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psychosexual disorder in which there is a preference for sexual activity with prepubertal children. Pedophiles are almost always males. The children are more often of the opposite sex (about twice as often) and are typically 13 years or age or younger; they may be within or outside the pedophile's family. Sexual fantasies, looking, or fondling are more common than genital contact. Sexual offenses against children make up a significant proportion of reported criminal sex acts.

The cause or causes of pedophilia are not well understood. Personality problems may be evident, and the pedophile often shows little or no concern for the effects of his sexual behavior on the child. Researchers have reported that psychotherapy in conjunction with the use of testosterone-lowering drugs has substantially reduced the desire in male pedophiles to molest children. See also child abusechild abuse,
physical, sexual, or emotional maltreatment or neglect of children by parents, guardians, or others responsible for a child's welfare. Physical abuse is characterized by physical injury, usually inflicted as a result of a beating or inappropriately harsh discipline.
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Love of children by adults for sexual purposes.


(esp US), pedophilia
the condition of being sexually attracted to children
References in periodicals archive ?
Chemical castration supposes injection of pedophiles with hormones several months prior to their release to shut down sex drive.
I have no serious doubt that if it were used it would be a very efficient tool to help screen out pedophiles.
Von Erck, who uses a pseudonym, said a number of pedophiles have been kicked off the site, but many of them have returned using different usernames.
Homosexuals and homosexual pedophiles engage in a wide variety of sexual behaviour.
He found that 38% of pedophiles without known victims were gay, compared with 16% of those with known victims.
Some organizations have expressed fears that clamping down on pedophiles in one country will simply lead to increases elsewhere.
Music rehearsals before Mass left him alone at the mercy of a pedophile predator.
Just as males who prefer women as sexual partners do not choose to be this way, pedophiles do not ask to be sexually attracted to children.
In short, claims Kincaid, the telling and re-telling of stories about sexual perverts and their child victims has turned us into a nation of ersatz pedophiles, who delight in the flurry of gossip on child sexual abuse in the mass media.
Some of the paper's most glaring misrepresentations led to the conclusions most celebrated by pedophiles," says co-author Joyanna Silberg, PhD.
A spokesman for CWA, America's largest public policy women's organization, said: "Alfred Kinsey encouraged pedophiles to molest children, all in the name of science.
He was a pedophile, and pedophilia and homosexuality are not at all related--we know statistically that gay men are less likely to be pedophiles than straight men--but the sex crisis in the church hasn't been about pedophilia.