What makes it, and all paraphilias mental disorders, is the unnatural state of it.
Sorry, but your arguments for why ‘deviant’ sexual orientations are mental disorders is simply not valid, and quite frankly outdated. It’s essentially 19th century mentality that branded anything different than heterosexual attraction as ‘unnatural’ and ‘perverse’. But the fact is that there’s nothing ‘unnatural’ about any of it. Everything that manifests spontaneously in nature is — by definition — natural, and there are plenty of examples of homosexuality and pedophilia in the animal kingdom as well. The notion that it’s against evolution is self-proven to be false. If you knew how evolution worked, you would know that homosexuality and every other not-conducive-to-reproduction sexual orientations would have been eliminated through the millennia, and yet here we are, with a prevalence of homosexuality that doesn’t indicate that it’s going to be disappearing any time soon. The same can be said about pedophilia.
I’ll give you that at least you’re consistent, and consider homosexuality a mental disorder as well. But your claim that there was no scientific progress that led to eliminating homosexuality as a mental disorder from the DSM is also incorrect. Sure, of course pressure from LGBTQ groups ultimately contributed heavily to it, but over the past decades there has been tremendous amounts of research on ‘alternative’ human sexualities that have proven that the very many stereotypes and prejudices about homosexual people — they’re inherently ‘perverts’, promiscuous, immoral, etc. — are plain and simply false. We knew very little about the nature of homosexuality, and that’s why it was considered an ‘aberration’ or a ‘perversion’. Now we know that homosexuality has one symptom and one symptom only: it makes people attracted to people of the same gender as themselves. Nothing more.
For something to be considered a mental disorder it has to somehow impair the individual on their day to day functioning. A mental disorder is something that everyone would agree needs some sort of treatment for the individual to be able to function. People diagnosed with ADHD need medication in order to function properly. So do bipolar or schizophrenic people. People with OCD often need either medication or therapy to be able to cope with their obsessive thoughts and their compulsions. The same could be said about severely depressed people, for them to be able to have a normal life. People with unchosen sexual orientations are not impaired in any way whatsoever. Their cognitive abilities are not inherently affected by their condition of being attracted to whomever they are attracted to.
What is pedophilia? Is it a mental disorder? A sexual orientation? A choice? A ‘lifestyle’? There is a lot of…medium.com
There’s also a huge amount of stigma associated with mental health problems. And when you combine the stigma of mental health with the stigma of sexuality in general, ‘deviant’ sexual orientations and pedophilia in particular, branding them as ‘mental disorders’ really does nothing to help understand what these conditions are, and creates a lot of false ideas on people’s heads about them (read the last section on the article I just linked to). Ultimately it shouldn’t really matter if you consider homosexuality or, in this case, pedophilia as mental disorders, so long as you understand that they are and — more importantly — what they aren’t. And what it means for someone to be homosexual or a pedophile and — once again, much more importantly — what it doesn’t mean:
Even the DSM now differentiates between paraphilias — which they consider not to be a disorder in themselves and clearly indicate that they necessitate no clinical intervention or treatment because they represent no impairment whatsoever— and paraphilic disorders.