By Lauren Wong
Nationsmith reader Lauren Wong responds to Eric Z’s article, “The Pedophile Problem” in our first Nationsmith Reader Response article.
Response to the Pedophile Problem a.k.a. Prowling Pedophiles Put Policies into Place
News of the Boy Scouts of America sexual abuse scandal comes on the heels of Jerry Sandusky’s 30-year sentencing. The focus on pedophilia continues to linger on yet another organization which should have been looking out for the safety of its members. While the BSA acknowledged its failings, they also emphasized improving their youth protection policies with measures such as mandatory background checks for those in contact with children and banning one-on-one adult-youth activities.
Organizations and institutions that deal with children usually have child safety policies in place. As mandated by law, teachers are required to report any signs of abuse. They are not trained to spot a pedophile, because as we all learned from To Catch a Predator, they can be anyone. There is not one definite characteristic which identifies a pedophile.
Many studies have been conducted to differentiate the pedophile from those normally sexually inclined. Studies have found pedophiles to have lower IQs, left-handedness, shorter height, and less white matter in the brain. This leads scientists to suggest that pedophilia can have prenatal origins from when the mother is stressed from a lack of nutrition to toxin exposure to poor health care.
On the other side of the biological argument, environment also explains the existence of pedophiles. Molested children can develop their sexual preferences during critical moments of their human development. Most pedophiles have been found to be victims themselves in childhood, but that is not to say that all molested children will turn into future pedophiles.
There is no tell tale sign to identify a pedophile. Administering IQ tests and MRI scans will not weed out the offenders. There is no prevention for it at its source unless you want to tackle health care, poverty, hunger, the environment, and a slew of other issues. Sure, chemical castration works, but only for those who have been caught.
So, are we supposed to just accept that pedophiles exist? The answer is yes. Oh, I can sense your anger but this first step in acceptance serves a purpose. It ensures society’s vigilance for protecting its children. Acknowledgement of prowling pedophiles allows organizations and institutions to institute and update policies which will prevent pedophiles from finding the opportunities to sexually abuse children. It benefits parents because their parenting skills and their relationships with their children can improve when they have open communication. Being proactive in who children come into contact with and how they navigate their environment can prevent a nightmare from happening.
Arming ourselves with knowledge is the best thing to do, so here is the profile to a pedophile.
Hey, I never said there wasn’t a profile on pedophiles, just that there is no one signifier to identify one.