a psychiatric disorder in which an adult or older
adolescent experiences a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to
a sexual preference for infants and toddlers (0-3, or under
a primary or exclusive sexual interest in 11-14
year old pubescents.
is the primary or exclusive adult sexual interest in mid-
to-late adolescents, generally ages 15 to 19 (It is worth considering
if this would actually be the 'natural' sexual preference of all
heterosexual men if not for social norms/censure.) This is not
considered pathological, but if an adult had sex with a 15 year old,
that person could be guilty of statutory rape, and be referred to by
some as a pedophile.
Pedohebephilia: (a combination of pedophilia and hebephilia)
has also been proposed as a categorization.
Are people capable of discussing pedophilia in an objective or
rational way? I have seen people online suggesting it's creepy to be
aware of distinctions in types of pedophilia, or that it's creepy to
even look it up.. There is the sense that if you are willing to
discuss it, you must either be a pedophile yourself, or someone who
doesn't recognize that harm and abuse occur.
I was recently watching an episode of Insight dealing with the topic
of Free Speech, and comedian Michael Hing spoke about how it was
'punching up' rather than down to makes stereotype jokes regarding
white pedophiles. The explanation was that since white males have
more power, and are secure in themselves, they aren't offended by
this humour. Some people disagreed, but aside from that, in this
equation, it is assumed that pedophiles are not really human. You are
obviously not 'punching down' at a pedophile, because a pedophile
obviously doesn't even deserve to be in consideration for status as
human. Nobody in the audience used their free speech to point this
The problem is that the word pedophile, or 'pedo' implies abuse,
even though someone who is a pedophile might never have acted on his
or her desires. The word gets tossed about and misused with no
regard for the distinctions.
The term pedophilia is frequently used to refer to any sexual
interest in someone below the legal age of consent, regardless of
that individual's physical or mental development. In Australia, the
age of consent in most places is 16.
How easy it is to know when any individual is ready to handle
a sexual relationship, and how hard it is to put a number to that
that would fit everyone?
What is pedophilia? Legally, it is a crime to have sex with anyone
under the age of consent, but if the age of consent in different
countries varies, is often around 16-18 or so, how many people
really believe that this kind of sex should be called pedophilia, or
sex with a child, or that this sort of sex is indistinguishable from
sex with a younger child or toddler? In many situations, an
individual might not be breaking the law if only two years or less
older than the underage individual.
There is also a difference between someone whose true preference is
for prepubescent children, and someone who abuses a child sexually
because of a situation or opportunity, when otherwise their
preference lies elsewhere.
Acting on sexual urges is not limited to overt sex acts, and can
sometimes include indecent exposure, voyeuristic or frotteuristic
behaviors, or masturbating to child pornography.
When those who recognize they have a preference for prepubescent
children don't act on their attraction should such people be shunned,
or made to feel like creeps, even though they didn't choose their
attraction and are doing everything they can not to hurt
Another problem is that many people don't seem willing to
acknowledge, or aren't aware, that many children show some sexual
development from 11-14, or even younger. I remember that when I was 9-
10, there were girls in my Grade who had breast development, or the
beginning of it. In fact, that was actually the norm. Some girls at
11-12 have larger breasts than some women ever will. The problem is
that when people are throwing around the word pedophile, and someone
hears an age like 11 or 12, people aren't really thinking about or
aware of the realities of development.
Many people also do not seem to be aware of the reality that human
beings have sexuality throughout life, although it might present
differently at different stages. This doesn't mean that children
aren't innocent, or that the power imbalance between an adult and
child can't have catastrophic results.
Another problem is that human beings aren't always able to make
distinctions between what love and attraction 'should' be as opposed
to what they really are. We keep hearing that it's what's inside that
counts, and with the whole pedophile issue what's underneath part of
some of the hatred is that some people believe that just because a
child doesn't have psychological maturity adults or those older
automatically could not
be attractedj, no matter how much
physical development has occurred. Hearing the age apparently decides
the matter, but what about cases in which someone doesn't even know
an age? Also, attraction is attraction. My guess is that many men who
know who Space Barbie is find their attraction to her as difficult to
admit to as someone would to admit pedophilia. They know the hatred
they would encounter in admitting to such an attraction publicly,
they know it goes against what they've been taught is a 'proper' love
object, and even if they do not agree with her philosophies, in many
many cases, this would make absolutely no difference to the level of
attraction. It depends on what you're wired to be attracted to, and
heterosexual men will be attracted to females of childbearing age.
On average, girls get their periods by age 12 or so, and some get it
even before then.
How many therapists are actually willing to treat those with a
primary interest in prepubescent children? And what is the treatment?
What about the importance of sexuality in life? Is chemical
castration really a good solution? What is recommended to people?
With all the hatred and fear, how safe would pedophiles feel in
seeking help? Are there mandatory reporting laws that could be
interpreted in certain ways by individual therapists, or might some
therapists err on the side of caution?
Do pedophiles become socially isolated because they know how they
would be perceived by the general public, or because they have
certain traits such as introversion in common? My guess is that it
is more likely the former. How many people would care
It starts to feel like there's a kind of pressure to 'prove' I'm not
a 'pedophile' (is she depressed and isolated because she's a pedo?) -
I think this relates partly to how much power the label has, and why
not many people, even those who normally would speak out on many
issues, won't speak on this.
I feel pressure or stigma related to various different things, partly
in relation to what the stigma really means when it comes to
depression and my life situation/lack of employment throughout
adulthood, and various other things, like genital herpes. Because of
the position I am in, I am able to spot other groups that are likely
to face a similar feeling of being 'low' or exiled.
It is my experience that my depression has evoked feelings of
hostility in people, and every time I hear something like 'the end
of the Age of Entitlement' I again realize that a large number of
people wouldn't believe my depression is anything is real. The
majority of Australians voted in a person who believes Indigenous
Autralians, the sick, the old, etc, all have a sense of entitlement,
and need a good kick in the pants to get them going, that it's not
more complex than that.
I can try to explain that people don't really know what the stigma
related to depression is, that in any conversation, just not having
an 'acceptable' response when asked 'what do you do?', the years of
absorbing that I am somehow 'wrong', or 'weak', or not 'trying as
hard as others', absorbing that people would indeed be better off
without me, that the 'right' thing to do is to always make choices
for the 'greater good', to expect nothing for myself, to always have
to question whether I deserve anything good, or whether all the cost
of my life, the expense could ever be paid back, the years of
silence, of people not believing I have anything worthwhile to say,
or that it is all dramatic, or out of touch with reality, that I
can't contribute anything worthwhile to any conversation or
discussion unless I do it on others' terms (even when people are
saying 'be yourself' or 'we accept you for who you are'), people
ignoring me as if I am not a human being with any awareness or need
for human interaction or kindness, it is no wonder that I am aware of
others who are similarly shunned or treated as subhuman.
At present my issue is not that I have a taboo sexual interest - it's
that those I am most interested in do not consider me either
relationship material (perhaps due to my mental health issues or the
way I express them), and/or do not find me sexually
attractive/relevant. This could relate to my age, and rising
standards of attractiveness through bombardment of images in modern
life. Anyway.. I realize that I still in a sense have it better than
pedophiles. There are those who think my website might be a bad
influence on the young or that it has negative vibes, but this is not
the same as the fear and hatred involved with damaging children
through sexual abuse.
What do we say now about authors like Nabokov and Mann? Should their
books be banned? Lolita
and Death in Venice
interests that would be hebephilia? Do many people consider such
books to be evil? Or are not enough people familiar with them to know
what they're about? And is it worth pointing out that in the case
where the person does not act on his attraction, his death is the
result, while in the case where the older man acts on his attraction,
the child is the one to die, before she can get old?
It has been said that pedophiles use cognitive distortions to justify
abuse, describing their actions as love and mutuality, and exploiting
the power imbalance between adult and child.
The problem with the above relates to objectivity. Most people can't
be objective about this, or see their own cognitive distortions in
their own 'age appropriate' relationships:
Adults believe romantic myths about love and marriage and happily
ever after and The One. They often believe someone loves them, even
though that person might not. They might believe they satisfy someone
sexually, and yet the woman might fake her orgasms, etc, whether it's
because she wants to make the guy feels good, she wants to do
something else, (wants to get it over with), or because she has
unconscious reasons for not believing she has the power to be
herself. Human beings do have sexuality, and needs for various kinds
of affection, throughout life. Most adult relationships relate to
exploitation of power imbalance between the sexes, but it is not
always only that, even when in any case it is more unconscious than
conscious. The distinction is about being an adult, and having the
legal ability to choose for oneself, granted, but this does not
necessarily prove that adults are actually psychologically mature.
Anyway, the paragraph above leads me to think that it's an example of
how difficult it is to discuss or think about the topic objectively
or rationally. It might be difficult for people to get past certain
assumptions and bias.
Pedophiles might not actually be using cognitive distortions to
explain their situations any more than other humans do. Maybe it is
actually a human thing for all humans to explain their love
relationships through cognitive distortions.
The prevalence and impact of sexual relationships between young boys
and adult women might be overlooked, partly because people don't
question women's access to children, and boys might not report
This should probably be addressed, as it does seem 'acceptable' for
older women to 'initiate' boys sexually, and that most males think of
this as 'good fortune'.
What do we do with pedophiles?
If this is a sexual orientation that people are born with and can't
help, is it really fair to isolate such people? What do we do? What
about actual sex offenders who cannot control their desire? What is
human life if one must live an entire life without having the
ability to have a sexual relationship? Is chemical castration really
a good answer? Would people be happy if pedophiles killed themselves?
What is the answer?
It seems that what makes sense is to study and learn about
pedophilia, but with the current climate, it would seem difficult for
pedophiles to seek therapists or communicate openly in order to
Realistically, it seems to me that the fear, hatred and violence that
pedophiles arouse are increasing, and that this doesn't seem likely
to change any time soon.
[Note: I took some of the info on this page from Wikipedia.]
->exile on meme st: a diary