9. When does attraction to minors begin?
The sexual attraction to prepubescent children is believed to first appear during adolescence.
- Two researchers have found evidence that pedophilia may be predetermined before puberty.33
- Criminological literature shows that some juvenile sex offenders are preferentially attracted to prepubescent children.34
There is no literature on the appearance of ephebophilia, and there are no non-criminological studies of the development of pedophilia or ephebophilia among youth. As a result, no information is available about the characteristics or behavior of these children or adolescents in the general population, or of effective ways to help them.35
When a boy is suspected of interacting sexually with a younger child, he is often arrested and placed in family therapy and/or adult-style sex offender treatment that may involve aversion therapy (or related behavioral methods), cognitive restructuring, relapse prevention approaches, and/or sex-drive reducing drugs.36
For more information, see the section on this site about youth issues.
34. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 1999*; Center for Sex Offender Management, 1999*.
35. Feierman, 1990b.
36. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 1999*; Center for Sex Offender Management, 1999*.
*Will open an off-site article in a new window.