Idiopathic vs acquired pedophilic behavior: a critical analysis


  • Cristina Scarpazza Pensamultimedia
  • Andrea Sigfrido Camperio Ciani
  • Stefano Ferracuti



Acquired pedophilia is a rare but underestimated condition. Acquired pedophilic behavior refers to the insurgence of pedophilic tendencies as result of a neurological disorder, that cause a fracture between behaviors observed prior and after the brain insult. Acquired pedophilia widely differs from idiopathic pedophilia. The current review of the literature summarizes the actual knowledge on the differences between acquired and idiopathic pedophilia in the following aspect: etiology, neural correlates, modus operandi, possible treatments and legal consequences. We conclude underlying that appreciating the possibility of an acquired origin of pedophilic behavior is of utmost importance, for clinical and forensic reasons. An interdisciplinary approach must be acted in all cases under observation.