2015-09-04

Could it be that simple?

Abstract


This post presents the faulty neoteny hypothesis as an attempt to explain findings in studies about pedophiles and homosexuals. Humans in comparison with chimpanzees mature at a much lower speed, with brain maturation at an even lower speed. The faulty neoteny hypothesis assumes that this maturation process is even further deminished in persons who developed a paraphilia. 

Introduction


Pedophilia has been the origin for this type of amateur armchair research. Pedophilia does not make much sense seen from an evolutionary point of view - this is the common understanding. More scientific oriented authors call it maladapted and have difficulties explaining its current existence from an evolutionary point of view. However, they tried to make it fit into current social settings - and that might be the reason for the failure. Starting with the question "Could pedophilia have made sense some thousand years ago?" this investigation turned to human evolution.

Short summary of human evolution


The modern human evolved from hominids, with the chimpanzee and the bonobos as our closest cousins in the animal kingdom. At least twice during the human evolution the brain increased drastically in size. The first increase might be related to the self-domestication of humans, which changed the group dynamic of human bands. The social intelligence hypothesis claims that this domestication was the cause for the brain size increase. This view is supported by the russian silver fox experiment and by comparisons of dogs with wolves. The second increase happened during the stone age and might be related to the mastering of crafts. 

This caused the neoteny in humans, a prerequisite for human society. In short, neoteny describes the retention of juvenile traits in otherwise mature adults. The famous russian silver fox experiment tried to breed foxes that are tame as a breed, not as a result of individual training. The duration in which the young animals showed the friendly behavior towards siblings and caregivers was extended. Similar, dogs retain the one-to-one relationship with group members, while wolves resort to a pecking order. Dogs need to establish a relationship with every new member of the group from scratch, pretty much like humans do. This requires social intelligence and that requires learning capabilities.

Hypothesis


The faulty neoteny hypothesis assumes that the maturation process, which in its weakened form causes neoteny, is further diminished. This leads to unfinished developments in humans. Several researchers and practitioners have postulated the arrested development hypothesis. M. Griesemer compares pedophilia with dyslexia, assuming that a major brain development process during puberty fails. "Arrested" might be a misnomer, since it implies that there are causes that prevent development. Rather than understanding the development as actively prevented, the faulty neoteny hypothesis considers a breakdown of the development. If neoteny already bent development, it gets broken in some individuals.

Sexual orientation


Hazan and Shaver in 1987 assumed that human sexual orientation consists of a sexual arousal and a romantic attraction. According to them this attraction is based on the parent-child-attachment and a rather modern phylogenetic development. They did not discuss the influence of neoteny. Neoteny makes the heritage of romantic attraction even more plausible. However, this attraction is not purely neotenous. Monogame animals with parental care for the young often show an elaborate courting  behavior as seen in birds. It is reasonable to assume that the "spouse" replaces the parent as a provider. Hence, the romantic attraction is less based on sexual reproduction and more on an attachment that fulfills some demand. 

At some point during childhood or adolescence a lovemap gets formed. There are several theories, how a desire get erotizised. How this exactly happens is beyond this post. The sexual arousal can be understood as a reflex like reaction onto clues of the desired company. The desire need not to be of sexual nature.

Research has shown that sexuality in humans is a learned behavior - it is no longer a pure instinct. It could be that comforting experience gets reinforced. The company of children provides a less aggressive environment than that of age peers. Hence some prefer the company of children to age peers. When a lovemap gets formed, the presence of clues of the desired partner causes arousal. This establishment might be under the control of a different process than the one responsible for the personality development. If the sexual arousal gets fixated in form of a lovemap before the person experiences heterosexual attraction, then arousal gets caused by the "wrong" clues. This asynchronicity could cause a failure of establishment of the correct heterosexual orientation. 

Mechanism


When humans domesticated themselves, somehow juvenile traits were preferred. That basically means that maturity is delayed. This delay might be due to an inhibitory process or due to the maturity process not working at full strength. The first assumes the existence of an additional process while the latter is a more simplistic explanation. Hence, the delayed maturation in humans might be better explained by a weakened maturation process that means a process that is not up to the speed as in our cousins in the animal kingdom.

For a reason, boys and girls do not mature at the same speed, the onset of puberty in boys is at a later age than in girls. Hence, we can assume that the process is weaker in boys. Moreover, everybody knows some children who either look much younger or much older than their age. Hence, we can assume that the maturation process does not work like a clock in humans. Some children mature earlier if the process is stronger; others mature later, if the process is weaker. In the extreme case, the process stops - which seems to be the case in the adults affected by the Highlander syndrome.

The human body does not grow uniformly during childhood, there are several developmental stages. Moreover, the brain usually does not fully mature until the age of 25 years. While bodily changes are visible, the mental development can only be guessed. The myelination of the brain is a process that goes on for several years. Young and old people have less myelinated white matter. Simple put, myelination creates a fatty insulation around the axons, something that should be visible on structural MRI. James Cantor has reported a missing white matter in pedophiles in comparison to his control group. According to the faulty neoteny hypothesis, he could have been looking at brains in the juvenile stage. 

Gaffney and Berlin in 1984 assumed a hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal dysfunction in pedophiles, with elevated levels of LH as a response to a GRH infusion. This might be relevant since the HPG axis is responsible for the sexual development. Moreover, the HPG-axis shares parts with the HPA axis that manages stress. The letters H, P, G, and A denote certain endocrine glands. The endocrine system controls the growth of the human body and must have been affected by the human evolution. To a layman's eyes, it looks like the neotenous feature of better stress handling has negatively impacted the development.

Why it could be true


Studies show that pedophiles have had on average more head injuries during childhood than the controls. This could be due to a clumsy behavior, where motor control is still insufficient. Delayed speech acquisition might be another indication of coordination problems. Fine motor skills are much about the correct timing of muscle actions. Myelination does change the speed at which the signals are traveling along the nerves. A disturbed myelination could be responsible for that. 

The missing white matter study by James Cantor & Co specifies a lower density of white matter. This lower density could be due to fewer connections or due to thinner connections. The latter would be without myelination. The interesting fact about myelination is that both young and old people have less white matter than humans in their prime. The question to ask would be: How old are pedophile brains in biological terms with respect to their chronological age?" The faulty neoteny hypothesis would assume that pedophiles retain their juvenile brain characteristics. 

Pedophiles are reported to have emotional congruence with children. Some therapists denote this as an arrested emotional development. Again, using the simplicity approach, I assume that the emotional development simple came to a stand still. Hence, those pedophiles are eternal "Peter Pans". 

Since the onset of puberty in boys is delayed in comparison to girls, boys are more affected by neoteny. This would also make them more exposed to a faulty neoteny. Hence, the presented hypothesis supports the finding that most pedophiles seem to be male.

Studies also reported that pedophiles on average are 2.3 cm shorter than the controls. This would indicate that the growth process ended to early. Growth is influenced by testosterone, for which the mentioned HPG axis is responsible.

Handiness is higher in pedophiles than in controls and seem to indicate brain organization. The assumption is that a lesser organized brain would lead to a handiness by chance, that means 50% for each. A fully organized brain in the animal kingdom is one where all instincts are present at birth. Those newborns get up right after birth and move along their parents. This usually means that newborns have a fully myelinated brain. Humans however, are the other extreme. Hence, one could conclude: the more neotenous the individual is, the lesser organized is the brain, which would mean fewer or weaker instincts.

Child advocates claim that children on the day they turn into legal adults somehow obtain sexual knowledge, no teaching required. This no-sex-education-needed attitude implies a belief that sexuality is instinctive. This belief is ridiculed on child love chat boards. Assuming that there is some truth to it, the conclusion is that heterosexual persons experience it as an instinct, while pedophiles do not. This is consistent with the assumption of a lesser organized brain at birth in pedophiles. The heterosexual instinct was not present when the lovemaps were formed. This correlates with the observation that homosexuals often do not behave gender conform during childhood. The statement itselfs implies the assumption that gender conformity is innate, hence an instinct.

Common cause and pedophilia


So far, nothing special for pedophiles has been considered. Nothing indicates, why the affected persons should be romantically attracted to children. The reasons for not being attracted to the opposite gender could be biological, but the replacement could be due to circumstances. Hence a future homosexual will miss the innate attraction to the opposite sex, but it is the comforting experience with same-sex age peers that renders him/her homosexual. 

The company of children might be preferred for several reasons. The presence of children lowers the aggressivity in adults and adolescents. Moreover, children are more emotional than adults. For youths, who are overly emotional, they satisfy a demand for emotional contact. Moreover, faulty neoteny might be responsible for a developmental delay. Then, contact with age peers might get challenging and children are again the easier company. The term "age peers" denote peers of similar chronological age, not of the equivalent biological age, which might be lower in those affected.

How and when a sexual orientation gets established is beyond this post. It seems that the sexual orientation gets fixated at a certain time. How solid this fixation is, is still unclear. Women seem to have a higher fluidity, while forced sexual orientation changes in men have failed.

However, faulty neoteny assumes that development is not finished. This would imply that the sexual orientation could be changed by some measures. Aversion therapy did not work, and the reason for that might be that aversion therapy attacks the wrong end - it tried to change the arousal instead of the romantic attraction. MC Seto 2012 comments on a study showing a lessened pedophilic attraction after treatment, that the effect was there "even though treatment focused on intimacy,relationship skills and self-esteem, rather than modiļ¬cation of sexual arousal patterns." (bold by me). This astonishing result supports the view in this post that the attraction part of sexual orientation is based on attachment rather than a sexual reproduction instinct.

Conclusion


The faulty neoteny hypothesis assumes that the maturation process in some individuals is slowed down to a standstill and therefore some developmental processes never finish. This assumption is so far consistent with the findings and explains, why a normal heterosexual orientation is not acquired. 

Different degrees of neoteny in humans will lead to different outcomes. While a lesser amount of neoteny leads to premature adolescence and adulthood, the question of "too much neoteny" has not yet been answered.

Disclaimer


This poster knows nothing about psychology or neurobiology and does not even have a PhD. The explanation in this post is based on common sense and some thinking. Hence, all the stated things are not automatically assumed to be true for everybody with a paraphilia.

6 comments :

  1. Boring. Still back to the usual psychologising, I see.

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  2. What did you expect? A brilliant explanation that puts pedophilia in the center of the universe? My aim is not to entertain people, but to make sense of a horrible condition that makes life miserable. For entertainment use Youtube!

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  3. Ahh, this was a little depressing... Maybe not depressing, maybe more sobering. I wish the academic research that was done on pedophilia would focus less on kicking up a panic and more on finding out ways to help pedophiles understand what's happening.
    Also, personally, I often feel like I haven't mentally matured the same as others.
    Have you any ideas on the correlation between things like depression that seem to appear alongside pedophilia fairly commonly?
    -slipperyshota

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    1. Well, I should imagine it's because your life is miserable? Think about it, bitch, in the OLDEN days, boys and men were around each other all the time. Today, they are warehoused away so that men can't come into CUNTact with them, unless they are vetted proffesionals or immediate family. Even distant relatives are suspect now. That is why boylovers become miserable. Because they, like most people, desire intimacy with someone they love in a world which is cruel and has never before in history been so hypocritical, and yet they are trapped in their own islands of despair.

      Some boylovers, like Sandusky, are blessed by good fortune. A Sandusky who is born today, however, will be inundated with propaganda by feminist scum and their LGBT shock troops, and so will probably kill himself, instead of doing all that good for his field and for boys.

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  4. Once again you are putting the suggestion that a lot of paedophiles are homosexual and male both of these assumptions are inaccurate as most child abuse is done to girls. Also please remember paedophiles are only attracted to prepubescent children

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    1. Most REPORTED child abuse is done to girls. And only a fraction of abusers are pedophiles. Pedophilia and homosexuality are two distinct conditions according to scientists as M.C.Seto. And pedophiles only attracted to prepubescent children - that is bullshit from DSM - does not reflect reality.

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