2017-04-02

Prison



Protection of society

Criminal actions are punished with a prison sentence, this is the primary rule in the country i live in. Prison makes sense, if you have to protect society against dangerous persons, who would do harm otherwise. In addition, others are kept in prison, so they won't interfere with the investigation. I agree that those are legit reasons to keep people under supervision and out of contact with the population.

Punishment

Many decades ago, prison was the only means to have control over people which they cannot escape. Nowadays, the social network as well as the financial dependencies are binding people firmly to their places. If protection of society is not necessary, punishment is the only aspect left. Some countries dish out fines, which have to be paid or spent in prisons based on a day rate.

Tough politicians determining lengths of punishments

Is there really a politician, who makes wise decisions based on facts and consequence analysis? Some politicians have personal experiences, like the dutch politicians after WWII. They knew what it meant to be incarcerated and therefore Netherlands still has one of the shortest prison sentences today.

Politicians are one source for size of penalties, those judging are the other ones. That is why many countries employ juries with ordinary people. They should reflect the peoples opinion about the proper amount.

None of those have proper knowledge of what it means to go to prison.

It is not a swift reaction

My impression is that only cases which require the protection of the public are pursued with the required speed. Reading the news articles reveal that many cases take years before they are handled by the court. What happened in the meantime is of no interest to the court, they might just ease a bit of the sentence.
But the meantime has a big impact on the deliquent. The message from society is clear: We don't forget an action that happened years ago. Punishing an action years after also means that society is unforgiving. How can criminals regret their actions, when society does not forgive them and does not allow them to return to their life with a lesson learned?

Regret gone unnoticed

There is one thing on the mind of criminals after the interrogation by the police: to get it over with as soon as possible. This is particularly true for those who admit their crimes in the interrogation. The period from the initial interrogation to the court day is hard especially when the crime carries a social stigma. Suicides are not uncommon. Some offenders are by default put on suicide watch. It is a stress that is difficult to endure. Even when the perpetrators regret their actions, there is nothing they can do. The police is handling the case at their own pace and asking for forgiveness is not possible. This is a waiting period that can last for years.

Disappointing court day

There is really no one getting satisfaction from the court proceedings. It is a day for lawyers to do their work, everybody else is just a witness. There is no peacemaking, and no conciliation. There is no talk about the prevention of future crimes, it is just following some written law rules and previous rulings. At the end, there will be a decision how much damage will be done to the life of the accused.

Prison derails life

A prison stay literally rips the convicted out of their life on a short notice. This already has a big impact on their lives. Children are especially suffering when one of their parent spents time in prison. The convicted looses his/her job and has a very difficult time coming back into work. Among even qualified applicants, they are the last one chosen.

Some countries recognize the this and the hard time during time up to court, so they suspend all shorter prison sentences. The lesson is learned and time inside a prison is not necessary. Slowly, there is a discussion about alternative to prison sentences. Countries recognize that it is important to rebuild the life of prisoners. They understand that inmates need a life to return to. This is at the end a very effective means to prevent future crimes.

Norway does not have the death penalty, it was one of the first countries in the world to do so. However, long term prisoners are likely to kill themselves after release. This amount to a de-facto death penalty.

What they are leaving behind counts

There are some documentations about the life in prison. The often show the situation in US prisons and for a balance show the more human conditions in some Scandinavian countries. Do they really life in hotels? It looks like it, but the major difference is invisible. Those inmates have vanished of the surface of earth.

They left behind their families, jobs, and social networks. This is the hardest part of a prison sentence, not being able to partake any longer. The outside world is forced to go on without the inmate, he/she becomes superfluous. If he had a work at a company, the company is forced to replace him. What is the point of returning to them, if they have moved on?

Ironically, the probation/rehabilitation office has to undo the damage done by the prison stay. Alternative punishment like community service focus on that part. Those who are integrated in society, will respect societies norms. Strangely, people expect prisoners to use the time in order to become better citizens. This kind of logic is difficult to understand. It does not work.

Prison as punishment is outdated

The damage done to inmates is real. According to some reports, over 60% of the prisoners require mental health care. One can as if those had mental issues before their crimes, or did they suffer under the investigation and imprisonment? If one considers the big social change due to the imprisonment, then it should be clear that imprisonment causes mental suffering. Is that intended? If yes, mental health care should be denied to prisoners. However, the existence of mental health care to prisoners says otherwise.


It is the disruption of the personal life and the damage done to the mental health, that should be good reasons to discuss the punishment by prison sentences. If the goal is rehabilitation and the acceptance of social norms, one should aim at the integration of the convicted into society.


Is this a world, where we find no other means for punishment? 

2016-07-18

The grail isn't holy!

What causes pedophilia?


"Nobody knows" was the usual answer. This is no longer true as research has made progress. In the following, I give an interpretation that answers most of the question. But, it involves a twist of logic. 

What causes darkness?


If someone expects the holy grail to be shiny, an ordinary object will escape the attention. Similarly, if someone looks for a distinct cause, the reason for a certain situation might not be obvious. The answer I give in this blog is not an answer to the original question, but an explanation of the phenomenon. 

Pedophiles have a preference for children. This also means that they don't prefer women. This seems to be obvious, but it is seldom discussed in scientific literature. However, this is the part of the question that is mostly answered by now.
Q: What causes darkness?
A: The absence of light.

Cross wiring


James M. Cantor PhD sometimes explains pedophilia as a cross wiring within the brain. Instead of engaging the nurture instinct, the view of children causes sexual arousal: "pedophiles got their wires crossed". A similar explanation claims that sexual arousal is caused by images of children instead of the appropriate partner. The cross wiring metaphor has inherent limitations. One imagines a wire being removed and thereafter a new connection being made. However, no pedophile was truly a heterosexual to begin with. Hence, no wire was removed, it merely is absent.

Cross wiring also suggests that the new connection is established after the old connection was removed. The phrase "instead of" points in the same direction. Understanding that "cross wiring" is a metaphor, one could ponder if the order of events could be reversed, a new connection is made before the old one is removed. Moreover, is this "new connection" really a new one or existing in all humans?

The results by Cantor and his colleagues make sense with respect to the "first wire". Much of it points towards brain organization. In short, his probands are more likely to be shorter, left-handed, less intelligent, having had head injuries before the age of 13, more cranio-facial anomalies, and less white-matter in the brain. Cantor himself points out that there might be a disturbance in the development responsible for all this and it can more or less be traced back to prenatal origins. All of it sounds rather as something not working as expected than creating a new orientation from scratch. Summa summarum: this makes perfect sense when thinking of that "removed first wire". What could that be?

Intuitive sexuality


This term is made up by me. However, similar terms are used by Steven Pinker in "The Blank Slate" to refer to innate abilities. Most humans have a pretty good idea, what others are thinking. Pinker calls this "intuitive psychology" and it is missing in people with Autism. They simply have no idea what others are thinking.  

With intuitive sexuality I mean normal heterosexuality. Since most persons experience their sexuality as something natural and intuitive, nobody spends much time questioning the nature of it. Sometimes, it is described as a sex drive, while in animals it is called mating instinct. Instincts are patterns of behavior that play out once triggered. Humans have the ability to think rationally and to act according to rational decisions and overriding those urges. However, we also have a thing called gut feeling and jumping to conclusions. Both are remains of instincts. Sometimes, we act in certain consistent patterns and are not able to give a justification. Kim Sterelny's book "The evolved apprentice" gives several examples related to cooperation.

The intuitive sexuality can be understood as a weak instinct. Instinct are hard wired in the brain, which according to Cantor was subjected to some disturbances (in pedophiles). Pinker points out that the brain develops while in use. The basic structure exists at birth, but a lot of changes happen after birth and during growth. One of those changes is the myelination - wrapping neurons in fatty neuroglia cells. In short, wrapped neurons fire faster. Cantor first found out on MRI-T1 images that those fatty cells are not visible in regions related to sex. In the latest paper by him and co-authors, missing myelination was reasoned as one of the possible explanations for the discovered anisotropy.

So, Cantor & Co found evidence, which I relate to the absent "first wire". This means that big part of pedophilia can be explained by the absence of intuitive sexuality.

The second peak


It is a myth that normal heterosexual people are only attracted to age peers of the opposite sex. Violent homophobic people are found to show genital arousal to same sex scenarios. There is homosexual prison sex, and homoerotic behavior in the military. Moreover, child molestations is mainly carried out by non-pedophiles - one study found pedophiles to make up just 16.2% of the tested child sexual offenders. The average person has not a narrow sexual target but reacts to a variety of persons of both sexes and different ages. It can be imagined as a hilly landscapes with peaks here and there.

Normally, the intuitive sexuality should overshadow all other peaks. People are aware of their main attraction. 

If the peak of intuitive sexuality is absent, some other peak is the highest. Which one it is, depends on a number of things. Some animals live in a homosexual partnership, because foraging is easier in pairs. Chimps are known to use youngsters as shields against aggressivity from other males. There are many ways, a certain company can be comforting.

The two-stage model of sexuality


It is difficult to explain a lot of sexual phenomena without assuming this two-stage model. First an attraction target is acquired, then the clues of comforting company are causing sexual arousal. If this second stage fails, one develops the paraphilia known as asexuality. This model also explains, why sexual conversion therapies failed - they tried to fix the second stage without working on the comforting company.

In short, if a person fails to obtain intuitive sexuality, and finds the company of children comforting, a lot of thoughts will focus on them. This might even be a self-enforcing circle - the more one falls out of the peer group, the less one will be driven to the opposite sex. The second peak gets a chance to take over. 

But why are some missing out on intuitive sexuality?


Some try to find an evolutionary reason for the existence of pedophiles. It is even harder to argue why some people should be affected by autism. It makes no sense, considering hebephile, pedophiles or autistic savants as isolated groups. Human evolution reduced the way instincts impacted our behavior, made humans more flexible, and it made intelligence possible. All this is related to the neoteny humans possess. Most attractions are to signs of balanced neoteny. Cute children are treated with many favors - so much that it is not fair to plain children. 

The price of this development is paid by those, who get some of it in abundance. Too much reduction of an instinct renders it weak. It is advantageous when not reacting with panic, when the box we are sitting in is moving. Fear of flying has become rare. Sea sickness as a false alarm to food poisoning is still frequent. Most persons are able to understand the mind of other people. Most people are still seeking the opposite sex for lifetime partnership. But a few don't. 

Conjectures


The ticking-time-bomb meme portrait in media and some scientific journals probably is false. If the absent intuitive sexuality is a precondition for pedophilia, sexual urges should be less strong than in heterosexuals. Most statements about pedophiles are made by normal hetersexuals. It is too tempting to draw from personal experience, when making statements about other. Too much what is said about pedophiles are in fact projections by heterosexuals.

2016-07-02

Theory of mind & Religion

Reinventing the wheel is hard, reusing it is easy.
Humans made sophisticated tools during the early stone age. The next generation had to learn the necessary techniques. Teaching was required. The human eye became white allowing one to accurately guess focus and attention of pupils. Moreover, early humans collaboratively defended their group against predators in the savannah. Knowing how others react makes a defense more successful. Humans developed the ability called theory of mind. Small toddlers recognise, when they don't know how to proceed and request the attention of their parents. Preschoolers understand how the mind of others work. Understanding patterns and anticipating reactions payed off.

When the wind picks up speed and the sky turns grey, it was advisable to return to one's cave. Again, it was useful to recognise the patterns. Humans had learned how to do that with respect to other humans, assuming a mind to recognize was all it required. Reusing the recently acquired theory of mind is much simpler than inventing science from scratch. Thunder and lightning were soon associated with Thor. Interacting with other humans is the norm, hence early humans tried to enter negotiations with the deities. Sacrificing an ox in order to gain goodwill might be just that. 

At first, there were deities for each and every phenomenon. Then, it turned out that there is a connection between everything - all the gods were replaced by the assumed superior creator, the single god most people worship. When people resort to made by god  in the lack of a scientific explanation, they are applying the older and more developed mental model, which in addition is accessible to intuition. Science is a recent human invention and quite often intuitively inaccessible - moreover it requires learning, while the theory of mind is acquired during early childhood.

The gods became obsolete, because humans do no longer need the theory of mind to understand nature - they have science instead.


2016-06-19

The Finkelhor dogma

No dogma in science


Questioning a dogma is not allowed. As part of a doctrine, they curb the progress of science. This makes it paramount in each science to identify dogmata and to get rid of them. Doing science in their presence is simply not possible, one has to ignore scientific results that contradict dogmata. Hence, such science is not free and is limited to the allowed range of opinions.

One of the most famous dogmata had been the earth's position within the universe. Copernicus had too much trouble with the circles of circles explaining the orbits of planets, when much pointed towards the sun. Placing the sun in the center of those orbits was the correct scientific answer to his problems. Doing so questioned the dogma of earth being the center of the universe. Galileo publicly discarded this dogma and got punished for it. His bravery is still in need today.

A dogma is an unfounded belief and can be identified as such. Moreover, a dogma always serves a purpose.

Finding new reasons for the wrongfulness of child sex


Basing laws on immorality creates circular logic, since moral is based on the judgement what is right and what is wrong - which often is based on the law, hence completing the circle. Sometimes something is considered to be wrong when it's not ought to be. However, ought to be denotes a desire - creating another undesired circular logic.

The prohibition of adult-child-sex is such a law. First, it was declared a sin, later it was just indecent, lewd, or sinister behavior. These arguments are no longer acceptable reasons for a prohibition. Laws are designed to ensure order and to prevent damages, but not to enforce moral. Some other reasons had to be found and David Finkelhor tried to do it. Damage in form of harm would have made it an easy case. However, citing harm presents difficulties, since laws based on damages require those damages to be proven in court. Bodily harm is a rare outcome of adult child sex. Moreover, children are considered unreliable with respect to giving evidence in court. Hence, child sex should be wrong due to facts that don't require testimony from children.

Finkelhor's dogma is based on three points:
  1. Consent is required,  
  2. Children are unable to give true consent,
  3. and power inequality implying inability.
In my opinion, all three are wrong. The emphasis on true consent should have raised a warning flag. It reminds one of the no true scotsman fallacy, hence such a consent is impossible to obtain. The points are so wrong that they have impacted the notion of what constitutes rape and what not. The "rape epidemic" on US-campuses got media attention. Some even claim the existence of stare rape - which is utterly nonsense. There is such a thing as rape. It is a serious issue and it needs to be addressed adequately. The question what constitutes rape and what not leaves a grey area. Some cannot accept the existence of such a thing as a grey area. They want to eliminate such an area at all cost, without reflecting how much it would cost and who would pay the price. They demand zero tolerance. However, zero tolerance is a policy that punishes the innocent for the crimes of the guilty. It creates more damage than it prevents.

What is consent and where does this strange notion come from?


When people engage in a common activity, they tend to make compromises and to negotiate an agreement. All involved parties have an interest in and benefit from such activities. The term "agreement" implies negotiation - it places the child on the same level as the adult, hence the term was not suitable for this dogma. A negotiation offers room for permissible activity, which had to be avoided. Something more one-sided was needed.

The concept of consent is well known from medicine, research, and law. Consent is given once, usually it is not recalled, and it implies consequences. Giving consent is necessary in case of a surgeon performing a heart transplantation. It might be an extreme case of consent, but it illustrates my point.

The heart surgeon usually makes a plan how to carry out the heart transplant. The patient seldom has enough knowledge and wisdom to discuss details with the surgeon and to suggest changes. Moreover, the patient is unconscious during the operation, hence the consent has to be given beforehand. The consent is more a declaration of trust in the operating team than a agreement to a fixed plan. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the surgeon might deviate from the plan and adjust the procedure. This does not invalidate the given consent. The surgeon is only required to work in the interest of the patient. Even though the procedure is rudimentarily explained, and an understanding is not required, the bigger part of giving consent is about accepting the consequences as one owns responsibility. There is a desired outcome, but problems may arise. Few types of operations have a clean 100% success rate. 

In a heart transplant operation, the patient's heart is taken out. At this moment, the patient does no longer live independently. If the operation fails, he was as a matter of fact killed at this moment. Giving consent to a medical procedure means accepting the consequences. Otherwise, heart surgeons would be prosecuted for murder on a regular basis. In such cases, the given consent provides a legal cover, claiming that the patient requested the procedure and takes responsibility for all consequences. In those cases, there is no remedy. There is nothing that can be done to reduce the damage. One can only surrender and becomes a powerless victim to one's ultimate fate.

Talking about giving consent in the context of a sexual adventure is simply wrong. The concept denotes something one-sided, usually given once. It would make sense if one part was knocking the other out and mutilated her/him. That kind of action is rare, even within the setting of consensual BDSM among adults. 

The consent paradigm backfired big time as can be seen on american campuses. Lensman wrote an excellent piece on Heretic ToC about the staircase model of consent. Consent is not given just once to a fixed scenario, but many times. It is more like a dance, where each step is taken with caution. A good dancer listens to the signals given by the partner all the time and takes care not to crash into obstacles. Arriving at this point, one can no longer speak of consent. It is an ongoing non-verbal dialog. You agree to dance, you do not consent! Dance is fun. And it is fun, because the interaction escalates towards hilarious moments. It escalates, because every reaction is amplified by its response. It goes back and forth, not just one-way.

When my fingertips travel towards an area throbbing with desire, I have to listen for the purr or growl. The feelings of the partner are to be respected. Is there pleasure and enjoyment or are there hesitations? As with dance, communication by any means is required. I'm not a mind reader, so my partner has to let his/her desires to be known. Whatever happens, has to happen on the premises of both or all in case of an orgy. It's not the responsibility of just one.

Sex is fun! Fun is best when all make an effort and enjoy it. Talking about consent takes the fun and joy out of it. Moreover, it takes the focus from the important continuous communication aspect. And that is most dangerous aspect of the consent discussion.

Can we really consent to sex?


After the previous reasoning, it is clear that Finkelhor was right. Children can't consent to any sexual activity. However, this is not the children's fault, but Finkelhor's. He uses a concept that is not at all appropriate for sexual contacts. He even questions its appropriateness. Not only can children not consent, most adults can't either. In his 1979 paper, Finkelhor gives examples for certain adults not being able to give true consent.

Nobody would talk about required consent when dancing. Sex is more like dance to a mutual enjoyment rather than a heart transplant performed on an unconscious patient. All participants are awake and turn the encounter into the fun activity they want it to be. 

Sex is fun and most sex is just for fun. If sex were just for procreation, then humans really suck at it. According to scientists, it takes on average more than 1000 attempts to conceive a child - that makes humans the losers among all mammals. Sex is fun and it should be fun. During the Victorian period, all sex was considered a sin. Masturbation was forbidden and prevented by crazy inventions. Only recently, it has left the taboo zone.

The Victorian era is not only responsible for the masturbation hysteria and moral panic, but also for the exclusion of children from most aspects of the adult life. Previously, children participated in normal life, once they were no longer dependent on the mother. At first, they were excluded from the workspace, later from the sexual arena. Only productive members of the society were allowed to have sex. Similar to children, sexual activity among elders was a taboo as well. It seems rather strange that humans demand others in private sexual encounters to follow certain rules.

"If everybody enjoys it, why should it be bad?" asks Jenn in a well thought through video on youtube. Is it bad? Where is the harm done? Is it a trauma? How can we avoid iatrogenic harm? Child lovers and professionals could fill libraries with treatises on that topic. Finkelhor discussed several aspects in his 1979 paper and concluded that the condemnation of adult child sex must be based on a moral wrong. He himself considered the foundation upon harm to be problematic, since harm happens only in few cases. At the time, when he wrote his paper, several publications reported on positive outcomes. So why forbid something, if it only harms a few? These questions are discussed in different media. Unfortunately, the final verdict has not been made yet.

The Finkelhor dogma tried to keep children from sexual activities, but this has failed. Many minors engage in sexual activities, even though adults try to prevent it. Finkelhor acknowledges that children are sexual beings and sexual activities with peers is normal. In the 70's he referred to doctor play - modern technology like digital cameras has changed that. Recently, sexting has gotten the media attention. According to them, it is a dangerous activity and must be suppressed. The prevalence of sexting should rise some questions. Why does the youth engage in those activities? Do they think that it is harmless?

Is sex harmless fun?

When I started this post, i wanted to emphasize on that. However, a post on boychat totally changed my understanding. Sex might be one of the most dangerous human activities.
Many argue that it is just harmless fun. Some people have casual sex with strangers, but this is not the norm. People arguing for the harmlessness of sex are often accused of promoting promiscuity and immorality, and of having ulterior motives. When child lover's question the harm of adult child sex, they often face fierce attacks as alleged child molesters. Taking the child's view often results in miserable attempts, hardly veiling any sexual desires.

The uninformed often assume that all sex must involve penetration and imagine horror stories. Penetration is what evolution programmed the men's sex drive to do. It might just be a projection of the heterosexual pattern onto all others - that the goal of sex is penetration. Gay men have been pictured as seeking anal sex over everything else, but it turned out to be not true. Gay men cuddle, caress, suck, and blow. Where else has the heterosexual projection been wrong? When it comes to sexual activities, too much is assumed to happen and fact reports are ignored.

Media enjoys giving graphical details about the conditions in which rape victims are left behind. The current hysteria equates bruises with those life threatening damages. The truth is different. Children play and some of them break bones. Sometimes it is not their fault, but their friend's. Doctors mend those bones and children continue to be friends even after inflicting serious damages on each other. The perpetrators are sorry and make up for it. Hence, bodily damage is an unlikely candidate for long lasting harm, if there is harm at all. Moreover, this post is not about rape, but about those adult-child sexual activities without any traces of violence.

Even if sex can be compared with dance as making simple steps all the time, it can be extremely dangerous. While walking can be considered to be harmless too, climbing the Mount Everest, however, isn't. One can turn back at any time, but this option does not save everybody from the cold death. It requires serious consideration, few make it to the top, and a lot of things can go wrong.

Sex is the Mount Everest of intimacy and trust. It is not only the top, but also the way to the top. The path not only leads to the top, but also to the next abyss. For many it is uncharted territory, where the path is narrow and the abyss is near. This might sound like an exaggeration, but for most people it is reality. The fear to make missteps, to appear unknowledgeable, to fail to reach the top, to fail expectations, and first and foremost the prospect to get those failures reported by the disappointed partner are intimidating. Trust is the safety rope that binds the roped team together. Much trust in the partner and confidence into own performance is needed.

Stepping onto a glacier without a safety rope is indeed foolish and everybody should hesitate out of fear of the unknown. Strolling on a glacier without a safety rope is as stupid as discussing sex without mentioning trust. As roped teams seldom are just two persons teams, relationships usually involve more than just the two in bed. Each part has a support team comprising parents, siblings and friends. Advice on how to proceed is requested. Small steps are reported and confirmation is seeked. Women talk, men too. Where can I go from here?

There are more involved than just the two in bed


The problem with the consent concept lies in the acceptance of eventual consequences. If the new heart does not start beating, life is over and nothing can be done. Those consequences are final. Often, the consent discussion involving children centers on the argument that children are unaware about the consequences. They simply lack the knowledge about the outcome which is bound to happen. Adults are often unaware of possible outcomes of their major decisions. Many married couples end up in divorces. Using the same argumentation, even adults are not able to consent to marriage. However, people marry because they think they can manage their life together. Hence, it is not about possible outcomes, but the ability to deal with them and to change their development.

Back to the case of broken bones during childhood: Broken bones are mended and friends make up, in case it was their fault. That is why broken bones seldom mean the end of a friendship, even though considerable harm was done. The ability to deal with eventual consequences and to change their course is absent in the consent discussion. 

There have been reports about positive memories of pedophilic relationships in the late 80's. The attitude towards pedophilia during that time was different. It was not necessarily seen as abusive. The interviewed boys compared notes with other boys or even got advice on their friendships from their parents. Those children were free to deal with the outcomes. It has been noted that children typically are quite resilient. I guess that is mostly true due to their active involvement in those relationships.  They trusted their parents to support them in the relationship with the adult they trusted.

Things are differently nowadays. In case of a discovered sexual relationship between an adult and a child, a mechanism is set into motion, which removes any degree of freedom from the child. They are usually witnesses to a process which they cannot influence. Moreover, the terms "victim" and "survivor" emphasize the passivity force on them. They are left alone in their victimhood. Any chance to deal with the outcome has been removed.

Children are incapable to do whatever...


Children are not born as blank slates, having to learn everything from scratch during childhood. Game theory predicts, how humans should behave rationally, but experiments show different outcomes. Researchers tested the prisoner's dilemma in experiments and were baffled by the results. It first made sense, when they considered an infinite version of the dilemma, in which the participants meet again and again. However, no one did the mental calculation required for this outcome - an innate sense dictates how to behave in certain social situations. 

Try cheating children in a game and you face a fierce protest - this is not fair! Who teached them what is fair and what is not? Sometimes, parent explain why something is not fair, but the concept fairness is never explained. This has been confirmed in experiments like the dictators game. Given a choice, children will avoid unfair situations. This is something all children except the smallest are able to do. Children should get more credit than they get now. However, children do lack knowledge and shouldn't be treated like miniature adults. That is why parental support is important. 

Children are experts at playing. They do it all day long. Sometimes, lessons are modified to resemble games, such that children will enjoy learning. Playing with each other is very much a continuous non-verbal communication. During unsupervised play, children make up the rules and enforce them. Making up rules is a masterpiece of negotiation. Having rules requires their enforcement. Hence, children are also experts in dishing out punishment for their violations.

When children start playing with other children, they don't give or ask for consent. They know how playing works and they are equipped with the means to deal with the consequences. After all, they know how to have fun.

Inequality is not necessarily bad


In fact, inequality was required in ancient Greece for the acceptance of a pederastic relationship. Inequality ment that one profited from the other. Almost nothing is equal in an adult-child relationship. If fulfilling each other's needs is the ultimate goal of a relationship, then the adult-child relationship has the most potential. 

The whole chapter 9 of "Paedophilia - The Radical Case" by Tom O'Carroll is dedicated to power and equality. In fact, he subscribes the most power to be on the side of the child, who can just stop seeing the adult. The adult on the other hand is more desperate to make the relationship work and to keep the child as a friend. The one who need the relationship the least is the most powerful, says the inverse power law. Many pedophiles are devastated, when the child suddenly decides to put an end to their relationship and keeps staying away.

Sometimes, children do not have the choice to stay away from the adult. This happens to be the case in incest cases. This is usually cited in the consent discussions - that the child is exposed to every whim of the adult and therefore such a relationship is wrong. It sounds like a legit concern that there may be harm. However, it is illusional to think, that the inappropriate sex is the sole cause of all trouble. 

Conclusions


The presumed inability to give true consent and the necessity of consent is misleading. Not only is the concept of consent inappropriate, but the inability of children is based on assumptions that are most likely wrong. Any discussion must include the continuous non-verbal communication aspect and the ability to change the outcome and development of consequences. Children trust and agree to "known unknowns", meaning they trust in their ability to deal with the challenges.

The current attitude turns children with sexual contacts of any kind into "victims" or into "child molesters" in cases involving other children. Not only does this undermine the right to self-determination, but it destroys their ability to deal with consequences on their own. They are pacified and forced into victimhood without any chance of escape. Sometimes they are placed on the register for sexual offenders and have their life made miserable.  The imperative dogma to punish any transgression of the presumed "moral wrong" does more damage than good. If they were not damaged before the intervention, they certainly are afterwards. After all, children are sexual beings and most sex is for fun.

After having discussed, what is involved in consensual sex, rape is easily identified. Not having given explicit consent or deciding afterwards that expectations weren't met is not an appropriate identifier. The absence of a continuous verbal or non-verbal dialog, or the refusal to deal with consequences or to mend any harm are quite good indicators and should be used instead.

2016-06-18

Sir Cliff Richard's full statement

Just to keep this for eternity


http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-36547213




"After almost two years under police investigation I learnt today that they have finally closed their enquiries.


I have always maintained my innocence, co-operated fully with the investigation, and cannot understand why it has taken so long to get to this point.


Nevertheless, I am obviously thrilled that the vile accusations and the resulting investigation have finally been brought to a close.


Ever since the highly-publicised and BBC-filmed raid on my home I have chosen not to speak publicly.


Even though I was under pressure to 'speak out', other than to state my innocence, which was easy for me to do as I have never molested anyone in my life, I chose to remain silent.


This was despite the widely-shared sense of injustice resulting from the high-profile fumbling of my case from day one.


Other than in exceptional cases, people who are facing allegations should never be named publicly until charged.


I was named before I was even interviewed, and for me that was like being hung out like 'live bait'.


It is obvious that such strategies simply increase the risk of attracting spurious claims which not only tie up police resources and waste public funds, but they forever tarnish the reputations of innocent people.


There have been numerous occasions in recent years where this has occurred, and I feel very strongly that no innocent person should be treated in this way.


I know the truth and in some peoples' eyes the CPS's announcement today doesn't go far enough because it doesn't expressly state that I am innocent; which of course I am. There lies the problem.


My reputation will not be fully vindicated because the CPS's policy is to only say something general about there being 'insufficient' evidence.


How can there be evidence for something that never took place?


This is also a reason why people should never be named publicly until they have been charged unless there are exceptional circumstances.


To my fans and members of the public, to the press and media, all of whom continued to show me such encouraging and wonderful support, I would like to say thank you - it would have been so much harder without you."

2016-01-10

Evolution of pedophilia

Many are accused of normalizing pedophilia, as it could be normalized. Pedophilia is normal and has been normal through the evolution of mankind. Evolution is not a myth either, and everything that evolution created is normal.

It started around 1.8 million years ago, when the first human brain size increase happened. The forest disappeared and with it the safety of tree branches. Big cats preyed onto the ancestors who had to survive in the resulting savannah. The ancestors had to live in bigger groups or die alone. Major obstacles to living in larger groups are fear and aggression. Hence, our ancestors had to get rid of these two.

The famous russian silver fox experiment did just that. They collected wild foxes from fur farms for the breeding experiment. Only the 10% friendliest foxes were selected for the next generation. Due to this rigorous selection they obtained domesticated foxes after few decades. Something similar happened to our ancestors, and it is called self-domestication. Any preferential treatment of those less aggressive exerts the same selective pressure as the selection by the experimenters, albeit at a much lesser magnitude.

As Belyaev (he started the russian silver fox experiment) noticed, domestication has a destabilizing effect. The timing of developmental processes is disturbed and leads to neoteny. The socialization period gets extended and the fear instinct manifests itself at a much later time or not at all. Evolution up to that point had endowed our ancestors with a range of instincts. They functioned like hard-wired methods for solving the challenges the individual encounters in a typical life. Then, domestication weakened all instincts. That poses both a problem and an opportunity. The hard-wired instincts had to be replaced by learned behavior. Domesticated animals lose the ability to tackle wildlife problems, since food and shelter is provided by humans. On the other side, they learn to interact with humans.

Solitary animals are aggressive to every other animal except to the opposite sex during mating season. The mating instinct kicks in and the love hormone oxytocin prevents aggression. Like a reflex the characteristics of the opposite sex cause a sexual arousal. This instinct too gets weakened during domestication. Attraction to a large degree gets learned during childhood. Some say that men are replacing their mothers with wives. The truth to it is that children have learned to deal with a certain personality and later in life tend to find partners that match this personality. This works by an erotization of clues that indicate a comforting environment.

However, living without instincts is not possible. There has to be a mechanism in place that starts the learning process. Moreover, not everything can be learned or is teached. Belyaev noticed that about 30 to 40% of is female fox population failed to breed or did not show maternal care to the litter. Does this sound familiar? Clearly, domestication process has gone too far in those foxes and they lost a necessary instinct.

Is there a mechanism in place that prevents the loss of necessary instincts? It happens, but no on a personal level. If the mating instinct fails to manifest, then it means the end to the genes of that person. Evolution pushes mankind to have less and less instinct until some have less than necessary. They are not forced towards the opposite sex and the erotization happens to other clues of comforting company. Let's be honest, the company of children is refreshing. Who doesn't like children?

2016-01-08

Are pedophiles sick?


No! They are normal, but not average. Nobel prize winners are normal, but not average with respect to intelligence. Pedophiles are not average with respect to sexual desire. Nothing causes pedophilia. Something causes heterosexuality.

The sexual desire in average people is driven by innate behavior (instinct), it is said that the sexual instinct is the strongest in humans. But humans are losing instincts in the course of evolution.

If one gets food poisoning, it affects the inner ear. The horizon does not move before our eyes as our ears indicate. That is how we feel the effects of food poisoning, and we become nauseated and throw up. On a ship, when we lose the horizon and the felt movements do not correspond to our vision, our body recognized food poisoning and we throw up. When we sit on an airplane and the airplane starts moving without any outside view indicating it, some people get panic and try to leave the place. Some innate behavior is good, while others like fear of flying affects us negatively. Hence, during evolution we got less and less affected by innate behavior and had to replace the guiding effect of innate behavior by learned behavior - we got intelligent.

During puberty, average boys start feeling a very strong attraction towards same aged girls. Girls experience something like that too, where they get flattered by the strange attraction of boys. Average boys start behaving irrationally, ignoring advices and prohibitions. Everybody says they should concentrate on their studies, pals demand them to spend time with them. Parents are concerned wrt. STD's ... And they do sexting, because they might score. These are the effect of a strong mating instinct. Every unexplainable consistent irrational behavior probably is an instinct. The human brain has evolved and many processes have been broken down into smaller pieces. The mating instinct probably now is a combination of an attraction and an erotization part. 

In pedophiles, the mating instinct seems to have become too weak. Prenatal insults can prevent the manifestation of innate behavior (instincts). Boys are supposed to play in a certain way, also called gender conform. They should prefer certain toys, and if they do not, chances are that they become homosexuals (or other paraphilic). All MRI studies find something that is not average in pedophiles and similar. They also have found non-average responses in hormones. Pedophiles are not average, pretty much like the overly intelligent nobel prize winners. But they are normal!

With respect to the sexual mating instinct, pedophiles are on the low end of the distribution - just like stupid people, or short people. When pedophiles start loving someone, it was someone whose company was comforting. The problem with society is, that they have made this love impossible. The more distance they put between pedophiles and the children they love, the less they see them as subjects with a personality and more as sexual lust objects. If all you want is to put your dick in a bum, then you have gone the whole mile and lost out on the refreshing company of children.

Not all pedophile-labeled people are like this. There are antisocial psychopath who kill children. There are dads and stepdads who don't get enough of the love they need from their wives. There are arrogant men who travel to third world countries to buy child sex, because money buys everything.

2015-12-24

Cross-wiring in the brain of pedophiles

There is this "common consensus" among "experts" that the brain of pedophiles is cross wired. In the last paper by Cantor et al, the authors say that there is no "disconnection", but a "dysconnection". Right. Or are they wrong? The "experts" claim the following. If a "normal" person sees a child, the parental love is activated. But in a pedophile, it is the sexual love instead.

Ok, there are studies using functional MRI's and they report differences. I have also seen a meta-study where they listed all those studies and listed which regions were activated in pedophiles - there was not much consistency to see. This could be a case of p-value hacking, which i discussed earlier.

Back to the "common consensus" of cross-wiring, how much truth is there to this assumption? Is there really an activation of something completely different in parents than in pedophiles? That is what cross-wiring implies, or am i wrong?

What are the chances that evolution created a sexual love system and completely separated parental love? Testosterone, oestrogen, adrenaline, dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and vasopressin are the usual suspects for love hormones or the cocktail of them. Some say it is a myth that mothers get sexual aroused by breastfeeding their children. But it is oxytocin that controls the milk let down. One treatment option for social interaction orders involves a nasal spray containing oxytocin. Just by reading the article about oxytocin, one understands that there are no two separate love systems, there is only one. So what is parental love, then?

I have read several accounts of boy- and girllovers, who did not feel any sexual attraction to their own children. However, the friends of their children had the usual effects. The reason for that is the Westermarck effect. It renders long known acquaintances sexually inattractive. Is parental love the same as sexual love, but with brakes put on by the Westermarck effect? I think so. From an evolutionary points, it makes sense to reuse an existing system and to add some inhibitors to it than to evolve a brand new system for offspring caring.

Moreover, it makes sense to loose sexual interest in a person after getting to know him/her for a long time. In former times children of age 7 were supposed to fend for themselves, coincidentally the seventh year is also the one with the most breakups in marriages. Love hormones make us befriend a complete stranger. The own kids are around from day one, not exactly being strangers. This is another reason, why parents don't feel a sexual attraction, they are already close to their children. If they have not been close to their children, genetic sexual attraction happens, just think of oedipus.

So, what exactly is this cross-wiring talk about if there is nothing to cross?

2015-12-06

Pedophilia for dummies

First of all: Nobody makes the conscious decision to become a pedophile.

Think of the children!


This slogan is enough to mobilize and justify any action against pedophiles. Public figures demand actions to cope with the assumed pandemic. Some even demand that every pedophile be put to death - more or less merciful. If you still blame pedophiles for their "sick lifestyle", here is a question for you: Why would anyone want to be a pedophile? Trust me, it's not a desirable destiny. Do you really think that someone would choose that life?

Few are bothered to question the nature of pedophilia and what is causing it. When pedophiles are hunted, stigmatized and persecuted in the manner they are, it is obvious that this is not a choice.

Are they born this way?


The argument "we are born that way" has been used by homosexuals to demand acceptance of homosexual love. It is not really an explanation, because it raises the question, why are some born this way? Together with "It's a sexual orientation" it is more of an activist slogan than a scientific explanation. The best current explanation is that something went wrong during the development. There is some evidence that it starts very early - even before birth.

Think of it like a train derailment. There are tracks, which the train is supposed to ride on. And then there are obstacles and defects that can cause the train to leave the tracks. So, what went wrong with pedophiles? If we start asking about something "wrong", we should know what is "right". Hence, what is it that goes right in most people? What happens in people that don't turn out to be pedophiles? It is kind of an obvious mystery, since most people don't spend much time thinking about stuff that comes natural.

Sexual development - what is it exactly?


Imagine that you are a normal boy heading for a straight heterosexual orientation. A "normal" boy plays with certain toys, later he plays football/soccer with other boys. At first, girls are icky and boys are afraid of catching girl cooties, with Valentine's day being an exception. However, something strange happens during puberty - boys are starting to behave irrationally. Parents told us to wait with it, teachers are against it, even pals are complaining that we spend less time with them. Nonetheless, spending time with a girl becomes important on it's own.

Because "everyone" has this attraction, this is kind of normal and nobody is questioning it. Is it culture, or is it the expectation of others that drives "normal" boys to try to get the attention of girls again and again? If it were just a search for friendship, then we would see a 50/50 distribution of boy/girl and boy/boy couples. There are even fewer obstacles for a boy to befriend another boy than to befriend a girl.

Actually, several things are already known. Gay men tend to have more older brothers. There are hypotheses that explain how the influence happens, developed antibodies in the mother being the current favorite explanation. Gender atypical behavior during childhood is considered to be an indicator for later homosexuality. The latter statement is remarkable. Not only does it state a deviation from "the norm", it also states that certain behavior is "the norm" for a boy. Already as little boys, their behavior is supposed to follow some invisible tracks.

Gender typical behavior - but why?


Stripping "gender" from the question, we could ask: What causes a typical behavior? Some behavior is so common typical that we have named them. Fear of flying is an example. As soon as the airplane starts moving, those affected freak out. In a rational discussion outside the plane, they will agree that the fear is irrational and somewhat silly. But that does not matter once the airplane starts moving. It is a consistent innate behavior very difficult to override. This is not an exception.

Human behavior follows certain patterns, this is the very base of psychology. If we were able to just snap out of a depression, we wouldn't need psychiatric institutions. Often, we need to become aware, how much trouble a certain behavior will cause and we need help to avoid or handle those situations.

If we were animals, we would simply call it instincts. Many animals are born with a fully developed set of instincts. This is not the case with a human baby. Unlike a baby deer, it does not get up within a few hours after birth and follows the mother around. A human baby resembles more a fetus than a preteen child during the first year. Some animals can walk a few hours after birth and instinctively follow the flock. For most animals, instincts are like solid railway tracks guiding their behavior. They are so controlled by their instincts, that a lion jumping through a burning hoop is a circus sensation.

Instincts are considered to be non-existing in humans, since we are in general able to override them. This is taken to the extreme by the assumption that humans have a free will. The example of the fear of flying shows that this obviously is not the case. Few million years ago, our ancestors certainly had instincts and those instincts didn't disappear suddenly. And they haven't completely vanished. 

How little instincts do we need?


Humans are superior to animals, because we can think and decide on a rational base what actions to take. That is the theory, in praxis we quite often behave in a certain manner that we are not aware of. Sometimes it is good for us, otherwise it can present an obstacle like the fear of flying. The fewer irrational behavior we are forced to act out, the better it is for us.

Instincts are in a way hard-wired knowledge how to behave in certain situations. Without hard-wired instincts, the appropriate behavior has to be learned. The freedom from instincts not only requires us to make rational decisions, but also allows us to adjust them in order to get anticipated outcomes. Without guiding instincts and learned knowledge, we are doomed to make stupid decisions. Hence, loosing instincts is not only an advantage, but it is a liability too. Using trial and error, we learned what was best for our survival. Hence, those with a lesser amount of instincts had a greater learning potential. This presents an evolutionary advantage leading to a higher survival rate for human genes.

Animals have instincts to a varying degree. Reptiles have a primitive brain and are completely instinct controlled. The higher up on the evolutionary stage the animals are, the less they are controlled by instincts and more able to learn things. It is no surprise that most trained animals are mammals.

Animals living in a stable environment tends to show very little variations. It is almost impossible to tell two penguins apart. Animals living in a changing environment show a greater variation. Individuals that are better adapted to a change will ensure the survival of the species, while the unfortunate die. Over time this will lead to a higher variation of individual characteristics in those species, which represents a higher flexibility. This is the reason for the noticeable individual characteristics among humans. Some of us are born with stronger instincts and have to suffer from fear of flying or similar compulsive behavior, while others enjoy a higher degree of free will.

How does evolution know where to stop?


It doesn't. Well, evolution does not stop before it is too late. Evolution is not about the survival of species or to make individuals comfortable in their environment, but about the survival of DNA. Humans are pushed by evolution towards the edge of losing all instincts, and due to the variation some are pushed over the edge. Those, who were too far on the other side, would not pass down their DNA. Evolution comes with a price tag attached, the dead end of an DNA-line. It is like a tree, where only few branches are allowed to continue to grow, while others are cut back.

As it seems, a certain minimal amount of instincts is necessary for procreation. Boys need to find girls. That is why boys start to behave irrationally during puberty, even when they were angel-like to their parents during previous years. The current society makes it  hard for them: child sexuality is not encouraged and abstinence-only sex education is on the program in some countries. Hence, the instinct of chasing girls meets a lot of obstacles, experiences headwind. 

Should we expect everyone to develop a "normal" heterosexual orientation? Some think that gender is a social construct and feminists claim men and women to be equal. Moreover, many romantics claim that it was the personality that attracted them to their spouse. If the existence of a vagina or penis is that insignificant, shouldn't we be equally attracted to men and women? I mean, if we downplay the importance of the gender/sex, shouldn't we see like a 50% prevalence of homosexuality?

Evolution does not like 50% homosexuality, it is simply not sustainable. It would mean that 50% of the genes are pushed over the edge and are not passed down. During the evolution humans lost much of the intensity of instincts. The behavior became more and more rational and that was an advantage. This also meant that the gender of the significant other half became less important. We are more attracted to the personality than to the outlook of intercourse. At the same time, sex became more versatile than just as a means to procreation. Intimacy creates strong social bonds. Hence, evolution drove humans away from the 100% heterosexuality towards a point where the advantage of free will is balanced by procreation failure.


So what went wrong in pedophiles?


Nothing! Everything went according to the plan. That means the plan of evolution. Evolution does not care about individuals, only about the survival of genes. Individuals are just a means for procreation. Fish have many thousand offsprings, most end up being prey for others. For evolution it is ok that just enough individuals make it into adulthood. 

Flexibility was and is a necessity for humans. In order to adapt to the changing environment, we show rather big differences between individuals, we are taller or shorter, we have different skin colour, and we lost much of the control instincts had over our behavior. Variance is part of the evolutionary game. This means also variance in the strength of certain instincts, among them the instinct that drives boys towards girls during puberty.

To be honest, this post is actually "paraphilia for dummies" - i never talked why pedophiles prefer the company of children. Most think it is for sexual gratification only, but this is wrong. The company of children averts aggression of bullies, children are very emotional and might satisfy the demands of someone with a more intense emotional life. There are in fact many reasons why adults turn towards children and turn the back to adults. The current stigmatization is one of them. Children don't judge someone based on media incited hysteria, they judge people according to their actions.

2015-11-22

Why does the mystical p-value sometimes do not tell the truth?

P-values seem to carry an importance in science paper, which the layman does not understand. Instead of going into the details of its definition, i'm using coin tosses as an example. Most coins are balanced, which means each side is equally likely to end up in a coin toss - which makes them perfect for the use in random experiments.

The experiment


My experiment is the prediction of a coin toss. Other experiments are less random, like measuring the height or intelligence of a group of people. The big question is what is random or not?

The correct order of business would be:

  1. Stating the hypothesis - here predicting the outcome to be heads.
  2. Carrying out the experiment - here flipping the coin.
  3. Observing the results - here:  (just for the sake), it was tails.
  4. Publishing the results - here: writing a paper in any case, even when the hypothesis got not confirmed.
What would we see in the scientific literature? About 50 percent of the papers are reporting heads, the other 50 percent reporting tails and everybody would understand that the outcome of flipping coins is random. This is something we seldom see in the scientific literature. 

The successful scientist


If my career depends on the publication of successful papers, then papers with negative results are not desirable. My reputation would get damaged, if i publish a report where the experiment does not support my hypothesis. This pressure results in papers, where the outcome would be tails, if the hypothesis was tails; or heads if the hypothesis was heads.

Another way to ensure a successful paper is to postpone the making of a hypothesis until after the analysis is carried out. This procedure is also known as the Texas sharpshooter fallacy. Obviously this is wrong. However, data dredging is quite common.

In my case, i made a hypothesis on the outcome of coin flipping. I predict heads assuming that the coin will always land this way - which is my hypothesis. The null hypothesis assumes that the outcome is random, giving me a 50% chance to be right. 

Making it significant


My paper only counts if my findings are statistically significant. Often a threshold of 0.05 is employed. In order to reach that level, i would have to predict the outcome of 5 subsequent coin tosses. Flipping the coin 5 times gives a probability of 1/2*1/2*1/2*1/2*1/2=1/32 or a chance of 3.125%. Hence, the more details i predict, the more significant would a success be. 

Some scientific papers do execute an extensive data analysis, finding not yet seen details. He who seeks finds. If one looks for details shared by only 5% of the studied subjects, then one of such details is statistically (p<0.05) significant. A detail shared by only 1% becomes statistically (p<0.01) significant. 

In my case, i would postpone the hypothesis making until after my data analysis is carried out. Many journals do not require me to state the order of business, hence i get away with a vague description how my hypothesis came into existence. As i continued the coin flipping business, the result became tails-tails-heads-tails-heads (TTHTH). Publishing this would give me a desired publication, but 31 out of 32 replication trials will be unable to repeat my experiment.

Some experiments are expensive to carry out. Sharing lab-results is a nice gesture among scientists. It is obvious that using my "lab-results" will enable you to confirm my results. If you insist on using your lab-results, it would come with the disastrous results! Since my results were statistically significant, everybody would assume that you are an inexperienced scientist. 
One in twenty details should turn out to be p<0.05 statistically significant.

Give me a hypothesis or lab-results, but not both!


P-values give an indication how likely a outcome is, if it were random. It is calculated like a probability. Using the correct formula does not ensure its correctness. How likely is a certain outcome of 5 coin tosses? It is 1/32. However, if i know that the first one is tails, it changes. Outcomes starting with heads are no longer likely, all others increased their likelihood to 1/16. At this point, my results would no longer be statistically significant. This change of probabilities is the achilles heal of conditional probabilities - they change when new information is obtained.

One could claim to have calculated the outcomes of 5 coin tosses before the experiment, hence they numbers should still be valid. However, i have picked out one special number (TTHTH). By singling out this number, i applied an after-the-fact selection - which is an additional condition, hence the value should change. In my case, the value increases to 1.0.  This is the probability to see tails-tails-heads-tails-heads, when my coin fell tails-tails-heads-tails-heads.

What is left?


As a reader of a scientific paper i have to skip statements about statistical significance, when the authors were too lazy to describe when exactly they came up with the hypothesis. Without the p-values, only the existence of details can be acknowledged. It could be a property of the sample, or it could indeed indicate some correlation. 

If a certain scientist only publishes papers on successful experiments, then it could mean two things:
  • the scientist is cheating, making up the hypothesis after the fact,
  • the outcome is less random than assumed.
An unlucky scientist studying a random phenomenon should publish results according to the random distribution. In the coin flipping science field, halv the papers should report a failing. Assuming all scientists are using the same coin, and only 25% report a failure - then the assumption of a balanced coin seems to be wrong. In this case, the coin is likely to heavier on one side. Even though the reports were pair-wise contradicting, together they would give a more correct picture of the randomness.

My checklist:
  • When was the hypothesis made?
  • Has data material used for hypothesis making reused in the analysis?
  • How much data dredging has been carried out?
  • Have the author been picking out details from the examination?
  • How many similar details are there?
  • Where are the failures?

Background

There are some scientific papers out, which try to identify pedophiles as a group. As it seems the authors are not aware of the pitfalls of data dredging and the Texas shooter fallacy. As a results some characteristics of pedophiles are given as "statistically significant", which are at least doubtful. Since those results contribute to the stigmatization of pedophiles, such papers are in my opinion unethical.

2015-10-26

Making sense of James Cantor's research

James Cantor's articles are heavily discussed in the pedophile community. He is a researcher at CAMH and carries out research using forensic samples, meaning men who are caught in the legal system. Among his findings are that on average: their IQ is lower, they are missing white matter, they are shorter, have craniofacial anomalies and shorter legs. Of course the tall, smart, beautiful pedos cry out.  His articles are scrutinized and critiques have been written pointing out holes. Ok, i might be too stupid to date women, but how exactly do short legs cause pedophilia? Craniofacial anomalies or simply ugliness might ruin my chances of getting laid, but i would still chase women and not children. What could be behind all those research findings?


Preamble


Many researchers look to chimpanzees and bonobos, our closest cousins in the animal kingdom, for some clues. Other sex researchers like Jim Pfaus use rats to study sexual behavior. However, there is one huge difference between most animals and humans. Humans are neotenous, more than cats and dogs. Neoteny means the retention of juvenile features. It does not mean that adults look childish. It means that without neoteny our heads should look much more like grown up chimpanzees and not like those of chimpanzee babies. We should have larger teeth, a smaller brain, and a bigger fang.

There is little to be found on the internet how neoteny manifests itself. The best explanation is a retarded development, meaning that all developmental processes run with a much reduced speed. Different processes run at different speeds. Some processes never finish, like the skull bone fusion which still goes on in the ninth decade. Compared with the mammal model, human processes take 5 to 15 times more time. According to that model, humans should be born after 21 month of gestation. Since the head would be too big by then, humans are born at the latest possible moment, when the baby's head just passes through the birth canal. After birth the baby continues to grow at the same rate for the next year. One of the processes taking longer time is the brain maturation, 90% completed by age 10, but almost finished first in the mid-twenties, give or take a few years.

Human instincts


Psychologist Abraham Maslow argued that humans no longer have instincts because we have the ability to override them in certain situations. The criteria for instincts cited in this wikipedia article create a false dichotomy. Either it's an instinct or should be considered a drive, but the latter is defined much different by Drive theory. The biggest counter argument against the non-existence of instincts is the fact that psychology works. Psychology works because human behavior follows rules. Patients in psychiatric care have difficulties overriding certain "innate behavior" (aka instincts). Probably the reason for the renaming into "innate behavior" might be related to the illusion of a free will. Free will denotes the idea that humans can do and behave in the way they want, ultimately meaning that all actions are deliberate and thought through.

During the human evolution the increasing intelligence made us to a lesser degree the marionettes of instincts. The notion of free will represents the ultimate end of this development.  This development will affect all instincts, some more other less. Some instincts are necessary for the survival of the species, like the sexual mating instinct. Hence, the human evolution weakened those instincts to the point where they are just strong enough for the genes to survive. Evolution works by variation: some get stronger, while others get weaker instincts. Those men, who have sex with strange women when completely drunk, got a higher amount of sexual mating instincts. Those, who develop a paraphilia instead of a healthy heterosexuality, probably got less than necessary. As a consequence, the appearance of not sufficiently strong enough instincts is part of evolution. Basically, this means that those instincts get overridden before they manifest themselves.

The link between instincts and neoteny lies in the way our brain develops. Most animals are born with most instincts functioning. Their brains are fully myelinated at birth, while humans are born with mostly unmyelinated brains. During the first years the myelination takes place. That means neuroglia cells are formed and their fatty parts show up as white spots on T1-sMRI. Neuroglia cells are shielding the axons of neurons, hence they are part of the white matter or the so called connecting tissue. Neoteny delays the manifestation of instincts. However, it seems that there are critical periods during the development. If a skill or behavior is not learned during such a time window, it is hard if not impossible to catch up.

The research findings


One of the better known results regarding pedophiles is the missing white matter. Sometimes it is also referred to as cross-wiring, since the researchers believe that instead of parental instincts, sexual instincts are activated. This is an overly simplistic view and there is no explanation why the cable instead of going to A goes to B instead. If it were a random cross-wiring, we should see an activation of the whole spectrum of instincts.

The craniofacial findings point to prenatal events, also called prenatal insults. Skin cells and neurons differentiate in the same way during embryogenesis before the blastula folds inwards and the spinal cord and brain are formed. If the development of skin cells gets disturbed during that period, it is likely that it affected neural cells as well. The observed correlation has been interpreted as an indicator for prenatal causes of pedophilia. Another anomaly is the testosterone level during certain critical prenatal periods. Getting the wrong amount of it and something goes wrong. It has been experimentally shown in rats (Jim Pfaus & Co) and there has been a longitudinal study in Denmark confirming it.

I'm wondering, whether the testosterone level in humans is similar to other mammals. The slowed down development in humans is caused by something or something necessary for the development is absent. Gaffney and Berlin reported a dysfunction of the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis in pedophiles, which again is important for testosterone levels. Testosterone breaks down into estradiol, which seem to have far reaching influence.

The latest papers propose a disturbance in the development to be the cause for some paraphilias. If we add the reasonable assumption that exclusive pedophiles are not interested in women, then we can conclude that the heterosexual instinct did not manifest itself. The development of the human sexual mating instinct, aka heterosexual orientation, got derailed. As with train derailments there might be multiple ways of that happening. This is the reason why some meta-studies report many different and sometimes conflicting results. Trains can go with a high velocity into a tight turn, rails can be deformed, the rail bed can have broken away, the wheels might lose contact, the bogie can oscillate - all of them possible causes for a train derailment.

Non-exclusive pedophile men are attracted to women, hence there is a working instinct, but the erotic attraction includes more than women. Normally, only the sight or scent of women should cause arousal. This arousal seems to be learned - clues of the preferred partner get erotized. John Money calls this disturbance a vandalization of the lovemap, which are supposedly formed around the age of 6. This would implicate events in early childhood as possible causes. Again weak instincts might have enable those developments, since they didn't offer much resistance to aberration.

Weak human instincts are not mainstream psychology. Common for paraphilia is the absence of a healthy heterosexual orientation. Hence, it seems kinda obvious to assume that something went wrong with the heterosexual mating instinct. This assumption is simple, it is supported by human evolution, the existence of human neoteny and the limited degree of free will among humans. So instincts failed to work as they should. I call it the faulty neoteny hypothesis.

Disclaimer

This is amateur research, making sense of research papers. As such it is not backed by a financed scientific study, but based on logic and scientific literature. As an amateur i'm free to pursue ideas that are not mainstream.

2015-10-18

The first pedophile

Is this a fantasy of a pedophile or does it make sense?


The idea in this post came like a stroke last christmas. Pedophilia is a destiny which is a heavy burden to carry. It does not make sense to be attracted to children nowadays. It does not make sense according to contemporary standards, but did it make sense 5000 years ago? Delving into internet i discovered the following.

Pedophilia is not a recent phenomenon, Michael Jackson was not the first one to have eyes for boys in the magic years between being a little boy and becoming a man. Leonardo da Vinci had eyes for his Salai, and he too was not the first. The greeks didn't invent pederasty, it had already conquered the world. The Japanese had the love for boys, apparently for over thousand years. This love for boys can be found in cultures all over the world. If a behavioral trait has spread throughout the world, it is believed to be more than 50.000 years old. Ergo: let's go back in time, much back in fact.

The Descent of Chester


The story of the descent of Chester is a humorous explanation why evolution allowed the existence of pedophiles and how pedophiles survived natural selection. Even though written as an satirical essay it contains several ideas on the survival of genes. Sometimes laymen interpret evolution quite narrow, when giving birth to children is already counted as success. Chester in this story makes sure that related children survive. This worker bee hypothesis has also been used to explain the acceptance of Fa'afafine. Another support for this hypothesis is the fact that mothers of homosexual children tend to give birth to more children. These explanations center around the value of nutrition for survival.

However, the same can be applied to all animals, hence we should find homosexuality and pedophilia to the same extend in the animal kingdom. Homosexual behavior can be observed, even sexual interaction with immature youth is common, but not in the same manner as in humans. Homosexual behavior is observed in the absence of females or in captivity. Researchers have tried to instill homosexuality as a preference for males in rats and have failed. Sexual behavior with immature youth is found in species that are not at all discriminatory in sexual partner selection, but a preference for immature partners is not evident.

What happened to homo habilis & Co?


There are some peculiarities in the human evolution. Humans share a last common ancestor with chimpanzees and bonobos. From comparison with them, we can infer that certain events happened during the human evolution. Artifacts like skeletons provide hints where to place them on the timeline. From those artifacts we know that the human brain increased in size twice during the evolution.

The first increase happened with homo erectus 1.8 million years ago , who had to counter environmental changes. In mobbing is human heritage i tried to explain what happened to them. Homo ergaster most likely self-domesticated himself, leading to groups that were more successful at fighting off predatory animals. Analysis of his skull shows more neotenous features than the chimpanzee skull. The famous russian silver fox experiment also lead to neotenous features as a result of a selection based on behavior. If homo ergaster became neotenous, then the reason could have been a self-domestication process, which we know has happened in the human past.

Hypothesis about human evolution


It is impossible to prove anything about the behavior of human ancestors, since no documentation ever existed or survived the tooth of time. Artifacts can only be found where the conditions were right for conservation. Human tissue or tools made out of wood and similar did not survive. Due to that most commonly acknowledged theories are based on simple assumptions and correlations with other events. The principle of Occam's razor is used to select some hypothesis as more likely.

Fortunately, there are some facts, which we know to be true. First of all, humans became intelligent and are able to use complicated tools. Second, we master a huge volume of knowledge. Finally, homo sapiens evolved into the shape of modern humans. The latter implies the neotenous character.

Neoteny - the retention of juvenile features


The picture to left shows a young immature chimpanzee. The contrast to adult chimpanzees is quite markant. Actually adult humans resemble chimpanzee babies much more than mature chimpanzees, which is denoted as physical neoteny. Neoteny itselfs denotes the retention of juvenile characteristics

How does neoteny appear? There is little to be found about it, but it seems to be related to a slower maturation speed. There exists a mammal model that predicts when certain developmental events are supposed to happen. Compared to that model, humans are maturing at a slower speed, between 5 and 15 times slower. According to that humans never done with growing up. Even in the ninth decade, some skull bone fusion processes are still at work.

Not only does a human mature at a slower speed than the mammal model predicts, but different parts mature at different speeds. The brain maturation is one of the slower processes. Several human peculiarities are due to that. Human instincts are dwindling and weak, interfering less with a rational behavior than in animals. However, some instincts are necessary and an insufficient instinct has undesirable outcomes. And again, the russian silver fox experiment did some interesting observations. Some neotenous foxes neglected their offspring.

The second brain size increase


The second brain size increase happened presumably during the Lower Palaeolithic era (800 000 years ago) leading to homo heidelbergensis. The placement of either on the timeline is somewhat uncertain, but the correlation makes sense. Homo habilis already had the ability to carry tools around unlike tool using animals. The usual sequence in animals is that they are first confronted with a problem and then start using tools. Not only are they using available items, but it has been observed that they modify items to fit for the purpose. Sticks are selected and sometimes modified for retrieval or for foraging. After the animals got what they wanted they usually discard the used tool. Since stone tools have been found together with skeletons, we know that they have been carried around even when there was no usage during the transport.

If there had been a "wood age" before the stone age, then we wouldn't know about it. It is possible that our ancestors had been using wooden tools before stone tools. In this case, the second brain increase could have happened earlier.

Tool making requires understanding and the ability to learn. I have seen a BBC documentary where a professor specialized in anthropology showed the presenter how to cut a stone for making a stone axe. The presenter surely had attended school and knew a lot about physics. The professor also told the presenter how to do certain steps, both spoke english and were quite intelligent. Even with those favorable abilities it took about half an hour to get the lesson across. Prof. Brian Cox tried it once to cut a stone without any instructions and gave up. He needed advice from some expert. Knifes and longer cutting tools require careful craftsmanship, where several flakes have to be cut off. This requires remarkable skills, not easy to teach even today.

In order to simulate ancient conditions we need to modify the situation drastically. First of all, no physics knowledge is allowed. Language was not yet invented. There were no books and no schools. And we have to reduce the intelligence level in both participants. Instead of a professor teaching an intelligent presenter we should consider a 5 year old teaching a 2 year old how to do that. The time needed to get the lesson across would be much larger and requiring the student to spent considerable amount of time with the teacher.

In the animal kingdom the youths learn from their parents. The sex of the offspring does not matter since all animals have to hunt, assuming no division of labour. If there is a sexual division of labour, then it is mostly instinctive behavior not requiring much learning. The situation is different with humans. First of all do humans give birth to fewer offspring. Moreover, some have only daughters while others only have sons. So, what is the best strategy to transfer knowledge to the next generation?

The kid could learn from the same sex parent. Any imbalance of the sex will lead to a loss of knowledge in that case. If kids leave the parental care and look for a same-sex teacher in the tribe, then the sex balance is almost equal. Moreover, if kids learn from several teachers, knowledge gets distributed. From a game theoretical point of view, kids learning from unrelated same-sex members of the band have an advantage. Since knowledge means a higher survival rate, a band where knowledge is transferred to unrelated children gives a higher chance to their genes.

The first pedophile


There are DSM/ICD definitions of pedophilia and hebephilia. The border between those two lies at puberty, which ignores the basic fact that most boylovers are attracted to boys at that border. Boylovers often ask themselves, whether they are pedophiles or not. Compared with ancient times puberty nowadays has an earlier onset. I sometimes wonder when ancient greek boys went through puberty. It seems like they were much older than contemporary boys in puberty. This would change the definition of ancient pederasty. In the following i do not differentiate due to that reason. Moreover, i don't assume a sexual preference for children in the following.

The transfer of knowledge like the making of stone tools requires a teacher - someone who spends a considerable amount of time with the student. Nowadays teachers are paid and teaching became a profession. This was not the case in the lower palaeolithic era. Everybody had to teach the craftsmanship one possessed unlike today, where some specialized teachers teach the profession of others.

Rind&Yuill in 2012 showed that hebephilic interest is an evolved capacity, and pointed out some commonalities in cross cultural studies. T. Vanggaard wrote in Phallós about semen culture and masculinity. The mature-immature homosexual relationships were an institution to transfer manhood from adults to boys.  Only in such relationship a boy would become a man and in ancient time it was seen as a stigma not to become an erômenos. This has changed with Plato. Before Plato, the institution of pederasty was ritualized and served a well known purpose. After Plato, the sexual gratification got condemned and the former purpose lost. Moreover, the condemnation requires that the manhood building aspect has to be ignored.

How did the teacher-student or master-apprentice relationship came together in lower palaeolithic times? It seems likely that those relationships were formed spontaneously. They were just spending more and more time together without realizing the nature of their relationship. Boylovers jokingly claim that sexy boys are the cause of pedophilia. This is not far from the truth. A dedicated teacher is more efficient than an indifferent one. Hence, students that catch the interest of the teacher got a more enthusiastic education. If a red nose were enough to cause such an interest, we all would be running around with red noses. What characteristics could probably have been preferred?

If we compare chimpanzees with humans, there is a long list of differences. Humans have eyes that are white around the iris. That makes it easy to guess what the other is looking at. Is the student banging 2 stones together to imitate the noise or actually aiming at a fault line? It is certainly easier to teach someone whose mind is easier to read. This too is supported by a hairless face. Humans faces are able to express emotions due to the amount of facial muscle, by the way the only muscles in the human body attached to skin.

Lautmann in "Lust am Kinde" notes that boylovers admire the boy's personality while girllovers admire beauty. Of course, personality is not everything, the boys body is admired too. The statues of the ancient greeks idolized the young man's body. It is likely that a combination of physical and behavioral attributes attracted the teacher. And as always, there will be a competition for attention. This can be seen in any group of children. Boys will compete with each other for the sole attention of a popular group leader, while group leaders will compete in attracting the most desired child.

A child attracting a teacher has to show its abilities. It might be a bit far fetched, but entertaining adults is a perfect opportunity to show intelligence, the ability to learn and present oneself. This is quite similar to courtship behavior between mates.

Natural selection in humans


Evolution works in many ways. Sexual selection is a narrow interpretation, where the choice of a mate decides over the survival of genes. The only thing that counts is the survival of genes. In the simplest case, the survival of the individual until reproduction is sufficient (see fishes). Care of genetically related family members is related to kin selection. However, if one supports distant or not-related family members based on the existence of certain pleasant traits, then those traits will be selected for.

It has been argued that the human brain is a result of sexual selection, where women and men have used their display of intelligence in courtship. So where are the nerds with models as girl friends? It is kind of obvious that this explanation is flawed. Hence, the question is who has selected somebody else for his/her brains? Moreover, it is not necessary for the selecting individual to pass his genes on - that is only required for the one with the brain.

The common explanation how women select brainier men is based on the men's results during hunts. A common mistake is to ascribe a certain development to one and only one cause. That women preferred men who contributed more to society does not preclude other causes. It is not like women evaluated men, but men evaluated each other and build their mutual social status based on that assessment. It is common knowledge that women tend to prefer men of higher social standing. Hence, if men elevated certain boys into the ranks of manhood, then women would prefer those. The rituals of manhood in native cultures marked youths as to be eligible. Women were taught that only men with the right markings are suitable as mates. This is a case where the selection process is carried out within one sex, but has an effect on the passing of genes.

In my humble opinion the mature-immature relationships had a beneficial effect. Not only did the existence count for the transfer of knowledge, but also the length of the apprenticeship had an effect. Child mortality had been high and survival depended on the income of the father. A longer apprenticeship meant higher education and probably a higher social status and with it a higher survival rate of children. This type of relationship usually ended when the younger part became too old and was supposed to move on. When did the younger partner became too old? Presumably when the secondary sexual characteristics became visible. Another reason for this close relationship to end is the fact that a mature same sex partner represents sexual competition. Exclusive pedophilia seemed to have been quite rare. Often the men in those relationships were married or moved on to marry a woman after breakup.

One evidence pointing in that direction is the fact that onset of puberty in boys is later than in girls. Moreover, the onset of puberty is earlier today than some hundred years ago. The decline started about the same time when public schools were introduced and the apprenticeship system was replaced by more institutionalized education systems like university or unskilled labour in factories. Following that explanation, the current decline is not caused by some environmental conditions, but is the normal return to the state without an evolutionary pressure. The survival rate of offspring no longer depends on the length of the apprenticeship with a mentor. The evolutionary pressure also disappeared due to the reduced child mortality.

In this post i focus on the man-boy relationship, but one might argue that the same must be valid for woman-girl relationships in the past. But there are some major differences. It's not without reason that men are from mars while women descent from venus. First, women are child bearing and therefore considered to be too precious to be subjected to danger. The sexual division of labour might have placed a heavy burden on women, but quick decisions were only required from men. Usually women and children are protected by men who have to defend the village. This can also be noticed today. Women are comfortable in positions where few final decisions are made. Typical women areas are places where decision can be overthrown or remade, or when it is possible to base decision on a time consuming consent building process. Boys have to be teached to make the right decision the first time, while girls are imitating women and have the opportunity to adjust their decisions. Hence, the evolutionary pressure was heavier on boys than on girls. That girls mature later than the mammal model predicts can be due to the little pressure put on them and/or due to the genetical linkage between females and males.

Natural selection works in many ways. In ancient Greece stigma was attached to those who didn't got an erômenos. Hence, it was not only men selecting boys and therefore deciding which boy genes moved on, but also boys deciding over the social standing of young men. Every master of a craftsmanship was required to have apprentices.  The failure to attract candidates was a professional failure and lead to exclusion from the profession and loss of income. Therefore one can assume a co-evolution: boys getting attractive to men, and men becoming accommodating to the needs of boys. The former denotes the eagerness and willingness to learn while the latter means caretaking, teaching and mentoring in all aspects of life.
Q: Why don't humans have a baculum?
A: Because pedophiles are a pain in the ass.  

Modern reminiscents


Even today, children are fanatic about superheros and heros. The majority of boys idolizes football players. Variants of football can be found in native cultures, where an object is kicked around, intercepted and driven towards a goal. Sometimes the ball is decorated with feathers or skin. Young boys are eager to participate in games with older boys. Not only that, but emotions are set into high gear. Imagine now that boys were free to roam society without being bound to their families.

Men shave their beards, while women apply makeup. The result in both cases is that the person looks younger. Why is that? It is an unconscious signal to others that we are willing to accommodate them. We signal that we are agreeable and desire an honest conversation. The opposite in men are those with long beards. In many cultures long beards are reserved for scholarly persons, who can dispense knowledge. The opposite appearance signals an openness to acquire knowledge or listening skills necessary for agreements. Salesmen tend to be shaved for that reason.

Sometimes, one can read that this behavior is paedomorphic and has something to do with the Kindchenschema - the one which is supposed to elicit help. Some even reason that this kind of behavior might have turned some into pedophiles - which is utterly nonsense. The kindchenschema does not elicit help, but lowers aggression thresholds. The absence of a beard makes also hiding of emotions more difficult. Hence, a shaved man appears to be more honest and more trustworthy if the social standing is unknown.

Conclusion


Same-sex pedophilic behavior has been with us for 800,000 years, the time when the last brain size increase happened. It is probably related to the transfer of knowledge and masculinity to the next generation, which is the main theme of the ancient greek pederasty and semen-culture reported in cross-cultural studies.

If this were true, all men should feel some erotic attraction towards boys, since it has been a necessity for the transfer of knowledge in the past. Current behavior like men shaving beards, and the particularities with the onset of puberty in girls and boys nowadays and in the past, indicates this to be true. 

Moreover, boylovers should not be ashamed of their attraction towards boys. It it nothing abnormal, but part of the essence of humanity. The idolization of youth was common in ancient Greece and there is a heavy weighting reason for that.

    Disclaimer


    This is amateur peodphilia research, which means there is no study to back up the claims. This post presents a hypothesis with the attempt to explain pedophilia related phenomena.