Debate Guide: Corresponding age attraction
- "It is both normal and acceptable for children to express a childish sexuality towards one another, but any such feelings among adults are abnormal and problematic. This is because erotic age preference tends to correlate with one's own age throughout life, or at least until adulthood"
A person's core age attraction is unlikely to shift in line with their age, or as they progress through puberty. Whilst it is socially acceptable for minors to date among themselves and show their affection for one another, this says more about situational factors (proximity, experience, etc) and received standards than any predictable aspect of human nature, to which the allegedly crucial, yet entirely man-made category "adult" bears no meaning. Such a fundamental change in erotic age attraction would require more than changing sex hormones, but actual physical changes to the parts of the brain which control sexual attractions. With some theorists suggesting that abnormal brain structure and even physical trauma are causes of pedophilic attractions, one would have to ask how similar attractions and urges can be expressed as a normative "developmental phase" among youth, only to disappear completely as the person progresses to adulthood.
It has long been known by those experiencing a true, pedophilic attraction, that such an orientation becomes apparent very early in life. In the words of former DSM editor, Michael First "If you're attracted to children at age 13 you’re going to be attracted to children at age 70." Others would seem to confirm this.