Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 304–316 | Cite as

The DSM Diagnostic Criteria for Pedophilia

  • Ray BlanchardEmail author
Original Paper


This paper contains the author’s report on pedophilia, submitted on June 2, 2008, to the work group charged with revising the diagnoses concerning sexual and gender identity disorders for the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The author reviews the previously published criticisms and empirical research concerning the diagnostic criteria for pedophilia and presents criticism and relevant research of his own. The review shows that the DSM diagnostic criteria for pedophilia have repeatedly been criticized as unsatisfactory on logical or conceptual grounds, and that published empirical studies on the reliability and validity of these criteria have produced ambiguous results. It therefore seems that the current (i.e., DSM-IV-TR) diagnostic criteria need to be examined with an openness to major changes in the DSM-V.


DSM-V Hebephilia Paraphilia Pedophilia Pedohebephilia Penile plethysmography Sexual offending 



The author is a member of the DSM-V Workgroup on Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders. He wishes to thank James M. Cantor and Kenneth J. Zucker for their input regarding the distinction between paraphilias and paraphilic disorders. Reprinted with permission from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders V Workgroup Reports (Copyright 2009), American Psychiatric Association.


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Copyright information

© American Psychiatric Association 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kurt Freund Laboratory, Law and Mental Health ProgramCentre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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