(urth) golden Severa etc.

Dan'l Danehy-Oakes danldo at gmail.com
Wed May 17 10:20:29 PDT 2006

On 5/17/06, David DiGiacomo <david at slack.com> wrote:
> >>>Pedophiles are often attracted to children because of their perceived
> >>>innocence.
> >>
> >> I know this is not really relevant to Wolfe, but... this assertion just
> >> has me floored.  Where did this idea come from?  How could anyone possibly
> >> know?  What does "often" mean?
> >
> >Pedophilia has been studied and profiled the same way most criminal
> >pathologies have been. "Often" here means a behavior shared by a
> >significant portion of the group studied.
> Yes, but this statement is about motivation, not behavior.
> As I said, how could anyone know?
> What external evidence could possibly validate the assertion?
> If a pedophile described his motivation, even if you believed he was
> honest, what use would it be?  Introspection can't explain biology.

Where to begin ...

First of all, pedophilia, unlike gayosity, does _not_ appear to be
significantly biological in origin. (Twin studies, etc.)

Second, you seem to be taking an extreme behaviorist position,
which I think is pretty much outmoded.

Third ... it is certainly possible to study the type of children
more victimized by pedophiles and create an "ideal victim"
profile that exemplifies the characteristics a pedophile seeks
in a child. And, while "innocence" is not an observable
characteristic, certain physical, social, and behavioral
features that tend to be perceived as "innocence" _are_.
Some of these are simply typical of children; others,
such as mode of dress, manner of speech, reaction to
strangers, etc., vary greatly from child to child.

If -- and I have _not_ studied work on pedophilia, so I am
speculating here -- such characteristics proved to be
particularly attractive to pedophiles then it woudl be
reasonable to say that "Pedophiles are often attracted to
children because of their perceived innocence."

Note that in no way am I asserting that the original
statement is "true." I'm merely pointing out that "how could
anyone know" has a meaningful answer, though I have no
personal knowledge of whether the methodology I sketch
has in fact been followed.


I do not fear Satan half so much as I fear those who fear him.
                        -- St Teresa of Avila

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