Browsing YouTube, I came across what is my new favourite TV show, 'To Catch a Predator'. For those that have never seen it, the clip provides a couple of examples of the programme's very simple premise; pretend to be a child online and record what happens when men come and visit the sting house, interview them and then arrest them. As you watch more and more clips, you begin to realise that turning on the computer and engaging in sex chat with a pseudo-child, may have been one of the worst decisions that these men have ever made. Whether you deserve to go to prison for talking to a pseudo-child is a difficult question to answer - though certainly most of them intended to have sex with a minor. But it's not just men who are capable of such stupid behaviour, as a story at CNN (about an octogenarian woman who has been charged with abusing a boy under 12) illustrates:
An 84-year-old woman who confessed to having sex with an 11-year-old boy in her foster care reached a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty Thursday to attempted sex abuse, officials said. Georgie Audean Buoy will serve 36 months in prison, said Leslie Wolf, chief deputy district attorney for Wasco County. She was originally charged with six counts, including attempted rape, for which she faced eight years in prison, Wolf said. In a taped confession, Buoy admitted to having sex with the boy while he was in her care in 2004, Wolf said. Her age and lack of prior criminal convictions played a role in the plea deal.
And so, why do people do it? Most of the men featured in 'To Catch A Predator' have had their lives ruined. Their marriages collapsed, fired from their jobs, outcast by society. All because of a desire to have sex with a child. And to think that there are plenty of prostitutes and pornography, which might to some degree satiate the desire that these people have - but obviously it's just not enough for some. Perhaps this honey-trap technique might eventually dissuade people from engaging in the behaviour in the first place, by making it too dangerous to even risk it, though given human tendencies, that seems unlikely.Go Top