Scarpazza, C., Berryessa, C.M., & Focquaert, F. (2021). A biopsychosocial approach to idiopathic versus acquired pedophilia: What do we know and how do we proceed legally and ethically?In S. Ligthart, D. Van Toor, T. Kooijmans, T. Douglas & G. Meynen (Eds.), Neurolaw: Advances in Neuroscience, Justice & Security. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave MacMillan.
Idiopathic and acquired paedophilia are two different disorders with different aetiology, neural basis, modus operandi, and possible treatments. In this chapter, these differences will be summarized and the legal implications for punishment will be discussed for both forms of paedophilia. We conclude that, based on our current scientific knowledge regarding both disorders, retributive punishments are unlikely to “solve the problem” related to future paedophiliac behaviour. Instead, alternative strategies may be needed to hinder future offending by individuals with both idiopathic and acquired paedophilia. If an alternative non-retributive route is considered, it is imperative that, in addition to any applicable non-retributive legal sanctions and/or rehabilitative trajectories, restorative justice practices and psychological counselling are immediately made available to victims and their loved ones.