Pedophilia now refers “to a sexual orientation or profession of sexual preference devoid of consummation, whereas pedophilic disorder is defined as a compulsion and is used in reference to individuals who act on their sexuality,” said the report.
This means that a pedophile, who is inclined to fantasize sexually about children, is different from a person with a pedophilic disorder who acts on that inclination.
The classification of pedophilia in the DSM has been evolving over the years, the Women of Grace
In the fourth edition of DSM, pedophilia was classified as a “disorder only if the fantasies or urges involve children under the age of 13, if they last at least six months, if the individual has acted upon them, or if they cause distress such as legal problems”. To be corrected
However, according to a report in the Washington Times, the APA said that the DSM entry is erroneous and will be corrected soon.
The same quote was refered to by NeonTommy staff reporter Hannah Maluyao. The quote said that according to the DSM-V, pedophilia “refers to a sexual orientation or profession of sexual preference devoid of consummation, whereas pedophilic disorder is defined as a compulsion and is used in reference to individuals who act on their sexuality.”
APA stressed that pedophilia is not a “sexual orientation”. It was not the term used in the diagnostic criteria for pedophilic disorder. "Sexual orientation" should read ‘sexual interest.’”, they told Washington Times.
“In fact, APA considers pedophilic disorder a ‘paraphilia,’ not a ‘sexual orientation.’ This error will be corrected in the electronic version of DSM-5 and the next printing of the manual,” the organization said to Washington Times. The error appeared on page 698, said a spokeswoman.
“APA stands firmly behind efforts to criminally prosecute those who sexually abuse and exploit children and adolescents. We also support continued efforts to develop treatments for those with pedophilic disorder with the goal of preventing future acts of abuse," the statement added.
Preference vs Action
Paul Christiano, a registered sex offender, is a spokesperson of B4U-ACT
, a US-based pedophilia advocacy group that is “working towards de-stigmatizing the mental health community.”
“B4U-ACT does not condone illegal activity,” Christiano said in the report.
He said that B4U-ACT encourages “minor-attracted persons” in the organization to “openly acknowledge their feelings and desires.” But these sexual preferences should remain entirely unconsummated and must “remain purely a mental exercise”.
In short, pedophiles must be allowed to fantasize about minors, as long as such acts are never consummated, the report said.
Maluyao asked: “Yet how can we be assured that such behavior remains entirely in the mind and not carried out in the bedroom?”
“Answer: we can’t,” she said in her report.
Education vs Consent
Christiano also advocated “sexual autonomy of children.”
Maluyao quoted him saying that children “should not be left in the dark about their own sexuality” and that more education in sexuality would help them to better understand boundaries.
“There is an underlying suggestion that with sexual knowledge comes sexual consent,” Mulayao wrote in her article.
“If children were permitted to be more sexually autonomous, would they then be able to fully consent to a sexual relationship or, more importantly, a sexual relationship with an adult?”
Caitlin Myers, a doctorate student in sociology at the University of Southern California said, “in theory, pedophilia as practiced sexual orientation walks a thin line. There is no possibility of pedophilia becoming an accepted sexual orientation in current culture.”
Although an open discussion of sexuality will be helpful, children still cannot give consent.
Predisposition to sin vs. committing a sin
Dr. Gregory Popcak of the Pastoral Solutions Institute, does not think that people should be too concerned with these changes to the DSM, since the changes made were more editorial than clinical, according to the report.
“If it is just to distinguish between ideation and actions, I think that’s fine. In fact, that would be exactly how the Catholic Church thinks of it. One can have a predisposition to a sin or even a strong temptation to a sin without committing a sin,” he said in his article in Patheos
, a website for discussions on religion.
“There is a big difference between thinking about robbing a bank and actually robbing it. Neither is good, but only the latter is actually sinful.”
However, he warns, “if calling it an orientation is somehow used or co-opted by some social advocacy group to justify pedophilia as ‘just another normal expression of sexual desires’ then that would be seriously problematic.”
“That said, I don’t really think that’s what’s happening–at this time, anyway.”
Christiano explained in Maluyao's article that negative societal attitudes towards minor-attracted persons “trickle down to policy-making and the mental health community.”
Myers said that the sex-offender registry in the United States needs to be “more sensitive to the nature of crime”, adding the main problem with the registry is its “one size fits all” viewpoint.
“There could be a man who committed 20 consecutive rapes and a 19-year-old boy who had sex with his 17-year-old girlfriend and they would be punished in the same manner,” she said.
The law does define nor mention the word "pedophilia". — JDS/TJD, GMA News