Second Life™ is in the news again. It is mentioned in an article about pedophilia. So, is Morrowind, Elder Scrolls. It isn’t what you think. The article is about how those aware of their problem are sublimating (especially in psychoanalytic theory) divert or modify (an instinctual impulse) into a culturally higher or socially more acceptable activity) and controlling their desire using virtual worlds.
A Dr. Seto points out that “prosocial” pedophiles—ones who experience empathy for children or shy away from harmful sexual behavior—more often than not don’t know where to turn for help.
Historically we have been down this road with other differences thought of as illnesses. Homosexual preference is not a disease or mental illness. Their gender identity is different. We have learned a lot about what shapes gender identity.
With pedophiles we have the same base problem of desire being focused in a non-typical direction. The difference is gay/lesbian adults desire other adults that have the life experience to consent or not. Children don’t and thus it is a crime. But, being gay once was and is in many places a crime. We are at that place with pedophilia and it is hindering learning how to treat/handle this difference.
There is no easy way to figure out how to handle the problem. I have little information on the number of prosocial pedophiles. As far as I know most pedophiles know as little about what it means to be prosocial as I do. In most cases we hear of pedophiles are about satisfying their desires with little if any concern for the child. That is a problem.
I have no answers or recommendations. I see lots of problems. But, it is something we will have to think about to come up with a way to protect children and help pedophiles find a release that doesn’t harm children. The article is about those that are starting to do that.
See Can Virtual Sex Prevent Pedophiles from Harming Children in Real Life? For the longer take on this problem. It will leave you wondering if the SL ToS is helping or hurting. I’m not recommending a change. Think.