Summary: A sexual disorder occurring in a person 16 years or older and that is recurrent with intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child (generally age 13 or younger). (from APA, DSM-IV, 1994).

Top Publications

  1. Hall R, Hall R. A profile of pedophilia: definition, characteristics of offenders, recidivism, treatment outcomes, and forensic issues. Mayo Clin Proc. 2007;82:457-71 pubmed
    b>Pedophilia has become a topic of increased interest, awareness, and concern for both the medical community and the public at large...
  2. Mendez M, Chow T, Ringman J, Twitchell G, Hinkin C. Pedophilia and temporal lobe disturbances. J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2000;12:71-6 pubmed
    ..The authors report 2 patients with late-life homosexual pedophilia. The first met criteria for frontotemporal dementia; the second had bilateral hippocampal sclerosis...
  3. Fromberger P, Jordan K, Steinkrauss H, von Herder J, Witzel J, Stolpmann G, et al. Diagnostic accuracy of eye movements in assessing pedophilia. J Sex Med. 2012;9:1868-82 pubmed publisher one of the strongest single predictors for pedosexual offense recidivism, valid and reliable diagnosis of pedophilia is of particular importance...
  4. Habermeyer B, Händel N, Lemoine P, Klarhöfer M, Seifritz E, Dittmann V, et al. LH-RH agonists modulate amygdala response to visual sexual stimulation: a single case fMRI study in pedophilia. Neurocase. 2012;18:489-95 pubmed publisher
    b>Pedophilia is characterized by a persistent sexual attraction to prepubescent children...
  5. Ponseti J, Granert O, Jansen O, Wolff S, Beier K, Neutze J, et al. Assessment of pedophilia using hemodynamic brain response to sexual stimuli. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2012;69:187-94 pubmed publisher
    ..We recruited 24 participants with pedophilia who were sexually attracted to either prepubescent girls (n = 11) or prepubescent boys (n = 13) and 32 ..
  6. Moulier V, Fonteille V, Pélégrini Issac M, Cordier B, Baron Laforêt S, Boriasse E, et al. A pilot study of the effects of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist therapy on brain activation pattern in a man with pedophilia. Int J Offender Ther Comp Criminol. 2012;56:50-60 pubmed publisher
    Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists, such as leuprorelin, are recommended in the patients with pedophilia at highest risk of offending...
  7. Webb L, Craissati J, Keen S. Characteristics of internet child pornography offenders: a comparison with child molesters. Sex Abuse. 2007;19:449-65 pubmed
  8. Kingston D, Fedoroff P, Firestone P, Curry S, Bradford J. Pornography use and sexual aggression: the impact of frequency and type of pornography use on recidivism among sexual offenders. Aggress Behav. 2008;34:341-51 pubmed publisher
    ..e., pornography containing deviant content) was a risk factor for all groups. The importance of conceptualizing particular risk factors (e.g., pornography), within the context of other individual characteristics is discussed. ..
  9. Cantor J, Kuban M, Blak T, Klassen P, Dickey R, Blanchard R. Grade failure and special education placement in sexual offenders' educational histories. Arch Sex Behav. 2006;35:743-51 pubmed
    ..These data are consistent with the hypothesis that an erotic age preference for children sometimes results from a perturbation of neurodevelopment occurring early in life. ..

More Information


  1. Schiffer B, Krueger T, Paul T, de Greiff A, Forsting M, Leygraf N, et al. Brain response to visual sexual stimuli in homosexual pedophiles. J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2008;33:23-33 pubmed
    The neurobiological mechanisms of deviant sexual preferences such as pedophilia are largely unknown...
  2. Blanchard R, Kolla N, Cantor J, Klassen P, Dickey R, Kuban M, et al. IQ, handedness, and pedophilia in adult male patients stratified by referral source. Sex Abuse. 2007;19:285-309 pubmed
    This study investigated whether the previously observed association of pedophilia with lower IQs is an artifact of heterogeneity in referral source...
  3. Schiffer B, Paul T, Gizewski E, Forsting M, Leygraf N, Schedlowski M, et al. Functional brain correlates of heterosexual paedophilia. Neuroimage. 2008;41:80-91 pubmed publisher
    ..Moreover, these findings may suggest a dysfunction (in the functional and effective connectivity) at the cognitive stage of sexual arousal processing. ..
  4. Blanchard R, Lykins A, Wherrett D, Kuban M, Cantor J, Blak T, et al. Pedophilia, hebephilia, and the DSM-V. Arch Sex Behav. 2009;38:335-50 pubmed publisher
    The term pedophilia denotes the erotic preference for prepubescent children. The term hebephilia has been proposed to denote the erotic preference for pubescent children (roughly, ages 11 or 12-14), but it has not become widely used...
  5. Suchy Y, Whittaker J, Strassberg D, Eastvold A. Neurocognitive differences between pedophilic and nonpedophilic child molesters. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2009;15:248-57 pubmed publisher
  6. Kruger T, Schiffer B. Neurocognitive and personality factors in homo- and heterosexual pedophiles and controls. J Sex Med. 2011;8:1650-9 pubmed publisher
    Several neuropsychological studies have suggested an association between pedophilia, neurocognitive disturbances, and specific personality profiles...
  7. Lykins A, Cantor J, Kuban M, Blak T, Dickey R, Klassen P, et al. The relation between peak response magnitudes and agreement in diagnoses obtained from two different phallometric tests for pedophilia. Sex Abuse. 2010;22:42-57 pubmed publisher
    ..Results also indicated that at response levels less than 1 cm(3), diagnostic consistency was no better than chance, supporting the establishment of a minimum response level criterion. ..
  8. Blanchard R, Kuban M, Blak T, Cantor J, Klassen P, Dickey R. Absolute versus relative ascertainment of pedophilia in men. Sex Abuse. 2009;21:431-41 pubmed publisher
    There are at least two different criteria for assessing pedophilia in men: absolute ascertainment (their sexual interest in children is intense) and relative ascertainment (their sexual interest in children is greater than their interest ..
  9. Cohen L, Nesci C, Steinfeld M, Haeri S, Galynker I. Investigating the relationship between sexual and chemical addictions by comparing executive function in subjects with pedophilia or opiate addiction and healthy controls. J Psychiatr Pract. 2010;16:405-12 pubmed publisher
    ..In the following study, we compared 51 subjects with pedophilia, 53 subjects with opiate addiction, and 84 healthy control subjects on neuropsychological tests that tap ..
  10. Eastvold A, Suchy Y, Strassberg D. Executive function profiles of pedophilic and nonpedophilic child molesters. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2011;17:295-307 pubmed publisher
    ..The current report further elucidates neurocognition among child molesters and highlights the need for future research examining subtypes of child molesters. ..
  11. Poeppl T, Nitschke J, Dombert B, Santtila P, Greenlee M, Osterheider M, et al. Functional cortical and subcortical abnormalities in pedophilia: a combined study using a choice reaction time task and fMRI. J Sex Med. 2011;8:1660-74 pubmed publisher
    ..Furthermore, combining attention-based methods like CRTT with fMRI may be a viable option for future diagnostic procedures regarding pedophilia.
  12. Dressing H, Obergriesser T, Tost H, Kaumeier S, Ruf M, Braus D. [Homosexual pedophilia and functional networks - An fMRI case report and literature review]. Fortschr Neurol Psychiatr. 2001;69:539-44 pubmed
    b>Pedophilia is a complex bio-psycho-social disorder often associated with serious offending. Knowledge about neurobiological correlates that could serve as diagnostic and maybe even as prognostic markers is limited...
  13. Quayle E, Taylor M. Child seduction and self-representation on the Internet. Cyberpsychol Behav. 2001;4:597-608 pubmed
    ..The Internet is seen to play a unique role in allowing individuals to self-represent aspects that might otherwise remain hidden or dormant. ..
  14. Deirmenjian J. Pedophilia on the Internet. J Forensic Sci. 2002;47:1090-2 pubmed
    ..Two models of pedophilia on the Internet are discussed: a trust-based seductive model and a direct sexual model...
  15. Seto M, Eke A. The criminal histories and later offending of child pornography offenders. Sex Abuse. 2005;17:201-10 pubmed
    ..Child pornography offenders who had committed a prior or concurrent contact sexual offense were the most likely to offend again, either generally or sexually. ..
  16. Riegel D. Effects on boy-attracted pedosexual males of viewing boy erotica. Arch Sex Behav. 2004;33:321-3 pubmed
  17. Cantor J, Blanchard R, Christensen B, Dickey R, Klassen P, Beckstead A, et al. Intelligence, memory, and handedness in pedophilia. Neuropsychology. 2004;18:3-14 pubmed
    A sample of 473 male patients with pedophilia (assessed by the patients' sexual history and penile response in the laboratory to standardized, erotic stimuli) or other problematic sexual interests or behaviors received brief ..
  18. Burns J, Swerdlow R. Right orbitofrontal tumor with pedophilia symptom and constructional apraxia sign. Arch Neurol. 2003;60:437-40 pubmed
    ..To describe a patient with acquired pedophilia and a right orbitofrontal tumor who was unable to inhibit sexual urges despite preserved moral knowledge...
  19. Blanchard R, Klassen P, Dickey R, Kuban M, Blak T. Sensitivity and specificity of the phallometric test for pedophilia in nonadmitting sex offenders. Psychol Assess. 2001;13:118-26 pubmed
    The specificity of phallometric testing for pedophilia has been calculated using sex offenders against adult women...
  20. Schiffer B, Vonlaufen C. Executive dysfunctions in pedophilic and nonpedophilic child molesters. J Sex Med. 2011;8:1975-84 pubmed publisher
    ..These results enhance our knowledge about executive dysfunction associated with criminality and/or pedophilia, as they suggest different profiles of impairment between groups...
  21. Cohen L, McGeoch P, Watras Gans S, Acker S, Poznansky O, Cullen K, et al. Personality impairment in male pedophiles. J Clin Psychiatry. 2002;63:912-9 pubmed
    ..Such information could potentially have important treatment implications. ..
  22. Blanchard R. The DSM diagnostic criteria for pedophilia. Arch Sex Behav. 2010;39:304-16 pubmed publisher
    This paper contains the author's report on pedophilia, submitted on June 2, 2008, to the work group charged with revising the diagnoses concerning sexual and gender identity disorders for the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric ..
  23. Frei A, Erenay N, Dittmann V, Graf M. Paedophilia on the Internet--a study of 33 convicted offenders in the Canton of Lucerne. Swiss Med Wkly. 2005;135:488-94 pubmed
    ..Deviant sexual fantasies seem to be widespread also among men otherwise not registered for any offences. The consumption of even particularly disgusting material may not be a specific risk factor for "contact" crimes. ..
  24. Cantor J, Klassen P, Dickey R, Christensen B, Kuban M, Blak T, et al. Handedness in pedophilia and hebephilia. Arch Sex Behav. 2005;34:447-59 pubmed
    ..These results indicate that the rates of non-right-handedness in pedophilia are much larger than previously suggested and are comparable to the rates observed in pervasive developmental ..
  25. Joyal C, Black D, Dassylva B. The neuropsychology and neurology of sexual deviance: a review and pilot study. Sex Abuse. 2007;19:155-73 pubmed
  26. Sartorius A, Ruf M, Kief C, Demirakca T, Bailer J, Ende G, et al. Abnormal amygdala activation profile in pedophilia. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2008;258:271-7 pubmed publisher
    Despite considerable public interest research in neurobiological correlates of pedophilia is scarce...
  27. Walter M, Witzel J, Wiebking C, Gubka U, Rotte M, Schiltz K, et al. Pedophilia is linked to reduced activation in hypothalamus and lateral prefrontal cortex during visual erotic stimulation. Biol Psychiatry. 2007;62:698-701 pubmed
    Although pedophilia is of high public concern, little is known about underlying neural mechanisms. Although pedophilic patients are sexually attracted to prepubescent children, they show no sexual interest toward adults...
  28. Schiffer B, Peschel T, Paul T, Gizewski E, Forsting M, Leygraf N, et al. Structural brain abnormalities in the frontostriatal system and cerebellum in pedophilia. J Psychiatr Res. 2007;41:753-62 pubmed
    Even though previous neuropsychological studies and clinical case reports have suggested an association between pedophilia and frontocortical dysfunction, our knowledge about the neurobiological mechanisms underlying pedophilia is still ..
  29. Repique R. Assessment & treatment of persons with pedophilia. J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 1999;37:19-23 pubmed
    1. Like any other form of major mental disorders, pedophilia is an AXIS-I diagnosis that warrants psychiatric treatment. 2...
  30. Dogan K, Demirci S, Gunaydin G, Buken B. Homicide-suicide in Konya, Turkey between 2000 and 2007. J Forensic Sci. 2010;55:110-5 pubmed publisher
    ..Firearms were used in eight of the homicide cases and seven of the suicides. Constricting the use of firearms may reduce/prevent future homicide-suicide cases, as it is the most commonly used method to carry out homicide-suicides. ..
  31. Cohen L, Grebchenko Y, Steinfeld M, Frenda S, Galynker I. Comparison of personality traits in pedophiles, abstinent opiate addicts, and healthy controls: considering pedophilia as an addictive behavior. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2008;196:829-37 pubmed publisher
    To investigate the model of pedophilia as a disorder of addictive behavior, pedophiles and chemically addicted individuals were compared on personality traits potentially associated with impaired behavioral inhibition...
  32. Tieman J. Priest scandal hits hospitals. As pedophilia reports grow, church officials suspend at least six hospital chaplains in an effort to address alleged sexual abuse. Mod Healthc. 2002;32:6-7, 14, 1 pubmed
    ..At least six hospital chaplains have been relieved of their duties because past allegations of abuse came to light. Catholic healthcare officials are concerned that a few alleged abusers could tarnish the image of chaplains. ..
  33. Kernsmith P, Craun S, Foster J. Public attitudes toward sexual offenders and sex offender registration. J Child Sex Abus. 2009;18:290-301 pubmed publisher
    ..agreement with requirements about registration for offenders convicted of incest, statutory rape, marital rape, pedophilia, date rape, and an offense committed more than 10 years prior...
  34. Knecht T. [Pedophilia and its treatment]. Praxis (Bern 1994). 2001;90:1906-12 pubmed
    b>Pedophilia is a frequent cause of infringement of children's sexual integrity...
  35. Mercer D. Girly mags and girly jobs: pornography and gendered inequality in forensic practice. Int J Ment Health Nurs. 2013;22:15-23 pubmed publisher
    ..The discussion questions the legitimacy of the therapeutic enterprise. ..
  36. Koops T, Turner D, Neutze J, Briken P. Child sex tourism - prevalence of and risk factors for its use in a German community sample. BMC Public Health. 2017;17:344 pubmed publisher
    ..Findings could help to augment prevention strategies against commercial forms of sexual abuse in developed as well as in developing countries by fostering the knowledge about the characteristics of perpetrators. ..
  37. Pittenger D. Intellectual freedom and editorial responsibilities within the context of controversial research. Ethics Behav. 2003;13:105-25 pubmed
  38. Butrica J. Some myths and anomalies in the study of Roman sexuality. J Homosex. 2005;49:209-69 pubmed
    ..C.), a puer delicatus who is prized for a masculine appearance rather than a feminine one (I.D.), and the Warren Cup, which glorifies a world of exclusively male-male sexuality (I.E.). ..
  39. Studer L, Aylwin A. Pedophilia: the problem with diagnosis and limitations of CBT in treatment. Med Hypotheses. 2006;67:774-81 pubmed
    This paper asserts two main points. First, there is little reason to include pedophilia among the mental disorders of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM)...
  40. Seto M, Cantor J, Blanchard R. Child pornography offenses are a valid diagnostic indicator of pedophilia. J Abnorm Psychol. 2006;115:610-5 pubmed
    This study investigated whether being charged with a child pornography offense is a valid diagnostic indicator of pedophilia, as represented by an index of phallometrically assessed sexual arousal to children...
  41. Babchishin K, Hanson R, Hermann C. The characteristics of online sex offenders: a meta-analysis. Sex Abuse. 2011;23:92-123 pubmed publisher
    ..Many of the observed differences can be explained by assuming that online offenders, compared with offline offenders, have greater self-control and more psychological barriers to acting on their deviant interests. ..
  42. Ponseti J, Granert O, van Eimeren T, Jansen O, Wolff S, Beier K, et al. Assessing paedophilia based on the haemodynamic brain response to face images. World J Biol Psychiatry. 2016;17:39-46 pubmed publisher
    ..These results indicate that the functional response to facial stimuli can be reliably used for fMRI-based classification of paedophilia, bypassing the problem of showing child sexual stimuli to paedophiles. ..
  43. Radojevic N, Curović I, Soć M. Using a Facebook profile in determining the motive of homicide. J Forensic Leg Med. 2013;20:575-7 pubmed publisher
    ..The most interesting point of this case was the evaluation of a sentence used as a Facebook status, which greatly contributed to confirm the paedophilic nature of the murder. ..
  44. Woodworth M, Freimuth T, Hutton E, Carpenter T, Agar A, Logan M. High-risk sexual offenders: an examination of sexual fantasy, sexual paraphilia, psychopathy, and offence characteristics. Int J Law Psychiatry. 2013;36:144-56 pubmed publisher
  45. Kamphuis J, De Ruiter C, Janssen B, Spiering M. Preliminary evidence for an automatic link between sex and power among men who molest children. J Interpers Violence. 2005;20:1351-65 pubmed
    ..As well, the current study suggests that paradigms from cognitive psychology may contribute to multimodal (risk) assessment of sexual offenders. ..
  46. Kingston D, Firestone P, Moulden H, Bradford J. The utility of the diagnosis of pedophilia: a comparison of various classification procedures. Arch Sex Behav. 2007;36:423-36 pubmed
    This study examined the utility of the diagnosis of pedophilia in a sample of extra-familial child molesters assessed at a university teaching hospital between 1982 and 1992...
  47. Johnson M. Safeguarding children and the future of the nursing and midwifery council. Nurse Educ Today. 2004;24:245-7 pubmed
  48. Bouvier P. Child sexual abuse: vicious circles of fate or paths to resilience?. Lancet. 2003;361:446-7 pubmed
  49. Seto M. Is pedophilia a sexual orientation?. Arch Sex Behav. 2012;41:231-6 pubmed publisher
    In this article, I address the question of whether pedophilia in men can be construed as a male sexual orientation, and the implications for thinking of it in this way for scientific research, clinical practice, and public policy...
  50. Wolak J, Finkelhor D, Mitchell K. Child pornography possessors: trends in offender and case characteristics. Sex Abuse. 2011;23:22-42 pubmed publisher
    ..As in 2000, one in six cases that began with investigations of CP possession detected offenders who had molested children. ..
  51. Finkelhor D. The prevention of childhood sexual abuse. Future Child. 2009;19:169-94 pubmed
    ..Finkelhor also points to evidence that supports counseling strategies both for offenders, particularly juveniles, to reduce re-offending, and for victims, to prevent negative mental health and life course outcomes associated with abuse. ..
  52. Dombert B, Schmidt A, Banse R, Briken P, Hoyer J, Neutze J, et al. How Common is Men's Self-Reported Sexual Interest in Prepubescent Children?. J Sex Res. 2016;53:214-23 pubmed publisher
    ..Findings are discussed in terms of their relation to pedophilic disorder. ..
  53. Bogaerts S, Vanheule S, Desmet M. Personality disorders and romantic adult attachment: a comparison of secure and insecure attached child molesters. Int J Offender Ther Comp Criminol. 2006;50:139-47 pubmed
    ..These findings have implications for the aetiology and treatment of child molesters. Future research is necessary to determine patterns of attachment in relationship to personality disorders. ..