Sex has long been a taboo topic in our society. Perhaps due to long-held religious convictions that were a significant influence, sex and morality have been a hotly debated topic. From the Tudor Era of England, where sex defined a marriage, to the highly debated prostitution laws in Canada, the morality surrounding sexual acts is constantly changing. Consequentially, what is considered deviant is constantly changing as well. According to Little, “deviance is a violation of established contextual, cultural, or social norms” (Little, 2013).
Deviant sexual behaviours are not often discussed, leading to misinformation and fear surrounding the deviant individuals. This is particularly true in the case of pedophilia. According to Beier, “Pedophilia…show more content… The Christian Church played a heavy role in the creation of laws for many years. Herlihy states that “The Church accepted the requirements of Roman law concerning age of marriage (12 completed years for girls and fourteen for boys)” (Herlihy, 1987). As Herlihy states, this age for marriage was common, as this was typically when a girl reached sexual maturity. In this age, it was the norm for older men to marry young girls. As quality of life and life expectancies grew, so did the average age of marriage. Pedophilia, despite being something that was incredibly common years ago, is something that is considered incredibly shameful and disgusting today. Despite the public denunciation of pedophilia stemming from good intentions, it can actually be incredibly harmful to affected…show more content… While this has been beneficial in gaining help to those with the disorder, the current definition in the manual is incredibly concerning. As stated in an article by Berlin, “The current criteria for diagnosing a Pedophilic Disorder place some persons who have never molested a child into the same diagnostic category as those who have done so.” (Berlin, 2014). This criteria reinforces the societal stigma that everyone who has pedophilic urges has or will molest a child. This is incredibly harmful, both for the public, who may begin to apply this master label, and to the individual, who may begin to accept it. Furthermore, it is absolutely deplorable for someone to be discriminated against because of a mental disorder. Since it is registered in the DSM, it is classified as a mental disease. Pedophilia desperately needs further research for many reasons. Firstly, more research opens up the possibility of new and more effective treatment options. As with any mental disorder, the main goal should be improving the quality of life for anyone affected. Better treatment would not only improve the symptoms faced by pedophiles, but reduce the risk that they may act on these symptoms, effectively preventing the molestation of many