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Definition of paedophilia (pedophilia) - Stop It Now

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Many people who have a sexual attraction to children also have a sexual interest in others, including people their own age or older. Terms such as ‘paedophilia’ are generally used in the media and society to refer to any sexual interest in children, but this is not always correct.

You may also encounter other terms, such as ‘paraphilia’, when looking up information on sexual disorders. The following information, while not intended to be used diagnostically, may be helpful in explaining some of the terms.

What is a ‘paraphilia’?

A paraphilia is a sexual arousal to something regarded as unusual. There appears to be no single commonly accepted definition and it is acknowledged that what is regarded as sexually ‘unusual’ varies across time, place and cultural norms. Paraphilia may be preferred as a term by some therapists as it can be seen as less judgmental than other terms, such as ‘sexual deviance’. However, there remains some debate about the terminology.

What is ‘paedophilia’?

The tenth edition of the International Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders (ICD-10) classifies paedophilia as a disorder of sexual preference. A disorder of sexual preference involves unusual sexual urges and fantasies that are strong and recurrent, and which lead the person to act out the urges or be distressed by them. To be classified as a disorder, the problem has to have been present for at least six months.

Paedophilia relates to a specific disorder where there is a preference for sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children. Therefore, it would not usually be the correct description for someone with a sexual preference for under-age teenagers (see hebephilia, below).

The term ‘paedophilia’ should not be used to describe young people under the age of 16 who have a sexual preference for younger children. ICD-10 criteria stipulate that the person with the disorder is at least 16 years old and at least five years older than the child or children who are the focus of their sexual preference.

Hebephilia and ephebophilia

Hebephilia is the term used to describe a preferential sexual interest in pubescent (i.e. early adolescent) individuals, rather than adult partners. As with paedophilia, it is not a term that would be applied to under-16s. A related term is ephebophilia, used to describe a preferential sexual interest in adolescent individuals (usually mid-late teens).

Hebephilia and ephebophilia are not formally defined as specific clinical disorders, but if the focus of the sexual preference leads to problematic behaviour and/or emotional distress, and if these problems are persistent (more than 6 months), they would likely meet ICD-10 criteria for disorders of sexual preference. This would need to be assessed by a professional.

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Pedophilia Definition & Meaning - Merriam-Webster

pe·​do·​phil·​ia ˌpe-də-ˈfi-lē-ə ˌpē- 

: sexual perversion in which children are the preferred sexual object

specifically : a psychiatric disorder in which an adult has sexual fantasies about or engages in sexual acts with a prepubescent child





or pedophilic



Word History


New Latin

First Known Use

1906, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler

The first known use of pedophilia was in 1906

See more words from the same year

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Cite this Entry



“Pedophilia.Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pedophilia. Accessed 30 Oct. 2022.

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Medical Definition


pe·​do·​phil·​ia ˌped-ə-ˈfil-ē-ə ˌpēd- 

: sexual perversion in which children are the preferred sexual object

specifically : a psychiatric disorder in which an adult has sexual fantasies about or engages in sexual acts with a prepubescent child

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Pedophilia as an integral part of the identity of the offender in the investigation of violent crimes of a sexual nature committed against minors


EFREMENKO Denis Mikhailovich*

I efremenkodm@mail. ru

st. Karl Liebknecht, 33, Omsk, 644043, Russia

Abstract. Based on the analysis of various scientific studies, the author defines the concept of "pedophilia", as well as the persons who are pedophiles. In addition, the author expresses an opinion about pedophilia as an integral part of the offender's personality and about the influence of pedophilia on the methodology for investigating violent sexual crimes committed against minors.

Key words: pedophilia, juveniles, violent crimes, sexual crimes, minors, sexual crimes, personality of the offender, pedophile.

Pedophilia as Part of the Identity of the Offender in the Investigation of Violent Crimes of a Sexual Nature

Committed Against Minors

Efremenko Denis M.**

El [email protected]

33 Karl Liebknecht, Omsk, 644043, Russia

Abstract. The Author based on the analysis of various scientific investigations defines the term "pedophilia" and identifies persons who are pedophiles. In addition, the Author expresses the view that pedophilia as part of the offender, as well as the effect of violent pedophilia in the methodology of the investigation of sexual offenses committed against minors.

Keywords: pedophilia, youth, violent crimes, sex crimes, juveniles, sexual offenses, the identity of the offender, pedophile.

Recently, the mass media has significantly increased the number of articles about cases of sexual abuse of minors, including, unfortunately, the most vulnerable category of citizens - young children, as well as about the perpetrators of this criminal act, the so-called pedophiles . In current practice, pedophiles refer to all persons who have committed a violent sexual offense against

minor or young child. Which of the perpetrators of this kind of crime is a pedophile, and who is not? What is the significance of pedophilia as an integral part of the identity of the offender? What is the significance of pedophilia in the investigation of violent sexual crimes committed against minors?

There is no concept of "pedophilia" in the legal literature and the current legislation of the Russian Federation. However, according to

* Head of the Department of Legal and Personnel Support of the Department of Education of the City Administration of Omsk.

** Head of Legal and Staffing Division of the Department of Education of the Administration of the City of Omsk.

with the open encyclopedia "Wikipedia" pedophilia (from other Greek llts, r. p. lsh, 5od - child and fShya - love; in another way, infantosexualism, paderosia, pedosexuality [1, p. 72]) is mental disorder, that is, one of the paraphilias. Pedophiles are persons who have been diagnosed with the above mental disorder1.

Pedophilia is an integral part and object of study of medicine and sexology2. In accordance with the International Classification of Diseases (hereinafter - ICD), pedophilia has the main distinguishing and exclusive feature, namely, the sexual preference of children (boys or girls, or both), mostly pre-pubertal or early puberty [5, 6].

Pedophiles, for the most part, realize sexual needs only in appropriate sexual fantasies, masturbatory fantasies, real communication with minors without a sexual context, virtual communication on the information telecommunication network "Internet", as well as viewing visual products of a certain content3 [2]. Despite this, the persons mentioned above have no motives aimed at committing violent acts of a sexual nature against minors and other acts, the object of which are minors.

Among pedophiles who sexually abuse boys, men and older boys predominate as subjects of abuse over women and older girls. In a sample of American college students, among males who reported being sexually abused or abused as children, 61% were male abusers, 28% were females, and 11% were both4.

A. A. Tkachenko expresses the opinion that for persons suffering from pedophilia, cruel actions are not typical, and in cases of cruel bullying when committing sexual intercourse,0003

crimes against juveniles, we can talk not about pedophilia as such, but about sadists - people with aggressive-sadistic tendencies and inclinations for whom the object, its gender and age do not matter. For this category of persons, the main goal of committing a crime is absolute power over the victim, unconditional obedience, causing physical and psychological suffering, from which the offender enjoys. In this connection, the scientist believes, not every pedophile is a potential criminal and murderer5.

I. S. Kon argues that the majority of perpetrators of violent sexual crimes against minors do not belong to the category of pedophiles, but are men with a normal psyche, married and raising children, committing criminal acts due to weakness of character and self-doubt. The child, as an object of assault, arouses interest for its defenselessness and helplessness, and there is nothing in common with sexual maniacs-killers [4].

Neither pedophilia (attraction to pre-pubertal children), nor hebephilia (attraction to pubertal -12-14-year-old adolescents), nor ephebophilia (attraction to post-pubertal - from 14 years of age adolescents and young men, and the latter category is never used as a diagnosis and is not associated with sexopathology) [4] cannot be considered a crime. The philia part of the word means attraction, and pedophilia thus represents the sexual attraction of an adult to minors.

IS Kohn believes that pedophilia, that is, the exclusive sexual attraction to children, and sexual abuse of children (rape, molestation or seduction) are essentially different phenomena. The first is the object of knowledge of psychologists, psychiatrists and sexologists, the second - teachers and lawyers. Pay special attention

1 URL: https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9F%D0%B5%D0%B4%D0%BE%D1%84%D0%B8%D0%BB%D0 %B8%D1%8F

2 Terminological clarifications on the website of one of the leading US clinics - Mayo Clinic. See: A Profile of Pedophilia: Definition, Characteristics of Offenders, Recidivism, Treatment Outcomes, and Forensic Issues. URL: http://www.mayo-dinicproceedings.org/artide/S0025-6196(11)61074-4/funtext

3 DSM-V work on paraphilias begins in earnest // Free Online Library. URL: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/DSM-V+work+ on+paraphilias+begins+in+earnest-a0215844762

4 Forensic psychiatrist Mikhail Vinogradov: "The best way to cure a pedophile is to cut off his head. " URL: http://izvestia.ru/news/333328#ixzz4VWWNXegRhttp://izvestia.ru/news/333328

5 Lovers of innocence. URL: http://izvestia.ru/news/341162

note that when it comes to pedophilia as an exclusive sexual attraction to children, the focus is only on the motivation of an adult who is irresistibly attracted to children of one sex or another and age. However, when speaking about the sexual abuse of children, attention is drawn to a child who, voluntarily or involuntarily, due to his accessibility and defenselessness, turns into an object of sexual assault, the source of which or an accomplice of the relevant actions is an adult [3].

According to American Psychiatric Association DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) paedophilic sexual interest in a person 16 years of age or older with at least 6 months of intense sexual urges, fantasies associated with the involvement in sexual activity of pre-pubertal children ( 11 years and under) is not a mental disorder. However, in cases where a pedophile is suffering because of his characteristics or causing harm, or there is a direct threat of harm to others, he may be diagnosed with a "pedophilic disorder" (English - pedophilic disorder). When establishing the grounds for this diagnosis, it does not matter whose children (own or others') the subject's sexual interest is directed. For the first case, according to DSM-5, it is possible to say that pedophilic disorder is limited to incest (eng. -limited to incest) [5].

DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for pedophilia commentary states that if a person does not suffer from pedophilia and does not cause harm to others, then there is a pedophilic sexual orientation (October 31, 2013 corrected to pedophilic sexual orientation). interest6), and not pedophilic disorder. When establishing a diagnosis, it is the consequences that have occurred or the possible consequences in relation to society that matter.

In accordance with the ICD-10 of the World Health Organization, which is also used in the Russian Federation, certain conditions are required to establish a diagnosis of pedophilia: 1) the person meets 93). Specific criteria F65.4 state that a person's sexual preference must be directed towards pre-pubertal or early puberty children (i.e., G1 is specified), and the person's age (at least 16 years of age) must be taken into account. In addition, the age difference between a person who has the above factors and the object of sexual attraction, which should be at least 5 years, is important [7].

Thus, we believe that a pedophile can be considered a person who has reached the age of 16, suffering for at least 6 months from systematic unusual sexual urges, fantasies for young children.

We believe that when investigating violent crimes of a sexual nature committed against minors, special attention should be paid to the possible identity of the perpetrator. The person who committed the crime may suffer from pedophilia and focus his criminal motives on minors and minors, but it is possible that the offender suffers from aggressive-sadistic inclinations, for whom age, gender does not matter, and crimes are aimed at both minors and adults , old people. Perhaps the offender is married, has children, but due to the fact that the wife does not allow herself to be realized or surpasses him, this person has a motive for committing sexual crimes against the female, and it does not matter whether it is a 12-year-old girl or 23 year old girl. Depending on the alleged version of the commission of a crime by a certain person - a pedophile, whose interest is directed only to children, or by another person, the methodology for investigating a violent sexual crime committed against a minor child will depend.

6 APA Statement on DSM-5 Text Error // American Psychiatric Publishing. URL: http://www.dsm5.org/Documents/13-67-DSM-Correction-103113.pdf


1. Abnormal sexual behavior: monograph. / [BUT. A. Tkachenko, E. Yu. Yakovleva, N. A. Radchenko and others]; ed. A. A. Tkachenko, G. E. Vvedensky; Assoc. "Jurid. center, State scientific center of social and fate. psychiatry them. V. P. Serbian. SPb. : Legal. Center Press, 2003. 655 p.

2. Deryagin GB Pedophilia: explanations for outsiders // Sexology and sexopathology. 2006. No. 2. S. 37-46.

3. Kon IS Sexual abuse of boys // Pseudology. URL: http://www.pseudology.org/Kon/Zametki/SexZloupotreblenieBoys.htm (accessed 09/15/2016).

4. Kon IS Sociological psychology. M. : Mosk. psychological and social in-t; Voronezh: MODEK, 1999. 560 p.

5. Okami P., Goldberg A. Personality Correlates of Pedophilia: Are They Reliable Indicators? // Journal of Sex Research. 1992 Vol. 29. No. 3. P. 297-328.

6. The American Heritage Stedman's Medical Dictionary. 6th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002. 923p.

7. The ICD-10 Classification of Mental and Behavioral Disorders: Diagnostic Criteria for Research / World Health Organization. Geneva: World Health Organization, 1993. 248 p.


1. Tkachenko A. A., Iakovleva E. Iu., Radchenko N. A., Vvedenskii G. E. (Ed.). Anomal'noeseksual'noepovedenie [Abnormal Sexual Behavior]. St. Petersburg, Iurid. Tsentr "Press" Publ., 2003. 655 p.

2. Deriagin G. B. Pedophilia: poiasneniia dlia postoronnikh [Pedophilia: Explaining to Outsiders]. Seksologiia i seksopatolo-giia - Sexology and Sexual Pathology, 2006, no. 2, pp. 37-46.

3. Kon I. S. Seksual'noe zloupotreblenie mal'chikami [Sexual Abuse of Boys]. Available at: http://www.pseudology.org/Kon/ Zametki/SexZloupotreblenieBoys.htm (accessed ).

4. Kon I. S. Sotsiologicheskaiapsikhologiia [Sociological Psychology]. Moscow, Moscow Psychological and Social Institute Publ., Voronezh, MODEK Publ., 1999. 560 p.

5. Okami P., Goldberg A. Personality Correlates of Pedophilia: Are They Reliable Indicators? Journal of Sex Research, 1992, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 297-328.

6. The American Heritage Stedman's Medical Dictionary. 6th ed. Boston, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002. 923 p.

7. World Health Organization. The ICD-10 Classification of Mental and Behavioral Disorders: Diagnostic Criteria for Research. Geneva, World Health Organization, 1993. 248 p.

Paper robe and $5 million bail. Who's afraid of Ghislaine Maxwell?

  • Kirill Belyaninov
  • BBC Washington

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Image copyright, Getty Images

Image caption,

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in New York in 2005

The New York City Attorney's Office asked the court to deny Ghislaine Maxwell's lawyers who demanded her release on $5 million bail. Investigators believe that the former socialite and assistant to notorious financier Jeffrey Epstein may testify against famous politicians and businessmen.

Maxwell's attorneys filed another petition with the Southern District of New York on Friday.

"She strongly denies all charges, intends to prove it in court and insists on the presumption of innocence," lawyers Mark Cohen and Jeffrey Pajliuka said, demanding that their client be placed under house arrest.

Maxwell representatives offered to post a $5 million bond. According to them, six guarantors are ready to guarantee this amount. As additional collateral, the defense offered Maxwell's property in the UK, valued at $3.75 million.

The US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York insists that Maxwell, who was arrested on June 2 at her home in New Hampshire on charges of prostituting minors and making false statements, remain in solitary confinement at the New York MDC prison until the trial in Brooklyn.

  • The FBI arrested socialite Ghislaine Maxwell in the case of Jeffrey Epstein


Why was Maxwell given a paper robe?

Since her arrest, 58-year-old Maxwell has been charged with six counts, mostly related to soliciting and transporting minors for sex.

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Prosecutors allege that from at least 1994 to 1997, she helped financier Epstein seduce girls, some as young as 14.

Based on the cumulative charges, the former businessman's assistant could face up to 35 years in prison.

According to investigators, Maxwell got acquainted with underage girls, inviting them to the cinema and shops or offering temporary work. After gaining credibility, she "attempted to normalize sexual abuse against an underage victim by discussing sexual topics, undressing in front of the victim, being present when the underage victim was undressed, and/or being present during sexual acts involving the underage victim and Epstein. "

Some of the victims claim that Maxwell often participated in sexual acts herself, but she denies all accusations.

Epstein himself, sentenced in 2008 to 13 months in prison on similar charges, was re-arrested last summer for child molestation. He did not wait for the trial, committing suicide in solitary confinement in a Manhattan prison by hanging himself on a twisted sheet.

  • Jeffrey Epstein found dead in jail cell

Donald Trump, Bill Clinton and other influential politicians and businessmen appeared on the list of Epstein's close acquaintances, the suicide of the financier caused a loud scandal in the United States. As it turned out, the records of all surveillance cameras were "accidentally" destroyed or turned out to be unreadable, and the guards were sleeping.

As a result, two guards on duty that night were charged with destruction of state property and negligence while on duty.

The investigation into the death of the financier is still ongoing, but the head of the US Department of Justice, William Barr, has already made it clear that Epstein's former assistant is unlikely to leave the cell before the trial.

"We have asked the Federal Bureau of Prisons to put in place a special security protocol, and we have enough reliable systems in place to monitor the situation," he told ABC this week in an interview.

While Epstein's death was ruled a suicide, he said, the authorities are still investigating and intend to prosecute all accomplices.

"I'm very happy that we were able to capture Maxwell," Barr said.

As it became known this week, towels and sheets were taken away from Maxwell in the cell, and instead of the usual prison uniform, they were given clothes made of special paper that tears easily. A security guard is constantly on duty at the door of the cell, and the light is not turned off in the room 24 hours a day.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons did not respond to a request from the BBC Russian Service.

Who is afraid of Ghislaine Maxwell?

Earlier this week, American publications published an 18-page indictment against Maxwell. It briefly lists all six counts, details on each of the episodes will be made public during the trial.

Nevertheless, it can already be assumed that the upcoming trial will make a considerable number of well-known politicians and businessmen worry.

Last summer, the details of a lawsuit filed back in 2015 by Virginia Giuffrey, who claims that at the age of 15, Maxwell hired her to work as Epstein's masseuse, became public.

Prior to this, Giuffrey worked as a dresser at Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.

The current US President, who has been close friends with Epstein for many years, is also mentioned in the statement of claim. Trump has repeatedly visited the financier's numerous estates, appeared at parties he throws and flew on his private jet.

In a 2002 interview with New York magazine, Trump referred to Epstein as a close friend, saying that his company was "a lot of fun." "Just like me, he loves beautiful women, and they say that many of them are very young," Trump said at the time.

According to Giuffrey's own testimony, Trump did not participate in Epstein's orgies and "never had sex with any of the girls."

Without mentioning Trump, the list of close friends and acquaintances of the infamous financier can be impressive. Epstein's villas and his private island, dubbed "Pedophile Island" by the American press, were visited by Prince Andrew of York, former President Clinton and well-known US lawyer Alan Dershowitz.

  • US wants to interrogate Prince Andrew in Epstein's case

As one of Maxwell's close acquaintances told the New York Post, Prince Andrew will have to "worry" if Epstein's former assistant decides to cooperate with prosecutors.

The lawsuit also mentions billionaire hedge fund owner Glenn Dubin and his wife Eve Andersson-Dubin, founder of a breast cancer research institute at a New York hospital. At one time she had an affair with Epstein, after the first arrest of the financier on charges of indecent acts, she publicly spoke in his defense.

According to Virginia Giuffrey, after the "training" required for all new girls, Maxwell sent her to "serve" Dubin.

A regular passenger on Epstein's private jet in the late 1990s was a former employee of the financier Claire Hazel, whom he paid for tuition at a university in Ohio State. In 2001, she married the heir to the beer empire, Edward Guinness, receiving the title of Countess Ivey.

Former President of Harvard University and ex-adviser to Barack Obama Larry Summers is also mentioned in the passenger lists of the plane.

It was Epstein who financed the production of a television program hosted by Summers' wife. He also donated $30 million to Harvard University to create the Epstein Program for the Study of Mathematical Biology and Evolutionary Dynamics.

According to the American media, Epstein was persuaded to give his name to this program by the president of the university.

Acquaintance with the infamous financier became a hindrance for former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. During one of the election campaigns, his political opponent Benjamin Netanyahu posted on Twitter a series of photos of Barak leaving Epstein's house in New York in 2016.

After that, the Israeli politician admitted that he really met with the financier "more than 10, but less than 100 times." He confirmed that he visited two houses in New York owned by the financier and flew to his personal island. At the same time, Barack denied that he had ever taken part in the orgies that Epstein arranged.

In the list of famous people who may be of interest to investigators was the owner of Victoria's Secret billionaire Leslie Wexner, who publicly announced in 2007 that he was ending his friendship with Epstein.

Giuffrey also mentions that among the financier's regular guests were former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and former Democratic Majority Leader in the US Senate George Mitchell. Both have already publicly denied Giuffrey's claims.

"I have never met, never spoken to or had any contact with Giuffrey," Mitchell told Fox News last summer.

Richardson explained that he had "very limited" contact with Epstein and had never met Juffrey or been to Pedophile Island.

What can Maxwell suggest to the investigation?

According to the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, hidden cameras were installed in all of Epstein's homes, and investigators suspect that footage of each of the guests was kept in the financier's archive. The "black notebook" was also mentioned, which also recorded the names of all the invited girls and the businessman's guests who used their services.

After Epstein's arrest, these tapes disappeared, but, according to Maxwell's close friend, TV presenter Christopher Mason, the financier's assistant had access to all the archives, and she may have the missing videotapes.

"I'm sure she has access to this video, so a lot of people in power have a lot to worry about," he told cable TV channel Lifetime.

Mason did not rule out that Maxwell would cooperate with the authorities in an attempt to reduce her impending prison term.

"I never thought she could testify against Prince Andrew, but the prospect of a life sentence with no parole could change everything," he suggested. "She's the only one who knows who slept with whom, and which of the young girls who was offered.

Usually, child abuse cases are handled by the Violent Crime and Organized Crime Prosecutor's Office. This time, the investigation is entrusted to the corruption crimes investigation unit, whose employees deal with crimes committed by public servants.

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