Ok this happened about a year ago. I am 18 years old and a male and recently started getting attractions for little girls between the ages of 5-10 years old. At first I was watching little girl’s shows because I was curious and was sick of the murder and violence on adult TV shows. I then began to think how cute the little girl was on the show and began thinking thoughts of how I would like to kiss her… passionately. One thing lead to another and I began to feel aroused by not just a fictional cartoon little girl but real little girls which I had no inclination to before. I looked at little girls in bathing suits and became aroused. I stopped myself from masturbation and have never done it out of fear. I see little girl’s clothes in shops and want to touch them and hold them and think how cute they look or buy them for myself just to hold. They get me excited if that’s a word for it. At the same time I love children in general including little boys without any sexual feelings what so ever, I find them cute, adorable and would never hurt a child and just thinking about it makes me cry. I look at little girls who have families and I want a family too so I can look after my own little girl which I wouldn’t hurt or abuse in any way. Just pure love like reading her a bed time story or cuddling her in my arms as she falls asleep. But I have these…attractions too that I can’t control and by that I mean, I look at a little girl in a dress or in a bathing suit and I start to get aroused or excited. I just want to stare and watch them if I see them on the streets. Mostly out curiously I think or longing for a child of my own rather than sexual as I do the same thing for a certain type of car I want. I will never commit actions based on those feelings. But my question is, am I a pedophile? Although I think I already know the answer I just need a second opinion. Thank you for your time.
It’s impossible to provide a diagnosis over the Internet, but generally speaking it’s not normal to be attracted to children. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, individuals who meet the following criteria may have a pedophilia disorder:
- For at least six months, have had intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child; or
- Have acted on these sexual urges or the sexual urges or fantasies have caused distress or interpersonal difficulty.
It is good that you recognize this as a problem. You must do whatever is necessary to ensure that you never harm a child. One of the most effective prevention strategies, is seeking professional help. You should be working closely with a mental health professional to control your urges and behavior.
Counseling can also help you to understand why you feel the way you do, but most importantly it can teach you how to divert these unhealthy urges into something more healthy and appropriate. There’s no law against thinking particular thoughts, but indulging in these thoughts significantly increases the risk for dangerous behavior.
You hypothesized that maybe you have these feelings because you want your own children but I don’t think so. Until this problem has been completely eliminated, you should avoid children. Nor should you be trying to start a family. At this point, your urges are not well controlled. I hope that you consider seeking help. It is the best preventative measure you can take. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle