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Profile of a Pedophile

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Girl (10-11) with father's hand around stomach, mid section Doug Plummer/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Pedophiles Can Be Anyone:

Pedophiles can be anyone -- old or young, rich or poor, educated or uneducated, non-professional or professional, and of any race. However, pedophiles often demonstrate similar characteristics, but these are merely indicators and it should not be assumed that individuals with these characteristics are pedophiles. But knowledge of these characteristics coupled with questionable behavior can be used as an alert that someone may be a pedophile.

Characteristics of a Pedophile:

  • Often the pedophile is male and over 30 years of age.
  • Single or with few friends in his age group.
  • If married, the relationship is more "companion" based with no sexual relations.
  • He is often vague about time gaps in employment which may indicate a loss in employment for questionable reasons or possible past incarceration.

Pedophiles Like Child-like Activities:

  • He is often fascinated with children and child activities appearing to prefer those activities to adult oriented activities.
  • He will often refer to children in pure or angelic terms using descriptives like innocent, heavenly, divine, pure, and other words that describe children but seem inappropriate and exaggerated.
  • He has hobbies that are child-like such as collecting popular expensive toys, keeping reptiles or exotic pets, or building plane and car models.

Pedophiles Often Prefer Children Close to Puberty:

  • Pedophiles often have a specific age of child they target. Some prefer younger children, some older.
  • Often his environment or a special room will be decorated in child-like decor and will appeal to the age and sex of the child he is trying to entice.
  • Many pedophiles often prefer children close to puberty who are sexually inexperienced, but curious about sex.

Pedophiles Work Around Children:

The pedophile will often be employed in a position that involves daily contact with children. If not employed, he will put himself in a position to do volunteer work with children, often in a supervisory capacity such as sports coaching, contact sport instruction, unsupervised tutoring or a position where he has the opportunity to spend unsupervised time with a child.

The Target Child:

The pedophile often seeks out shy, handicapped, and withdrawn children, or those who come from troubled homes or under privileged homes. He then showers them with attention, gifts, taunting them with trips to desirable places like amusement parks, zoo's, concerts, the beach and other such places.

Manipulation of the Innocent:

Pedophiles work to master their manipulative skills and often unleash them on troubled children by first becoming their friend, building the the child's self esteem. They may refer to the child as special or mature, appealing to their need to be heard and understood then entice them with adult type activities that are often sexual in content such as x-rated movies or pictures. They offer them alcohol or drugs to hamper their ability to resist activities or recall events that occurred.

Stockholm Syndrome:

It is not unusual for the child to develop feelings for the predator and desire their approval and continued acceptance. They will compromise their innate ability to decipher good and bad behavior, ultimately justifying the criminal's bad behavior out of sympathy and concern for the adults welfare. This is often compared to Stockholm Syndrome - when victims become attached emotionally to their captors.

The Single Parent:

Many times pedophiles will develop a close relationship with a single parent in order to get close to their children. Once inside the home, they have many opportunities to manipulate the children -- using guilt, fear, and love to confuse the child. If the child's parent works, it offers the pedophile the private time needed to abuse the child.

Fighting Back:

Pedophiles work hard at stalking their targets and will patiently work to develop relationships with them. It is not uncommon for them to be developing a long list of potential victims at any one time. Many of them believe that what they are doing is not wrong and that having sex with a child is actually "healthy" for the child.

Almost all pedophiles have a collection of pronography, which they protect at all costs. Many of them also collect "souvenirs" from their victims. They rarely discard either their porn or collections for any reason.

One factor that works against the pedophile is that eventually the children will grow up and recall the events that occurred. Often pedophiles are not brought to justice until such time occurs and victims are angered by being victimized and want to protect other children from the same consequences.

Laws such as Megan's Law - a federal law passed in 1996 that authorizes local law enforcement agencies to notify the public about convicted sex offenders living, working or visiting their communities, have helped expose the pedophile and allows parents to better protect their children.

More Resources:

  1. About.com
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  3. Crime / Punishment
  4. Sex Crimes
  5. Profile of a Pedophile - The Characteristics

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