Sweet. Clickbait title. I’m going to get all the views now. I like to lie. But not this time. The topic is as the title says. It really is okay to be a paedophile. Now, before anyone calls in a mob to burn down my house, I should really go into details of what I mean.
…are paedophiles equivalent to sex offenders?
Paedophilia is a psychiatric disorder, classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), 5th Edition, as an adult or older adolescent having a sexual attraction to prepubescent children. The larger concept of chronophilia – Which covers sexual preference between all age groups – has been debated but not implemented in the DSM, but we are getting there.
Let me clarify. There are different terms for people who are attracted to different age groups, all under chronophilia:
Naepiophilia: Age 0-4 (Toddlers and infants)
Paedophilia: Age 5-10
Hebephilia: Age 11-14
Ephebophilia: Age 15-19
For simplicity purposes, from now on, when I mention ‘paedophilia spectrum’, it is meant to cover the range of Naepiophilia to Ephebophilia.
I know this is an uncomfortable subject for many people. But it is one that we must have a discussion about. Research about the number of people who falls under the paedophilia spectrum are lacking, mostly because of the intense societal stigma attached to it. At worst, if we took the estimates of Sociologist, Richard Sipe (of Spotlight fame), the estimate would be 6% of any given group falling within the paedophilia range. At best, if we take Psychologist Michael Seto‘s data, we’ll arrive at 1%. If Japan’s lolicon and shotacon culture is to be taken into account, that number should be much, much higher.
Let’s take the best case scenario. 1%. 1 in every 100 people falls into the paedophilia spectrum. I know that in Seto’s report, it focuses on Paedophilia, but let’s be generous and say across the board. That means it is likely that throughout the life of any one person, they would either know someone or am a paedophile. But the question is, are paedophiles equivalent to sex offenders?
Because like people who would willingly blow-up train stations or shoot up night clubs, criminals are the ones who are sick, not the other way around.
The answer is simply, ‘no’. No, they are not the same thing. A sex offender is someone who has committed a crime of a sexual nature. Indecent exposure, molestation, and rape, just to name a few. But our culture has come to use the term Paedophilia in the same length as sex offender, even if the two are not equated in actions. It is highly reminiscence of the way we use bipolar and schizoid as shorthands for being insane, even though one or the other might not actually be as such.
There is a reason why I am so vehemently standing on the side of such a socially unacceptable concept. Paedophiles need help. It’s not something a person ‘choose’ to have. No one wakes up thinking, “I’m going to be a paedophile when I grow up!”
Paedophilia is a fetish. Similar to pygophilia (butts), sthenolagnia (muscles), lactophilia (breast milk), coprophilia (poop), and even nasophilia (nose). Weird? Yes. All of them are very damn weird. But only one of them is a crime when acted upon. And only one of them is a classified mental illness.
There are no cure for paedophilia at this time. There’s no medicine, no surgical procedures. The best one can do is to go for therapy to treat the urges and make sure the fetish stays as just that and never get acted upon. Now, I know that makes paedophiles sound like terrible people, as if they are criminals waiting to happen. But they are not. Like all mental illness, these people simply need help.
Here’s a question for thought. Think of a fetish that you carry. Maybe you like girls with glasses. Maybe you like guys with muscles. Maybe you like transsexuals, or you’re on the GB of the LGBT line. All of those have outlets – Yes, I am speaking about porn…again – and in most places, they are legal to either have or pretend sexual relief with. Now take your fetish and remove any and all form of legal manner to satisfy it. How long before you crack from the pressure?
Paedophilia is a fetish. Similar to pygophilia, sthenolagnia, lactophilia, coprophilia, and even nasophilia. Weird? Yes. All of them are very damn weird. But only one of them is a crime when acted upon. And only one of them is a classified mental illness.
It’s a kind of psychological fasting, except there are no great parties at the end and no one congratulates you for doing it. There’s no religious figure asking for it, and you don’t have a shiny pearl gate or whatever waiting for you at the end. It’s just the knowledge that your fetish might end up harming an innocent, along with threats of jail time and prejudice, that prevents individuals from failing
Public perception of the paedophilia spectrum needs to change. If just 1% of the population falls under that category, there are over 70 million people on Earth, right now, that have tendencies, some of them needing help. Worse off, some might have acted on their urges simply due to lack of treatment.
But for change to occur, there must be a conversation. And that’s what I hope to raise. Paedophiles are not sex offenders. Because like people who would willingly blow-up train stations or shoot up night clubs, criminals are the ones who are sick, not the other way around.
(For more information about the topic visit, Virtuous Paedophile, an organisation dedicated to helping reduce stigma attached to paedophilia that has a variety of resources available for reading.)