" I’m a 20-year-old man who has been trying to deal with an attraction to young girls since I was 13. Women just don't interest me. I wish with all my soul that I could have a brain that's wired normally. I know that I can never act on what I feel, but I need to speak to a therapist because I don't think I can get through this on my own. But if I talk to a therapist he could report me, because I have to talk about my attraction to young girls. I don’t know whether he would or not and don't even know how to go about getting more information. Even the friendships I have are in danger of falling apart because I can't just keep saying 'I'm fine' and I can't talk to anyone about my problem. I think about suicide a lot. "
Anonymous pleas like this show up constantly on the web. This man is a heartbreakingly anguished example of what we call a Virtuous Pedophile, virtuous because he is not going to do anything with a real child. We too are Virtuous Pedophiles, and there are a great many of us, though few people know of our existence. To admit our condition is to invite suspicion, hatred, and social ostracism. Virtuous doesn't mean we think we're better than the average person, just that we're not worse.
We do not choose to be attracted to children, and we cannot make that attraction go away. But we can resist the temptation to abuse children sexually, and many of us present no danger to children whatsoever. Yet we are despised for having a sexual attraction that we did not choose, cannot change, and successfully resist. This hatred has its consequences; many of us suffer from depression and sometimes even commit suicide. Paradoxically, the hatred actually increases the risk of child sexual abuse by making us afraid to admit our condition to others, thus discouraging us from seeking treatment. More of us could lead productive, happy, law-abiding lives if we could open up to people who would treat us not as monsters but as human beings with an unfortunate burden to bear.
To parents, suppose that you discover that your son is attracted to children, but he's never acted on it. Would you hate him and kick him out of the house and never see him again? Or would you continue to love and accept him and help him live a life without sexual offending?
The goals of our organization are to reduce the stigma attached to pedophilia by letting people know that a substantial number of pedophiles do not molest children, and to provide peer support and information about available resources to help pedophiles lead happy, productive lives. Our highest priority is to help pedophiles never abuse children. We hope you will explore our web site with an open mind.