Biology & Chemistry · History · Psychology · Sociology

Cause of Pedophile On Neurology’s View

 

pedophilia_nightowls_lk

By : Dick Swabb

The shocking scale of child abuse within the Catholic Church has come to light in recent years. The first cases emerged in the United States, then in the Ireland, where, within the bishopric of Dublin alone, hundreds of children were abused between 1976 and 20014. Cases in Germany were subsequently exposed, after which hundred of victims came foward in the Netherlands. These revelations show that, as a result of the taboo surrounding pedophilia, we have no idea how frequently such abuse actually occurs–not just in the church but in general.

Pedophilia can have different causes. If an adult suddenly experiences pedophilic urges, they may have a brain tumor in the prefrontal cortex, temporal cortex or hypothalamus. Sometimes it is a symptom of dementia. A sudden switch in sexual inclination to pedophilia has also been caused by operations to cure epilepsy by removing part of the anterior temporal lobe. Such patients can go on to develop Kluver-Bucy syndrome, which involves the loss of sexual inhibition. In the United States, a man who started to download child pornography after an operation of this kind was recently sentenced to ninteen months of imprisonment! Pedophilia can also be caused by infection of the brain, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and brain trauma.

But a neurological cause for pedophilia is rare. Most pedophiles have always been attracted to children, and the cause can be traced to fetal brain development and early development after birth. Just as gender identity and sexual orientation are determined by genetic background and the interaction between a fetus’s sex hormones and its developing brain, so too pedophilia can apparently be explained by genetic and other factors causing the brain to develop abnormally at an early stage, leading to structural differences. I was once shown a family tree that included three generations of pedophile men. Deviant sexual behavior (like pedophilia) is displayed by a high percentage (18 percent) of first-degree relatives of pedophiles, pointing to genetic factor. In addition, pedophiles are more likely to have been sexually abused by adults as young children. At the end of 2009, the leader of the Northern Irish party Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams, went public with the painful family secret that his father had abused his own children, while his brother was in turn suspected of having sexually abused his daughter. Whether abuse as a children causal factor in the development of pedophilia in adulthood or whether there’s a genetic factor in such families, still needs to be investigated.

Daniel Gajdusek (1923-2008), a man of remarkable talent who studied physics, biology, mathematics and medicine in the United States, thought that abuse as a child could cause pedophilia. He had himself been abused by an uncle as a child. I once had the dubious honor of chairing a lecture by the hypomanic Gajdusek; my colleagues were amused by my vain attempts to keep him in check. Gajdusek had been researching the cause of mass deaths of young women and children from the disease kuru in the villages in the interior of New Guinea in 1957. At the time, it was still a Dutch colony, and he was able to find his way there by using Dutch ordnance survey maps that he’d stolen from the Leiden endocrinology department headed by Dries Querido. Gajdusek discovered that the deaths were indirectly caused by cannibalism. Long after they had eaten the brain of conquered enemies, the victims were struck down by a slow-acting virus, one of whose symptoms was dementia. The disease turned out to be caused by prions (infectious agents mad of protein) just like mad cow disease. In 1996 Gajdusek was awarded the Novel Prize for Medicine. However, when he returned from New Guinea and other remote locations it wasn’t just with brain tissue for further research; he also brought back fifty-six children, mostly little boys. We always thought that this was very odd. He took them into his home and gave them an education, but as an accusation made by a man who had lived with him as a child later revealed, also molested them. He was imprisoned for a year and died in 2009.

There are all kinds of factors in early development that could influence the risk of developing pedophilia. It would seem logical to study them, but the taboo on this condition stands in the way. Who in our society would dare openly admit to being pedophile and take part in research into the causes of this disorder?

In recent years, the first structural differences have been reported between the brains of pedophiles and those of remote control groups. A study involving magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed that the former have less gray matter (neurons) in the various area of the brain, like the hypothalamus, the bend nucleus of the stria terminalis (whose size also differs in the transsexuals), and the amygdala, which play a role in sex, fear and aggressive behavior. It moreover emerged that the smaller the amygdala, the more like an individual was to commit pedophilic crimes. Exposure to emotional and erotic images of adult sparks less activity in the hypothalamus and prefrontal cortex of pedophile men than in control men, which ties in with the fact that pedophiles are less sexually interested in adults. Convicted pedophiles display greater amygdala activity than control men in response to image of children. Functional scans of the brain of homosexual, heterosexual and pedophile men shown pictures of men, women, girls and boys moreover show a clear difference between these group in terms of brain activity. However, we must bear in mind that research into pedophilia focuses solely on a small, selected group of pedophiles. The majority are able to control their urges, don’t commit crimes, and therefore aren’t studied.

Sexual abuse damages children and is punished, not only for reasons of atonement but also to prevent further abuse. The latter objective poses a problem, though because how do you change behavior that has been programmed in the brain at an early stage of development? In the past, every conceivable effort has been made to change homosexual men into heterosexuals, without any success whatsoever. The same applies to pedophiles. Not so long ago, a court in Utrecht heard the case of sixty-year-old heterosexual church minister charged with pedosexuality. The prosecution called for a sentence of ten months in prison, but after a great deal deliberation he was eventually given a community sentence. How things have changed.

There was a time when an obscure mix of arguments bearing on eugenics, punishment, the protection of society, and the repression of homosexuality led to the castration of pedosexuals in Netherlands. Between 1938 to 1968, at least four hundred sex offenders were “voluntarily” castrated. This practice wasn’t laid down by law. These were offenders detained under a hospital order who were given the choice of his life imprisonment or castration. They had to submit a standard letter to minister of justice, the text of which ran, “May i humbly crave Your Excellency’s permission to be castrated?”. Up to 1950, 80 percent of the castrated men were pedosexual, a situation complicated by the high legal age of sexual consent (sixteen). In Germany, the hypothalami of pedophiles were surgically lesioned in the hope that this would change their sexual orientation. These brain operations were never scientifically documented.

The incidence of chemical castrations among offenders detained under a hospital order is currently increasing. This involves suppressing the libido with a substance that diminishes the effect of testosterone. It can provide relief at being freed from sexual obsession. However, it’s worrying that some of the individuals are being chemically castrated because the authorities would otherwise deny that applications for leave. These substance certainly aren’t suitable for every sex offender, and the side effects, including the development of breasts, obesity and osteoporosis are serious.

The pedosexual minister from Utrecht can thank his lucky stars that things have changed since the days of formal castration requests. The judge who presided over his case was worried about reoffending, and rightly so. Nevertheless, he thought that the six-week pretiral detention would have a deterrent effect and that the combination of a long conditional sentence and a community order would be more effective than lenghty imprisonment. Whether he was right we’ll never know, because the judicial system has no tradition of researching the effectiveness of its punishments. And the medical world, alas, has no tradition of researching the factors in early development that cause pedophilia. Doing away with the taboo on such research could shed light on these factors and on the best methods of checking pedophile impulses and stopping people from reoffending. This would prevent a great deal of misery for all concerned.

The same applies to female pedophiles. The idea that women can’t be guilty of pedosexuality has been found to be a myth. Sexual abuse of children by women is usually perpetrated by mothers on their own offspring. For the most part, the victims are girls with and average age of around six. The mothers tend to be poor and uneducated and often have mental health problem like cognitive impairment, psychoses, or addictions.

An initiative in Canada has shown that it’s possible to tackle this issue by quite simple means. There, pedosexuals are helped by group of volunteers after their detention. The resulting social network has been shown to cut reoffending rates quite considerably. This is much better than the situation in the Netherlands, where in late 2009, a pedophile was first banned from the city of Eindhoven by its mayor, then prohibited from entering a national park in the province of Utrecht. The man now lives in his car and travels from parking lot to parking lot. That’s asking for trouble. But the Netherlands is trying out the Canadian initiative. Another way of preventing child abuse might to be issue smart form of fake child pornography that don’t involve the abuse of real children. Milton Diamond, a renowned sexologist in Hawaii, has found considerable evidence to suggest that his works. However, it will no doubt prove difficult to convince the authorities to consider such an innovative idea.

Origin : We Are Our Brains, Dick Swaab, m/s 72-77, terbitan Penguin Group, 2014.

Biology & Chemistry · History · Psychology · Sociology

Punca Pedofilia Dari Sudut Neurologi

pedophilia_nightowls_lk

Oleh : Dick Swaab

Perkara yang mengejutkan tentang penganiayaan kanak-kanak dalam Gereja Katolik telah menjadi jelas baru-baru ini. Kes pertama timbul di Amerika Syarikat, kemudian di Ireland. Dalam pentadbiran uskup Dublin sahaja, beratus-ratus kanak-kanak dianiaya sekitar 1976 hingga 2004. Kes di Jerman kemudiannya terbongkar selepas beratus-ratus mangsa tampil di Netherland. Pendedahan ini menunjukkan wujudnya tabu yang berkaitan dengan pedofilia. Kita tidak tahu kekerapan penganiayaan telah berlaku yang bukan sahaja di gereja, tetapi pada selainnya.

Pedofilia terjadi disebabkan beberapa punca. Jika seseorang dewasa tiba-tiba mengalami desakan pedofilia, mereka mungkin mengalami tumor otak di korteks prefrontal, korteks temporal atau hipotalamus. Kadangkala disebabkan gejala demensia. Perubahan mengejut pada kecenderungan seksual kepada pedofilia juga disebabkan pembedahan dalam pemulihan epilepsi dengan membuang sebahagian luba temporal anteriror. Pesakit itu mampu terkena sindrom Kluver-Bucy yang menyebabkan kesekatlakuan seks. Di Amerika Syarikat, orang yang mula-mula memuat turun pornografi kanak-kanak dihukum penjara sembilan bulan baru-baru ini selepas pembedahan ini! Pedofilia juga disebabkan jangkitan di otak, Parinson, sklerosis dan trauma otak.

Namun, sebab secara neurologi bagi pedofilia masih pelik. Kebanyakan pedofilia selalu tertarik pada kanak-kanak yang puncanya dapat dikesan pada perkembangan otak janin dan perkembangan awal semasa kelahiran. Sepertimana identiti jantia dan orientasi seksual ditentukan dengan latar belakang genetik dan interaksi antara hormon jantina jantina dan perkembangan otaknya, begitu juga pedofilia yang nampaknya mampu dijelaskan dengan genetik dan faktor lain yang menyebabkan otak berkembang secara abnormal pada peringkat awal yang membawa kepada perbezaan struktur.

Saya pernah ditunjukkan silsilah keluarga yang termasuklah tiga generasi lelaki pedofilia. Perlakuan seksual yang menyimpang (seperti pedofilia) dipaparkan dengan peratus yang tinggi (18 peratus) pada tingkatan kerabat pedofilia yang pertama sebagai penetapan faktor genetik. Tambahan pula, pedofilia berkemungkinan besar berpunca dianiaya secara seksual oleh orang dewasa ketika usia muda. Pada penghujung 2009, rahsia derita keluarga pemimpin parti Northen Irish, iaitu Sinn Fein dan Gerry Adam telah terbongkar bahawa ayahnya telah menganiaya anaknya sendiri, manaakala giliran abangnya pula disyaki mempunyai penganiayaan seks terhadap anak perempuannya. Sama ada kanak-kanak yang dianiaya merupakan faktor penyebab pada perkembangan pedofulia semasa dewasa atau sama ada di sana terdapat faktor genetik seperti keluarga masih memerlukan penelitian.

Daniel Gjdusek (1923-2008), tokoh berbakat luar biasa yang mengkaji fizik, biologi, matematik dan perubatan di Amerika Syarikat menganggap bahawa kanak-kanak yang dianiaya kemungkinan penyebab pedofilia. Dia sendiri dianiaya oleh pakciknya ketika kanak-kanak. Dahulu saya pernah begitu ragu-ragu mempengerusikan syarahan oleh Gajdusek yang hipomania. Rakan kolej saya geli hati terhadap keinginan saya untuk menyekatnya.

Gajdusek telah mengkaji sebab kematian besar-besaran wanita muda dan kanak-kanak disebabkan penyakit kuru di kampung di pedalaman New Guinea pada 1957. Pada waktu itu, kampung itu dalam jajahan Belanda dan dia dapat menemukan jalannya ke sana dengan menggunakan kelengkapan tinjauan peta Belanda yang dia curi dari jabatan endorik Lein yang dipengerusi oleh Dries Querido.

Gadjusek menemukan bahawa kematian itu berpunca daripada kanibalisme yang tidak langsung. Selepas lama otak mereka dimakan yang ditawan musuh, mangsa ditimpa virus yang bergerak perlahan. Salah satu daripadanya ialah demensia. Penyakit itu ternyata disebabkan prion (agen yang berjangkit diperbuat daripada protein) yang sama penyakit lembu gila. Pada 1996, Gajdusek diangerahkan Hadian Nobel dalam perubatan.

Walau bagaimana pun, apabila dia pulang dari New Guinea dan lokasi terpencil yang lain, dia bukan sahaja mengkaji lebih mendalam pada tisu otak, dia juga membawa balik 56 kanak-kanak yang kebanyakan budak lelaki. Dia membawa mereka ke rumahnya dan memberikan mereka pendidikan. Namun, dia juga mencabul mereka sepertimana pendedahan tuduhan yang dibuat oleh seseorang yang tinggal bersama dengannya sebagai kanak-kanak. Dia dipenjara selama setahun dan meninggal pada 2008.

Terdapat juga segala faktor pada perkembangan awal yang mampu mempengaruhi risiko mengembangkan pedofilia. Sangat logik untuk mengkajinya, tetapi tabu pada keadaan ini menghalanginya. Siapa dalam masyarakat kita sanggup mengaku secara terbuka untuk menjadi pedofilia dan menyertai kajian bagi punca kerancuan ini?

Pada tahun baru-baru ini, perbezaan struktur yang pertama telah dikaji antara otak pedofilia dan mereka yang pada kelompok kawalan. Kajian yang melibatkan pengimejan resonan magnet menunjukkan orang itu ada sedikit gray matter (neuron) pada pelbagai kawasan otak seperti hipotalamus, dasar nukleus terminalis stria (yang saiznya juga berbeza dengan transeksual) dan amigdala yang memainkan peranan untuk perlakuan seks, ketakutan dan agresif. Tambahan pula kajian menunjukkan semakin kecil amigdala, semakin tinggi kemungkinan seseorang itu melakukan jenayah pedofilia. Pendedahan kepada gambar orang dewasa erotik dan beremosi menyebabkan sedikit aktiviti di hipotalamus dan koreks prefrontal pada orang pedofilia berbanding orang biasa. Ini menunjukkan bahawa orang pedofilia mempunyai minat seksual yang kurang pada orang dewasa.

Golongan pedofilia mempamerkan lebih banyak aktiviti amigdala berbanding kelompok kawalan dalam memberi respons imej kanak-kanak. Tambahan pula, imbasan fungsian pada otak orang homoseksual, heteroseksual dan pedofilia yang ditunjukkan gambar lelaki dewasa, wanita dewasa, budak wanita dan budak lelaki menunjukkan perbezaan yang nyata di antara kelompok dikelaskan mengikut aktiviti otak. Walau bagaimanapun, kita perlu ingat bahawa kajian pedofulia hanya fokus pada yang kecil dan kelompok pedofilia yang dipilih.Majoriti mampu untuk mengawal desakan mereka, tetapi tidak melakukan jenayah. Hal itu menyebabkan mereka tidak dikaji.

Kerosakan penganiayaan seksual kanak-kanak yang dihukum bukan sahaja kerana reaksi penebus, tetapi juga sebagai pencegahan penganiayaan yang selanjutnya. Bangkangan yang akhir-akhir ini mengutarakan sebuah masalah, iaitu bagaimana anda mengubah kelakuan yang telah diprogramkan di otak pada peringkat awal perkembangan? Pada masa yang lalu, setiap percubaan telah pun dilakukan bagi mengubah orang homoseksual kepada heteroseksual, namun tidak berhasil apa-apa. Perkara yang sama terjadi pada pedofilia. Tidak lama dahulu, mahkamah di Utrecht mendengar kes menteri gereja heteroseksual yang berusia 60 tahun yang dihukum kerana seks pedofilia. Orang itu dijatuhkan hukuman sepuluh bulan di penjara, tetapi selepas melalui perimbangan yang banyak, dia berkemungkinan dihukumi untuk khidmat masyarakat. Betapa hebat perubahan yang berlaku.

Ada suatu ketika berlakunya ketegangan yang bercampur aduk kesamarannya bagi berhadapan dengan eugenik, hukuman, perlindungan masyarakat dan tekanan terhadap homoseksual sehingga membawa kepada pengembirian pedoseksual di Netherland. Sekitar 1938 dan 1968, sekurang-kurangnya empat ratus pesalah laku seks “merelakan diri” untuk dikembiri. Praktik ini tidak ditetapkan oleh undang-undang. Pesalah laku seks ini ditahan bawah perintah hospital yang diberi pilihan sama ada penjara seumur atau pengembirian. Mereka telah menghantar surat rasmi kepada kementerian kehakiman yang dalam teks itu menyebut, “Bolehkah saya meminta dengan rendah diri kepada Tuan Yang Terutama bagi membenarkan diri tuan dikembiri?”. Selepas 1950, 80 peratus orang yang dikembiri ialah pedofilia. Dalam masa yang sama berlaku situasi rumit dalam penentuan cukup umur untuk seksual di sisi undang-undang. Di Jerman, hipotalamus pedofilia dilukakan secara pembedahan dengan harapan agar ini mampu mengubah orientasi seksual mereka. Kaedah ini tidak pernah didokumenkan secara saintifik.

Insiden pengembirian secara kimia terhadap pesalah laku yang ditahan bawah arahan hospital sedang bertambah sekarang ini. Ini melibatkan penyekatan libido dengan bahan-bahan kimia yang mengurangkan kesan testosteron. Ini mampu melegakan ketagihan seksual ketika dibebaskan. Walau bagaimanapun, perkara ini membimbangkan sebahagian individu ini dikembiri secara kimia. Pihak berkuasa cuma akan berlepas diri atas kesan perbuatan mereka. Bahan-bahan kimia ini tidak sesuai untuk setiap pesalah laku seks dan kesan sampingan baginya termasuklah perkembangan buah dada, obesiti dan osteoporosis yang merupakan sesuatu yang bahaya.

Menteri pedofilia dari Utrecht boleh memanjatkan kesyukuran kepada nasib tuahnya kerana perkara itu berubah sejak hari permintaan pengembirian yang formal. Hakim yang mempengerusi siasatan kesnya begitu bimbang terhadap perlakuan semula dan itulah yang sebetulnya. Namun, dia fikir bahawa enam bulan tahanan prapembicaraan mampu memberi kesan hukuman dan gabungan antara hukuman bersyarat yang lama dan komuniti order lebih efektif berbanding pemenjaraan yang lama. Sama ada dia benar, kita masih tidak tahu kerana sistem kehakiman tidak ada tradisi untuk mengkaji kefektifan hukumannya. Begitu juga dunia perubatan. Alahai! Itu pun tiada tradisi bagi mengkaji faktor perkembangan awal yang menyebabkan pedofilia. Menyahkan tabu daripada kajian itu mampu memberi pencerahan kepada faktor ini dan merupakan kaedah terbaik bagi memeriksa impuls pedofil serta menghentikan orang lain daripada. Ini mampu menghilangkan kesengsaraan besar yang sangat dibimbangi.

Perkara yang sama teraplikasi pada wanita pedofilia. Tanggapan tentang wanita tidak disabitkan melakukan kesalahan bagi seksual pedofilnya cumalah mitos sahaja. Penganiayaan seksual kanak-kanak oleh wanita selalunya dilakukan oleh ibunya sendiri. Pada kebanyakan bahagian, mangsa ialah wanita dan purata umur kira-kira enam tahun. Ibu itu disebabkan kemiskinan, tidak berpendidikan dan selalu mempunyai masalah kesihatan mental seperti kerosakan kognitif, psiko dan ketagihan.

Inisiatif di Kanada telah menunjukkan bahawa inisiatif itu mampu mengatasi isu ini dengan cara yang begitu mudah. Di sana, pedofilia dibantu oleh kumpulan sukarela selepas penahanannya.  Hasil rangkaian sosial ini telah mencegah perlakuan semula dengan kadar yang berpatutan. Ini lebih baik daripada situasi di Netherland. Pada akhir 2009, seorang pedofilia mula-mula dilarang dari memasui ke bandar Eindhoven oleh datuk bandar, kemudian dihalang dari memasuki taman negara di wilayah Utrecht. Sekarang orang itu tinggal di keretanya dan merantau dari lot letak kereta ke lot letak kereta. Itu sememangnya mencari masalah. Namun, Netherland sedang mencuba inisiatif Kanada.

Cara lain untuk mencegah penganiayaan kanak-kanak mungkin menghasilkan rekaan pintar pornografi kanak-kanak tiruan yang tidak melibatkan penganiayaan kanak-kanak sebenar. Milton Diamond, terkenal dengan ahli seksologi di Hawaii telah mendapati bukti yang banyak untuk mencadangkan bahawa cara ini berkesan. Meskipun begitu, ini tidak diragui lagi betapa sukarnya untuk meyakinkan pihak berkuasa untuk pertimbangkan idea pembaharuan iu itu.

Nukilan dan terjemahan daripada We Are Our Brains, Dick Swaab, m/s 72-77, terbitan Penguin Group, 2014.

Teks asal :

The shocking scale of child abuse within the Catholic Church has come to light in recent years. The first cases emerged in the United States, then in the Ireland, where, within the bishopric of Dublin alone, hundreds of children were abused between 1976 and 20014. Cases in Germany were subsequently exposed, after which hundred of victims came foward in the Netherlands. These revelations show that, as a result of the taboo surrounding pedophilia, we have no idea how frequently such abuse actually occurs–not just in the church but in general.

Pedophilia can have different causes. If an adult suddenly experiences pedophilic urges, they may have a brain tumor in the prefrontal cortex, temporal cortex or hypothalamus. Sometimes it is a symptom of dementia. A sudden switch in sexual inclination to pedophilia has also been caused by operations to cure epilepsy by removing part of the anterior temporal lobe. Such patients can go on to develop Kluver-Bucy syndrome, which involves the loss of sexual inhibition. In the United States, a man who started to download child pornography after an operation of this kind was recently sentenced to ninteen months of imprisonment! Pedophilia can also be caused by infection of the brain, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and brain trauma.

But a neurological cause for pedophilia is rare. Most pedophiles have always been attracted to children, and the cause can be traced to fetal brain development and early development after birth. Just as gender identity and sexual orientation are determined by genetic background and the interaction between a fetus’s sex hormones and its developing brain, so too pedophilia can apparently be explained by genetic and other factors causing the brain to develop abnormally at an early stage, leading to structural differences. I was once shown a family tree that included three generations of pedophile men. Deviant sexual behavior (like pedophilia) is displayed by a high percentage (18 percent) of first-degree relatives of pedophiles, pointing to genetic factor. In addition, pedophiles are more likely to have been sexually abused by adults as young children. At the end of 2009, the leader of the Northern Irish party Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams, went public with the painful family secret that his father had abused his own children, while his brother was in turn suspected of having sexually abused his daughter. Whether abuse as a children causal factor in the development of pedophilia in adulthood or whether there’s a genetic factor in such families, still needs to be investigated.

Daniel Gajdusek (1923-2008), a man of remarkable talent who studied physics, biology, mathematics and medicine in the United States, thought that abuse as a child could cause pedophilia. He had himself been abused by an uncle as a child. I once had the dubious honor of chairing a lecture by the hypomanic Gajdusek; my colleagues were amused by my vain attempts to keep him in check. Gajdusek had been researching the cause of mass deaths of young women and children from the disease kuru in the villages in the interior of New Guinea in 1957. At the time, it was still a Dutch colony, and he was able to find his way there by using Dutch ordnance survey maps that he’d stolen from the Leiden endocrinology department headed by Dries Querido. Gajdusek discovered that the deaths were indirectly caused by cannibalism. Long after they had eaten the brain of conquered enemies, the victims were struck down by a slow-acting virus, one of whose symptoms was dementia. The disease turned out to be caused by prions (infectious agents mad of protein) just like mad cow disease. In 1996 Gajdusek was awarded the Novel Prize for Medicine. However, when he returned from New Guinea and other remote locations it wasn’t just with brain tissue for further research; he also brought back fifty-six children, mostly little boys. We always thought that this was very odd. He took them into his home and gave them an education, but as an accusation made by a man who had lived with him as a child later revealed, also molested them. He was imprisoned for a year and died in 2009.

There are all kinds of factors in early development that could influence the risk of developing pedophilia. It would seem logical to study them, but the taboo on this condition stands in the way. Who in our society would dare openly admit to being pedophile and take part in research into the causes of this disorder?

In recent years, the first structural differences have been reported between the brains of pedophiles and those of remote control groups. A study involving magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed that the former have less gray matter (neurons) in the various area of the brain, like the hypothalamus, the bend nucleus of the stria terminalis (whose size also differs in the transsexuals), and the amygdala, which play a role in sex, fear and aggressive behavior. It moreover emerged that the smaller the amygdala, the more like an individual was to commit pedophilic crimes. Exposure to emotional and erotic images of adult sparks less activity in the hypothalamus and prefrontal cortex of pedophile men than in control men, which ties in with the fact that pedophiles are less sexually interested in adults. Convicted pedophiles display greater amygdala activity than control men in response to image of children. Functional scans of the brain of homosexual, heterosexual and pedophile men shown pictures of men, women, girls and boys moreover show a clear difference between these group in terms of brain activity. However, we must bear in mind that research into pedophilia focuses solely on a small, selected group of pedophiles. The majority are able to control their urges, don’t commit crimes, and therefore aren’t studied.

Sexual abuse damages children and is punished, not only for reasons of atonement but also to prevent further abuse. The latter objective poses a problem, though because how do you change behavior that has been programmed in the brain at an early stage of development? In the past, every conceivable effort has been made to change homosexual men into heterosexuals, without any success whatsoever. The same applies to pedophiles. Not so long ago, a court in Utrecht heard the case of sixty-year-old heterosexual church minister charged with pedosexuality. The prosecution called for a sentence of ten months in prison, but after a great deal deliberation he was eventually given a community sentence. How things have changed.

There was a time when an obscure mix of arguments bearing on eugenics, punishment, the protection of society, and the repression of homosexuality led to the castration of pedosexuals in Netherlands. Between 1938 to 1968, at least four hundred sex offenders were “voluntarily” castrated. This practice wasn’t laid down by law. These were offenders detained under a hospital order who were given the choice of his life imprisonment or castration. They had to submit a standard letter to minister of justice, the text of which ran, “May i humbly crave Your Excellency’s permission to be castrated?”. Up to 1950, 80 percent of the castrated men were pedosexual, a situation complicated by the high legal age of sexual consent (sixteen). In Germany, the hypothalami of pedophiles were surgically lesioned in the hope that this would change their sexual orientation. These brain operations were never scientifically documented.

The incidence of chemical castrations among offenders detained under a hospital order is currently increasing. This involves suppressing the libido with a substance that diminishes the effect of testosterone. It can provide relief at being freed from sexual obsession. However, it’s worrying that some of the individuals are being chemically castrated because the authorities would otherwise deny that applications for leave. These substance certainly aren’t suitable for every sex offender, and the side effects, including the development of breasts, obesity and osteoporosis are serious.

The pedosexual minister from Utrecht can thank his lucky stars that things have changed since the days of formal castration requests. The judge who presided over his case was worried about reoffending, and rightly so. Nevertheless, he thought that the six-week pretiral detention would have a deterrent effect and that the combination of a long conditional sentence and a community order would be more effective than lenghty imprisonment. Whether he was right we’ll never know, because the judicial system has no tradition of researching the effectiveness of its punishments. And the medical world, alas, has no tradition of researching the factors in early development that cause pedophilia. Doing away with the taboo on such research could shed light on these factors and on the best methods of checking pedophile impulses and stopping people from reoffending. This would prevent a great deal of misery for all concerned.

The same applies to female pedophiles. The idea that women can’t be guilty of pedosexuality has been found to be a myth. Sexual abuse of children by women is usually perpetrated by mothers on their own offspring. For the most part, the victims are girls with and average age of around six. The mothers tend to be poor and uneducated and often have mental health problem like cognitive impairment, psychoses, or addictions.

An initiative in Canada has shown that it’s possible to tackle this issue by quite simple means. There, pedosexuals are helped by group of volunteers after their detention. The resulting social network has been shown to cut reoffending rates quite considerably. This is much better than the situation in the Netherlands, where in late 2009, a pedophile was first banned from the city of Eindhoven by its mayor, then prohibited from entering a national park in the province of Utrecht. The man now lives in his car and travels from parking lot to parking lot. That’s asking for trouble. But the Netherlands is trying out the Canadian initiative. Another way of preventing child abuse might to be issue smart form of fake child pornography that don’t involve the abuse of real children. Milton Diamond, a renowned sexologist in Hawaii, has found considerable evidence to suggest that his works. However, it will no doubt prove difficult to convince the authorities to consider such an innovative idea.

History

The History of Pornography No More Prudish Than the Present

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Neon signs for sex, erotica and pornography.
Credit: Dreamstime.

Pornography is often portrayed as one of the ills of today’s society, evidence of modern moral decay brought to you by video cameras and broadband access. 

As it turns out, modern times have got nothing on the past. Pornographyexisted long before video or even photography, and many researchers think evolution predisposed humans for visual arousal (It’s a lot easier to pass on your genes if the sight of other naked humans turns you on, after all). Whichever way you slice it, the diversity of pornographic materials throughout history suggests that human beings have always been interested in images of sex. Lots and lots of sex.

“Sex has always played a super-important role for human beings and their relationships,” said Seth Prosterman, a clinical sexologist and licensed therapist in San Francisco. “What people do sexually has always been a curiosity, and of interest.” [RELATED: New Technologies Let Pornography Producers Stay On Top]

Ancient erotica

The definition of “pornography” is famously subjective. After all, one man’s Venus de Milo is another man’s masturbation aid. But researchers generally define the genre as material designed solely for sexual arousal, without further artistic merit.

By that standard, the first known erotic representations of humans might not be porn, in the traditional sense, at all. As early as 30,000 years ago, Paleolithic people were carving large-breasted, thick-thighed figurines of pregnant women out of stone and wood. Archaeologists doubt these “Venus figurines” were intended for sexual arousal. More likely, the figurines were religious icons or fertility symbols.

Fast-forwarding through history, the ancient Greeks and Romans created public sculptures and frescos depicting homosexuality, threesomes, fellatio and cunnilingus. In India during the second century, the Kama Sutra was half sex-manual, half relationship-handbook. The Moche people of ancient Peru painted sexual scenes on ceramic pottery, while the aristocracy in 16th century Japan was fond of erotic woodblock prints.

In the West, many early explicit materials were political, rather than exclusively pornographic, said Joseph Slade, a professor of media arts at Ohio University. French revolutionaries, in particular, satirized the aristocracy with sexually charged pamphlets. Even the Marquis de Sade’s famously brutal and erotic works were part philosophical.

“They were political invectives disguised as pornography,” Slade said.

Porn is born

In the 1800s, the idea of porn for porn’s sake began to spread. Erotic novels had been in print since at least the mid-1600s in France (though being identified as the author of one meant a sure trip to jail), but the first full-length English-language pornographic novel, “Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure,” also known as “Fanny Hill” (Oxford University Press) wasn’t published until 1748.

Despite the reserved public attitudes toward sex at the time, pornographic novels held little back. The author of “Fanny Hill” managed to cover bisexuality, voyeurism, group sex and masochism, among other topics. By 1888, the anonymous author of “My Secret Life” was writing about sex with words that would make a modern television censor squirm.

Technology drove innovation in the porn genre. In 1839, Louis Daguerre invented the daguerreotype, a primitive form of photography. Almost immediately, pornographers commandeered the new technology. The earliest surviving dirty daguerreotype — described by Slade in a 2006 paper as “depicting a rather solemn man gingerly inserting his penis into the vagina of an equally solemn and middle-aged woman” — is dated at 1846.

Video followed a similar path. By 1896, filmmakers in France were delving into the erotic with short, silent clips like “Le Coucher de la Marie,” in which an actress performed a strip tease. Hard-core sex started showing up after 1900. These “stag films” were usually shown at all-male gatherings, and they were tame by today’s standards, Slade said.

“They look like your grandparents having sex,” he said. “They were quaint, but it was real intercourse.”

Pornography gets popular

For a long time, stag films remained stagnant, both in content and in quality. Then, in the 1970s, changing social mores opened the door for public showing of explicit films. The Internet and the invention of the digital camera lowered the barriers to porn-making so low that entire websites are now devoted solely to non-professional videos.

The shift from publically viewed stag films to privately viewed rentals and internet downloads drove changes in the types of acts shown on-screen. Privacy, Slade said, made men more willing to watch fetish films depicting specific, sometimes odd, sexual behavior. A 1994 Carnegie Mellon study of early porn on computer Bulletin Board Systems (a precursor to the World Wide Web), found that 48 percent of downloads were far outside the sexual mainstream, depicting bestiality, incest and pedophilia. Less than 5 percent of downloads depicted vaginal sex. This could have been because magazines and pornographic films had traditional sex covered, and people went to their computers for images they couldn’t find elsewhere, Slade suggested.

Today, porn is all over the internet, but the actual size of the industry is a mystery. No one keeps official records, and few studies have made a stab at the economics of porn. Adult Video News, a trade industry journal, made annual estimates of porn sales and rentals, along with sales of magazines and sex toys. In 2007, according to an AVN senior editor Mark Kernes, retail sales reached $6 billion a year. However, AVN’s figures have been widely disputed. And even if they were reliable, the numbers wouldn’t take into account all of the free amateur videos uploaded to sites like XTube or the photography site Flickr.

Regardless of how much money is being made, porn is attracting eyes. A 2008 study of 813 American university students found that 87 percent of men and 31 percent of women reported using pornography. The study was published in the Journal of Adolescent Research. And in 2009, University of Montreal researcher Simon Louis Lajeunesse made headlines when he announced that he had attempted a study on the impact of pornography on young men’s sexuality, but he couldn’t find a control group. In other words, good luck finding a man in his twenties who hasn’t seen porn.

Controversial content

So what is all that porn doing to us? The question is a hornet’s nest of controversy. While most mainstream Internet porn today doesn’t rise to the level of those early Bulletin Board images, critics argue that competition between pornographers has led to an upswing in dominance and verbal abuse of women depicted in films made for straight men.

“They need to always put out something new, something enticing, to attract people,” Chyng Sun, a professor of media studies at New York University and director of the film “The Price of Pleasure: Pornography, Sexuality and Relationships,” told LiveScience. “The degradation, the aggression levels, that is something you can create, something a little bit new to offer to the audience.”

By analyzing best-selling pornography films, Sun has found that physical and verbal aggression are present in 90 percent of mainstream porn scenes. Films directed by women are no less likely to contain aggression than films directed by men, she reported in a 2008 paper in the journal Psychology of Women Quarterly.

Sun argues that these aggressive images are harmful to people’s sex lives and that they help cement negative stereotypes about women. Others disagree. Prosterman, the San Francisco sexologist, points out that research has failed to draw a clear link between porn and criminal sexual behavior. And, he said, porn is one way for people to explore their own sexual desires.

Debates about pornography have been ongoing since at least the Victorian era (no word on whether stone-age people hid the fertility statues under the mattress), and they’re not likely to cease anytime soon. Nor are people likely to stop looking at pictures of other naked people.

“Most people like to have sex,” said the AVN’s Kernes. “A not-too-much-smaller segment of them like to watch other people have sex, and that is what the adult industry delivers.”

Originhttps://www.livescience.com/8748-history-pornography-prudish-present.html

History · Perspective · Sociology

Paedophilia: bringing dark desires to light

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There is little agreement about paedophilia, even among those considered experts on the subject. Photograph: Trigger Image/Alamy

In 1976 the National Council for Civil Liberties, the respectable (and responsible) pressure group now known as Liberty, made a submission to parliament’s criminal law revision committee. It caused barely a ripple. “Childhood sexual experiences, willingly engaged in with an adult,” it read, “result in no identifiable damage … The real need is a change in the attitude which assumes that all cases of paedophilia result in lasting damage.”

It is difficult today, after the public firestorm unleashed by revelations about Jimmy Savile and the host of child abuse allegations they have triggered, to imagine any mainstream group making anything like such a claim. But if it is shocking to realise how dramatically attitudes to paedophilia have changed in just three decades, it is even more surprising to discover how little agreement there is even now among those who are considered experts on the subject.

A liberal professor of psychology who studied in the late 1970s will see things very differently from someone working in child protection, or with convicted sex offenders. There is, astonishingly, not even a full academic consensus on whether consensual paedophilic relations necessarily cause harm.

So what, then, do we know? A paedophile is someone who has a primary or exclusive sexual interest in prepubescent children. Savile appears to have been primarily an ephebophile, defined as someone who has a similar preferential attraction to adolescents, though there have been claims one of his victims was aged eight.

But not all paedophiles are child molesters, and vice versa: by no means every paedophile acts on his impulses, and many people who sexually abuse children are not exclusively or primarily sexually attracted to them. In fact, “true” paedophiles are estimated by some experts to account for only 20% of sexual abusers. Nor are paedophiles necessarily violent: no firm links have so far been established between paedophilia and aggressive or psychotic symptoms. Psychologist Glenn Wilson, co-author of The Child-Lovers: a Study of Paedophiles in Society, argues that “The majority of paedophiles, however socially inappropriate, seem to be gentle and rational.”

Legal definitions of paedophilia, needless to say, have no truck with such niceties, focusing on the offence, not the offender. The Sex Offenders Act 1997 defined paedophilia as a sexual relationship between an adult over 18 and a child below 16.

There is much more we don’t know, including how many paedophiles there are: 1-2% of men is a widely accepted figure, but Sarah Goode, honorary research fellow at the University of Winchester and author of two major 2009 and 2011 sociological studies on paedophilia in society, says the best current estimate – based on possibly flawed science – is that “one in five of all adult men are, to some degree, capable of being sexually aroused by children”. Even less is known about female paedophiles, thought to be responsible for maybe 5% of abuse against pre-pubescent children in the UK.

Debate still rages, too, about the clinical definition of paedophilia. Down the years, the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – “the psychiatrist’s bible” – has variously classified it as a sexual deviation, a sociopathic condition and a non-psychotic medical disorder. And few agree about what causes it. Is paedophilia innate or acquired? Research at the sexual behaviours clinic of Canada’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Healthsuggests paedophiles’ IQs are, on average, 10% lower than those of sex offenders who had abused adults, and that paedophiles are significantly less likely to be right-handed than the rest of the population, suggesting a link to brain development. MRI scans reveal a possible issue with paedophiles’ “white matter”: the signals connecting different areas of the brain. Paedophiles may be wired differently.

This is radical stuff. But there is a growing conviction, notably in Canada, that paedophilia should probably be classified as a distinct sexual orientation, like heterosexuality or homosexuality. Two eminent researchers testified to that effect to a Canadian parliamentary commission last year, and the Harvard Mental Health Letter of July 2010 stated baldly that paedophilia “is a sexual orientation” and therefore “unlikely to change”.

Child protection agencies and many who work with sex offenders dislike this. “Broadly speaking, in the world of people who work with sex offenders here, [paedophilia] is learned behaviour,” says Donald Findlater, director of research and development at the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, a charity dedicated to preventing child sexual abuse, and, before it closed, manager of leading treatment centre the Wolvercote Clinic. “There may be some vulnerabilities that could be genetic, but normally there are some significant events in a person’s life, a sexually abusive event, a bullying environment … I believe it is learned, and can be unlearned.”

Chris Wilson of Circles UK, which helps released offenders, also rejects the idea that paedophilia is a sexual orientation: “The roots of that desire for sex with a child lie in dysfunctional psychological issues to do with power, control, anger, emotional loneliness, isolation.”

If the complexity and divergence of professional opinion may have helped create today’s panic around paedophilia, a media obsession with the subject has done more: a sustained hue and cry exemplified by the News of the World’s notorious “name and shame” campaign in 2000, which brought mobs on to the streets to demonstrate against the presence of shadowy monsters in their midst. As a result, paranoia about the danger from solitary, predatory deviants far outweighs the infinitely more real menace of abuse within the home or extended circle. “The vast majority of sexual violence is committed by people known to the victim,” stresses Kieran Mccartan, senior lecturer in criminology at the University of the West of England. Only very rarely is the danger from the “stranger in the white van”, Mccartan says.

The reclassification of paedophilia as a sexual orientation would, however, play into what Goode calls “the sexual liberation discourse”, which has existed since the 1970s. “There are a lot of people,” she says, “who say: we outlawed homosexuality, and we were wrong. Perhaps we’re wrong about paedophilia.”

Social perceptions do change. Child brides were once the norm; in the late 16th century the age of consent in England was 10. More recently, campaigning organisations of the 70s and 80s such as the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) and Paedophile Action for Liberation were active members of the NCCL when it made its parliamentary submission questioning the lasting damage caused by consensual paedophilic relations.

Even now there is no academic consensus on that fundamental question – as Goode found. Some academics do not dispute the view of Tom O’Carroll, a former chairman of PIE and tireless paedophilia advocate with a conviction for distributing indecent photographs of children following a sting operation, that society’s outrage at paedophilic relationships is essentially emotional, irrational, and not justified by science. “It is the quality of the relationship that matters,” O’Carroll insists. “If there’s no bullying, no coercion, no abuse of power, if the child enters into the relationship voluntarily … the evidence shows there need be no harm.”

This is not, obviously, a widely held view. Mccartan uses O’Carroll’s book Paedophilia: the Radical Case in his teaching as “it shows how sex offenders justify themselves”. Findlater says the notion that a seven-year-old can make an informed choice for consensual sex with an adult is “just preposterous. It is adults exploiting children.” Goode says simply: “Children are not developmentally ready for adult sexuality,” adding that it is “intrusive behaviour that violates the child’s emerging self-identity” and can be similar in long-term impact to adults experiencing domestic violence or torture.

But not all experts are sure. A Dutch study published in 1987 found that a sample of boys in paedophilic relationships felt positively about them. And a major if still controversial 1998-2000 meta-study suggests – as J Michael Bailey of Northwestern University, Chicago, says – that such relationships, entered into voluntarily, are “nearly uncorrelated with undesirable outcomes”.

Most people find that idea impossible. But writing last year in the peer-reviewed Archives of Sexual Behaviour, Bailey said that while he also found the notion “disturbing”, he was forced to recognise that “persuasive evidence for the harmfulness of paedophilic relationships does not yet exist”.

If that assertion does nothing else, it underlines the need for more research on paedophilia – something on which everyone in the field at least is agreed. There is, too, broad consensus around the idea that the approach to paedophilia must be about management and prevention: on stopping potential offenders making that contact (or downloading that image).

Initiatives such as Stop It Now!, which Findlater runs, exemplify this: a telephone helpline offering advice to people worried they may be having inappropriate sexual impulses. A similar German programme, Prevention Project Dunkelfeld, has as its slogan: “You are not guilty because of your sexual desire, but you are responsible for your sexual behaviour. There is help.”

For convicted abusers, Circles UK aims to prevent reoffending by forming volunteer “circles of support and accountability” around recently released offenders, reducing isolation and emotional loneliness and providing practical help. In Canada, where it originated, it has cut reoffending by 70%, and is yielding excellent results here too. The goal of all treatment, Findlater says, is “people achieving a daily motivation not to cause harm again. Our goal is self-management in the future.”

For Goode, though, broader, societal change is needed. “Adult sexual attraction to children is part of the continuum of human sexuality; it’s not something we can eliminate,” she says. “If we can talk about this rationally – acknowledge that yes, men do get sexually attracted to children, but no, they don’t have to act on it – we can maybe avoid the hysteria. We won’t label paedophiles monsters; it won’t be taboo to see and name what is happening in front of us.”

We can help keep children safe, Goode argues, “by allowing paedophiles to be ordinary members of society, with moral standards like everyone else”, and by “respecting and valuing those paedophiles who choose self-restraint”. Only then will men tempted to abuse children “be able to be honest about their feelings, and perhaps find people around them who could support them and challenge their behaviour before children get harmed”.

Originhttps://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/jan/03/paedophilia-bringing-dark-desires-light

History

Porn Was the Prehistoric Ancestor Of Art. Let’s Revive The Past.

Modelled figure of a mature woman from Dolni.

In some countries it would be grounds for arrest. Some 35,000 years ago, an Ice Age sculptor carved a mammoth tusk into a naked female figure with impossibly large breasts. Thighs and buttocks were also exaggerated, and her legs were salaciously spread. Archeologists dubbed her the Venus of Hohle Fels after the German cave where she was found. The scientific journal Nature was less euphemistic, dubbing the diminutive object a “prehistoric pin-up“.

Though the Venus of Hohle Fels is the oldest figurative sculpture now known, her explicit sexuality is by no means unique. Earlier reliefs carved in the Abri Castanet rock shelter 37,000 years ago are believed by their discoverers to be abstract vulvas. And a veritable harem of younger “Venus” statues dating from 30,000 to 20,000 years ago – many of which are included in an important new exhibit of ice-age art at the British Museum – reveal that libido played a decisive role in artistic practice through much of human prehistory.

The eroticism of these figurines has attracted attention – and brought them attention – ever since archeologists started digging them out of the ground.  In the ’40s, for instance, the paleontologist Karel Absolon noted the “diluvial plastic pornography” of an ivory figure he excavated from Dolní Vestonice in the current Czech Republic. The statuette is a simple rod incongruously sprouting pendulous breasts. (As Absolon wryly noted, “the artist neglected all that did not interest him”.) Another statue, the Venus of Lespugue, caught the eye of Pablo Picasso, He owned two copies, and, according to his friend Brassaï, worshipped this sculpture as “the very first goddess of fecundity.”

Torso of a young woman in her prime, from

As might be expected, the focus on sexuality has spawned a backlash. In the catalogue for the British Museum show, the curator Jill Cook calls attention to “the physical diversity of the figures”, who run the gamut from lithe to obese, and represent all stages of life from maidenhood through pregnancy and menopause. More stridently, University of Victoria archeologist April Nowell has objected to the presentation of ice age Venuses as prehistoric pin-ups because such perspectives “legitimise and naturalise contemporary western values and behaviours by tracing them back to the ‘mist of prehistory’“.

The question is whether these prehistoric statues are erotic only by contemporary western standards, or whether their eroticism is timelessly universal. Given the sheer diversity of physiques, the latter seems more plausible. Quite frankly, most of these Venuses have body types well outside the range you’d see in Playboy, yet their sensuality is difficult to miss. In recent times, it’s become fashionable to say that our worldview is culturally determined. These Venus statues suggest that at least some of our perceptions are purely biological.

And in that respect, the Venus of Hohle Fels and her daughters may help us to understand the origin of art without recourse to archeological time travel. Their sexuality is primary. They’re stone and ivory pornography.

Which makes sense, if you consider the effort involved, and the expense. To make anything in a period as hostile as the ice age, you’d need a strong justification, as there obviously was in the manufacture of stone implements. Like the preparation of food, fertility was essential for survival. Art was a tool.

Today art remains a tool, though its usefulness had been blunted because its function isn’t the stuff of cultured conversation. We should look to prehistoric art for inspiration. With the world population verging on seven billion, fecundity is the last thing we need. Yet in terms of immediacy, art ought to be more like pornography.

Originhttps://www.forbes.com/sites/jonathonkeats/2013/02/07/porn-was-the-prehistoric-ancestor-of-art-lets-revive-the-past/#23eb827078ad