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Differences between pedophilia and pedophilia

Differences between pedophilia and pedophilia

October 1, 2022

Child sexual abuse is a serious crime that has serious effects on the psychological development of minors. 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 exactly to the same. That is why in this article we propose to distinguish and show the differences between pedophilia and pedophilia .

Defining 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 entities or a situation of humiliation and own and others' suffering. The experimentation of said fantasies can lead to their realization and / or feelings of intense discomfort for those who suffer.


In the specific case of pedophilia, the object of desire or what causes 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 you do not have to try to have sex .

What do we call pedophilia?

With regard to pedophiles, they are considered as such individuals in which the fantasies of the pedophile have been brought to reality. That is, pedophilia is the committing a sexual abuse to 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 law that can cause serious repercussions in 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 taken into account as such.

  • Related article: "Prevent and detect early childhood sexual abuse"

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 the sexual attraction is concrete or not in an action . While a pedophile can only feel the impulse and maintain recurring fantasies of a sexual nature in which his object of desire is underage, 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 that not all pedophiles are pedophiles , while as a general rule, every pedophile is a pedophile. 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.

Criminal chargeability

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 sufferer is perfectly able to realize what it means for the children 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, and are considered as imputable to most of these individuals.

  • Related article: "7 myths about child sexual abuse (pedophilia)"

Bibliographic references:

  • 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.

Sickboy: The Science of Pedophilia (October 2022).


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