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Those who meet the criteria set below are classed as pedophiles. Common usage do not follow the strict medical definitions of an adult or teen who is attracted to prepubescent children, but often refers to any adult who is attracted to, or has sexual contact with, any person under the age of consent, or the age of majority (often 16-18 in most western countries). The correct term for an attraction to adolescents is ephebophilia.
In many societies and cultures, the term pedophile is highly stigmatized and represents an image of an evil, callous monster. This spurs many self-identified pedophiles to adopt names such as boylover, minor-attracted person, girllover, and childlover, among others, to assist in differentiating themselves and their values from this stereotype.
Some believe that pedophiles have made great contributions to past societies, and that their influence is often ignored or their attraction to children is greatly played down. Others disagree with this idea, and claim that alleged historical pedophiles actually preferred the company of persons who were in their late teens or early 20s.
Pedophilia according to the DSM
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV Revised, 2000
- Over a period of at least six months, recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children (generally age 13 years or younger).
- The person has acted on these sexual urges, or the sexual urges or fantasies caused marked distress or interpersonal difficulty.
- The person is at least age 16 years and at least 5 years older than the child or children in Criterion A.
Note: Do not include an individual in late adolescence involved in an ongoing sexual relationship with a 12- or 13-year-old.
- Specify if:
- Sexually Attracted to Males
- Sexually Attracted to Females
- Sexually Attracted to Both
- Specify if:
- Limited to Incest
- Specify type:
- Exclusive Type (attracted only to children)
- Nonexclusive Type