Child sexual abuse is a serious crime that has serious effects on the psychological development of children. Most people use the terms “pedophile” and “pedophile” interchangeably to refer to those who perform these types of acts, considering them synonymous.
However, although deeply linked both concepts do not refer to exactly the same. That is why in this article we propose to distinguish and show the differences between pedophilia and pedophilia .
Pedophilia or pedophilia is a paraphilia , that is, a disorder of sexual inclination that is characterized by the presence of recurrent fantasies and producing a high level of sexual arousal in which the object of desire is an object, persons or non-consents or a situation of humiliation and own and others’ suffering. The experimentation of these fantasies can lead to their realization and / or feelings of intense discomfort for those who suffer them.
In the specific case of pedophilia, the object of desire or what provokes sexual attraction are prepubertal children . Specifically, a chronophilia can be considered, because there is a great difference between the age of the subject and that of the object of desire. For its diagnosis it is necessary that the subject is over sixteen years of age and that the victim or object of desire is at least five years younger.
As a general rule the pedophile will seek contact with his object of desire, often resorting to pornographic images and self-stimulation based on his fantasies, but he does not have to try to have sexual relations.
What do we call pedophilia?
With regard to pedophiles, those individuals are considered as such in which the pedophile’s own fantasies have been brought to reality. That is, pedophilia is the perpetration of a sexual abuse Menore s .
Within this abuse comes all that conduct in which the child is used as a sexual object by an individual with whom there is a relationship of inequality in relation to age, power or maturity.
It is a criminal practice punishable by lawthat can have serious repercussions on the present and / or future psychosocial and sexual development of the child attacked. Even if the sexual relationship is consented to by the minor, if this is below the age of sexual consent, the act itself will be considered abuse, being classified as a violation . The consensual sexual connection between subjects at the end of adolescence with individuals of at least thirteen years is not considered as such.
Common elements and main differences
Having visualized the definitions of both pedophilia and pedophilia, it is easy to establish what elements they have in common and how they differ.
In both cases there is talk of the presence of an illicit link between an adult and a minor, there being a romantic or sexual attraction from the former to the latter. This attraction occurs continuously over time, persisting for at least six months.
The main difference is in the fact that sexual attraction is concrete or not in an action . While a pedophile can only feel the impulse and maintain recurrent fantasies of a sexual nature in which his object of desire are minors, a pedophile is considered to be the one who has committed the sexual act itself. In other words, while the pedophile has had sexual relations with a boy or girl, the pedophile fails to perform the act (in which case he would become a pedophile).
So not all pedophiles are pedophiles , while as a general rule, all pedophiles are pedophiles. However, this is not always true either, since it is possible to find cases of sexual abuse of minors without them being subject to sexual preference on the part of the adult.
Pedophilia is a disorder of the sexual inclination or the choice of the sexual object, this choice of the sexual object being limited. However, as a general rule the person who suffers it is perfectly capable of realizing what it means for the minors involved , the damages caused and the fact that it is a serious crime typified by law. Their decision-making capacity is not altered, with which they are fully responsible for their actions.
In this way, pedophilia and various activities carried out by pedophiles (corruption of minors, creation, possession or possession of child pornography, etc.) are punishable by law, considering themselves to be fully attributable to most of these individuals.
- American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Fifth edition. DSM-V. Masson, Barcelona.
- Echeburúa, E. and Guerricaechevarría, C. (2005). Sexual abuse in childhood: victims and aggressors. A clinical approach 2nd edition. Ariel, Barcelona.