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Pedophilia: Mental Disorder Resulting In Child Sexual Abuse

Dr. Mehak Nagpal 96% (101 ratings)
MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Delhi  •  11 years experience
Pedophilia: Mental Disorder Resulting In Child Sexual Abuse

Pedophilia is an unnatural or abnormal attraction towards children of either or both sexes, usually aged thirteen years or younger. A pedophile's attraction towards adults varies. They fantasize and/or act on their fantasies with children who have not reached puberty. Pedophilia is one of the most common paraphilia (abnormal sexual desires). The DSM i. E. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders has included pedophilia as a mental disorder.

Here are a few facts about the disorder:

1. Pedophilic disorder is when pedophiles approach children to sexually gratify themselves or if desires towards children make them feel guilty and anxious and so, they alienate themselves from the society and are unable to achieve their personal goals.

2. One very important fact that one must keep in mind is that not all pedophiles molest children and not all child molesters are pedophiles. When one desires children, they are pedophilic. But only when they act on their desires, and sexually assault children, they are child molesters.

3. Since most pedophiles do not come forward or admit to having sexual desires towards children, most of the studies have been conducted on the pedophilic child molesters. However, the number of pedophiles is vast considering that there are about 4 million websites in business catering to child pornography.

4. Opening up and seeking help from a psychologist or psychiatrist might help them in curbing and managing these desires and prevent them from acting on them and committing sexual offenses. In rare cases, pedophiles are also prescribed medications to lower their sex drive.

5. Male pedophiles are far more common than female ones.

6. Most of the child sex offenders are family and relatives.

7. Psychologists believe that children who are lonely and aloof, and feel neglected are at a higher risk of being sexually abused. The type of activities differs in each case, while some just undress and look at a child, others force the child to take part and perform oral sex and/or touch the genitals or more.

8. In most countries, it is mandatory to report a pedophile to the authorities even when there is no risk, which is why most pedophiles do not come forward and admit having this disorder. They refrain from seeking help.

However, there is a prevention project dunkelfeld in Germany that provides free of cost services to people who are attracted to children, but are dedicated to not to act on their desires and molest children. This program maintains its members' confidentiality. Such programs are essential for a healthy society.

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