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Paedophilia isn't that simple

Published:Sunday | April 15, 2012 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I think columnist Peter Espeut is oversimplifying sexual issues in his column 'An emotionally immature society', published Friday, April 13, 2012.

Men who sexually abuse children are paedophiles. Paedophilia is a real phenomenon, where men get sexually excited by, and enjoy the total domination involved in, having sex with a child. They find the innocence and purity of the children sexually exciting and enjoy defiling them. They enjoy the absolute powerlessness of the child as they carry out their sexual abuse. They are sexual predators and are a danger to society. They are usually very manipulative, deceitful and conniving.

This type of paedophile is very common in Jamaica, as is the type that is turned on by shoes and socks, school bags and school shoes - they prey upon underage schoolgirls because they want total sexual domination and enjoy defiling the developing bodies of young girls. They sexually groom them with gifts and money.

easily manipulated

Vulnerable 14-year-olds from the inner city, who have been socialised to think of sex as currency, can easily be manipulated by paedophiles into giving up their bodies for a few dollars. But you cannot blame that on a lack of morals in the girls; they are not the adults in the situation.

If Espeut thinks paedophilia is merely a lack of discipline, he should turn his mind to the scores of Catholic priests who mercilessly sexually abused children over many years in several countries all over the world.

Surely, the training from seminary to pulpit provides great opportunity for learning discipline, particularly celibacy. But deviant priests still abused children and used the holy nature of their vocation to exert sexual authority over the children. And the Church often did not immediately defrock them or remove them from contact with children - only the persistence of the victims brought the facts to light.

I am not surprised that the priesthood attracts paedophiles - it provides perfect cover for paedophiles in giving them access to children they would not otherwise have such close contact with, built on the trust and approval of their parents.

I do agree with you that Jamaican people are promiscuous, particularly the men. However, there is a huge difference between lack of sexual control between consenting adults and sexual deviance, of which paedophilia is a part. And as you have seen, paedophiles can worm their way into any organisation or community of people, including the venerable Roman Catholic Church.

We do need to recognise the existence of these paedophile (mostly) men and put them behind bars where they can no longer harm children.

ANNETTE JOHNSON

martha.brae@yahoo.com