Glenn Beck's comments on "sex offenders" are ill-judged and promote murder!
To concerned and critical viewers,
On TV Channel 41 on Boston, Mass (a national network), Friday 22nd February, Glenn Beck breezily pontificated that he had “zero tolerance for pedophiles,” and proclaimed they should either be “killed” or kept in prison for life. Then he and his female guest discussed how this was unfair for someone under eighteen because he would be destroyed for life. The two of them then discussed to what degree the penalties for under eighteen sex offenders should be mitigated, whether for example it would be okay for a seventeen year-old could have sex with a fifteen year old etc.
This outrageous performance brings to mind the following questions,
1) did Beck imply, in using the war kill that they should be dispatched by any and everybody, on the spot, or did he mean executed after a trial by due process. This is not an idle quibble over words because many are murdered by vigilantes, who “know” they are pedophiles, even sometimes when they are not, or does he mean only those who have been placed on sex offenders’ list. 2) why is eighteen, rather than twenty-one, sixteen or some other age the magic number? What’s so special about eighteen? 3) if Mr Beck is merely careless in his choice of words, that our beloved President is so famous for being, should he be ousted from his position as an announcer, and furthermore did he plagiarize the word kill or did he make it up himself, 4) if Mr Beck merely misspoke, as I presume he did, without thinking as he clearly did, did he consider the cost to the public of such a policy. It is well-known that with our increasingly fragile and embattled constitutional and legal system, the accused is presumed innocent until found guilty of a felony by the unanimous verdict beyond reasonable doubt by a jury of twelve carefully chosen people, and that appeals can go all the way to the Supreme Court of the US. In the case of death sentences, the appellant process, on average, costs more than the immense sums of keeping a person in prison for life. To make matters worse the definition of a pedophile is unfortunately as Mr Beck recommends being raised to eighteen, thus encompassing huge numbers of new criminals. Leaving aside the question of justice, whether or not the punishment fits the crime, or put another way, whether the law is rational, the expenses involved alone make this particular program of Mr Beck even more ridiculous, dangerous and offensive that his usual rants. So with the help of a couple of friends I’ve hastily collected the following information, which I’m hoping others who see this will get and send me other useful information on this subject, including Mr Beck if he’s interested in facts rather than absurd facts.
Below we include contributions from experts on the subject on how to improve public understanding of this phenomenon but whether or nor Beck or other hysterics like it or not, it is sexual orientation, one that has existed as long as humans walked the earth and as we know with the spiraling numbers incarcerated in prison, undergoing “treatment” and through research pedophilia is relatively widespread amongst the population. If Beck got his way, we might see a modern-day holocaust of millions being exterminated what, for many is life-long orientation, perhaps begun in infancy through hormonal and chemical changes in the womb and/ or genetics.
However, even suggesting (as President Sarkhozy did in the run-up to the French Presidential elections) that pedophiles are born that way, is likely to incur popular wrath, with the common assumption that such a prognosis, as with aetiologies of homosexuality, give sexual deviants the excuse to say, “I was born that way and can’t change!” however, with respect to pedophilia, why would anyone consciously choose something which would likely result in life-long misery? Indeed, that would be perverse.
What we would like to see is a more empathetic attitude to those adults (mainly men but also women too) who find their attraction to children so absorbing that, in fact, they cannot change. This approach is not only a humanitarian one towards the substantial minority of adults with a pedophile sexual orientation, but also to those who might develop “situational” pedophilia.
Further key aspects we would like to see more debates over definitions of what pedophilia is. We want a range of comments on this topic, including the gender differences of pedophiles and a Kinsey-styled report on pedophiles. Research on male sex offenders regularly identifies the age-group of “victim attraction” as 11-15. This may have certain validity, despite being selective and containing certain sample biases. A recent researcher interviewed twenty boylovers in 2001, and even within predominantly activist sources, two had been married with children over a long period. The main age-range of attraction could be broken down into two categories (invariably often inter-lapping): 9-13 year-olds and 13-16 year-olds.
We prose in a current working paper to apply something approaching a Kinsey scale to the study of pedophilia and hebephilia. This would include coverage of exclusive v non-exclusive “types”: the 0-6 scale could be applied here along such a continuum of exclusive-non-exclusive attraction to children, as opposed to adolescents, as opposed to adults; one-time “regression” as opposed to longer-term “fixated” desire; it could look at gender break-downs (girllovers, boylovers, bisexual – again on a 0-6 scale).
One area which needs to be considered is the construction of desire as fantasy ie pornography etc; problems of collating such research ie outside prison and clinical formulations, current taboos – ie which “normal” adult will admit to even being turned on a little by children?
My working hypothesis is that variation in pedophiles is probably little different from other sexual (gay, straight etc.)