Paedophiles exist and we must develop ways of living with this fact whilst ensuring that children are kept safe. This ground-breaking book demystifies the field of adult sexual attraction to children, countering the emotionality surrounding the topic of paedophilia in the popular media by careful presentation of research data and interview material. Addressing how we can work together to reduce sexual offending in this population, this text bridges the gulf in understanding between those who want to protect children and those who feel sexual attraction to children – and recognises that they are sometimes the same people.
Sarah D. Goode provides an overview of the topic by defining the term 'paedophile' and discussing how many adults there may be in the general population who find themselves sexually attracted to children. She looks at how the Internet has acted as an enabler, with an explosion of child pornography and 'pro-paedophile' websites. Drawing on data from a sample of fifty-six self-defined paedophiles living in the community, she explores themes including self-identity, the place of fantasy and the forms of support available to paedophiles. Her research highlights the scale of debate within the 'online paedophile community' about issues such as the morality of sexual contact with children and encouragement to maintain a law-abiding lifestyle. Throughout, she draws careful distinctions between sexual attraction to children and sexual contact with children. The book concludes with a valuable discussion on how adult sexual contact harms children and examples of a range of initiatives which work to protect children and prevent offending.
Suitable for all professionals who work with children or sexual offenders, this book gives clear guidance on what one needs to know and do to ensure children are kept safe. It will also be of interest to students studying child protection, paedophilia and child sexual abuse within other social science disciplines.
Sarah D. Goode
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