Channel 4, a public broadcasting TV channel in the U.K., is in the spotlight for planning to air a program tonight in which a self-professing pedophile discusses his sexual urges. Some praise the documentary and say it helps bring understanding to an often misunderstood problem, while others slam the network for planning to give extensive airtime to a pedophile.
The program features Eddie, a 39-year-old man who says he started feeling attracted to children during his 20’s.
“It is not the only thing I am but it plays a large part in the make-up of who I am as a person,” he says in the program. “I would much prefer not to have these feelings and these attractions but I have them, and that’s difficult. I have an age of attraction that starts, depending on the individual, as low as five, roughly. Four, five, six.”
Eddie says he’s never acted on his urges, and law enforcement officials confirm that he has no related charges on his record. He isn’t solely attracted to children, he notes, and finds “women of all ages” attractive.
“A lot of people automatically assume that because I think or feel that way, then I am potentially going to abuse a child,” Eddie explained. “I certainly don’t want to do that kind of thing. People will probably say ‘Why isn’t this guy locked up. We should kill this guy.’ People are just waiting for you to offend before they help you. If you don’t have that help, if you don’t have the option to come forward and say ‘Look I’ve got a problem, I need help,’ then what are you changing? You’re changing nothing.”
Jon Brown, a representative from the U.K.’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), told MailOnline he thought the documentary was “fantastic” and helped shed light on the “public health problem” of pedophilia.
Peter Sanders, a representative from the National Association of People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC), takes a different stance.
“This documentary shines the light in the wrong areas,” Sanders argued. “Instead of feeling sorry for poor misunderstood pedophiles, we should be looking at the awful experiences of those who have been abused.”