I strongly believe that child sexual abuse is a crime and the victims of it suffer a life time of trauma for no apparent fault of theirs. I am going ahead with this topic assuming the person reading this believes the same and has a basic understanding of what constitutes Child Sexual Abuse (CSA).The reason they have to believe that CSA is a crime is because apparently there are some people who do not believe so. Some of them or many of them may even be perpetrators of CSA. From the very beginning I could not understand why there are some people out there who are perverse enough to sexually predate on little innocent children. So I have been reading up literature to understand the psychology of the predator. The reason I wish to do this is because I feel it helps us to be on our guard against such people. Ignorance of the people around should be the last reason for a child falling prey to CSA.
Clearly there is something wrong with these people’s behavior more specifically their sexuality. It is disturbing. But how many of us actually understand what sexuality means and what is normal and what is abnormal. If someone asked us to define sexuality, I am sure most of us wouldn’t be able to do so. So I have referred a few sites and a book on psychology to get an insight into this term called Human sexuality.
“Human sexuality refers to the expression of sexual sensation and related intimacy between human beings, as well as the expression of identity through sex and as influenced by or based on sex. There are a great many forms of human sexuality (sexual functions). The sexuality of human beings comprises a broad range of behavior and processes, including the physiological, psychological, social, cultural, political, and spiritual or religious aspects of sex and human sexual behavior. Philosophy, particularly ethics and the study of morality, as well as theology, also address the subject. In almost any historical era or culture, the arts, including literary and visual arts, as well as popular culture, present a substantial portion of a given society's views on sexuality. In most societies and legal jurisdictions, there are legal bounds on what sexual behavior is permitted. Sexuality varies across the cultures and regions of the world, and has continually changed throughout history”-wikipedia
That is a very long and subjective definition. So a person’s sexuality is expressed through his actions and behavior.” Human sexual behavior is behaviors that human beings use when seeking sexual or relational partners, gaining approval of possible partners, forming relationships, showing sexual desire, and coitus” -wikipedia. Now gaining approval of possible partners is a part of almost every sexually reproductive animal species, and every human culture. Now approval can come only from an informed person and who understands his/her sexuality and what is being asked of him/her. That is there has to be informed consent from the person who is being engaged in the sexual activity.
“What are the criteria for deciding that the information the child has makes him/her suitably informed? Which is why, the world over and in India too—after extensive surveys, studies and professional opinion on the intelligence and emotional quotient of teenagers—it is generally prescribed that all those sixteen years of age and below are to be considered as incapable of informed consent? These children, even if teenagers at sixteen have not formed certain defences inside themselves, like older people.”-bitter chocolate
So children can not be objects of sexual love because they are simply not capable of informed consent. Now coming back to sexuality, there are some psychological disorders of sexuality which are discussed below.The reason i have decided to discuss all the paraphilias is to get a more comprehensive picture of the whole problem.
“When unusual or bizarre imagery or acts necessary for sexual arousal (that is, when arousal cannot occur without them) do such preferences qualify as a disorder. Such disorders are termed paraphilias, and they take many different forms.(Psychology 5th edition-Robert A.Baron)
Exhibitionism: Sexual urges or arousing fantasies involving exposure of one's genitals to an unsuspecting stranger
Voyeurism: Recurrent sexual urges or arousing fantasies involving the act of observing an unsuspecting person who is naked,disrobing, or engaging in sexual activity.
Fetishism: Sexual arousal or persistent fantasies about or actual use of nonliving objects
Sadism: Sexual arousal or fantasies about or from engaging in actions or dominating or beating another person
Masochism: Sexual arousal or fantasies about or from engaging in the act of being dominated,humiliated,or even beaten
Transvestic Fetishism: Intense sexual urges and arousing fantasies involving cross dressing (dressing in the clothing of the other sex)
Frotteurism: Sexual urges involving touching or rubbing against a non consenting person.
Necrophilia: Sexual obsession with corpses.
Klismaphilia: Sexual excitement from having enemas.
Coprophilia: Sexual interest in feces.
Zoophilia: Sexual gratification from having sexual activity with animals.
The most disturbing of all is Nepiophilia aka infantophilia is the sexual attraction towards babies and toddlers (aged 0-4/5 years)
Pedophilia (Pedo means "child" in Greek. Phile is a derivative of Greek, Latin, and French, meaning "love."), in which individuals experience sexual urges and fantasies involving children, generally ones younger than thirteen.
Ephebophilia has been defined as a sexual preference in which an adult is primarily or exclusively sexually attracted to pubescent adolescents.”
People might suffer from one of these or more than one. The last three categories are psycho-sexual disorders and people who suffer from these conditions are attracted to children. Some people are exclusive pedophiles who are they are attracted only to children and there are non-exclusive pedophiles who are attracted to both adults and children (Like how bisexual people have a preference for people of both the sexes). Now these people are not normal and because their desires involve the abuse of a child’s innocence they have to be kept away from children.
In the next post i will discuss more on the topic of pedophilia and how to identify pedophiles.