Pedophilia: A Psychological Disorder

Topics: Child sexual abuse, Human sexual behavior, Child pornography Pages: 6 (2330 words) Published: April 3, 2006
Section 1: Summarize what you have read:

Pedophilia is a psychological disorder in which a person is primarily or exclusively attracted to children who have not undergone puberty. A pedophile, the term for a person with this condition, is not necessarily one who engages in sexual activities with children. However, they have strong urges and sexually arousing fantasies about having sex with a child. Generally, pedophiles are attracted to children under the age of thirteen years. In our society the term pedophile is more broadly used for anyone who is attracted to a minor or someone that's under the age of consent. However, there are different terms used for different types of paraphilias involving minors. A paraphilia is a psychosexual disorder in which a person feels strong urges and fantasizes about sexual activity with an object, a non-consenting partner, or inflicting pain on themselves or their partner. Pedophilia refers to adults who have a sexual attraction towards children between the ages of 5-12 years of age. They are attracted to the undeveloped features of a child, and in many cases, once a child begins to show signs of puberty the pedophile loses attraction for such child. There's another term that is used to refer to a person with an attraction towards adolescents. The term is ephebophilia and it's been mainly used for an adult man who is primarily or exclusively attracted to post-puberty boys, but it can refer to either sex. Furthermore, Nepiophilia is the term used for an individual with an attraction for toddlers and/or infants. Since it is very rare for a pedophile to feel an attraction towards toddlers and loses attraction for kids going into puberty, a pedophile falls into its own category. I will refer to the pedophile as a male from here forward being that the vast majority of them are males. But keep in mind that women pedophiles do exist and it should not be ignored. It's hard to pin a number, but studies show anywhere between 75-90% of offenders are male.

There are three categories for pedophiles: the closet pedophile, the isolated pedophile, and the sharing pedophile. The closet pedophile is aroused by the thought or fantasy of engaging in sexual activity with a child but never acts on these fantasies or urges. He usually leads a married life, giving him the sense that he's covering these feelings from himself. The isolated pedophile will engage in some type of child molestation but will keep it a secret and demand that the child keeps the secret as well. Sometimes he attempts to gain the child's trust by offering his love, friendship and even gifts. This type of pedophile usually collects child pornography of some sort but keeps it well hidden. Sometimes he uses his pornographic material to show a child in his attempt to attract his victim. The sharing pedophile feels the need to share his desires to the fullest extent possible without consequences but often gets caught. This type will purchase and exchange pornographic material over the internet. This pedophile is somewhat of an activist and believes that pedophilia is merely a sexual fetish and that it isn't wrong. This pedophile firmly believes that society will someday come to accept this condition. They define pedophilia as "love for children" and insist that even the child can benefit from such experience. There's a support group called the North American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) in which the members dedicate themselves to promoting and condoning pedophilia over the internet. This organization's goal is to "to end oppression of men and boys who have freely chosen mutual, consensual relationships" ( Amazingly, they have a page on this website where supposed consensual pre-teen and teenage boys "speak up" and defend their adult male "lovers." It's hard to comprehend the existence of such relationships, but it's very common for child victims of sexual assault to be "brainwashed" into believing...

Cited: Baker, Leigh Dr. Protecting Your Children from Sexual Predators. New York: St. Martin 's Press, 2002
Salter, Anna C Ph.D. Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sex Offenders. New York: Basic Books, 2003
Van Dam, Carla Ph.D. Identifying Child Molesters. New York: The Haworth Maltreatment and Trauma Press, 2000
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