Portrait of a paedophile

Recent figures show that online images of children being sexually abused have exploded over the past year. But who is fueling this sickening epidemic? What kind of person enjoys seeing horrific crimes committed against the most vulnerable members of our society - our children?

Researchers piecing together the facts are uncovering some surprising truths - and debunking some widely held myths.

Myth: People choose to become paedophiles

Fact:  Paedophilia is a largely biological condition

Experts studying the psychology of paedophilia say most offenders have one thing in common: their sexual preferences get stalled at an early stage of development, and never mature.

Why this happens remains a mystery. But scientists are convinced the “preference” is not actually a choice but a biologically based condition with roots in prenatal development. 

Observes Dr. Fred Berlin, director of the US-based Johns Hopkins Sex and Gender Clinic, “People don’t choose what arouses them - they discover it. No one grows up wanting to be a paedophile.”

Myth: Paedophiles have usually been abused themselves as children

Fact:  The vast majority of offenders deny this

Those charged with paedophilia may look to get sympathy from judges and juries by claiming they were victims, too. But the evidence shows otherwise.

According to a recent New York Times investigation, “Child victims are at far greater risk of future substance abuse, depression, persistent traumatic stress or criminal aggression than of becoming molesters.”

“Child victims are at far greater risk of future substance abuse, depression, persistent traumatic stress or criminal aggression than of becoming molesters.”

Myth: Only a small fraction of those who collect child porn will actually commit abuse

Fact:  New evidence shows more than half have molested children in the real world

Until recently, experts believed that only five to 20 percent of people caught viewing child pornography also committed physical abuse. That view has now changed.

One study based on the confessions of 155 online offenders found that 85 percent had raped or otherwise sexually abused children - although this sample was drawn from convicts that had sought out therapy.

predators

Research now shows that paedophiles share certain physical characteristics suggesting the condition is biologically based. (image source: nbcphiladelphia.com/news)

But other studies have supported the finding that many more online offenders are also offline offenders.  In one, only admitted to molesting children in the physical world.

But once they were followed up with lie-detectors and other in-depth interview techniques the figure rose to nearly 60 percent. 

Myth: Paedophilia is untreatable

Fact:  Treatment is difficult but can be successful

While individuals do not appear to “choose” to be paedophiles - they can definitely choose to commit to treatment to manage their compulsions and to ensure that they don’t cross the line to real-life sex with children. 

Treatment can include drug therapy to inhibit testosterone production, substance-abuse interventions - 40 percent of sex offenders use drugs or alcohol while committing crimes - and software that filters online browsing.

 

Want to learn more? Watch Family Zone cyber expert and former internet detective Brett Lee as he takes you inside the mind of a predator. 

 

 

Create a home where your digital kids can stay safe - and thrive - with Family Zone's strong, customisable parental controls.

Tell me how!

Topics: Parental Controls, Screen time, Mobile Apps, online predators, child pornography, sexual abuse of children, paedophlia

    Try Family Zone for FREE

    Sign up now to try Family Zone for 1 month, totally free of charge.

    Free Trial
    Subscribe to our newsletter
    Follow us on social media
    Popular posts
    Parental Controls | Cyber Safety | Cyber Experts | parenting | roblox
    Roblox: What parents must know about this dangerous game for kids
    Parental Controls | Mobile Apps | Cyber Safety | teens on social media
    Can we talk? 100 questions your teen might actually answer
    Parental Controls | Screen time | online gaming | roblox | sleep
    Family Zone: Now blocking Roblox with a single click
    Cyber Bullying | Parental Controls | Screen time | Mobile Apps | Cyber Safety | online predators | tiktok | paedophile | child predator | Likee
    LIKEE: What parents need to know about this risky TikTok wannabe
    Parental Controls | Screen time | teens on social media | wellbeing | dating app
    Swipe right for trouble: Six teen dating apps parents need to know about
    Parental Controls | Screen time | online gaming | Fortnite | discord
    Discord: What parents need to know

    Recent posts

     
    Is social media *really* a problem for your child?

    Social media isn’t a problem for every kid - only some of them.  Five conversation starters from the American Academy of Pediatrics will ...

     
    Why Instagram is spending millions to target your 13-year-old

    How does Big Tech really see your child? As a fledgling digital citizen to be nurtured?  Or a pipeline to ever-greater profits?

     
    Can a Kid-Safe Browser Protect My Child?

    As kids’ screen-time continues its upward spiral, more and more parents say online safety is their number-one concern. To address those ...

     
    'But Mum, Everybody Has TikTok!' What Parents of Tweens Need to Know

    On the fence about TikTok for your tween? These five facts might help you decide.