In 31th of October 2013, the American Psychological Association published a statement regarding pedophilia:

The American Psychological Association maintains that pedophilia is a mental disorder; that sex between adults and children is always wrong; and that acting on pedophilic impulses is and should be a criminal act. The American Psychological Association has worked for many years to prevent child sexual abuse and will continue to do so.

This statement is alarming; especially the first sentence which doesn't make a distinction between being a pedophile and practicing pedophilia.

On the other side, the American Psychiatric Association reported that not all pedophiles have mental disorder.

Though, I oppose child sex abuse; I'm skeptical that pedophilia is a mental illness which is defined as:

A mental disorder, also called a mental illness or psychiatric disorder, is mental or behavioral pattern that causes either suffering or a poor ability to function in ordinary life.

Claims that pedophilia is a mental illness have been critized a lot; for example Blanchard questioned the need to label non-criminal behavior as mental illness:

If you take [an] individual who has a very strong erotic attraction for children, but who has never acted on it, who never would act on it, who agrees that society's prohibition of adult child sexual interactions should be in place, do you want to say this individual has a mental disorder?

Is there any studies showing that pedophilia is a mental disorder?

When a mental disorder occurs, evidence shows that there can be related to changes in the anatomy, physiology, and chemistry of the nervous system.

To rephrase my question, do pedophilies exhibit a "condition that impacts a person's thinking, feeling or mood may affect and his or her ability to relate to others and function on a daily basis"? Or those are just old-fashionated authoritative claims from here and there?

NB: I'll save you some research, this is the wikipedia page for pedophilia, it defined pedophilia as mental disorder but its references do not mention anything about pedophilia.

  • You're confusing two different organizations, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association. The content of the second link of yours is the second association trying to explain that you're confusing them with each other. – Dan Getz Jun 12 '15 at 23:13
  • @DanGetz - so, the second link is basically a bunch of folks who aren't educated enough to be entrusted with prescribing drugs? :) – user5341 Jun 13 '15 at 0:10
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    @GeorgeChalhoub The set of conditions defined as mental illness in the DSM has changed 8 times in the past 60 years, and the DSM is only the US version of the diseases prontuary and is not universally accepted. – Sklivvz Jun 13 '15 at 10:29
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    @RedSonja: being attracted to 17 years old and adolescents isn't pedophilia. Pedophilia is attraction to children who didn't hit puberty. No laws or countries are needed. – George Chalhoub Jun 15 '15 at 14:27
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    @RedSonja I'm just speculating, but there may be a difference, even in whatever places you're thinking of, between not having laws against something and something being considered normal and healthy behavior. – Dan Getz Jun 24 '15 at 16:17

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