Not so fast! Many of you are committing an error- you are accepting Dave's 3% recidivism statistic just because he found it on the internets.
""Even among child molesters, about 18 percent had been arrested for similar offenses before, and only 3.3 percent of those released in 1994 were arrested again for a crime against a child.
But that study only started in 1994 and was released in 2003. That's AT MOST an 8-year study interval, and child molesters are known to generally have a low arrest rate because their victims are easily intimidated. They often go a LONG time before being caught. I'm also suspicious of any website that doesn't post a reference for this study they are listing so that I can't read it myself. For more on that, see below.
Further down the page there is mentioned another study on child molesters. But it isn't a very good study, either. It says:
"Offenders who completed the programmes had a recidivism rate of 5 per cent. In two control groups that did not receive treatment, rates were 21 per cent and 25 per cent, Wellington Stop manager Hamish Dixon said."
So 5% isn't quite as good as what you quoted above. But the BIGGER issue is that they only had a 4 year follow up, so that was 5% recidivism in four years, not lifetime. Four years is way too small a study interval for this subject.
Now, let's consider your source. What is the IPCE? Well, their website says:
"Ipce is a forum for people who are engaged in scholarly discussion about the understanding and emancipation of mutual relationships between children or adolescents and adults."
Poking around a bit on the website reveals that they are a sort of international version of NAMBLA.
Wow. Not a very disinterested source, eh? Call me silly but I suspect that they have an agenda. No wonder they don't want to list their references so that I can read them critically! So sorry, brother, but I am not going to believe that statistic simply because you found it on the IPCE website. Work harder- get us a primary source.
Now, to back you up a bit- yes, I understand that the "orientation" for an adult to be sexually attracted to children cannot realistically be cured. If I recall correctly from my AbPsych class this was pretty well proven with tumescence studies and is why current therapy does not try to do this. However, that isn't the same as recidivism- being attracted to a child is not the same, ethically or in any other way, as actually molesting that child. Dave is quite right on that one.
To digress to personal opinions:
I will say that I am one of those people who believe that a person can commit a crime so horrible that the debt they have incurred to society is beyond their ability to pay. In other words- a person can commit a crime so grave that they forfeit their right to live. I believe this as axiomatic. To me, sometimes our justice system needs to be about JUSTICE, not rehabilitation. The problem is defining which offenses are so grievous and then PROVING that they committed the crime to an acceptable standard. That is difficult, and thus my opinions on capital punishment are as yet poorly-formed. If I could read minds and prove beyond any doubt that they had committed the crime, frankly, I would have no issues with making forcible or serial child rape a capital crime. (The issue gets fuzzier with minors who are 'consenting'- clearly, statutory rape isn't as grievous as forcible rape.)
If you are willing to cut pedophiles some slack because it isn't really their FAULT that they have such strong misplaced urges I would ask you to cut some slack to the parents whose uncontrollable urge to protect their child at any cost is NORMAL. As urges go that one is right up there with self-preservation. There are few things that would move me to extreme and insensate violence- but a threat to my daughter is one of them. God help me, when I ask myself this question honestly and do some soul-searching I'm forced to conclude that if my daughter were molested I just might be pushed to that point. I would then turn myself in and go to prison with a smile on my face, but I very well might do it- especially if presented with an opportunity before I'd had time to really think the issue over. So, may God have mercy on the molester that I catch in the act with my child, because I probably would not. I simply do not think that I would be able to control myself- merely imagining the scenario in my mind moved me to agitation, and I'm normally a pretty level-headed guy.
That is a rather frightening self-realization to make, eh?