I Was Challenged Part 1

Monday, July 31, 2006

Just a few days ago, during a comment war with the teenaged pedovore Jillium, otherwise known as DuckHump, he presented me with a challenge. He said
There is no reliable (i.e., empirical) evidence to back any assertion on paedosexuality's frequency in child molesters (that I have seen, at least).

As for its frequency in the general population, we most definitely do... feel free to check them out yourself.

For example, Hall 1995:

The following - Green 2002 & Hunter 1998 - also review studies proving paedosexuality is not uncommon.

http://tinyurl.com/zjhgf (Green, PDF file)
http://home.wanadoo.nl/ipce/library_two/files/interpr_sat_leg.htm (Hunter)

You haven't disproved these, and you won't.

Well, how can I not take him up on that, eh?

Today we're going to start with Green. And I'll give you a little background on this article. Richard Green was instrumental in lobbying for the removal of homosexuality from the DSM about 30 years ago. This paper is his lobby for removing pedophilia. He's not endorsing pedophilia, nor saying its all that common, he's merely arguing to have it declassified as a mental disorder and removed from the DSM.

Furthermore, he expresses grave doubts that a child could ever consent to sex. He says:
Consensual same-sex adult-adult sexuality does not suggest the element of harm to one participant as in child-adult sex or an age barrier to informed consent. But these concerns are within the domain of the law and penal enforcement. What follows here does not address whether pedophilia should be deemed criminal.

Green then proceeds to cite various historic times and cultures in which adult-child sex was not only accepted but encouraged. And continues on with the results from a study done by Briere & Runtz. He concludes by saying:
Sexual arousal patterns to children are subjectively reported and physiologically demonstrable in a substantial minority of normal people. Historically, they have been common and accepted in varying cultures at varying times. This does not mean that they must be accepted culturally and legally today. The question is: Do they constitute a mental illness?

So, not only do we need to go back to the study done by Briere, but we also might get some helpful information by reading peer reviews of Green's work. Let's start there shall we?
Berlin: In our society, to have a pedophilic sexual orientation can create both psychological burdens and impairments. Thus, it seems reasonable to view pedophilia as a disorder. In doing so, perhaps we can learn more about how to prevent it.
Berner: Marshall, Anderson, and Fernandez (1999) showed convincingly that assertiveness training with a group of pedophilic men not only improved their self-esteem, but also changed their performance on phallometric testing
Dixson: The paraphilias are bizarre and disturbing phenomena of abnormal human sexual preference. I understand Green’s misgivings about whether pedophilia is a mental disorder rather than a behavioral disorder
concerning erotosexual preference. But a disorder it most assuredly is. It does not matter how many tribes in New Guinea, or in other cultures throughout history, have allowed or encouraged sexual contact between adults and children. These cultural variations are not the equivalent of frank pedophilia.
Kreuger and Kaplan: We disagree with much of what Green sets forth as reasoning, which allows him to conclude that pedophilia is not a mental disorder.
If an individual with pedophilic arousal has not acted on his or her arousal, has no interpersonal difficulty, or is not distressed by it, then we would not consider that individual to have pedophilia and not consider him or her to be in need of treatment. In our combined 40 years of experience in treating such populations, we have, however, yet to encounter such an individual.
Langevin: DSM never claimed to be more than a guide for clinical, educational, and research purposes and specifically warns about treating its contents as a cookbook. Even if we assume that there is an exact parallel between adult–child sexual contacts in other cultures and our own, does that make it acceptable? Cultural relativism can be carried too far and there should be some cultural universals that we can strive for. One of these is basic human rights and the protection of children. A number of war-torn countries in the twentieth century have given 10-year-olds guns to wage battle. Should we endorse 10-year-olds going to war because some other cultures do it? Similarly, we need to protect children from sexual exploitation and allow them to mature at their own rate and in their own way.
Miner: Green, while presenting an interesting case for not classifying pedophilia as a mental disorder, fails to consider the similarities between pedophilia and impulse control disorders, which also are not necessarily defined by the nature of the fantasy or urges, but on the failure to refrain from acting on socially sanctioned or intrusive behaviors.
The fact that men in Polynesia in the eighteenth century engaged in sexual behavior with children does not mean that pedophilia should not be defined as a mental disorder. Pedophilia may be thought of as the extreme manifestation of a behavior that many “normal” people experience, which is, for the most part, the defining characteristic of many, if not all,mental disorders.
Spitzer and Wakefield: We argue that a pattern of exclusive or highly preferential adult – child attraction, where adult – adult attraction is impaired,is prima facie evidence of a dysfunction in at least some, if not all cases.
Green ends his paper by asserting that if pedophilia is a disorder, then it is common in many cultures and in the past. In fact, pedophilia as a mental disorder, as defined here and as clinicians use the diagnosis, is certainly not common. Furthermore, whether a condition is common or rare has little bearing on whether it is a normal variant or a disorder (e.g., gingivitis is relatively common, blue eyes are relatively rare).

Now to return to the widely quoted studies by Briere. I'm assuming that the pedovores, in their desperation to have something to hold on to, latched on to this study, not to maliciously deceive anyone, but simply to make them feel *ok*. So, since Jillium insists, here's what I think of that. Number one, the subjects were all recruited through a newspaper ad and were paid $40 to participate. That alone should be making some alarms go off. Could those people willing to be sexually explored for lack of a better word, for the price of a nice meal, perhaps be more willing to consider alternative lifestyles? No matter, the fact of it is that regardless of the ineffective controls used in this study, the results were altered and distorted to report the result that was desired and not the result that was received. In fact:
Green also uses the poor example of Briere and Runtz’s (1989) study of 193 university male students to suggest that 21% reported some sexual attraction to small children and 7% indicated that they might have sex with a child if not caught. The Briere and Runtz study is an abuse of statistics that distorts the typical psychological scale to arrive at their results, which were as follows:
Sexual Attraction to Some Small Children
Completely True
1 - 1%
2 - 1%
3 - 2%
4 - 3%
5 - 2%
6 - 12%
7 - 79%
Completely False

On this type of response scale, a 4 is usually an undecided midpoint, 1–3 have some degree of acceptance, and 5–7 indicate that it is unacceptable. Briere and Runtz add together categories 1–6 to get 21%, which misrepresents the actual responses of the students. Similarly, they have distorted the hypothetical likelihood of acting out with children at 7% which is, at best, 1% and represents 2 students of the total 193 respondents. Ron Langevin, Ph.D.,Yes, Virginia, There Are Real Pedophiles: A Need to Revise and Supervise, Not Eliminate, DSM

Now, Jillium, do you have any more questions for me? Would you like to give me some more references to check out for you? I don't mind at all. Really.
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