Is paedophilia violent?


A section called "Violence and Sex (violence, pedophilia, rape)" was included in a leaflet promoting this congress as part of a list of topics listed for symposia and round table discussions. This paper challenges the appropriateness of viewing pedophilia (UK spelling: paedophilia) in terms of violence. The literature on personality and behavioural aspects of paedophilia is reviewed with particular reference to "preferential" as opposed to "situational" paedophilia. Evidence on harm to children commonly attributed to adult-child sexual contacts is considered, as is the validity and value of the "consent" construct in the light of recent research. The unscientific attribution of violence to paedophilia as a supposedly inherent characteristic is discussed, particularly with regard to lines of feminist analysis founded on issues of power imbalance in personal relationships.