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January 29, 2015 / 9 Shevat, 5775
 
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The Impressions of an Expert on Pedophilia

The revision of the DSM that omitted homosexuality was not based on research, nor was much else. It was "political" pressure.
Convicted serial child molester Jerry Sandusky.

Convicted serial child molester Jerry Sandusky.

Guest Post by Anonymous, Ph.D.

The following short post was written by a psychologist who is a Ph.D. and widely respected in his field. He originally wrote it as a comment to the previous post. But because of my respect for this man and my belief in his expertise I am offering it as a guest post. The poster has chosen to remain anonymous, and I am going honor his wishes. The following are his unedited words:

I am impressed with many of the comments here, and I welcome this discussion.

Firstly, I am a psychologist. Secondly, I have watched the positions of the APA for years. While this Rind et al. paper is not an official position of APA, it represents a sizable percentage of the field of psychology.

If we retrospect on many of the position changes that occurred in APA over the past several decades, we find a liberal bend that is unmistakable. There is validity to the premise that the revisions of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders) involved greater attention to empirical research, but there is likewise a major intrusion of “political correctness” that has affected these positions (and the field as a whole).

The revision of the DSM that omitted homosexuality was not based on research, nor was much else. It was “political” pressure. It essentially stated that, “If I don’t want such-and-such to be considered pathological, then leave it out of the manual”. Fortunately, subsequent revisions included less of this liberal thinking and more of the scientific research.

Now, let’s address a new concept that should be part of this discussion. It’s called “hardiness.” It is true that not every victim of CSA (child sexual abuse) will manifest symptoms. Some will have suppressed them enough to function normally, others will first display symptoms later, even years later (which is a strong challenge to the notion of statutes of limitations). But many will suffer no ill effects.

There is major trouble with the research on this, as most studies focus on known victims who manifest symptoms, while hardy victims are not under scrutiny. Let’s give an example. The recent jewelry heist of $136 million is undoubtedly significant. If someone had stolen a Bic pen from the sign in board at that display, it would be meaningless, although it was a theft. The child who overcomes the experience of CSA is hardy. But the crime occurred, the damage was attempted, and there is a pedophile that deserves all the imaginable consequences of removal from society.

All in all, I am unimpressed with the Rind paper. It trivializes the condition of the perpetrator just because some (even many) children are strong enough to maintain their emotional health despite what was inflicted upon them.

As for the “illness of pedophilia”, I’m not convinced of the accuracy of many of the labels in the DSM (worthy of discussion in a forum more targeted to the subject). There are obsessive features to pedophilia, there may be a hard wired attraction, there could be an addiction, and, yes, a tinge or more of sociopathy. We may be mislabeling this, and counting the angels who dance on the head of a pin.

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About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at hmaryles@yahoo.com.


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3 Responses to “The Impressions of an Expert on Pedophilia”

  1. In the discussion on all things gay and scientific, from the question of "ex-gays", can orientation be changed?, is gay pathological? the worst possible thing you can do is to present secret testimony on how the consensus views on these issues are wrong.

    We have seen the same pattern in which the Torah Declaration has twenty-five secret witnesses to the success of reparative therapy. We see the same pattern where the JONAH organization has testimony on it's website by someone whose name is non-existent on the internet with any search.

    Now this testimony. Is it Nicholas Cummings? or someone else?

    As someone who deals with the Truth and Hashkafa please don't peddle secret experts that cannot help anyone.

  2. Marion Bloch says:

    The comments on Child Sexual Abuse make sense, but the relationship to the removal of homosexuality from the DSM is NOT related. (I too am a psychologist.)

  3. Marion Bloch says:

    The comments on Child Sexual Abuse make sense, but the relationship to the removal of homosexuality from the DSM is NOT related. (I too am a psychologist.)

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