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In this article, I return to the idea that pedophilia, a sexual interest in prepubescent children, can be considered a sexual orientation for age, in conjunction with the much more widely acknowledged and discussed sexual orientation for gender. Here, I broaden the scope to consider other chronophilias, referring to paraphilias for age/maturity categories other than young sexually mature adults. The puzzle of chronophilias includes questions about etiology and course, how chronophilias are related to each other, and what they can tell us about how human (male) sexuality is organized. In this article, I briefly review research on nepiophilia (infant/toddlers), pedophilia (prepubescent children), hebephilia (pubescent children), ephebophilia (postpubescent, sexually maturing adolescents), teleiophilia (young sexually mature adults, typically 20s and 30s), mesophilia (middle-aged adults, typically 40s and 50s), and gerontophilia (elderly adults, typically 60s and older) in the context of a multidimensional sexual orientations framework. Relevant research, limitations, and testable hypotheses for future work are identified.
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TARGET ARTICLE
The Puzzle of Male Chronophilias
Michael C. Seto
1
Received: 16 December 2015 / Revised: 15 June 2016 / Accepted: 22 June 2016 / Published online: 22 August 2016
Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016
Abstract In this article, I return to the idea that pedophilia, a
sexual interest in prepubescent children, can be considered a
sexual orientation for age, in conjunction with the much more
widely acknowledged and discussed sexual orientation for gen-
der. Here, I broaden the scope to consider other chronophilias,
referring to paraphilias for age/maturity categories other than
young sexually mature adults. The puzzle of chronophilias
includes questions about etiology and course, how chronophilias
are related to each other, and what they can tell us about how
human (male) sexuality is organized. In this article, I briefly review
research on nepiophilia (infant/toddlers), pedophilia (prepubescent
children), hebephilia (pubescent children), ephebophilia (post-
pubescent, sexually maturing adolescents), teleiophilia (young
sexually mature adults, typically 20s and 30s), mesophilia (mid-
dle-aged adults, typically 40s and 50s), and gerontophilia (elderly
adults, typically 60s and older) in the context of a multidimen-
sional sexual orientations framework. Relevant research, limita-
tions, and testable hypotheses for future work are identified.
Keywords Age preferences Chronophilias Paraphilias
Sexual orientation
Introduction
Sexual orientation is usually used to refer to one’s attractions to
individuals of the opposite and/or same sex, or both. Indeed, the
American Psychological Association specifically defines sexual
orientation in this way (http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/
sexuality-definitions.pdf), which is also consistent with the
Oxford Dictionary definition of the term as well as common
usage (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/
sexual-orientation):
Sexual orientation refers to the sex of those to whom one is
sexually and romantically attracted. Categories of sexual ori-
entation typically have included attraction to members of
onesownsex(gaymenorlesbians),attractiontomembers
of the other sex (heterosexuals), and attraction to members
of both sexes (bisexuals) (American Psychological Asso-
ciation, 2011).
In this article, I more broadly define sexual orientation as a
stable tendency to preferentially orient—in terms of attention,
interest, attraction, and genital arousal—to particular classes of
sexual stimuli (see also Chivers, 2015; Sell, 1997). If we accept
this broader definition, then we can imagine that individuals
actually have multiple sexual orientations rather than a single sex-
ual orientation, corresponding to their sexual preferences along a
variety of different dimensions, including age. This article focuses
on variation across age categories.
1
Money (1986) coined the term
chronophilia to refer to paraphilias (variations from teleiophilia,
the species-typical age orientation to sexually mature adults)
regarding different age (maturity) categories; thus, this article
focuses on thepuzzles posed by chronophilias, including ques-
tions about etiology and course, how chronophilias are related
to each other, and what they can reveal about the organization
of human sexuality.
2
&Michael C. Seto
michael.seto@theroyal.ca
1
Royal Ottawa Health Care Group, Ottawa, ON K1Z 7K4,
Canada
1
I use the term age throughout this article, but, as I discuss later, I am
actually referring to sexual and physical maturity stages. Age is a useful
but not perfect proxy for maturity stage.
2
I am interested in both male and female sexuality, but so little is known
about variations in age preferences among females that this review
necessarily focuses on male chronophilias.
123
Arch Sex Behav (2017) 46:3–22
DOI 10.1007/s10508-016-0799-y
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
... Se ha estimado una prevalencia de alrededor de 5 % de pedófilos en la población (Seto, 2008). Posteriormente, en una revisión Seto (2017) sugirió el 1 % de la prevalencia de pedofilia del estudio de Santtila et al., (2015) donde se indica entre 2.4 % al 4.4 % son pedohebefilos y el 0.5 % pedófilos. Dicha sugerencia fue consistente con Dombert et al., (2016) donde el 5.4 % mostraron características pedofílicas, pero sólo el 0.1 % son pedófilos. ...
... Este argumento tiene una falla lógica. La preferencia hacia individuos sexualmente maduros (teleiofilia) está precisamente dada por la edad misma que otorga la presencia de características sexuales secundarias (Seto, 2017). De acuerdo a esta lógica, la pedofilia resultaría de una preferencia basada en la ausencia de características sexuales secundarias y la selección del sexo biológico del prepúber. ...
... Freund, Heasman, Racansky y Glancy (1984) propusieron que la pedofilia es propia del sexo masculino debido a la cascada hormonal de testosterona suscitada durante el neurodesarrollo in utero. De hecho, las victimarias sexuales de prepúberes no muestran una especificidad de excitación sexual ante estímulos sexuales de adultos o prepúberes, por lo que la pedofilia en mujeres permanece en calidad de desconocida (Tenbergen et al., 2015;Seto, 2017). ...
... Sexual behaviors and interests can be organized using the concept of sexual orientation, that is, the propensity to orient-in attention, interest, and genital arousal-to particular sexual stimuli (Seto, 2017). Individuals have multiple sexual orientations, including the age or physical maturity of the sexual target. ...
... There would be no real boundary in nature to demarcate the emergence of sexual attraction to children. The dimensional perspective is supported by etiological theories positing that sexual attraction is the product of independent processes occurring at varying intensities and frequencies (Seto, 2017). Variations in men's physical arousal to different stages of physical maturity (i.e., Tanner stage; Tanner, 1978) would denote incremental, not categorical, differences (Seto et al., 1999). ...
Article
This study examined whether pedophilia is best understood as a dimension or a discrete class (taxon). We considered pedophilia to include both physical sexual attraction to children as well as emotional attraction to children and childhood. Archival data from 901 adult males from a U.S. civil commitment treatment center for sexually dangerous persons were used. Three indicators were submitted to Meehl and Ruscio's taxometric analyses: (a) a screening scale for pedophilic interests based on criminal history, (b) a composite indicator of pedophilic physical attraction, and (c) a composite indicator of pedophilic emotional attraction. All analyses supported a taxon. Compared with nontaxon members, taxon members had more interpersonal deficits, more neurodevelopmental perturbations, more sex-crime specific problems, and fewer problems related to criminality overall. Although previous research showed mixed results (some dimensional, some taxonic), the current study moves the balance of evidence toward considering pedophilia as a distinct disorder. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).
... and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (see Seto et al., 2018) and with past research examining CSEM collections (e.g., Quayle & Jones, 2011) and examining the terms used to describe material available (most relates to underage females; Steel, 2009). Infant material is rarer and might be more difficult to obtain, but beyond it being a question about supply and demand it is also likely that overall, fewer individuals have this age specific interest (see Seto, 2017; nepiophilia is rarer than pedophilia, which in turn is rarer than hebephilia). ...
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Accessing child sexual exploitation material (CSEM; child pornography in legal statutes) can indicate sexual interest in children. It logically follows then that the age and gender of the depicted children may reflect specific interests in those age/gender groups, and if so, may correspond to age and genders of any known contact offending victims. We had data on CSEM characteristics and child victims for 71 men convicted of CSEM offenses who also had contact sexual offenses against children; some had also sexually solicited children online. Sixty-four men had 134 prior or concurrent child victims, and 14 men reoffended directly against 17 children during follow-up. There were significant, positive associations (with moderate to large effect sizes) between age and gender of children depicted in CSEM and age and gender of child contact or solicitation victims. Examining future offending, though with only 14 recidivists, all men who sexually reoffended against a girl had more girl CSEM content, and all men who sexually reoffended against a boy had more boy CSEM content. Our results suggest that CSEM characteristics can reflect child preferences. This information can be relevant in clinical settings, police investigations, and community risk management, though it does not rule out interest in, or offending against, victims of other ages or gender. We discuss these findings in the context of other evidence regarding victim cross-over, and suggest future research.
... Keywords pedophilia, hebephilia, child sexual abuse, trauma, viewing time Roughly 4% of men are estimated to be sexually attracted to prepubescent children (Bártová et al., 2021;Dombert et al., 2016), while about 17% report some degree of sexual attraction to pubescent children (Bártová et al., 2021). The currently predominant etiological theory of pedohebephilia (i.e., a sexual interest in prepubescent children, usually below the age of 11, and/or pubescent children, usually between 11 and 14; Seto, 2017) posits that it is caused by differences in neurodevelopment, as corroborated by markers for developmental perturbations in utero or childhood/adolescence (Fazio, 2018;Tenbergen et al., 2015). For instance, in prior research among mostly samples of men who have sexually offended, pedohebephilia has been linked to non-righthandedness, lower height, lower intelligence, and more head injuries before age 13. ...
... Contrarily, searching for materials depicting "rape and/or sexual violence" and "sexual activity involving urine and feces" was very uncommon and stable across all the age categories (V males of 0.099 and 0.057; V females of 0.096 and 0.039, respectively), suggesting that these sort of pornography did not represent a major preference in our sample. The fourth factor (i.e., "chronophilias") includes pornographic contents reflecting a sexual attraction toward children (pedophilia) or adolescents (hebephilia) (Seto, 2017). Average scores on this factor were extremely low in the five age categories, especially in females. ...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Pornography consumption has increased exponentially in recent decades. Most studies conducted so far are focused on adult samples (typically, between 18 and 30 years old), limiting the generalizability of their results. This study aims to create a taxonomy that groups various pornographic contents and thus explore different aspects of its use (e.g., preference for different pornographic content, excessive and problematic use) in people at different life stages. Methods Between 2016 and 2019, 8,040 individuals (71.3% men) between 12 and 85 years old ( M = 33.25, SD = 14.31) completed a battery that explores pathological and non-pathological pornography use. Participants were distributed into five age groups (< 18 years old, between 18–25, 26–40, 41–60, and > 60) to perform the different analyses (ANOVA and chi-square tests for the differences between the groups, EFA for the analyses of categories of pornographic content, and hierarchical linear regressions to identify the factors related to problematic use). Results Pornography use was highly prevalent (> 85%) in all age groups. Using a data-driven approach, we found that the pornographic content explored in this research can be classified within four categories. Using this taxonomy, we found differences according to the age for most of the pornographic content explored (e.g., sexual intercourse with opposite-sex partners [71.6–84.5% in males and 70.2–89.5% in females]). Finally, we found that age conditions the way in which preference for different pornographic content increases the risk of excessive and problematic use. Conclusions Pornography consumption is frequent in different age groups, although it varies depending on age and content. In addition, some particular pornographic contents were identified that increase the risk of developing an addiction in different developmental stages. Policy Implications This study provides a preliminary foundation for identifying the unique characteristics of pornography use in different age groups as well as content related to increased problematic use.
... Ironically, some of the debate about the inclusion of hebephilia and hebephilic disorder misunderstood hebephilia to include attraction to sexually maturing adolescents, when the proposed criteria would have made it clearer that the attraction was to pubescent children(Blanchard, 2013;Franklin, 2010). A preference for sexually maturing adolescents has been described as ephebophilia in the literature(Seto, 2017), but I am not aware of anyone suggesting ephebophilia be listed as a paraphilia or paraphilic disorder.2 Graham (2019) also found poor inter-rater reliability for OSPD with a nonconsent specifier, which is relevant to the decision to exclude paraphilic coercive disorder from DSM-5 as well (cf.Stern, 2010;Wollert, 2011).Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. ...
... Keywords pedophilia, hebephilia, child sexual abuse, trauma, viewing time Roughly 4% of men are estimated to be sexually attracted to prepubescent children (Bártová et al., 2021;Dombert et al., 2016), while about 17% report some degree of sexual attraction to pubescent children (Bártová et al., 2021). The currently predominant etiological theory of pedohebephilia (i.e., a sexual interest in prepubescent children, usually below the age of 11, and/or pubescent children, usually between 11 and 14; Seto, 2017) posits that it is caused by differences in neurodevelopment, as corroborated by markers for developmental perturbations in utero or childhood/adolescence (Fazio, 2018;Tenbergen et al., 2015). For instance, in prior research among mostly samples of men who have sexually offended, pedohebephilia has been linked to non-righthandedness, lower height, lower intelligence, and more head injuries before age 13. ...
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... Ironically, some of the debate about the inclusion of hebephilia and hebephilic disorder misunderstood hebephilia to include attraction to sexually maturing adolescents, when the proposed criteria would have made it clearer that the attraction was to pubescent children(Blanchard, 2013;Franklin, 2010). A preference for sexually maturing adolescents has been described as ephebophilia in the literature(Seto, 2017), but I am not aware of anyone suggesting ephebophilia be listed as a paraphilia or paraphilic disorder.2 Graham (2019) also found poor inter-rater reliability for OSPD with a nonconsent specifier, which is relevant to the decision to exclude paraphilic coercive disorder from DSM-5 as well (cf.Stern, 2010;Wollert, 2011). ...
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