Pedophilia and Sexual Orientation

  • Julianna Baker Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Keywords: pedophilia, sexual orientation, age orientation, pedophilic disorder


The purpose of this paper is to examine the implications of viewing pedophilia as a sexual orientation. While there is a clear distinction between gender preferences in sexual orientations, the discussion around other factors of sexual orientation do not often include age orientation. Using the multi-dimensional framework proposed by Seto (2016), this paper seeks to add to the discussion of expanding the definition of sexual orientation to include age orientation. Pedophilia describes a paraphilia where people are romantically or sexually attracted to children. According to the DSM-5, people can be diagnosed with Pedophilic Disorder if their romantic and sexual attraction to children is persistent, pervasive, and if these feelings cause significant distress, or if they have acted on their feelings. Expanding the definition of sexual orientation to include age orientation would help reduce the stigma experienced by the minor-attracted population by allowing safer access to therapeutic interventions. Differentiating between sexual attraction and criminal behaviour would increase access to therapeutic interventions targeted towards reducing sexual offences against children.

Analytical Papers