Scientists have discovered the brains of pedophiles who abuse children are different to those who do not. Can pedophiles be cured?

  • If research indicates that pedophiles are different then there could be a cure.

    If researchers can conclude that there is a difference in the brains of pedophiles than that of normal individuals then there could be a chance to correct this. If pedophilia is like a disease or ailment rather than criminal deviance, then possibly a treatment can be implemented to prevent it.

  • Maybe they can

    It makes sense that a pedophile's brain is "wired" differently, since that kind of abuse is not a normal expression of human sexuality. However I don't know what can be done to detected that type of brain activity and re-wire it to stop it. if there are ways to disrupt brain signals that occur during sexual attraction, it might be possible to "cure" a pedophile or at least prevent the abuse.

  • Neuroplasticity means there is hope, but it also means they are still culpable

    I'll preface this by saying that I am not a doctor, this is just my opinion, albeit informed with some good sources:

    Brains change all the time in response to pretty much everything scientists have studied. London Taxi Drivers brains change by producing new cells in the hippocampus so their brains can process a map of London. Teenage girls in a study (lost the link for this one if anyone can find it that would be appreciated) selected for having a family history of depression were put under an MRI, shown disturbing pictures, and told to think of calming things such as puppies to distract themselves. Not only did they report feeling better but the brain went from showing signs of distress which can lead to depression to signs of calm. The brain scans changed in real time.

    So then it may be possible to help pedophiles to change their wiring.

    But what we shouldn't do is take this as a reason to deny child molesters culpability. Neuroplasticity means that at least to some degree the way your brain is wired is your fault, since it shows that the things we choose to do or to think about changes the way our brains are wired. So a child molester may have started down that dark road through indulging in their imagination a fantasy that would have otherwise passed if they had decided to think about other things, and also by cultivating attitudes and beliefs that made them feel entitled to act on perverse desires even when they harmed other people. Making those sorts of choices would've then meant their brains would rewire to store information and direct behavior according to what they had focused their minds upon. The article talks about response-inhibition being reduced in child molesters who act upon it. This makes sense. A person who decides that harming others doesn't matter and that they are entitled to their every urge will stop exercising response-inhibition and so the brain will naturally organize to reduce its use just like an unexercised muscle. The person falls out of the habit of self-control.

    Those who never act on it but fear they might and get help could possibly be cured. Therapists should focus on activities that strengthen response-inhibition but also focus on addressing the beliefs that lead to a lack of exercise of this trait.

    Those who do act on it still need to be held accountable. Neuroplasticity means that differences in the brain does NOT absolve responsibility.

  • No, pedophiles cannot be cured.

    No, pedophiles cannot be cured because they are clearly insane for the criminal acts they commit. Some people cannot be stopped, and the only way we can deal with them is by removing them from society. It is a shame to clutter prisons, but certain crimes should always result in lifelong prison sentences.

  • Pedophiles cannot be cured at the moment, but it may be possible in future.

    The fact that the brains of pedophiles who abuse children are different is an important discovery. However for it to enable society to "cure" pedophiles, much work needs to be done, not only by scientists in laboratories but by politicians and other concerned citizens in consideration of the difficult ethics involved in trying to change people's brains.

  • No they cant

    As someone who has spent several years learning about psychiatric psychology, I can say that the idea of a "cure" to a mental disorder is almost always impossible. Example, depression. One of the bigger mental disorders out there. There's a ton of drugs for it, SSRI's, SNRI's, etc. Therapies like cbt. They say exercise, diet, sunlight, all these things can cure depression. These things can't cure depression. They can only hope with it. Or it's a temporary fix to the problem. Exercise may distract you from your feelings, but it won't change the neurochemicals (to the degree needed) to be considered "normal".

    The point is, there's a lot of ways to cope, to tone it down, to distract from, or out into remission mental disorders. But there are very few "cures" for them. I think this is a big part of this argument. Everyone agrees that if a pedophile acts on his urges he should be punished. Everyone agrees it's not normal for someone to have those sexual paraphilias. But the term cure isn't really debatable. It's a black and white. There either is a cure or isn't one. It's not a matter of opinion. And I think we all realize there's no "pedo-be-gone" spray or pill that you can apply and magically cure pedophilia.

    Is it able to be dealt with? Yes. Is it avoidable? Yes. But it's just like someone with a drug addiction. You will probably always have the itch in the back of your mind. But the "cure" may be to avoid the situations that it will be present in. So no, it can't be cured but yes it can be coped with or dealt with.

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MasturDbtor says2016-10-26T02:00:49.147
People lazily think that a difference in brain automatically negates free will.

This isn't the case, because our decisions we make about our thoughts can change our brains.


It's called "self-directed neuroplasticity"