From MAP Wiki
The pedophile flag

Pedophilia is an attraction to prepubescent children. On average, most pedophiles discover that they have an attraction to prepubescent children during puberty [1][2]. Teenagers, along with children who are attracted to children significantly younger than them, can be pedophiles.

History of the term

The term "pedophilia" comes from Ancient Greek, where "pedo" was derived from the word παῖς, meaning "child," and "phile" was derived from the word φῐλέω, meaning "I love."

According to Kenneth Dover, a British classical scholar and academic, Ancient Greek poets replaced a more habitual word paiderastēs with paidophilēs to fit the verse as early as 6th century BC[3]. The word gained a wider use much later. Claude-François Michea, a French psychiatrist, made a mention of "philopédie" in his Caractères qui Permettent de Distinguer la Perversion Maladive de la Perversité Morale, written in 1852. The term's original form was returned by Richard Krafft-Ebing in Ueber Unzucht mit Kindern und Pädophilia Erotica in 1896 [4].

Pedophilia as an identity

Pedophilia is the most visible minor attraction and also the most stigmatized one. Hypervisibility of pedophilia, together with a conflation between attraction and action, results in the majority of specifically verbal mapmisia targeting pedophiles. This happens in casual conversations about mapness or CSA, as well as in news articles on these topics.

Other examples of verbal pedomisia

  • The french term for CSAM is pédopornographie[5].
  • It is common for Dutch researchers refer to the act of child molestation without attraction as "pedosexuality"[6].
  • "Pederast" (педераст) and its more colloquial derivatives "pidoras" (пидорас), "pidor" (пидор) are widespread slurs for queer men in Russia[7].

In response to the stigma, some people and organizations who work with pedophiles professionally have switched to the so-called "person first" language and started replacing "pedophiles" in their texts for "people with pedophilia" and "people with pedophilic interests". Meanwhile many pedophilic members of the map community actually prefer the "pedophile" identity even if they have other chronophilias. An idea to replace "pedophilia" as an identity with "childlove" did exist in 2000s[8], but eventually died out.


Equation with other minor attractions

The term "pedophilia" is often incorrectly used as an umbrella term to mean anyone who has an attraction to children or teenagers, regardless of age. The correct umbrella term is "minor attracted person" ( map). An attraction to teenagers is not pedophilia, but hebephilia or ephebophilia.

Equation with CSA

The term "pedophile" is used colloquially to mean someone who is a perpetrator of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), regardless of whether this person has an attraction to prepubescent children. Most people who have offended against children do not have a preferential attraction to prepubescent children, and thus are not pedophiles[9].


Pedophilia is sometimes conflated with pedophilic disorder. Pedophilia itself is not a psychiatric disorder. To become diagnosed with pedophilic disorder, the person in question must have significant distress about their attractions or must have acted on their attractions[10]. In addition to that, there are arguments against this diagnosis existing[11].