Published January 21, 2013
Pedophilia, Preemptive Imprisonment, and the Ethics of Predisposition
"The first two weeks of 2013 were marked by a flurry of news articles considering “the new science” of pedophilia [sic]. Alan Zarembo’s article for the Los Angeles Times focused on the increasing consensus among researchers that pedophilia [sic] is a biological predisposition similar to heterosexuality or homosexuality. Rachel Aviv’s piece for The New Yorker shed light upon the practice of ‘civil commitment’ in the US, a process by which inmates may be kept in jail past their release date if a panel decides that they are at risk of molesting a child (even if there is no evidence that they have in the past). The Guardian’s Jon Henley quoted sources suggesting that perhaps some pedophilic [sic] relationships aren’t all that harmful after all. And Rush Limbaugh chimed in comparing the ‘normalization’ of pedophilia [sic] to the historical increase in the acceptance of homosexuality, suggesting that recognizing pedophilia [sic] as a sexual orientation would be tantamount to condoning child molestation."