O’Donohue first factor is an examination of

et al. (1997) likewise recognize this fact, but looked further at more
mainstream affairs. They believed that the media “contains messages that
condone the sexualization of children and thereby increase the likelihood that
children will be sexually abuse” (p. 292). The trio went on to conduct studies
of advertisements in magazines throughout time that depicted children in a
sexualized manner. The results indicated that girls were sexualized 299 times
more often than boys and that this phenomenon was increasing over time
(O’Donohue et al., 1997, p. 298-299). It is worth worrying over the fact that
hypersexualized children is not just created by inherently shady corporations
such as the porn industry, but by mainstream advertisers. Society seeks to
protect children, but who are we to protect them from? Knabe (2012) writes of
“the American electorate’s desire to distance themselves from their guilty
participation in a political and social culture which places children at risk”
(p. 12). It seems that children are being sexualized by that who proclaim to
protect them. Therefore, this leads into the discourse of sexualization,
children, and those who sexualize them.

has always found itself in the throes of controversy, some of which comes from
“the conflicting ways in which it has been defined” (Finkelhor & Araji,
1986, p. 145). Following the lead of Finkelhor and Araji (1986), this paper
utilizes the definition of pedophilia that considers the manifestation as “any
adult sexual contact with a child, regardless of motive” (p. 145). However, it
is necessary to further deconstruct the phenomena by analyzing Finkelhor and
Araji’s four factors of pedophilia. The first factor is an examination of
emotional congruence: the ties between an adult’s emotional needs and the
child’s ability to fulfill them. Factor two revolves around sexual attraction
to children – how does a person come to find arousal through the sexualization
of children? (1986, p. 148-149).  It is
worth questioning here whether or not the arousal needs to be explained, or if its
mere existence in a person is enough cause for concern. The third factor tackle
“blockage”: Finkelhor and Araji (1986) believe that normal tendencies of need
fulfillment in pedophiles are blocked, thus allowing sexual interest in
children to develop (p. 153). Although a novel idea, there is not typically
much support for this third factor. And ultimately, there is the fourth factor
of disinhibition, or “a higher level of acceptability for having sex with
children, despite cultural inhibitions” (Finkelhor & Araji, 1986, p. 154).
For the purpose of clarity, pedophilia will be defined only through the above
four factors that attribute sexual attraction to children. For as Okami and
Goldberg (1992), the term “typically used interchangeably in the professional
literature with child molester, sex offender, perpetrator, abuser …, etc” (p.
302). A child molester is considered a pedophile, but a pedophile is not always
a child molester.

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With a basic
understanding of what pedophilia looks like, it is only natural to wonder where
such an attraction comes from? Unfortunately, it is not as easy to subscribe
origins of pedophilia as it is to recognize the characteristics. Generally, it
is agreed upon that biological factors can be a “source of instability which
may predispose a person to develop deviant patterns of arousal” (Finkelhor
& Araji, 1986, p. 150). Like sexual orientation, it is difficult to
determine any genetic predispositions that cause this disorder. However, unlike
sexual orientations such as homosexuality, the reasons for this frequently come
down to the rarity of self-proclaimed pedophiles. Briere and Runtz (1989)
continue to attribute difficulties in research to “the widely varying
motivations,” “perpetrator reluctance to fully disclose,” and the “bias
inherent in the use of police statistics etc to study abuse rates and abuser
characteristics” (p. 65). However, clinical and case studies do provide
opportunities to study instances of pedophilia. In contrast to factor one of
Finkelhor and Araji’s emotional congruence, there is evidence from this type of