Professional responses to contemporary discourses and definitions of paedophilia
McCartan, K. (2011) Professional responses to contemporary discourses and definitions of paedophilia. International Journal of Police Science and Management, 13 (4). p. 322. ISSN 1461-3557
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This paper will discuss professionals' contemporary definitions and understandings of paedophilia, based upon empirical qualitative research with a range of professionals working within paedophilia, or in related fields (practitioners, academics and members of the media) (N = 28). The research used semi-structured interviews, interpreted through qualitative (thematic) content analysis. The findings reveal that in general the professionals seem to have similar, but differently nuanced understandings of paedophilia. The professionals believe that the current definition of paedophilia, as a result of a number of factors including disparate professional discourses, has become problematic as it does not reflect the complexity of the issue or the population in question. This disharmony in professional discourse and public discussion has led to the broader societal discourse surrounding paedophilia to become maladaptive and not fit for purpose. Therefore the professionals believe that the current discourse surrounding paedophilia, and its resulting definition, needs to be readdressed.