Pedophilia is a Mental Disorder and Sometimes a Legal Act: A Commentary



Palabras clave:

adolescents, children, legislations, minimal age of consent, pedophilia, UNICEF


In the mental health literature, the assumption is that if a person is diagnosed with pedophilic disorder using clinical criteria established by the DSM-5, this individual is also engaging in illegal acts, with the further assumption that these acts will be penalized according to the penal code of the country where they occurred. This commentary argues that these assumptions are only partially correct, and that mental health professionals should carefully review legislations defining at what age sexual relationships are considered legal versus illegal before deciding to evaluate, diagnosis, and treat persons who engage in such relationships with children in a particular country. This argument is illustrated with a sample of countries in the Caribbean (e.g., Dominican Republic, Cuba), Central America (e.g., Panamá, Costa Rica), South America (e.g., Colombia, Venezuela), North America (Canada, México, and the United States), Asia (e.g., China, Iran), Europe (e.g., France, Spain), and Africa (e.g., Nigeria, Angola).


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Cómo citar

Paniagua, F. (2022). Pedophilia is a Mental Disorder and Sometimes a Legal Act: A Commentary. Revista Caribeña De Psicología, 6(1), e6497.



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