Sexual Violence - Pedophilia and Child Molestation

Pedophilia is a mental disorder under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), and is characterized by adults to sexually molest children.  Pedophilia is criminal activity along with being immoral and socially not acceptable.  A person suffering from pedophilia may be having a range of characteristic symptoms including-
Recurrent and intense fantasies, sexual urges and behaviors of having sexual activity with individuals under the age of 13 or younger
These fantasies, sexual urges and behaviors of child sexual activity would create significant distress and impairments at the home, school, workplace or in social settings
The individual who is affected with this disorder should be more than 16 years of age and above 5 years older than the child who is sexually affected (DSM-IV-TR, 2009).

The Pedophile
The individual who is affected with pedophilia is known as a pedophile, and may be characterized by a number of sexual patterns including-
Having sexual activity with girls below the age of puberty
Having sexual activity with slightly younger girls
Having sex with slightly older boys
Having sexual activity with children of both sexes
Having sexual activity with children and adults (Ferguson, 2007)

The pedophile can be of two different types-
Situational pedophile
Regressed type
Morally indiscriminate type
Nave type
Preferential pedophile
Sadistic type
Fixated type (CSBSJU, 2009)

A situational pedophile may not have true sexual interest in the child but may choose to perform such an activity based on the circumstance.  Such an individual would not limit themselves to sex with children but may also choose adults, elders, animals, dead people, etc.  Such type has lower number of victims.  There are three subtypes of situational pedophile including regressed, morally indiscriminate and the nave type.  A regressed type may have a situation that compels him to perform child sexual activity.  Such an individual may perform such an activity during excessive life stressors.  Usually such individuals seem to be financially and professionally stable.  A morally indiscriminate type would choose anybody for sex inducing children, without choosing discriminately.  Children are often used as they are found to be convenient victims.  A naive type of pedophile is one who is affected with a mental disorder and is known by others to be weird in behavior.  Such an individual would not harm a child but rather pet the child, touches it and often fondles the child, but would not have direct sexual activity with the child.  They do not mean any harm to children and may deal with the child in a non-threatening manner as they feel children are harmless (CSBSJU, 2009).

A preferential pedophile prefers children for their sexual gratification and seeks to use children.  It is of two subtypes namely sadistic type and fixated type.  The sadistic type is usually a male seeking a female child for sexual gratification.  The child is usually a stranger and usually force is being used.  Sadistic child abusers usually kidnap children from schools, homes, playgrounds, etc, and cause damage and harm to the child, without any mercy.  Such individuals get used to the crime and would repeatedly perform the acts without any limit.  Usually after the sexual activity, the child is killed or seriously injured.  The person performing such an activity is usually an antisocial person known for hisher aggressive behavior.  The Fixated subtype is usually a person who is immature and uncomfortable working with other adults, and hence stays aloof.  Such an individual has a child-like behavior and prefers to be in the company of children as they are less demanding.  They like children and feel that children should not be harmed.  However, molestation may occur when their relationship becomes very intimate with the child and plan for seduction.  Such individuals usually have oral and genital sex with the child (CSBSJU, 2009).  Of all the subtypes, the sadistic pedophilia is the most damaging, followed by the morally indiscriminate type, regressed type and the fixated type.  

A pedophile would practice several sexual activities and behaviors with the child including-
Undressing the child
Undressing in front of the child
Flashing (showing ones private parts to the child)
Kissing and touching the child
Engaging in direct sexual activity with the child (oral, vaginal, anal sex)
Forcing the child to watch pornography
Verbal pressure forcing the child for sex
Exploitation children as sexual workers
Viewing pornographic photographs of the child
Engaged in taking pornographic photographic of the child or their distribution (NC-PTSD, 2010)

Signs of Child Molestation
All the child abuse activities may disturb the child physically, mentally and emotionally, as childhood is a developmental period.  Usually most of the activities are organized on the pretext of the activities would be educational for the child, and the sexual pleasure attained by the child during the sexual activity was essential as a part of the learning process.  Many pedophiles also drug the child with sedatives before engaging the child in sexual activity.  It would be difficult to determine if the child has been a victim of sexual abuse as always physical evidence may not be available.  In some cases, the child may be unconscious during the period of sexual activity of molestation.  Other children may want to keep the activity of abuse as a secret (NC-PTSD, 2009).  

Some of the signs that may be evident in a child following child molestation include-
Behaving in an abnormal manner
Constant fears and worries
Loss of learning skills
Poor performance at the school
Anxiety and depression
Bad dreams and nightmares (Sleep problems)
Conduct problems
Being aggressive
Bed wetting
Thumb sucking
Different attitude towards sex
Being cruel to others especially animals
Loss of social skills
Staying aloof from family, friends and peers
Suicidal tendencies (especially in teens)
Loss of trust in a close one
Loss of attention and concentration
Feelings of anger, disgust, shock, etc
Poor self-image and loss of self-confidence
Drug abuse and alcohol abuse
Eating problems (AACAP, 2009)

Legal Issues
The law is quite firm with the statement that children are incapable of providing informed consent for sexual activity.  Any such consent obtained from the child would not be valid as the child is immature due to age.  As the parents or the close relatives of the child are also capable of engaging the child in sexual activity, consent from the parents is also not valid to have sex with the child.  Today, there is immense awareness that pedophiles may work for organizations that promote activities that would normalize the manner in which adults can have sex with children. As these sexual activities are seriously damaging to the child, child pornography and publication of any material of how to have sex with a child is banned across several countries of the world (UIUC, 2009).

The incidence of child molestation is very high.  One in six boys is sexually abused and one in four girls suffers from abuse (National Center for PTSD, 2010).  Every year more than 80,000 cases of child molestation and abuse have been reported in the US, but this is only a tip of the iceberg. A majority of cases go unreported or it may be that the child would be timid not to tell others, the child being threatened not to tell others or the parents not reporting the matter to the authorities.  On a long-term basis, the effect of sexual abuse and molestation of the child would be psychologically and emotionally damaging (UIUC, 2009).  Child molestation can take place by various individuals including-
Close relatives
Elder siblings
Child care personnel
Medical care personnel
Law-enforcement personnel (AACAP, 2009)

In about 30  of all cases of child molestation, the molester would be a family member which includes a parent.  About 60  of all child molestations are committed by friends who are not actually family members but who know the child and the family well.  About 10 are actually committed by strangers. About 80  to 95 of all sexual abuses against child are from men, and the remaining 20  are by women.  Most of the abuses by men are against girls.  In women who sexually abuse children, 14 are against boys and 6 are against girls.  The internet has been increasing instances of child abuse in the world.   Increasing children are falling victims to strangers who get into contact with them through the internet (National Center for PTSD, 2010).  The mean age of the pedophiles who cause the greatest harm to children is about 27 years.  Females from the sadistic pedophile type are very rare.  The sadistic pedophiles are usually White male (CSBSJU, 2010).

Profiling Pedophiles
1. Personality of the profilers  Many of the pedophiles may actually be psychologically normal, though in some cases, underlying personality disorders may be evident.  Usually certain psychological patterns would be observed in the pedophiles, including low self-esteem, dysphoria, isolation, emotional liability, aggressiveness, etc.
2. Failure of reporting  Abuse that is not reported has a greater chance of being repeated.  Usually child sexual abuse is not reported due to shame, internal guilt, emotional reasons, fear, or afraid of the peoples reaction.
3. Access to children  In about 60 of all cases, abuse is by a known person.  Usually, the abuser would interact with the child in a lonely location.  They may either persuade the child to the location or gain the trust of the child to come to this location.  Girls are usually abused in their own homes and boys in locations outside home.  Pedophiles usually target children from lower socioeconomic and lower educational groups.  They usually look for families where the father has been staying away.
4. Timing of the vulnerability  Younger children usually are molested around 300 PM to 600 PM, whereas teenagers are assaulted from 800 PM to 200 PM.
5. Ritual of victimization
6. Abduction process
7. Previous experience of child sexual abuse  Studies have demonstrated people who have been victims of abuse are at the higher risk of abusing children when they become adults (Hall, 2007).

Conclusion (My Views)
Child molestation has become a huge social problem today.  It has been found that there are several types of pedophiles, but the worst subtype may be the sadistic type, wherein the assaulter would invariable abduct, attack, rape and kill the child.  There are certain demographic, social, psychosocial, psychiatric, familial, educational, martial and criminal patterns which are observable in the pedophiles.  However, abuse needs to be handled immediately in order to prevent further harm for the child itself and the society in general.  All cases of abuse need to be reported.  Children should be educated as to how they can identify such abuse and take steps to safeguard themselves.  If it is difficult to prevent abuse, then cases should be reported immediately and treatment should be offered to the victim (in the form of medication and psychotherapy) to ensure a speedy recovery.  The abusers would also have to receive treatment in correctional facilities so that they can prove to be less of a danger to society in the future.  The rates of recidivism are about 10 to 50 and in all cases of child abuse, the risk of re-offense needs to be calculated and adequate measures taken to prevent the same.  Pedophiles who are resident in a particular area should mandatorily report themselves to the local police station.  Besides, local physicians should also report to the law enforcement authorities about the presence of a pedophile, or the risk of an attack to any member of the society.  


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