Paedophiles 'could be prescribed child sex dolls' to prevent real attacks, says therapist

Paedophiles 'could be prescribed child sex dolls' to prevent real attacks, says therapist

Paedophiles 'could be prescribed child sex dolls' to prevent real attacks, says therapist

 In the UK it is illegal to import a child sex doll but it is not illegal to own one


It is illegal to import a child sex doll, but legal to own one - described as a 'worrying phenomenon' ( Getty )

Paedophiles who use child sex dolls in a “managed environment” may be detered from carrying out attacks in real life, according to the chair of Specialist Treatment Organization for the Prevention of Sexual Offending (StopSO) - a charity which prevents sexual offending through therapy. 

Juliet Grayson, a registered psychosexual therapist, said the prescription of a child sex doll would be like giving methadone to a heroin user.

“For someone who has an exclusive attraction to children, there is no legal way for them to satisfy their desires apart from masturbating to an image in their own head as they’re not allowed to look at pictures or even draw a drawing,” she said.

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“I do know of a man who had children dolls – he had two and was very happy to use them rather than touching a child. This wasn’t great but better than nothing.”

StopSo has 200 therapists who are trained or are in training in the UK to work with people who feel a sexual attraction to children.

Ms Grayson said 38 per cent of StopSO clients have not come to the attention of police or authorities. 

Studies show that 2 per cent of the UK population has strong paedophilic tendencies and that one in five men was found to be equally or more attracted to children when shown adult and child pornography.

Her comments came after a former primary school governor was found guilty of importing a life-size child sex doll from China to the UK. David Turner, 72, will be sentenced in September.

Surge in child sex doll seizures

Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan said in a statement about the arrest: “Evidence from the NCA [National Crime Agency] shows there’s a clear connection between possessing these dolls and a sexual interest in children, with owners being charged with offences such as being in possession of indecent images of children.”

Jon Brown, head of development at the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, said in a statement: “There is no evidence to support the idea that the use of so-called child sex dolls helps prevent potential abusers from committing contact offences against real children.

“And in fact there is a risk that those using these child sex dolls or realistic props could become desensitised and their behaviour becomes normalised to them, so that they go on to harm children themselves, as is often the case with those who view indecent images.”

Ms Grayson did not advocate for child sex dolls to be available to the general public and she expressed concern this could lead to people normalising the activity. In the UK it is illegal to import a child sex doll but it is not illegal to own one.

She said her charity has not carried out any therapy using sex dolls but she did not object to trying out the practice in future. 

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“You can tell an alcoholic to stop drinking and that it’s not going to kill you to stop drinking, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to do it. It’s the same with heroin, or alcohol, or chocolate,” insisted Ms Grayson.

She added that child sex offenders were “lucky” if they got any help, as a sexual rehabilitation programme was only sometimes available after people had been in jail for more than one year, while most offenders were released back into society with no help. 

She pointed to five factors that lead to people being attracted to minors, including “being born with it”, suffering trauma as a child, “brain injury” and older men who are used to looking at normal pornography but "find their erection isn’t as strong as it was” and who move onto child images - she added these men may already have a predisposition towards minors.

"I would love to get to a stage where society can accept that some people are sexually attracted to children and yet they remain completely law abiding, and it is safe for those people to admit to their attraction," she said.

"We will be protecting our children better, when this person is able to tell their friends, 'I am sexually attracted to children, I am a non-offending paedophile, but I am managing it safely and not acting out in anyway. But for your own peace of mind, don’t leave your children with me unaccompanied