Therapy for pedophilia/pedophiles
Since time immemorial, humans have been developing methods of medical treatment in an attempt to relieve human suffering. These treatments have lacked the modern tools of "experimental science," and have been based on random experiences with foods, and trial-and-error with herbal remedies. These efforts to find effective treatments were only partially successful. The true relationships between "cause and effect" were not established, and most attempts at treatment more resembled magic or voodoo than rational treatment.
Treatments were sometimes effective, but usually were based on faulty premises, and there was no understanding of the "placebo effect". As for the placebo effect, the dangers of treatments which claim, "if it seems to work, never mind the scientific facts" are many, and great harm can be caused by such attitudes.
We see examples in Chinese medicine, which ascribes "magical" powers to animal parts, leading to the near-extinction of several species of animals. In Africa we see the murders of albino children, as albino body parts are (falsely) believed to have curative powers.
Today we may laugh at treatments used by doctors in the past; blood-letting, trepanation, lobotomy, etc. Even today, "homeopathy", based on the (unproven) theory (actually, not a theory at all, but merely a conjecture), that "like cure like", is supported by some (supposedly) reputable medical organizations, though many others acknowledge that it is "junk science". But the proponents have screamed so loudly that defenders of facts -- based on genuine scientific research -- are intimidated into silence. Today, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) has been intimidated into giving some reputability to homeopathy, as it cowers to demands of its proponents, and therefore cannot publicly take a definitive stand. But poor science education is not just a problem in the U.S., it is a problem around the world.
But, still, doctors are highly respected -- they can often save lives -- but that respect is often unwarranted. Doctors often actually know very little about the etiology (the basis of/the causes of) the diseases which they treat. Even today, many current "treatments" of "illnesses" are at same level as that of the voodoo witch doctors of thousands of years ago.
A new field was created at the end of the 19th century -- "mental illness" -- and it came under the control of the medical practitioners.
Therapy for mental illnesses or "mental disorders," contrary to popular belief, is highly controversial, especially among those who are empirical researchers (experimental psychologists). Empirical researchers want to see facts, data, and proofs. They are not content with someone's personal conjectures or unproven theories about so-called psychological "problems" or "abnormalities".
Therapists assume that there exists some kind of "normal," and some kind of "abnormal" -- and that the therapist himself (or herself) has a clear understanding of these concepts. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Often therapists conjecture (they just "dream up") things about the nature of the people whom they treat, and then -- solely on the basis of their (unproven) "theories" -- the therapists embark on a (usually long-term) course of "treatment" for those whom they judge to be "abnormal" or "sick".
The failures brought on by depending on this method are legion -- for example, submitting runaway slaves to treatment -- those slaves suffering from the "mental illness" of drapetomania. Only a mentally disturbed slave would wish to leave the idyllic southern plantation where he was beaten daily, and kept in chains!
Masturbation was seen for perhaps a hundred years as being a sign of "mental illness", and children were often "treated" by mental health professionals of their day. The therapists would cauterize (burn with hot steel, and sometimes completely burn off) the penis or clitoris of the "mentally ill" child to "cure" them of their horribly "dangerous" "self abuse".
Horror stories abound, too, regarding "treatment" for the "mental illness" of homosexuality. Homosexuals were sometimes castrated, or had parts of their brains surgically removed. These forms of "treatment to cure homosexuality" continued until very recently -- they were still being carried out until the mid-20th century!
Who decides what is "normal" and what is not "normal"? Researchers do. But there are two kinds of research -- first, research which is based on the scientific method (the same kind of research that has brought us all our modern conveniences) and which dates back to early Islamic researchers doing work over a thousand years ago, or -- in the case of the Western world -- to several hundred years ago. This kind of research follows very strict rules -- rules which require that results be reproducible, that any theories prove that they have the ability to make valid predictions about if-this/then-that, and which require that any theories cannot have too many "exceptions" to the rules the theories provide. They follow what is called "the scientific method".
The second kind of research is called "clinical research". Clinical psychologists -- the therapists (who may, or may not, have any qualifications, or have studied much about what their "specialty" is supposed to be) -- just hang a shingle outside their door saying "Psychologist," which invites potential patients to visit them for "treatment". Then the psychologist "studies" those patients (who are almost never normal people to begin with), and then the therapists develop their own personal "theories" about the patients "mental illness" (in other words, they just make up their own guesses about what the patient is experiencing, and why the patient is experiencing those things) and then the therapist develops their own "treatment programs" for treating the "patients". The success rate for these kinds of treatment tends to be very low, even though the psychotherapy treatment may last for a long long time!
Imagine if you went to a medical doctor with a physical complaint, and the doctor tried to just "guess" -- or "imagine" -- what was wrong with you -- without performing any valid tests -- and then the doctor began a long series of "treatments", subjecting you to never-before-attempted "treatment methods" to try to cure you (or just to see what happens!). Would you have much faith in that doctor?
Most of the current "psychological treatments" are based on "clinical patients" and "clinical studies" -- they are not based on any correctly performed empirical research. The patients are "guinea pigs" who are subjected to experimental (and unproven) "treatments" in an effort to "cure" them. The treatments often fail, but when they do (seem to) succeed, the actual "cure" may come from something that has nothing to do with the treatment, but instead comes from something else that is going on in the patient's life.
"Drapetomania" was a mental illness requiring treatment. Masturbation was a mental illness requiring treatment. Homosexuality was a mental illness requiring treatment.
But all those "mental illnesses" were found to have been created from the imaginations of the "clinical researchers" -- who were mistaken. Hundreds of thousands of people suffered sometimes horrible experiences at the hands of these so-called "mental health professionals".
Thankfully, those forms of "treatment" have been (for the most part) abandoned. Those so-called "patients" were not "mentally ill", so no "treatment" was actually necessary. The suffering caused by the treatments of the patients was all for nothing.
You may think that somehow we have learned from our mistakes, and we no longer make those kinds of errors. But this is not true. We still are "treating" people for "mental illnesses" -- for being somehow "abnormal" -- when, in fact, the assumptions of the clinical researchers are wrong!
Most of these mistaken assumptions and treatments today revolve around the question of people's sexuality. The most egregious (the worst) examples of this are regarding sexual behavior that involves young people -- adolescents ("children" from the ages of around 12 to 17), pubescent and peri-pubescent children (from ages of around 12 to 15, and of around 8 to 11), or between any young person with another person who is judged to be "an adult".
Pedophiles (those attracted to pre-pubescent young people) and pederasts (those attracted to pubescent and adolescent young people) are now being subjected to horrific treatments, not to mention being put into locked cages with really and truly violent criminals, surrounded by armed guards 24 hours a day! For loving the wrong people!
Just because they find young people to be sexually attractive, stimulating, and exciting.
Some day, just as drapetomania, masturbation, and homosexuality were stricken from the list of "mental illness," so will pedophilia (non-violent, consensual relationships) be considered to be just another form of sexual "normality" for a small minority of people.
But until then, the suffering will continue. When will we really begin to learn from our past mistakes?