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Am I a Pedophile!!!!!???

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From Australia: I am a 14 year old boy and found a grade 5 (10 years old) girl attractive. Does that mean that I am a pedophile? I feel very guilty because I think I’m a pedophile. Please help!

Am I a Pedophile!!!!!???

Answered by on -

A.

It’s highly unlikely that you are a pedophile. Pedophiles have a pattern of intense, recurring sexual interest in young children and often don’t see anything wrong with that interest. You, on the other hand, talked about finding one particular girl attractive and are distressed about it because she is younger. Being worried about your interest in the 10 year old shows that you know right from wrong and you know how to sort out who is not an appropriate match for you.

At 14, your body is changing, important hormonal shifts are occurring and you are probably exploring your own sexuality. At your age, you are starting the process of discovering who you find attractive. There is something about the girl in grade 5 that you found interesting. As you grow, you may find that same “something” in the girls you are attracted to. Over the next 10 years, you will be interested in many people and will sort out who you want to get close to romantically and who not. This is normal.

I encourage you to start allowing yourself to flirt with people your own age. A good way to start dating is to go out to do things in mixed groups (boys and girls together). That keeps the pressure off attaching to any particular person before you are ready. The rest will come naturally.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Am I a Pedophile!!!!!???

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Am I a Pedophile!!!!!???. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 21, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/10/09/am-i-a-pedofile/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.