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In what sense is pedophilia not a sexual orientation?

It's generally deemed a socially unacceptable orientation, just as homosexuality was in many societies until only recently, but it's an orientation nonetheless. It's a useful metaphor with a lot of parallels to be drawn.

In any case, the parent comment was only using the metaphor to illustrate an important point; that being sexually attracted to a certain group of people, and actually molesting members of that group, are two wholly separate things.

Referring to someone convicted of molesting children using the term for someone who is merely sexually attracted to children is a significant misrepresentation.

No. Pedophilia is a psychiatric disorder or paraphilia; not a sexual orientation. This is thoroughly discussed and documented. The APA has changed any such notation in the DSM.


This is just splitting hairs over definitions.

The APA are not the ultimate arbiters of what is and is not a sexual orientation, and if anything, the fact DSM-5 referred to it as a sexual orientation lends credence to the view that it is as such.

Sexual orientations and psychiatric disorders are not mutually exclusive.

Bear in mind for much of history society treated homosexuality akin to a psychiatric disorder (Edit: It was in fact classified as a mental illness in both the first and second editions of the DSM, released in 1952 and 1968, so let's not treat the DSM as gospel)

I'm going to reply here singly, rather than to each of the three that replied to my post above.

Please be clear that the article described the description of pedophilia as a sexual orientation in the DSM was an error - not a mind-changing. There was no "credence" lent to it being viewed as such; it was mistake and was admitted as such, and corrected. It was intended to read "sexual interest", not sexual orientation.

“In fact, APA considers pedophilic disorder a ‘paraphilia,’ not a ‘sexual orientation.’ This error will be corrected in the electronic version of DSM-5 and the next printing of the manual,” the organization said. The error appeared on page 698, said a spokeswoman.

The fluidity of the APA DSM is not something that is worth arguing; we can all agree that definitions change and have changed. I'm operating under the current set of definitions and primarily wanted to make the point that likening paraphilic disorders as "sexual orientations" is typically hurtful for reasons that probably don't require explaining.

You realize these documents are not carved in stone like holy scriptures, right? DSM is in its 5th edition already. Homosexuality used to be treated (or still is in other cultures) as paraphilia or worse. Who knows, maybe in 50 years from now pedophilia will follow suit.

To quote from your link:

> According to the DSM-5, pedophilia “refers to a sexual orientation or profession of sexual preference devoid of consummation, whereas pedophilic disorder is defined as a compulsion and is used in reference to individuals who act on their sexuality,” NeonTommy wrote.

Basically, the term that they use in the DSM is "pedophilic disorder" (changed from "Pedophilia"), which is a classified disorder.

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