I am against the use of the term "pedophile" as it is used within the ex-JW community. Here is why:
The Definition of PEDOPHILIA by Merriam-Webster is :
sexual perversion in which children are the preferred sexual object
While this does apply to many sexual perpetrators it does not by any means apply to all. Some facts:
- Most perpetrators are known to their victim.
- A great proportion of them are married and may even have their own children
- A great many have sexual relationships that are with people who are not children (wives, girlfriends, other men and women)
- Most sexual abuse is not about the sex. It is about the power and control just as it is with rape
Pedophiles will seek out children. They rarely have sexual relationships with adults. Their sexual fantasies are about children. They don't see other adults as sexually attractive. While some may be married the sexual relationship is stunted and the marriage may serve more as a blind to hide behind or help them gain access to children.
A father who is sexually abusing his children isn't necessarily a pedophile. He is most likely taking advantage of what is in front of him and easily accessible and very easily controlled. Many of the men who are married seem to think that by having sex with a child, their child, they are not committing adultery. They aren't trying to satisfy their sexual desire for a child. They are trying to satisfy their need for sex, power and control.
Bill Bowen started using the term to apply to men who sexually abused children within the JWs. Since then everyone has jumped on this bandwagon without any real understanding of the various medical or legal definitions of the terms.
In spite of having had numerous abusers, some strangers, some neighbors and most people who lived in the same house with me, I think few were actual pedophiles. The man in the park and another who tried to lure me into his car and possibly one other were deliberately targeting children. I suspect they were true pedophiles. That is 3 out of 13 (yes victims often have many abusers target them. They are vulnerable and abusers can see it)
Of the other 10
- 2 were minors who were most likely going to grow up to be rapists if they weren't stopped although neither got that far with me
- 2 were old men who could no longer perform but they still enjoyed being touched - one was married they other not. Both were fathers and grandfathers
- another was clearly interested in women with breasts (which I didn't have at the time) and the abuse was not physical - he probably did get a charge out of my having to listen to what he would do with a woman with breasts though
- 3 were family members who were still minors at the time but together they presented a real danger
- the last 2 were my father and step father who were most likely sex addicts, taking it wherever they got a chance regardless of who their victim was. My step-father considered himself a real Rhett Butler Casanova-type. My father was a controller who took without regard for anyone. My step-father thought he was seducing us (my 13-yr old aunt and I)
In this list as you can see few restricted their attentions to children.
All people who sexually abuse children are sexual perpetrators (social or psychological term) or poffenders (the legal term). But not all are pedophiles. Pedophiles are just a small proportion of all sexual predators.
In the JW community "Brother" X who has never married and seems to prefer hanging around kids might be the pedophile. "Brother" Y or Elder who may or may not be married, and may has kids and is caught sexually abusing one of them may not be a pedophile at all. He may simply be making the most of any opportunity he has to satify his need for control and power over someone who has few if any defenses.