Up to 5pc of men attracted to children at some stage in their lives - research
Up to 5pc of men will be attracted to prepubescent children at some stage in their lives.
That’s according to research quoted by psychotherapist Julia Grayson, co-founder of StopSO in the UK, an organisation that tries to rehabilitate sex offenders through therapy.
Speaking on RTE Radio 1's Sean O’Rourke Show, Dr Grayson said that research points to a huge amount of factors that can contribute to someone becoming a paedophile.
“Paedophiles are more likely to be left-handed than right-handed, they’re more likely to be shorter… the white matter in the brain is more likely to be thicker in the brain of a paedophile than it is in the general population,” she said.
“It’s even possible that something that happens in the womb may affect people and make them more likely to have a paedophilic predisposition.”
Dr Grayson also pointed out that traumatic events in a person’s childhood, even something as simple as a beloved grandfather dying, can lead to a person becoming a sex offender.
Her therapy tries to address the underlying problems and traumatic memories that a paedophile may have in order to help rehabilitate them.
Read more: Targeting Paedophilia... the last taboo
For a lot of people, the tendency towards paedophilia can be ‘hard-wired’ within them, so Dr Grayson’s therapy focuses on managing the feelings rather than curing them.
“It’s very possible for someone to be a non-offending paedophile - for someone not to become a child molester.”
The programme also heard from a man who spoke about what is was like to be a paedophile:
“I was very aware of the way that I was feeling was wrong. At the same time aware of the fact that I didn’t feel like I could do anything about that.
“You have to keep everything within yourself and not show anybody who you really are because you’ve got this dirty dark secret,” said the man.
Berlin-based BBC journalist Damien McGuinness also featured on the programme to about ‘The Dunkenfeld Project’, the German approach to paedophilia.
The project involves tries to encourage people to talk openly about paedophilia and to come forward and seek help, where they can then undergo therapy to stop them acting on their impulses