Can child dolls keep pedophiles from offending?

Dr. Michael Seto from the University of Toronto speculated on the possible existence of two distinct populations of pedophiles. Drawing an analogy to methadone treatment for opioid addicts, the psychiatrist hypothesized that “for some pedophiles, access to artificial child pornography or to child sex dolls could be a safer outlet for their sexual urges, reducing the likelihood that they would seek out child pornography or sex with real children. For others, having these substitutes might only aggravate their sense of frustration.”…

Dr. Klaus Beier, the initiating scientist of the pedophile-prevention network Don’t Offend, has been investigating what differentiates pedophiles who act on their impulses from those who do not. “We can detect pedophilia by examining the activation patterns associated with sexual arousal through neuroimaging,” the sexologist noted. “The far more interesting question is—is the person able to control this behavior?”

In an fMRI study currently under review and financed by the German Ministry for Education and Research, Dr. Beier and his colleagues say they have found stronger connectivity in brain regions related to impulse control in pedophiles who have not offended compared with those who have. “Just because a person is pedophilically inclined,” Beier concluded, “doesn’t mean he is a danger.”