Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Commentary: Hebephilia—A would-be paraphilia caught in the twilight zone between prepubescence and adulthood

Prentky, R & Barbaree, H. (2011). Commentary: Hebephilia—A would-be paraphilia caught in the twilight zone between prepubescence and adulthood. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 39, 506-510.

This commentary addresses the controversy surrounding the proposed Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Revision (DSM-5) diagnosis of pedohebephilia. We examine adult male sexual attraction to young pubescent females and whether such attraction is deviant and constitutes a mental disorder, and, independent of that question, whether there is any defensible basis for asserting that hebephilia is a legitimate paraphilia. We conclude our analysis by looking at three profiles: adults with sexualized interest in pre- and postpubescent children, adults with sexualized interest in adult and pubescent adolescent women, and adults with exclusive sexualized interest in young pubescent women. We suggest that in the third instance of exclusivity, the Criterion B requirement of impairment may become critical to legitimizing a diagnosis of hebephilia.


This paper is a commentary on Fabian's "Diagnosing and Litigating Hebephilia in Sexually Violent Predator Civil Commitment Proceedings."

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