The term pedophilia refers to persistent, recurrent, and intense sexual attraction toward prepubescent children, usually 13 years of age or younger, by individuals at least 16 years of age. Pedophilia is a complex phenomenon, with both psychopathological and sociolegal implications. On the one hand, pedophilia is a mental health issue, categorized as a paraphilia (i.e., any sexual interest to atypical objects, people, or situations) in which the patient’s sexual focus is on children. As such, it is included in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). On the other hand, given its relation to sexual offenses against children, it is an issue of social and juridical order.

The public, generally, does not seem to distinguish between pedophilia and child sexual ...

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