous given the same conditions as others who could (and do) abuse certain relationships?
The data problem again; I don't know whether paedophiles are in fact less trustworthy.
That's not the same as being a parent 24/7.True enough, but my job was considerably more awkward and potentially dangerous than anything I've done as a parent. It's part of being a mature, responsible adult to compartmentalize one's life into appropriate outlets. Women expect that from their gynecologists, men expect that from their proctologists, patients expect that from their therapists,
But those relationships aren't 24/7, that's my point. A gynecologist can stop being a gynecologist when he leaves the office. A paedophile is always a paedophile, and the adopted child is always present.
But I'm not addressing the trauma, I'm addressing the idea that pedophiles are in some way less capable than non-pedophiles when it comes to suppressing an involuntary, physiological response to a given stimuli.
I'm not asserting that paedophiles are less capable; but it's the data problem again; we don't know if they are or not.
I just don't know that we really have the data on this one way or the other.
Oh right, you already said this.
You may consider it so, but I'd still like to know your answer.I don't doubt that. It's a loaded question, though...
It's not a loaded question; a loaded question is a logical fallacy where the question contains an assumption - the classic example being, have you stopped beating your wife?
What you mean is that you don't like the implications of the answer...
and a red herring,
I don't think it is.
and appeal to emotion, fear, and other subtle and not so subtle problems.
It's not an appeal to fear; we're trying to calculate risk, which isn't an exact science.
And yet, I think that people's emotions are significant and relevant when making these kind of decisions. Emotions are informative.
So please do me the favour of answering, Albeto. Here's the question again:
Would you be happy for a (true) paedophile to bathe your 4-year-old daughter? Even though he assured you that he would never act on his sexual feelings for her, and that he would ignore his erection? And let's say he's trustworthy and he keeps his word - though he goes off later to masturbate alone about the experience. Would you be cool with that?
Actually, you don't need to answer; I'm just going to assume that your answer is No
. Because, if it was Yes
, you would have simply said so by now.
And the implication is that if you're not prepared to put your own daughter through that experience, then nobody's daughter should go through it.