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Profile of a Pedophile: Michael Jackson and Beyond

It seems that there is no end to the number of sick and disturbed individuals weaved into the very fabric of our society intent on exploiting and hurting children.

We have children abducted from their beds, front yards and neighborhoods only to be sexually assaulted and killed – and those are just the headline stories your hear about. There are far more that go unreported in the news, and even more that never make it to the authorities. Sexual abuse is a crime that still holds a stigma for the victim, even when the victim is a helpless child.

The most famous case in the news now is of course Michael Jackson, and what is so interesting about his case isn’t that he is famous, but rather how obvious his profile as a predator is, and yet his “alleged” abuse went unchecked for years.

Michael fits the profile to a T, with the exception of his wealth and fame. Single man, over the age of 30, feels more at home with children than people his own age, obsessed with children of a certain age and gender, uses toys and gifts to attract children to him, showers children with attention and affection, tends to pick children who are troubled and vunerable and easy to manipulate. Most pedophiles of this type don’t attack children they don’t know, as that is too risky; their goal is to lure them into their net, groom them, seduce them, gain their trust and have the child “willingly” submit to the abuse. This has two purposes: it alleviates any lingering guilt in the mind of perpetrator that what they are doing is immoral, and it makes the abuse easier and less likely to be discovered.

Children lured into these types of abusive relationships often don’t tell anyone about the abuse because they feel that they are culpable and therefore feel a sense of misguided loyalty to their abuser. It is a very sick but common occurrence, and often (but not always) these children go on to become abusers themselves, further perpetuating the vicious cycle.

I am not sure what happened in Michael’s childhood that stunted his sexual maturity, but somewhere along the line his normal development from pubescent boy to sexual mature adult went amiss. It would be safe to say that he was more likely than not a victim of some kind of abuse himself. This is no excuse though, and knowing the source does not create a cure.

Think about your own sexual nature and your own proclivities. Can you conceive any outside influence that would make you change your chosen course? Is it reasonable to assume that a person can wake up tomorrow and turn their sexual fantasies off and make them feel a different way than they inherently feel?

Perhaps the reason we haven’t as a society treated these crimes more severely is that we would have to admit that people truly can’t help their sexual urges; and then in turn, we would have to admit that perhaps homosexuals are who they are and should therefore be accepted and treated as any other sexually oriented individual.

Does this mean that homosexuals suffer from some mental disorder? No, not in my opinion. It is perfectly normal for a sexually healthy person to seek the company of a consensual peer (regardless of gender and orientation) it is not healthy to seek the sexual company of someone who is NOT sexually mature either physically or mentally. If manipulation, coercion, or force is used, that is a violent crime, even if violence isn’t used – these actions are the work of sick and unhealthy mind.

We as a society must begin to distinguish between the two and punish the intent and actions of those who impose their sexual urges on those who are unable to defend themselves. That is the nature of these crimes, and that is the distinction.

Pedophiles may be acting on uncontrollable sexual urges, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t responsible for their actions. More importantly, they can’t be cured of these urges anymore than I can be cured of mine, and as long as we recognize that the actions are illegal and rehabilitation isn’t an option, then incarceration is the only answer.

And from where I am sitting, permanent incarceration is the only viable solution.

About Dawn Olsen

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