Nick Devin and Ethan Edwards (founders of Virtuous Pedophiles)
Thank you so very much for pointing out the very important distinction between pedophiles and child molesters. Pedophiles are universally reviled, because people mistakenly believe that all pedophiles are either child molesters or are fated to become child molesters. This is simply not true. No one chooses to be sexually attracted to children, and pedophiles can’t stop being sexually attracted to children, but many can and do successfully resist their attractions.
It is a commonly held belief that individuals with a sexual interest in children (that is, pedophiles) are at an extremely high risk of committing (or to have already committed) a sexual offence against a child. When people hear ‘pedophiles’, most immediately think ‘child molester’, ‘predator’, or ‘sex offender’. Most overlook an important distinction: pedophiles are those who hold a sexual interest in children whereas sex offenders against children are those who have committed a sexual offence against a child. These terms are not synonymous. Indeed, a large body of research has found that not all pedophiles are sex offenders, and not all sex offenders are pedophiles (Seto, 2008). Some pedophiles only have a sexual interest in children (exclusive pedophiles), whereas other pedophiles have a sexual interest in both children and adults (nonexclusive pedophiles).