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Social stigma surrounding pedophilic disorder has restricted progress on research and prevented those suffering from the disorder from coming forward to receive help. Not all with the disorder go on to abuse children and of course, no one is born wanting to be a pedophile. It is important to understand why these reoccurring sexual fantasies involving children might occur, if there is abnormal brain functioning involved, and how these fantasies can be alleviated. Brain injury case studies, sexual stimuli reaction studies, and investigations into the structural and functional connectivity of the brains of pedophiles all show abnormal functioning within and between the prefrontal cortex and limbic structures. This indicates that irregular connections between brain regions involved in emotion, stimulus association, and impulse control are at work. With both more general research and brain research done on pedophilic disorder, important information can be provided to the public, reducing stigma, and more specialized treatments can be developed.
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