This, however, comes from a young man who acknowledged he was sexually attracted to prepubescent children.
His story comes to us in the form of a 27 minute audio recording, but we're summing up our perspective of his story. If you want to listen, here's the link to the full audio:
As a young teen, "Adam" found himself sexually attracted to children and hooked up a spare computer in his room, and soon began downloading images of child pornography. Although he admits he knew it was against the law, he didn't fully understand why it was so wrong when he himself was also a child, looking at children engaging in sexual acts with other children.
However, at one point he came across a disturbing images of a young toddler being sexually abused - it is not described, but it would seem that it was painful to the child - which upset Adam deeply. He decided to stop looking at child pornography but still struggled with his urges, feelings of shame, and was becoming depressed and anxious as a result of his struggle.
At sixteen, he asked his mother to make an appointment with a therapist, he admitted his anxiety and depression, but not the pedophilia. When he first disclosed to the therapist why he was there - she was completely unprepared and reacted emotionally with anger/disgust. She brought Adam's mother into the room and they disclosed to her why Adam was there. While a bit shocked, his mother assured him that she would support him and help him. After some research, his therapist concluded that she could not help him - this was beyond her scope of expertise and found that there were also basically no resources to help him.
Adam's Reason for Reaching Out to the Public:
If more resources were invested into researching how pedophilia develops and how to treat it, perhaps we can help curb child sexual abuse by addressing these behaviors before children are abused.
In addition, by law, therapists are mandated to report if they feel someone's behaviors put them at risk to harm others, thus reducing the likelihood of pedophiles seeking treatment, out of fear of exposure and retaliation.
He has created an online support group for young pedophiles, like himself, that do not wish to abuse children but struggle with their urges.
While approximately 40% of sexual abuse of children is estimated to be perpetrated by juveniles, there is no evidence to support that these children are pedophiles in the making. For some, they are acting out as a result of their own abuse (physical, sexual, or emotional), some are sexually curious but have not been properly educated on what is appropriate sexual behavior/circumstances, and a small fraction exhibit signs of sexual deviancy - but not necessarily pedophilia. (For more on juvenile offender, click here.)
And while many people characterize those that sexually abuse children as pedophiles - the truth is, most do not qualify. Many are in fact, heterosexuals that choose children - not because of sexual attraction, but because of the ability to control and manipulate a child. (read more here). Addressing and treating pedophilia may be a part of the solution - it is far from being the answer.
If more resources were available for the prevention of child sexual abuse, they should go to raising awareness - since many people are not educated on how often it occurs (1:4 girls and 1:6 boys) and many feel it's something that happens to "other" families, which is sadly, just not true. Most adults do not educate their children on body safety, most do not know the signs/symptoms of grooming or abuse, and since many children do not disclose abuse for years - most abuse (as much as 90%) is never reported. (Statistics here.)
Child sexual abuse isn't going to go away by expecting abusers to help themselves. It's going to go away, when we start demanding more to be done to protect our children. Child sexual abuse is one of the hardest crimes to convict on, because most cases do not have physical evidence to hold abusers accountable - it's often "he said she said" and the idea of "innocent until proven guilty" serves to protect abusers, not victims - previous or future.
It's up to us to protect children.
P.S. No child should have a computer in their room - the risk of exploitation is real and conversely, most parents do not realize the impact of pornography on children (visit www.FightTheNewDrug.org or this article by Dr. Janet Rosenzweig ). If you suspect your child may have a problem with pornography, or exhibits signs of sexual abuse (as a victim or perpetrator) help is available - and make sure you have a therapist who is experienced and qualified to help - most aren't. Start by visiting www.stopitnow.org or www.masoc.net.