Introduction: In spite of the heterogeneity among children molesters, some research has investigated these offenders based on the presence or absence of the diagnosis of pedophilia. The purpose of a distinction between these groups (with and without pedophilia) is to establish a more accurate prognosis and an effective treatment. Method: This study examined a sample of 143 children molesters serving a sentence in a Penitentiary in São Paulo State, Brazil. Pedophilic children molesters were defined in two ways: (1) those offenders who acknowledged to the study interviewer that they were primarily sexually interested in children; and (2) those offenders against children who did not admit this recurrent sexual interest, but had high scores on the Screening Scale for Pedophilic Interest (SSPI). Both groups were compared with relation to impulsiveness, sexual addiction, severity of alcohol and drug use and recidivism risk. Results: Children molesters showed higher impulsiveness levels, were more commonly single, revealed more frequent history of sexual abuse in childhood and offended a greater number of victims than nonpedophilic children molesters. Furthermore, the offense against any male victim was more reliably related to pedophiles. Discussion: Differences between pedophilic and nonpedophilic children molesters do not consist of anecdotal evidence, but imply the dire necessity of individualized medical and legal approaches. When an individual meets diagnostic criteria for pedophilia, he must be treated accordingly. This paper discusses the issues related to the adequate treatment of pedophiles in Brazil.