Accidents & CrimesAll About Child Molestation

All About Child Molestation


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Often we misuse the words ‘pedophile’ and ‘child molester’. We tend to use ‘pedophile’ to all offenders who sexually abuse children. But these two words are different in meaning.

A pedophile refers to a man or woman who has recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, urges, or behaviors involving pubescent or prepubescent children. The offense must occur over a period of at least six months for a person to be called a pedophile.

Pedophile is one case of a paraphilia, a psychosexual disorder. Paraphilia is not a type of child sexual abuse crime. This disorder causes a person to fantasize children sexually. 

But fantasizing, although alarming, is not illegal. If the person act out his fantasies or engage in the actual sex with children, he will now be charged of the crime, thus, making him a child molester. 

In other words, a pedophile is not necessarily a criminal. When he sexually abuses or exploits children, he now becomes a child molester.

There are two types of child molesters, situational child molesters and preferential child molesters. The first one does not have a true preference for children.  

They molest a child for different reasons, which sometimes has nothing to do with sexual desires. It is more of a criminal activity and sometimes the victim just happens to be a child. So, child molestation does not really require a paraphilia disorder.

Preferential child molesters have a true sexual preference for a child. These preferences include gender and age. They usually maintain such a desire for life. They have the same distinct pattern of behavior in seducing children, like buying them gifts. 

They tend to be more intelligent and most of them are decent people and use technology, such as computers and webcams. Some prefer prepubescent children and lose interest in them when they start getting older. 

They can be identified by certain behaviors like having an unusual interest in children and is willing to give them large amount of money, time and energy, and having a collection of child-oriented pornography.

Mary Kay Letourneau, America’s most famous female child molester, was involved with a 13-year old boy. The youth was one of her students. They had two daughters, of which one was born inside the prison.

Not all pedophiles are child molesters and not all child molesters are pedophiles. You cannot distinguish them. Most of them are very kind, since they always talk to children.

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