Why Pedophilia is Not a Disease

I don’t believe pedophilia is a disease.

The reason why I don’t believe pedophilia is a disease, is because it does not inherently hurt the “sufferer”.

Nowadays, we have a tendency to define someone as sick when they do terrible things. Anders Behring Breivik was initially defined schizophrenic for killing 77 people, until a second set of psychiatrists evaluated him and found him sane. He was an ideologically motivated killer, but his actions were unfathomable to many.

Same with pedophiles who molest kids. Their actions are vile and disgusting to most people nowadays, and thus the perpetrator must be sick. Their conclusion is also supported by the fact that pedophiles are actually sexually different from normal people, and can’t stop their attraction to children.

But to me, there is no doubt that it’s an orientation. A socially and morally problematic one, but still an orientation. If it was a disease, the pedophiles themselves would be inherently hurt by their disease. Instead, they are only hurt by society forbidding their actions (or even just feelings, as even non-molesting pedophiles can be hurt by society). Hurting other people should not be in the definition of a mental disease, as it says nothing about hurting the perpetrators themselves. Being hurt by social ostracism should not be in the definition of a disease, because then anything can suddenly be called a disease. Including having unpopular opinions. At most, pedophilia can be called a handicap. Like being an introvert trying to find a job. Or being too picky in the sexual marketplace.

If any of this sounds pedophile-excusing to you, you are still conflating mental health with the issue of morality. They are two completely different things. It’s not the task of psychiatry to insert morality into the definition of mental health. The task of psychiatry is to study and deal with mental health alone.



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25 Responses to Why Pedophilia is Not a Disease

  1. Scott Vater says:

    Not that I don’t agree with you here or in any of the other similar subject posts…but why are you so interested in pedophilia? If you don’t mind me asking.

    • emmatheemo says:

      Heh, mom asked me the same thing today (why I’m so interested in sexual perversions). I don’t perceive myself to be interested in pedophilia specifically, but I’m interested in controversial stuff. Pedophilia and anything that reminds people of pedophilia is a topic that produces knee-jerk reactions in a lot of people. It makes me want to look closer.

  2. bo jangles says:

    The US is in the minority with its laws on pedophilia. Now we prosecute people who have sex with sexually mature women(who invented 18 to be an adult and 21 to drink alcohol?). My GF from brazil talked about girls from the upper class having sex at 13. As a country we are just very uncomfortable about sex, despite claims to the opposite. The same with even the sexuality of young people..they are supposed to know nothing about sexuality..then poof when they turn 18 then you can dress or think differently. In South America you can see little girls in mini skirts, and no one blinks twice.. and its no surprise that latin women grow up with the understanding how to turn men on and seduce them with their bodies(the horror).

    • emmatheemo says:

      I never visited USA, but from what I see reflected in the media, American culture seems how you describe. On one side there is toddlers&tiaras, all the sex in movies, and girl toys that are dressed like hookers. On another side, there is the great fear of pedophiles everywhere, a boob in a movie is more serious than nasty gore, and finding anyone below 18 attractive is “gross”.

  3. Liz says:

    “A socially and morally problematic one, but still an orientation. If it was a disease, the pedophiles themselves would be inherently hurt by their disease. “

    The above is an untrue statement. Diseases are not defined only by harm to the “host”. Typhoid Mary wasn’t harmed at all by Typhoid…it just affected everyone around her.

    Second, most mental diseases are classified as diseases because they violate social norms. Once the practice is accepted in a culture it’s considered normal and no longer a disease. The history of psychiatry is repleat with examples of mental disorders coming and going. That’s why they rewrite the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). The folks at Salem who burned witches would be considered bat-s*t crazy today. Back then, they were just devout (and that disease harmed others too).

    Furthermore, most mental disorders have a social component. Prozac isn’t prescribed like candy because so many more people than ever before are truly clinically depressed today. Nor are children so attention deficit that one in seven boys need ritalin.

    • Liz says:

      By social component, I mean when something is widely popularized more people tend to “have” it. More people also tend to adopt behaviors that are accepted.

    • emmatheemo says:

      “Typhoid Mary wasn’t harmed at all by Typhoid…it just affected everyone around her. ”

      But pedophilia doesn’t work that way. The analogy would make sense if pedophilia inherently harmed some pedophiles, but not others. Instead, pedophilia only harms others because of the actions of the pedophile, not because other people catch pedophilia. The pedophiles themselves are not sick.

      “Second, most mental diseases are classified as diseases because they violate social norms. ”

      And I consider that a problem. I don’t think psychiatrists should have a right to define anyone as mentally ill with any authority just because they are unusual in their country or time. Those people in Salem would be considered batshit insane by arrogant psychiatrists. By me, they are only considered superstitious, overly religious and deserving of jail. I consider this arrogant because it defines disease not compared to the individual’s health and well-being, but relative to how everyone else feels about it.

      • Liz says:

        “And I consider that a problem. I don’t think psychiatrists should have a right to define anyone as mentally ill with any authority just because they are unusual in their country or time.”

        You’ll have to take it up with psychiatrists, Emma. That is the way it works.
        Most health science is hard science. Not so for mental health science.

      • emmatheemo says:

        It just sounded like you were agreeing with them on that issue. Of course that’s how it works for many countries and psychiatrists (although now that I think of it, I’m not sure an American shrink would necessarily prove a Salem person is insane and help them avoid jailtime).

      • Liz says:

        Guess I should add the caveat that SOME of it is based on hard science. Dopamine levels and serotonin levels are actually manipulated with medications, to produce the desired effect, and so forth.

      • Liz says:

        “It just sounded like you were agreeing with them on that issue.”
        No, I don’t agree. For perspective, homosexuality was considered a mental illness, actually listed as a mental illness in the DSM, until either the late 70s or early 80s.
        But I disagree with the idea that the “disease must harm the person inflicted to be a disease.”
        There are functioning people with mental illness (even untreated). But they are certainly mentally ill. Famous mathematician John Nash (portrayed in the movie Beautiful Mind) was one of them.

      • emmatheemo says:

        Ok. In that case, would something really be an illness if it’s not normal to be harmed by it directly? From what I understand, John Nash suffered from schizophrenia, which is usually harmful for the one who has it. He even was harmed by it in the movie, until he learned how to handle it. It’s not like pedophilia or being a sociopath.

  4. Eric says:

    Liberalism and Feminism are mental disorders.

    • emmatheemo says:

      I don’t agree with that either.

    • emmatheemo says:

      Just to explain, I don’t want to use the same methods my enemy uses. If I do that, it gives them legitimacy. You have no idea how terrifying it was when that police attorney decided that Eivind must be mentally ill and must be observed. All because his worldview didn’t agree with his own (there was also his dad’s damning interrogation, but antifeminism is partly why his dad said the things he said). So I don’t care what kind of imaginary enemies feminists are always afraid of (their rape culture, war on women and whatnot), it’s not a mental disorder. No political leaning or religion is a mental disorder to me, since human minds are pretty much prone to falling into those naturally.

    • emmatheemo says:

      Not to mention, you probably don’t want to call something like that a disease, implying the followers are just sick and have diminished responsibility for their actions.

      • Eric says:

        To look at the bigger picture, I don’t think the role of government or society is to concern itself with this kind of cause-and-effect. A government’s legitimacy only rests on the concept of defending society and civilization. Eivind wasn’t mentally ill because he resisted it—he resisted it because the government’s policies were defeating their own legitimate purposes and becoming tyrannical.

        As for Brevik: I think the proper response would have been for the Norwegian Army to have taken him into custody, interrogated him about co-conspirators, tried him by drum-head court-martial that night; and shot him at sunrise the next morning. Who cares why he did it? The fact that he planned out the attack so thoroughly proves he wasn’t mentally ill.

  5. Pingback: Why Pedophilia is Not a Disease | Truth and con...

  6. Agapoula says:

    Interesting perspective Emma.

    But I think all pedophiles are sick, if it is not a disease of the mind, it a disease of the soul.

  7. Agapoula says:

    Also, your gravatar is TERRIFYING. 🙂 .

  8. P.O says:

    I bet your friend TheAnti feminist agrees.

    “If you have a degree then you’re already well past peak sexual attractiveness and in a truly free sexual market most men probably wouldn’t even look at you.”

  9. Shee says:

    My friend worked as a paramedic. He told me about a man who killed an female infant because him having intercourse with her torn her vaginal opening all the way to her anal opening. She bleed to death.

    Nature made children to have small bodies and big set of eyes relative to their heads to make adults find them cute to feel the urge to protect them until they grow up to be independent adults.

    Of course nature isn’t perfect. It makes mistakes and sometimes adults have urges to harm children. As a society this is where other adults step in to protect them. It’s our instinct to. It should be considered a disease but it’s outside the social norm that is clearly harmful to other people unlike gays.

  10. x says:

    I am a teleiophile. I am sick according to MRAs

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