Child molestation is a broad yet uncommon case, which affects daughters or sons of a family close to the molester. It can be related to a mental disorder, or pedophilia that has been existent for years. However, pedophilia is different from child molestation in that it is persistent for more than 6 months, and does not just include sexual acts but also sexual fantasy towards a child 13 years of age and below. Pedophilia becomes child molestation when there is a sexual act involved.
It is not uncommon for prisoners to lack access to medical or mental health services. One reason these privileges are not provided to them is that they are expensive, requiring a huge amount of tax money to be allocated just for the sake of the prisoner’s mental health – even after he is released from prison. The lack of mental health services in prison means the detainee fails to know what he has done wrong. Knowing how to survive in prison or jail as a child molester is difficult, since the child molestation can be psychological in nature.
Prison does not change the behavior or habits of a person. If diagnosed with a mental disorder, the prisoner can be sent over to a mental institution, after serving years in prison.
Child molestation can be related to antisocial personality disorder, wherein the person is aware that he is doing a crime, but he has a distorted view about the rules and laws in the society. He does not see those apply to him, so he causes harm to children. When the reported case is verified, lifetime imprisonment will not serve its purpose to change the person. If he is eager to know how to survive in prison or jail as a child molester, he must have an attorney who can give options regarding his access to psychiatric interventions. The prisoner needs sex-specific drugs and therapies to prevent the disorder, associated with the crime, from occurring.
The Victim of Child Molestation
While the prisoner wants to know how to survive in prison or jail as a child molester, the victim can suffer for a lifetime. The victim may not be capable of becoming affectionate in a relationship, or he can become drug-dependent. The molestation that has happened to the victim will greatly impact the psychosocial, emotional, and mental aspects of his life.
Studies show that the imprisonment of the molester has somehow a therapeutic effect on the victim, but it does not mean that the victim is free from post-traumatic stress disorder or nightmares (flashbacks of the event).
The society carries the burden of sustaining the needs of the child molester, even by the time he is institutionalized in a mental asylum.
Child Molestation out of a Disorder
Child molestation related to pedophilia, and not merely out of curiosity, deserves to be stopped by temporarily putting the molester in jail. This will help prevent other children from becoming victims of such an immoral crime. On the other hand, some pedophilic molesters need proper access to drugs that can help kill the sexual urge and fantasies within them.
Child molestation has different causes, and its treatment is a case-to-case basis. The interview done with the prisoner will be one of the determinants of either putting him behind bars or sending him directly to a mental institution.
Non-offenders versus Offenders
In other countries, pedophiles can confidentially seek medical or psychological help to control their urges and avoid committing another heinous crime. Whereas in some parts of the US, medical practitioners are required to report to authorities anyone who admits himself as sexually attracted to children. There is also the negative stigma associated with pedophilia that it is not preventable or incurable – the reason that pedophiles rather would not seek help from psychiatrists. The result is the rise of unreported and reported cases of child molestation.
Because of the high cost of therapy for each sexual offender, the authorities choose to detain the offenders in prison instead. But while they are willing to be treated, it seems that they are devoid of community and family support. Confronting the offenders with a harsh tone is not as effective as with an empathic one.
The availability of treatment for pedophilia can help reduce sexual offenses, but those who have opted out or are kicked out of the therapy are likely to repeat the offensive act. If therapy is deemed ineffective, medication may be considered to be the better option.
Medications Used to Suppress Thoughts of Sexual Attraction towards Children
Instead of the offenders having to undergo surgical castration, chemical castration or the use of antipsychotic drugs and/or anti-androgen drugs for a lifetime, in exchange for a reduced sentence, is thought of as a better choice. The authorities can monitor the offenders’ compliance and improvement in chemical castration. With this, the pedophiles receive an injection of anti-androgen agents, which are also used for birth control, every three months. The medication reduces their libido or sexual urge by preventing the production of testosterone. In addition to anti-androgens, antipsychotic medications, such as benperidol, are used to control antisocial behavior.
There are health issues concerning the effects of anti-androgens in that they make the bone porous, and increases body fat. The long-term use of these can also cause gynecomastia or breast growth in men. Other long term-problems, like cardiovascular diseases, may also arise from prolonged use. Finding means on how to survive in prison or jail as a child molester is therefore difficult while undergoing treatment.
Chemical castration is reversible, which means when the molesters do not comply with the regimen, their libido comes back to its former state. Its effect on the testosterone level is not permanent, so it should be used with cognitive-behavioral therapies. Of these, group therapy may be considered as the safest. The group is composed of about 10 individuals who can freely express concerns about having pedophilia. Another option other authorities use is fake porn, in the belief that this will help in the pedophiles’ sexual release, but there are those who oppose it, believing that it can only trigger or heighten their attraction towards children.
Being a child molester does not mean he is a pedophile, and a pedophile may be able to control his sexual urges through channeling it out to other important activities. However, there is still no solid proof that pedophilia is a paraphilia or a psychiatric disorder, and there are other people that consider it a sexual orientation. A pedophile may find it hard to find ways how to survive in prison or jail as a child molester and gain self-control over his urge.