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Pedophilia, The Most Misunderstood Disorder
Transcript of Pedophilia, The Most Misunderstood Disorder
By Kalei Burgess, 2nd Period 5/15/16
Pedophilia is defined as sexual feelings directed toward children under the age of 13. In our widely agreed upon Western values, any sexual relationship between an adult (over 18) and a child (under 18) is completely wrong and is against the law in most countries. Someone is not considered a pedophile unless they have an exclusive attraction to children 13 and under, and the pedophile must be at least 5 years older than the victim. 4% of the population suffers from this disease. Those attracted to teenagers are sometimes said to suffer "ephebophilia," but because so many youth-obsessed Americans would qualify, psychiatrists don't classify ephebophilia as an illness. People confuse the terms “pedophile” and “child molester”. A pedophile is someone who has sexual feelings and thoughts towards children and don't become child molesters until the acts are committed.
This mental disorder affects around 4% of the worldwide population. A number of people with the disease cannot be determined because so many cases go unreported. A pedophile usually isn't known until they've committed the act to a child. 94% of pedophiles are male. Overall, white males are the biggest offenders. But on an individual basis, Native Americans are actually most likely to molest a child, but anyone is able to develop the disorder.
Signs, Symptoms, and Behaviors of Pedophilia
There is no cure for pedophilia. The best thing to treat a pedophile is group and individual therapy. There are rehab clinics in the US available for pedophiles. Medication is also prescribed to control sexual urges.
The only type of prevention known is literally not molesting a child. There’s not much else you can do except creating healthy relationships between children and adults.
Someone must be at least 16 to be diagnosed with pedophilia and must be 5 years older than their victim. Pedophilia had technically been practiced for centuries through child marriages and can be dated back to biblical times. It wasn't formally named and recognized as a disorder in the mid 19th century. Doctors can run brain scans to see patterns linked to pedophilia, but unfortunately the disease is usually undiagnosed until the pedophile seeks help or commits an act against a child.
The causes of pedophilia can be attributed to biological and environmental factors. Case studies indicate that cerebral dysfunction may be a cause or a supporting factor because it involves problems with self control and extreme impulses. In most cases, pedophiles were sexually abused as children during critical periods of development. Since the abused child cannot control what is happening to them, they grow older and begin to sexually assault children to relive the trauma and master it. The role reversal allows them to cope with their memories and now their own uncontrollable urges. It is not a disease that is passed down through genetics.
Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children (generally age 13 years or younger).
The fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
The person is at least age 16 years and at least 5 years older than the child or children in the first category.
Diagnosis of pedophilia worldwide is a difficult thing, believe it or not. Marriage laws, similar to the ones in the US (usually deeming 16-18 lawful for marriage) are quite new, developed in the 20th century. In some cultures, most commonly known in small villages in Asia, child marriage is still common. WE might think of them as pedophiles, but it's been part of their culture for thousands of years. The United Nations is trying to work to putting an end to this.
Pedophilia is a disorder that when it affects others, causes the most mental disorders in others such as bipolar disorder, depression, PTSD, anxiety, and eating disorders.