Just as for many respects if life, one should, concerning pedophilic feelings, make a distiction between feelings and acts. One should also not label one respect of a person as its identity, nor should one address and name that person only from that label. 'Pedophilia', as long as one wants to use the word anyway, is not the same as sexual contact with children, and not the same as sexual abuse.
One cannot say that, what is forbidden by law, by that reason is morally wrong, nor that what is permitted by law is, by that reason, morally good. about what morally is good or bad, one has always to think and to give ethical arguments for it.
Science has to concern itself with moral questions, as long as one makes a distinction between two types of questions. The question "How is this phenomenon?" is another question than "How ought it be?" Both questions demand for another kind of research and another type of discussion, not to be confused with each other.
If one thinks about this subject, it may be good to avoid models of thinking which do not ask open questions. Otherwise, one knows already and ones judges before any investigation. These prejudices are often ideological. One judges reality along these prejudices, one adapts realty to them and one looses objectivity.
Other models are based upon a deterministic and mechanical vision on the human being. There are also models based on the vision that a human is able to make choices out of his possibilities, conscious as well as unconscious. The first models have an implication: the use of power. The latter are more fruitful because they maintain the possibility to make the choices as yet conscious, to review them and so to change them.
Research learns that people with pedophilic feelings have only a few differences with the general population. If there are significant differences, these are small and may not be labeled as pathological. Partly, these differences are effect rather than cause. Pedophilic feelings is not a specific feature of an apart kind of people, but rather a generally human phenomenon.
The resulting image of a person with pedophilic feelings is: the silent and more or less lonesome child who becomes a more or less shy and sensitive man with few aggression and few sexual urg, who does not like to enter competition with other males, but who prefers to care for children..
Pedophilic feelings more or less force itself to the human mind. Then, there is a choice to become conscious of them, to acknowledge and accept them. The next choice is how to live with them.
The other choice is to deny them, to try to suppress them, to project them into other people and to make, by doing so, demons of these people. The latter is unhealthy, if not pathological.
The sources or roots will differ by person. I only could investigate this for myself. It appeared that the feelings and their force find their source in some crucial choices, partly unconscious, partly conscious, made during my life. These choices were a (survival) reaction to a lack which was felt as fundamental. because it were my choices, I take responsibility for them. Some of the choices could be made conscious later, and so be changed (see: Narcissism and Oedipal Ruble)
pedophilic feelings in her- or himself, should to not deny or suppress them.
Rather one should have an eye for them, acknowledge them, and try to understand
and to accept them as a part of oneself. Then, one is able to make choices how
to live with them. For this process from discovery until living with them,
people to speak with are helping, as long as they do not condemn in
anticipation, but are willing to acknowledge and accept the feelings.
Concerning a way to live with the feelings, it is strongly advised not to engage in sexual contacts with children. There are enough other ways of living, which are acceptable to the people concerned, to the children, and to society. The field of youth care will benefit from it.
For parents and other care-givers, the advise is first to establish and maintain contact with the inner world of the children. Concerning the children's feelings, the same can be said as is said here above: do not condemn them in anticipation, but try to acknowledge, to accept, to understand them ad find a way of living with them. If one has such a contact, one should not be afraid for 'accidents' or other relationships the child enters. These may be supplementing and enriching.
Society may make rules in communication with all concerned people, just as [in the Netherlands] is usual and useful for many areas. These rules might be able to limit behavior , and to prevent the suppression of feelings and ideas of people, the young and the old ones.
The greatest evil is making scapegoats and demonizing people. This leads, as appeared in other countries, to absurdities, for example 'sexual offenders' of nine year old caught in prison, clinic. registration and prejudices. This is a peril to everyone, especially to the children who have to grow up in such a demonizing climate as exists, for example, in the U.S.
The climate in the
Netherlands is going that way, but it might still be able to change this.
That is possible by stopping the scapegoating process, by changing oneself: have an eye for what you blame the other for, and then have a honest look to the mirror to see yourself.
I do this request to both concerned parties.