The website ScienceDaily.com posted a short story claiming that researchers may have discovered that there is a correlation between a man’s height — or rather his lack thereof — and a predisposition toward pedophilia. Now, the science of this is not the issue that immediately popped into my mind when I read this. No, what struck me as interesting was the social aspect of this study when contrasted with the newfound favorability that homosexuality has seen since the 1970s. After reading this report on pedophilia, I found myself wondering how long it would be before pedophiles would protest this characterization of their predilection as as a mental disorder? I wondered how long it would be before their condition was deemed a “natural” one by someone and I wondered how long before they would advocate for the determination that they had some sort of mental defect to be reversed mirroring the same success homosexuality had in getting that mental disorder sanctioned as “normal” by the mental health profession?
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), a series of teaching and research facilities in Toronto, Canada, has apparently found that pedophilic males are shorter than average, non-pedolhilic males. Their study was recently published in Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment and suggested that pedophiles may have been “exposed to pre-birth conditions that affected their physical development.” The study observed this difference by analyzing the files of over 1,000 men in Toronto who were assessed for pedophilia or other sexual disorders between 1995 and 2006.
“A difference in average height is a trait found in other illnesses with biological links. The average difference in height was two centimeters, which is similar to the shorter height associated with schizophrenia or Alzheimer’s disease,” says the report on ScienceDaily.com. The report also suggests that pedophilia might, then, be caused by biological factors and if that’s true, “the discovery of biological markers for pedophilia has important implications for future study and possibly treatment.”
That’s not all. The study also found that pedophiles seem to have lower IQs, are three times more likely to be left-handed, have repeatedly failed grades in school, and strangely, had more head injuries as children.
Naturally, they claim that more study is required to solidify these findings.
But, here is the question that struck me: if pedophilia is found to have “biological” causes and might be treatable should these “markers” be discovered, what does that say about homosexuality? Why should homosexuality be considered “normal” and not open for treatment while pedophilia should be considered a treatable mental disorder? What is the difference between the two conditions? After all, they are both considered aberrant behavior by most people even today, and they both certainly have been considered “sick” behavior throughout history.
But, what is a “mental disorder,” anyway? The website for the Mayo Clinic reminds us that homosexuality was reclassified as “normal” by the mental health establishment in 1973 and further claims that mental health determinations are not just scientific but may “reflect evolving social and cultural attitudes.” This begs the question if anything really can be considered abnormal or evidence of a sick mind if such diagnoses are merely an “evolving” set of societal presumptions?
Homosexuals lobbied long and hard for their predilection to be reclassified as “normal,” quite despite the fact that society had yet to warm to the idea. It was a political effort launched by homosexual lobbying and advocacy groups, not one determined by either science or society. It was an outright political campaign. But, what that campaign did was relativize all mental disorders and leave each of them open to reclassification at any time that society decides that a particular mental disorder is now socially acceptable. Naturally, this leaves our determination of a mental disorder open to lobbying campaigns and takes the classification firmly out of the hands of mental health professionals.
So, all that leads to the possibility that pedophilia could one day be lobbied out of being a mental disorder and into the realm of the normal. And to be sure that is just what we are seeing from groups like NAMBLA and their ilk who want just that reclassification, too.
What could stand in the way of such a relativist’s efforts? Only that society continues to see pedophilia as a social taboo. But, as with homosexuality, we risk a weakening of that social determination as people with an agenda continue to work against traditional social mores in our entertainment and our schools.
It would not be surprising to see this study spoken out against as some sort of assault on pedophilia in the same way we have seen homosexuality normalized over the last 30 years. And why shouldn’t it be? After all, if everything is as relative as the reclassification of homosexuality from mental disease to normal, then what could ever be wrong with child molesters?