Several experts see it as a biologically rooted condition that does not change. However the most of the medical fraternity views it as a paraphilia, a psychiatric illness (pedophilic disorder). As of now DSM-5 has identified pedophilia as a disorder and as a sexual & mental health specialist I am bound to follow the latest scientific opinion.
There is no cure, so the focus is on protecting children.
Pedophilia, the sexual attraction to children who have not yet reached puberty, remains a vexing challenge for clinicians. Classified as a paraphilia, an abnormal sexual behavior, researchers have found no effective treatment. Like other sexual orientations, pedophilia is unlikely to change. The goal of treatment, therefore, is to prevent someone from acting on pedophilic urges – either by decreasing sexual arousal around children or increasing the ability to manage that arousal. But neither is as effective for reducing harm as preventing access to children, or providing close supervision.
The exact causes of pedophilia have not been conclusively established. Some studies of pedophilia in child sex offenders have correlated it with various neurological abnormalities and psychological pathologies
Nearly all people with pedophilic tendencies are male. Studies of child molesters have reported that only 1% to 6% of perpetrators are female. Co-occurring disorders, such as personality disorders or mood disorders, are common in people with pedophilic tendencies. And about 50% to 70% of people with pedophilic tendencies are also diagnosed with another paraphilia, such as exhibitionism, voyeurism, or sadism.
Most psychotherapies used to treat pedophilia incorporate the principles and techniques of cognitive behavioral therapy. The focus of therapy is to enable the patient to recognize and overcome rationalizations about his behavior. In addition, therapy may involve empathy training and techniques in sexual impulse control. Most important behaviour therapy used is Relapse prevention
Finally I’m in favor of treatment to spare kids the physical and psychological trauma. It doesn’t matter whether it is nature or nurture unless it helps in quality treatment.
Dr Sharmila Majumdar
MS Human Sexuality, PhD cbt
Fellowship from Ichan school of Medicine, Mount Sinai, USA
Director and Chief Sexologist
Sexual and mental health clinic , Avis Hospital
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