So you've been called a pedophile…

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If you are concerned that you might be a pedophile, the good news is that it’s less likely than you think. Unfortunately, the term ‘pedophile’ is often misused, especially in the media, where it is used as an attention grabber and a scare tactic. There is confusion over the term itself but it does not…


I found an article similar to this one: Pedophile OCD (POCD): Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Coping

From the article (this section explains the difference between POCD and pedophilia):

The obsessions of obsessive-compulsive disorder are ego-dystonic or opposite to a person’s desires, values, and self-concept. The person with POCD is deeply disturbed by their obsessions and does not enjoy them. They want more than anything to escape the thoughts because of how terrorizing they are and go to great lengths to do so by performing compulsions.

A pedophile experiences sexual thoughts, urges, attraction, and fantasies that are ego-syntonic, or align with a person’s self-concept, feelings, and desires. The sexual thoughts and feelings about children are pleasurable to the pedophile.

3-5%. I’ve seen this number before, but most often in regards to the adult male population. I don’t know if this number refers to only a certain area or the entire globe. This article simply says “3-5% of the population”. Is this referring to the total global population, men and women?


The linked PDF says that it’s the “general population”. Here’s what it says (on page 392):

The prevalence of pedophilia in the general population is unknown because large-scale epidemiological surveys have not yet been conducted. Much smaller surveys of convenience samples suggest that the upper limit for the prevalence of pedophilia is around 5%, as almost all of these surveys have shown that 3% to 9% of male respondents acknowledge sexual fantasies or sexual contact involving pre-pubescent children (e.g., Briere & Runtz 1989, Fromuth et al. 1991, Templeman & Stinnett 1991). Only some of these respondents might meet the diagnostic criteria for pedophilia, however, as these surveys have not asked questions regarding the intensity or persistence of sexual fantasies or behavior.

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Thank you, and apologies for my own laziness in not reading the paper myself.

If we highball this and say 5% of the total human population (8 billion) are pedophiles, then that’s 400,000,000 million pedophiles in the world! That’s 100 million people greater than the entire US population! That’s one-in-how many people exactly!?

If every single one of these people was a child molester, we’d have so much more molestation in the world than we currently do. And for all those folks suggesting we just kill all pedos… well, 400,000,000 people far exceeds any genocide in history. Simply unfeasible (not to mention morally bankrupt).


In truth, pedophilia is a medical condition and you must meet several criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5th Edition (DSM-5) to be diagnosed as a pedophile […].

There’s a difference between pedophilia and Pedophilic Disorder. The DSM-5 has an entry with diagnostic criteria for Pedophilic Disorder, but not for pedophilia. Pedophilia isn’t a diagnosis. The entry itself draws this distinction.


We made some updates to this post in response to feedback. Thanks for helping us keep things accurate!