PAEDOPHILIA: PREVALENCE, SITUATION, AND PERSPECTIVES OF TREATMENT
Paedophilia is a specific disorder in a spectre of sexual affinities in humans, which is in the nomenclature of the World Health Organization in the group of sexual preference disorders or paraphilia. Due to mobility, inventiveness, and invisibility, there is no relevant statistical data about this deviation’s volume and extensiveness. This paper aims to determine the prevalence of paedophiles in the general population based on an anonymous survey, the number of processed perpetrators of sexual offenses toward children, and the number of unique visitors of the Internet “decoy”. The research data were gathered through an anonymous survey (the survey was created for this research purposes, and it was an indirect, written survey) that enveloped a total of 658 individuals (60.49% males and 39.51% females) through the creation of a virtual Internet profile (1095 visitors, 89.86% males and 10.14% females), as well as through the statistical data of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia (MUP RS) and the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Serbia (Directorate for Enforcement of Criminal Sanctions) over the last six years. The prevalence of paedophilia in the general population is 2.13%, and the majority is between 30 and 50 years of age. There are no relevant data on the treatment of paedophiles in penitentiary conditions. The number of submitted criminal charges for crimes with sexual violence elements toward children is much larger than the number of verdicts for the said acts. The number of crimes of sexual offenses against children in the analysed period was 1,288. Paedophilia is a complex disorder that poses a threat to public health. It is under-researched, and it calls for a multidisciplinary approach in research with the goal of preventing these forms of behaviour and the protection of children from sexual abuse.
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