After several attempts trying to secure an appointment with Dr. Blarney H Paul, a medical practitioner in the field of psychiatry, I finally got a chance of interviewing him about pedophilia. He was a charismatic man and welcomed me cordially on my arrival.
Dr. Paul started by defining what pedophilia was all about. According to him, pedophilia is a psychiatric disorder in which an adult experiences a strong sexual attraction towards under aged children especially children who are 11 years and below. He went on to demystify the condition by saying that it mostly affects men more than women. In his response, Dr. Paul said that even the adolescents could be affected by this condition. In adolescents, he said, one could be termed as pedophile if he or she exceeded the prepubescent child with more than 5 years.
Scientifically, Dr. Paul stated that the condition is a type of Paraphilia-a recognized mental condition that is characterized by unusual fantasies and behaviors that occurs repeatedly and can be sexually arousing. Pedophilia has been known to affect individual’s ability to function socially or occupationally causing stress and other related illnesses. Dr. Paul also went on to state the possible causes of the condition. He emphasized that the condition is brought about by a combination of social and biological factors. Although biological factors have not been ascertained, he explained that there have been common characteristics in pedophilic men exhibiting hormonal imbalance and lower intellectual quotient (IQ) than normal individuals do. They are also shorter than normal with high tendency of left-handedness. Their brain structure and function have exhibited interference from normal functioning pointing to a higher probability of childhood head injury that might have resulted to unconsciousness.
Social factors that might have contributed to the development and stabilizing of this condition are poor low self-esteem that might have emerged during the upbringing of a child. Dr. Paul held an opinion that children who might have been neglected during their childhood have a higher chance of developing this mental disorder than those who had a good and a well upbringing. He said that the upbringing of a child also determined self-esteem.
Dr. Paul elaborated that pedophiles are unable to find satisfaction in adult sexual relationship. Sometime the sexual encounter with the child may not necessarily entail having sex intercourse, they at a time derive sexual gratification by fondling a child or sometimes through genital display.
Dr Paul said that pedophilia is a serious condition that has a negative effect to both the affected individual and the affected prepubescent child. He argued that the danger the condition poses to the society should make the same society to deal with the condition in a sounder manner than the current measures that have been taken by the governments all over the globe. Recalling that the pedophiles are viewed as sexual offenders, a crime that attracts corrective punishments that varies from one country to another in the world, he advised that apart from punishments directed to pedophiles, government should try to go deep into the root cause of the condition. Dr. Paul said that apart from a jail term there are other better ways of dealing with the condition. Aware of the societal stigma towards the pedophiles, he lamented that there is a need to address the issue in a reasonable way by making patients diagnosed with this disorder to undergo treatment programs. These treatment programs involve cognitive and behavioral therapies that employ empathy training and restructuring of distorted and deviant thought patterns.
The doctor agreed that the first step in dealing with the condition is by embracing it and working towards healing it. He said that other punishable measures like jailing a sexual offender had little or no guarantee in healing and eradicating the vice in the society. He stressed on a more integrated scientific corrective process that would help in reducing and eradicating the condition. Pedophilia is a crime in law known as sex offence towards under aged. Dr. Paul stated that society needs to treat pedophilic individuals within the helms of reason while at the same time giving them an opportunity to correct and change their behavior.
He noted that children who have been affected by these pedophilic individuals suffered from trauma and troubled adulthood in their later life. These molested children as they grow up can engage into unsocial behavior like abuse of drugs and prostitution.
Dr. Paul explained child prostitution as an act of involving children in a commercial sexual exploitation. He added that like all other sexual encounters, a minor develops trauma and stress disorders since they are forced into the practice. Child prostitution is illegal all over the world. Various governments have put in place various legal punishments to the offenders but have failed to counter the practice adequately due to various reasons. Sometimes children are forced into the act by their parents and some of the children are kidnapped and are transferred to faraway places where they can be forced to engage in the practice. Dr. Paul said acknowledged that child prostitution is hard to eradicate it in entirety although he praised various international laws and policies that have contributed in reducing the practice tremendously. He stressed that there are need to add stricter punishments for those who conducted such a vice.
My interview was over. As we exchanged the parting pleasantries, I could not help myself but congratulate the good doctor for his ability to respond to every query in a satisfactory manner.
Paul, Blarney H. (2014, 13th Feb). Personal Interview.