Steve Gilliard posts, inter alia, about the profile of a child molester: http://stevegilliard.blogspot.com/2006/10/not-even-close-to-worse.html.
I am familiar with the concept of “red flags” and am leery of lending them too much credence. The Florida child welfare bureaucrats tried to get me to prosecute child abuse and neglect cases solely on the basis of “red flags” that they used in their “risk assessments”. The idea was that enough red flags added up to an immanent threat. A lot of the red flags were, by themselves, pretty innocuous, but they got you points on the risk scale. For example, being a young mother, being single, having little education, having little support from others, and having been abused or neglected oneself were all “red flags” that might be counted toward snatching your children from you and putting them in foster care.
I declined to prosecute cases based on probabilities instead of evidence. I once colluded with a judge to get the social workers to shut up about their “red flags”. At trial, I attempted to have the social worker qualified as an “expert” in risk assessment and had her testify about her red flags. The judge shot me down brutally, calling my arguments “ludicrous” in front of the social workers and their boss. He compared the child welfare agency to something the Soviet Union might have. The social workers never brought up red flags around me again.
This profile of a child molester is similar and is not helpful at all.
* Popular with both children and adults. Kids seem to like me. I don’t know why since I don’t particularly like kids myself. I declined to have any of my own, and I can tolerate the nephews and nieces for only limited periods. Adults like me, too, so I reckon I’ll have to give myself 5 child molester points.
* Appears to be trustworthy and respectable. Has good standing in the community. I maintain the appearance of respectability and, as far as I know, am not a pariah. I get 5 more points for a running total of 10.
* Prefers the company of children. Feels more comfortable with children than adults. Is mainly attracted to prepubescent boys and girls. Can be heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. I don’t get any points here.
* "Grooms" children with quality time, video games, parties, candy, toys, gifts, money. Is that what I’ve been doing with my nephews and nieces all these years with my generosity and solicitude? Who knew? 5 more points for a running total of 15 out of a possible 20.
* Singles out children who seem troubled and in need of attention or affection. Holy crap! I do tend to be especially attentive to the neediest of my young kin. I’m up to 20 out of 25.
* Often dates or marries women with children that are the age of his preferred victims. I’m off the hook on this one. My “preferred victims” are adult women (exclusively Mrs Vache Folle for 23 years), and I don’t date their moms to get to them.
* Rarely forces or coerces a child into sexual contact. Usually through trust and friendship. Physical contact is gradual, from touching, to picking up, to holding on lap, to kissing, etc. I have never coerced anyone into sexual contact. I have held kids in my lap and carried them on my shoulders and such like. I don’t derive any sexual gratification from this and am not a child smoocher, so I’m only going to award myself half credit for a running total of 22.5 out of 35.
* Derives gratification in a number of ways. For some, looking is enough. For others, taking pictures or watching children undress is enough. Still others require more contact. If this means sexual gratification, I don’t get any points.
* Finds different ways and places to be alone with children. I am sometimes alone with children, but this is not by design. No points. Whew.
* Are primarily (but not always) male, masculine, better-educated, more religious than average, in their thirties, and choose jobs allowing them greater access to children. I am a manly man with advanced degrees, and I am as religious as they come. On the other hand, I am not in my thirties and I don’t work around children. Even when I was in child welfare or a children’s guardian ad litem or special advocate, I rarely spent time with the kids themselves. Half credit for a total of 25 out of 50.
* Are usually family men, have no criminal record, and deny that they abuse children, even after caught, convicted, incarcerated, and court-ordered into a sex offender program. The marriage is often troubled by sexual dysfunction, and serves as a smokescreen for the pedophile's true preferences and practices. I’m married and have no criminal record. Worse yet, I deny that I am a sexual predator and would continue to deny it if I were charged with it. I always felt that having “denial” as a red flag was nightmarish and unhelpful in the extreme. I am not much of a lover, but my marriage is genuine and not a smokescreen. I’m only taking half credit for a total of 27.5 out of 55.
* Are often, but not always, themselves victims of some form of childhood sexual abuse. I don’t recall ever being sexually abused.
* Even if the pedophile has no children, his home is usually child-friendly, with toys, books, video games, computers, bikes, swing sets, skateboards, rec room, pool, snacks - things to attract children to his home and keep them coming back. Usually the items reflect the preferred age of his victims. I am a little guilty of this. I have no kids, but I maintain games and some books and toys for the convenience of visitors. And (gasp), these tend to be age appropriate. This is really minor stuff, and there are no swing sets or anything like that, so I am taking only half credit to reflect my half assed attempts to accommodate the young’uns. 30 out of 65 (finally below 50%). I was getting a little worried.
* A female pedophile usually abuses a child when partnered with an adult male pedophile, and is often herself a victim of chronic sexual abuse. Not applicable.
* A pedophile can act independently, or be involved in an organized ring, including the Internet, NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association), and other pro-pedophilia groups. Some pedophiles recognize that their behavior is criminal, immoral, and unacceptable by society, and operate in secrecy. Some are quite open and militant about their practices and advocate the normalization of pedophilia under the guise of freedom of speech and press, and uses innocuous language like "intergenerational intimacy." I don’t even know how to score this one. I’m not in NAMBLA. Pedophiles and pedophilia aren’t salient to me. I get no points. Crap! I just denied being a child molester again! Final score 30 out of 70 for a 40%-ish child molester probability.
In truth, most of these items are of no value. I reckon that the ones about having sex with kids and being sexually attracted to kids should be weighted more heavily, say at 100% of the total.