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Last reviewed: 23.04.2024

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Ephebophilia is a mental disorder, a kind of pedophilia. Expressed in the sexual attraction of an adult man or woman to adolescent children. In the vast majority of diagnosed cases, the causes are congenital pathological lesions of the brain. Very rarely provoking factors are called mechanical or chemical lesions of the central nervous system.

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Different sexual personality dysfunctions occur in 5-10% of the population. Due to the fact that children in adolescence are hidden, the statistics are not reliable and complete. Pathological sexual preferences are inherent in both men and women. Personal psychiatric disorders of the type of ephebophilia occur in 6-9% of the population. In men, the pathological attraction is more often fixed in the age interval 30-34 years. Women 35-45 years.

Causes of the ephephophilia

Motives for the onset of a mental disorder are laid in the puberty period against the backdrop of a protracted process of forming sexual self-awareness and psychosexual orientations under close perverted intimate contacts that left an indelible impression.

A significant role in the process of developing sexual desire for adolescent children is due to difficulties in communicating with peers.

In many cases, ephebophilia actively progresses in individuals with sexual dysfunctions. During intimate relationships with inexperienced young men and women who do not know the techniques of sexual intercourse, such individuals feel superiority and are less likely to get convicted for their sexual activities.

In men with a perverse sexual orientation under juvenile hypersexuality, high sexual activity is manifested, in satisfaction of which the individual shows indifference how to realize the sexual desire. Many ephebophiles like the inexperience of teenage children, and they are happy to engage in "mentoring."

In the elderly, manifestations of ephebophilia are observed in sexual disorders against the background of extinction of the possibilities of satisfying attraction, then contacts with young men or girls serve as a stimulus to the weakening of old age sexuality.

The latent variant of an inclination at ephebophilic can be observed at display of infantilism in a way of dialogue or a manner to put on. Attraction is expressed compulsively, patients in rare cases turn to the doctor with complaints of sexual attraction to adolescents. This craving increases after taking a large dose of alcohol or drugs.


Risk factors

Ephephophilia is more often affected by persons with a hysteroid, asthenic, psychoasthenic type, psychopaths, persons who abuse alcohol-containing beverages and narcotic substances. The reasons for such deviations are:

  • retardation of psychosexual development;
  • infantilism;
  • decreased libido;
  • Unsatisfied sexual arousal;
  • phobia of sexual genesis.

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With ephebophilia, sexual behavior is practically the same as usual and traditional, but features are noted:

  • child molestation (frank heart-felt conversations disguised as sex education, the display of erotic and pornographic photographs, drawings, films, "casually forgotten" journals, pornographic manuscripts in public areas of space);
  • the desire of the ephebophiles to find work related to adolescents.

In most cases, intimate relationships with adolescents, due to the peculiarities of the psyche of children at this age, go unnoticed. Young adolescents simply and with a sense of gratitude perceive the manifestation of female ephebophilia. Women voluntarily "teach" inexperienced young men to the first steps of intimate life. Patients with ephebophilia receive the greatest emotional and physical pleasure from the lack of experience in "wards". The process of "enlightenment" stimulates sexual arousal in ephebophils. Sometimes the disease takes on pronounced pathological manifestations.

Symptoms of the ephephophilia

In patients who are prone to ephebophilia, there are periodic fantasies that determine the extraordinary behavior in the field of sexual behavior. These antics do not correspond to cultural norms, they call for a complete or partial loss of the individual's ability to adequately adapt to the established norms of society, as well as the neuroticization of ephebophil. Attraction is seen as the satisfaction of sexual tension. The consequences of non-natural actions are the cause of additional stress. But, in special cases, such actions are regarded as symptomatic of schizophrenia. The doctor, when examining the patient and collecting the anamnesis, should take into account that patients can carefully conceal socially unacceptable forms of attraction. Therefore, to clarify the diagnosis, one should observe the patient's behavior in dynamics.

The first signs of ephebophilia appear in patients with established diagnoses:

  • Mental personality disorders.
  • The consequences of brain damage with the development of mental infantilism.
  • Schizophrenia in a state of remission.

Syndrome of dependence on alcohol or drugs.

The intensity of symptoms is expressed in the emergence of sexual attraction to children who are in adolescence.



For the traditional normal development of sexual relations are characterized by the stages:

  • The emergence of interest and attraction.
  • Emotional convergence.
  • Sexual intimacy.

With ephebophilia there is no stage of emotional rapprochement. As a rule, ephebophiles after the stage of attraction pass to sexual intimacy. The transition to coitus can take place in a rough, aggressive or sadistic form. But in some cases, the stage of emotional rapprochement is disguised as "learning" and the transition to intimacy is done in a mild form.



According to the statistics of diagnosed mental pathologies, ephephophilia is divided into species, depending on the gender of adolescents. It:

  • bisexual (attraction to both girls and boys);
  • heterosexual (attraction to people of the opposite sex);
  • homosexual (the desire for intimacy with people of the same sex).


Diagnostics of the ephephophilia

The diagnosis is based on periodically arising, strong erotic fantasies and increasing sexual attraction to adolescents in order to satisfy physiological sexual needs. On ephebophilia may indicate unusual extraordinary sexual acts, contrary to the norms of social and ethical behavior. The patient's actions are subject to obsessive fantasies, fighting with which he experiences great psychological stress. Such pathological behavioral disorders are observed for at least six months. One patient may have concurrent abnormal sexual preferences.

Differential diagnosis

In patients with ephebophilia, as a rule, combined personal sexual pathological dysfunctions are diagnosed. A twisted attraction to adolescents can be combined with:

  • masochism (inclination to enjoy pleasure in humiliation, violence);
  • Voyeurism (hidden peeping at the sexual act);
  • sadism (getting pleasure from violence and torment of the victim);
  • fetishism (attraction to the objects of underwear and things connected, in the patient's opinion, with pleasure);
  • transvestism (violation of gender identity);
  • sadomasochism (a combination of sadism and masochism).

Psychiatrists carefully differentiate ephebophilia from schizophrenia.

Who to contact?

Treatment of the ephephophilia

For the treatment of ephebophilia in monosymptomatic manifestations, methods of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, behavioral therapy are used, combining with complex treatment with drugs that help control impulses:

  • Lithium.
  • Carbomazepine.
  • Beta-blockers.
  • Calcium antagonists.

All therapeutic measures are conducted and monitored by psychiatrists.


Measures to prevent psychosexual socially dangerous behavior begin with the elimination of provoking factors:

  • prevention of alcohol dependence of parents at the conception stage of the child;
  • health of women waiting for babies;
  • timely detection of patients with organic lesions of the central nervous system;
  • ensuring adequate conditions for the establishment and development of correct sexual identification in the child from the moment of birth;
  • prevention of psycho-sexual disorders;
  • It is necessary to teach teenagers the skills of communicating with peers, including those with the opposite sex;
  • formation of high moral and ethical qualities;
  • prevention of adolescent seduction;
  • identification and coercive therapy of hidden and dangerous individuals with a high tendency to engage in criminal activity on sexual grounds.

An important role in the prevention of crimes against a background of perverted sexual drives and fantasies belongs to the family. It is in the family circle that the formation of moral qualities, values of life, development and formation of personality occurs. Aggressive unfavorable situation among close relatives creates favorable conditions for the appearance of incorrect socially dangerous actions with sexual deviations and provokes the development of mental pathologies with sexual maladjustment. A family in which an ephebophilic patient resides can help in the treatment of mental dysfunction, or may be an additional traumatic cause and exacerbate pathological adaptation in the society, provoking the patient to take dangerous actions.

Since ephebophilia refers to paraphilia, which is of a serial nature, preventive measures in this case will be aimed at preventing a series of crimes.

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The forecast is mostly doubtful. Sexual offenses are among the most serious. Relatives and relatives should carefully monitor the inclinations of relatives with ephebophilia or other sexual disorders. Timely detection of perverted inclinations of family members will avoid serious consequences.

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