Do pedophiles deserve sympathy? Is that the right topic? Slippery slope?

James Cantor

It appears that one can be born with a brain predisposed to experience sexual arousal in response to children.Pedophilic men have significantly less white matter, which is the connective tissue that is responsible for communication between different regions in the brain.

via Do pedophiles deserve sympathy? - CNN.com

Is the doctor presupposing that people's white matter is fixed at birth, not subject to environmental influences (increase/decrease) thereafter — perhaps diminished by abuse? We've known for years that, that happens with brain tissues. His would be a ridiculous position to take without more information to substantiate it. Furthermore, sympathy shouldn't be an issue. Of course prevention is better. What is he really thinking?

Why is he rolling this out now without fleshing it out, even raising other possibilities? Is he being stupid there, or is he part of an agenda to lower standards? Why is CNN letting him?

"Pedophilia" was long used as a synonym for "child molestation," and both were often seen as psychological failures of self-control. Child molesters were thought to be acting out their own histories of abuses,....

That hasn't changed. It still explains plenty. Is James Cantor telling us that it doesn't? I'd like to see him prove it's no longer the case if he is. It doesn't matter if a child was molested? If he thinks that, it doesn't speak very highly of his advanced degree.

To me, there appears to be more going on here than simply advocating for a better approach to treatment. There are homosexualists and pedophiles out to twist the subject for ideological reasons. We should resist that 100%. James Cantor needs to take care not to be misled.

Many homosexuals are homosexual (same-sex attracted) as a direct result of having been homosexually abused, even raped, as non-same-sex attracted children. That's a fact. It has nothing to do with being born that way or with less brain tissue of any type other than perhaps that they were able to be taken advantage of for being less developed and such. Prevention begins with admitting that fact, not living in denial or thinking that someone who is an "associate professor of psychiatry" is immune to poor reasoning, jumping to false conclusions, putting the cart before the horse, or helping to lead in misleading the masses. I'm not saying he is, but I'm not favorably impressed with his work so far.

James Cantor, please go back to the drawing board. Find out whether children are born with more or less white matter, the degree to which white matter can change after birth (in utero would be nice to know about too; also what was the health of the parents at the time of conception), and what can cause any low quantities of tissue and changes of any degree from the mean average for reasonably healthy people. Do that before suggesting what you appear to want others to take away from your article beyond sympathy, which in any case, should not ever morph into tolerance of pedophilia. Make it clear, will you. Be sure not to tiptoe around the homosexualists.

James Cantor, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, is a psychologist and senior scientist at the Sexual Behaviors Clinic of the Center for Addiction and Mental Health. He is editor in chief of "Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment" and blogs at Sexology Today.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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