April 17, 2015

'Virtuous pedophiles' work not to be real-life monsters

4-17-15 Florida:

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — 'Sex offender.' The words are charged with meaning – and for some, automatically evoke the very worst child sex crimes, like the rape and murder of Summer Thompson or Cherish Periwinkle.

In reality, a relatively small percentage of sex offenders are actually "pedophiles," a clinical term which denotes a specific attraction to prepubescent children. And despite the horror the word conjures, not all pedophiles are criminals.

A small but growing internet support community has adopted the moniker "virtuous pedophiles," and define themselves as people who are sexually attracted to children, but determined not to act on those desires. A British documentary called "The Paedophile Next Door" recently profiled "Eddie" – who didn't disclose his last name, but agreed to appear on camera, despite concerns of retaliation.

"I much prefer not to have these feelings and these attractions," he said. "But I have them, and that's difficult. A lot of people assume because I think or feel that way, I'm automatically going to abuse a child … I don't think I'm capable of that kind of thing."

First Coast News reached out to Ethan Edwards, founder of the online group "Virtuous Pedophiles," and communicated with him at length, via Google Chat. He provided only limited information about his personal life: He claims to live in Pennsylvania, and is in his late 50s. He is divorced, but was married for much of his life, and raised three daughters. He insists he never has, and never will, have sexual contact with a child, but he identifies as a pedophile. ..Continued.. by Anne Schindler, First Coast News

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