Factors Contributing to Pedophilia
Most experts maintain that pedophilia has its origins in childhood, where the developing young child is inundated by a variety of stimuli surrounding him including different people, activities, clothing and other objects that become associated with the child’s awareness of his own body and sexual response to certain stimuli. When body awareness and sexual response is associated with other children, and this association with children and related images is used repeatedly to stimulate sexual response, it often becomes difficult for the child as he matures to leaves these associations, images and responses behind as he physically and mentally matures. By the time he arrives into adulthood, he is a potential pedophile with a well-established sexual interest in children.
Although many sources suggest that the experience of sexual abuse in childhood contributes to the development of pedophilia in adulthood, this claim is countered by the fact that as many as 25% of all females and 10% of all males will have experienced child sexual abuse by the age of 18, which suggests that a much greater number of pedophiles would exist in American society if child sexual abuse contributed to the development of pedophilia. In fact, the research shows identifiably lower percentages of pedophiles in both male and female populations. It is important to note however that child sexual abuse has been found to influence the gender of the child that the pedophile targets for victimization, with the research revealing that only 24% of those pedophiles who report that they were sexually abused as children targeting girls while 40% of those who target boys reporting that they were sexually abused as children.