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Friday, August 18, 2006

Pedophila: Evil or Mental Illness

The resurgance of the JB Ramsey case and the introduction of suspect Karr brings to my mind this question: is the act of sexually molesting and romantically courting children a mental illness or some kind of evil? My gut instinct says "evil" but in coming to terms with the knowledge that I am strongly physically attracted to certain physical types of men for no apparent reason, is this the case for Pedophiles? Are they so strongly drawn to children they are helpless?

I know of cases where some pedophiles, up for release from prison, begged to not be released knowing they would abuse children again. They knew they could not resist. Could they not resist or didn't want to struggle with the temptation?

Most of us know how strong sexual impulses can be. There are times you can be so horny you can't even sit still. But can we control how we react to those impulses?

Yes. If I acted on every strong sexual impulse or fantasy I have I probably wouldn't be able to walk anymore. I am, by nature, an impulsive person so if I can resist the strong impulse, I feel others can as well. That's probably wrong -thinking but nonetheless it's my outlook.

Back to the question at hand: is it an act of evil to proclaim a physical love to a child and act on that love? Is the attraction just that . . . an attraction that isn't created but just is and rooted to the psyche?

I can't make up my mind. However, I will tell you that the school system and other institutions have failed miserably in rooting out pedophiles from their ranks. When someone has been fired several times for inapproprate physical contact with children, it's a good bet the individual shouldn't be around children. Yet over and over again we see the child predators be moved from one hunting ground to the next.

If you have not seen Kevin Bacon in the disturbing film The Woodsman you may want to rent it. The film tends to plod but the Bacon character - a newly released from prison pedophile is fascinating. The issues in the film are similar to the ones I raise above.

I look at someone like this Karr who is a pedophile and my skin just crawls; I even feel a twinge of fear. I think one of the things I fear most is that someone that I trust would assault me sexually. I suppose that goes back to a few unfortunate instances in my youth. It doesn't have to be physically accomplished - just tried. I do not know what happened to the six year old girl and whether or not this guy really killed her but he need to be put away where he cannot harm anymore children.

The debate over evil vs. mental illness can continue in his absence.

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