Pedophiles on social media:  A look into innocent social media posts.

According to Psychology today.com, Pedophilia is disorder that affects both men and women with the highest percentage being men. A person with pedophilia suffers from ongoing sexual attractions  towards pre-pubertal children; thus, it is considered as a paraphilia; a  condition in which a person’s sexual arousal and gratification is dependent on fantasies about and actual engagement in sexual activities with children whose age groups range from age 13 years or younger. These people are refered to as Pedophiles and can be attracted to either one or both sexes.

In this era of information and technology, the internet has brought several way in which human beings can interact and connect with each other regardless of frontiers like distance, language and cultural difference. The emergence of social media platforms that allow people to share their daily activities and progress in life with others has also ushered in an era of potential escalation of child abusers.

The world more than ever has recorded an increase in the number pedophiles as well as the number of children being sexually molested due to this psychological disorder.  However, it is not always social media fault that such a misfortune is now prevalent on social media nowadays. The internet operate on the basis of interactivity and parents as  media  consumers are helping children become prey to pedophiles on social media. How is this done? Posting your children’s photos on social media everyday pits them at risk of being targeted by child sexual predators.

lt is no secret that parents love to dress up their children, whether celebrities or not and post their adorable pictures on social media platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and many more platforms. Of course our posts are simple and innocent, probably about a birthday tribute, a family anniversary or perhaps just a normal post to let people know how beautiful or handsome your child is but, this is risky in that you could be putting your child on the target list of abused. These photos and hashtags attached to them help pedophiles to track down your children and hence, the case of rising number of children that have been molested.

As a writer, I get inspiration of story or topic ideas from social media platforms and online media outlets everyday and I have discovered that six out of ten posts on my Facebook timeline are posts about and of children ranging from the age of infancy to pre-pubertal ages. This proves that some children are already social media famous before they are even two years old. Of course, it’s not like parents put their children at risk deliberately, some are unaware of the consequences of such innocent posts but their effects can be long term and fatal.

Technology like the internet is surely a good thing. It has made communication flexible, easier and faster but, it has its cons like the emerging of cybercrimes. As a result, not everyone on social media is a good person with good intentions.

However, we also should realize that pedophilia is a psychological disorder which can not be helped if not diagnosed and treated. People suffering from it hardly understand what is going on despite how they feel. Therefore, we can help identify such people in our society and communities and report them for purposes of diagnosis and treatment through the following information about symptoms from the Diagnositics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) because such cases are highly occurrent in our homes, schools and churches than in the streets. A person may be suffering from pedophilia if he or she is:

  • Experiencing recurrent, intense sexual fantasies, urges or behaviors about engaging into a sexual activity with a pre-pubescent children at the age of 13 years or younger.
  • Acting upon these sexual urges or is having distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
  • Is at least 16 years old or perhaps 5 years older than the child in the first category of pedophilia

We can also help these people to avoid commiting atrocious sexual crimes against children by ensuring that our children are not carelessly exposed to them through the internet. This way we can kill two birds with one stone because we also get to protect our little ones from harm and abuse.

For more information on pedophilia visit https: //www.psychologytoday.com

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