Sexual orientation (also often referred to as sexual preference) is simply described as what combination of gender and age range one finds sexually appealing or attractive in another person. For example, someone who is attracted to either prepubescent or teenaged boys would probably identify their sexual orientation being that of a boylover, a pedophile or an ephebophile. Some other examples of sexual orientations include homosexual, heterosexual, girllover, bisexual and so on.
A sexual orientation is frequently described by psychologists and medical personnel as being static, meaning someone is either heterosexual or homosexual all his or her life. Often, they are hostile to other minor sexualities they see as being "deviant". This includes pedophiles, or in other words boylovers and girllovers.
However, empirical evidence has shown that someone's sexual orientation is frequently shades of grey as opposed to solid black or solid white. Put simply, a perfectly "straight" heterosexual man might also enjoy occasionally giving oral sex to another man, a perfectly heterosexual woman might enjoy a sexual encounter with another woman, and married men with families might harbor attractions for young boys he sees at his children's school. Furthermore, these patterns may change as the person grows older.
It is important to remember that pedophilia is not recognized as a legitimate sexual orientation by psychological or scientific organizations. Therefore, requests for assistance in cases of discrimination against pedophiles are likely to be ignored or refused by civil liberties groups. Pedophiles involved in legal action against hostile parties may be able to request assistance by referring to pedophilia's status as a psychosexual disorder or paraphilia in the DSM, which better reflects its legal status.