Friday, November 17, 2006

Single Mothers and their Sex Offender Boyfriends

Single mothers will be able to ask the police to check the background of a new partner to find out whether he is a sex offender under moves being considered by the Home Office, the Guardian can reveal.

For those of you who like debating about registered sex offenders and pedophiles but are pretty tired of the same issue all over again, this might just be the issue for you.

It is a pretty interesting proposal, especially since single mothers are probably the no. 1 targets of child sex offenders.

At first glance this might seem like a pretty skewed motion. How can you possibly argue against protecting people from these registered sex offenders?

But as the article says (and as the proposal attempts to address), this kind of policy might be open to abuse. You might have these single mothers actively promoting and advertising that Mr. A is really a pedophile. In which case, you will have the whole 'right to privacy' debacle on your hands.

More importantly though, how about these sex offenders? What happens if you were a sex offender but you got help and now you don't stalk children anymore? Are you still considered a sex offender because of your past actions? If so, is it right to continue your punishment through the persecution you're going to get from this kind of policy?

My question is, if this can be the case, what's stopping the government from disclosing the same information schools and other public/private institutions that cater to children? Or do they do so already? I don't really know.

All in all, in a debate like this, you are inevitably going to have to give a discussion the same issues that any pedophile debate might entail. What you have to be careful about is being able to provide the proper nuance that would keep your debate from being generic.

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