Who Are Pedophiles?
There is no “standard” pedophile
Pedophilia is a sexual attraction to pre-pubescent children, relatively stable and defined. It is not the same as an attraction to teenagers, known as hephebophilia. A pedophile is not necessarily a hephebophile too, just as a hephebophile is not necessarily a pedophile too.
The vast majority of pedophiles are male, but the amount of female pedophiles is still much harder to evaluate given that their deviancy can find outlets that are far more discrete. Pedophiles can be found in all social classes and stratas.
Some are only attracted to boys (boy-lovers), others only to girls, others to both with or without some degree of preference for one. Some pedophiles have specific preferences for children of a certain age span, or possessing particular physical traits (hair, face, constitution, voice, etc), while others are less specific if at all.
There are exclusive pedophiles (only attracted to children), preferential pedophiles (who prefer children but are also attracted to adults or teenagers) and non preferential pedophiles (who prefer adults or teenagers but are also attracted to children).
It seems that punctual and temporary pedophile desires are much more common than commonly thought – however, they don’t necessarily mean the concerned person is a pedophile, as that implies fixation and recurrency of sexual fantasies involving children and of the attraction to them.
If the term “pedophilia” refers mainly to a sexual attraction, that should not make us forget that this attraction can, not always but frequently, develop hand in hand with a romantic interest.
There are many pedophiles who fall in love with children. Which is why some of them made the choice to protect them by not acting out on their desires. In such cases it’s better to insist on the existence of this sentiment to support these pedophiles in their decision.
Some pedophiles live in harmony with their deviancy, that is to them an integral part of their personality. To others, it’s a disturbing element, a source of anguish, guilt and shame.
We can establish three main categories of pedophiles from the way they feel about acting out:
- Abstinent pedophiles, who made a conscious and willing choice to never have sexual relationships with children;
- Passive pedophiles, who refrain from acting out not by choice but because of external factors they have no control over (relational inhibitions, fear of prison or of social rejection, etc);
- Active pedophiles, who are ready and willing to act out, whether by waiting for an opportunity or by actively seeking one, possibly meeting a greater or lesser number of criteria.
So not all pedophiles act out on their attraction.
To refer to an adult who has sexual relationships with children, some use the term “pedosexual”. A pedophile is not necessarily a pedosexual and a pedosexual is not necessarily a pedophile.
Acting out uncontrollably (“slipping” or “cracking”) happens most often to passive pedophiles.
We can establish three main categories of pedosexuals:
- Violent pedosexuals, who don’t hesitate to use every form of coercion (beatings, threats, blackmail, manipulation, etc) and generally feel nothing for the child who is to their eyes a mere sexual object;
- Non-violent pedosexuals, who prefer cunning and seduction, but are indifferent to the psychological consequences for the child;
- Pedosexuals in “good faith”, who are sincerely convinced that the sexual relationships some children accept to have with them aren’t dangerous, and who therefore are not aware of the scope and nature of the risks they are exposing the children to.
It’s important to not confuse incest and pedophilia:
People who commit incest aren’t necessarily pedophiles even when they have committed pedosexual acts.
Pedophiles are rarely incestuous.
It’s often in cases of incest that we find the deepest traumas.