Stigma and non-offending pedophiles

Ian McPhail

People who have pedophilic interests and do not act on these interests present a complex challenge to clinicians.  There is growing evidence that a pedophilic orientation is associated with pre-natal factors, suggesting this orientation may start with events present prior to birth.  On this blog, we were fortunate enough to have the co-founders of Virtuous Pedophiles write a post about the existence of non-offending pedophiles and some of the painful challenges these individuals face due to having a sexual orientation they did not choose.  As part of the shame and fear of disclosing pedophilic interests, some non-offending pedophiles do not make these disclosures, even to mental health professionals.  A consequence of not feeling safe to disclose a pedophilic orientation, these people are left to cope with and manage their sexual attractions on their own.  As a budding mental health professional, I find this state of affairs unacceptable.  There are a number of reasons why I am unsatisfied with this status quo, but one I find pressing and that research is beginning to examine with non-offending pedophiles is stigma.

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A response to Virtuous Pedophiles Exist

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.

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