Conversations with paedophiles

Sean Moncrieff had a remarkable interview with a paedophile today on Newstalk.

Now, if you know me at all, you’ll be aware that my views on kiddie fiddlers are to the right of Hitler.  I’d feed the fuckers feet first into the gearbox of a fast-running John Deere tractor, and yet, Moncrieff’s show gave me pause.

He spoke to a man who identified himself as a paedophile, which immediately got me bristling, but then it turned out that this person was not a child abuser. This man said he was sexually attracted to children but that he had never acted on his urges and never would.

I find that difficult as a parent and as a human being. When my children were small, I would probably have wanted to kill anyone who harboured such urges, even if they had never acted upon them, but on the other hand, the angry urges of a protective father are not a rational basis on which to establish a civilised society, because angry protective fathers would kill almost anything that looks crooked at their beloved children.   It’s a man thing. It’s a hard-wired thing.

What bothered me about the Moncrieff interview was the notion that paedophiles might be hard-wired.

Where do we go with this?

I don’t know, and I’m not advocating any position on it. I’m certainly not defending paedophiles, but if it turns out that one per cent of the population has this tendency, as suggested during the interview, what are we to do with  the one in a hundred who find themselves sexually aroused by our children?

Emotionally, I want to kill them all right now, but we can’t frame law based on my emotions and anyway, we don’t execute  people in a civilised country, so where is this going? Should laws be based on my emotions as a father? Should laws be based on what a person feels, even if they never act on those feelings? Should we imprison people simply for being what they are, even if they never do any harm, and if so, should we stop there? Should we start to jail people for being potential thieves or Nazis?

I don’t know.

This isn’t one of those prescriptive articles where I tell you what I think.

Moncrieff asked a very hard question that deserves a reflective response by thinking people.

So what do you think?