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"At least one study has suggested that pedophilia is probably a sexual orientation (a person's inborn and unalterable sexual preference, irrespective of whether that preference is harmful to others or not).[1] This type of suggestion tends to cause a firestorm of controversy,[2][3] as some people figure that since homosexuality is a sexual orientation, that means that if pedophilia were to be regarded as a sexual orientation, society would have to condone child sexual abuse in the same way as it accepts sexual intercourse between consenting adults of the same sex."

The last sentence is false. The current understanding in practical all of the world is that children cannot give consent to sex. "Pedophilia, on the other hand, involves sex between an adult and a child who is not legally able to consent. There are substantial asymmetries in cognitive ability, psychosexual development, and autonomy that are not usually present in sexual interactions between consenting adults."[1]

Thoughts? — Unsigned, by: Mad physicist / talk / contribs

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Is Pedophilia a Sexual Orientation?". Retrieved on 27 September 2015.
  2. "Whopping Pedophilia 'Sexual Orientation' Error Sparks Right-Wing Freakout". The Huffington Post. Retrieved on 27 September 2015.
  3. Cord Jefferson. [, "Born This Way: Sympathy and Science for Those Who Want to Have Sex with Children"]. Gawker (Gawker Media). Retrieved on 27 September 2015.

I think that recognising paedophilia as an orientation would mean to search other treatments for paedophiles, but it will not mean that this behavior would be accepted, because of the reasons you mentioned. I am quite sure that a paedophile community will never exist, and sex abuse will remain as sex abuse. Kids are not physicall nor mentally prepared for sex, that's a fact.— Unsigned, by: Ep0605 / talk / contribs


the current intro paragraph totally fails any quality standards:

Pedophilia (a.k.a. paedophilia or pædophilia, if you're British) is the common term for sexual attraction to a minor. In technical medical contexts it has the narrower definition of the sexual attraction to prepubescents only.[1] The counterpart technical terms for sexual attraction to older minors are "hebephilia" and "ephebophilia", although an insistence on their use in a discussion of pedophilia is generally a strong indicator that pedophilia apologetics and 'justifications' for statutory rape are inbound. While pedophilia itself is believed to be largely biological in origin, the propensity to act upon it by engaging in child sexual abuse is increased by, perhaps not surprisingly, being the victim of a pedophile oneself.[2] There has been an increase in media reports covering pedophilic acts between female teachers and tween or young teen students, especially male pupils.[3]

- the 1st & 2nd lines are "ass-backwards", in that the technical term is the original & primary (& only clinically significant) definition, & the "common useage" is a mis-application of same. ergo, technical definition should come first, "colloquial" usage 2nd. see "narcotic" for another example of "jargon creep".

- the 3rd sentence is vastly "op-ed" re: insistence on correct usage or vocabulary = pedo-justification. it is also a bit semantically "untidy" in its final phrase.

- the 4th line is deeply "speculative" abt causes & behaviour; & either needs to be backed up by a lot more cites, or dropped from the itro

- the 5th line is "temporally subjective"; i.e.: easily out-of-date, & also lacking sufficient "proofs" (& debatable relevence) to be worth including in the intro section. (talk) 18:29, 30 October 2017 (UTC)

The counterpart technical terms for sexual attraction to older minors are "hebephilia" and "ephebophilia", although an insistence on their use in a discussion of pedophilia is generally a strong indicator that pedophilia apologetics and 'justifications' for statutory rape are inbound

This is patently incorrect- rather the whole of the modern scientific research makes clear distinctions in the various terminology for constructive purposes. To misuse the term "pedophile" when one means "hebephile" or "ephebophile" would fall nothing short of intellectual dishonesty, particularly when used in terms of a learned profession. (such as in the context of psychology). Therefore "insistence" on the proper use of the terminology (e.g. intellectual honesty) is not casually linked to "justification" or "apologetics". I could find no credible source that supports this notion, and the scientific literature rejects this notion outright in those rare instances it doesn't remain silent on the issue. Therefore, this line has been removed from the text. (talk) 07:51, 24 October 2019 (UTC)

Medical science has historically differentiated between different types of attraction, often based on the dubious worst of discredited psychoanalytic theory or dubious techniques such as the Penile plethysmographWikipedia (used by Ray Blanchard who's one of the strongest proponents), and without a clear understanding of whether or not they're distinct psychiatric/clinical conditions (there is certainly debate in the psychiatric community). But in modern political/social/ethical discourse "pedophile" is the usual term for sexual activity or desire for anybody under age (allowing for the fact that ages of consent vary). Even if the distinction is useful in some medical contexts (possibly, I've not seen proof of that statement), insisting on the proper terminology is often based on a desire by sexual offenders to avoid the stigmatised word "pedophile" and insist that they're much more innocent because they're only attracted to 12 year old girls with waists. Pedophilia advocates have a long history of misusing language and inventing different terms for what is a deeply immoral and repugnant desire. If you want a reference on using ephebophilia to minimise crimes see Jeffrey Epstein's friends and Milo. [1][2][3] --Annanoon (talk) 09:06, 24 October 2019 (UTC)


Not that I want to be accused of advocating for this, but I do think ephebophilia should be more clearly distinguished in the article. Whilst hebephilia is almost the same as it’s the sexual preference toward younger teens (12-16) which is equally reprehensive, ephebophilia is the preference over older teens (16-21). Should be notice that for medical science and psychology the adolescence last until around 20-21 years old. Thus, even disregarding the consent age that in most countries is around 16, thinking that someone who is into people of 18 or 19 years old is at the same level than pedophiles is kind of a stretch. It can be creepy if the other person is very old, but never will be place at the same level. --TV Guy (talk) 16:29, 23 November 2017 (UTC)

The counterpart technical terms for sexual attraction to older minors are "hebephilia" and "ephebophilia", although an insistence on their use in a discussion of pedophilia is generally a strong indicator that pedophilia apologetics and 'justifications' for statutory rape are inbound.

I think that's a no. Not claiming that you are an apologist and the informal way of referring to sex with a minor is pedophilia.—€h33s3βurg3rF@€3 Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 16:36, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
I always thought that Rational Wiki did not based its articles in "informal terms" but in scientific terminology, am I wrong? In any case, although it would never be a case of having sex (is a case of having the fetish, the pedophile that practice its pedophilia is call a pederast, that's another mistake), ephebophilia even taking into practice is not sex with minors, as people of 18-20 are not minors in most jurisdictions, and even those in 16-17 are not minors in other jurisdictions (as there are western countries where the majority of age is attain at 16 or 17). --TV Guy (talk) 22:44, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
In any case, I suggest this change:

"The counterpart technical terms for sexual attraction to older adolescents are "hebephilia" (attraction toward 12-16 individuals) and "ephebophilia" (16-20), although an insistence on their use in a discussion of pedophilia is generally a strong indicator that pedophilia apologetics and 'justifications' for statutory rape are inbound." I think that's a much better wording and more scientifically accurate. And btw I'm 20 so I guess I can't be a ephebophile just yet, maybe in a year if I'm still with my girlfriend who will be 19 at the time. --TV Guy (talk) 01:14, 25 November 2017 (UTC)

Ephebophilia is actually 15-18 — Unsigned, by: Kyle / talk / contribs

Teenagers are pedophiles[edit]

"'Pedophilia' (a.k.a. paedophilia or pædophilia, if you're British) is the common term for sexual attraction to a minor."

Only on RationalWiki we can learn that the word "pedophilia" is commonly used to mean attraction to a "minor" (!), so that - for example - all the horny teenagers in high school and college are commonly considered pedophiles, since they are sexually attracted to each other.

McLaghing (talk) 21:56, 24 November 2017 (UTC)

Point taken, I fixed it. Gœʦ ϝϭг Ѕæⳑ @ 22:00, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
"attraction to a minor (if you're adult)" is still absurd: In most of the countries the age of majority is 18 years, and nobody calls a 18 year old (hence adult) man a "pedophile" if he has 17 year old (hence minor) girlfriend. And even looking at the age of consent does not fix this absurd definition. If giving an imprecise definition of pedophilia as the first line of the article is really necessary - instead of giving the scientific definition and then discuss some common abuse of the term - then at least write something like: "the sexual attraction of an adult person to a child".
McLaghing (talk) 22:18, 24 November 2017 (UTC)

This is a horrible topic that often triggers insanity. Pedophilia as a medical term is about attraction to "children," who are, by definition, pre-pubescent. The term is used popularly, though, very differently, and often sloppily, referring to sexual attraction or activity that is illegal, which varies with culture and jurisdiction. In the U.S., there is, for example, in a few places, no minimum age of marriage and so no minimum age of consent (but generally below a certain age a court must consent to the marriage.) McLaghing's argument, though, is superficial, because nobody considers those people "pedophiles," he is mixing definitions. --Some random Smith (talk) 23:15, 24 November 2017 (UTC)

Problem is, even this sentence " is the common term for sexual attraction to a minor" is kind of a stretch. How common is it? In what countries is common? Is just en America is talking about? Because for example in Europe is much more common to use the clinical terminology than the was that is aparently common in America. So is common by what standard? --TV Guy (talk) 01:09, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
@Some random Smith Except for your last sentence, it seems to me that we are saying the same thing. I do not understand why at the end you conclude that I am mixing definitions, when I am the one who pointed out that RationalWiki uses an incorrect definition of pedophilia. McLaghing (talk) 05:32, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
It was a reference to the type of argument you used, which is to apply reasoning to a definition to extend it into absurdity. You are indeed correct on the medical definition, and it is also the case that popular usage strays far from this. It's a bit odd to see the common idea on RationalWiki on this -- that if one proposes accurate terminology, one is therefore about to propose legalizing "statutory rape" or "pedophilia," which is anti-science and anti-intellectual. I was tempted to revert your change back in, but ... I don't care enough. --Some random Smith (talk) 00:07, 26 November 2017 (UTC)

I have replaced the "attraction to a minor" definition of pedophilia at the beginning of the article with the correct scientific definition. The count down until everything will be reverted back starts in 3, 2, 1... now! McLaghing (talk) 08:28, 25 November 2017 (UTC)

...and reverted back in less than 15 minutes by Spud, of course without giving any explanation. McLaghing (talk) 10:25, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
If you knew it was going to be reverted, then why make the edit? —Kazitor, pending 11:02, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
To point out how things work here. I gave a quite clear explanation of why the definition of pedophilia given by RationalWiki is absurd and I corrected it with the definition established by the scientific community. Then, everything is reverted back and no explanation of why so is given. Does that seem to you the normal behavior of a community which claim to have a "Scientific Point of View"? McLaghing (talk) 13:48, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
Is there a list of standard losing arguments on RationalWiki? If so, this must be on it. Kazitor is correct, to make an edit you know is going to be reverted is disruptive on wikis. --Some random Smith (talk) 00:07, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
Then go write a standard list of losing arguments... Maybe come back when you will have something to say on why RationalWiki should use "attraction to a minor" instead of the definition of pedophilia given by the scientific community. McLaghing (talk) 09:36, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
McLaughing, I don't come or go based on stupid advice from a noob, who has no idea of how to create agreement, but presents losing arguments. I've already agreed that your point was correct, but instead of building on that and acknowledging agreement, you simply wave your penis. I say "penis" because most women know better and don't play this game and because this is, after all RationalWiki, according to my browser bar. I could also answer your question (i.e., why is an "incorrect definition" used?), but why should I bother? --Some random Smith (talk) 15:47, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
To be fair, this article seems to conflate biological immaturity (sexual), with legal minority, which includes sexually mature minors. In the latter case, ephebophilia or hebephilia might be a more accurate medical characterization.Ariel31459 (talk) 14:15, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
I agree wtih McLaghing, Rational Wiki should try to be as accurate as possible on clinical terminology, and this is not advocating a conduct more than using "anti-social behavior disorder" instead of "psychopath" is advocating for serial killing. --TV Guy (talk) 15:20, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
Ugh, and another thing I just notice; the article reinforces the missconception that molestation victims are more often future abusers, which is not only debunked by several studies, it's also a stygma that many molestation victims suffer contributing to the culture of silence surrounding the issue for fear to be label as future pedophiles. Something that several victims' advocate and support organizations are trying hard to eliminate. --TV Guy (talk) 15:28, 25 November 2017 (UTC)


Is it me or is kind of disturbing to see the Rainbow flag right at the side of the title of this article? I know is because of the subject matter is sexuality but it truly can be missinterpreted. --TV Guy (talk) 01:16, 25 November 2017 (UTC)

The sexuality navbar is there because pedophilia is a sexual attraction. It's the same reason why necrophilia has the sexuality navbar.—€h33s3βurg3rF@€3 Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 07:07, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
But there's a navbar for crime, shouldn't be better to have both? --TV Guy (talk) 15:21, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
Pedophilia is not a crime. Rape, assault, molestation: these are crimes. Anyone can be guilty or innocent of them, regardless of their sexual preference. It is rather bigoted to suggest that someone is a criminal by virtue of their sexuality. Mean mr. custard (talk) 23:08, 13 January 2018 (UTC) @TV Guy

A far more realistic approach to the issue[edit]

"Public Opinion" section[edit]

I was wondering if there's a more recent survey than 2014 already available? Percentages can change in 6 years. Thunderclapper (talk) 11:02, 25 June 2020 (UTC)

Problems with this article[edit]

Looking back at this article, I still think this article is still pretty flawed.

One issue I have is how the article tries to define pedophilia. The thing is that the "technical medical" definition is not restricted to medical contexts, but also used in other contexts including in discourse around fighting child sexual abuse and trafficking (examples: The Mama Bear Effect ECPAT, the Quebec government). I realize we ought to call out and condemn who try to play semantics to try and justify their jailbait and raping the underage (ex. the "it's ephebophilia not pedophilia" hack), but I don't think trying to force this article's "common term" definition is the correct way of doing so; furthermore even that fails to capture the fuzziness on how the term is commonly used. Many use it to refer to the act of child molestation itself, and also apply the term to people who aren't yet adults (ex. Sara Palin calling Lena Dunham a "pedophile" for what she did when she was like 7).

Another thing is that a lot of the article is messy and contains a lot of unnecessary information. For example, I don't think the "Cultural influences" section as being relevant to the article or pedophilia as a condition. A lot of the "Online" section was copied from the Online pedophile activism article and much of the stuff here would be more appropriate there. And the "Semantics" section is rather messily written, though this is obviously easily fixed.

Although most of the content is good, I think this article is still in need of a major rewrite or reformatting.Advicedoge (talk) 07:59, 21 August 2020 (UTC)

Add this to the page[edit]

Pedophiles are useless eaters. — Unsigned, by: Wildcat Fan / talk / contribs