6. Obsession and addiction
The American Psychiatric Association's DSM says that pedophilia involves "recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors."20 However, no studies have been conducted to determine whether attraction to minors is more recurrent and intense than normal sexual attraction to adults.
A handful of researchers have examined the thoughts and feelings of men attracted to boys:21
- They report that these men find both personality and physical traits of underage boys attractive, such as curiosity, spontaneity, gentleness, warmth, enthusiasm, honesty, affection, smooth skin, attractive eyes, and slim stature.
- They have found that many of these men desired to give love, and affection to the boys, and indicated that a sense of emotional contact was as important as, or more important than, sexual activity.
- Some men believed that their sexual feelings were a natural, innate part of their constitution.22
This has led some researchers to conclude that the feelings and fantasies of pedophiles and ephebophiles resemble those of normal heterosexual menís feelings toward women.23
On the other hand, providers of sex offender treatment work under the assumption that pedophilia and ephebophilia can be treated by relapse prevention methods adopted from the field of addiction recovery.24
For more information, see the section on this site about feelings and characteristics of minor-attracted men.