It’s easy to tell when a bit of science about pedophilia is brought out to the general public. There is usually a rash of negative memes. Usually it’s implied, by agreeing with the emerging science, the writers or researchers are condoning the sexual abuse of children.
He shared his research, which involves brain scans and neuroscience and shows the fascinating differences people have in their brain structures. Furthermore, it suggests people with pedophilia are born with this attraction. Therefore, it’s not something they can change.
What is Pedophilia?
Enter the memes and where I get on my soapbox and continue to spout science and education.
I have written about this topic before because it is something that I feel strongly about. I feel very strongly about it being accurately portrayed in the lay community.
Pedophilia is a sexual arousal to a person who is prepubescent; the age is not the important thing. However, what is important is the attraction is to a child’s body that has NOT started the physiological changes associated with puberty.
If a person is attracted to pubescent or post pubescent children, that is considered hebephilia.
Struggling with excessive sexual thoughts, urges, or activities that are causing you distress? Take the free, online Sexual Symptom Assessment Scale (SSAS) and get a link to share with your therapist.
What isn’t Pedophilia?
Pedophilia is NOT a behavior.
I believe that this is one of the most common myths in the non-scientific community.
Pedophilia is an attraction. Actions are behavior.
The frequently cited concern is that every person who has a pedophilic arousal template is a child molester.
Are you a professional looking to stay up-to-date with the latest information on, sex addiction, trauma, and mental health news and research? Or maybe you’re looking for continuing education courses?
Why do People Offend Against Children?
Some people sexually abuse children because they are attracted to them.
Some people sexually abuse children for reasons that don’t have much to do with sexual attraction.
For example: issues of power and control, distorted thinking, emotionally connecting with children in an inappropriate manner that becomes sexualized.
Some people who are attracted to children never engage in any sexual contact with them, nor do they view images of child sexual abuse material (CSAM).
Are you a Licensed Professional Counselor in need of continuing education? Learn more about Sex Addiction, Erotic Conflict, and Moral Incongruence from Dr. Weeks and Sexual Addiction Treatment Services, an NBCC ACEP™ approved provider!
Sexual Addiction Treatment Services has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 7250. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Sexual Addiction Treatment Services is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
Why am I Lecturing About Pedophiles?
Why do I think it’s important?
When you get it wrong, when the press gets it wrong, it damages prevention efforts.
Every person who is attracted to children, whether they have offended or not, knows how society feels about them.
Most carry an immense amount of toxic shame. This shame keeps them from coming forward to seek help from trained professionals. Sadly, there are treatment professionals who also engage in this stigma.
We fail to protect children every time a Minor Attracted Person feels they can’t seek treatment.
We need to do a better job protecting children as a society. Therefore, treatment needs to be accessible for those who have not offended.
Learn more about Primary Prevention and its benefits in these articles:
Primary Prevention vs. Secondary Prevention of Pedophilia
The United States does a good job of secondary prevention.
Once we know you have offended and found guilty, you are mandated to treatment to prevent another offense. We try really hard to make sure you don’t offend AGAIN. We focus on decreasing recidivism, but it misses the mark.
I would much prefer to live in a world where there are no more first victims, not just no more subsequent victims.
Pedophilia ≠ Child Molestation
Pedophilia is an attraction.
Child molestation is a behavior.
They are not synonymous.
Do you feel your sexual behavior, or that of someone you love, is out of control? Consult with a professional.
Have you found yourself in legal trouble due to your sexual behavior? Seek assistance before the court mandates it, with Sexual Addiction Treatment Services.
Preparing a sentencing report for a minor attracted person? Get the data you need, quickly, with Mitigation Aide.