Pedophilia was once thought to stem from psychological influences in early life, but now psychologists think it’s a deep-rooted sexual orientation as concrete as heterosexuality or homosexuality, limited almost entirely to men. It becomes clearer during puberty and does not change. It may even be genetic.
The best estimates are that between 1% and 5% of men are pedophiles, meaning that they have a dominant attraction to prepubescent children. Not all pedophiles molest children, and not all child molesters are pedophiles. About half of all molesters are not sexually attracted to their victims.
In the January 15th edition of the Los Angeles Times, Alan Zarembo describes one an who, in adolescence, "was troubled to find himself fantasizing about 7- to 11-year olds. His desires remained stuck in time as he neared adulthood. Despite a stable home life in suburban Chicago, he was tortured by urges he knew could land him in prison."
Zarembo quotes him as saying, "For having these feelings, I was destined to become a monster. I was terrified."
He writes: "In 1999, (he) was caught buying child pornography. Now 36, he said he has never molested a child, but after five years of state-ordered therapy, the attraction remains."
What does his mother think? She says that as far back as she could remember, her son had always been different from other boys. Zarembo quotes her as saying, "I can’t tell you how hard it is. He’s my only child. He’ll never truly be happy. He’ll never have someone he can truly love and who can love him back."