I, Pedophile, a documentary from Firsthand, explores important facts and misconceptions about pedophilia, including the four most common ones listed below.
Pedophiles are not child molesters.
Just because someone has a sexual interest in children does not mean they’re going to act on their attraction. Dr. James Cantor (PhD), the world’s leading pedophile expert, has reason to believe that the great majority of pedophiles may never offend against children, and choose to keep their attractions a secret.
While pedophilia refers to the sexual attraction to children, child molester is the term applied to people who act on their attraction. In fact, according to Dr. Cantor, many child molesters are not actually pedophiles, but are people seeking opportunistic sexual gratification from children who they find accessible.
Just because someone is a pedophile, doesn't mean they're a bad person.
The biggest online support group for pedophiles is called Virtuous Pedophiles. Run by self-identified pedophiles Ethan Edwards and Nick Devin (both pseudonyms), the site is devoted to providing social support and resources to pedophiles who swear to live celibate, non-offending lives.
Social stigma forces many pedophiles to keep their attraction to children a secret from everyone they know, so anonymous interactions with other pedophiles online can make all the difference to those who need a sense of community with people undergoing similar experiences. Dr. James Cantor says that sites like Virtuous Pedophiles play a big role in reducing the instances of child molestation providing support to people who can’t seek help through traditional means for fear of being demonized — and reported to the police.
Pedophiles are not attracted to all children.
Like heterosexuals, research suggests that pedophiles are either attracted to females or males, but not usually both. Pedophiles also differ in what age ranges they find attractive. In the documentary I. Pedophile, we meet two men who describe the specific parameters of their attraction. As a teenager, Bob discovered that he was attracted exclusively to boys ages 7-11. Throughout his life, he has found that this “age of attraction” has never changed. Another subject, Edward, admits his attraction to girls as young as four.
Not all pedophiles are only attracted to kids.
Although the majority of pedophiles are exclusively attracted to children, many are fortunate to have some attraction to men or women their own age. This is why many pedophiles are able to get married, have healthy sex lives, bear children, and even deny the reality of their attraction to children far into their adult lives.
Ethan Edwards, the co-founder of Virtuous Pedophiles, claims that he didn’t understand the true nature of his attractions until his mid-50s. By this time, he had been married for ten years and fathered two children.
Even when pedophiles do find adult partners to have a relationship with, they often are more strongly attracted to children than adults, and for obvious reasons. Confiding this attraction to a loved one or trusted partner can be terrifying experience.
For the full story, watch I,Pedophile on CBC's Firsthand.