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  •  I'm not entirely sure of this: (8+ / 0-)
    There is no cure or treatment... if there was, believe me, someone would be making a small (or large) fortune from it right now.  
    I understand that the recidivism rate of minors convicted for sex offenses is actually quite low compared to other crimes. An adult who engages in deviant fantasies especially toward very small children, like the DuPont guy in question, is likely to have a poorer prognosis, from my limited knowledge.

    Still, a very quick google search turns up this:

    An estimated 3.3 percent of these 4,300 [adults arrested for sexual abuse of minors] were rearrested for another sex crime against a child within 3 years of release from prison.

    If accurate, that does not seem to me like an extraordinarily high rate of recidivism compared to other crimes, although even one case is too high.

    But here's the thing.  Our knowledge on this is limited.  I know a lot more about traumatic stress and mood disorders than I do about disorders of sexual compulsion.  And I know how little I know about the areas in which I do claim to have some expertise to be comfortable with blanket statements about whether behaviors or symptoms can be controlled.  

    Some of the ways in which traumatic stress is treated are straight up bullshit, while other interventions have a solid evidence base for efficacy.  I suspect it is the same in this rather darker area of sexual compulsion within the mental health professions.   I think the bigger issue is whether the person is also a psychopath. A person capable of feeling empathy may  feel these sexual compulsions but never act on them, or justify it and then suffer remorse - perhaps there is some way to treat a person like that. But if you combine a psychopath's inability to have empathy with a sexual compulsion for children, well then you have a person that needs to be walled off from society.

    “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

    by ivorybill on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 01:14:29 PM PDT

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    •  It's very difficult with a subject like this... (1+ / 0-)
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      But I think the reasoned tone you are offering is very helpful. I believe that a compassionate society does not enact revenge fantasies, as you said, on anyone, hateful as their crimes may be. Research, treatment, and if necessary confinement or surveillance of some sort are essential, but the ultimate goal should be rehabilitation or at the very least harm reduction.

      It is true that sexual compulsions are poorly understood, but we have made much progress in understanding the human brain in the last hundred years and I fully expect that we will continue to do so.

      •  It's very difficult with a subject like this..... (1+ / 0-)
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        We also punish crimes in this society. And, the man committed a heinous crime. He deserved a reasonable period of punitive incarceration before being put into a treatment program.

        •  Jail is the place for him (0+ / 0-)

          and frankly, he would not last long in prison. Even the worst prisoner would have absolute disgust for such a person.
          However, he will never see the inside of a jail cell. Money talks and talks loudly, and thus many of the guilt go free. Had this man been poor or black, it does not take three guesses as to where he would be.

      •  It is difficult, but you have also kept to (0+ / 0-)

        a reasoned tone.

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        The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.
        ---> Bertrand Russell

        by smileycreek on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 01:08:24 PM PDT

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