Science in recent years has begun to provide some answers. One thing most pedophiles have in common: They discover, usually as teenagers, that their sexual preferences have not matured like everyone else’s. Most get stuck on the same-age boys or girls who first attracted them at the start of puberty, though some retain interest in far younger children.
“People don’t choose what arouses them — they discover it,” said Dr. Fred Berlin, director of the Johns Hopkins Sex and Gender Clinic. “No one grows up wanting to be a pedophile.”