Mapping the mind of a pedophile

India, Nov 1, 2014 – The Times of India

A paedophile is a person who suffers from a psychosexual disorder, in which there is a sexual preference for prepubescent children.

Paedophilia is classified as a mental disorder and criminal act in almost all societies across the world. Paedophiles can be anyone — old or young, rich or poor, educated or uneducated, non-professional or professional, and of any race.

On the surface, they can be charming, suave, knowledgeable and kind. They are difficult to identify by appearance alone, and could occupy positions of responsibility and trust.

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Paedophiles find a way to legitimize contact with children by obtaining employment in a field where they can deal with them on a daily basis, or may volunteer for activities in which they are left alone with unsupervised children.

A distressing fact is that most of them gain the trust and confidence of the victim before perpetrating the crime, and are rarely strangers to the child. Paedophiles are masters in manipulative behaviour and often first become the child’s friend, refer to the child as ‘special’, appeal to the child’s need to be understood, pretend to share an ‘exciting secret’ with the child or entice the child with adult ‘grown-up’ activities. The paedophile often bribes the child with attention, gifts, chocolates, trips to amusement parks etc, to gain compliance.

Several researchers have reported correlations between paedophilia and certain psychological characteristics, such as low and poor social skills. It is also believed that paedophiles have impaired interpersonal functioning and dysfunctional s. Paedophiles use to meet personal needs, justifying abuse by making excuses, redefining their actions as love, and exploiting the power imbalance inherent in all adult-child relationships. A few studies have pointed out that their emotional development is immature. Some studies suggest they were probably abused as children. There may or may not coexist a personality disorder or psychological pathology with substance abuse.

So parents need to be cautious while entrusting a child to another adult, unless they know them well. A background check of the person, whether he has changed jobs and locations frequently, also needs to be established. Involve yourself in the child’s activities without being overly intrusive. Ensure the child is not left alone and unsupervised for long, which can make him/her an easy target. It’s important to have a close and trusting relationship with your child and teach the child about body safety and boundaries, appropriate and inappropriate touch. Most of all, believe in your child and support the child if he/she reports abuse.

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why cockatoos are becoming city dwellers

January 15 2017 – SMH

Sydney’s prime waterfront real estate is being overrun by squatters looking for free food.

Cockatoos are flocking to urban areas and city parklands where food scraps left by humans are plentiful and waterfront roosts abound.

Favourite roosts for Sydney’s sulphur-crested cockatoos include Mrs Macquarie Road, Royal Botanical Gardens and Rushcutters Bay.

Australian Museum ornithologist Dr Richard Major says that there has been “no major migration for cockatoos although [they have] been breeding up more in number”.

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The first Birds in Backyards survey found that they were the fifth most commonly reported bird species in Sydney, being recorded in 60 per cent of gardens.

Parrots and cockatoos have a strong cognitive ability and have become “winners of urbanisation” as they have adapted to thriving off resources such as food waste discarded by humans.

Working with Royal Botanic Garden, the University of Sydney and the Australian Museum, Dr Major is running a project studying the behaviour of cockatoos called ‘Wingtags’.

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In the past four years, more than 100 sulphur-crested cockatoos Cacatua galerita have been tagged and tracked across Sydney.

The project has so far uncovered that Sydney’s birds belong to four major social network groups in the city, with each having their own unique behaviours when it comes to communicating and looking for food.

Sydneysiders have been told to expect more cockatoos as the birds hone their food scavenging skills.

Retrieving food from rubbish bins in the city is a newly learnt behaviour that continues to fascinate researchers, with birds able to open the lids of closed wheelie bins.

One cockatoo was caught on camera opening the kitchen window of a Mosman home in 2015.

Acknowledging that large numbers of cockatoos and other birds are sometimes perceived to be pests, Dr Major said we need to “be more tolerant [and] learn to live with the birds that are sharing the environment with us”.

Touching or hand feeding a cockatoo is not recommended as some may carry beak and feather disease as well as bite.

With the increase in development in the city, the preservation of tree hollows is essential to maintaining natural breeding and resting grounds for the birds.

If you see a tagged cockatoo or a bird behaving unusually, Dr Major recommends getting in touch with the Wingtags project so researchers can examine it.

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