Psychological Dispositions: Pedophilia and Paraphilia

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Pedophilia is one of several psychological dispositions referred to as paraphilias. Paraphilia is a condition where sexual arousal is dependent on fantasizing about engaging in sexual behavior considered atypical or extreme (Psychology Today, 2014). Pedophilia and other paraphilia are viewed as mental illness that is abnormal, distasteful, weird, kinky and totally unacceptable by most people (Psychology Today, 2014).

One of the most hated, reviled, and public enraging individuals in society is a pedophile. Most equate pedophilia with a sexual molester of children or some sort of perverted freak. There is considerable misunderstanding about pedophilia. In a 1990 research study, the authors state “there is widespread belief among professionals the general public that sexual abuse causes sexual abuse.” The theory is referred to as “abused/abuser hypothesis of child and adolescent sexual abuse” (Garland & Dougher, 1990, p. 448). Fact is the face of a pedophile is not some monster lurking in our neighborhoods ready to pounce on the first child available. He is not necessarily a “dirty old man” either. A pedophile could be anyone: a next door neighbor, a lawyer, school teacher or a relative (Wylie, 1998). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) categorizes pedophilia as a disorder only if the sexual fantasies or urges involve prepubescent children , if they last at least six months, if the individual has acted on them, or if they cause marked distress” (American Psychiatric Association, 2000).

Possible Changes to the DSM

Pedophilia is specifically related to children under age 13 (Psychology Today, 2014). Hebephilia is the sexual preference for early adolescent children ages 11 to 14, A th...

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...end weekly meetings, with considerable time spent helping the men understand and identify risk. Most participants continue longer than required due to the continuation of support. With the positive outcomes and high referral rate, further expansion is planned (Gillies, Hashmall, Hilton, & Webster 1992).

Psychotherapy, behavior therapy, medication, and surgery are the four major proposed treatment modalities for pedophilia with surgery being the most extreme (Berlin & Krout, 1986). Repique & Renee (1999) say anti-androgenic medications and individual/group psychotherapy are common treatments. Recidivism remains an ongoing concern for therapist (Repique &

Renee, 1999). Most researchers agree more empirical research is needed to further assess adequate understanding of pedophilia and effective treatment options.

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