Warning: this article discusses in depth pedophilia, if this is a subject that makes you uncomfortable, please read on with extreme caution.
Personal note: I am well aware of the risk I am taking making this article. In many circles (even professionally!) there is a huge risk of discussing pedophilia in any sense of the word or context. However, I personally feel that this is incredibly important to talk about so we can best learn how to keep children safe.
I am a sexologist. Part of research interests is the “taboo” topics, including but not limited to: fetish/paraphilia/kink, dangerous BDSM play forms (breath play, gun play, etc.), and scientifically studying the “ultimate sin” in society, pedophilia and similar communities. Why am I interested? Because in order to protect our children, we must understand how and why the pedophile operates the way they do. In order to create policies to protect our children, we must understand how their mind works to keep their compulsions under control.
As uncomfortable as it is for people, people need to realize that pedophilia is an extreme version of what we consider a fetish. Does this automatically make all fetishes dangerous? Absolutely not. Pedophilia is just an extreme manifestation of one.
Many sexologists and similar fields (like psychology) would love to study pedophiles to learn more about how they think (basically all aspects of the biochemistry of their brain) to better understand them. However, because of how controversial this topic is, it is almost impossible to get formal studies approved. Our ethical committees have a hard enough time dealing with human sexuality topics (in the USA, for example, the first study regarding pubic hair happened in 2015). We put in a request just to interview pedophiles to better understand them (with no physical contact of children being outlined in the study design)? Oh Hell no is that going to get the stamp of approval to go forward to formally study this sect of the population.
Jail time does not work. Castration does not work because the sexual fantasies are still there. Giving them dolls that resemble real human children does not work because many fear the risk of them “graduating their actions” to actually physically harming a child. Letting them watch pornography of an eighteen-year-old who resembles a young child does not work because it goes off the above theory of them wanting to actually sexually molest a live young child.
We are literally in the dark on this subject. Sharing memes or text pieces online that read (for example) “share this if you want pedophiles to burn on a stick” does not help the experts and actively hurts them because it makes it even more taboo.
Does this make me a pedophile apologist? No, I just want to be able to study them so we can create effective policies to rehabilitate the pedophile (or at least get them to suppress their urges in a healthy way to make them never want to harm a child because the reality is fetishes never go away, no matter how much denial the person is in) and know how to effectively keep children safe.