Pedophilia or Paedophilia is the abnormal sexual interest in, and attraction to, children by an adult. They tend to have sexual fantasies and urges primarily for prepubescent children. Pedophiles or Paedophiles are generally men, and they can be attracted to either or both sexes – male and female children.

Not all types of Pedophiles are child molesters, some never act on their desires throughout their life. However those who do act on their impulses will tend to justify their actions to themselves, and rationalising them. They will for example convince themselves that they are helping the child to advance. When a sexual act is committed on a child it is quite common for the Pedophile to be known to the family, say a family member or a family friend. They then have easy access to the child and that way are able to manipulate them. Acts that they do commit include exposing themselves, touching children’s genitals, oral sex and masturbating.

Other Pedophiles will fantasise about the acts, however they will feel abhorred at the thought of carrying it out and approaching a child knowing it to be morally wrong. This can then lead to feelings of guilt, and cause anxiety. It can also lead to loneliness, isolation and depression

The causes of Pedophilia are unknown, although in some cases it is thought that it can run in families.