Paraphilia is a poorly-defined term applied to nonstandard sexual interests, including pedophilia. It has been a category of mental disorder in the DSM since DSM-III; previous editions used the more openly prejudicial if synonymous label "sexual deviation." The DSM-IV, for example, defined paraphilias as featuring "recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors generally involving 1) nonhuman objects, 2) the suffering or humiliation of oneself or one's partner, or 3) children or other nonconsenting persons that occur over a period of at least 6 months." John Money, who popularized the term, told Paidika in 1991 that "paraphilia" has no connotation of pathology. A minority of MAPs have embraced the term, some in an attempt to reclaim it, some to foster alliances with other "paraphiles", and some owing to their anti-contact beliefs. They point to the fact that since 2013, according to the DSM, to qualify as a psychiatric disorder, a "paraphilia" must be accompanied by negative factors such as distress. A minority of "pro-para" personas also describe themselves as "pro-recovery", which may mean reorientation, or otherwise recovery from the distress caused by the "disorder" of pedophilia.
Gisela Blelbtreu-Ehrenberg views paraphilias -- having "forbidden" or "atypical" thoughts -- as a resurrection of the 18th and 19th century concept of moral insanity. Charles Moser has argued vigorously for the removal of all paraphilias from the DSM. The construct of paraphilia is a "pseudoscientific attempt to regulate sexuality," according to Moser. Frederick Suppe has similarly argued that the DSM's classification of paraphilias is without empirical grounding and "merely the codification of social mores."
What scientists say regarding the claim that socially disapproved sexual preferences are rare and always cause distress (which would mean they must be considered disorders in any case):
- Ahlers, C.J,Schaefer, G.A,Mundt, I.A,Roll, S,Englert, H,Willich, S.N,Beier, K.M. (2011) How Unusual Are the Contents of Paraphilias?: Paraphilia-Associated Sexual Arousal Patterns in Community-Based Sample of Men, Journal of Sexual Medicine, 8(5) 1362-1370
- "The percent of men that reported at least one PASAP [paraphilia-associated sexual arousal patterns] was 62.4%. In 1.7% of cases, PASAP were reported to have caused distress."
- "Pedophilic PASAP in sexual fantasies and in real-life sociosexual behavior was reported by 9.5% and 3.8% of participants, respectively."
- "The findings suggest that paraphilia-related experience can not be regarded as unusual from a normative perspective. At the same time, many men experience PASAP without accompanying problem awareness or distress, even when PASAP contents are associated with potentially causing harm to others."
There exists a large and growing paraphile community, as seen on Twitter, Tumblr and Fediverse. Some paraphilia discourse excludes MAPs, or includes them conditionally, on the basis of anti-contact beliefs. Pro-recovery beliefs are rare within online paraphilia communities, and most members are either Zoophiles and/or MAPs. Use of the paraphilia label is far from universal among MAPs as a whole, although some activists have stated that it makes building long-lasting alliances easier, while reducing the chance of censorship and account suspensions.
Official Guidance⁽ᵂʰᵃᵗ ᶦˢ ᵗʰᶦˢˀ⁾
Newgon Organization has for 15 years, opposed the idea that people with an attraction to minors are suffering from a "disorder". While we respect whatever identity others deem appropriate for themselves, most of us see the act of "reclaiming" the "paraphilia" label as glib, and inappropriate. "Paraphilias" are in fact historically ubiquitous, indistinct expressions of human diversity, and the language we use to describe them should attempt to reflect that.
To the above ends, and in the interests of our supporters and benefactors (who may themselves be MAPs):
Our co-operation with, and support for other identities considered "non-normative" must not be couched in language that suggests internalization of some medical "disorder" or "paraphilia".
MAPs are regardless, strong enough and numerous enough to establish a position as a main protagonist among the various battles of minority groups for recognition and acceptance. History tells us that this approach is very necessary indeed, in that it immunizes us against being sidelined.
This should not be taken to imply a lack of support for those who have adopted other identities, as in many cases, they have been invalidated in almost identical ways. But any alliance, should it emerge organically, will be founded on that shared invalidation, not the archaic and offensive concept of MAPs as part of a larger "paraphilia" basket.
- Paraphilia - Wikipedia article written from the perspective of someone who supports "paraphilia" as a medical concept.
- List of paraphilias - Wikipedia listicle that claims up to 547 "paraphilic sexual interests" can be identified, and attempts to reify many. MAP Wiki, who endorse the "paraphilia" label are refining the list.
- Geraci, Joseph and Mader, Donald (1991). "Interview: John Money," Paidika, 7, p. 4.
- MAP Wiki's (anti-c) article on Paraphilia
- Blelbtreu-Ehrenberg, Gisela (1988). "The Paedophile Impulse: Toward the Development of an Etiology of Child-Adult Sexual Contacts from an Ethological and Ethnological Viewpoint," Paidika, 3, p. 36.
- Moser, C. (2001). "Paraphilia: A Critique of a Confused Concept," in P. J. Kleinplatz (ed.), New Directions in Sex Therapy: Innovations and Alternatives, pp. 91-108.
- Moser, C. & Kleinplatz, P.J. (2005). "DSM-IV-TR and the Paraphilias: An argument for removal," Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality, 17(3/4), pp. 91-109.
- Suppe, F. (1984). "Classifying sexual disorders: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association," Journal of Homosexuality, 9(4), 9–28.