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Alternative forms[edit]


From Ancient Greek παιδοφιλία (paidophilía), from παιδόφιλος (paidóphilos), from παῖς (paîs, boy, child) and φιλέω (philéō, I love). Equivalent to pedo- +‎ -philia.


Usage note[edit]

Many psychologists recommend against using the term pedophilia to denote sexual activities with children, because not all people with a sexual preference for children (i.e., pedophilia) commit such acts, and child molesters often lack a strong sexual interest in children. See Wikipedia for more information.


pedophilia (usually uncountable, plural pedophilias)

  1. Sexual feelings or desires directed by adults 16 and older towards prepubescent children. [from 20th c.]
    • 2004, Ronald J. Comer, Fundamentals of abnormal psychology, page 341:
      Some people with pedophilia are attracted only to children; others are attracted to adults as well (APA, 2000, 1994).
    • 2007, Margaret Mary Wright, Judicial decision making in child sexual abuse cases, page 122:
      As noted earlier, pedophilia was cited as both an aggravating and a mitigating circumstance by trial judges, as was the absence of pedophilia.
    • 2009, Ann Kring, Sheri Johnson, Gerald C. Davison, Abnormal Psychology:
      Sometimes a man with pedophilia is content to stroke the child's hair, but he may also manipulate the child's genitalia, [...]
  2. Sexual activity between adults and (prepubescent) children.
    • 1998, Andrew L. Kaufman, Cardozo (ISBN 0674096452), page 25:
      Fifteen months later, a committee of the congregation found that he had sexually abused several boys within the congregation. [] The fact that Alger committed pedophilia at the age of thirty-four casts a shadow over his subsequent yearning for relationships with boys and young men, but there is no evidence of any later misconduct.
    • 2005, Carol Weiss Lewis, Stuart Gilman, The ethics challenge in public service: a problem-solving guide, page 88:
      Entire books have been written about the role of scandal in US politics (Garment, 1992). Offenses include smoking marijuana, hiring illegal aliens, plagiarizing, sexually harassing others, engaging in pedophilia, [...]
    • 2009, Nancy Cavender, Howard Kahane, Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use of Reason in Everyday Life, page 309:
      It's quite another (a bad idea) to expect amateurs to figure out who is telling the truth about Iraq, or which priests have committed pedophilia.



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