What Is Hebephilia?
Hebephilia is the sexual preference for early adolescent children (those roughly ages 11 to 14). Some evidence suggests that hebephilia is a distinct and discernable erotic age preference. But whether it qualifies as a mental disorder is the source of debate as critics believe including it in the DSM would pathologize a reproductively valid behavior. The DSM workgroup on sexual disorders is the main proponent of hebephilia, and much of the supporting research has been done by them. The disagreement has been strong and at times nearly unanimous; a straw poll conducted by the American Association of Psychiatry and Law resulted in a vote of 2 for and 31 against inclusion of hebephilia in the DSM. Whether or not hebephilia will ultimately find its way in remains to be seen.