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A pedophile or paedophile (non-US spelling) is an adult or teenager who is of or above the age of 16 (although a proposed change in the DSM would change this to 18) who is sexually attracted to young children below the age of puberty that are at least five years younger than the adult or teen (generally 13 years old or younger, though onset of puberty may vary and the proposal would also change this to all children below 15 [1]). A pedophile who acts out his or her wishes in the form of viewing child pornography or molesting youngsters is committing a crime and breaking virtually all moral codes; in particular, the Bible explicitly forbids it.[2] It is closely linked to immorality and sociopathy. The term pedophilia is sometimes incorrectly used to mean sexual attraction by adults and teens to anyone below the age of consent, for example British psychologist Hans Eysenck in The Causes and Cures of Criminality defined it as people 16 and over having sex with people 15 and younger (in the UK age of consent is 16), but in fact this is an incorrect use of the term and is regrettable because the difference hebephilic (adults attracted to adolescents 12-15) and pedophilic offenders is vast, and treatment is different.

Pedophilia is a mental illness according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders [3]

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  2. Galatians 5:16-21 (NIV)
  3. A slight change is proposed for the DSM-5, but otherwise the definition will stay largely the same.