An expert witness from the University of Montreal made this astonishing claim in front of a parliamentary committee debating a bill that would increase Canada’s punishment of pedophiles:
“Pedophiles are not simply people who commit a small offence from time to time but rather are grappling with what is equivalent to a sexual orientation just like another individual may be grappling with heterosexuality or even homosexuality,” emphasized Van Gijseghem.
“True pedophiles have an exclusive preference for children, which is the same as having a sexual orientation. You cannot change this person’s sexual orientation.” He added, however: “He may however remain abstinent.”
This claim is astonishing because Dr. Hubert Van Gigjseghem portrays himself as an expert in “extra-familial sexual abuse” and forensic psychology, yet he appears completely unaware of the actual classifications of child molesters. Few child abusers are exclusively attracted to children and those who are generally fall into the either the “mysoped” category – sadists who seek to harm children for sexual gratification – or the “fixated” child molesters whose interest in children is a symptom of pathological immaturity.
The vast majority of so-called pedophiles are “situational” offenders. These people have no real interest in children but for a variety of reasons prey on them for sexual gratification, mainly because children are easier victims to manipulate and control.
Leftists have long accepted the “orientation” argument from pedophiles, partly driven by their blind acceptance of the fraudulent Alfred Kinsey reports that were used to normalize adults molesting children and partly influenced by the “pro-choice” feminist culture which devalues children and sees them as objects that shouldn’t be allowed to get in the way of an adult’s interests. But increasingly, people on the right, especially libertarians, have also accepted this view of child sexual exploitation as an “orientation.”
But there is no “pedophile” orientation, as anyone who has read about a sexual abuse case can tell you.
Take the recent example of Steven Demink of Michigan. Demink posed as a psychologist named Dalton St. Clair online and used a male model’s headshot as part of the deception. It is alleged that using this fake profile, Demink targeted single mothers on the Internet, telling them to molest their own children (on video) as part of a form of ‘therapy’ he created. Several women did just that and sent the footage to him. So far a Virginia Beach woman named Rebecca Nail and a 31-year-old woman from Florida named Candice Miller have been charged.
There are several other women who haven’t been charged yet. All molested the children with the expectation that they would be able to date the fictional Dr. Dalton St. Clair. These women molested children, filmed themselves doing it and sent those images to a man they met online in a bid to win his affection.
What orientation is that? Are they “pedophiles” or simply situational offenders?
In 2008 Kendra D’Andrea ended up in court when it was found that she not only allowed her long distance trucker boyfriend to rape her 8-year-old daughter, but she filmed the attacks and participated in the rapes. It should be noted that her “pedophile” boyfriend maintained a sexual relationship with Kendra. Are either of these people, who used a child as an accessory to their sex life, simply oriented toward abusing children as foreplay?
Just a few days ago, a 25-year-old named Randell Duffell traveled from Alabama to South Carolina to have sex with a 14-year-old girl he met online. Is the 25-year-old preying on teens for sex differently oriented from you and me, or just morally bankrupt? Do we believe that Randell prefers young teens to grown women, or is it just easier for him to gain access to them?
The answers here are obvious. People who exploit children for sex are no different than rapists or thieves. Just as rapists aren’t “roughsexosexuals” and “chokeophiles,” the child molester isn’t a person sexually oriented toward children. They are criminals who feel a sense of entitlement to their own gratification. Children are preyed on because they are unable to do what adults can – refuse. Most supposed pedophiles participate in sexual activity with adults on a regular basis, abusing children when the opportunity arises.
The view of people who prey on children as “grappling” from a orientation they can’t control is at odds not just with accepted research but with the reality we can see with our own eyes in the hundreds of news reports we see every day. The danger of this view should be obvious: it minimizes the moral responsibility of criminals while shielding them from the harsh punishment and social ostracism that is the only real deterrence to these crimes.