With the recent penalties levied against Penn State following Jerry Sandusky's conviction, many people in Barnesville may be surprised to learn that head injuries that Sandusky likely suffered throughout his sports career may have had some role in the sexual assaults of which he was ultimately convicted. It seems that people with traumatic brain injuries have a difficult time controlling their sexual proclivities, even if they had been able to control them before.
This is not to say that the head injuries that many athletes receive today will lead to pedophilia, but that those with pedophilic tendencies may not be able to prevent themselves from acting on those attractions because of brain injuries.
There has been considerable research that links brain injuries to reduced sexual inhibitions and hypersexuality. Even when athletes are aware that if they act on their sexual attractions they may harm people, the types of head injuries they have received may make it impossible for them to resist acting out.
But what does this mean for the people of Georgia? Well, the Georgia legal system operates under the assumption that someone who sexually assaults a minor is consciously choosing to do so, despite knowing that it is harmful. If there is evidence that these individuals are unable to control themselves, however, there may be a shift in how the legal system deals with individuals convicted of sex crimes. It is possible that patients may be given treatments and therapy to treat their brain injuries instead of being sent to prison.
Source: The Atlantic, "Football and the Sexual Side Effects of Head Trauma," Alice Dreger, July 24, 2012
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