Something I’ve noticed a lot of people say when they refer to people who are pedophilic or have pedophilic desires is the expression of a belief that they need to “get help”.
Get help for what? Their sexual desires/interests?
If they’re not at risk of committing a sex offense against a child or consuming child pornography, then I don’t think there’s any need for them to ‘get help’.
This idea that pedophiles can get their sexual interests or desires corrected stems from, what I believe, are two things.
The rationale that the sexual interest, in and of itself, which they believe is a disorder, and will lead a person to then ‘act on’ their desires in a way that will inevitably harm a real child.
I don’t believe this is the case, as evidence has repeatedly shown that pedophilia isn’t the cause of CSA.
Time and time again, clinicians and researchers who understand paraphilia will liken pedophilia (as opposed to pedophilic disorder) to a ‘sexual orientation’ or ‘sexual preference/interest’. This was first understood by the DSM-5, but the word “orientation” was later replaced with “interest” following backlash from politicians and the general public who took offense to the word, regardless of however accurate it may be.
You can’t ‘get help’ for your own sexual interests. That’s not possible. Such a suggestion is akin to the usage of conversion therapy for gay men and women. It wasn’t uncommon for bible belt christians to tell gay people or relatives that they’re “sick” and “unwell” and that they “need help”. Even pastors would often times keep ties with gay conversion therapists or camps, often run under very little, if any, oversight from qualified persons or therapists or psychologists.
It’s not possible to correct a pedophilic sexual orientation.
What is possible, though, is to correct and reduce the risk of them committing a sexual offense, should they already have some degree of predisposed risk, or should they feel insecure or guilty about their sexual preferences.
A pedophile who engages with their sexual interests and indulges them in a safe, harmless, and legal way that does not involve the sexual exploitation of real persons, is a healthy person with a grasp on their desires or wants.
For those with exclusive pedophilia, though, it can be a little harder for them to understand their predicament, unlike those who are non-exclusive.
This is why community and support matter the most, because it helps them come to terms with the truth that they cannot engage in their sexual desires with what they’re truly interested in, and for some acceptance of this can be much, much harder than one would like to assume.
Simply put, there is no reason for a non-offending pedophile/NOMAP to ‘get help’ for their sexual interests unless they feel that they are at risk of committing a sexual offense, or are experiencing emotional difficulty coming to terms with the fact that they are pedophilic.