For those of you who work in the cybercrime field, you are likely forced to deal with that one type of case that everyone hates to mention - crimes against children such as child pornography or exploitation. I have often told people that I study cybercrime, and they immediately ask what exactly that entails. It's easy to give a spiel listing crimes like identity theft and hacking, but mentioning child pornography is much too taboo for small talk. I often never mention it or it comes out in a whisper - despite it being a large part of our discussions on this blog.
These crimes invoke a certain response in people that is best left unprovoked. Many people have very strong opinions of hatred and disgust for pedophiles, and many of these opinions are grounded in personal experiences or knowledge of experiences of others close to them. It is, understandably, a very emotional issue. Acting on such emotions, we enact laws that seek to essentially quarantine pedophiles - whether by sex offender registries and notice or by civil commitment under the Adam Walsh Act.
Gawker writer Cord Jefferson recently wrote an article titled "Born This Way: Sympathy and Science for Those Who Want to Have Sex with Children." The post discusses the conflicts within pedophiles' minds themselves, society's response, and many studies concerning pedophilia. Here are a few patterns the studies have discovered:
- Sexual abusers of children have an average IQ 10 points lower than sexual abusers of adults.
- The age of the child victim is directly proportional to the abuser's IQ - the younger the child, the lower the abuser's IQ.
- Child sexual abusers are shorter on average than adult abusers. They are also more likely to have performed badly in school and to have suffered head injuries as a child.