Pedophilia is an acquired aberrant human behavior that has received a great deal of publicity in recent years.  It is a harmful condition that exists and it needs our thoughtful attention.  Pedophilia is not "a given" -- that is, an individual is not born with that inclination.  At some time in some place along life's path, a pedophile (male or female) encounters an experience or event which causes that adult individual to seek expression of their sexual fantasies with children (female or male).  I offer the following comments, theories and evaluations as a basis for thought on this important subject.
        First, it must be made clear that the subjects of pedophilia and homosexuality are entirely different unrelated subjects.  Homosexuality is not "an acquired aberrant human behavior" -- it is a given.  Most pedophilia actions are directed to children of the opposite gender and some pedophilia actions are directed to a specific gender or either gender in the form of "aggressive action" to placate a dangerous anger within the pedophile psyche.
        When I was much too young to have any idea what was happening, a father two houses away had his daughter living with him.  The man was arrested and sent to prison.  The reason was that he had been intimate for a long time with his daughter and she had become pregnant which, of course, revealed the "secret."
        I know of a case where a mother in Pennsylvania abused her son, "Jack."  Jack, from his earliest memories, recalls how his mother fondled him and, when he started to mature, she insisted that they engage in intercourse.  At age 18 he left home and moved to California to get away from her.  Was this "pedophilia" or was it initiated by the mother for some other reason?  There is not sufficient evidence to even hazard a guess.
        In another case I ministered to a 27 year old man in the Dallas County Jail who was charged, tried and convicted for molesting seven young boys in his neighborhood.  He said to me:  "I love those boys very much.  I wouldn't do anything to hurt them.  I bought them gifts and tried to make them happy."  I have no doubt that he was sincere, but somewhere along the line his "love" became directed in an aberrant (wrongful) way and, in my opinion, his own ego became "locked" into that young generation through which he had already passed.  He had matured physically but he had not matured emotionally.  Was he a pedophile?  I would say "yes" because, in my discussions with him, enough was learned to determine that he was not just confused with his own identity but he had probably locked himself into that stage of development because he was rejected by his own peers.  Was he apt to physically harm any of the boys?  At that point in time, I would positively say "no" but we do not know what continued experiences would have on his future emotional reactions.  Like the AA program, if he had a desire to grow out of that condition and he worked diligently on it, I believe he could correct his emotional retardation.
        There is no doubt that children who are abused in any manner, sexual or otherwise, can carry scars of those experiences as they walk life's journey.  Some children will be able to cope with it -- the scar will heal and become almost unnoticeable to them.  Others may carry the scars throughout their lifetime, always tormented.  The latter certainly need help in avoiding this depressing condition.  Parents and other adult mentors should handle the education task in a matter-of-fact way rather than instill a sense of fear and foreboding in the developing minds of the children.  Fear and apprehension can be of great emotional harm to a child who might seek to withdraw from that "dangerous world out there."  In other words, the adult will likely consider the "approach" projected to their child to be an absolute catastrophe but "keep your cool."  The child should be aware of your caring concern but do not display fear or terror to them -- and do not keep bringing the subject to their attention.  Most of all, do not make them feel guilty for "allowing such a thing to happen."  Help the child feel that he/she is able to keep the situation under control; thus, they will be able to better cope with the incident while still receiving a lesson on how to respond to many challenges of the future.
       Most children, as they pass through their teens, become curious about the changes taking place in their bodies and in their feelings.  They examine self and, to some extent, their peers.  As the child is growing up, loving and thoughtful parents should advise the child that certain parts of their body are "private" and "out of bounds" for others who should have no reason to be interested in their private parts. Considering their age and maturity, this is the time they need their questions properly answered.  They should be made aware that if anyone makes a suggestion or starts an action that they consider inappropriate, they have every reason to insist "NO."  That should settle the matter but, if the aggressor persists, the child should understand that they should not be alone with that person.  The child should be alert for inappropriate actions of a stranger (male or female) but they should not be filled with terror of strangers.
        Everyone resents and resists being forced to do or submit to anything that they feel undesirable to them --- even if the action is not harmful. I believe that even a small child can have an inherent feeling that certain things can be good or they can be bad.  Unfortunately, some young people today have been badly abused from infancy by those who can freely publish in all forms of the media.  I can recall when it was considered very risqué for a boy to browse through the lingerie section of the Sears-Roebuck Catalog -- today they watch real women taking their lingerie off on television.  Are the advertisers and modern movie writers pedophiles?  I doubt it.  They are more likely people who are in the business of "usury."  They are using any means possible in order to sell a product -- they are using people's emotions to a disadvantage without regard to problems being developed in young minds.
        Can a pedophile be "cured?"  The same answer would be the answer to the question:  "Can an alcoholic be cured?"  Like so many addictions, it is up to the individual to make the choice and to do something about it.  Then it becomes a day-by-day procedure.  For "cure" the addict must be their own "jailer" who keeps self under 24-hour surveillance.  It is necessary to avoid placing self in a position of temptation even if the addiction is "under control."  In my ministry, I once had a man come to me to see if I could help him get a job.  His trade was bartending -- it is what he knew and the only thing he wanted to do.  The problem was that he was also an alcoholic.  I told him to learn a new trade.
        Another time a woman called me for advice on a family problem.  Her middle-aged brother owned a bicycle shop and had a good business.  Her brother had served prison time for molesting young boys and she was afraid he was going to get into trouble again because several young boys "hung out" at his shop and she suspected something was going on.  I told her that her brother was at least in a bad situation and to try and get him to come to me for counseling.  He never called.
        An addiction, including pedophilia, is a serious problem but, with proper education and determination by the addict, it is not a hopeless situation.  Conditions and longevity of the actions are critical factors.  If one turns self over to unfavorable environments, emotions and thoughts, then they have lost control of their own being and life.  Most often it will not lead to violence but its effect can be devastating to self and others.
        One closing thought that needs to be considered is that children (and some adults) are impressionable --- they can fantasize something improper has happened because someone has suggested that it happened to them, they assume the role of a news item they heard, they have a dislike for the accused person, they misinterpret what the "accused" did or they are hungry for attention.  It happened in the witch hunts in Salem and it has happened in many cases in recent times.


PEDOPHILIA
by Nathan [February 1998]
A REVIEW OF RECENT DATA ON PEDOPHILIA - April 2002
FACT SHEET ON
SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND CHILD ABUSE

Studies show that there is no connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse.
Dr. Carole Jenny reviewed 352 medical charts, representing all of the sexually abused children seen in the emergency room or child abuse clinic of a Denver children's hospital during a one-year period (from July 1, 1991 to June 30, 1992). The molester was a gay or lesbian adult in only 2 of the 269 cases in which an adult molester could be identified, less than 1 percent of the cases. (Jenny et al., 1994).

Groth and Birnbaum (1978) found that none of the 175 adult males in their sample - all of whom were convicted in Massachusetts of sexual assault against a child - had an exclusively homosexual adult sexual orientation. In one review of the scientific literature, noted authority Dr. A. Nicholas Groth wrote: “Are homosexual adults in general sexually attracted to children and are preadolescent children at greater risk of molestation from homosexual adults than from heterosexual adults? There is no reason to believe so. The research to date all points to there being no significant relationship between a homosexual lifestyle and child molestation. There appears to be practically no reportage of sexual molestation of girls by lesbian adults, and the adult male who sexually molests young boys is not likely to be homosexual (Groth & Gary, 1982, p. 147).

The heterosexual partner of a relative is more likely to sexually abuse children than someone who is gay.
A 1994 study found that “a child's risk of being molested by his or her relatives heterosexual partner is 100 times greater than by someone who might be identified as a homosexual. (Carole Jenny et al., Are Children at Risk for Sexual Abuse by Homosexuals?; 94 Pediatrics 41; July 1994; study of 269 sexually abused children when an adult offender was identified.)

A sexual abuser who molests a child of the same sex is usually not considered homosexual.
Dr. Nathaniel McConaghy (1998) cautioned against confusing homosexuality with pedophilia. He noted, “The man who offends against prepubertal or immediately postpubertal boys is typically not sexually interested in older men or in women” (p. 259). “It is meaningless to speak of fixated molesters in these terms - as heterosexual or homosexuals - they are attracted to children, not to men or women. (Groth & Birnbaum, 1978).

** Note: The term “fixated molesters” refers to adults exclusively attracted to children.

The experts agree that there is no link between homosexuality and child abuse.
The American Psychological Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Academy of Child Psychiatrists and the Child Welfare League of America all have policy statements stating there is no correlation between homosexuality and child abuse. When asked about this question, the American Psychiatric Association wrote to the Senate stating: “While we are all concerned by the issue of sexual abuse, there is no credible evidence that lesbians and gay men are more likely to commit such offenses than others. Gay men and lesbians do not pose any particular threat to youth and should not be singled out or discriminated against in any manner.


SOURCES:
Jenny, C., Roesler, T. A., & Poyer, K. L. (1994). Are children at risk for sexual abuse by homosexuals? Pediatrics, 94(1), 41-44
Groth, A.N., & Birnbaum, H.J. (1978). Adult sexual orientation and attraction to underage persons. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 7 (3), 175-181
Groth, A. N., & Gary, T. S. (1982). Heterosexuality, homosexuality, and pedophilia: Sexual offenses against children and adult sexual orientation.
In A.M. Scacco (Ed.), Male rape: A casebook of sexual aggressions (pp. 143-152). New York: AMS Press.
Freund, K., Watson, R., & Rienzo, D. (1989). Heterosexuality, homosexuality, and erotic age preference. The Journal of Sex Research, 26 (1), 107-117.
Carole Jenny et al. Are Children at Risk for Sexual Abuse by Homosexuals?; 94 Pediatrics 41; July 1994; study of 269 sexually abused children when an adult offender was identified.McConaghy, N. (1998). Pedophilia: A review of the evidence. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 32(2), 252-265.
Groth, A.N., & Birnbaum, H.J. (1978). Adult sexual orientation and attraction to underage persons. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 7 (3), 175-181.
Klassen, A. D., Williams, C. J., & Levitt, E. E. (1989). Sex and morality in the U.S.: An empirical enquiry under the auspices of the Kinsey Institute. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.
Herek, G.M., Public Opinion Quarterly, 2002.
Nebraska Psychological Association; Minutes of the Nebraska Psychological Association;
Oct. 19, 1984 Lincoln Star; “Sociology Group Criticizes Work of Paul Cameron”; “Sept. 10, 1985
K. Freund and R.J. Watson, The Proportions of Heterosexual and Homosexual Pedophiles Among Sex Offenders Against Children: An Exploratory Study, J. of Sex & Marital Therapy 4; 1992
29-III-1B
Revised: 4-23-2002