defining pedophilia

Pedophilia: a psychiatric disorder in which an adult or older adolescent experiences a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children.

Nepiophilia (Infantophilia): a sexual preference for infants and toddlers (0-3, or under age 5).

Hebephilia: a primary or exclusive sexual interest in 11-14 year old pubescents.

Ephebophilia: 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 out.

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 children?

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 about this?

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 concern 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 abuse.

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 contribute info.

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.]

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