Error of Man: Rutgers Law Prof Who Says Pedophilia Is Not a Crime

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Q&A: Rutgers Law Prof Who Says Pedophilia Is Not a Crime

It’s a disorder, argues Margo Kaplan.

By Victor Fiorillo |

Margo Kaplan is not very popular today. In the Monday edition of the New York Times, the Rutgers-Camden law professor, an NYU and Harvard graduate, takes to the op-ed pages to argue that we’ve got it all wrong when it comes to pedophilia. She writes that pedophiles don’t necessarily turn out to be child molesters and that pedophilia is not a choice, i.e. a pedophile might be born that way. We reached her in her office in Camden to discuss.

You really lit up the comments section of the op-ed page today.
Yes, but I have to be honest. I am getting more emails of support than I ever expected. I’m shocked. I expected to get maybe 95% negative emails, but I’ve gotten so many positive ones. The online comments, though, are pretty uniformly negative, and a lot of people haven’t even read the article.

I know your pain. Who are you getting these positive emails from?
A lot of people I don’t even know. There’s a former prosecutor, a judge, a nurse. Individuals with family members who have pedophilia.

How much of the population has pedophilia?
We’re not entirely sure, but the estimates are around one-percent of the male population, and those in the female population are assumed to be much smaller. As far as the number of people with pedophilia who do sex offend and who do not, there are a lot of assumptions but very little data, because we have very little treatment, very little information.

Why is that?
There is so much stigma. There is very little reason to come forth and identify as a pedophile. There are no large scale studies, no large treatment programs, no big research studies on this. I contacted the National Institutes of Health, and they don’t spend any money on pedophilia.

But you are basically saying, hey, let’s take it easy on pedophiles.
Well, but I am not saying that about sex offenders. I say that they remain responsible for their conduct. We need to treat pedophiles before they offend. People see the word “pedophile” and think “sex offender.” People choose to sex offend children. They do not choose to be pedophiles.

Since you say there are so many misconceptions, why don’t you tell us what a pedophile really is.
A person with an intense and recurrent sexual attraction to prepubescent children, children who have not yet entered any form of puberty. And according to the DSM [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders], it constitutes a mental disorder when you act on it, but not just that. It also constitutes a mental disorder if it causes “marked distress or interpersonal difficulty,” and, as you can imagine, pedophilia will cause this.

In your article, you open by saying that as a pedophile’s numerical age increases into teenage years and then adulthood, the numerical age of those he is attracted to does not. Are most pedophiles really starting that young?pedophilia-not-a-crime-rutgers-margo-kaplan
For many individuals, it is really an onset in adolescence, similar to how many sexual attractions happen. Individuals who are heterosexual, you realize you are attracted to the opposite sex when you are a kid. For a pedophile, you get older, but you keep being attracted to little kids, and many people start to realize this during adolescence. So imagine trying to deal with that during adolescence in addition to the other confusing feelings that you’re having.

If America is totally off course on this issue, is there any country that is getting it right?
We’re not that unique. But Germany is ahead of the curve. They have a large scale treatment program called Prevention Project Dunkenfeld, which is probably the first large scale treatment project that also includes non-offenders. They have billboards everywhere: “Do you have attraction to children in ways that you shouldn’t? You are not responsible for your attraction, but you are responsible for your behavior.”

OK, so as a guy with two young kids, how do I protect them?
There’s no easy answer to that, but you want to protect them from sex offenders. Most people who offend are not actually pedophiles. It’s interesting: When you talk about pedophiles, people think about the children. And they’re right. But what about the children who are struggling with this disorder? We need to help them, too.

But you can understand if maybe I’ll just try to keep them away from pedophiles anyway.
I can understand that. We need to prevent pedophiles from sexually offending and to do that, we need to refocus on early intervention, treatment and prevention. It’s not always going to work. No treatment of any mental disorder will always work. Depression treatment, schizophrenia treatment — they don’t always work. But we don’t throw our hands into the air and wait until the consequences of those conditions become bad before we do something. With pedophiles, we’ve already thrown our hands into the air. We should not be taking this tactic. The dire consequences only make it more important that we reach out and treat early.


10 Comments on “Error of Man: Rutgers Law Prof Who Says Pedophilia Is Not a Crime”

  1. One needs to question the media and what they publish and whether there is a hidden agenda. Same sex marriage has been divisive to the Church and within our society and the media prints slanted and biased articles in favor. It’s no secret that pedophilia is a disorder as is the other types of sexual immorality. What the press does is look at things from what licensed people in the medical field says and highlights their findings. This is a spiritual disorder that needs spiritual healing. If there was more reported healings from the ministers of the Gospel, those infected with this spiritual disease by the media and by word of mouth, the Church would take its rightful place.

  2. This is what happens when we open the door to homosexuality, we then get pedophilia and then beastiality. It’s all around us now and being promoted through shows like Cougar women, (older women with younger men) cartoons,and reality shows.

  3. I was doing pretty good with the temperance of my comments. Fumbled the ball on this one. Shouldn’t have called her crazy, misguided would be a better way of putting it. I’ve learned from EX that this is demonic driven. Most that have done this, had it done to them. And some choose this on their on accord. But I refuse to believe that you are born this way. It’s just another plan of the enemy to destroy the family. Sex is not a right. It’s a responsibility. And the rape of anyone is a crime.

    Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and be cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

  4. This is just getting ridiculous. This is the wisdom of the world, just plain foolishness. Jesus is and will always be the answer!

  5. Well, well, well. They said the same thing about Sodomites years ago and it was listed as a mental illness.
    Now there using the same tactics with pedophiles saying “it’s not a choice, their born that way.” Pretty soon it will be legal, they will get their rights.

    It was said back in the early 90’s by a Christian TV station (WVCY) that if you open the door to sodomites, you will open the flood gates to all sexual perversions. Guess What? We’re here.

    You can’t cure SIN with manmade medicines or therapies. So, all the psychotherapy (oh, mean godless counseling) and psychotropic pharmaceuticals (oh, I mean sorcery) is vain. Repenting, renouncing and turning away from SIN to JESUS with your whole heart is the only and sure cure.

    Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. – Psalm 1

    Keep blowing the trumpet and sounding the Ex Ministries.

  6. I’ve never heard such madness before!! Born that way?????!!! homosexuals are saying the same thing!
    That’s the biggest INSULT to our CREATOR!!
    satan you are a liar!! Leave our children alone, in the name of Jesus.

    This woman is crazy, sorry, she has totally lost it!

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