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The Editors of Encyclopdia Britannica | September 26, 2013

Pedophilia, also spelled paedophilia, psychosexual disorder in which an adult has sexual
fantasies about or engages in sexual acts with a prepubescent child of the same or the opposite
Pedophilia is a type of paraphiliaa category of recognized mental disorders defined by unusual
fantasies, urges, or behaviours that are recurrent and sexually arousing. In order for pedophilia to
be diagnosed clinically these thoughts or behaviours must be present for at least six months and
must cause distress to the affected individual or impairment of the individuals ability to function
socially or occupationally. A clinical diagnosis of pedophilia also requires that the affected
individual be at least 16 years of age and at least 5 years older than the child (or children) at the
centre of the individuals sexual fantasies. Pedophilia is distinguished from hebephilia and
ephebophilia, which involve sexual obsessions of postpubescent children or latestage adolescents, respectively. In many countries an individual who is convicted in a court of
law for child sexual abuse, which involves sexual abuse of a prepubescent or postpubescent
individual up to age 18, is known as a sex offender; some of these individuals also are later
clinically diagnosed with pedophilia.
The typical pedophile is unable to find satisfaction in an adult sexual relationship and may have
low self-esteem, seeing sexual activity with a child as less threatening than that with an adult.
Most pedophiles are men; the condition is rare in women. Frequently the sexual encounter stops
short of intercourse, with the pedophile obtaining sexual gratification through fondling the child
and sometimes through genital display alone. Reactions of the child victim can range from fright,
particularly if force or violence is involved, to bewilderment or passive enjoyment. Although some
children seem more upset by previous parental warnings than by an actual encounter, the sexual
encounter can often be quite traumatic to them, especially if there is associated violence. There
is also evidence that children who have been sexually victimized are more likely to be troubled
The underlying cause of pedophilia is unclear. Although biological abnormalities such
as hormone imbalance may contribute to the disorder in some individuals, biological factors have
not been proved as causes. In many cases pedophilic behaviour appears to be associated with
sexual abuse or neglect experienced during childhood and with stunted emotional or
psychological development. Research also has indicated that boys who were sexually abused
are more likely to become pedophiles or sex offenders. Girls who were sexually abused more
frequently respond by engaging in self-destructive behaviours, such as substance abuse
or prostitution.

Because pedophilia is considered a serious sexual offense, patients diagnosed with the disorder
are expected to participate in treatment programs. Among effective forms of treatment for
pedophilia are cognitive and behavioral therapies that employ empathy training and restructuring
of distorted and deviant thought patterns. Empathy training teaches the patient to view his or her
behaviour from the perspective of the victim. Cognitive distortion therapy attempts to restructure
a patients deviant notionsfor example, by reinforcing the fact that coercion of children into
sexual activities is an inappropriate behaviour. In some cases medications such as cyproterone
that suppress the activity of testosterone in men can be effective in reducing aggressive
behaviour and sex drive.

The Editors of Encyclopdia Britannica. 2013. Pedophilia. Retrieved 07 May 2014 from

APA to correct manual: Pedophilia is not a

sexual orientation
Cheryl Wetzstein | October 31, 2013
Pedophilia is not a sexual orientation, and erroneous use of that phrase will be corrected soon
in its new manual on mental illnesses, the American Psychiatric Association said Thursday.
The APAs statement came in response to media inquiries, including from The Washington
Times, about an uproar on the Internet that the APA had designated pedophilia as a sexual
orientation in its new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, known as DSM-5 or
About a week ago, a blog called NeonTommy, produced at Annenberg Digital News at the
University of Southern California, said the APA had drawn a very distinct line between
pedophilia and pedophilic disorder in its new manual.
According to the DSM-5, pedophilia refers to a sexual orientation or profession of sexual
preference devoid of consummation, whereas pedophilic disorder is defined as a compulsion and
is used in reference to individuals who act on their sexuality, NeonTommy wrote.
The item was picked up and circulated on countless other Internet sites. Many bloggers bashed
the APA for mainstreaming deviance and capitulating to pro-pedophile groups. Others tied it to
gay issues one wag wrote that it was time to change the LGBT letterhead to LGBT&P.
The APA said in its statement that sexual orientation is not a term used in the diagnostic criteria
for pedophilic disorder and its use in the DSM-5 text discussion is an error and should read
sexual interest.
In fact, APA considers pedophilic disorder a paraphilia, not a sexual orientation. This error will
be corrected in the electronic version of DSM-5 and the next printing of the manual, the
organization said. The error appeared on page 698, said a spokeswoman.
It added: APA stands firmly behind efforts to criminally prosecute those who sexually abuse and
exploit children and adolescents. We also support continued efforts to develop treatments for
those with pedophilic disorder with the goal of preventing future acts of abuse.
The DSM-5 was released in May. For several years prior to that, major discussions were held
about the pedophilia category.
In the end, however, only a small change was made: Pedophilia was changed to pedophilic
disorder, to conform to other disorders in chapter on paraphilias, the APA said. The diagnostic
criteria essentially remained the same as in DSM-IV-TR, it added.
To be diagnosed with a paraphilic disorder, DSM-5 requires that people feel personal distress
about their atypical sexual interest or have a desire or behavior that harms another person or
involves unwilling persons or persons unable to give legal consent.
Other DSM-5 paraphilias are exhibitionistic disorder, fetishistic disorder, frotteuristic disorder,
sexual masochism disorder, sexual sadism disorder, transvestic disorder, voyeuristic disorder
and pedophilic disorder. Despite all these things being labeled a disorder in DSMs for years,

the actions some of them result in for example, flashing, assault and battery, and peeping
Tom behavior are all uncontroversially illegal.

Wetzstein, Cheryl. 2013. APA to correct manual: Pedophilia is not a sexual orientation.
Retrieved 07 May 2014 from

With B4U-ACT, Pedophilia Takes a Step Toward

Being Considered Normal
Sheryl Young | August 26, 2011
Statements from a relatively new organization indicate a slippery slope toward "normalizing"
On August 17, an 8-year-old group called B4U-ACT held a Symposium in Baltimore, MD. B4UACT has a goal of making American society and the American medical community more
understanding of what they've reclassified as "minor-attracted persons."
B4U-ACT aims to increase services and resources for individuals who are sexually attracted to
children so that mental help is more readily available; and for society to stop criminalizing "minorattracted persons" without recognizing needs for mental help.
Certainly, there are conditions for which people are better helped by mental assistance than
simply being imprisoned.
However, some hot-button words within B4U-ACT's philosophy could de-sensitize society toward
criminal acts of pedophilia, making it more acceptable.
The Symposium's title was "Pedophilia, Minor-Attracted Persons, and the DSM." DSM stands for
the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) of the American Psychiatric
The keynote speaker, Fred Berlin, M.D., made a statement now quoted alongside B4UACT's Principles and Perspectives. He asked the American Psychiatric Association to develop
a contemporary policy statement regarding pedophilia. It should encourage nondiscriminatory
and objective public policies and professional education (italics mine).
B4U-ACT's Principles and Perspectives include (paraphrased):
*These individuals do not choose to have such feelings.
*Some minor-attracted people need help dealing with issues resulting from society's negative
reactions to their sexual feelings.
*We should not assume that minor-attracted persons abuse children or that their sexual feelings
are more compulsive or uncontrollable than other people.

Regarding the last statement, public school children are often directed in sex-education classes
that they shouldexplore and experiment with their sexuality. So we can't assume "minor-attracted
persons" are not acting out.
Controversial book, older organization may support B4U-ACT:
A 2003 book still causes a stir regarding pedophilia. "Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting
Children from Sex," by Judith Levine with former U.S. Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders, claims
sex isn't necessarily harmful to children, but children are more endangered by "puritanical"
sexual attitudes.
Another organization, NAMBLA (the North American Man/Boy Love Association) has sought
social approval since 1978 by separating "consensual man/boy love" from pedophilia, arguing
that minor boys having sex with men aren't always doing so against their will.
The LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual) community rejects approval of pedophilia. In
fact, NAMBLA's website currently carries an article regarding claims made against them
by South Florida Gay News earlier this month.

Young, Sheryl. 2011. With B4U-ACT, Pedophilia Takes a Step Toward Being Considered Normal.
Retrieved 07 May 2014 from