Friday, November 14, 2014

Pedophilia and Suicide

It has been noted that people who face charges for child pornography possession or sexual molestation of a child commit suicide pretty often, though I'm not aware of any studies that have been large enough to allow statistical tests. Here is <one reference from Malaysia> of suicide among those facing charges. <This book> recognizes the problem and would be an interesting read.

<Ryan Loskarn> is a recent case which made the news because of his position in Washington.

My guess is that the rates of suicide would be higher for those charged with this kind of crime because the perpetrators feel intense shame -- markedly above that for other crimes. As I argued in my previous post, some pedophiles hate themselves intensely even if they have done nothing wrong, and it's easy to imagine that exposure of their secret would be enough to drive them to suicide.

What interests me even more is the number of teen boys and men who kill themselves when there is no imminent threat of disclosure.

A remarkable number of the men who write to Virtuous Pedophiles have had significant suicidal thoughts. Some have attempted suicide. Those who succeeded obviously cannot write to us.

If we think about the situation of a teen pedophile, we can easily see the level of distress that might lead to suicide. The teen years are already a time of uncertain self-esteem and self-image, combined with relatively poor self-control. Imagine you have just discovered that the only people who you are attracted to are children. You suspect you will never be able to have sex or know love. You know the society has you pegged as one of the most despicable people on the planet. You are told that you are doomed to molest a child sooner or later, and the intensity of your teen sex drive will make that seem plausible. You may have strong reason to doubt that your family or friends would accept you if you revealed your secret. If you found the courage to talk to a school counselor or see a psychotherapist, you would fear that she or he might report you to the police simply for your attractions. In any case they are likely to treat you not with the compassion they would find for just about any other life difficulty, but with revulsion. In comparison, the outlook for gay and lesbian youth seems positively sunny.

It has been noted for some time that <gay and lesbian teens> have higher suicide rates. Whether you think pedophilia is a sexual orientation or not, it is similar in many ways but doesn't merit any mention in that Wikipedia article.

According to <these statistics>, out of 100,000 20-year-old males, something under 20 kill themselves in any given year, for a rate of 0.02% -- one fiftieth of a percent. If we took the fairly standard estimate of 1% of the male population being pedophiles, then even if all of the suicides were pedophiles, it would be a rate of 2%. Of course suicide being heavily concentrated in any small group is highly unlikely, but it sets an upper bound. On the other hand, it is the rate per year, and a young pedophile has several years of exposure. Yet even if 10% of suicides by teen boys were pedophiles, it would be of considerable interest.

In how many cases is a suicide note the first confirmation that someone was a pedophile? My assumption is that police would not publicize the contents of a suicide note without compelling interest, for instance if it was linked to some recent crime. Nearest of kin have control of the notes, and it is easy to imagine that most would not reveal that the deceased was a pedophile.

Ryan Loskarn's mother chose to publish his suicide note. He had already been accused of child pornography possession, so the basic secret was already out. What's more, he was raising some extenuating circumstances -- his own past abuse -- that made it of interest.

While police would not announce the private content of any given suicide note, it would be possible for them to keep statistics to be reported in aggregate form. I don't know if this has been done. Barring that, it would be of interest to hear anecdotal reports of those with years of experience in reading such notes. Is pedophilia mentioned?

I would welcome any leads on this issue.


  1. I am a 18 year old autistic person suffering from pedophilia. I can assure you, both as experience as a pedophile, and having parents who both worked with the mentally ill, that few therapists would report a pedophile simply for being attracted to children. These few therapists are known by other therapists as 'wounded healers' and viewed as incompetent.

    My current therapist works a great deal with children, including those who were sexually abused by pedophiles. She never wanted to report me. The line would be crossed if I commit a crime or if she thinks that I am a danger to the one girl I am obsessed with. Since I barely know the girl, that isn't a problem.

    Not all therapists are subjective. Some, however, like mine, may not want to call it "pedophilia". It is more likely that a therapist or psychiatrist will treat someone "off label" (without labeling the patient as "pedophile"). This coming from someone who has come out to two pediatricians and a child psychologist.

    Most therapists are objective on this in my experience.

    1. I think the trick is not to 'suffer' from paedophilia. It's just a part of who you are. I think a positive attitude helps with the obsessive element as well.

      So log as you're clear in you're mind where your boundaries lie, you might develop the confidence to interact with children safely and find some joy in your 'affliction', You have to dump the obsessing though... Is that to do with your autism or is it just that you've fallen in love from a distance?


    2. I agree with Ethan on this. YOU need to seek a therapist for your cognitive distortions (if you know what those are). I am also obsessed with the law, and a member of VirPed.

      I do like what I am feeling, but do not think these accusations are hyperbolic. I believe the reaction is a bit emotional. But sex with children will ALWAYS be wrong. You need to accept that. It took me a while to accept that.

      Before then, I subscribed to the pedophile activist indoctrination. I am now educating myself.

      And obsessing? That's the autism though. But I don't need child emancipation hacks like you telling me how to think!!!

  2. Hi Ethan,

    I didn't leave a note. Luckily I survived and got to tell people why in person. My suicide attempt was the trigger that lead me to a therapist who was the first person I ever spoke to about being attracted to kids. It wasn't a response to exposure or legal issues. I was about 40 at the time and feeling ashamed, alone and trapped with feelings I could never express. I'd fallen in love with a little girl some years earlier and had missed her terribly when she moved away. I just couldn't shake the grief and the sense that this was my lot.

    Also, before all of this there was a case in my town that really affected me. A young cub scout leader (about 20) had some of his pack (boys about 10-12) visiting his home. They drank an insignificant quantity of beer and jumped in the spa, where they engaged in the normal boyhood frolic of comparing erections.

    Almost inevitably news of this adventure reached a wider audience and the older boy was arrested and charged with the usual hyperbolic suite of accusations, such as violence, indecency, biting heads off chickens, etc.

    He drove his car of a cliff, which coincidentally is the method I 'chose'. Unfortunately he didn't survive. The thing that struck me at the time was that there was actually some discussion in the press, and among the parents, along the lines that the legal action had basically made a mountain out of a molehill and had exposed the kids to a far greater trauma than any that might possibly spring from their sighting a penis bigger and hairier than their own. I don't see that kind of balance much anymore..

    Apparently the younger boys had loved their cub leader and were absolutely devastated by the turn of events. I imagine they also felt partly responsible, especially the ones that spilled the beans. I guess some of them are still living with that feeling today.


    1. I don't think many boys compare erections, except in the mind of the pedophile activist hacks.