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Wednesday 15 August 2018
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The peril of paedophilia



PAEDOPHILIA has been living in various spaces including, but not limited to, families and communities for centuries, but unfortunately, it only comes alive when one of our babies has been sexually slaughtered by someone with a vile and perverted mind, who is sexually attracted to minors.

Like the many other psychosocial issues where we emote after incidents, after which the emotions and anger dissipate, conversations to enlighten the national community are indeed critical in digging deeper into the reasons for paedophilic behaviour as its occurrence affects the entire global community.

International research shows that paedophilia traverses many universal pathways that provide varying opportunities for its unlimited continuity. The fifth Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defines paedophiles as individuals who are preferentially or solely sexually attracted to pre-pubescent children generally 13 years or less.

My postgraduate research is taking me into some unique spaces to unearth more about this mental disorder. The research further states that not all paedophiles are child sex offenders and conversely, not all child sex offenders are paedophiles. It also shows that some individuals who sexually abuse children are not particularly attracted to children, as the abuse is linked to a business opportunity with the child being used as a sexual substitute.

Other research on paedophilia show in reference to being preferential and/or obsessive, some child sex offenders do not even realise their actions are wrong; in fact, their mental psyche tells them that they are showing love.

The million-dollar question remains why do some adults sexually abuse children?

Some of the more common reasons have been advanced through research. A number of people who have been sexually abused as children more than likely will become offenders; on the flip side, there are people who have not been abused as children, but find children sexually attractive.

This phenomenon is supported by data published in Biology Letters which shows that paedophiles’ brains are essentially wired to find immature faces attractive.

Is there a cure? Recent studies have shown that psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy may be combined to bring about effective treatment to an individual affected by paedophilia; this included discussions on traumatic events, particularly those that emanated from an abuser’s childhood; and therapy that also seeks to assist patients identify situations that may influence them in engaging in harmful behaviours towards children.

Paedophilia is indeed a complex disorder that hinges upon many factors which require in-depth analysis in an effort to understand and arrive at remedial solutions

Adriana Sandrine Rattan is a communications and branding consultant, author, empowerment builder and president of the International Women’s Resource Network (IWRN) Contact: intlwomensresourcenetwork@gmail.com; www.facebook.com/IWRN1/


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