• 💖 [Donate To Keep MyPTSD Online] 💖 Every contribution, no matter how small, fuels our mission and helps us continue to provide peer-to-peer services. Your generosity keeps us independent and available freely to the world. MyPTSD closes if we can't reach our annual goal.

Sexual Assault Can pedophiles become non-pedophiles?

@littleoc first I want to say thank you for your thoughtful and open response 💛 Your post was a journey and I want to engage with it. Lots of sparks ⚡️ (and I mean lots, so here we go)

The problem isn't pedophilia itself. The issue is safety. Yes, we can study all day and research others' research all year to find out whether it's genetic or a disorder or not. But that in itself is not the main issue.
I agree and I realize that the tone in my post is difficult to convey. I studied evolutionary psychology and I disagree with it. I think that focusing on the genetics of the perpetrators takes away from focus on the safety of the potential victims. But whether or not a pedophile can become a non-pedophile seems to be a logical segue for a discussion on genetics (as if genes are a stone tablet, which we both know is not true.)
What does it mean if we found out that every pedophile was genetically "wired" to be that way?
That’s not how my brain thinks. I think in percentages. Even if 20% of pedophiles had a genetic component that would be significant I think? (But again it would not be helpful for safety purposes I don’t think?) A lot of behavioral disorders are partially genetic and partially environmental (the identical twin studies separated at birth reveal which disorders have a stronger genetic component.)
That it was secretly a sexual orientation
From an academic perspective it’s not a secret 👇
There is no consensus among researchers that pedophiles are necessarily "born that way" in the sense of having a predetermined sexual orientation towards children
I think they are oriented toward children and gender. I think Weemie pointed out that the orientation towards children is technically not a sexual orientation but a paraphilia, which is not how chatGPT reflected it.
People who know better simply wouldn't do it, theoretically
Theoretically.
did not know I could say no, or that some of the things I was agreeing to would cause me longterm confusion or harm, with VERY little guidance from outsiders. The fact that society saw me, then seen as a girl (one of the only times I ever truly leaned into that gender), in a certain light made it much, much worse
Yes. Heart-breaking!
Does it matter if he had good or bad intentions? No. It did not affect how it affected me. If we put him in the legal system right now, the intentions would not have merit.
This was so so so hard for me to accept in my own case. I really wanted to believe that he had good intentions but was just too stupid or too f*cked yo from his own pedophile dad. I wanted so badly to let him off the hook for his own responsibilities. When I realized that from a legal perspective his actions were a crime something shifted—that was the beginning of my journey. If I believed he had good intentions then I was numb to the affects and internalized all my anger.
Pedo truly believed he had a sexual orientation that prevented him from connecting romantically or sexually with adults.
He believed that. He was delusional. It’s not a sexual orientation, but it seems that some academics believe that if it is seen that way then removing the shame will allow them space to examine themselves. It seems they already don’t have shame. But I do believe you that some pedophiles and non-offenders attracted to children are bewildered and concerned by their fantasies.

I believed I was a pedophile because I had fantasies about being a boy child being emotionally manipulated and raped by adult men. I was sexually aroused by the idea of boys having sex with men. And of me being a boy being seduced by a man. So I had something like autoandropedophilia. I wasn’t concerned about it until I recovered the memories of what my dad did and faced it in recovery of my self with my therapist. As I realized that what he did was wrong and harmful to me I realized that I was having those shameful fantasies as a way to gain control of my sexual self. I also presented as androgynous leading up to my mental recovery.

I believe I was at risk to be a pedophile toward teenage boys. I only felt ashamed of it when I realized that people weren’t objects. That I myself wasn’t an object.
genetic or not, the issue is in the chosen actions and whether or not they caused harm.
Yep yep!!
there are forums out there, protected, specifically for these adults who are in need of validation and support because they are disturbed by their attractions
I hope they are helping people. If so, that’s great. I think that I was able to change because I was ashamed of my own thoughts. And that shame was healthy. And I had a supportive T.
second of all, if you love someone and respect them as an equal, do you risk hurting them?
A child is NEVER the equal of the adult but the pedophile uses this trick all the damn time. The pedo depends upon the child believing they are equals, which I think is why they use the term love so much.
I personally can't even stand the thought of leaving people upset in a simple conversation. I would never sleep with anyone who might not know what they're getting in to.
Because you are not only a decent person but an exceptionally kind one.
If that pedo loved children so much, why did he have sex with one? Was that necessary? Would he have died if he had refrained?
He used the concept of love to manipulate. He had sex with one because he’s a rapist. Children cannot consent, ever. They are not developed enough physically or politically. Not only was it unnecessary it was exploitative. You and I both know that feeling like you’re going to die is not the same as actually dying. And tragically, the effect of sexual assault on children is them feeling every day like they ought to or want to die—maybe not right away, but at some point when all the processing catches up, when they are developed enough physically and politically. SI isn’t guaranteed permanent but it is a monstrous thing to maneuver into remission.

To bring it back to the topic, I agree that calling it genetic is a distraction. And whether or not a pedophile can become a non-pedophile doesn’t necessarily depend on it being genetic. If data shows that pedophiles cannot become non-pedophiles, broadly speaking, then focus ought to be on safety—which is where a sizable division in ideas seems to take place.
 
Even if 20% of pedophiles had a genetic component that would be significant I think?
It also might be worthwhile to consider that if we could, for example, test for pedophilia I bet we would find a lot of people have the genetic predisposition for it, but they do not end up becoming pedophiles! So it's even more complexity on complexity, heh.
 
I think comparing American/Westernized pedophilia to the Greco-Roman practice of pederasty is a strawman approach.
Very well, but you have done a poor job of explaining why the United States is worse than anywhere else in Eastern Europe, or Turkey, or any number of African or Asian nations where we tend to think of pedophilia as being worse than here. Is it really? Statistics, please. Citing capitalism won't cut it. I want facts. Why is the United States the worst?

Sexualization of children is NOT the same as pedophilia, by the way.
 
I believed I was a pedophile because I had fantasies about being a boy child being emotionally manipulated and raped by adult men. I was sexually aroused by the idea of boys having sex with men. And of me being a boy being seduced by a man. So I had something like autoandropedophilia.
One of the clearest things thats been made apparent to me is that if your fetishes are related to trauma, it is probably a trauma response before it is a paraphilia. I used to think I was a pedophile, rapist and zoophile bc my brain would constantly pelt me with that shit. Bc I couldnt (still cant really) look at kids without thinking about them getting hurt. Its not arousing to me, its just intrusive thoughts. But I have had rape/pedophilia fantasies before, with myself in neither position (I do not have any ability to inject myself into fantasies and never have, I have something akin to aegosexuality which I suspect is because I am schizoid).

Never, thank god, about a real child. But I just have OCD and trauma lol. I think it might even be well-on impossible that I wouldnt have developed some f*cked up internal landscape on the matter, given that I was quite literally forced to rape people as a child. Once that happens to u, it irrevocably changes how your brain is wired, and I used to think it made me a rapist. It actually did not! All of this was internal, not external. The closest I ever came to acting on it, was that i would watch porn of adults and pretend they were all being abused.

Its challenging to consider all this stuff without the lens of judgment, but Ive become more able to do that as I heal more.
 
Last edited:
@Rose White - My instinct is no, the reason being, that I think that pedophilia goes beyond fantasies - it involves urges, and it crosses over from fantasy into real life. So, if you had like, drawn a bunch of art of little boys being abused by grown men, that might indicate a more strong pedophilic tendency, if you had looked at real kids and imagined abusing them, if you've ever seen a child in real life and been attracted to them, etc -

those are probably real indicators of pedophilia, but I think if it is just internal and if you were able to move past it (and are now able to - which is one of the defining features of a paraphilia - achieve sexual release without these fantasies), that is even less of an indicator that it was pedophilic. I actually used to not be able to be satisfied sexually without fantasies of abuse.

It took an extremely targeted approach for me to replace that stuff in my mind (and even now, abuse is a feature of it, but I have replaced it with a more recovery oriented slant, instead of a degrading/harmful slant).
 
Last edited by a moderator:
actually used to not be able to be satisfied sexually without fantasies of abuse.

It took an extremely targeted approach for me to replace that stuff in my mind (and even now, abuse is a feature of it, but I have replaced it with a more recovery oriented slant,
Similar experience for me. Targeted is a good description. It was hard and tedious and drawn-out work. The way you worded the part I italicized is kind of like an a-ha/relief/validation moment for me.
 
Citing capitalism won't cut it.
Oh, I didn’t cite capitalism. If you scroll up on my post you will see the articles I did cite.

Here are some more.

The US now hosts more child sexual abuse material online than any other country.​


Child trafficking by country: US is the highest

Annually about 300,000 to 400,000 children are trafficked across US international borders. About 200,000 children are domestically trafficked. 80% of trafficked victims are sexually exploited. US Dept Health and Human Services

Turkey had 120 sexually exploited trafficking victims. In 2019

we tend to think of pedophilia as being worse than here
Some may indeed think that way.

US is a source and transit country for child sex trafficking and considered a top destination point for victims of sexual abuse and exploitation —UNICEF

It is hard to find reliable statistics for child sex abuse as so much is underreported and hidden (I think you know something about underreporting of abuse.).

I gave my opinion on this issue. I have attempted to provide evidence. I appreciate the opportunity to learn about this complex topic even though that was not my goal for this thread. I respectfully ask that if I have not convinced you that we please end this side debate or you start a different thread.

I am curious if you have an answer to my original question?
 
Based on my own experiences, I would expand this to North America in its entirety, not just the USA. People are always shocked when I talk about Canada's enormous trafficking problem. My own province has the highest rates of human trafficking in Canada! Here is the proof. On those statistics our human trafficking rates don't appear too bad with like 4,000 reported over a long timespan but I personally know, first-hand, that those numbers are complete bullshit. There are so, so, so, so, so many little kids that fall thru the cracks, that never get reported, ever.

And our trafficking task forces/hotlines are garbage, they don't even function. My actual, literal trafficker worked at Stepping Stone which is an anti-trafficking organization. So, like, I dont trust the numbers lol. I absolutely 9000% do not believe that turkey only had 120 trafficking victims in 2019. Thats just nonsense, and probably is a result of poor law enforcement than Turkey somehow being immune from trafficking.

Infact, in places with higher trafficking levels, they probably have less reports bc the more reports you get, the more involved law enforcement gets, and the less people you can traffic. U feel me? People don't want to believe that this stuff is as bad as it is here. I'm not necessarily convinced that it's specifically indicative of higher pedophilia levels though as

1) these are reported incidents, whereas in non-developed countries such incidents are infrequently reported due to unreliable or even criminally culpable law enforcement agencies and 2) human trafficking on its own is extremely complex and people who traffic even in children, aren't necessarily pedophiles (many of my instructors actually were not pedophiles, they were psychopaths)

The USA and CSAM is compelling however we should also remember that this is for hosted content, which does not mean that every image originates from the USA, it just means that a person used a website based in the USA (like Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, etc) to upload it.

Also sorry I didnt see that you werent interested in discussing this. So no need to reply, and if mods want to delete u can. For the record Im really not debating at all, I dont have any dogs in this race lol, just from my own experiences with trafficking, wanting to point out that the numbers are probably not right!
 
Last edited:
One of the clearest things thats been made apparent to me is that if your fetishes are related to trauma, it is probably a trauma response before it is a paraphilia.
My brain kept thinking about this today so I am putting it here to acknowledge.

Probably a trauma response before it is a paraphilia.

I didn’t overcome pedophilia, I conditioned myself out of a trauma response with the support of my T.

Which kind of brings me back to your classification of pedo’s, Weemie. Some of the people who would be considered pedo’s are not technically—the examples that come to mind are substance-induced first and foremost, then the ones who are sadistic toward any human if it accomplishes their goal of something like revenge or domination, then the ones with intellectual impairment.

And maybe making those distinctions is helpful in some cases and not in others. But there is no need (for me) to make black and white statements when speaking about hypothetical situations. But it is helpful (for me) to understand that in some instances there are exceptions.

And to understand that a significant portion of pedophiles cannot change—which more than a few people who responded seemed to indicate. I’m not closing the book on my thoughts on this topic, just developing my approach.
 
a lot of the pedos that I knew were just "slow" and like, developmentally immature (which might be part of why they're a pedophile? IDK!)
I had two abusers who were pedophiles, and they were not "slow"-very successful academically and professionally. I would also say they were incredibly "cunning" and very sharp at understanding human behavior and observation of those around them. It helped them be incredibly financial successful in using their sharp observations to their favor to get what they wanted in their charming and manipulative ways.

I did read many threads on reddit where pedophiles don't want to be pedophiles, and are suffering from the condition. This is not the "ocd" condition where people are afraid or insanely fearful that they may be pedophiles, but they aren't-ocd has them in this horrible loop of fear. So on reddit there are threads from pedophiles who know they are, and they can't really live normal lives and have a hard time managing their attraction to children. I don't know that they can recover, but anything is possible in my book.
 
I had two abusers who were pedophiles, and they were not "slow"-very successful academically and professionally.
Sure, I had abusers like this as well. The guy that I reported to his boss was a successful teacher, etc. However, I've known hundreds of pedophiles, and a significant portion of them display this developmental deficiency that is very obvious. Like I said in my post, this is not a scientific analysis, but rather an observation based on my own personal experiences, an observation that I made often enough that I wonder if it is clinically significant.

I did read many threads on reddit where pedophiles don't want to be pedophiles, and are suffering from the condition. This is not the "ocd" condition where people are afraid or insanely fearful that they may be pedophiles
Yea, I have known both cases and I have pedophile OCD myself. Sometimes the line is difficult to draw because you're talking to a person who says shit like, "I think I'm a pedophile because when I looked at a child I felt a sensation in my groin, and I am always thinking about being attracted to kids." -> that's OCD, but it could be easily misinterpreted, through unreliable narration, as pedophilia.

I've also encountered the same - pedophiles who know without a doubt that they are, and they are 100%. But they suffer because it causes them constant distress. I've also known offending pedophiles who pretend to be remorseful to escape the consequences of their behavior. All of these things combined make it difficult to formulate an analysis over the gestalt of pedophilia, but as far as I understand it, a genuine pedophile has a neurological aberration that as of this moment, we cannot cure. That doesn't mean every pedophile is a lost cause.

There's actually an island of offending pedophiles in Florida, called Miracle Village, where pedophiles specifically self-isolate after incarceration/treatment to avoid re-offending. They limit/monitor internet access and police themselves, not allowing any children into the area (and actually bringing court cases due to violations of the Fair Housing Act to ensure that this doesn't happen). Having listened to the dude who runs the place, I believe that this is a genuine attempt at rehabilitation. I believe him when he says he doesn't want to offend again, and he has taken active, concrete steps to ensure that does not happen. Whatever that means about him as a person, I have no capacity to judge.

All I will say is that I have done some cruel, horrid shit myself and at age 30, I spontaneously developed affective empathy after a heroic dose of psilocybin. I personally changed, and witnessed this genuine change of my internal landscape. Before that I would have sworn up and down that I was not fixable, because my affective empathy deficits are due to a neurological abnormality on the schizophrenia-spectrum (schizoid PD). Whilst I am still nowhere near "fixed," that degree of change proved to me that the human brain is capable of anything.

Before I changed, I had also significantly rehabilitated my aggression and anger, all things that are also neurologically wired into me due to my upbringing, experiences, and genetics. So that itself has proven to me that we human beings are capable of using our intellect and reason to overcome problems even as ingratiated as this.
 
Back
Top