Increased media exposure of convicted sexual offenders with child victims has increased the public concern of pedophilia. A pedophile is no longer seen as “a dirty old man” in a church or a local theater; instead, people started recognizing someone more familiar such as friends and neighbors as potential pedophiles. However, despite this increased public concern, research on pedophilia has been facing an impediment due to limited available samples for researchers. The problem of research samples has been preventing the further understanding of pedophilia, and consequently, the solution for child sexual exploitation. After addressing why people should keep in mind that not every sex offender with child victims is a pedophile, this article discusses the available research on sex differences of pedophiles, the theories on what makes an individual to develop a pedophilia, and an overview of available treatments as well as the effectiveness of those treatments. This article also examines why researchers have been struggling with studying pedophilia and the proposed resolution that is challenging for society.
Child molesters; Child sexual abuse; Crime; Developmental; Mental disorder; Pedophilia; Pedophile; Sampling (Statistics); Sampling bias; Sex offenders with child victims; Sexual orientation
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The Challenge of Studying Pedophilia.
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