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 and thus ruined. Then he and his female guest discussed how this was unfair for someone under eighteen because he would also 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 less unacceptable for a seventeen year-old could have sex with a fifteen year old etc. But then they implied that is was good to ruin a 19 year-old for life.
This outrageous performance brings to mind the following questions,
1) did Beck imply, in using the word "kill" that they should be dispatched by any and everybody, on the spot, by either the person he was trying to seduce or later by a fanatic or a mob? Or on the other hand 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” that 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, as our beloved, ever-vigilante President is so famous for being, should he be ousted from his position as an announcer on such a prestigous channel? 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. If he really meant kill, rather than legally executed, he would be inciting mayhem and murder, as well as blackmail and extortion, and nervous break downs and suicides - all of which at incalculable cost. If on the other hand he was demanding the death penalty or life in prison, that too would be cost ineffective, not counting even if we don't consider the loss to the workforce of the labor of the one convicted and the support that he might have been giving to his family. It is well-known that with our increasingly fragile and embattled constitutional and legal system, the accused is - stiil today - presumed innocent until found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of a felony by the unanimous verdict beyond reasonable doubt of 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 even more than the immense sums of keeping a person in prison for life. 5) To make matters worse the definition of a "pedophile", is unfortunately, as Mr Beck recommends, not only being raised to eighteen from fourteen and sixteen, thus encompassing huge numbers of new criminals but being broadened to a mere touch, or even unnoticed viewing, not only of an unaware minor but even of pictures, consider lewd of a minor. 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. In calling him a fascist, Senator Kennedy dignified Mr Beck because even most fascists have some sort of coherence in their diatribes. So with the help of a couple of colleagues, 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 lurid fairy-tales of underground dungeons developed from recovered mememories of brain-washed "survivors". These days a conviction for pedophilia maybe due to a meer brief touch of a buttocks or for a French kiss - hardly a life-destroying crime. Statutory rape, like homocide should have calculated degrees, from murder in the first degree to excusable or justifiable or unintentional.
Some experts wish to improve public understanding of this phenomenon. Whether or nor Beck or other hysterics like it or not, pedophilia and/ or pederasty however defined seem to be a sexual orientation. One that has existed as long as humans walked the earth, and older than even homo erectus among lower mammals. As we know with the spiraling numbers incarcerated in prison, or undergoing “treatment”, and through what little research has been allowed, pedophilia is relatively widespread amongst the population. If Beck got his way, we might see a modern-day holocaust of millions being exterminated for what many is a life-long orientation, clearly not sought aftrer, perhaps begun genetically or through hormonal and other chemical changes in the womb, ana at least in infancy and childhood. Facing such draconian penalties, as already exist, how can anyone who is rational possibly choose a sexual life so fraught with discrimination, danger, destruction, and death.
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. 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!” is self-serving, was earlier used against homosexuals but why would anyone choose something that in today's world would likely result in life-long misery. That would indeed be perverse and they would correctly be called perverts.
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 and adolescents so absorbing that, in fact, they cannot change. This approach is not only a humanitarian one towards the minority of adults with a pedophilic sexual fixation .
We would like to see more debates and more sponsored studies about pedophilia: its aetiology, frequency amongst the population, numbers of "victims", gender differences, perpetrators, homo, hetero, or bisexual, in short a Kinsey-styled report. 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.)