Friday, November 4, 2011

TERMS: Pedophile - Pedophilia - and Derivatives

Pedophile - Pedophilia - and Derivatives:

Because there is so much controversy over the various uses of "Pedophile," "Pedophilia" and "Convicted Pedophile" we are going to try to address all of them here, define them and how they are used by different folks.

The world generally accepts dictionary definitions, we use Merrium-Webster, and those found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), current version at the time of discussion. Next when law defines a term or phrase, that complicates a discussion. When the discussion is legal obviously those definitions control, but that doesn't mean we would agree, our intent would be to point out where we feel the law fails.

The Main Words and Phrases:
Pedophile: This is the most used and confused word because there is a dictionary definition and a DMS definition of the word. According to Merrium-Webster "One affected with pedophilia" and this is what the general public believes and uses. Then there is the DMS definition which takes us right to pedophilia.

Pedophilia: As defined by Merrium-Webster "sexual perversion in which children are the preferred sexual object" and the DSM "This disorder is characterized by either intense sexually arousing fantasies, urges, or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child (typically age 13 or younger). To be considered for this diagnosis, the individual must be at least 16 years old and at least 5 years older than the child."

Convicted Pedophile: While there is no specific dictionary or DSM definition of this phrase it is logical to accept -given above definitions- to mean, a person with pedophilia that has been convicted of a sexual crime as defined by enacted criminal law/s. The use of 'convicted' ties phrase to enacted criminal law/s.

Discussion: It is not our intent to hang on specific definitions of words and say you cannot combine them, here we accept combining words to mean what the speaker is trying to convey, the context of their discussion, which may be correct or not. We first accept it then discus the validity of it.

Reality, a person may have pedophilia, and never acts on those tendencies, hence s/he cannot be a "convicted Pedophile" but can be referred to as a "Pedophile." Because the public uses "pedophile" so frequently this reality can really confuse a discussion, and often lead to mislabeling a person

With that said, the first problem we face is, far too often the speaker wants to convey the worst possible meaning (personal hatreds) and attaches a word or phrase to a person. The media is often guilty of this and the public does this as well. So personal hatreds will always taint a article or discussion. However, that does not mean the writer or speaker is ignorant of the real meanings of the words. Filtering out the writer or speaker's meaning is often hard to do until we recognize their personal hatreds are controlling.

To further confuse this subject, when the State speaks, generally in registries or their Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sections, they love to make things bad for everyone listed. However, once in awhile a state will have defined something in law and be forced to use that definition. Given that mix between States makes matters even worse.

Throwing all this together we really do not have specific definitions of these words or terms because when we use them we are generally analyzing something written by someone else, and we must first see how they are using them to arrive at our analysis of their article or speech.

This is why we cannot be rigid in defining them, realistically definitions change because of the way someone is trying to use them. However, we do accept the above definitions and any reasonable combination to understand what a person or article is trying to convey.

Other Articles on Pedophilia and Pedophiles:


Pedophilia is a diagnostic term utilized by the psychiatric community to define a specific type of mental disorder. As such, the term had originally been intended to identify a clinical entity in a way that would both facilitate research and guide treatment. Although in the absence of treatment the condition can predispose illegal behaviors, in and of itself pedophilia is not inevitably associated with criminal misconduct. Nevertheless, nowadays the term has taken on an unintended meaning in society’s collective consciousness—a demonizing pejorative that stigmatizes those manifesting the condition. To many in contemporary society, the term pedophilia connotes a criminal mind-set, rather than a mental disorder.

From the Mayo Clinic: A Profile of Pedophilia: Definition, Characteristics of Offenders, Recidivism, Treatment Outcomes, and Forensic Issues

Pedophilia has become a topic of increased interest, awareness, and concern for both the medical community and the public at large. Increased media exposure, new sexual offender disclosure laws, Web sites that list the names and addresses of convicted sexual offenders, politicians taking a “get tough” stance on sexual offenders, and increased investigations of sexual acts with children have increased public awareness about pedophilia. Because of this increased awareness, it is important for physicians to understand pedophilia, its rate of occurrence, and the characteristics of pedophiles and sexually abused children. In this article, we address research that defines the various types and categories of pedophilia, review available federal data on child molestation and pornography, and briefly discuss the theories on what makes an individual develop a sexual orientation toward children. This article also examines how researchers determine if someone is a pedophile, potential treatments for pedophiles and sexually abused children, the risk of additional sexual offenses, the effect of mandatory reporting laws on both physicians and pedophiles, and limitations of the current pedophilic literature.

Radio Interview with DR. Fred Berlin on Pedophilia and Pedophiles:

This is one of those rare looks into the topic and there also was a short Question/Answer discussion from CallIn Folks. RadioWest out of Utah conducted the interview "Understanding Pedophilia, "so CLICK to go to their website to hear the discussion.

Definitely worth your time, it runs 52 minutes.


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