2. Is it the same as pedophilia?
Not exactly, although different groups of people use the term pedophilia differently.
- In North America, pedophilia is defined by scientists as the presence of enduring preferential feelings of sexual attraction only for children (boys or girls) who have not yet reached puberty.4
- The American Psychiatric Associationís Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders defines pedophilia as "recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children" where the adult has "acted on these sexual urges, or the sexual urges or fantasies caused marked distress or interpersonal difficulty."5
- Scientists call preferential attraction to boys or girls who have entered puberty ephebophilia or hebephilia.6 These terms do not appear at all in DSM.
Male homosexual attraction to minors includes both pedophilia and ephebophilia in those cases in which men are attracted to boys. However, it is important to keep in mind that it includes feelings of attraction even when they have not been acted upon and do not cause distress or interpersonal difficulty.
For more details on definitions and distinctions, see the section of this site on terminology.