A pedophile or paedophile (non-US spelling) is an adult or adolescent 16 years or older, who is mainly or only sexually attracted to children who have not started puberty. The child must be at least 5 years younger than the adult in the case of adolescent pedophiles for the attraction to be diagnosed as pedophilia. A pedophile who acts out his wishes in the form of viewing child pornography or sexually abusing children is committing a crime. Most moral codes; and in particular, the Bible explicitly forbid it. It is closely linked to immorality and sociopathy. The term pedophilia is sometimes incorrectly used to mean sexual attraction by adults to any minor. Scientists state incorrect uses like this should be avoided, because they fail to distinguish sexual attraction to prepubescent children from sexual attraction to pubescent or post-pubescent minors.
Diagnosis and treatment
Pedophilia is a mental illness according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Although some survey and penile plethysmograph results suggest that double-digit percentages of the adult male population may be capable of being sexually aroused by children, the best estimates are that only between 1% and 5% of men are full-blown pedophiles. 30% of pedophiles are left-handed or ambidextrous, triple the general rate. Pedophiles are nearly an inch shorter on average than non-pedophiles and lag behind the average IQ by 10 points. It may be possible to identify potential pedophiles using magnetic resonance imaging of the brain as they tend to have less white matter. Some evidence suggests that pedophilia results from cross-wiring in which the stimuli that usually evoke nurturing and protective reactions in adults instead evokes sexual reactions in pedophiles. There is no cure for pedophilia; even castration does not completely eliminate a pedophile's sexual interest in children.
Claims that pedophilia is a sexual orientation
Pedophilia is sometimes described as a sexual orientation by researchers who claim it has a similar age of onset, correlations with sexual and romantic behavior, and stability over time as homosexuality. Michael C. Seto proposes a two-axis "modular person preferences system" in which asexual persons would be placed at the origin and the X and Y axes would range from infant to senior and from male to female, respectively. Other axes could be added for body shape, body size, and other characteristics of interest. Seto concludes that "[a]ccepting that pedophilia is a sexual orientation akin to heterosexuality or homosexuality, rather than a preference that is chosen or somehow learned, may" create a culture in which pedophiles feel safer seeking clinical and assist "efforts to better understand this sexual orientation and thereby prevent child sexual exploitation." In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association issued a statement clarifying that it does not regard pedophilia as a sexual orientation.
Frontal lobe injury and pedophilia
The frontal lobe plays a role in controlling sexual behavior.
According to the 2007 medical journal article (and its abstract) entitled Neurological control of human sexual behaviour: insights from lesion studies which was published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry:
|“|| We review the human literature examining the effects of neurological insult on human sexual behaviour. We provide a synthesis of the findings to date, and identify key brain regions associated with specific aspects of human sexual behaviour. These include subcortical and cortical regions, with the mesial temporal lobe and the amygdala in particular being a crucial structure in the mediation of human sexual drive...
Disinhibited sexual behaviour has been reported following damage to the frontal lobes, particularly the orbitofrontal region of the limbic system.
Kolarsky and colleagues54 examined the relationships between “sexual deviation”, age of lesion onset and localisation of lesion (temporal vs extratemporal). The authors defined two diagnostic categories: (1) “sexual deviation”, involving a deviation of sexual object (for example, paedophilia). Homosexuality was included in this category, which would now be considered inappropriate, and (2) “sexual disturbances other than deviations”, including orgasm in response to stimuli unrelated to the subject's sexual preference, hypersexuality and hyposexuality...
An association between temporal lobe abnormalities and paedophilia has been reported by Mendez and colleagues.
There is some dispute about the difference (if any) between "pedophilia" and "pedosexuality". Urban Dictionary describes "pedosexual" as a "non-existent word invented by pedophile activists as part of their ongoing effort to legitimize and legalize the sexual exploitation of children." dont-offend.org, a website of the Institute of Sexology and Sexual Medicine, directed by Klaus M. Beier, states that pedosexuality "as a clinical term denotes a sexual behaviour towards children and is the equivalent to ‘child sexual abuse’. The expressions ‘pedosexuality’ and ‘pedophilia’ are related but are not identical and cannot be used synonymously."
- Galatians 5:16-21 (NIV)
- Seto, Michael (2008). Pedophilia and Sexual Offending Against Children. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. p. vii.
- Fagan PJ, Wise TN, Schmidt CW, Berlin FS (November 2002). "Pedophilia". JAMA 288 (19): 2458–65. doi:10.1001/jama.288.19.2458. PMID 12435259.
- Ames MA, Houston DA (August 1990). "Legal, social, and biological definitions of pedophilia". Arch Sex Behav 19 (4): 333–42. doi:10.1007/BF01541928. PMID 2205170.
- Green, Richard (December 2002). "Is Pedophilia a Mental Disorder?". Archives of Sexual Behavior 31 (6): 467–471. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023%2FA%3A1020699013309.
- Zarembo, Alan (14 January 2013). Many researchers taking a different view of pedophilia. Los Angeles Times.
- Paedophiles could be 'spotted and cured' through MRI scans to detect brain abnormalities and low IQs. Daily Mail Reporter (20 October 2012).
- Kane, Laura (22 December 2013). Is pedophilia a sexual orientation?. The Star.
- Crowe, Robert (10 May 2005). Expert says castration no cure for pedophilia. Houston Chronicle.
- Seto, Michael C. (February 2012). "Is Pedophilia a Sexual Orientation?". Archives of Sexual Behavior 41 (21): 231–236. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-011-9882-6.
- Wetzstein, Cheryl (31 October 2013). APA to correct manual: Pedophilia is not a ‘sexual orientation’. The Washington Times.
- Frontal lobe, Healthline.com
- Neurological control of human sexual behaviour: insights from lesion studies,J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2007 Oct; 78(10): 1042–1049.
- Ed (21 January 2005). pedosexual. Urban Dictionary.
- Beier, Klaus M. and Loewit, Kurt K. (6 November 2012). Sexual Medicine in Clinical Practice, xv. ISBN 978-1461444206.
- dont-offend.org. FAQ. Institute of Sexology and Sexual Medicine.