Pedophilia is considered a paraphilia, an "abnormal or unnatural attraction." Pedophilia is defined as the fantasy or act of sexual activity with prepubescent children. Pedophiles are usually men, and can be attracted to either or both sexes. How well they relate to adults of the opposite sex varies.Perpetrators often delude themselves into viewing their actions as helpful to children. They might tell themselves they are contributing to a child's development or that the child is enjoying the act; however, they do tell their victims not to alert their parents or authorities.An estimated 20 percent of American children have been sexually molested, making pedophilia the most common paraphilia. Offenders are usually family friends or relatives. Types of activities vary and may include just looking at a child or undressing and touching a child. However, acts often do involve oral sex or touching of genitals of the child or offender. Studies suggest that children who feel uncared for or lonely may be at higher risk.

Pedophilia. Last reviewed 12/31/1969
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