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Categorizing Pedophiles Pedophiles can be classified in several ways.

Pedophilia can be characterized as either exclusive or non-exclusive.

Exclusive pedophiles are attracted only to children.

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This desire prolongs even when they are not in the presence of children.

Non-exclusive pedophiles are attracted to both adults and children.

A large percentage of male pedophiles are homosexual or bisexual in orientation to children, meaning they are attracted to male children or both male and female children (Schiffer, 2008). However, case studies on pedophilia have demonstrated that female pedophilia does exist (Chow, 2002).

By Michael Cochran & Meghan Cole Most people imagine pedophiles as ugly old men dressed in trench coats, hiding in the bushes, waiting to snatch young children off the street.

However, recent television shows, such as , have exposed pedophiles as local neighbors, trusted friends, clergy, babysitters, teachers, and even family members.

Conceptions about pedophiles have been changing rapidly, and pedophilia has recently become a topic of increased awareness and concern.

Not only do television shows expose pedophiles, but there are new sexual offender disclosure laws, websites that track convicted sexual offenders, and more investigations of pedophilia, especially after the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church.

Yet children still remain vulnerable to sexual offenders regardless of their public façade.

The increasing attention on pedophilia has caused many Americans to question what this disorder entails, its characteristics, and what type of treatment should be sought for abusers. Do people choose to be pedophiles or are they born that way? Pedophilia The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) defines pedophilia as recurrent sexually arousing fantasies, impulsive desires, or behaviors involving sexual acts with a child and that occur over a period of at least six months.

In most cases, the pedophile is at least sixteen years of age and at least five years older than the child.

Those who suffer from pedophilia have a compulsion to abuse young children.