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Pedophilia is considered a paraphilia—an abnormal or unnatural attraction. In the case of pedophilia, this is sexual attraction toward children. This includes fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors that involve sexual activity with a prepubescent child. Although this definition includes sexual activity with a child, not all pedophiles commit sexual offenses against children, and these individuals are able to desist from offending. Conversely, not all individuals who sexually offend against children are pedophiles and may not be sexually attracted to children. Studies have estimated that the prevalence of pedophilia among men who commit sexual offenses against children is around 50%. Given that most research and theory in this area examines pedophiles who have committed sexual offenses, this entry will mainly focus on this group.

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