Experts believe they can identify a potential offender through MRI and IQ tests, and treat the paedophile before they attack a youngster.
Some believe that they can even 'cure' paedophiles, who may have an abnormality in their brains that means they struggle to differentiate between sexual objects.
Could science have spotted Jimmy Savile? Research suggests paedophiles suffer an abnormality in the brain. One has only to glance at the picture to the left to realize Jimmy Savile was definitely brain-damaged, if not demonically possessed.
One expert believes that paedophilia could be a biological problem that begins in the womb, and could be caused by stressed mothers-to-be.
Five studies have concentrated on abnormalities detected in pedophiles’ brains, with results discerning irregularities in the frontal lobe to observing peadophiles brain activity when they see images of naked children, the Daily Beast reported.
Research suggested that sex offenders appear to have significantly less white matter—a substance that connects different parts of the brain—than those who are pedophiles, according to James Cantor, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto.
Cantor told the Daily Beast that through studying diffusion tensor imaging MRI scans, he can see patterns of the brain typically found in pedophiles.
The professor believes that a lack of connection between parts of the brain could mean that paedophiles struggle to differentiate between sexual objects.
His research discovered that the sexual predators generally have lower IQs and are disproportionately left-handed compared to the overall population.
Cantor believes paedophilia could be a biological problem that some are born with, he told The Daily Beast.
The scientist says it could even develop from 'maternal stress while the mother is still pregnant, or a combination of maternal stress or poor nutrition, or household stress during childhood,' he said.
'If we take out one of those ingredients, we may break the chain and understand the whole system that ends in pedophilia,' he told the Daily Beast.
|Paedophiles could undergo MRI scans to spot whether they have a telltale |
Medications such as Depo-Provera—which is commonly prescribed for prostate cancer—lower testosterone and libido levels and are being tested as effective 'chemical-castration' treatments, and some say cures, to pedophilia. Those who seek help are also often treated with talk therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy in addition to the medicinal route.
But not everyone is convinced that stopping pedophilia is as simple as taking a pill or reading an MRI.
Thomas Plante, a psychology professor at California’s Santa Clara University who has done extensive research on child abuse within the Catholic Church, says sex offenders need to be tackled with social, psychological and biological treatments.
He believes many of the sex offenders that authorities consider paedophiles are 'not paedophiles at all' but are sex offenders who will target anyone they can.
He's right, of course, the term pedophile or paedophile is used rather indiscriminately to describe anyone who sexually abuses a child, ie someone under 18 years of age. However, a pedophile is defined as someone who is mostly or exclusively sexually attracted to prepubescent children.
This is an interesting study, but I wonder if anyone is thinking of running such a study on gays?