Original Paper

Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 231-236

First online:

Is Pedophilia a Sexual Orientation?

  • Michael C. SetoAffiliated withIntegrated Forensic Program, Royal Ottawa Health Care Group Email author 

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In this article, I address the question of whether pedophilia in men can be construed as a male sexual orientation, and the implications for thinking of it in this way for scientific research, clinical practice, and public policy. I begin by defining pedophilia and sexual orientation, and then compare pedophilia (as a potential sexual orientation with regard to age) to sexual orientations with regard to gender (heterosexuality, bisexuality, and homosexuality), on the bases of age of onset, correlations with sexual and romantic behavior, and stability over time. I conclude with comments about the potential social and legal implications of conceptualizing pedophilia as a type of sexual orientation in males.


Pedophilia Paraphilia Sexual preferences Sexual orientation