Pedophilia for dummies

First of all: Nobody makes the conscious decision to become a pedophile.

Think of the children!

This slogan is enough to mobilize and justify any action against pedophiles. Public figures demand actions to cope with the assumed pandemic. Some even demand that every pedophile be put to death - more or less merciful. If you still blame pedophiles for their "sick lifestyle", here is a question for you: Why would anyone want to be a pedophile? Trust me, it's not a desirable destiny. Do you really think that someone would choose that life?

Few are bothered to question the nature of pedophilia and what is causing it. When pedophiles are hunted, stigmatized and persecuted in the manner they are, it is obvious that this is not a choice.

Are they born this way?

The argument "we are born that way" has been used by homosexuals to demand acceptance of homosexual love. It is not really an explanation, because it raises the question, why are some born this way? Together with "It's a sexual orientation" it is more of an activist slogan than a scientific explanation. The best current explanation is that something went wrong during the development. There is some evidence that it starts very early - even before birth.

Think of it like a train derailment. There are tracks, which the train is supposed to ride on. And then there are obstacles and defects that can cause the train to leave the tracks. So, what went wrong with pedophiles? If we start asking about something "wrong", we should know what is "right". Hence, what is it that goes right in most people? What happens in people that don't turn out to be pedophiles? It is kind of an obvious mystery, since most people don't spend much time thinking about stuff that comes natural.

Sexual development - what is it exactly?

Imagine that you are a normal boy heading for a straight heterosexual orientation. A "normal" boy plays with certain toys, later he plays football/soccer with other boys. At first, girls are icky and boys are afraid of catching girl cooties, with Valentine's day being an exception. However, something strange happens during puberty - boys are starting to behave irrationally. Parents told us to wait with it, teachers are against it, even pals are complaining that we spend less time with them. Nonetheless, spending time with a girl becomes important on it's own.

Because "everyone" has this attraction, this is kind of normal and nobody is questioning it. Is it culture, or is it the expectation of others that drives "normal" boys to try to get the attention of girls again and again? If it were just a search for friendship, then we would see a 50/50 distribution of boy/girl and boy/boy couples. There are even fewer obstacles for a boy to befriend another boy than to befriend a girl.

Actually, several things are already known. Gay men tend to have more older brothers. There are hypotheses that explain how the influence happens, developed antibodies in the mother being the current favorite explanation. Gender atypical behavior during childhood is considered to be an indicator for later homosexuality. The latter statement is remarkable. Not only does it state a deviation from "the norm", it also states that certain behavior is "the norm" for a boy. Already as little boys, their behavior is supposed to follow some invisible tracks.

Gender typical behavior - but why?

Stripping "gender" from the question, we could ask: What causes a typical behavior? Some behavior is so common typical that we have named them. Fear of flying is an example. As soon as the airplane starts moving, those affected freak out. In a rational discussion outside the plane, they will agree that the fear is irrational and somewhat silly. But that does not matter once the airplane starts moving. It is a consistent innate behavior very difficult to override. This is not an exception.

Human behavior follows certain patterns, this is the very base of psychology. If we were able to just snap out of a depression, we wouldn't need psychiatric institutions. Often, we need to become aware, how much trouble a certain behavior will cause and we need help to avoid or handle those situations.

If we were animals, we would simply call it instincts. Many animals are born with a fully developed set of instincts. This is not the case with a human baby. Unlike a baby deer, it does not get up within a few hours after birth and follows the mother around. A human baby resembles more a fetus than a preteen child during the first year. Some animals can walk a few hours after birth and instinctively follow the flock. For most animals, instincts are like solid railway tracks guiding their behavior. They are so controlled by their instincts, that a lion jumping through a burning hoop is a circus sensation.

Instincts are considered to be non-existing in humans, since we are in general able to override them. This is taken to the extreme by the assumption that humans have a free will. The example of the fear of flying shows that this obviously is not the case. Few million years ago, our ancestors certainly had instincts and those instincts didn't disappear suddenly. And they haven't completely vanished. 

How little instincts do we need?

Humans are superior to animals, because we can think and decide on a rational base what actions to take. That is the theory, in praxis we quite often behave in a certain manner that we are not aware of. Sometimes it is good for us, otherwise it can present an obstacle like the fear of flying. The fewer irrational behavior we are forced to act out, the better it is for us.

Instincts are in a way hard-wired knowledge how to behave in certain situations. Without hard-wired instincts, the appropriate behavior has to be learned. The freedom from instincts not only requires us to make rational decisions, but also allows us to adjust them in order to get anticipated outcomes. Without guiding instincts and learned knowledge, we are doomed to make stupid decisions. Hence, loosing instincts is not only an advantage, but it is a liability too. Using trial and error, we learned what was best for our survival. Hence, those with a lesser amount of instincts had a greater learning potential. This presents an evolutionary advantage leading to a higher survival rate for human genes.

Animals have instincts to a varying degree. Reptiles have a primitive brain and are completely instinct controlled. The higher up on the evolutionary stage the animals are, the less they are controlled by instincts and more able to learn things. It is no surprise that most trained animals are mammals.

Animals living in a stable environment tends to show very little variations. It is almost impossible to tell two penguins apart. Animals living in a changing environment show a greater variation. Individuals that are better adapted to a change will ensure the survival of the species, while the unfortunate die. Over time this will lead to a higher variation of individual characteristics in those species, which represents a higher flexibility. This is the reason for the noticeable individual characteristics among humans. Some of us are born with stronger instincts and have to suffer from fear of flying or similar compulsive behavior, while others enjoy a higher degree of free will.

How does evolution know where to stop?

It doesn't. Well, evolution does not stop before it is too late. Evolution is not about the survival of species or to make individuals comfortable in their environment, but about the survival of DNA. Humans are pushed by evolution towards the edge of losing all instincts, and due to the variation some are pushed over the edge. Those, who were too far on the other side, would not pass down their DNA. Evolution comes with a price tag attached, the dead end of an DNA-line. It is like a tree, where only few branches are allowed to continue to grow, while others are cut back.

As it seems, a certain minimal amount of instincts is necessary for procreation. Boys need to find girls. That is why boys start to behave irrationally during puberty, even when they were angel-like to their parents during previous years. The current society makes it  hard for them: child sexuality is not encouraged and abstinence-only sex education is on the program in some countries. Hence, the instinct of chasing girls meets a lot of obstacles, experiences headwind. 

Should we expect everyone to develop a "normal" heterosexual orientation? Some think that gender is a social construct and feminists claim men and women to be equal. Moreover, many romantics claim that it was the personality that attracted them to their spouse. If the existence of a vagina or penis is that insignificant, shouldn't we be equally attracted to men and women? I mean, if we downplay the importance of the gender/sex, shouldn't we see like a 50% prevalence of homosexuality?

Evolution does not like 50% homosexuality, it is simply not sustainable. It would mean that 50% of the genes are pushed over the edge and are not passed down. During the evolution humans lost much of the intensity of instincts. The behavior became more and more rational and that was an advantage. This also meant that the gender of the significant other half became less important. We are more attracted to the personality than to the outlook of intercourse. At the same time, sex became more versatile than just as a means to procreation. Intimacy creates strong social bonds. Hence, evolution drove humans away from the 100% heterosexuality towards a point where the advantage of free will is balanced by procreation failure.

So what went wrong in pedophiles?

Nothing! Everything went according to the plan. That means the plan of evolution. Evolution does not care about individuals, only about the survival of genes. Individuals are just a means for procreation. Fish have many thousand offsprings, most end up being prey for others. For evolution it is ok that just enough individuals make it into adulthood. 

Flexibility was and is a necessity for humans. In order to adapt to the changing environment, we show rather big differences between individuals, we are taller or shorter, we have different skin colour, and we lost much of the control instincts had over our behavior. Variance is part of the evolutionary game. This means also variance in the strength of certain instincts, among them the instinct that drives boys towards girls during puberty.

To be honest, this post is actually "paraphilia for dummies" - i never talked why pedophiles prefer the company of children. Most think it is for sexual gratification only, but this is wrong. The company of children averts aggression of bullies, children are very emotional and might satisfy the demands of someone with a more intense emotional life. There are in fact many reasons why adults turn towards children and turn the back to adults. The current stigmatization is one of them. Children don't judge someone based on media incited hysteria, they judge people according to their actions.

1 comment :

  1. I am not sure I agree with all of your conclusions, but I wanted to post here because I have found my solution for hebephilia (attraction to girls 11-14). Like many, I've tried to figure out the reason. I was a nerd during my early years. I suffered terrible bullying in grades 6-10. I was raised by two very strong women and actually married one who enjoyed controlling me. But I've been attracted to girls younger than me since I was old enough to notice girls. I'm generally a good person and never wanted to hurt anyone. But I could never cure my interest in girls this age. But I did find a solution that works for me. Filipinas. I married the perfect little girl and she is legal (23). She looks like she is 11. She loves me as much as I love her. She loves sex, as long as I don't go too deep. She is 4'6", 78 lbs, wears child size 10 or 00, if you can find it. She loves to dress sexy. Like most filipinas, she is a great cook and is very attracted to older, white men like me. There is also no stigma with large age gaps there and her parents love me, even though her father is the same age as I am. Filipinas mature more slowly than Americans. At 23, she can take care of the house, but she is still very innocent. So many things are still amazing to her, and her eyes grow big and she gets a big smile at things she's never seen before. And, best of all, she will always be this size.

    I am still attracted to young girls, but now I have one and I sleep with one who loves to cuddle with me after sex and hold my hand in the car or walking down the street. It is expensive to bring a filipina to the U.S. (min. $10,000), but it is very cheap to move there to the Philippines. I brought her here while my kids are still in school, but we will move there in a few years when I retire. I hope others will benefit from this solution and stop hurting little girls (lots of boys are available too, BTW) and don't end up in jail. How to start? (1) Make the commitment that you will visit the Philippines within 6 months (they will not take you seriously otherwise) (2) sign up at Asiandating.com or filipinacupid.com and browse around and search on girls under 90 lbs. (3) Don't settle for "just okay". There are super pretty girls that would LOVE to be with you because you are white. And watch out for scams - figure 50% of the girls just want money, but 50% are sweet girls from the provinces (avoid girls from Manila or Luzon Island) just looking for their Prince Charming. It worked for me!