The Jared Fogle tapes have forced me to take a look in the mirror and decide what I would do as a parent if faced with the horror of child sexual abuse.
Dr. Phil played excerpts and the brazenness with which Fogle bragged about how “good” it “felt” to be with young boys and girls made me want to jump through my iPhone and go after the guy.
The Jared Fogle tapes are a sobering reminder that child abusers know exactly what they are doing. There may be a chemical imbalance in their head blah blah blah, but it should not matter to a civilized society.
Some would argue that we need to start thinking about pedophilia as a sickness requiring treatment — that individuals guilty of sexually abusing children are as much victims as the kids.
Don’t believe me?
Just take a look at this New York Times piece from October 2014 entitled, “Pedophilia: A Disorder, Not a Crime.”
In the op-ed, Margo Kaplan, someone who could listen to the Jared Fogle tapes and see him as a victim instead of a bad person, had this to say.
“By some estimates, 1 percent of the male population continues, long after puberty, to find themselves attracted to prepubescent children. These people are living with pedophilia, a sexual attraction to prepubescents that often constitutes a mental illness. Unfortunately, our laws are failing them and, consequently, ignoring opportunities to prevent child abuse.
“The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defines pedophilia as an intense and recurrent sexual interest in prepubescent children, and a disorder if it causes a person “marked distress or interpersonal difficulty” or if the person acts on his interests. Yet our laws ignore pedophilia until after the commission of a sexual offense, emphasizing punishment, not prevention.”
It’s admirable Kaplan gets around to showing some concern for the children eventually, postulating the outside-the-box theory that maybe by giving pedophiles the help they need before they commission a crime, we can prevent the escalation of child sexual abuse or maybe even wipe it out altogether.
That’s a swell theory except for the fact that there has never been a single piece of scientific evidence that pedophilia is “treatable.”
Recidivism isn’t just a possibility with pedophiles — it’s inevitable.
Furthermore, the Jared Fogle tapes reveal a man, who would find any such efforts to be more annoying than helpful as he gleefully talks about how attractive middle schoolers are.
To learn more about what these individuals endure psychologically in their attraction for prepubescent children would take millions of dollars in research and countless man-hours, all in an attempt to reclassify a repugnant behavior so that we have fewer pedophiles in our prisons and more on the streets.
Inevitably, the plan to “treat” pedophiles that Ms. Kaplan so nobly calls for would be a non-exact science fraught with a certain percent of “failures,” and with each failure, no matter how small, you’re looking at another innocent child victim.
Could there be more research into the psychological struggles of pedophiles? Perhaps. But it would do nothing to stop child sexual abuse, and it would lead to a lot more abuse along the way.
Frankly, a society that cares so much for pedophiles and so little for its most innocent is more barbaric than anything that vigilante justice could conjure up.
Have you heard the Jared Fogle tapes? What are your thoughts about them?