19 September 2016

Dear Dr. James,

I am a 23 year old male.  I dream to have a family, and I work 16 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide for my parents.  I love to help people anyway I can.  I have several people I call best friends and a loving family full of faith.  I never have hate in my heart and even forgave my older cousin for molesting me for so many years, and I humbly see my self as a great person and will never hurt anyone, but I am very ashamed to say I am a pedophile.

For so many years, I have tried countless times, but have always failed.  I have run out of options and am giving up hope. I can not continue to live my life like this. I feel that the only cure for this is death. My will to live is very strong, but I don't know how much more I can take.  I can't move forward in life until I have this problem resolved.  I understand this is a personal problem and I don't have any money.
If I need to move to Canada and get a job out there I will and will participate in any test regardless what the risks are, I will do anything it takes.  What can I do for your help?

David


Hello, David.

I sincerely congratulate you on confronting this so directly.  Very few people have the strength you are showing.  You are not the only one, however.  There is a whole community of people who, like you, have figured out that though no fault of their own, they feel sexual attractions to children, and I want to put you in touch with them.  Although pedophilia is terribly stigmatized, you did not chose it.  That is, there is no reason to feel shame about it.  (Society is starting to become aware of this, but there is still a very long way to go.)

It is true that your life might not be what you were raised to want and expect, but that doesn’t mean you cannot live a happy, fulfilling, and long life.  Therapy can be a wonderful help, at least to people who can afford it and find an appropriate therapist.  The best help, however, often comes from the other people who are in the same boat as you: The Virtuous Pedophiles are a group of people who have realized that they too are sexually oriented to children, and they support each other in dealing with it without ever posing any risk of harm to anyone.  Their anonymous, online billboard is available at www.virped.org.

Finally, I very much appreciate how overwhelming this can feel, especially when first starting to confront it.  If you now, or in the future, genuinely contemplate killing or hurting yourself, I want you immediately to get to the nearest hospital emergency room.  Although I have not been in the same position as you, I have watched many people walk this difficult path.  This, right here, is the very hardest part—it gets easier from here.  To start, read the stories of other virped’s, and see the wide range of things that can help.

I wish you the best of luck.

12 comments:

  1. Seriously, Dr. Cantor, what do you think of this? I understand you've got a degree in maths so you should be able to understand it.

    http://imgur.com/WSGlI5p

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  2. That graph is just a figure depicting that author's idea. It is not from any actual data. The underlying idea (that hebephilia is or was adaptive during evolution) doesn't hold water, however. All the actual evidence points against it.

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    1. It is actual data taken from Amazonian foraging societies. Do you know what reproductive value is?

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  3. If there is any reference to original data there, I am not seeing it, and the data would be entirely unlike all the data I do see. "Reproductive value" refers to the number of biological offspring a person could theoretically have over their lives.

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    1. The data's obvious if you understand the maths.

      Reproductive value (RV) is basically just a measure of the amount a female of a given age can be expected to contribute to the future population through her reproduction over the remainder of her life. By mathematical definition this rises with age up to the beginning of a female's reproductive lifespan, as the probability of her dying before she starts reproducing decreases, and then goes into decline as she uses up her reproductive years. In simple foraging societies that make fairly good models for prehistoric humans the age of first pregnancy is about 17, and this is why the graph line peaks there (we don't know for certain when girls in prehistoric times started reproducing and there must have been some variation over space and time but this is a good enough estimate). A 60yo woman has no more fertile years left so her RV must be 0. A newborn baby has all of her reproductive years ahead of her but may only have a 70% chance (say) of surviving to reproductive age so her RV is less than that for an older female closer to reproductive age. A girl at minus infinity would have an RV of 0 since the chances of her surviving (or technically her lineage surviving) an infinite amount of time up to reproductive age would be 0%.

      In a mathematically idealised population in which every female started reproducing at exactly the same age and a man could acquire a female instaneously etc, the best age of female for a man to acquire as a wife would be those just at the peak of their RV, i.e. exactly at the beginning of their reproductive lifespan. She would then start reproducing instaneously and the man could potentially capture all the offspring she creates and maximise the amount that he himself contributes to the future population. In reality of course it's not quite that clean and simple.

      I can explain more if you want. Ever heard of the cliff effect in evolutionary biology? It's very relevant.

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    2. Although dressed in fancy language, that shows only what I said it does: The claims are based on the author's idea, not on any actual data. It is the authors' idea that is being modelled, not anything that has been observed in the world. If there is anything in any of the argument that has not already been discussed (and essentially dismissed) by the scientists studying it formally, I can recommend only that you publish it. From my perspective, however, I am seeing only a series of suppositions, backed by only cherry-picked factoids, and ignoring all other data and counter-evidence.

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    3. It's not opinion, everything I said is mathematical necessity, assuming that most reproduction in prehistoric times happened within long-term relationships as it does today. This is just simple maths. Surely you understand it?

      If you want me to explain in more detail I will. You can show it to people trained in mathematical biology or similar and they will confirm I'm right.

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    4. Exactly what data is there showing hebephilia would have been maladaptive in ancestral times? Please show me and I'll refute it. You're not scared, are you?

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    5. One can continue to flatter or boast about my or others' mathematical knowledge all one wants. But despite my best effort, I seem unable to get you to hear me saying that the problem is not the mathematics at all.

      I can offer only another metaphor: One can say as much and as often as one likes "Assume the horse is a sphere..." and proceed to calculate all the aerodynamics about it one likes. However, no discussion of the mathematics will change the (in-)validity of the assumption made before the mathematics come in to it at all.

      To apply my metaphor to your claim: You keep starting with something akin to "assuming that most reproduction in prehistoric times...", then base your math on that (and related assumptions), and then demand that the conclusion be accepted as valid. What I am pointing out (apparently to little avail) is that the assumptions the math is based on are the problem, not the math which begins from those assumptions.

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    6. Oh wait, I just noticed we're cross-talking. I thought your were questioning the assumption that most reproduction in primitive times happened within long-term relationships.

      Anyway, in an idealised population in which every female starts reproducing at exactly the same age etc the best age to acquire a female in order to get as offspring from her would be exactly at the beginning of her reproductive lifespan. In reality it's not quite like this. Girls start reproducing at different ages that cluster around an average, it takes time for a man to acquire a girl and he has to compete against other men. Taking these things into account it's better to aim for girls a bit before the start of their reproductive lifespan rather than exactly on it. This is exactly what we see happening in primitive populations that are living something like our prehistoric ancestors. The typical age men in these societies acquire girls as wives clusters around about 14, i.e. about 12-16. The "theoretical optimum" of an idealised population may be about 17 but the real world optimum seems to be about 14.

      Far from being maladaptive, hebephilic and ephebophilic preferences would have been very adaptive since they would motivate men to pursue females at the optimal age to be acquired as wives. Any statistical or evolutionary arguments that attempt to show that hebephilic preferences would have been maladaptive must be flawed for the simple reason that hebephilic marriages are the norm in primitive populations. We know it works because we see it happening, end of debate.

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  4. Re: "Exactly what data is there showing hebephilia would have been maladaptive in ancestral times?

    There exists an entire literature demonstrating that pregnancies during puberty are highly risky and often fatal to both mother and child. The most direct evidence showing that early pregnancy holds no reproductive advantage in evolution is the measurement of numbers of offspring within pre-industrial societies. In the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Kramer (2008) analyzed the effects of early sexual maturity in a savannah-dwelling society of subsistence foragers, called the Pumé. The crosssectional data from the women showed that menarche began at age 12.75 years, on average. Women who gave birth before age 14 had an infant mortality rate of 55%, compared with a rate of 6.7% whose first birth was after age 16. Finally, and most relevantly, Kramer calculated the total fertility for Pumé females who initiate childbearing at young, average, or late ages, and found that the number of surviving children born to women who became pregnant while young was significantly less than that for the other two groups.


    The genes most likely to spread are those most likely to lead to subsequent generations. The children born to mothers impregnated during puberty, however, show only disadvantages (e.g., Haiek & Lederman, 1989; Olausson, Cnattingius, & Haglund, 1999). A New England Journal of Medicine study analyzed a sample of more than 170,000 births (Fraser, 1995). Infants born to mothers aged 13–17 showed each of lower birth weight, greater rates of premature infants, and greater rates of small-for-gestational-age births relative to infants born to mothers aged 18–19, or to mothers aged 20–24, the age range associated with the fewest adverse outcomes. The study controlled for the socioeconomic and demographic differences among these age groups, allowing it to conclude that the poor outcomes were due to the biological unpreparedness of the mothers’ bodies, which are again older than the pertinent age range of 11–14.

    Also arguing against evolutionary adaptiveness is that, even when a pubescent child does become pregnant, the pregnancy is a relatively dangerous one, both for the health of the infant and the health of the mother. Pregnancies of girls age 14 and younger are five times more likely to result in the death of the mother than are pregnancies at ages 20–24 (Mayor, 2004). The risk of neonatal death among the infants is 3–4 times higher among children from mothers age 15 or younger than from mothers age 23–29 (Phipps, Blume, & DeMonner, 2002). (Because that study used a cap of age 15 instead of 14, one would reasonably hypothesize that using a cap of 14 would show a still more deleterious outcome.)

    Re: "Please show me and I'll refute it."

    After claiming that you are unwilling/unable to change your mind no matter what I might say, there is little point to my bothering.


    Re: "You're not scared, are you?"

    Once reduced to grammar-school goading, I have no reason to engage at all.

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    1. Got hear as fast as I could, Dr. Cantor, but it turns out the loud noise I heard was just your mic hitting the floor. Bravo, sir. Bravo,

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