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  1. #1
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    ??Re: Sociopaths, Psychopaths & Peds

    This is a nuture vs nature question that I certainly do not have an answer for and I thought I would throw it out here. Regarding sociopaths and psychopaths: Do scientists believe one is born with the condition or is it something acquired in childhood? I also wondered about nature vs. nuture regarding pedophiles. We think of them as the lowest of the low with good reason. One thing that bothers me though is the thought that they might be born that way.

    What triggered this was a website: http://www.blabbermouthkc.com/index.html

    I think the owner is slime because people are presumed innocent before proven guilty and what he is doing (more or less) is blackmailing people to have their photo/information removed. I don't think he cares about keeping citizens safe--he just wants money. But I was also a bit shocked by the numbers of folks in trouble. Also I love mysteries so the types of people mentioned in the title often pop up in mysteries. Hence the question...... your opinion/thoughts?

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    I think a lot of researchers now regard pedophilia as a type of sexual orientation. There's a difference between someone 19 having a 15 yo bf/gf, and an adult attracted to prepubescent children. In the latter case, the remediation rate is exceedingly small because it's so deeply hard-wired.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cachoo View Post
    This is a nuture vs nature question that I certainly do not have an answer for and I thought I would throw it out here. Regarding sociopaths and psychopaths: Do scientists believe one is born with the condition or is it something acquired in childhood? I also wondered about nature vs. nuture regarding pedophiles. We think of them as the lowest of the low with good reason. One thing that bothers me though is the thought that they might be born that way.

    What triggered this was a website: http://www.blabbermouthkc.com/index.html

    I think the owner is slime because people are presumed innocent before proven guilty and what he is doing (more or less) is blackmailing people to have their photo/information removed. I don't think he cares about keeping citizens safe--he just wants money. But I was also a bit shocked by the numbers of folks in trouble. Also I love mysteries so the types of people mentioned in the title often pop up in mysteries. Hence the question...... your opinion/thoughts?
    Disgusting. This is promoting "guilty until proven innocent" - they refund 105% after you've been found innocent and they've slandered you! Repulsive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    I think a lot of researchers now regard pedophilia as a type of sexual orientation. There's a difference between someone 19 having a 15 yo bf/gf, and an adult attracted to prepubescent children. In the latter case, the remediation rate is exceedingly small because it's so deeply hard-wired.
    Does anyone have a link to information in regards to what percent of adults interested in children were abused (in whatever form) as children themselves?

    I wonder if pedophiles are acting out what happened to them as a way to show the abuse that others inflicted upon them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    I think a lot of researchers now regard pedophilia as a type of sexual orientation. There's a difference between someone 19 having a 15 yo bf/gf, and an adult attracted to prepubescent children. In the latter case, the remediation rate is exceedingly small because it's so deeply hard-wired.
    That is scary.

    Angelskates---Somewhere in there the owner is "outed" as he has a DUI. Since his name has been published he is "thinking about" taking the site down. Imagine that.

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    There was an interesting article that pertains to this topic in the NY Times Magazine a few weeks ago:

    Can You Call a 9-Year-Old a Psychopath?

    For the past 10 years, Waschbusch has been studying “callous-unemotional” children — those who exhibit a distinctive lack of affect, remorse or empathy — and who are considered at risk of becoming psychopaths as adults. To evaluate Michael, Waschbusch used a combination of psychological exams and teacher- and family-rating scales, including the Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits, the Child Psychopathy Scale and a modified version of the Antisocial Process Screening Device — all tools designed to measure the cold, predatory conduct most closely associated with adult psychopathy. (The terms “sociopath” and “psychopath” are essentially identical.) A research assistant interviewed Michael’s parents and teachers about his behavior at home and in school. When all the exams and reports were tabulated, Michael was almost two standard deviations outside the normal range for callous-unemotional behavior, which placed him on the severe end of the spectrum.

    Currently, there is no standard test for psychopathy in children, but a growing number of psychologists believe that psychopathy, like autism, is a distinct neurological condition — one that can be identified in children as young as 5. Crucial to this diagnosis are callous-unemotional traits, which most researchers now believe distinguish “fledgling psychopaths” from children with ordinary conduct disorder, who are also impulsive and hard to control and exhibit hostile or violent behavior. According to some studies, roughly one-third of children with severe behavioral problems — like the aggressive disobedience that Michael displays — also test above normal on callous-unemotional traits. (Narcissism and impulsivity, which are part of the adult diagnostic criteria, are difficult to apply to children, who are narcissistic and impulsive by nature.)
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    There are children who are psychopaths. They set lie, steal, set fires, kill animals, viciously attack younger siblings and parents, and make constant violent threats to their parents. Parents have to keep all knives locked and an alarm on their door. I know of a seven year old who sexually molested his siblings, a six year old whose hobby was capturing birds and other small animals and sticking thumbtacks into them, and a four year old who attacked a sibling with a knife.

    These children are very good at appearing fine for outsiders. They can be very charming, in fact.

    While rare, this behavior is a particular risk among adopted children who a) experienced institutional trauma or violent trauma, b) were adopted at an older age (2+) and hence were exposed to more institutional trauma or violent trauma, and c) may have neurological damage due to fetal drug and alcohol consumption.

    These children are commonly diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). There have been some therapies proposed for RAD, but overall there is not much research done on it, partially because so many people refuse to believe that children are capable of such things and that parents are reluctant to tell people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazpacho View Post
    There are children who are psychopaths. They set lie, steal, set fires, kill animals, viciously attack younger siblings and parents, and make constant violent threats to their parents. Parents have to keep all knives locked and an alarm on their door. I know of a seven year old who sexually molested his siblings, a six year old whose hobby was capturing birds and other small animals and sticking thumbtacks into them, and a four year old who attacked a sibling with a knife.

    These children are very good at appearing fine for outsiders. They can be very charming, in fact.
    I wish the household of these families could be monitored to see how these children have been treated. When you say that these child "psychopaths" can be very charming, I'm wondering if there are subtly abusive elders around who the youngsters have learned the charming act from.
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    BlueRidge: That article was fascinating but chilled me to the bone. My hope--of course-- is that Michael falls into 50% who don't exhibit as adults. But what if he doesn't change--- how do Anne and Miguel protect their two younger sons (and themselves) if the diagnosis is correct? And how can you not help but feel pity for Michael? When a child starts exhibiting when they are a toddler can they help their own behavior?

    I thought that was an interesting point about Madoff and it makes sense. To pull off that scheme all of these years and economically ruin so many people--- I can't believe the man has any empathy at all. I always believed being an socio/psychopath met that your future involved violence and/or crime. I'm starting to hear that people can go through life without fear and without feeling and still lead a quiet life. Interesting.
    Last edited by Cachoo; 06-30-2012 at 04:19 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    Does anyone have a link to information in regards to what percent of adults interested in children were abused (in whatever form) as children themselves?
    Not all adults interested in children are pedophiles. Child molesters very often are not pedophiles, technically speaking.
    I wonder if pedophiles are acting out what happened to them as a way to show the abuse that others inflicted upon them.
    From wiki:
    While not causes of pedophilia themselves, childhood abuse by adults or comorbid psychiatric illnesses — such as personality disorders and substance abuse — are risk factors for acting on pedophilic urges.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedophi...l_associations

    While some studies have shown a strong correlation between child molestation and previous abuse, those studies don't differentiate between child molesters and pedophiles.

    What I've read indicates pedophilia seems to be biologically based.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    I wish the household of these families could be monitored to see how these children have been treated. When you say that these child "psychopaths" can be very charming, I'm wondering if there are subtly abusive elders around who the youngsters have learned the charming act from.
    Believe me, they can be very charming. And then they can blow up easily.

    Most of the time, the parents are not abusive. However, in the case of the adopted children, they have suffered trauma at the hands of others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazpacho View Post
    Believe me, they can be very charming. And then they can blow up easily.

    Most of the time, the parents are not abusive. However, in the case of the adopted children, they have suffered trauma at the hands of others.

    It does sound like you've witnessed this: Is it something you want to expand on or would you feel more comfortable keeping this a general discussion?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazpacho View Post
    Believe me, they can be very charming. And then they can blow up easily.

    Most of the time, the parents are not abusive. However, in the case of the adopted children, they have suffered trauma at the hands of others.
    This is why I wish I could be a fly on the wall of these peoples homes and see how these children are treated when there are no witnesses.
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    My sister works in child welfare and has dealt with many children with severe psychological disorders, whether caused by their background or because they just are.

    A case in point was a family of three boys. The oldest boy, with another boy, murdered a taxi driver here in Melbourne (it was a well publicised and pretty horrific case). He was 11 years old at the time and the ring leader. Before this happened my sister was involved in a case with the boy and his brothers, I think to do with foster care. Not sure what the circumstances were. Her comment about the family was "The oldest boy was a psychopath, the second boy was even worse than the oldest one, but there was hope for the youngest who was about 6."

    My sister's opinion is that while background can have a great bearing on how a child turns out, there are kids who no matter what, will end up being pyschopaths.
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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    What I've read indicates pedophilia seems to be biologically based.
    I'm interested in whether any other behaviours are associated with it. I've heard that pedophiles are commonly otherwise 'normal', although I don't know that this is true in fact.

    I'm just having a hard time reconciling the notion that pedophilia is hard-wired. I can accept that megalomania and narcissism are hard-wired and responsible for the insanity of Hitler and the like. But pedophilia is so disturbingly common. If it's hard-wired and isolated as a trait, how do we detect and prevent it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    I'm interested in whether any other behaviours are associated with it. I've heard that pedophiles are commonly otherwise 'normal', although I don't know that this is true in fact.
    Pedophiles are not considered to have normal behaviors. Quite the contrary.
    I'm just having a hard time reconciling the notion that pedophilia is hard-wired. I can accept that megalomania and narcissism are hard-wired and responsible for the insanity of Hitler and the like. But pedophilia is so disturbingly common.
    I think you're confusing child molestation with pedophilia.

    For example, a married man who molests his two young daughters repeatedly over the course of their childhood would be considered an intra-familial child molester, not a pedophile.

    Pedophiles have a primary attraction to pre-pubescent children of either sex, and have difficulty maintaining adult relationships. They tend to be strongly introverted and withdrawn, and primarily offend against non-family members. Pedophiles typically offend against over a 100 children before they are caught (if they ever are). They have distinctive behavioral and biological traits that are present from the time they are born. While no one trait is dispositive, there are several indicators which strongly correlate including brain scans.

    That's very different from your married man down the block who takes advantage of his daughter/niece/children's friends. These men often do blend in--pedophiles not so much. While both child molesters and pedophiles are overwhelmingly male (over 90%), pedophiles are even more likely to be male (95-99.6%).

    And it should be said pedophiles are a minority of child molesters.

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    agalisgv: Thank you for the explanation; I honestly didn't know there was a difference.
    So one can be a pedophile without actually ever harming a child? I am thinking of Lewis Carroll (sp?) as I type this.

    Aussie Willy: Here is where I am baffled a bit by the violent behavior of pschopaths/sociopaths: In the article Blueridge listed the boy at one points says he hates his little brother and sometimes acts out on that. Even worse is the family your sister is acquainted with as the boy has murdered already. If they feel nothing then why do they stray towards violence? I know they feel no empathy for their victims but I would think they get no pleasure from their actions anyway so why bother? In the NYTimes article when Michael expresses his hate for his little brother I wonder if he knows what "hate" actually is since he presumably can't feel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cachoo View Post
    agalisgv: Thank you for the explanation; I honestly didn't know there was a difference.
    So one can be a pedophile without actually ever harming a child? I am thinking of Lewis Carroll (sp?) as I type this.
    Theoretically, yes (I don't know about Lewis Carroll specifically--just commenting generally).

    But one aspect of pedophilia is that it is accompanied by poor impulse control and sexually addictive behavior. It's that combination which makes pedophiles so likely to not only offend repeatedly, but be immune to remediation (I believe one study showed an over 98% reoffending rate of pedophiles after receiving treatment). The only effective treatments for pedophiles tends to be some sort of castration (chemical or otherwise). And even then, that doesn't work for violent pedophiles.

    That's why there developed indefinite incarceration programs--pedophiles are generally not remediable, and will pose a danger to society for the entirely of their lives.

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    As I live in Kansas I remember Kansas vs. Hendricks as the Supreme Court upheld the law in the late 90's (I think is was the 90's.) I happened to look on a map where my nieces live now and saw some of the offenders near them and wondered if we are even applying the law anymore.
    I always thought as a civil libertarian I would never support such a law but if they cannot control themselves then we must do it for them.

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    I studied under a Psychologist, Michael Dougher, who is a specialst in research and treatment of pedophiles.
    My small Google search found:
    Theories about pedophiles

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