So, these days, the news seems to brings out everything involving a child as paedophilia.
Man kills child: paedophilia
Mother gives child botox: paedophilia
Parents take pictures of their own child in the bath: paedophilia
Okay, so these are so more out there things, they obviously do happen, but they aren't the norm in what people mistake as paedophilia.
What we have to do to find the actual meaning of it, is get right back down to the technical definition, and even after we do that, it's not black and white. (Is it ever?)
One of the things that few people understand is that being a paedophile is not actually a crime, as paedophilia is only the attraction to prepubescent children, and not the actual crime of doing anything inappropriate with children. That's like saying that all straight males must touch women, despite how inappropriate it may be. Many paedophiles live very normal lives, and do nothing inappropriate to anyone.
First, there are several types of attractions to younger people, first, adolescent paedophilia, which is 16-18 year olds being interested in children 5 or more years younger than them. Next, is adult paedophilia, which is adults over 18 being interested in children under thirteen. After this, we leave what technically is paedophilia, and move into hebephilia, which is 11-14 year olds, or ephebophilia, 15-19, and if we go backwards for a moment, infantophilia or nepiophilia,which is interest in under 3 year olds.
Even though these are social unacceptable if acted upon, if kept entirely in the mind, or only acted upon in a safe way (With all participants over 18, such as infantalism,) which isn't usually enough to satisfy paedophilia, it's absolutely legal. It's only when it actually leaves that, and the paedophile either starts looking at, or touching children in inappropriate ways. Even then, this isn't actual technical child or adolescent sexual attraction or -philia, unless it's continuous behaviour with at least two children. Otherwise it could be opportunist sexual abuse, or just attraction to that child. Say, if a young adult takes interest in a young adolescent, unless there's a continual pattern of this, either with adolescents previously, or younger children, it isn't paedophilia, but it is child abuse, no matter how consensual it is. (I actually disagree with this sweeping generalisation, as there can be rare healthy relationships with that age difference.)
Another difference that I mentioned before, the sexual opportunist, who will either coerces anyone they can into sex, and younger people are a lot more vulnerable to this, or someone who would resort to rape, either out of sadistic tendencies, mental instability, or just sexual urges, are both not technically paedophiles, even if they do sexual things with children, as they aren't actually interested in the age of the person.
Paedophiles are also incapable of staying in a relationship with a child, even if it is consensual, with a child that does understand, and it being non-sexual, a paedophile cannot wait for the child to become legal for the relationship to properly work, as that would mean the child ageing, and therefore becoming less and less attractive to them.
Due to modern over-sensationalism, not only has paedophilia become one of the least understood -philias, but also has been thrown around by people that have no understanding of it. While I'm against it when it's harmful, to have desires towards younger people, while it is potentially dangerous, and should not be acted on, it's definitely not as uncommon as it's thought to be, and I strongly recommend that anyone feeling that way should seek open-minded and professional help, but only if it is actually paedophilia, and not just an exception, as I've written on here.
From my blog, <a href="http://suicideisoverrated.blogspot.com/">The Last Lemurisian </a>