Stigma has been the primary barrier in understanding pedophilia with scientific study.
Talking about pedophilia and pedophiles often feels like a crime. And, to many, the idea of conceptualizing pedophilia as a sexual orientation is often seen as a minimization of a serious moral offense.
Many are familiar with the tragic case of Megan Kanka, a 7-year-old girl who was raped and murdered by a repeat sex offender in New Jersey in 1994.
On a larger scale, the natural fear of Stranger Danger is replicated in media culture and social policy and practice about sex offenders.