Monday, October 3, 2011

Stop the Semantics: There is NO SUCH THING as a "convicted pedophile"

Hey Media hounds, 

It is time to set the record straight. There is no such thing as a "convicted pedophile." It is inaccurate. it is just plain wrong. 

While some of you may think, "what semantic nonsense," the use of this term is derogatory and is on par with the "N" word. Allow me to clear the air.

First off, the term "pedophile" is a psychology term with distinct criteria.Below is the DSM-IV criteria for the diagnosis of pedophilia:

Diagnostic criteria for 302.2 Pedophilia
(cautionary statement)  

A. Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children (generally age 13 years or younger). 
B. The person has acted on these urges, or the sexual urges or fantasies cause marked distress or interpersonal difficulty.
C. The person is at least age 16 years and at least 5 years older than the child or children in Criterion A. 

Note: Do not include an individual in late adolescence involved in an ongoing sexual relationship with a 12- or 13-year-old. 

In order to be a "convicted pedophile," simply having a clinical diagnosis of pedophilia would be outlawed. That simply is not the case. Granted, anyone who admits they are sexually attracted to children would likely be harassed by LE and neighbors and subject to scrutiny, but simply having a pedophilia diagnosis would not be enough to arrest someone. Thus, you cannot be arrested simply for being diagnosed with pedophilia.

There is a difference between a sex offender and a pedophile. You can be one without being the other, even if someone has been convicted for a sex crime involving a minor. Very few Registrants are clinically diagnosed with pedophilia. There is a difference between a situational offender and a fixated offender; a situational offender does not have a sexual attraction to children but committed a sex crime involving a minor due to other influences such as a messy divorce or depression; fixated offenders are those far more likely to have clinical sexual deviancy. There are those with a diagnosis of pedophilia who have never committed a sex crime (that means pedophiles are capable of controlling their urges). 

Stop assuming every registrant is a pedophile and misusing the term. You have done enough damage by misusing and abusing this term. Enough with the assumptions, the generalizations, and the downright lies. Quit trying to make progressively scary terms-- Pervert, Pedophiles, Predators, SVP, etc. 

How about a little truth in addressing this issue? Fanning the flames of blind hate and stupidity has not helped matters. But then again, the media is all about milking tragedy. 

Sincerely, 

Derek 

PS: I stand by my words, and certain braid-dead vigilantes need a crash course in reading comprehension. The "common use" of the word does not make it proper use of the word. The "N word" I mentioned is a "common usage" word but I doubt anyone but racists would think the N word is proper or ethical. Most will agree using it to refer to a group of people is unethical and just plain wrong.

2 comments:

  1. The entire issue is based on myth and fear mongering. Educating ourselves to the facts and then making rational laws to deal with the issue of sex offenders needs to happen. The shame is that as long as lawmakers can use this issue to garner votes, it is going to be a long hard road

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  2. Glad someone gets the point. Thanks for commenting!

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