How child molesters justify their actions

(PhysOrg.com) -- Men who sexually abuse children generally blame external factors to explain their actions and diminish their guilt. “Every reason they give is a cognitive distortion,” says Sarah Paquette, a student who investigated the issue as part of her master's thesis at the Université de Montréal School of Criminology.

To confirm the rationale often cited in the scientific literature Paquette interviewed more than twenty men convicted of sexually molesting children. Some of the men had been violent and others had not. The semi-structured interviews were conducted under the supervision of professors Franca Cortoni and Jean Proulx.

“Molesters admit to raping and know it is wrong,” says Paquette. “But they rationalize their actions to cope with the situation they find themselves in. These rationalizations are cognitive distortions that allow them to act on their impulses, and there are as many rationalizations as there are molesters.”

However, all reasons given can be grouped into six major categories.

First, the alleged impossibility to control one's urges: hormones, stress, alcohol, drugs or God are all factors deemed uncontrollable by the molester. “It's always because of something else,” says Paquette.

Second, the right to do as one pleases. Those who use this argument believe their status, as head of the family for instance, bestows upon them certain privileges that must be satisfied by others. The example of Roch “Moïse” Thériault comes to mind. “These people also believe that sexual relations with children will one day be accepted by society, like they were in ancient times,” says Paquette.

Third, some claim the act didn't harm the child in any way. Those who invoke this argument often highlight their restraint: “I touched, but there was no penetration;” “I didn't sodomize;” “She didn't bleed;” “It didn't last long,” or “she was asleep.”

Fourth, some believe adult women are either “dangerous” manipulators or out-of-reach given their beauty and purity. This belief often goes hand in hand with a very positive image of children who are non-threatening and easier to control.

Fifth, some molesters perceive children as sexual beings capable of consent. They believe children appreciate sexual contact and need it, as it is part of life's pleasures.

Finally, Paquette defined a sixth category overlooked in previous studies. This category suggests that molesters see themselves as . They feel they have the mental age of a child and believe they are living a reciprocal love with the child.

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that_guy
4.3 / 5 (3) Apr 08, 2011
Although I believe that understanding how child molesters work will help combat the scurge, and I do believe that this research takes a step in that direction,...I still wish I hadn't read this article. It bothers me that people can be like that.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (6) Apr 08, 2011
@that_guy: I wholeheartedly agree with your response.

I would add: Castration (chemical, or otherwise) should be a legal recourse for the courts.
MarkyMark
1 / 5 (2) Apr 09, 2011
@that_guy: I wholeheartedly agree with your response.

I would add: Castration (chemical, or otherwise) should be a legal recourse for the courts.

Problem is chemical castration only really stops errections, it has no effect on the sex drive and the fact a pervert can use household objects to enact there child sodomising fantasies.
Mauricio
2.3 / 5 (4) Apr 09, 2011
Sex with children and incest was ok in ancient societies that were collapsing!
people use the greek's philosophers as standards of living, but Socrates and his disciples were living in collapsing systems.

It would be equivalent to someone from the future saying that being morbidly obese is ok or even desirable because in the USA in the beginning of the XXI century a good third of the population was obese!
northern
1 / 5 (7) Apr 09, 2011
I believe the pornography industry (literature) is where men are getting some of these ideas. I have unfortunately been exposed to pornography literature that contained some of these ideas which influence men's behavior. I strongly vote to eradicate pornography. It takes decades to recover from sexual abuse and is only to be found with help.
Alburton
3 / 5 (3) Apr 09, 2011
I had already known some psychologists that were treating child-molesters ,so this disturbing posibility of mankind isnt new to me.
That said I am very glad to have read this article,as the underlying distortions of reality these adults suffer are somehow describing the very essence of human conditioning.
"I am just this way","I won't ever be able to accomplish that","we're just not made for each other","its all your fault"...such assertions and emotions ,in my non academical opinion,come from the same kind of self distortion.
Why is it so hard to always be aware of ourselves as sentient, living beings occupying this precise place in this precise moment?
If you have ever had this question I would recommend trying out Yoga without prejudice or disposition to believe anything you dont actually feel.
Peace,Love,and Work
Burnerjack
not rated yet Apr 09, 2011
I fail to understand what motivations they may have will combat this. I would submit that a systemic way we handle children, as not allowing by law, adults to have contact with children without another adult present. Greater use of Web-cams whether in school or other arenas of child attendance so parents can randomly check in at any time. This coupled with properly explaining to children that there are "people" in the world that will try to assault them and it's not the child's fault. Just to keep them aware. Tough to do while trying to maintain a child's carefree innocents I'm sure.
begatbegat
not rated yet Apr 10, 2011
I think Ms Paquette has covered most of the reasons why child molesters tend to act. The "beauty and purity" of (4) I assume is meant to apply more to children as it appears this is one of the reasons why adults are attracted to children - their attractiveness is something that nature has ensured to enable their protection. This seems to apply to all other species too in that we find the young and newly-born "cute". That an attraction to children can be so peverted is unfortunate but I don't think that all those who might see themselves as pedophiles would necessarily act on their desires and many would have the same views on molesters as expressed here. If we thought of pedophiles as much the same as the rest of us who love children but with an added sexual element then perhaps some progress might be made on this issue and proper dialogue might ensue. Many pedophiles appear not to be intellectually honest with themselves however and try to defend what is blatant abuse.
frajo
5 / 5 (1) Apr 10, 2011
This seems to apply to all other species too in that we find the young and newly-born "cute".
While I'm not a biologist I happen to know that male lions use to kill the offspring of another male they just have killed in order to win a female.
neiorah
1 / 5 (1) Apr 10, 2011
I think that men without self control are the ones whom do this to children. They are more like animals and say anything to make what they do make sense like those who abort babies. They are self centered and psychopathic. If they had the brains to see life through someone elses eyes, they would not be able to do what they do to children. All they think about is how can I poke something that I do not have to work with in a normal relationship. Children are ignorant to how grown ups are and this is why they are easy targets to those whom cannot cope in the adult world. No female is going to have sex with them or the CHURCH will not let them which is so stupid, so they poke children.
begatbegat
not rated yet Apr 11, 2011
This seems to apply to all other species too in that we find the young and newly-born "cute".
While I'm not a biologist I happen to know that male lions use to kill the offspring of another male they just have killed in order to win a female.


You think an example like this goes against what is evident - the fact that we find the young of other species similarly as attractive as our own young. I can't vouch for other species since hardly anyone it seems has found a way of understanding what or if they think concerning other animals. The lion thing like many other animals seems to be purely about the survival of its own offspring.
frajo
5 / 5 (1) Apr 11, 2011
This seems to apply to all other species too in that we find the young and newly-born "cute".
While I'm not a biologist I happen to know that male lions use to kill the offspring of another male they just have killed in order to win a female.
You think an example like this goes against what is evident - the fact that we find the young of other species similarly as attractive as our own young.
Now that you have replaced your former wording which meant "all species find the young of other species attractive" by "we find the young of other species attractive" I can agree.
But not without the notion that there are people who can't stand children. E.g. those who object to having a kindergarten in their vicinity.
J-n
3 / 5 (2) Apr 11, 2011
I wonder how Oliver K. Manuel (username here: omatumr, AKA the Neutron Repulsion guy) Justifies raping and sodomizing his four children?
hush1
not rated yet Apr 12, 2011
However, all reasons given can be grouped into six major categories.


Not quite sure why Sarah has chosen this categorization.
She knows, as well as I do, that all reasons given can be assigned to the Adult, Parent, and Child.

Perhaps, while this categorization is a useful description to assign any and all reasons to the originating sources:
Adult. Parent. Child.

(Adult. Parent. Child. - Non snobbish medical jargon for the high sounding id, ego, and super-ego. Those simpler sounding terms stemming, of course, from Transactional Analysis.)

Although, only handled as a master's thesis, she will realize soon enough that the scripts mapped out by TA are invaluable in identifying and preempting child molesters.

Of the ten of thousands of articles and comments read on this Website, 99% originate from super-ego, i.e., Parent state.

Sarah's label "distortions" are called "contamination" of the three cognitive ego states.

Kudos to Sarah's categorization. cont...
hush1
not rated yet Apr 12, 2011
cont...

Paving the way to assigning the rationalizations to the various ego states by way of categorization. Congratulations.
that_guy
5 / 5 (3) Apr 13, 2011
I believe the pornography industry (literature) is where men are getting some of these ideas. I have unfortunately been exposed to pornography literature that contained some of these ideas which influence men's behavior. I strongly vote to eradicate pornography. It takes decades to recover from sexual abuse and is only to be found with help.


Me and my girlfriend both like pornography, and neither of us have had the urge to molest little kids...and really we're both pretty traditional and vanilla all around despite being open or liberal minded.

...and I have to point out to you haters that we're both youngish social and decent looking type people, so it's not just ugly people or social outcasts who like porn.

just being exposed to things sexual in nature do not make someone deviant in any way.
semmsterr
not rated yet Apr 17, 2011
I believe the pornography industry (literature) is where men are getting some of these ideas. I have unfortunately been exposed to pornography literature that contained some of these ideas which influence men's behavior. I strongly vote to eradicate pornography. It takes decades to recover from sexual abuse and is only to be found with help.


Me and my girlfriend both like pornography, and neither of us have had the urge to molest little kids...and really we're both pretty traditional and vanilla all around despite being open or liberal minded.

...and I have to point out to you haters that we're both youngish social and decent looking type people, so it's not just ugly people or social outcasts who like porn.

just being exposed to things sexual in nature do not make someone deviant in any way.


I agree. Porn does not influence your sexual preference. You go look for the type of porn representative of your tastes.