, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 317-318
Date: 16 Oct 2008

Should Hebephilia be a Mental Disorder? A Reply to Blanchard et al. (2008)

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Blanchard et al. (2008) suggest possibilities for expanding DSM to include a diagnosis for Hebephilia (mostly erotically attracted to 11- to 14-year olds), but they do not suggest the inclusion of a diagnosis for Ephebophilia (mostly attracted to 15- to 16-year olds), Teliophilia (mostly attracted to those 17 years old or older), or Gerontophilia (mostly attracted to the aged).

Although Blanchard et al. present data regarding whether reliable differences in erotic preference can be shown, they completely overlook the question of how we decide which sexual interest patterns should be considered a mental disorder. Pedophilia is a mental disorder. Homosexuality is not. Should Hebephilia or Ephebophilia or Gerontophilia be considered mental disorders? How about sexual preference for people with different (or with the same) ethnic characteristics as oneself?

The decision to classify a pattern of sexual attraction as a mental disorder (paraphilia) inevitably entails more than (1) reliable diff ...