The Instigator
Capitalistslave
Pro (for)
The Contender
Jammie
Con (against)

Pedophiles should not be stigmatized as much as they are

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/14/2017 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 391 times Debate No: 98971
Debate Rounds (4)
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Votes (0)

 

Capitalistslave

Pro

I will be challenging Jammie to debate this topic.
Rules of this debate:
1) I think burden of proof would lie on con for this one, to be honest, as they need to prove why pedophiles deserve to be stigmatized. It should be obvious that no one deserves a stigma unless there's a reason for it, so con needs to provide this reason. Thus, con should open up with main arguments in round 1. Since I am not using round 1 for debate, they should waive round 4 to keep the debate rounds used for argument equal between us
2) The last round of the debate should just be rebuttal or defense against any previous rebuttals made by your opponent
3) No personal insults, ad hominem, or attacks of character of your opponent

If any of the above rules are violated by either side, conduct should go to the one who did not violate the rule or who did so to a lesser degree.

Definitions of terms:
Pedophile: An adult or older adolescent who has the psychiatric disorder of an attraction to prepubescent children [1]
Thus a pedophile should not be mistaken for a child molester, as they are two different things.
Stigmatize: Describe or regard as worthy of disgrace or great disapproval [2]

If my opponent has objections to these definitions, state them in the comments section, propose your own definitions, and we can work something out from there.


Sources:
[1] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] https://en.oxforddictionaries.com...
Jammie

Con

Laws exist in society to keep the nation's populous safe and efficient. However, laws only govern issues that the government see fit to pass into legislation. The rest of the judgement for issues and actions comes from stigmatisation from the populous. For example, infidelity (cheating on spouse or significant other) is not illegal, yet it may as well be, as it is widely and heavily stigmatised by the general populous. Laws and public disapproval exist for a number of reasons, yet the main reason is that acts which conflict with peaceful and harmonious living in society are deemed unacceptable. In the example stated above, the reason that infidelity is frowned upon is that it destroys the family life, and a healthy family is vital for the next generation of workers and members of society. Paedophilia, (I'm from the UK, different spelling) is another issue which destroys the next generation. I'm sure we agree that children are vulnerable, and should be cared for and protected, so why should a desire of sexual activity not be stigmatised? I understand that there is a difference between having thoughts of paedophilia, and actually committing molestation, but why should society accept individuals who have these thoughts and urges? Serial killers are a threat to society, but people do not wait until a mass murder to lock them up and/or treat them. My opening argument boils down to the fact that paedophiles are a danger to society, and even if they do not or will not ever commit a crime, the sexual attraction to children is dangerous and disgusting, and we should be doing every thing as a society to stigmatise and condemn these people, as their thoughts (regardless of action) are dangerous.
Debate Round No. 1
Capitalistslave

Pro

I'd like to point out, that we definitely should treat pedophilia, however there is so much stigma against them that many are afraid to even seek help. We have no one to blame for pedophiles not seeking help but ourselves since we make them feel so uncomforable by condemning them for merely an attraction. You want them to seek help, but how can they seek help when anyone they turn to will see them as a monster?

Do you realize how bad people view pedophiles? Many people consider them worse than murderers, even though they have done nothing wrong. Can you honestly defend this instance where, in Brislington, England, a disabled man was burned to death by their neighbors because they thought he was a pedophile? It turned out there was no evidence he even was a pedophile[3] In addition, many pedophiles want to die, because they have this attraction, 76% of pedophiles suffer from major depression[3] while only 6.7% of the adult population has major depression[4]. I believe the reason why the rates of depression among pedophiles is so much higher is probably because of how much stigma there is against pedophiles. It makes sense to believe that. Is it really fair that we, as society, cause a group of people to be depressed just because we dissaprove of something they can't even control?

When pedophiles are found out about, or exposed, the chances are high that they will commit suicide from all of the stigma and attitudes from other people towards them[5] This often occurs even when the pedophile has not done anything wrong.

Now, I believe all of this stigma is unfounded because pedophiles rarely molest children. In a comprehensive study of 3,952 people who reported that they molested a child, 35% were not pedophiles [6] which means it is safe to conclude that about 35% of people who molest children are not pedophiles. It is estimated that 1 to 5 percent of men identify as a pedophile [7]. There have been 1.8 million children who have been victims of sexual assault in the United States [8], let's just assume each one had a different perpetrator, but that's not usually the case. That would be 1.8 million child molesters. There are 151,781,326 men in the United States[9], since 1-5% are estimated to be pedophiles, that means 1,517,813-7,589,066 men are pedophiles. If we go back to the 1.8 million number, 35% of them(as shown previously) are not pedophiles. That means 1,170,000 are pedophiles. However, given that this assumes that it's one perpetrator per victim, this is very over-estimated. In this study, it was found that half of child molesting pedophiles repeat their offense [10] therefore that 1.1 million number can be cut in half to 550,000, which is still an over-estimate since we also need to take into account how many times the offenders repeated. Let's just use the 550,000 number for now. That means that out of the 1.5 to 7.5 million pedophiles in the US, 550,000 actually molest children. In other words, around 33% to as low as 7.3% of pedophiles even molest children, and again, that is an over-estimate.

Therefore, a vast majority of pedophiles never do a single thing wrong, yet society is the cause of much distress for the pedophile, as we stigmatize them, abuse them, etc.

Now, I'll address points made by my opponent, their quotes will be in italics:

...why should society accept individuals who have these thoughts and urges?
Society shouldn't bully, abuse, stigmatize, and hurt these people though. As pointed out above, a vast majority of them do nothing wrong. They can't help but have the attraction they do, and attractions harm no one.

Serial killers are a threat to society, but people do not wait until a mass murder to lock them up and/or treat them
Actually, yes, we don't lock someone up unless they've actually comitted a crime. Thoughts of doing murder is not reason to lock someone up. Usually, when someone has thoughts of murdering someone, we send them to therapy. We can do the same for pedophiles, and we should encourage them to get help, but we shouldn't treat them terribly otherwise they may be afraid to get help.

My opening argument boils down to the fact that paedophiles are a danger to society, and even if they do not or will not ever commit a crime, the sexual attraction to children is dangerous and disgusting, and we should be doing every thing as a society to stigmatise and condemn these people, as their thoughts (regardless of action) are dangerous.
Claiming it is disgusting is a matter of opinion though, that is something completely subjective. As for condemning them, do you not see any problem with that? Driving them to suicide and, in some cases, killing them ourselves like in the above example in Brislington, England? For one, YOU don't even know with CERTAINTY they are a pedophile, and the people in Brislington, England got it wrong. Do you really think it's fair to stigmatize someone that you don't know with certainty is a pedophile? Even if they are, they don't deserve it. Just because YOU find it disgusting that they may have thoughts about children, doesn't give you the right to drive them to suicide through your harsh treatment of them.




Sources:
[3] https://www.vice.com...
[4] https://www.nimh.nih.gov...
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
[6] http://www.childmolestationprevention.org... (see page 9)
[7] https://www.psychologytoday.com...
[8] https://www.nsopw.gov...(X(1)S(wfibniibqz121noenoddmm5b))/en-US/Education/FactsStatistics?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
[9] http://www.census.gov...
[10] http://www.paedofiles.com...
Jammie

Con

I think that paedophilia should be eradicated, yet the stigma has to exist so that it never becomes accepted. As for the point of the man in Brislington, you are using anecdotal evidence, and I have explained below why this point is not valid. You claim that around 76% of paedophiles suffer depression, I would believe that. However you must remember that correlation does not equals causation. Just because a high number of paedophiles suffer from depression does not mean that stigma causes the depression. Furthermore, those suffering from depression are at 25 times greater risk for suicidal than the general population, [1] so it would make sense for paedophiles to commit suicide at a higher rate than the general population.

As for your third paragraphs, we obviously have different perceptions of 'wrong'.

Your fourth paragraph holds no water for me, as I am arguing that paedophiles should be stigmatised. It doesn't matter if they haven't molested anyone, as it is the condition/feeling itself I feel should be stigmatised. (Obviously molestation should be stigmatised as well).

Now, I'll address points made by MY opponent on my points.

Paedophilia needs to be stigmatised, as if it isn't it moves closer to acceptance. If something is not stigmatised, it is accepted (perhaps not encouraged, but accepted) again, your definition of wrong differs from mine.

They should be treated terribly, nothing else is acceptable as in my opinion paedophilia (or thoughts thereof) is too horrendous to be not treated as such.

In my opinion, society should not care if a paedophile commits suicide, as even without action his thoughts represent incredible amounts of evil, and are a threat to society. Of course, that statement is subjective, but human emotions and thoughts (such as paedophilia) are subjective, so I deem it appropriate to have a subjective response. Objectivity can be used effectively on things like statistics, but when it comes to human thoughts, subjectivity is (in my opinion) much more effective. As for the Brislington, England example, you have used anecdotal evidence. Just because something happened somewhere, doesn't mean it is representative of the whole picture, and doesn't hold up in debate. If you had said something like "60% of paedophiles are murdered, even when their paedophilia is questionable" (made up statistic for an example) then your point would be valid. Strange and unpredictable things happen all the time everywhere, and using them as a point is useless, as they only tell one story. "Do you really think it"s fair to stigmatise someone that you don"t know with certainty is a paedophile?" Of course not. I believe in innocent until proven guilty, and I believe if you do not know for certain that someone is a paedophile, they should not be stigmatised. It"s not just me who finds it disgusting it"s society. I believe that harsh treatment of paedophiles is necessary, and as I have said before, correlation does not equals causation, meaning a whole host of things could have drove these paedophiles to suicide, and beside the point, if it did, I don"t care.

[1] http://www.suicidology.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Capitalistslave

Pro

Before addressing your points, I wish to make one more point myself. In bold and italics will be what my opponent has said, in just bold will be a title to what I'm saying.

Stigmatizing pedophiles makes them more likely to offend
When we are alone and everyone is against us, psychology dictates that we are more likely to do something out of desperation than if we had support[11] thus when we stigmatize pedophiles, thus leaving them to live a life closeted, they are more likely to molest a child.[11]. Therefore, society is partially to blame for when a pedophile molests a child. We could have better prevented this by being understanding of the pedophile, and encourage them to do something to stop the pedophilila that they suffer from, either through therapy, or perhaps medication.

Rebuttal to paragraph 1
Now, you say that pedophilia should be eradicated, I agree, but stigmatizing them does the opposite of what you would hope for it to do. As stated above, when you're painted into a corner, and feeling desperate, you're more likely to do that terrible action.

You also bring question to my conclusion that we are causing the pedophiles to be depressed. I argue that we are because there are numerous examples of pedophiles feeling distressed and depressed from society looking down on them for simply having an attraction[11]. Yes, correlation doesn't equal causation, but when you begin to see many examples of depressed pedophiles claiming to be distressed and depressed due to society, it starts to become causation. I'm sure some of the pedophiles are not depressed due to society, but I would conject that majority of them are. After all: what other reason would they have such a higher rate of depression? All things being equal, the only difference is that they are a pedophile. That, in itself, it not a cause for depression, but being victimized, bullied, and stigmatized by society is a cause to become depressed, and as I stated, many pedophiles have reported that they are depressed because of that, and psychologists determined that it was the same cause as well[11].

"As for your third paragraphs, we obviously have different perceptions of 'wrong'."
Then it only makes sense to ask you to prove that thoughts are wrong, which seems to be what you're indicating here. I consider the only things that are wrong to be when you do harm to another person or their property. Having thoughts does no harm. If you're going to claim thoughts are wrong, then that leads to believing dreams are wrong if you do something wrong in that dream. That doesn't make any sense, you don't even control dreams, and in many instances, you don't control your thoughts. A thought can just enter into your brain without you doing it yourself. I think burden of proof lies with you to show how a thought is inherently wrong.

Rebuttal to third paragraph
You have yet to offer a valid reason to stigmatize a pedophile just because they have thoughts you disagree with. My fourth paragraph was primarily there to show that pedophiles are not doing anything wrong in most instances, and you have yet to prove that thinking about children in that way is wrong.

Paedophilia needs to be stigmatised, as if it isn't it moves closer to acceptance. If something is not stigmatised, it is accepted (perhaps not encouraged, but accepted) again, your definition of wrong differs from mine.
Why shouldn't pedophilia be accepted? I think burden of proof lies with the one who claims something is wrong and should not be accepted. Again, we're not talking about child molestation, but pedophilia itself.

In my opinion, society should not care if a paedophile commits suicide, as even without action his thoughts represent incredible amounts of evil, and are a threat to society.

You have yet to explain how thoughts are evil. If we follow your logic, we should stigmatize everyone who has ever had a thought about harming someone else. We would pretty much be stigmatizing everyone, because I think everyone has thought about harming someone else at one time or another. I'm sure even you have at some point, don't lie either. Thoughts literally do not matter, actions do.



Sources:
[11] http://scholarlycommons.law.wlu.edu...
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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