We now have added "Informational Posts" which are tidbits of information that may come in handy at some point.


January 2016:

Left-handed people or “lefties” have been discriminated against throughout history. They have been ostracized by society, had their dominant hand tied behind their back, and even burned as witches.1 In fact, the words for left or left-handed in many languages have negative connotations.2 For example, the word for left in Latin is sinistre, from which the word sinister is derived.3 Yet being a lefty is not a choice, people are born left-handed. In fact, handedness is directly linked to dominant hemispheres in the brain.4 Historically, efforts have been made to convert lefties into righties, such as forcing them to learn to write with their right hand.5 However, despite these efforts, natural lefties continue to prefer the left hand.6

So what does left-handedness have in common with pedophilia? Well, the answer is actually that the two have a lot in common with each other. It all comes down to science. Recent research indicates that pedophilia, a sexual attraction to pre-pubescent children, is actually a biological condition in the brain that individuals are born with, similar to handedness.7 In addition, there is a scientific connection between being left-handed and suffering from pedophilia.8 Also, as with left-handedness, there does not appear to be a cure for pedophilia.9

Nevertheless, while comparisons between pedophilia and left-handedness exist, there is a glaringly obvious distinction. Left-handedness is a victimless condition, pedophilia is not. This distinction, in light of recent research linking pedophilia to the brain and natural biology, raises an interesting question as to how these individuals should be treated in society, particularly in the law. Should pedophiles be subjected to increasingly harsh criminal penalties and civil restrictions when they are born with the condition and cannot cure it? The stated goal of sex offender laws targeting pedophiles is public safety, the need to protect children from sexual abuse.10 However, if pedophilia is a biological condition developed in the brain before birth, then the question arises whether laws targeting pedophiles also need to adapt and address this condition. This article argues that the best way to achieve this goal is for the law to move away from the excessively stigmatizing system that only reaches pedophiles after they offend, with questionable effect, to a system that encourages both treatment and prevention. ..Continued.. by Andrea Friedman*

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