An Australian man who openly admits he's attracted to underage boys says he is a "good" paedophile who never acts on his urges.

Melbourne man, Kira, has opened up about his challenging childhood, telling 60 Minutes he realised something was wrong when he went through puberty at school.

At 15, he started developing urges towards children.

"When I was about 15, I was going through school, I was looking at boys, I was finding them sexually attractive," he said.

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Kira found he was attracted to boys as young as seven, but found as he grew older his urges remained the same.

After coming to terms with the fact he has paedophilic urges, Kira made a decision that he'd never act on his impulses as he never wants to hurt children or their families.

Thousands of 'virtuous paedophiles' who have sexual attraction to children but do not want to act on it, are seeking help online from support groups like VirPed.org. Photo / 60 Minutes
Thousands of 'virtuous paedophiles' who have sexual attraction to children but do not want to act on it, are seeking help online from support groups like VirPed.org. Photo / 60 Minutes

Despite his stance, he claims it's difficult to live with the secret he has those urges and says he has no way to change his sexual attraction to children.

"I'm not a monster, I've got a morality, I could never bring myself to do something like that. But then - you've got this dark secret inside you as well," he said.

Dr James Cantor, a psychologist specialising in atypical sexuality, said scientific evidence shows paedophiles are born, not made.

He told 60 Minutes paedophilia begins before birth and no treatment has ever been able to change the desires of paedophiles.

He explained the issue stems from areas of the brain that are wrongly connected to other areas they shouldn't and MRI imaging can show this.

Cantor says while most people should develop parental instinct that wants to protect children, paedophiles' brain connection provokes a sexual instinct instead.

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"It [the brain] is accidentally identifying things in the environment that should evoke a parental instinct but instead it's provoking a sexual and erotic instinct," he told 60 Minutes.

Thousands of people suffer this problem, with the group being called "virtuous paedophiles", but the majority never act on their urges or harm children.

'Kira' says he is not a monster - despite being attracted to seven-year-old boys, he said he could never bring himself to molest a child. Photo / 60 Minutes
'Kira' says he is not a monster - despite being attracted to seven-year-old boys, he said he could never bring himself to molest a child. Photo / 60 Minutes

According to the American website Association for Sexual Abuse Prevention, sexual attraction to children is a disturbingly common disorder.

Studies have shown one in four adult men anonymously acknowledged some level of sexual attraction to prepubescent children, with up to one in 20 adult men qualifying for a formal diagnosis of paedophilic disorder, the association says on its website.

Experts believe thousands of teenage boys each year come to the horrifying realisation that they are attracted to children and have nowhere to turn for help.

Online support can be found on a site called Virtuous Pedophiles which has hundreds of members.