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 pedophilia on Wikipedia

Alternative forms




Adapted from German Pädophilie, bringing its spelling into conformity with pedo- (child) +‎ -philia. Compare the Byzantine Greek παιδοφιλία (paidophilía, love of children).





pedophilia (countable and uncountable, plural pedophilias) (American spelling)

  1. Sexual attraction by adults and adolescents to children, specifically prepubescent children.
    Synonyms: (euphemistic) childlove, pederosis, (psychiatry) pedophilic disorder
    Antonym: teleiophilia
    Hypernym: paraphilia
    Coordinate terms: hebephilia, ephebophilia, pederasty, korephilia, teleiophilia
    • 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, [...]
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:pedophilia.
  2. (by extension, proscribed) Sexual activity between adults and children; the act of child molestation.
    Synonym: pedosexuality
    • 1998, Andrew L. Kaufman, Cardozo, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, →ISBN, 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, 2nd edition, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, →ISBN, 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, []
    • 2007, Todd Oppenheimer, “Read All about It -- but Where, Exactly?”, in SFGate[1], Hearst Communications:
      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.
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:pedophilia.

Usage notes

  • Many psychologists recommend against using the term pedophilia to denote sexual activities with children, because not all people with a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children (i.e., pedophilia) commit such acts, and child molesters often lack a strong sexual interest in prepubescent children.[1][2] Furthermore, psychological texts define pedophilia as a primary or exclusive attraction towards specifically prepubescent children;[3] attraction towards pubescent children is known as hebephilia and towards post-pubescent adolescents as ephebophilia. See Wikipedia for more information.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


  1. ^ Seto, Michael (2008). Pedophilia and Sexual Offending Against Children. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. p. vii.
  2. ^ Lanning, Kenneth V. (2010). Child Molesters: A Behavioral Analysis (fifth ed.). National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. pp. 29–30 (45–46 of PDF).
  3. ^ American Psychiatric Association, ed. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (fifth ed.). American Psychiatric Publishing. p. 697.