(TW: Sexual assault)


I've read this in a few places, so snippets from each:

From a recent article

A nurse was made to feel as if he had a sign that read "kiddie fiddler" over his head after he was moved away from a young girl on a Qantas flight, he said.

Daniel McCluskie said he had a similar experience to a firefighter on a Virgin Australia flight when he was made to switch seats with a woman because he was sitting next to an unaccompanied child.

Qantas has defended its policy, saying it is consistent with that of other airlines around the world and reflects parents' concerns.

Mr McCluskie, 31, is a senior nurse at the local health district in Wagga Wagga and was flying from the city to Sydney in June when he said he was humiliated by the cabin crew.

He was seated in the second last row of the flight next to a girl he estimated to be 10 years old.

After the safety demonstration, a flight attendant asked a woman on the opposite side of the aisle to swap seats with Mr McCluskie.

After the plane was in the air and the meals had been served, Mr McCluskie said he went to the back of the aircraft to ask why he had been moved and was told it was the policy of Qantas not to have men sit next to unaccompanied children.

"There were people that looked during the actual move, people looked at me or looked around because there was a bit of a ruckus at the back of the plane," he said.

"And then the man in front of me throughout the flight kept looking at me and obviously my sense of paranoia was heightened, if you want to call it that, because of what had occurred.

"After the plane had taken off, the air hostess thanked the woman that had moved but not me, which kind of hurt me or pissed me off a bit more because it appeared I was in the wrong, because it seemed I had this sign I couldn't see above my head that said 'child molester' or 'kiddie fiddler' whereas she did the gracious thing and moved to protect the greater good of the child."

Mr McCluskie said he has working-with-children checks almost yearly and told the flight staff he found his treatment and the policy insulting and discriminatory.

And then a piece from the Telegraph by the Mayor of London:

I mean, come off it, folks. How many paedophiles can there be? Are we really saying that any time an adult male finds himself sitting next to someone under 16, he must expect to be hustled from his seat before the suspicious eyes of the entire cabin?

What about adult females? Every week there is some new tale of what a saucy French mistress is deemed to have done with her adolescent charges behind the bicycle sheds; and, disgraceful though these episodes may be, I don't hear anyone saying that children should be shielded from adult women. Do you? Or maybe I'm wrong — maybe all adults will have to carry personal cardboard partitions with them on every plane or train, just in case they find themselves sitting next to under-16s.

Even as I write, I can imagine the lip-pursing of some of my lovely high-minded readers. How would you like it, they will say, if some weird chap was plonked next to your kids? And they are right that I would worry about some strange adult sitting next to my children, chiefly because I wouldn't want the poor fellow to come to any harm.
To all those who worry about the paedophile plague, I would say that they not only have a very imperfect understanding of probability; but also that they fail to understand the terrible damage that is done by this system of presuming guilt in the entire male population just because of the tendencies of a tiny minority.

And then much older: A 2009 story on just how often child molestation on airplanes occur and under which circumstances:

Although an airplane full of potential witnesses may seem an unlikely place for a child to be molested, criminal and civil lawyers who have handled these cases say that the controlled and confined yet anonymous environment is well suited for a child predator.

In going over the news stories, court documents, and FBI reports on the molestation cases, certain patterns begin to emerge. The predators were all adult males, although they did not fit any other stereotype. One was a computer consultant from India. Two were Hasidic Jews. Another was a world-renowned hairdresser from Savannah, Georgia.

In a majority of the instances, a man switched seats to be next to a child traveling alone. Also, a significant number of the reported molestations occurred on evening flights, when the victim and any potential witnesses were asleep. Several children reported that when the touching began, it seemed accidental or even well intentioned, and only later crossed the line.

How about a poll? What say you? I'm on the fence. I think it would help to not allow people to move to sit next to minors, but I suppose it can be hard to keep track of people moving. I'm on flights all the time where you technically aren't supposed to switch seats, and yet I do it anyway. It is hard to argue with the numbers, however. There is a huge difference between 90% of the incidents involving men and 100%. But then, the numbers again, this is exceedingly rare.