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LA STAMPA

Is There A Pedophilia Gene?

Italian researchers discover possible genetic origins of pedophilia, making the sexually deviant behavior a potentially treatable condition. But is it an alibi for convicted pedophiles?

DNA
DNA
Marco Accossato

TURIN - A genetic mutation might be the cause of pedophilia, according to an Italian study. If further research confirms the initial results, the sexual attraction of some adults to children might be considered a disease that can be treated.

A study conducted by neuroscientists at Turin University and researchers at the department of neurological science of the University of Milan asserts that pedophilia is caused by a defective growth factor called pleiotropic protein Progranulin (PGRN). The results were published in the journal Biological Psychiatry and presented during a recent convention of the Neurological Italian Society in Turin.

Lorenzo Pinessi, coordinator of the research, has studied the case of a man who at 50 started to show pedophile behavior toward his 9-year-old daughter. A neurological analysis showed that he was affected by a mutation of Progranulin, which is an essential substance for the process of sexual differentiation of the brain. The mutation of this substance is believed to be associated with a reduction in impulse control leading to frontotemporal lobe dementia, a condition similar to Alzheimer's.

Proving that pedophilia has neurobiological causes means "there is a chance to treat it," said Pinessi. After some weeks of treatment with anti-psychosis and antidepressant medications, "the patient stopped his pedophile behavior," said the researcher. Still the team acknowledges that more research is needed to determine if all pedophiles display the same genetic mutations.

Read more in Italian in La Stampa

Photo - Ghutchis

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Geopolitics

New Probe Finds Pro-Bolsonaro Fake News Dominated Social Media Through Campaign

Ahead of Brazil's national elections Sunday, the most interacted-with posts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Telegram and WhatsApp contradict trustworthy information about the public’s voting intentions.

Jair Bolsonaro bogus claims perform well online

Cris Faga/ZUMA
Laura Scofield and Matheus Santino

SÂO PAULO — If you only got your news from social media, you might be mistaken for thinking that Jair Bolsonaro is leading the polls for Brazil’s upcoming presidential elections, which will take place this Sunday. Such a view flies in the face of what most of the polling institutes registered with the Superior Electoral Court indicate.

An exclusive investigation by the Brazilian investigative journalism agency Agência Pública has revealed how the most interacted-with and shared posts in Brazil on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Telegram and WhatsApp share data and polls that suggest victory is certain for the incumbent Bolsonaro, as well as propagating conspiracy theories based on false allegations that research institutes carrying out polling have been bribed by Bolsonaro’s main rival, former president Luís Inácio Lula da Silva, or by his party, the Workers’ Party.

Agência Pública’s reporters analyzed the most-shared posts containing the phrase “pesquisa eleitoral” [electoral polls] in the period between the official start of the campaigning period, on August 16, to September 6. The analysis revealed that the most interacted-with and shared posts on social media spread false information or predicted victory for Jair Bolsonaro.

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