The Instigator
bluesteel
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points
The Contender
Wylted
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points

Pedophilia should be illegal

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
bluesteel
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/6/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,754 times Debate No: 48533
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (4)

 

bluesteel

Con

Pro must offer his case in Round 1 and cannot argue in the last Round [except to say "thanks for the debate"].

"Pedophilia" = "a psychiatric disorder in which an adult or older adolescent experiences a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children, generally age 11 years or younger, though specific diagnostic criteria for the disorder extends the cut-off point for prepubescence to age 13."
Wylted

Pro

Pedophilia Should be Illegal

Introduction

Thank you pro for creating this interesting debate. Some more semantics need to be dealt with before the debate proceeds. Pedophiles can be sub-divided into 2 main groups and be sub-divided even beyond that. I think to keep the debate fair, we should sub-divide pedophiles into exclusive and non-exclusive. Exclusive pedophiles is what I want to focus on. If we include non-exclusive it would include anyone who has ever had a fantasy about a child.

Pedophilia is a sexual orientation

This isn't something that can't be helped it's genetic. Some environmental factors may play a role, but it isn't likely to play a significant role. Pedophile is a sexual orientation, just like homosexuality, heterosexuality, bisexuality, asexuality etc.. You can't just wake up one day and decide not to be a pedophile. If you're a pedophile, you're a pedophile for life [1]. Many experts will tell you pedophilia is a sexual orientation [1]. Now, it's true the APA doesn't list pedophilia as a sexual orientation. It should be noted that they did list it as a sexual orientation until a bunch of right wing groups, complained that calling it a sexual orientation excuses child molestation [2]. The APA did what they usually do under strong social pressure and changed their manual. The same way they did in the 70s under pressure from gay rights groups.

Time Bomb

These exclusive-pedophiles are like ticking time bombs. They are only attracted to little kids. Society is forcing these guys to hide their sexual orientation, and they must remain celibate or hurt the very thing they want to love. Thinking that any straight or gay man can go their whole life and honor their vow of celibacy is crazy. I couldn't do it. I want to ask the voters if they could honor a vow of celibacy. They'd have to do without porn also since it exploits children. Most pedophiles will violate the law to satisfy their urges. It's not a matter of if, but when. If you don't believe me, just go a month without touching whoever you're attracted to in a sexual way, and avoid porn.

What Making it Illegal Accomplishes

Making pedophilia illegal, gets pedophiles the help they need. This isn't about locking somebody up for thought crimes. If we outlaw this psychological condition we can force pedophiles to get the help the need to prevent them from causing harm, and to deal with the psychological stresses of belonging to this sexual Orientation. There is even medication, extremely beneficial to helping them overcome their desires [3]. By making pedophilia illegal you can call treatment a punishment and require it among all discovered pedophiles. This illegality, would help create funding for pedophile treatment, so our children are safer.

Pedophiles need help dealing with their desires. I'm sure most of them would support a law that makes getting the therapy they desperately need easier. In America people would not get behind a law that funds treatment for pedophiles, but if a bill were offered that made it a crime to be one, then it would be a lot easier to pass and therapy as well as a campaign to reach out to closet pedophiles, to seek help could be heavily funded. There are institutions right now that specialize in helping pedophiles[4]. With funding we could possibly prevent the lives of hundreds of thousands of children and pedophiles from being irreparably harmed.

Adult's Engaging in Sexual Intercourse, With Children is Wrong

I don't think, I need to go into too much detail with this point. I doubt my opponent would deny adults having sex with children is bad. Kids brains aren't fully developed, so it isn't really possible for them to fairly consent. They are also easily manipulated or coerced into doing things they don't want to. Plus it causes permanent psychological and sometimes physical damage to the child to engage in that sort of behavior.

Conclusion

Pedophilia needs to be made illegal, so that we can prevent sexual abuse of children and help pedophiles to be people that society can actually value, instead of demonize. Making it illegal helps children. It helps pedophiles. It's a true win-win scenario.

Sources
[1]http://latimesblogs.latimes.com...
[2]http://m.huffpost.com...
[3]http://www.slate.com...
[4]https://www.dont-offend.org...
Debate Round No. 1
bluesteel

Con

== Framework ==

As the definition from Round 1 says, pedophilia is a psychiatric disorder characterized by certain thoughts [attraction towards prepubescent children]. If someone has pedophilia, that does not mean that the person *acts* on any of those thoughts. "Not all pedophiles molest children." [1] Criminalizing pedophilia is no different than criminalizing "schizophrenia" or "arachnophobia." Paedo" means "child" and "philia" means "an unnaturally strong attraction to." Similarly, "arachno" means "spider" and "phobia" refers to "an unnaturally strong dislike for." Pedophilia - like arachnophobia - involves only *thoughts,* not specific acts. By criminalizing pedophilia, the resolution criminalizes a mere state of mind.

C1: We should not criminalize a mere "state of mind"

American law comes from the ancient common law tradition, which began in England in the 12th century. Ever since the creation of the criminal law, the common law has required that a "crime" constitute both a "bad act" [the actus reus requirement] and a "guilty mind" [the mens rea requirement]. Most crimes require both a bad act and a guilty mind. For example, murder is defined as "the intentional killing of another human being." The bad act is "killing a human being." The guilty state of mind is "intentionally." Killing another person unintentionally is not a crime. For example, if someone jumped in front of your car while you were driving at 65 mph on the freeway and you could not avoid hitting the person, the killing would be "unintentional." Although the actus reus element of the crime has been met ["killing a human being"], the "guilty mind" requirement is not met, so the car accident is not considered a crime.

There are also categories of crimes that require "less" of a guilty mind than the "intentionality" standard. For example, "manslaughter" involves doing something with "reckless disregard" for the lives of others. Doing something that is inherently dangerous - like driving drunk - meets the "guilty mind" requirement because the person has a state of mind that purposely ignores the extreme danger placed upon other people.

There are a few crimes that relax the mens rea requirement. These crimes are called "strict liability" offenses. In many states, statutory rape is a strict liability offense. Someone who has sex with a minor (who is under 18) is guilty of a crime, regardless of whether the person knew the minor"s age at the time. In contrast, some states have a mens rea requirement for statutory rape that the offender needs to have acted in "reckless disregard" of the age of the minor. Many people criticize the fairness of strict liability offenses because when one acts without a "guilty mind," one does not intend to commit a crime. It seems harsh to some commentators that a person who is tricked by a minor into believing that the minor is 18 is still guilty of statutory rape. So eliminating the "guilty mind" requirement can often result in overly harsh outcomes.

In contrast, no law has ever eliminated the actus reus [bad act] requirement because it is so fundamental to our concept of fairness. We do not believe that people should be locked up in jail for a mere "bad thought." The concept of free will requires us to lock up only those people who *choose* to act on their bad thoughts. Every person sometimes experiences bad thoughts [such as "oooh, I could just kill him!"]. However, we only punish the people who *act* on those bad thoughts. As the court noted in People v. Carlo, "[C]riminal liability requires at the very least a voluntary act." [2]

In the present matter, the resolution criminalizes "pedophilia," which involves mere "bad thoughts." Pedophilia is characterized by having *thoughts* of attraction towards children. The "bad act" is molesting children, which is known as "child molestation" or "statutory rape." However, we are not debating the illegality of those *acts,* we are debating whether the thoughts themselves should be criminalized.

Mere correlation is not sufficient to criminalize a mental illness. Although pedophiles are more likely than other people to molest children, they still have free will. Dr. Fred Berlin, a psychiatrist who heads the Johns Hopkins Sexual Behaviors Consultation Unit, explains that pedophiles are often "good people" who are struggling with thoughts that they cannot help having. [1] Doctor Berlin explains that many pedophiles are "tortured souls" who are "fighting like heck" not to act on their urges. [1] For example, Paul Christiano is a pedophile who has been attracted to 7-to-11-year-olds ever since he hit puberty. [1] However, Christiano has never acted on these urges and has been undergoing counseling for 5 years to try to remove these urges. [1] However, the urges are somehow genetically ingrained. [1] Christiano says that he desperately wants to stop having these feelings, but he can"t. [1] He says these feelings are "as intrinsic as the next person's heterosexuality." [1] Pedophiles have no volitional control over the thoughts that enter their heads. Yet, punishment ought to require a volitional act. [2]

Besides violating basic principles of fairness and self-determination, criminalizing a mental illness using correlation data is a serious slippery slope. For example, "those with schizophrenia are nearly 20 times as likely to kill another person as people unaffected by the disease." [3] However, it would be outrageous for the United States to lock up every single schizophrenic merely for having the disease in order to "prevent murder."

C2: Cost of incarceration

Surveys reveal that approximately 7 percent of Americans have - at some time or another - felt sexual urges towards a child. [4] To incapacitate all of these people in jail for the rest of their lives [to remove any risk that they act on their urges] would cost $26,880,000,000,000 [approximately $27 trillion]. [5] That amount of money is simply not worth the benefit because many of those people would never have offended against children.

Because the Pro position is completely unfair and unnecessarily costly, I urge a Con vote.

== Rebuttal ==

Intro

Con tries to limit the debate to "exclusive" pedophiles. I reject this limitation because the definition I provided in Round 1 says that pedophilia includes both people with "exclusive" and "non-exclusive" sexual attraction to children.

Pedophilia is a sexual orientation

I agree with this 100%. In fact, it is central to my case. You can"t punish someone for an immutable characteristic (i.e. a characteristic they are born with and did not "choose" to have).

Time bomb

The majority of pedophiles don"t molest children. There are 8.6 child molestations per 10,000 population in the United States. [6] Half of child molestations are not attributable to pedophiles, but rather to sexual opportunism by family members of the victim. [1] Ergo, 4.3 child molestations per 10,000 population are attributable to pedophiles. Best estimates place the number of pedophiles in the United States at between 3 million and 16 million (1-5% of the US population). [1] Yet, there are only 136,000 molestations per year attributable to pedophiles, and many of these are due to repeat offenders. One can hardly argue it is "inevitable" that all pedophiles will molest children.

Homosexuality is completely different because of the possibility of finding a willing partner. Most pedophiles understand - in spite of their natural attraction to children - that they must deny their urges because children cannot consent to a sexual relationship.

Making it illegal accomplishes treatment

First, my opponent misunderstands what "illegal" means. Illegal means "criminal" [i.e. accompanied by criminal punishments]. You can force someone to undergo treatment for a mental illness (if they are a danger to themselves or others) pursuant to a civil commitment proceeding. But civil proceedings are not the same as criminal trials. You simply can"t make it a crime to "have a mental illness."

My opponent claims treatment works. My source says that it does not. [1] In addition, my opponent"s source #3 says that it does not: "Doctors do not attempt to permanently rid pedophiles of their fantasies, which are remarkably persistent. Instead, they use techniques to decrease the likelihood that the patient will act on his urges," including hormone suppression and "sometimes castration." Our Supreme Court has held that castration is a form of cruel and unusual punishment. It is one thing if a pedophile agrees to this treatment voluntarily, but entirely another to force it upon him or her.

Adults having sex with children is wrong

Agreed.

[1] http://articles.latimes.com...
[2] People v. Carlo, 361 N.Y.S.2d 168, 170 (1974)
[3] http://healthland.time.com...
[4] http://www.straightdope.com...
[5] 250 million adult Americans; $28,000 average cost of incarceration per year (assuming 50 years imprisonment from time of arrest); $10,000 cost to arrest [http://tinyurl.com...]; $42,000 per hour court costs (assuming a short 3 hour trial) [http://tinyurl.com...]
[6] http://www.nytimes.com...
Wylted

Pro

I took a position I didn't intend to in this debate. I'm sure if I tried hard enough I could, come up with good arguments to support police action against thought crimes. I'm sure those arguments could, sway some voters to side with me. Honestly, it's too late to post any argument worthy of defeating my opponent.

On a side note: While researching this debate, I've discovered that pedophiles aren't inherently dangerous. There is a difference between a child molestor and a pedophile. Child molestation is typically a crime of opportunity most children that are molested are not molested by pedophiles.

The best way to prevent pedophiles from hurting a child, is for the community to reach out to them. If pedophiles aren't afraid to come forward, then they will feel safer seeking treatment, not that all of them need treatment to resist temptation. I hope that society at some point stops turning these guys into monsters and starts to make an honest attemp to understand them, so we can prevent them from ruining their own life as well as others.

Sorry Bluesteel, that I wasted your time with this debate.
Debate Round No. 2
bluesteel

Con

My opponent says, " I'm sure if I tried hard enough I could, come up with good arguments to support police action against thought crimes." I am sure that it would be possible to do so. Police actions against thought crimes is the basic premise of Minority Report. Although the problem in that movie is the "minority report" (one of the three pre-cogs sometimes does *not* see the person committing the crime). So even in a movie with psychics who can foresee a person committing a crime, there is still an acknowledgement of free will.

My opponent says, "While researching this debate, I've discovered that pedophiles aren't inherently dangerous. There is a difference between a child molestor and a pedophile. Child molestation is typically a crime of opportunity most children that are molested are not molested by pedophiles."

I also was surprised to learn that most molestations are crimes of opportunity by family members who test negative for pedophilia.

My opponent says, "If pedophiles aren't afraid to come forward, then they will feel safer seeking treatment . . . I hope that society at some point stops turning these guys into monsters and starts to make an honest attemp[t] to understand them, so we can prevent them from ruining their own life as well as others."

I agree. The stigma against pedophilia makes it harder for them to openly acknowledge that they have this condition. Their inability to openly acknowledge their pedophilia makes it harder to seek treatment. Their inability to seek treatment makes it more likely they will molest children. While child molesters are bad people, pedophiles are *not necessarily* so. Prior to YYW's blowup, I had considered the term "pedophile" to be synonymous with the term "child molester." It makes me happy that both Wylted and I seem to have learned a meaningful lesson from this debate.

I thank Wylted for this debate. I thank you (the judges) for reading. And I kindly ask for a Con vote on the resolution.
Wylted

Pro

Vote con.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Wylted 3 years ago
Wylted
My guess is, the only way it can be done is with a deep sense of purpose. How many times when you're horny do you plow some hoe, you normally wouldn't plow? Or horse?
Posted by bluesteel 3 years ago
bluesteel
@Adol

True. I'd be interested to see stats though on the # of priests and nuns who have broken their celibacy vows (i.e. I wish that data existed).
Posted by ADreamOfLiberty 3 years ago
ADreamOfLiberty
I didn't read this whole thing, but I did see "Thinking that any straight or gay man can go their whole life and honor their vow of celibacy is crazy. I couldn't do it."

It can be done. It has been done for religious reasons. This is not myth.
Posted by Taylur 3 years ago
Taylur
I'd accept this debate.
Posted by Wylted 3 years ago
Wylted
I'd be interested. Just to clarify if I were to pro this it would not be me playing devil's advocate.
Posted by Solomon_Orlando 3 years ago
Solomon_Orlando
Pedophilia, by definition, is sexual feelings directed towards children. I think, in any case, this should be legal because you cannot control how people think.

However, if Con's argument is based on the people interested in pedophilia being allowed to have romantic/sexual relationships with under-age children, then I, too, am interested in Con's argument.
Posted by Ozzyhead 3 years ago
Ozzyhead
Is this how you personally feel or do you think that you have a convincing argument and you're just trying to see if you can convince someone else?
Posted by Finalfan 3 years ago
Finalfan
I am interested in hearing cons argument! Seems like he dug his own grave with this topic! I'm curious as to how he justifies pedophilia!
Posted by bluesteel 3 years ago
bluesteel
>Isn't already illegal?

I dunno, maybe

>Are you a pedophile? *squints at profile pic*

No

>If I am not mistaken on question 1, can I debate this?

You may want to research before you accept, but yes, you may.
Posted by Jifpop09 3 years ago
Jifpop09
Three questions

- Isn't already illegal?

- Are you a pedophile? *squints at profile pic*

- If I am not mistaken on question 1, can I debate this?
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
bluesteelWyltedTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Too bad really, though I could tell Wylted wasn't on the side he wanted to be from the outset.
Vote Placed by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
bluesteelWyltedTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: gracious concession
Vote Placed by Zarroette 3 years ago
Zarroette
bluesteelWyltedTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Whoops...
Vote Placed by Xerge 3 years ago
Xerge
bluesteelWyltedTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession