Pedophilia: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Pedophilia is a sexual deviation where the culprit has sexual attraction in children. The case of pedophilia has become a sexual crime in the form of rape of children. Find out more about pedophilia, the characteristics of people with pedophilia, how to treat it, prevention of pedophilia, etc.

What is Pedophilia?

Pedophilia is a sexual disorder in which the perpetrator has a sexual interest in children under the age of 13 or teenagers, both girls and boys or both.

Pedophilia is a form of sexual disorder from paraphilia. This term is mentioned in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (2013; DSM-5). Pedophilia is included in sexual drive, fantasy, passion, and the desire to engage in unusual and extreme sexual activity with children.

Pedophiles are called pedophiles. Based on research, pedophileic behavior tends to occur in adult males compared to adult females. While the prevalence of pedophilic disorders in men is unknown or the factors are very diverse.

Meanwhile, based on statements from the FBI and Interpol in 2018 stated that Indonesia has the highest pedophilia crime cases in all of Asia. This data is also expected to increase public awareness to prevent and save children from the dangers of pedophiles.

Pedophila Symptoms

Based on research from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (2013; DSM-5), a person may have a tendency to pedophilia if he has the following symptoms:

  • Have intense fantasies that involve the urge to have sexual relations with children or pre-teen children
  • The desire and interest to have sexual relations with these children has been felt for at least 6 months
  • Sexual impulses with these children interfere with your social functions such as work, social, family matters, etc.
  • Someone who is over 16 years of age and has an interest in someone who is 5 years younger than him, but does not include teenagers who like someone 12 or 13 years old

The symptoms of pedophilia may not be certain because the indicators are very broad. In addition, the characteristics of people with pedophilia are also included in the tendency of access to pornography involving children.

Noteworthy is if you have an unnatural interest in children and the symptoms that have been mentioned, please immediately do an examination or counseling with a doctor.

Causes of Pedophilia

While the causes of pedophilia are still unknown, the following are trends in the causes of why a person can have sexual deviations from pedophilia, namely:

1. Family History

Some evidence says that cases of pedophilia can occur in families, but this research is still being developed to prove whether genetic factors influence the formation of a person’s sexual behavior.

In addition, research is also carried out to find out whether there are pedophilic disorders related to sexual urges in the form of incest, given the existence of several cases of pedophilia that occur between family members or close people.

2. Childhood Trauma

A pedophile is generally someone who had experienced sexual crime when he was a child, but did not get good treatment so that the incident made him traumatized. A pedophile also rationalizes the sexual crimes he has experienced in other children.

Therefore, children affected by pedophilia must undergo the traumatic treatment and treatment they experience to avoid other sexual deviations.

3. Effects of Testosterone Hormones

A physiological study is examining the link between hormones and behavior that influence a person’s sexual drive tendencies. In this case, a decrease in the male sexual hormone testosterone which is associated as a cause of sexual deviation pedophilia.

4. Neurological factors

Research through brain scans shows evidence that a pedophile generally has a lower IQ than the average adult male IQ, and has less white matter or brain connectors.

Other studies also state that someone who has suffered a brain injury in childhood has a greater tendency to have deviant sexual behavior than those who do not.

Meanwhile, pedifilia risk factors include:

  • Social pressure
  • Psychosocial disorders
  • Mental health problems such as major depression or anxiety disorders
  • Excessive use of pornographic access
  • Use of illegal drugs
  • The behavior of individuals who tend to act because of insistence

Pedophiles also tend to have growth disorders, shorter body posture, and left-handedness. Despite all this, many other pedophile risk factors are changing and are still being studied.

When to see a doctor?

If you have all the symptoms and characteristics of pedophilia mentioned above and you are worried about your sexual urges, please immediately consult with a psychiatrist or consult a doctor.

Early self-awareness of behavior deemed deviant and has a tendency to hurt others will be useful for your safety and health for the fiber of others. Early diagnosis will also help the treatment run more effectively.

Pedophilia diagnosis

The following are pedophilia diagnoses that will be performed by doctors, including:

  • Evaluate whether you have sexual fantasy in a 13-year-old boy
  • Evaluate whether the sexual urge interferes with your social life
  • In-depth interviews about sexual tendencies or sexual crimes that may have been experienced
  • Laboratory research may be needed

Some people who have pedophilia tend to cover it up and hide it because they feel embarrassed, even though an earlier diagnosis will be very helpful to deal with sexual disorders and prevent bad things that might happen.

How to Overcome Pedophilia

Pedophile sexual deviations can be a very dangerous case, considering that a pedophile tends to commit crimes against children which means destroying the child’s future.

To prevent the worst, a pedophile must be dealt with in several ways, namely:

1. Psychotherapy

Pedophilia behavior in a pedophile can be treated with long-term psychotherapy that depends on the condition. Psychotherapy is an individual approach to overcome various mental health disorders.

How to deal with pedophilia with psychotherapy includes involving the person in social participation, training in certain skills, treatment for other conditions such as depression or trauma disorders, etc.

Treatment with psychotherapy is generally carried out along with certain medications aimed at reducing or changing sexual drive.

2. Medicines

The next way to overcome pedophilia is by taking certain medicines to reduce the production of the hormone testosterone and change sexual desire. Your doctor may prescribe antidepressant drugs to control sexual fantasy, reduce erections, and regulate how sexual hormones work.

It is not known whether these two methods can completely cure pedophilia, but intensive care is expected to prevent pedophile crimes against children from occurring. In addition, a pedofi needs social guidance to change his mindset towards sexual arousal and life at large.

Prevention of Pedophilia

There is no data related to whether there is a method of prevention so that people do not become pedophiles or have sexual interest in children, but helping a pedophile with therapy, guidance, and medicines can help them not take action against children.

In addition, it is important for parents to protect children from pedophiles by:

  • Get to know all your child’s activities and environment
  • Make good communication with children
  • Teach your child simple sexual education such as which parts of the body are allowed and should not be touched by others
  • Teach your children how to communicate with others
  • Teach your child what to do when dealing with strangers who might be doing wrong

That is prevention of pedophilia. Pedophilia is a very dangerous sexual deviation. Hopefully this information can increase your awareness of the dangers of pedophiles and how to prevent them.


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