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What is pedophilia?

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Despite the term's widespread use in public discourse, many people have a remarkably poor understanding of what pedophilia is and what it means for someone to be a pedophile. This can be attributed to the widespread use of inaccurate language in discussions about pedophilia and related topics. Considering the importance of these topics in discussions about child protection and other important goals, the importance of expanded access to accurate information about pedophilia is clear. Pedophilia is defined as a pattern of stable and persistent attractions to prepubescent children . It is one of four minor attractions, the others being nepiophilia (attraction to infants and toddlers), hebephilia (attraction to pubescent teens), and ephebophilia (attraction to post-pubescent minors and young adults). While most scientific definitions focus on sexual attractions, pedophilia and other minor attractions can also be experienced as romantic, aesthetic, or other types of attractions. Classi

Does stigmatizing pedophiles prevent abuse?

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In an effort to justify the widespread stigma directed at individuals who are attracted to minors, some people claim that this stigma plays a role in preventing pedophiles and other minor-attracted people (MAPs) from sexually abusing children. Most MAPs never offend regardless of how much stigma they encounter, but for those who are at risk of harming a child, stigma can play a role. However, it may not be the one you expect. MAP-centered stigma Stigma is defined as society's response to an individual or group's possession of a trait that causes others to view them as different or inferior. Nearly every minority experiences some level of stigma, though the severity may change over time. Stigma is typically the result of subconscious biases, though some people may make conscious efforts to justify stigmatizing others in an attempt to avoid confronting their biases. In the case of MAPs, a significant portion of the stigma is caused by society's unwillingness to differentiate

Can pedophilia be cured?

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There is ongoing debate among experts and the public regarding whether or not pedophilia and other minor attractions can be cured. However, despite decades of research on the topic, there has never been any conclusive evidence suggesting that a cure for pedophilia is possible . Additionally, conversion therapy is increasingly understood to be unethical and carry a high risk of harm, and many believe that the practice should be banned. Stability over time One of the first comprehensive reviews of existing research on this topic came from clinical psychologist Dr. Michael Seto's  2012 article  demonstrating that pedophilia could be classified as an age-based sexual orientation. As Seto explained, there were already several studies where researchers claimed to have weakened or eliminated pedophilic attractions in subjects through practices like masturbatory reconditioning, however, follow-up studies demonstrated that these effects could not be repr

Is being a pedophile illegal?

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This is a common question among minor-attracted people (MAPs) who are looking for support for the first time. After all, the internet is rife with social media posts and even news articles calling pedophilia and other minor attractions illegal, so it's easy to see how one could conclude that simply experiencing an attraction to children is against the law. Pedophilia is defined  as a pattern of stable and persistent attractions to prepubescent children. Though it is often conflated with child sexual abuse, they are not the same. Other minor attractions, such as nepiophilia (attraction to infants), hebephilia (attraction to pubescent teens), and ephebophilia (attraction to post-pubescent minors), are defined similarly and this article also holds true for them. The belief that pedophilia is illegal is widespread, with many being quick to report anyone they suspect of experiencing "illegal attractions" to law enforcement and child sexual abuse reporting hotlines in hopes of