It is incredibly difficult to believe that your child might have something “wrong” with them. A sexual attraction to children can sound very much like something is “wrong” with your child, but this is not necessarily the case. While having a sexual attraction to children certainly presents unique challenges, it is very possible to meet these challenges in a way that helps your child know that you love them regardless of the difficulties they face. You are not reading this section because you think that your child is a monster, you are reading this because you want to know how to help your child.
A Word About Facts
It is necessary for you to understand some of the cutting-edge facts about a sexual attraction to children, and each of them fly in the face of the myths that circulate about a sexual attraction to children. The reality is that most of the time we hear about someone with a sexual attraction to children, it is because they were arrested for sexually abusing a child. There is little that is publicly known about those with this attraction who do not abuse children, but they are the majority. The loudest voices in the media are those that are most shocking, and while they certainly are horrifying, they do not reflect the realities found in research. Many of these facts are reflected in the questions section below, but their full citations and additional reading can be found in the facts section about pedophilia. That fact section is an excellent place to start.
Answering Questions You May Have
People do not generally know a lot of information about a sexual attraction to children, partly because it is such a stigmatized condition, and partly because most people simply do not want to know. However, having a loved one who has an attraction to children means that you want to know as much as you can so that you can support them. If you have a loved one who has autism, you research autism. If you have a loved one who has depression, you research depression. The same applies to a sexual attraction to children.
Questions For A Potential Therapist
Knowing what questions you need to ask can be difficult, because you might not have the right words to use. Certain questions should be asked when meeting the therapist for the first time. If you want a printable sheet to take with you or have handy, click here. Otherwise, you can view these questions and why they should be asked here.
This is a US-specific organization that educates, certifies, and trains therapists and others in topics related to sexuality. They have a tool to locate sexuality professionals in your area, provided you live in the US.
This is a referral tool that you can use. It is a confidential form where people can get help with a variety of issues. Do not let the name of the organization fool you: They are mental health professionals who only want to help, and they will not assume you have or will molest a child because you have a sexual attraction to children. Under "referral type", select "community outpatient", and under "notes", indicate that you are looking for a therapist who can treat pedophilia.
This is a 12-step program designed for those with sexual addiction or dependency issues. They have meetings in the US, Canada, and a variety of other countries. They also have electronic meetings if your country is not represented, and they have a handy tool at the top to find out if their program is right for you. Similar programs are Sexaholics Anonymous and Sexual Compulsives Anonymous.
This is one of the best-known online support options for those with sexual attractions to children. They operate as a forum, and have a great deal of facts, information, media, and resources available for anyone wishing to know more about pedophilia.
This organization has a lot of academic information, as well as general information about a sexual attraction to children. While some of their information is slightly out-of-date, it is a great place to get help and find basic information about professional therapy.
Stop It Now! operates helplines available in the United States and parts of Europe, and they can direct you to resources in those areas as well as serving as someone to talk to. Most contact is anonymous.
This organization is one of many focused on sexual health, and they have a tool that can show affiliate therapists on a map. This can be a useful start for finding therapy, though doing a simple Google search with "sexual health therapists in [location]" may be easier.
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