Dennis Ferguson

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Donners

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Sep 1, 2002
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So you're saying an adult who touches up 11 year old boys is a sex offender but not necessarily a pedophile?

Turn it up. A pedo is someone who is attracted to children or someone who fiddles with kids. It's not the sort of thing that people experiment with - people do it because they're into it.

A person who steals something is not necessary a thief, and a person who smokes a cigarette is not necessarily a smoker - but it's not as if a child sex offender can say:

"I only touch up kids when I'm drinking so I'm not a pedo"

If you touch up kids you're a dirty noncy pedo.
Well, a person attracted to 11 year olds could be classified as a hebephile rather than a paedophile, depending on whether the child is pubescent or not.

Sex offences are not inherently linked to attraction.

There can be motivations of power, revenge (usually indirect, such as against a parent of the child) and self-gratification (it is often not the "adult who touches up young boys", but the "adult who gets young boys to touch him up" or a completely screwed up understanding of sexual development (the parent who tries to teach their child about sex in a "practical" manner).

The term is more popular as a pejorative one, often mistakenly employed (particularly in the media). It only serves to inflame emotions, rather than promote any sort of sensible discussion.
 

bunsen burner

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Well, a person attracted to 11 year olds could be classified as a hebephile rather than a paedophile, depending on whether the child is pubescent or not.
You seem to be splitting hairs a lot and trying to argue definitions rather than the big picture. Why don't we just make it easy and assume we are talking pedo (pre pubescent)

Sex offences are not inherently linked to attraction.
I already know this. It's in one of my earlier posts.

The term is more popular as a pejorative one, often mistakenly employed (particularly in the media). It only serves to inflame emotions, rather than promote any sort of sensible discussion.
Not sure if srs. You obviously are schooled on the subject so must know what victims go through. Not sure how you think "emotions are inflamed"? The only example I can think of is when media make a hebphile out as a pedophile (a 20 year old have sex with a 15 year old is bad, but it's not as bad)

Can I assume you think the sentencing for child sex crimes has been fair over the last 15 years or so?
 

Donners

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It's sort of irrelevant.

If a guy touches up his nephew 10 times over a 12 month period it doesn't matter if he fits the court's definition of a sex offender or "sex offender and pedophile".

The facts are is he touched up his nephew 10 times in the last year.
Of course it matters.

It bears on his responsibility (especially when tied in with other personal factors) and prospects for rehabilitation - two of the vital aspects of sentencing, the issue which you were purporting to address. Sentencing is not just about the offence, and it never should be.

Understanding the motivation is vital for treatment of offenders and prevention of future offences, which should be of far more interest than whether a pejorative label can be slapped on a person.
 

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bunsen burner

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Of course it matters.

It bears on his responsibility (especially when tied in with other personal factors) and prospects for rehabilitation - two of the vital aspects of sentencing, the issue which you were purporting to address. Sentencing is not just about the offence, and it never should be.

Understanding the motivation is vital for treatment of offenders and prevention of future offences, which should be of far more interest than whether a pejorative label can be slapped on a person.
Ok, so I'm on board, I'll buy that. What is your view on the sentencing over the last 15 years?
 

Donners

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Not sure if srs. You obviously are schooled on the subject so must know what victims go through. Not sure how you think "emotions are inflamed"? The only example I can think of is when media make a hebphile out as a pedophile (a 20 year old have sex with a 15 year old is bad, but it's not as bad)
Well, I'm thinking of the Herald Sun's campaign to name people on supervision orders, for instance. It's faded a bit, but it was huge a few years back. It played purely on hysteria. The popular image of the paedophile, and the one they actively promoted, is of the stranger who abuses children. That's a very rare situation, even for people who are repeat offenders. They sought to interfere with the subjects' treatment, putting them in a situation where they would be driven out of town just like Ferguson, relying purely on emotion rather than genuine risk.

Can I assume you think the sentencing for child sex crimes has been fair over the last 15 years or so?
It varies. Some have been very low, some surprisingly high.

I think as a general trend, the rate has been a bit low. Some County Court judges have tried to push the trend up (there's a few who have gone above the prosecution range on occasion), but the Court of Appeal has shot down most attempts to increase the average sentence.

The supervision order system exists to deal with the most high-risk offenders, and the vast majority of those who are sentenced do not commit further similar offences. There is not much utility in significantly longer sentences for such offences.


And yeah, I do see the impact of offending on victims. I've personally dealt with upwards of 50 and read the accounts of more than one thousand. It's not a subject I take lightly in the slightest. It's just one I think is best served by genuine consideration and debate into the factors behind the offending, rather than focusing on demonising the offenders.
 

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