Alex Blaze

Fighting sex crimes by showing kids child porn

Filed By Alex Blaze | August 09, 2010 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Politics
Tags: british columbia, Canada, ephebophilia, penile, penis, porn

British Columbia has stopped a program in which young sex offenders were hooked up to a penile plethysmograph, a device that measures changes in tumescence, penile-plethysmograph.jpgand were shown various pornography to see if they get turned on by kiddie porn. Apparently some of the people who were performing this test were themselves charged with sex offenses, and now they're having a big debate over whether to continue with this program.

Under the program, sex offenders as young as 13 were required to look at images of nude and semi-nude children and listen to audio descriptions of forced sex while their physical responses were measured.

"It's been long recognized that the procedure is quite intrusive," Markwart said. "It's been a matter of a kind of ongoing internal discussion about, 'Is this really merited, given the level of intrusion and the effectiveness versus the potential benefits?"'

Don't expect the article to actually describe those benefits or for proponents of this program to actually provide any evidence that it worked, or to even get an explanation of what the information was supposed to be used for.

The debate seems to be focused on privacy rights - I'm not an expert at all on the sorts of privacy rights the Canadian Charter grants people so that's not really where my thinking is going. I'm wondering what they plan on doing with this sort of data. Is the point to determine prison sentencing based on the likelihood of recidivism determined by this device?

I think it's appropriate to be uneasy about any government's attempt to decipher who will commit a crime in the future and then act on that, especially when they're dealing with people as young as 13. The article says that the government isn't going to use the data collected in this program, but what were they thinking of doing with it in the first place? If a 16-year-old is in prison for having sex with a 14-year-old and gets a boner, for whatever reason, when shown a picture of a young teen, will he be labeled an ephebophile and kept in prison longer? Or was the plan to change the counseling (or provide counseling at all) to teens who react to the inappropriate porn?

Anyway, I guess I'm just old school when it comes to waiting for people to actually commit a crime before they're assumed to have a propensity for committing specific crimes. And, for the moment, the program has been suspended and hopefully the people involved will have a sane discussion on how to prevent sex crimes and how to treat sex offenders.

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Mighty Max | August 9, 2010 5:34 PM

If they're showing a 13 year old pictures of another 13 year old, and the kid becomes aroused, how is that grossly inappropriate, other than the fact of showing the pictures in the first place?

Michelle B | August 9, 2010 5:42 PM

Actually, in Canada it's legal for a 16-year-old to have sex with a 14-year old - our age of consent laws are pretty well set up. It is, however, still illegal to show 13-year-olds child pornography. Or, you know, show child pornography at all.

While using this as a method to determine counselling methods would be an interesting idea, trying to use it to determine sentencing brings up the obvious problem of using the method for male sex offenders and nothing for female sex offenders. And that's not even getting into the issues with the method itself.

Nothing but nothing done by the psychiatrists in Canada amazes me.

Bailey, Blanchard, Zucker and a bunch of others up their have this total fetishist thing going on with
penile plethysmograph.

They ran this whole perversifying pseudo-scientific study with the world's most dubious questionnaire on transsexual to female people so they could sort us into two different categories of transsexuals equally perverted reasons for wanting Sex Reassignment Surgery.

Yes, exactly. We're talking about people as screwed up as George Rekers here.

Zucker's the best of a bad bunch, but even his "therapeutic" methods end up giving kids anxiety attacks when they see the colour pink.

No, I'm not kidding.

Bradley has been in therapy now for eight months, and Carol says still, on the rare occasions when she cannot avoid having him exposed to girl toys, like when they visit family, it doesn't go well.

"It's really hard for him. He'll disappear and close a door, and we'll find him playing with dolls and Polly Pockets and ... the stuff that he's drawn to," she says.

In particular, there is one typically girl thing — now banned — that her son absolutely cannot resist.

"He really struggles with the color pink. He really struggles with the color pink. He can't even really look at pink," Carol says. "He's like an addict. He's like, 'Mommy, don't take me there! Close my eyes! Cover my eyes! I can't see that stuff; it's all pink!' "

Canadian Institutional Psychiatry is sick when it comes to sexual health.

It is only about 32% effective and is considered so unreliable that it is not used in America for convicting sex offenders. There is a similar method used for female sex offenders too, its called Vaginal Photoplethysmography and it is supposed to measure the blood flow in the vaginal walls.