Pedophilia is a mental disorder characterized by sexual attraction to prepubescent children by adult or older adolescence. It is usually common in male than female
Causes of pedophilia
The main cause is not known but there are some risk factors contributing to the occurrence of the diseases condition which is:
- Abnormal hormonal levels
- Abnormality in brain structure and function
- Presence of neurological characteristics at birth
- Reduced levels of white matter
- Abuse in childhood by adults
- Psychiatric illnesses such as personality disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders
Symptoms of pedophilia
The main symptoms of pedophilia are recurrent, intense sexual urge towards or arousal by children.
Diagnosis of pedophilia
Pedophilia is diagnosed with the following:
- Physical examination: medical health provider examines the patient, taking both present and past medical history.
- Lab test: lab test is conducted to rule out other medical condition that can contribute to the condition.
- Psychological evaluation: this helps to determine the psychology status.
- DSM criteria: Therapists use standard manuals to diagnose and classify mental disorders.
Treatment of pedophilia
Treatment of pedophilia includes:
- Castration: Castration involves the physical removal of the testes, which is the organ in the male which produces the sex hormone testosterone. Testosterone is the major hormones responsible for the sex drive in males.
- Androgen Deprivation Therapy: this is a drug treatment that involves the reduction of the male hormones, especially the hormone testosterone.
- Specific Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs): they are drug used for treating obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have been found to be effective for treating sexual disorders.
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy it is mainly focused on redirecting the pedophiles thinking and, as a result, his behavior by using various methods to help eliminate his erotic thoughts toward children.
- Psychotherapy: this is not the most effective form of treatment for pedophilia; however, it still is important to teach pedophiles what is at the root of their problems.
Prevention of pedophilia
- Avoid situations that may promote pedophilic behavior.
- Educating children on how to avoid uncomfortable situations.
- Teach children to avoid situations that make them vulnerable to pedophiles.
- Background investigation of any adult who works with children.
Complication of pedophilia
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Behavioral problems
- Poor self esteem