/pee'deuh fil"ee euh/, n. Psychiatry.
sexual desire in an adult for a child.
[1905-10; < NL; see PEDO-1, -PHILIA]

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▪ sexual behaviour
also spelled  Paedophilia,  

      psychosexual disorder in which an adult's arousal and sexual gratification occur primarily through sexual contact with prepubescent children (child abuse). The typical pedophile is unable to find satisfaction in an adult sexual relationship and may have low self-esteem, seeing sexual activity with a child as less threatening than that with an adult. Most pedophiles are men; the condition is extremely rare in women.

      Frequently the sexual encounter stops short of intercourse, the pedophile obtaining sexual gratification through fondling the child and sometimes through genital display alone. Reactions of the child victim can range from fright, particularly if force or violence is involved, to bewilderment or passive enjoyment. Although some children seem more upset by previous parental warnings than by an actual encounter, the sexual encounter can often be quite traumatic to them, especially if there is associated violence. There is also evidence that children who have been sexually victimized are more likely to be troubled adults. Studies have determined that boys who were sexually abused are more likely to become adult sex offenders. Sexually abused girls more frequently respond by self-destructive behaviours such as substance abuse or prostitution.

      Legally, pedophilia is considered in most Western nations to be one of the most serious of sexual offenses. In general, the younger the child and the greater the disparity in age between pedophile and victim, the more severe the penalty. Most severe penalties are usually reserved for pederasty, sexual contacts between adult males and young boys. More than half of those arrested for pedophilia are friends, relatives, or acquaintances of the child.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • pedophilia — An abnormal obsession with children as sex objects. A person who acts upon this obsession, by molesting a child, taking explicit photographs, and performing other acts specified by law, is guilty of a crime. Category: Criminal Law Category: Small …   Law dictionary

  • pedophilia — 1905, from Gk. pais (gen. paidos) child (see PEDO (Cf. pedo )) + philos loving see PHILE (Cf. phile)). First attested in Havelock Ellis …   Etymology dictionary

  • pedophilia — [ped΄ə fil′ē ə, pē΄dəfil′ē ə] n. [ PEDO 1 + PHILIA] an abnormal condition in which an adult has a sexual desire for children …   English World dictionary

  • Pedophilia — This article is primarily about the sexual interest in prepubescent children. For the sexual act, see Child sexual abuse. For the primary sexual interest in 11–14 year old pubescents, see Hebephilia. For mid to late adolescents (15 19), see… …   Wikipedia

  • Pedophilia — Sexual fondness and activity of adults with children. Pedophilia is a form of paraphilia (deviant sexual behavior). Pedophilia is sexual child abuse. Child abuse comprises four basic types of mistreatment: child neglect, physical abuse of a child …   Medical dictionary

  • pedophilia — noun /piːdəˈfɪlɪə/ Sexual or erotic feelings or desires directed by adults towards children. Entire books have been written about the role of scandal in US politics (Garment, 1992). Offenses include smoking marijuana, hiring illegal aliens,… …   Wiktionary

  • pedophilia — noun a sexual attraction to children • Syn: ↑paedophilia • Hypernyms: ↑paraphilia * * * pedophilia etc., varr. pædophilia, etc …   Useful english dictionary

  • pedophilia — noun Etymology: New Latin Date: 1906 sexual perversion in which children are the preferred sexual object • pedophiliac or pedophilic adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • pedophilia — ped|o|phi|li|a [ ,pedou fıliə ] noun uncount sexual desire for children in an adult …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • pedophilia — [[t]pi͟ːdəfɪ̱liə[/t]] see paedophilia …   English dictionary

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