Unfortunately I can't contribute much to this thread that hasn't already been said... but I want to post anyway, so deal with it I have two main interests regarding the issue of paedophilia: 1) What makes a paedophile? and 2) How can we make sure as much pain is prevented as possible? Regarding the first question, I think paedophilia is essentially a sexual orientation. People cannot help their genetics, and they cannot help their upbringings, both of which will predetermine and/or affect our personalities somehow. I cannot say what specifically makes someone a paedophile in the same way that I don't really know what made me gay. But the lack of control any of us has over what innate desires we develop is why I do not think all paedophiles should be subject to automatic dehumanisation. Paedophilia is an alternative, innate sexuality, and on some level I empathise with that. Now coming onto the second question, it is clear that paedophilia, if acted on, is harmful. It is obviously very harmful to the recipient, and first and foremost we must protect people who cannot consent from ever being subject to any kind of abuse or trauma. However, paedophilia is also harmful to the paedophile - the inner turmoil one must go through when society deems them monsters for the mere existence of urges they didn’t ask for, whether they act on them or not! Paedophilia is also evidently harmful to the family, friends and acquaintances of those involved. How much pain is caused depends on plenty of contextual factors, some of which might make for some uncomfortable reading. These factors include 1) Who is the paedophile? 2) Are they actually acting on it? 3) Who are they acting on? 4) To what extent are they acting on it, i.e. is it kissing/mild rubbing/penetrative sex/etc? 5) What does the culture of the region or time deem of it? Etc. I do not have any solid answers to the two main questions I asked at the start, but I do know that the questions are absolutely vital. It must somehow be possible to prevent any children from being harmed AND to prevent a paedophile from self-destructing or to protect them from witch-hunts. We might have a glimpse of a humane solution if we allow ourselves to ask the questions, however there are plenty of people who would not entertain the thought, and won't let others entertain the thought either. Some people just want to see punishment. Personally I prefer preventative, practical measures, but then again, I don't feel like I have been sexually abused so my strength of feeling might seem somewhat meagre and cold in comparison to someone who definitely has been. There was a case recently when some figure in the media mentioned that as a child in boarding school a teacher had put their hands down his shorts for a moment and made him feel very uncomfortable. However he was worse affected upon learning that the teacher had, some years later, gassed himself to death. Some of the more reactionary sections of the media jumped on this as though he had attempted to legitimise ALL rape, and that he was an apologist for paedophilia. I deem this level of stupidity far more offensive than the initial point made. The point is this: context is everything, and that is always a valid point to make. Now, having said all that, in the context of Ian Watkins… As far as we can see from what the media is telling us, the man cared more for his own sexual gratification than for the lives he was ruining. In order to prevent any more harm from being inflicted, it is clear he must not be allowed around children or people who will offer their children to him. I don’t much care if he’s put in an asylum or a prison or a special village for paedophiles, but I do care that Watkins is somehow taught to manage his urges toward such horrific sadism. I also even think it’s worthwhile to study him, to find out what might have made him the way he is, so we might learn to prevent it from happening again. But most of all, let’s make sure his victims are taken care of, that we doctor their wounds as much as we can, and we don’t do anything else to further harm them. I’m looking at you, Peaches.