Disorder or orientation?

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syndicated from A MAP In Love

This journal entry is the opinion of the author, and not an official position of MEDAL.

This piece was originally written on Feb 17, 2022.

Diagnostic FeaturesThe diagnostic criteria for pedophilic disorder are intended to apply both to individuals who freely disclose this paraphilia and to individuals who deny any sexual attraction to prepuber­tal children (generally age 13 years or younger), despite substantial objective evidence to the contrary. Examples of disclosing this paraphilia include candidly acknowledging an intense sexual interest in children and indicating that sexual interest in children is greater than or equal to sexual interest in physically mature individuals. If individuals also complain that their sex­ual attractions or preferences for children are causing psychosocial difficulties, they may be di­agnosed with pedophilic disorder. <begin highlighted text>However, if they report an absence of feelings of guilt, shame, or anxiety about these impulses and are not functionally limited by their paraphilic im­pulses (according to self-report, objective assessment, or both), and their self-reported and le­gally recorded histories indicate that they have never acted on their impulses, then these individuals have a pedophilic sexual orientation but not pedophilic disorder. <end highlighted text>
From the DSM-5

Minor attraction is an orientation. It is a hardwired attraction, usually discovered around puberty, just like other orientations such as heterosexuality and homosexuality. Many mental health professionals have called minor attraction an orientation. The DSM-5 states that if the subject doesn’t act illegally on their sexual feelings for minors, and is not distressed by those feelings, it is an orientation rather than a disorder.


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Katie Cruz Avatar

Writer/Activist | A MAP In Love

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