Excerpt from the DSM-IV accompanying text on pedophilia
Individuals with pedophilia who act on their urges with children may limit their activity to undressing the child and looking, exposing themselves, masturbating in the presence of the child, or gentle touching and fondling of the child. Others, however, perform fellatio or cunnilingus on the child or penetrate the child’s vagina, mouth, or anus with their fingers, foreign objects, or penis and use varying degrees of force to do so. These activities are commonly explained with excuses or rationalizations that they have “educational value” for the child, that the child derives “sexual pleasure” from them, or that the child was “sexually provocative”—themes that are also common in pedophilic pornography.
Individuals may limit their activities to their own children, stepchildren, or relatives or may victimize children outside their families. Some individuals with Pedophilia threaten the child to prevent disclosure. Others, particularly those who frequently victimize children, develop complicated techniques for obtaining access to children, which may include winning the trust of a child’s mother, marrying a woman with an attractive child, trading children with other individuals with Pedophilia, or, in rare instances, taking in foster children from non-industrialized countries or abducting children from strangers. Except in cases in which the disorder is associated with Sexual Sadism, the person may be attentive to the child’s needs in order to gain the child’s affection, interest, and loyalty and to prevent the child from reporting the sexual activity. The disorder usually begins in adolescence, although some individuals with Pedophilia report that they did not become aroused by children until middle age. The frequency of pedophilic behavior often fluctuates with psychosocial stress. The course is usually chronic, especially in those attracted to males. The recidivism rate for individuals with Pedophilia involving a preference for males is roughly twice that for those who prefer females.