VirPed Panel: 23 June 2024

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  • VirPed Panel: 23 June 2024


The below are answers given by selected members of the VirPed forum who are all pedophiles. They are speaking for themselves and not for the organization.

“Jay” asks:

Do you think that there is a trauma in your life that might be connected with your condition? if not, when and how do you think it started?

I can’t think of any trauma I have that obviously links to my pedophilia. I wasn’t sexually abused as a child and although I was bullied a lot, I can’t see how that would make me more or less likely to be sexually attracted to one kind of person more than another.

I was a forceps birth and have a bumpy head so maybe a bit of my brain grew differently than for others.

I don’t know how it started. I just know that it became obvious at around age 15. I doubt I will ever know how I got this way, and I will also never know if I got this way the same way others did. I don’t see that there has to only be one explanation. It’s likely very complex and contingent.

I had no sexual experiences as a child. In fact, I didn’t lose my virginity until the age of 30. I grew up in a stable, two-parent household with parents who cared about me and wanted the best for me. I can’t see anything in all of that which would’ve caused my pedophilia.

There’s been some conjecture that head trauma is linked to pedophilia, although the particular evidence is not good. As it happens, I did have a significant head bump as a kid. It might be connected, but the scientific evidence around concussions and pedophilia is very bad, so I would not read too much into it at this point.

Other than that, I have lived a normal, stable, successful life. I just happen to also be a pedophile.

There was a song by Kenny Rogers: “I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in”

I guess I’m maybe poking a bit of fun at the use of the word “condition”. I have a sexual orientation. The cause is about as elusive as is the cause of being gay. Many MAP’s are curious. How did I get this way, they ask. Often that entails a lot of speculation. In an internal poll, the most popular answer was f*** knows. Personally I have to go with that. Born this way, is another popular response. There doesn’t seem to be a definitive, defensible theory. But it doesn’t stop me from guessing. Many of us do. But it tends to be little more than a guess.

No traumas that might be connected to my pedophilia, or if there are they must be buried so deep that I’ve never had an inkling of them. No sexual activity as a child either. So, when and how it started? Somewhere in my late teens when I began to allow myself to recognize that girls in early pubescence were sexual beings, even if they weren’t always conscious of their sexuality at that early age.

A lot of people think that pedophilia is caused by trauma, and that pedophiles have their feelings because of past abuse etc. We don’t have the exact answer of what causes pedophilia (or any sexuality for that matter) so the trauma theory might be true for some, but I don’t think it’s true for me. I was never absued as a kid, sexually or otherwise. I didn’t have any early sexual experiences as a kid, my first proper sexual thoughts weren’t until puberty at thirteen (which is pretty normal) and I didn’t have any sexual experiences with any other adult until my early twenties. The only thing about me that may have caused my pedophilia is being autistic, but plenty of pedophiles aren’t autistic and plenty of autistic folk aren’t pedophiles, so I’m not convinced about that.

I really don’t know what caused it, if I was born this way or whatever. What I do know is that I never made a conscious decision to be a pedophile, and there is no evidence that I can do anything to change my sexuality.

The first real traumatic experience of my life was when I was 19, and it was because I had spent the past 5 years denying and then accepting that I was, in fact, a paedophile all along.

I had a very very pleasant childhood. Nothing bad ever happened to me. I don’t think there was any event in my life that turned me into a paedophile. Even so, trauma was a part of my journey, as I lost dear friends over my unabating sexual preferences.

I got hit on the head a couple times. Don’t think I ever lost consciousness. No psychological trauma.

I honestly don’t know if any emotional trauma when I was very young caused any problems. I wasn’t abused as a kid at all in any way, and had a better than average childhood, I’d say. I was always a sensitive kid, so many something did affect me, but if something did, I couldn’t say one way or another. I certainly don’t remember anything like that.

If we’re speaking about physical trauma, I do know that I’ve done more than one study where one of the questions asked if I had suffered any head injuries before puberty. I won’t get in to the specifics, but there are two instances which could have contributed. Could this potentially be a factor? I think the science is still out on that one.

I don’t have any history of being sexually abused. My parents used corporal punishment… whether you consider that abuse or not is up to you. I do, my parents do not. I was also, I think, emotionally abused by my mother. And lastly, I did experience a nasty head injury as a kid.

Did any of these things contribute to or cause my pedophilia? I have no idea, but I don’t think so. I would more attribute it to negative interactions with/rejection by same-age peers as a kid, but even that… who knows.

My pedophilia was around probably since I was 14 or 15, but I didn’t become consciously aware of it until I was nearly 17.

I like how this question is worded, using ‘might’ and ’think’, because that’s the best we can do in this case.

I’m not sure if I would consider this trauma, but my first sexual experience was when I was around 5 years old with a girl neighbor who was around the same age. She initiated everything but wasn’t physically forceful and it only happened a few different times.

After that my first experience with boys was when I was around 11 or 12, it started with my cousin who was the same age as me, and it was consensual. From what I can remember this is when my love for boys started and it continues to this day. I have no idea if these early sexual experiences triggered or influenced my sexuality, but I have wondered if they had a part to play for me personally.

I have had no other known traumatic events or family situations other than growing up without a father (which probably had varying degrees of effect in my life).

There are certain research theories that say being a pedophile is connected to a traumatic experience in ones life. Could be major head trauma, or it could be child sexual abuse. Those theories only take one exception to disprove and we have lots of exceptions. Me included. I was never abused in any way as a child. I was however hit by a car, but that was after my sexual thoughts about children started. I did have sexual experiences with same age friends when I was both 9 and 11, but I don’t think my pedophilia comes from that either. I do think that pedophilia is something we’re predisposed to and that something can happen to trigger it, but I don’t know what. I am at peace with not knowing why I am a pedophile. I just know that I am one, I know how to deal with it, and my life is good.

I don’t believe there is any legitimate reason to believe that pedophilia is caused by anything other than the same factors that cause any other sexuality, which basically means we don’t know.

From my own experience I had a fairly happy and protected childhood. None of the proposed (and very questionable) hypothesis can possibly explain why I’m a pedophile. I wasn’t abused, and I never suffered any serious head trauma (not even a concussion). In retrospect I first experienced my attraction at around the age of 7, which means that for anything to have “caused” this sexuality it would have had to happen or develop before that. Genetics, brain chemistry, something happening during fetal development… your guess is as good as mine

Personally I don’t recall having any traumatic events in my life that could’ve caused my pedophilia. I grew up in a stable, loving, two parent household with a couple siblings and pets. Our parents made sure we were always supported and cared for and I had many positive experiences growing up. I wasn’t abused, and out of the three of us, my sibling was the only one with a history of head trauma and he ended up fine with ordinary attractions to adult women.

When I turned twelve, I began noticing subtle feelings of cheerfulness when being around children and found myself drawn to their joy and curiosity in life. Around that time I even had a crush watching a kids animation called “wakfu” on Netflix, I noticed myself growing emotionally invested in the young cute and cheerful character, “yugo”. In the following months and years, my attraction to children has persisted and I became increasingly aware of its societal implications due to its stigmatized nature. I wouldn’t ever act on my desires as I understand doing so would hurt the very things I love about children and therefore willfully remain celibate.

The question you’re asking is one that many pedophiles wonder about themselves. “Nature vs. nurture” remains highly debated regarding many human traits and differences, not just pedophilia.

Personally I would be very interested to know how much my sexuality was influenced by my upbringing vs. my genetics, both of which were not normal to begin with. However, it seems impossible to know. My own pedophilia emerged with puberty, as is often the case; in my view this seems to point more strongly to a genetic difference rather than tangible environmental factors.

For most of us, the question is only academic, as it would be unlikely to make any difference to our lives. We are who we are and we cannot change our sexuality in any meaningful or healthy way. It does us no good to treat it as a pathological “condition” that can be traced back to some specific event in our lives. Some of us struggle with such doubts for years or even decades.

There is no trauma in my life that I can obviously link to the development of my attractions. In fact, by far the most traumatic experience of my life up to this point was coming to understand and contend with the nature of my attractions and their implications when I was a teenager.

MAPs can speculate about what childhood events or experiences might have shaped our attractions, and some or all or none of these might have been involved. My childhood was asexual. I believe strongly that I was born with the wiring in my brain to allow for the development of these attractions and that their development was inevitable. Yet had I been sexually abused as a child, or had I been involved in inappropriate sexual experiences with other children, I am sure that today, I would be blaming those experiences for the development of my attractions. That’s exactly the problem with this line of thought—there is simply no way to prove these hypotheses.

The existing research points overwhelmingly towards the likelihood that the eventual emergence of pedophilic attraction occurs in utero. This might not be an entirely satisfying explanation, but that does not make it any less true.

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