Without meaning to sound patronising in any way... are you aware of the DSM IV diagnostic criteria of the medical condition "pedophilia"?
Diagnostic criteria for 302.2 Pedophilia
A. Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children (generally age 13 years or younger).
B. The person has acted on these urges, OR the sexual urges or fantasies cause marked distress or interpersonal difficulty.
C. The person is at least age 16 years and at least 5 years older than the child or children in Criterion A.
Note: Do not include an individual in late adolescence involved in an ongoing sexual relationship with a 12- or 13-year-old.
Sexually Attracted to Males
Sexually Attracted to Females
Sexually Attracted to Both
Limited to Incest
Exclusive Type (attracted only to children)
Ok, so this was copy/pased off of 1 website, but it is fact and if you google it you will find it repeated on many a website because it is diagnostic criteria.
Pedophilia is a diagnosable disorder... and the criteria clearly states that you do NOT have to have offended to be diagnosed as a pedophile. The urges just have to have lasted a set amount of time and cause you marked distress and interpersonal difficluty because of them.
To be honest, I am not sure about the whole psychopathic tendancies thing. The guy I mentioned in the above post once said to me something along the lines of "I can't live with the urges, I feel like either I die OR I molest, there is no other option... it is either them or me", and I truly believe that he was locked in some huge internal struggle and he was not just saying what other people want to hear. As far as I know, he had never offended, but was medically labelled a pedophile.
I also know someone with the same urges, but they do not affect them so badly, but they still fit the medical criteria of pedophilia... the reason that this person does not offend is the fact that they do not want to cause such suffering to another person and that is enough to stop them. They were diagnosed because their urges were causing considerable personal suffering.
I know these are just isolated "cases" and I can never truly know how other people think, and I agree that extreme caution should always be exercised around such individuals, I just don't think it is as simple as saying ALL pedos will offend/reoffend.
I believe that the difference between a pedophile and a child molester is the fact that ALL child molesters have sexually abused, NOT all pedophiles have or even will.
Also, I wondered, what is your opinion on overstepping the boundary? What makes someone a pedophile in the eyes of the law? Child porn posession, inappropiate touching, grooming with no sexual contact? I am interested to know your opinion.
You asked about my academic background on the subject. I am no expert. I have some nursing training (although I am not currently working as a nurse), I did degree level studies and within my practical assessments I did a lot of work with families involved with social services because family members were on the sexual offenders register. I guess I "got lucky" with my case load and the exposure to such people led to an interest in the subject.
I also have personal experience of my own, people I have known who were (to my complete shock) "exposed", I cannot believe how rife the problem actually is. I can guarantee we all know someone who is sexually attracted in some way to minors.
Also, I hope that I do not come across as condoning such habits... you say "my sympathy" with their sexual habits. Believe me, I do not sympathise with anyone that has overstepped the boundary and contributed to molestation in any way. However, I must admit I have suffered sexual problems and unwanted urges myself (and I am not admitting pedophilia here just incase that is how it looks) so I guess I know how it feels to be aroused by the taboo, whatever your own personal "taboo" may be.
I do not seek to offend.. merely to debate and hear other peoples views on a subject that interests me.