Friday
May 7 2021
11:57 AM
banner-icon1 banner-icon2 banner-icon3

Local Oregon News

Local News Index


Previous story 47-year-old Oregon Man Arrested and Charged with Sexually Exploiting a Child Next story
  North Bend Man Arrested and Charged with Sexually Exploiting a Child   A North Bend man has been arrested and charged with child sexual abuse  


Story by The Oregon Herald Staff
Published on Wednesday April 21, 2021 - 4:07 AM

 
PORTLAND, Oregon - The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Oregon announced on Tuesday a man from North Bend has been charged with sexually exploiting a female minor.

On April 15, 2021, a federal grand jury in Eugene returned a three-count indictment charging Shannon Stacey Weatherbee, 47, with the sexual exploitation of children.

Weatherbee is accused of knowingly attempting to force a minor female to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct beginning around July 2017. These visual depictions were transmitted via the internet.

On April 16, 2021, investigators arrested Weatherbee while executing a search warrant on his North Bend residence.

Weatherbee made his initial appearance in federal court today before a U.S. Magistrate Judge. He was arraigned, pleaded not guilty, and ordered detained pending a jury trial scheduled to begin on June 22, 2021.

This case is being investigated by the FBI with assistance from the North Bend Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Jeffrey S. Sweet, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

Anyone who has information about possible crimes committed by Weatherbee, or the physical or online exploitation of any children, are encouraged to call the FBI at (503) 224-4181 or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.

Hebephilia

BACKGROUND

Hebephilia is the strong, persistent sexual interest by adults in pubescent children who are in early adolescence, typically ages 11–14. It differs from pedophilia. While individuals with a sexual preference for adults may have some sexual interest in pubescent-aged individuals, researchers and clinical diagnoses have proposed that hebephilia is characterized by a sexual preference for pubescent rather than adult partners.

Hebephilia is approximate in its age range because the onset and completion of puberty vary. On average, girls begin the process of puberty at age 10 or 11 while boys begin at age 11 or 12. Partly because puberty varies, some definitions of chronophilias show overlap between pedophilia, hebephilia and ephebophilia. For example, the DSM-5 extends the prepubescent age to 13, the ICD-10 includes early pubertal age in its definition of pedophilia, and some definitions of ephebophilia include age 14.

Proposals for categorizing hebephilia have argued that separating sexual attraction to prepubescent children from sexual attraction to early-to-mid or late pubescents is clinically relevant. According to research by Ray Blanchard et al. , male sex offenders could be separated into groups by victim age preference on the basis of penile plethysmograph response patterns. Based on their results, Blanchard suggested that the DSM-5 could account for these data by subdividing the existing diagnosis of pedophilia into hebephilia and a narrower definition of pedophilia. Blanchard's proposal to add hebephilia to the DSM-5 proved controversial, and was not adopted. It has not been widely accepted as a paraphilia or mental disorder, and there is significant academic debate as to whether it should be classified as either.

Etymology, definitions and history The term hebephilia is based on the Greek goddess and protector of youth Hebe, but, in Ancient Greece, also referred to the time before manhood in Athens . The suffix -philia is derived from -phil-, implying love or strong friendship.

Hebephilia is defined as a chronophilia in which an adult has a strong and persistent sexual interest in pubescent children, typically children aged 11–14, although the age of onset and completion of puberty vary. Although sexologist Ray Blanchard and others who proposed the hebephilia diagnosis have focused on pubescents in Tanner stages 2 and 3 , discussion of hebephilia has also concerned attraction to pubescents and adolescents in general, which has contributed to confusion among those who have debated the topic.

The DSM-5's diagnostic criteria for pedophilia and the general medical literature define pedophilia as a disorder of primary or exclusive sexual interest in prepubescent children, thus excluding hebephilia from its definition of pedophilia. However, the DSM-5's age criteria extends to age 13. Although the ICD-10 diagnostic code for the definition of pedophilia includes a sexual preference for children of prepubertal or early pubertal age, the ICD-11 states that 'pedophilic disorder is characterized by a sustained, focused, and intense pattern of sexual arousal—as manifested by persistent sexual thoughts, fantasies, urges, or behaviours—involving pre-pubertal children.' Because of some inconsistencies in definitions and differences in the physical development of children and adolescents, there is overlap between pedophilia, hebephilia and ephebophilia.

The term hebephilia was first used in 1955, in forensic work by Hammer and Glueck. Anthropologist and ethno-psychiatrist Paul K. Benedict used the term to distinguish pedophiles from sex offenders whose victims were adolescents.

Karen Franklin, a California forensic psychologist, interpreted hebephilia to be a variation of ephebophilia, used by Magnus Hirschfeld in 1906 to describe homosexual attraction to males between puberty and their early twenties, who considered the condition normal and nonpathological. She said that, historically, adults being sexual with pubescents was considered distinct from other forms of criminal sexuality , with wide variations within and across nations regarding what age was acceptable for adult-adolescent sexual contacts.

Bernard Glueck Jr. conducted research on sex offenders at Sing Sing prison in the 1950s, using hebephilia as one of several classifications of subjects according to offense. In the 1960s, sexologist Kurt Freund used the term to distinguish between age preferences of heterosexual and homosexual men during penile plethysmograph assessments, continuing his work with Ray Blanchard at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health after emigrating to Canada in 1968.

After Freund's death in 1996, researchers at CAMH conducted research on neurological explanations of pedophilia, transsexuality, and homosexuality, and based on this research, hypothesized that hebephiles could also be distinguished on the basis of neurological and physiological measures.

Research General Multiple research studies have investigated the sexual attraction patterns of hebephilic and pedophilic men. The sexual attraction to children appears to fall along a continuum instead of being dichotomous. The attractions of hebephiles and pedophiles are less focused on the child's sex than are the attractions of teleiophiles —i.e., much larger proportions of hebephiles and pedophiles than teleiophiles report being attracted to both males and females.

Hebephilia, together with pedophilia and some other paraphilias, has been found to be an important motivator of sexual offending. It also has a high degree of overlap with pedophilia, as well as with similar correlates of sexual offending.

The Prevention Project Dunkelfeld is an effort founded in Germany to provide therapy and abuse prevention techniques to adults attracted to children. In a study of 222 men contacting the Dunkelfeld project for help, roughly two-thirds had a sexual interest in pubertal children. These men also reported experiencing high levels of psychological distress, at clinically relevant levels. Both the hebephiles and the pedophiles showed greater distress than teleiophiles, but they did not differ from each other.

Correlates Researchers from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto conducted a series of studies on neurological and psychological correlates of hebephilia, including brain structure, handedness, intelligence quotient, lesser educational attainment or greater probability of repeating a year in primary education, height, and other markers of atypical physical development.

These findings suggest that problems during prenatal development play a significant role in the development of hebephilia. In some cases, head trauma during pre-pubertal childhood, or experiencing sexual abuse during puberty, could also be contributing factors. Differences in brain structure may mean that hebephilic interests result from disconnections in the brain networks that recognize and react to sexual cues.

Prevalence The prevalence of hebephilia within the general population is unknown. There is evidence suggesting that within clinical and correctional samples, as well as anonymous surveys of people sexually interested in children, there are more individuals with an erotic interest in pubescent rather than in prepubescent children.

DSM-5 debate Proposal The DSM-5's diagnostic criteria for pedophilia specifies it as a disorder of sexual interest in prepubescent children generally age 13 years or younger. A 2009 research paper by Ray Blanchard and colleagues indicated that, based on penile plethysmographs, sex offenders could be grouped according to the sexual maturity of individuals they found most attractive . Blanchard noted that the most common age of victims for sexual offenders was 14 years, and suggested there were qualitative differences between offenders who preferred pubertal sex-objects and those with a prepubertal preference. The paper concluded that the DSM-5 could better account for those data if it split the DSM-IV-TR's existing criteria for pedophilia, which focuses on sexual attraction to prepubescent children, but sets the age range at generally 13 or younger.

Blanchard suggested the criteria be split into pedophilia as sexual attraction to prepubescent children who are generally younger than 11, and hebephilia as sexual attraction to pubescent children, generally 11–14 years old. What the DSM-IV calls pedophilia would instead be termed pedohebephilia, with pedophilic and hebephilic sub-types. The proposed criteria for the DSM-5 involved an adult who, for six or more months, experienced sexual attraction to prepubescent or pubescent children that was equal to or greater than their attraction to adults, and who also either found the attraction distressing, used child pornography or had sought sexual stimulation from a child, on at least three occasions in the case of the hebephilic type. The proposed criteria would have been applied to subjects aged 18 or older and who are at least five years older than children to whom they are typically attracted. The sexual and gender identity working group justified inclusion of the use of child pornography due to the expectation that pedohebephilic individuals would deny their sexual preferences, leaving it up to the diagnosing clinician to make inferences whether their patients are more interested in children than adults. The altered wording and reference age would change how pedophilia was diagnosed to include victims with Tanner scale ratings of 2 or 3 who had partially developed some secondary sexual characteristics.

Some authors have argued that dysfunction is culturally relative or a social construct, such as by pointing to historical societies where marriage between pubescent girls and older men was practiced. Anthropologist David Ryniker wrote that cultures that practiced marriage between adult men and pubescent girls did so for economic and social reasons, not due to any sexual preference. He argued that, based on the biological evidence, humans did not evolve a strategy of early fertility, and that a sexual focus on pubescents would be maladaptive. Anthropologist Raymond Hames and Blanchard argued that in most cultures, pubescent girls did not begin sexual activity until they were at or near the end of puberty.

Stephens and Seto argue that hebephilia can be considered dysfunctional, stating that 'conceptually, hebephilia is a paraphilia, reflecting an atypical sexual age interest in pubescent children.' They state that hebephilia is a malfunction of the biological mechanism which drives males to be attracted to sexually mature females, and that while typical men are attracted to youthfulness, they are also interested in cues of sexual maturity . Hebephiles, by contrast, respond positively to cues of youthfulness but negatively to cues of sexual maturity. Penile plethysmography results show that heterosexual men are preferentially attracted to adult women, with lower responses to pubescent girls and then prepubescent girls, and then males of all ages causing the least response. Stephens and Seto also argue that hebephilia is dysfunctional because it causes significant distress or impairment in those who have it, perhaps via legal issues or disrupted adult relationships, because hebephilic behavior violates social norms or is even illegal in most contemporary cultures.

Use in court Forensic psychologist Charles Patrick Ewing criticized the diagnosis, saying it is a transparent attempt to ensure that sex offenders who target pubescent teenagers may be subject to involuntary civil commitment. DSM-IV editors Michael First and Allen Frances expressed concern that hebephilia could be misused in civil commitment hearings, and questioned the need and evidence for the inclusion. Frances wrote that the diagnosis of hebephilia 'has no place in forensic proceedings.' Charles Moser argued against what he saw as the problematic use of paraphilic labels to pathologize unusual sexual interests and incarcerate individuals on the basis of their paraphilia rather than their behavior. He also questioned the usefulness of paraphilias in general when the real issue may be criminal behaviors or stigmatization of unusual but benign sexual acts. Of hebephilia in civil commitment, Prentky and Barbaree wrote, 'Hence, for self-serving reasons, it is applauded by those who generally work for the prosecution and criticized by those who generally work for the defense. This is an admittedly cynical, if unfortunately accurate, commentary on the influence of adversarial litigation on clinical deliberation.'

Psychologist Douglas Tucker and lawyer Samuel Brakel stated that civil commitment as a sexually violent predator does not require a DSM diagnosis, so long as the clinicians who testify in courts do so in good faith and they identify a conceptually and empirically meaningful mental abnormality that is predictive of future sexual violence, irrespective of the term used.

Some courts have accepted the hebephilia diagnosis while others have not. In court cases where the term hebephilia is used, it is placed within the DSM category of paraphilia, not otherwise specified . The diagnosis of hebephilia was rejected in one United States federal court in 2009 for being a label, not a 'generally accepted mental disorder' and because a mere attraction to pubescent adolescents is not indicative of a mental disorder. Although the court rejected the government's claim that hebephilia is a mental disorder, the government argued that hebephilia may at times fall within a DSM-IV category of NOS. The court was also unconvinced by this.