Pedophiles can be anyone -- old or young, rich or poor, educated or uneducated, non-professional or professional, and of any race. However, pedophiles often demonstrate similar characteristics, but these are merely indicators and it should not be assumed that individuals with these characteristics are pedophiles. Knowledge of these characteristics coupled with questionable behavior can be used as an alert that someone may be a pedophile.
Characteristics of a Pedophile :
· Often the pedophile is male and over 30 years of age.
· Single or with few friends in his age group.
· If married, the relationship is more "companion" based with no sexual relations.
· He is often vague about time gaps in employment which may indicate a loss in employment for questionable reasons or possible past incarceration.
Pedophiles Like Child-like Activities:
· Is often fascinated with children and child activities appearing to prefer those activities to adult oriented activities.
· Will often refer to children in pure or angelic terms using descriptives like innocent, heavenly, divine, pure, and other words that describe children but seem inappropriate and exaggerated.
· Has hobbies that are child-like such as collecting popular expensive toys, keeping reptiles or exotic pets, or building plane and car models.
Pedophiles Often Prefer Children Close to Puberty:
· Pedophiles often have a specific age of child they target. Some prefer younger children, some older.
· Often environment or a special room will be decorated in child-like decor and will appeal to the age and sex of the child he is trying to entice.
· Many pedophiles often prefer children close to puberty who are sexually inexperienced, but curious about sex.
Pedophiles Around Children:
The pedophile often will be employed in a position that involves daily contact with children. He may put himself in a position to do volunteer work with children, often in a supervisory capacity such as sports coaching, unsupervised tutoring or a position where he has the opportunity to spend unsupervised time with a child.
The Target Child:
The pedophile often seeks out shy, handicapped, and withdrawn children, or those who come from troubled or under privileged homes. He then showers them with attention, gifts, taunting them with trips to desirable places like parks, zoo's, concerts, the beach, etc.
Manipulation of the Innocent:
Pedophiles master manipulative skills and unleash them on troubled children by becoming their friend and building the child's self esteem. They may refer to the child as special or mature, appealing to their need to be heard and understood then entice them with adult activities that are sexual in content such as x-rated movies or pictures. They offer them alcohol or drugs to hamper their ability to resist activities or recall events that occurred.
Stockholm Syndrome :
It’s not unusual for the child to develop feelings for the predator and seek their approval and continued acceptance. They will compromise their innate ability to decipher good and bad behavior, ultimately justifying the criminal's behavior out of sympathy and concern for the adults welfare. This is often compared to Stockholm Syndrome - when victims become attached emotionally to their captors.
The Single Parent:
Many times pedophiles will develop a close relationship with a single parent in order to get close to the children. Once inside the home, they have many opportunities to manipulate the children - using guilt, fear, and love to confuse the child.
Pedophiles work at stalking their targets and patiently work to develop relationships with them. It’s not uncommon for them to be developing a list of potential victims at any one time. Many of them believe that what they are doing is not wrong and that having sex with a child is actually "healthy" for the child.
Almost all pedophiles have a collection of pronography, which they protect at all costs. Many of them also collect "souvenirs" from their victims. They rarely discard either their porn or collections for any reason.
One factor working against the pedophile is eventually the children will grow up and recall the events that occurred. Often pedophiles are not brought to justice until such time occurs and victims are angered by being victimized and want to protect other children from the same consequences.
Laws such as Megan's Law - a federal law passed in 1996 authorizes local law enforcement agencies to notify the public about convicted sex offenders living, working or visiting their communities, have helped expose the pedophile to better protect their children.