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Relationships with Dr. Jankovich: Pedophiles

Our ideas about pedophiles are changing. We used to think pedophiles acquire sexual attraction to children because they were sexually abused themselves as children.  Not so.  

Most convicted pedophiles were not sexually abused; research suggests they develop differently in the womb so that what arouses them as children and teens, remains the object of their arousal as adults.  Their attraction to children, while they are children, does not mature as they age.  We used to think only men were pedophiles.  Not so.  Women also prey sexually on children.  We thought looking at child pornography could awaken previously unknown attraction to children.  Not so.  The majority of people who look at child pornography have already committed sexual abuse against children.  Looking at child pornography doesn’t cause the first act, but it may arouse desire and trigger future acts.  Frightening stuff.  When you think your children are old enough, teach them there are people who hurt children and talk with them about how to protect themselves.

Dr. Jankovich is a former commentator for “Relationships with Dr. Rebecca Jankovich” and has been working as a psychologist since 1974.