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Potential and Dunkelfeld offenders: Two neglected target groups for prevention of child sexual abuse

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Abstract

Little is known about men who have not yet committed child sexual abuse but may be at risk of doing so (potential offenders) and the factors that distinguish these men from undetected child sexual abuse offenders with a sexual interest in children (Dunkelfeld offenders). The present study describes and compares potential and Dunkelfeld offenders, which can be viewed as ideal target groups for (primary) prevention efforts with respect to child sexual abuse. Also, this study seeks to demonstrate the feasibility of using a telephone screening procedure to conduct research with these groups. Using a computer assisted telephone interview (CATI), data on demographics, mental health, sexuality, criminal history, and victim characteristics were collected from respondents in a nation-wide media campaign, which informed potential (re-)offenders of child sexual abuse of a research and treatment project. Many participants reported recurrent sexual fantasies involving minors, as well as related distress, suggesting a high prevalence of pedophilia and hebephilia. More than half feared they would sexually abuse a minor, and Dunkelfeld offenders reported 3.2 victims on average. Group comparisons revealed that Dunkelfeld offenders were, for example, more likely to perceive themselves being at risk of offending, compared to potential offenders. The results suggest that targeting potential and Dunkelfeld offenders could prove a worthwhile approach in the prevention of child sexual abuse.

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... swimming pools, playgrounds, shopping centres) and virtual (Smallbone & McKillop, 2016). • Most minor-attracted persons discover their attraction in puberty or before the age of 20, some 5-0 years before their arrest (Levenson et al., 2017;Schaefer et al., 2010.). Not all minor-attracted persons act on that attraction. ...
... Prevention Project Dunkelfeld is a voluntary research and treatment program for potential and undetected offenders partially or exclusively attracted to prepubescent (paedophiles) or pubescent children (hebephiles). The project currently offers free confidential psychological, sexological and pharmacological services at 11 regional sites and aims to prevent CSA and use of child pornography (Beier et al., 2015a(Beier et al., , 2021Schaefer et al., 2010). The Berlin Project is a similar project for juveniles aged 12-18 years who have a sexual preference for prepubescent or early pubescent children (Beier et al., 2015b). ...
Article
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The evidence is clear that child sexual abuse is a public health concern internationally. Prevention of child sexual abuse requires a variety of interventions including those that stop individuals from either sexually assaulting a child or viewing sexually abusive online images. In contrast, most current approaches internationally focus on criminal justice strategies aimed at preventing reoffending rather than stopping the first offence. Additionally, and albeit there is a general paucity of relevant scholarship, there are few signs of countries adopting coherent, unified and evidence-based strategies to prevent individuals at risk of harming a child becoming actual or repeat offenders. The focus of interventions to date is largely on prevention at the tertiary end. Understanding and adopting an integrated public health approach represents an opportunity to incorporate a range of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention interventions and develop comprehensive prevention strategies at local, national, or international levels. A comprehensive approach to prevention targeted at stopping offending in the first place is required, and it needs to be able to recognise the complex nature of offending and the diversity therein. Research shows that those who harm children are diverse in their age and gender, the children they sexually abuse—intra-familial/extra-familial, prepubescent/pubescent, peer/younger children, male or female—and the type of abuse—contact, non-contact, or online. Preventing child sexual abuse is complex and requires more than an ad hoc collection of unrelated programs, if it is to succeed. This paper synthesises and integrates the disparate scholarly literature on the potential and actual perpetrators of child sexual abuse and responses to and prevention of such abuse. It recommends an increased focus on primary prevention within a comprehensive public health approach as a conceptual framework to prevent the occurrence of child sexual abuse. A systems approach is taken to develop the proposed conceptual framework.
... Individuals are increasingly seeking help for PD in sexual medicine contexts and general psychiatry settings, such as the German prevention project Dunkelfeld (Schaefer et al., 2010;Knack et al., 2019). Treatment decisions are partly based on clinically perceived risk of child sexual abuse, and current guidelines suggest SSRI medication or psychotherapy for low risk and antiandrogen medication for high risk individuals (Thibaut et al., 2010). ...
... The motivationfacilitation model for sexual offending (Seto, 2019) suggests that pedophilic interest and hypersexuality are motivational factors, antisocial behavior trait factors, and impaired self-control a state factor. However, sexual offending risk and actual offending behavior is mostly unknown among individuals who voluntarily seek treatment for PD without prior identified child sexual offending (Schaefer et al., 2010;Dombert et al., 2016). ...
Article
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Background The risk of child sexual abuse among non-forensic, non-correctional patients with Pedophilic Disorder (PD) is largely unknown.Methods We recruited a consecutive sample of 55 help-seeking, non-correctional adult men diagnosed with DSM-5 PD at a university-affiliated sexual medicine outpatient unit in Sweden. PD participants were compared with 57 age-matched, non-clinical control men on four literature-based dynamic risk domains and self-rated child sexual abuse risk.ResultsPD participants scored higher than controls on all tested domains (0–3 points); expectedly so for pedophilic attraction (2.5 vs. 0.0, Cohen’s d = 2.40, 95% confidence interval (CI): [1.91–2.89]), but also for sexual preoccupation (1.6 vs. 1.0, d = 1.11, 95% CI: [0.71–1.51]), impaired self-regulation (1.4 vs. 1.0, d = 0.44, 95% CI: [0.06 to 0.81]), impaired cognitive empathy and antisocial traits (0.9 vs. 0.1, d = 1.18, 95% CI: [0.78–1.59]), and self-rated child sexual abuse risk (1.0 vs. 0.0, d = 1.56, 95% CI: [1.13–1.98]). When summarizing all five domains into a pre-specified composite score (0–15 points), PD subjects scored substantially higher than matched control men (7.5 vs. 2.1, d = 2.12, 95% CI: [1.65–2.59]). Five (9%) PD participants self-reported any previous conviction for a contact child sexual offense and eight (15%) for possession of child sexual abuse material or non-contact sexual offending (adult or child victim). Eighteen subjects (34%) acknowledged past week, child-related sexual behaviors.Conclusion Self-referred, help-seeking men with PD scored higher (small to very large effect sizes) than non-clinical control men on psychiatric measures of dynamic risk of child sexual abuse suggested in prior research with correctional samples diagnosed with PD. Our findings, including the composite risk measure, might inform clinical practice, but needs validation against actual sexual offending behavior.
... Support for these four aspects can be found in, for example, Bailey, Bernhard, and Hsu's (2016a) and Bailey, Hsu, and Bernhard's (2016b) internet survey of 1102 men with pedohebephilia. Their participants reported (1) an early age of onset, realizing their attraction to children at an average age of 14; (2) a persistent, stable attraction to children over time; (3) a strong sexual attraction to children (e.g., 25% reported a strong sexual attraction to prepubescent children, and 35% reported a strong sexual attraction to pubescent children; see also Grundmann, Krupp, Scherner, Amelung, & Beier, 2016;Schaefer et al., 2010;Tozdan & Briken, 2015); and (4) a majority (68%) indicated they had fallen in love with a child at least once in their lifetime. This last aspect, romantic attraction in pedohebephilia, has received relatively little scientific attention. ...
... Conversely, an estimated 9 to 40% of men with pedohebephilia have a preferential attraction to boys (Hall & Hall, 2007). Moreover, persons with pedophilia may distinguish less between boys and girls than persons with teleiophilia distinguish between men and women because prepubescent boys and girls are more similar in size and shape than their adult counterparts (Blanchard et al., 2009;Schaefer et al., 2010;Seto, 2012). Qualitative studies of persons with pedohebephilia suggest that attraction to boys is often accompanied by romantic feelings (e.g., Brongersma, 1991;Li, 1991); therefore, we hypothesize that persons with pedohebephilia who are attracted to boys exclusively or both boys and girls are more likely to have fallen in love with a child than those who are attracted to girls exclusively. ...
Article
Full-text available
Few studies of pedophilia or hebephilia have included questions about romantic attraction. We conducted an anonymous online survey of 306 men who self-reported as sexually attracted to children. The majority (72%) of participants reported they had fallen in love with a child in their lifetime. Participants reported greater feelings of attachment to children than feelings of infatuation. Though sexual attraction and falling in love were strongly correlated, they were not synonymous. Participants who reported pedohebephilia (defined in this study as attraction to prepubescent and pubescent children) were more likely to have fallen in love with a child than participants who reported pedohebe-ephebophilia (defined as attraction to prepubescent, pubescent, and post-pubescent minors). Also, participants with an exclusive attraction to children were more likely to have fallen in love with a child than participants who were equally attracted to children and adults. The results of this study were consistent with the suggestion of Seto (2012) that pedohebephilia could be considered a form of sexual orientation for age, which includes both sexual and romantic attraction.
... Selvom seksuel interesse i eller seksuel praeference for børn øger risikoen for at begå seksuelle overgreb på børn, er det -til manges overraskelse -ofte kun 30-50% af dem, der begår seksuelle overgreb på børn, som opfylder de diagnostiske kriterier for paedofili (Blanchard, Klassen, Dickey, Kuban, & Blak, 2001;Schaefer et al., 2010). Den resterende andel oplever ikke seksuel interesse i børn i en grad, der kvalificerer til diagnosen, men begår overgreb af andre grunde, f.eks. ...
Book
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Denne antologi indeholder en række bidrag fra medlemmer af forskningsnetværket og omhandler følgende hovedtemaer: politiske indsatsers betydning for arbejdet, børnehusenes arbejde generelt, samt fokus på behandling af traumer efter seksuelle overgreb. Desuden et kapitel specifikt i forhold til screening ved mistanke om vold mod ofrene. Arbejdet med børn og unge, der har seksuelt bekymrende eller krænkende adfærd bliver beskrevet og suppleres med beskrivelse af hvordan gruppen af børn og unge med autisme i denne sammenhæng har brug for særlig støtte og opmærksomhed. Et kapitel beskriver de sociale konsekvenser, når de seksuelle overgreb på unge foregår i vennegruppen. Forståelsen og udviklingen af begrebet grooming, især i forhold til sociale medier bliver beskrevet. Endelig dykker to kapitler ned i dels forståelsen af pædofilidiagnosen og dels i, hvordan behandlingsarbejdet med seksual-kriminelle foregår. Antologien slutter med anbefalinger til, hvordan arbejdet med at forebygge, forhindre, stoppe og behandle i sager om overgreb mod børn kan forbedres.
... Patients are encouraged to stop denying their sexual inclination and integrate it into their self-concept and involve family in the therapeutic process. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps in improving coping skills, stress management, and sexual attitudes Beier et al., 2015;Schaefer et al., 2010). PPD helped researchers understand a lot about people who are attracted to minors and how they can be provided with treatment and other supportive services. ...
Article
Full-text available
Child sexual abuse is a significant public health concern that has long-lasting consequences for victims and their families and poses a significant financial cost to the public. Prevention efforts, including sex offender treatment programs, are intended to prevent further instances of sexual abuse. Most sexual offenses, however, are committed by individuals who are not yet known as sexual offenders, and therefore traditional sex offender treatment programs fall short of this goal. It is crucial to provide services to people who may be at risk for committing a sexual offense and those who have not offended, including those individuals who are attracted to children. While primary prevention programs such as Prevention Project Dunkelfeld and Talking for Change have begun to address this issue internationally, there are significant barriers to providing preventive services of this nature to non-offending minor attracted persons (NOMAPs) in the United States. Barriers include concerns about mandated reporting laws, stigmatization, and lack of knowledge by therapists about MAPs. This paper explores these barriers and provides solutions for practitioners to offer services to this population. This paper includes the development of specific programming for non-offenders and specialized training for clinicians who work with non-offenders as used by The Global Prevention Project.
... Selvom seksuel interesse i eller seksuel praeference for børn øger risikoen for at begå seksuelle overgreb på børn, er det til manges overraskelse ofte kun 30-50% af dem, der begår seksuelle overgreb på børn, som opfylder de diagnostiske kriterier for paedofili (Blanchard, Klassen, Dickey, Kuban, & Blak, 2001;Schaefer et al., 2010). Den resterende andel oplever ikke seksuel interesse i børn i en grad, der kvalificerer til diagnosen, men begår overgreb af andre grunde, f.eks. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Formålet med dette kapitel er at fremme viden om pædofili en stigmatiseret og ofte misforstået tilstand. Det sætter fokus på, hvad pædofili er, og hvad det ikke er, f.eks. hvilke kriterier der skal være opfyldt, hvor udbredt det er, og forekomsten i forhold til seksualkriminalitet.
... Selvom seksuel interesse i eller seksuel praeference for børn øger risikoen for at begå seksuelle overgreb på børn, er det til manges overraskelse ofte kun 30-50% af dem, der begår seksuelle overgreb på børn, som opfylder de diagnostiske kriterier for paedofili (Blanchard, Klassen, Dickey, Kuban, & Blak, 2001;Schaefer et al., 2010). Den resterende andel oplever ikke seksuel interesse i børn i en grad, der kvalificerer til diagnosen, men begår overgreb af andre grunde, f.eks. ...
Chapter
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Dette kapitel giver et overblik over, hvad der karakteriserer voksne, der begår overgreb på børn, hvad der kan være baggrunden for at begå overgreb, og hvordan der kan forsøges dæmmet op for overgreb blandt andet med behandling
... The most common topic of study in this regard is the experience of stigma. The effects of stigma appear to include depression, anxiety, and substance misuse conditions (e.g., Cohen et al., 2018;Elchuk et al., 2021;Raymond et al., 1999;Schaefer et al., 2010), social isolation (Elchuk et al., 2021;Jahnke et al., 2015b), and the internalization of stigma and self-loathing McPhail & Stephens, 2020;Stevens & Wood, 2019). As an acknowledgment that these factors are known to increase the likelihood that an individual may sexually offend, some researchers have begun to discuss how MAP-directed support services should first aim to address mental health issues, with sexual offense prevention being a by-product of effective service provision (for a discussion, see Lievesley & Harper, 2021). ...
Article
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The current body of the literature studying minor-attracted persons (MAPs) predominantly focuses on the experiences of men who experience sexual attractions to children. To shed more light on the experiences of women within this population, we conducted anonymous semi-structured interviews with six self-identified female MAPs, who were recruited through online support forums for individuals with sexual attractions to children. Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was used to analyze the interview transcripts. Two superordinate themes were identified from the dataset that highlighted the uniqueness of the experience of being a woman within the MAP community (“A minority within a minority”) and themes of social isolation and the effects of this on identity (“A lonely secret existence”). The findings reported here highlight how the experiences of female MAPs both converge with and diverge from their male counterparts in important ways. We discuss the implications of these experiences in relation to more effective service provision for women who are sexually attracted to children.
... The PPD was the first attempt to prevent sexual offending against children by targeting potential and dark-field offenders for preventive treatment. [26][27][28][29] After an extensive media campaign that was developed with support from a focus group of treatmentseeking pedophilic men launched in 2004, the first treatment groups were offered at the clinic in Berlin, Germany. This treatment model is based on the Berlin Dissexuality Therapy (BEDIT) program and has been used in Germany in the 11 clinical site network comprising the PPD. ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper introduces a new prevention strategy against child sexual abuse (both offline and online) in the United States. The Global Prevention Project is a supportive treatment program designed for nonoffending minor-attracted persons who reside in the community. Attraction to minors and the underlying scientific terms (pedophilia/hebephilia) are discussed and a framework is provided for how to implement such a program in the United States. Our treatment modality is described to provide transparency in our clinical work. We discuss challenges encountered in this domain with possible solutions and the legal ramifications of preventing child sexual abuse behaviors by targeting nonoffending individuals.
... As DSM-5 suggests, a paedophile is sexually attracted to prepubescent children, but one may or may not act on this impulsion. Past studies have revealed that only 20% to 50% of perpetrators of child sexual abuse are sexually attracted to prepubescent children (Blanchard et al., 2001;Schaefer et al., 2010;Schmidt et al., 2013;Seto, 2008), while others are sexually attracted to and assault both children and adults, and some may act out of sheer opportunity instead of having an exclusive sexual attraction to children (Richards, 2011;Tenbergen et al., 2015). Generally, perpetrators of child sexual abuse are attracted to the typical body types of a particular age group and not necessarily the age per se (e.g. ...
... The most common topic of study in this regard is the experience of stigma. The effects of stigma appear to include depression, anxiety, and substance misuse conditions (e.g., Cohen et al., 2018;Elchuk et al., 2021;Raymond et al., 1999;Schaefer et al., 2010), social isolation (Elchuk et al., 2021;Jahnke et al., 2015b), and the internalization of stigma and selfloathing McPhail & Stephens, 2020;Stevens & Wood, 2019). ...
Preprint
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The current body of literature studying minor-attracted persons (MAPs) predominantly focuses on the experiences of men who experience sexual attractions to children. To shed more light on the experiences of women within this population, we conducted anonymous semi-structured interviews with six self-identified female MAPs, who were recruited through online support forums for individuals with sexual attractions to children. Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was used to analyze the interview transcripts. Two superordinate themes were elicited from the dataset that identified themes of social isolation and the effects of this on identity (“A lonely secret existence”) and the uniqueness of the experience of being a woman within the MAP community (“A minority within a minority”). The findings reported here highlight how the experiences of female MAPs both converge with and diverge from their male counterparts in important ways. We discuss the implications of these experiences in relation to more effective service provision for female MAPs.
... Prevention Project Dunkelfeld 10 was launched in 2005 and is aimed toward providing treatment for individuals who self-identified as having a sexual interest in children. This prevention program essentially aims to offer specialized counseling and treatment services to individuals without a legal status (i.e., those who have not committed sexual offenses), but who consider themselves at risk of perpetrating a sex crime against a child (e.g., Beier et al., 2009;Schaefer et al., 2010). This project was accompanied by a largescale media campaign to encourage potential participants who were experiencing distress because of their sexual interests to seek treatment, while ensuring their anonymity and confidentiality to avoid labeling or societal stigma. ...
Chapter
Uncertainty about sex offender treatment, the emergence of a risk-oriented correctional philosophy, and the rise of populist justice movements in reaction to violent sexual crimes and homicides involving children were the key ingredients favoring the emergence of new sex offender laws in the 1990s. This chapter focuses on the implementation of these laws, specifically, sex offender registries and public notification. The American, Canadian, and Australian experiences are examined and compared, with an emphasis on American public sex offender registry and notification laws, as these largely formed the basis for their implementation in other jurisdictions. The chapter presents the findings from more than 20 years of policy evaluation examining the impact of these legal dispositions. Research has shown that these dispositions are based on false and misguided assumptions about the characteristics of offenders and their risk of sexual reoffending. Additionally, policy evaluation research has highlighted that these dispositions are not effective crime prevention policies and their presence might create additional social problems not envisaged by those who promoted and implemented such laws. Finally, whereas the above policies are primarily reactive approaches to addressing the problem of sexual offending, this chapter also examines the impact of a more proactive, treatment-oriented approach.
... A very necessary effort, as illustrated by Schaefer et al. (2010), who found that half of the 97 so-called "potential offenders" they investigated in their study indicated a fear of proceeding to sexually abuse a minor. Although this fear does not irrevocably lead to actually perpetrating CSA and the proportion of future offenders is impossible to determine, any indications of risk must be taken seriously. ...
Article
Purpose This study aims to exploratively compare several characteristics of 330 offending and non-offending Dutch subjects, seeking advice/help from child sexual abuse (CSA) prevention helpline Stop it Now!-The Netherlands (SiN-NL). Design/methodology/approach With a retrospective cross-sectional design, SiN-NL contact logs between March 2012 and June 2016 were investigated. Findings Results revealed a few interesting differences and similarities. Contrary to earlier findings, attraction to minors and especially boys did not distinguish offenders and non-offenders. However, intimate partner status, suicidal tendencies and expectation of the helpline differed significantly between the study samples. Also, the relevance of several self-reported CSA promoting and impeding factors varied between groups. The non-offender group more often indicated fear of consequences and avoidance of risk situations to be constraining factors, whilst the offender group more frequently suggested benefiting from professional help and social support. Practical implications The results of this study might inform different forms of prevention and treatment programs aimed at similar help-seeking individuals. Because of their perceived CSA promoting potential by help seekers, access to children and substance abuse are important topics to address by operators and taken into account when assessing offending risk. In contrast to earlier findings, sexual orientation did not differentiate offenders from non-offenders and might play a less significant role. Higher rates of suicidal tendencies and need for help and therapy could imply that, compared to non-offenders, offenders require a more cautious approach and additional care. Originality/value To our knowledge this is the first study to investigate self-reports of offending and non-offending subjects, seeking advice/help from a CSA prevention helpline.
... Blandt personer, som er dømt for seksualkriminalitet mod børn, er 30-50% (inklusive danske dømte) diagnosticeret med ICD/DSM-paedofili [2, [18][19][20][21][22]. Variationen afspejler forskelle i samples og diagnostik. ...
Article
Full-text available
In this review, we discuss paedophilia, which is a persistent and intense sexual interest in prepuberty children. Paedophilia is related to but not identical to sexual offending. Valid and reliable identification of paedophilia is complicated. In Denmark there is a need for intensifying primary and secondary preventive interventions aimed at increasing the number of individuals with paedophilia seeking treatment. Paedophilia has the same or a higher prevalence than other severe psychiatric disorders. Yet, in Denmark, this research field is delayed in comparison to research into other psychiatric disorders.
... For example, incarcerated males comprise only the known and currently apprehended child sexual abusers and are more likely to be from a low socio-economic status, whereas unapprehended child sexual abuse perpetrators are perhaps more likely to be from a more solid financial background(Briere and Spinazzola 2009;Schaefer et al. 2010).A. Quadara debbie.scott@monash.edu ...
Chapter
This chapter highlights methodological and practical issues in data integrity and the role of data in a public health model. It considers definitional issues of child maltreatment and how this influences measurement of the incidence/prevalence of maltreatment by the inclusion or omission of individuals from databases. This chapter considers the challenges of administrative data, mortality data and child death reviews and using cross-sectional national studies, survey data. It discusses the strengths and limitations of use of administrative data sets (for example child protection, and health datasets) – in isolation as single sources of information and by linking these datasets to identify and measure associations with known and potentially unknown risk indicators.
... Netherlands helpline reported learning about it from TV, radio, or print media (NatCen Social Research, 2014). Schaefer et al. (2010) studied 160 people who had contacted PPD, and found the majority had also become aware of the study through these same media sources (41%); however, in this case, the remainder of referrals came primarily from medical and social welfare professionals (24%) and the Internet (15%). ...
Article
The high prevalence rates and numerous consequences associated with child sexual abuse makes preventing these offences a societal priority. Prevention strategies have traditionally involved only tertiary interventions, implemented by the criminal justice system after an offence has occurred. More recently, some have argued for a public health approach to preventing child sexual abuse, which includes interventions at the primary and secondary levels. Secondary prevention aims to provide treatment and support to those at-risk of sexually offending before any involvement with the legal system. Increased demand for secondary prevention services and early results from current initiatives demonstrate that at-risk individuals are willing to seek treatment without external pressure from the legal system, and often report numerous treatment-related benefits. These findings support the need for widespread implementation of primary and secondary prevention initiatives. The safety of children requires that society stops merely reacting to sexual offences, and instead begins implementing proactive evidence-based strategies that can prevent even initial incidents of child sexual abuse. This article explores some of the many benefits and barriers associated with primary and secondary prevention, as well as strategies for overcoming these barriers. Recommendations for the development and implementation of prevention initiatives are also included.
... Research on risk assessment, prioritization and management have largely focused on individuals who have been charged, or convicted, of offences. Exceptions are the Dunkelfeld project (Schaefer et al., 2010) and online survey data from Dombert et al., (2016) of 8,718 German men from the general population. Rather than highrisk populations being the focus, Wortley (2012a) has argued for a different theoretical approach to the prevention of online abuse and exploitation crimes, seeing them as the result of a person-situation interaction rather than a result of the psychological characteristics of the individual. ...
Article
‘Cyberspace’ has added a dimension to the ecology of the child and should be a starting point for practitioners (including police) to think about digital media in the context of child sexual abuse. While there is no evidence to suggest that online abuse and exploitation is a more serious offence than crimes occurring offline, the behaviours enabled by social media may present a significant risk factor for some children. This article gives a brief overview of the phenomena and prevalence of online child sexual abuse and exploitation and the role that the Internet may play. This is considered in relation to deterrence, prevention and management of these crimes, and further develops a public health approach to online child abuse and exploitation. Finally, the article critically considers emerging evidence to support this interaction between the individual and the online environment.
... Netherlands helpline reported learning about it from TV, radio, or print media (NatCen Social Research, 2014). Schaefer et al. (2010) studied 160 people who had contacted PPD, and found the majority had also become aware of the study through these same media sources (41%); however, in this case, the remainder of referrals came primarily from medical and social welfare professionals (24%) and the Internet (15%). ...
Presentation
Lunch & Learn Session at the Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre. (Invited)
... It was suggessted that only about 50% of all individuals who do sexually abuse children are pedophilic. 8 Some authors say that, in this pedophilic group, sexual offending by females is relatively common but that it is unknown because of the absence of reporting or because these women tend to be overlooked by the criminal system. 9 It is speculated by some authors that, sexual offending by females is not easily understood, because mothers usually do acitivities with children such as bathing and dressing and adolescents do not think that this is abusive behavior such as a sexual relationship with a woman and they like it. ...
... Currently, there are no empirically based treatment options that can be endorsed as "best practices" for the treatment of men attracted to minors. Studying this hitherto neglected group can help provide some understanding on the hopes and problems of those who seek therapy, which may in turn be used to develop more effective therapeutic interventions (Schaefer et al., 2010). There are several treatments that have been shown effective to treat anxiety and depressive disorders, as well as help manage stigma-related stress and shame. ...
Thesis
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This study explored the lived experiences of men attracted to minors who believed they would benefit from therapy but did not seek out or attend therapeutic services; and sought to gain an understanding of how the decision to seek help or not impacted their well-being. Participants included 7 men who were recruited through the B4U-ACT online forum, which provides peer support for the minor attracted community. Participants were interviewed over Skype. Data from these interviews was analyzed and coded according to the interpretative phenomenological method as outlined by Smith et al. (2012). Five main themes emerged, providing insight as to why more therapeutic support is not sought. These themes include: emotional distress, consideration of therapy, actual and perceived stigmatization, expectations of therapist assumptions, expectations of professionalism, and therapeutic support. The findings were compared with existing literature to propose ways mental health professionals can provide easier access to resources and reach the population, which can lead to societal benefits. Improved access to treatment has the potential to provide the population opportunities to better cope with stigma, manage their impulses more effectively, lower their feelings of isolation, and increase their overall well-being. This study helps to fill the current void in the area of research on help-seeking behaviors and the associated challenges that men attracted to minors may face.
... In Switzerland, in 2015, 18.2% of all convictions based on sexually related offenses, involved sexual acts against children ("BFS -Polizeiliche Kriminalstatistik (PKS) 2015", 2016). Although only 25-50% of sexual crimes against children are committed by pedosexual perpetrators (Schaefer et al., 2010), a pedophilic preference is considered as an important risk factor for repeated child abuse (Hanson & Bussiere, 1998;Hanson & Morton-Bourgon, 2005). ...
Article
Studies in child sex offenders (CSO) often report deviant personality characteristics. In our study, we investigated neuroticism in CSO and tested the hypothesis that CSO with high neuroticism show more serious abuse behavior and are more likely to exhibit sexual dysfunction and cognitive distortions, as compared to CSO with low neuroticism. A sample of 40 CSO (both child sexual abusers and child sexual material users) was split into two subsamples based on their neuroticism scores, obtained by the NEO-Personality Inventory-Revised (NEO-PI-R) questionnaire. Subsequently, we compared their scores in the Multiphasic Sex Inventory (MSI) questionnaire and Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R). Our results show that CSO exhibited higher levels of neuroticism than controls, but were still in the normal range. In CSO, neuroticism was associated with sexual dysfunction and cognitive distortions, rather than with more severe abuse behavior. Moreover, neuroticism in this group was linked to a broad range of psychological problems and psychopathological symptoms, such as somatization or anxiety. Our findings suggest that neuroticism even below the level of personality disorder is associated with a broader range of psychological problems in CSO, which should be addressed in therapy.
... The Prevention Project Dunkelfeld (Beier et al., 2009 ;Schaefer et al., 2010 ) is another prevention effort directed at self-identifi ed individuals with pedophilic sexual preferences, encouraging them to seek professional help through their program. The project, based at the Institute of Sexology and Sexual Medicine at the Charité University Hospital in Berlin, is comprised of a large-scale social marketing campaign communicating empathy, hope, and personal accountability for individuals struggling with pedophilia ("You are not guilty because of your desire, but you are responsible for your sexual behavior. ...
Chapter
Sexually abusive behavior by adolescent youth accounts for more than one third of all sexual offenses against young children. It is also known that many adults who have sexually offended initiated their sexually abusive behavior during adolescence. Although targeted interventions are effective for adolescents who have already engaged in abusive sexual conduct, the ability to maximally reduce the sexual abuse of young children depends on a public health perspective and the tools of primary prevention. This chapter reviews the literature on risk and protective factors most relevant to adolescent sexually abusive behavior and the empirical support for sexual violence prevention initiatives. A proposal is outlined for a comprehensive primary prevention program specifically targeting adolescents at risk for engaging in abusive sexual behavior. The first wave of this initiative involves the delivery of a universal, school-based curriculum for preventing sexual violence perpetration. The second wave encompasses alternative approaches to early detection and intervention for adolescents exhibiting sexual interests in young children. Discussed in detail are the program’s expected intervention components, anticipated challenges, and possible solutions.
... Pedophilic disorder is a medical term, whereas child sexual abuse is a legal term [7]. Therefore, a pedophilic disorder is neither a necessary nor a sufficient precondition for committing sexual offences against children [8]. ...
Article
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Results of several studies point to an increase in reported child sexual abuse offences in Germany and an even higher number of undetected cases are assumed. In addition, even more cases regarding the distribution of child pornography have been reported. On behalf of victims of child sexual abuse and for the general public, a preventive treatment approach for people with a sexual interest in children is of prime importance. Currently, there is no published evaluated therapeutic approach for treating potential offenders, dark field offenders and bright field offenders with a sexual interest in children in an outpatient setting. We designed a cognitive-behavioral therapeutic approach that integrated need- and resource-oriented concepts for the specific treatment of those people. This treatment program comprises thirteen modules and is established for a period of about one and a half year. The therapy concept is presented in detail and we report experiences with two male clients. We found a reduction of child abusive behavior (on- and off-line), cognitive distortions and subjective psychological distress, an increase of the extent of self-perceived sexual self-regulation, life satisfaction and self-efficacy in general and a high level of clients’ satisfaction with the therapy concept. The present therapy concept shows promising results as a potential viable treatment program to protect children by reaching out to people with a self-reported sexual interest in children in an outpatient setting, but further research is necessary
... More recently, the Internet has allowed recruitment of larger, potentially more representative nonforensic samples of men sexually attracted to children. The important German Prevention Project Dunkelfeld is aimed at providing services to help-seeking child-attracted men before they offend (e.g., Beier et al., 2009Beier et al., , 2015Neutze, Seto, Schaefer, Mundt, & Beier, 2011;Schaefer et al., 2010). Specifically, the project recruited "judicially unknown pedophiles and hebephiles (men attracted to prepubescent and pubescent children, respectively) to seek professional help with a view to avoiding CSA [childhood sexual abuse] and CPO [child pornography offending] infractions" (Beier et al., 2015, p. 530). ...
Article
We conducted an Internet survey of 1,102 men sexually attracted to children concerning their history of adjudicated offenses related to child pornography and sexual contact with children. Most of the men reported no offenses, but their rate of offenses was much higher than that expected for adult-attracted men. Correlates of offending are consistent with a strong role of the cumulative effects of temptation, especially age. Older men, men who had repeatedly worked in jobs with children, men who had repeatedly fallen in love with children, and men who had often struggled not to offend were especially likely to have offended. Attraction to male children, relative attraction to children versus adults, and childhood sexual abuse experiences were also strong predictors of offending. In contrast, permissive attitudes regarding child-adult sex and frequent indulgence in sexual fantasies about children were not significantly related to offending. Our findings represent the first large study of offending among men sexually attracted to children who were not recruited via contact with the legal system. Because of methodological limitations, our findings cannot be definitive. Reassuringly, however, results are generally consistent with those from the most pertinent existing studies, of recidivism among convicted sex offenders.
... Another limitation is that recidivism events were based on criminal arrest data, which underrepresents the true rates of recidivism. As in other sex offender studies, the unknown rate of undetected reoffenses limits the ability to draw conclusions (Abel et al., 1987;Rice, Harris, Lang, & Cormier, 2006;Schaefer et al., 2010;Weinrott & Saylor, 1991). Despite its limited scope, this study highlights the characteristics of individuals who desist from sexual and other violent offending rather than focusing just on the characteristics of those who continue to commit offenses. ...
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Most sex offenders appear to desist from sexual and other violent offending; however, research on this population has historically focused more on the characteristics of individuals who persist offending versus those who desist from offending. The present study examined change patterns of 563 child sexual abusers' scores on the Sex Offender Treatment Intervention and Progress Scale, a dynamic risk measure, at three points of time over 2 years. Individuals who did versus did not commit a new serious offense, defined as a new sexual or other violent offense, at 5-year follow-up were contrasted. Desisters demonstrated most changes during their first year in treatment, whereas change among persisters more often occurred during their second year in treatment. All classes of offenders made gains in addressing dynamic risk related to sexually specific needs, whereas desisters made significantly greater gains in social stability needs. Findings are discussed in light of treatment dose allocation and community reentry needs.
... also result from non-pedophiles whose predominant sexual attraction is to adults but who, nevertheless, manifest inappropriate sexual behavior toward children " (Mendez & Shapira, 2011, p. 1092), a distinction of central importance. with pedophilic disorder (PD) and child sex offenders is increasingly relevant (Sigre Leirós, Carvalho & Nobre, 2015; Schaefer et al., 2010). Consensus in this distinction exists almost exclusively in psychological and nueroscientific literature but does not persist beyond this realm of influence. This is the result of the failure of a broader process that should facilitate a dialogue between legal and psychological-scientific literature. Furthermore, a literature review on re ...
Thesis
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This paper identifies pedophilic disorder (PD) as amongst the most misunderstood, stigmatized, and understudied mental health conditions. Often, being diagnosed with PD is equated to being a child sex offender. As a result of this, and in combination with the lack of an interdisciplinarily-informed legal system that considers psychological research when relevant, the U.S. criminal justice system is failing to deter child sexual abuse (CSA). This paper identifies and addresses this problem first by providing a psychological definition of PD and examining where it comes into conflict with PD’s conceptualization in legislation, and thereafter by refuting arguments held in contra to psychological research informing mental health law. Through providing a neurobiological description of individuals with PD and (other) sex offenders and presenting a scientifically-informed explanation for the Victim-to-Abuser cycle that allows for the perpetuation of CSA, this paper addresses relevant research that illuminates a disparity in definitions of PD. Finally, by emphasizing the efficacy of treatment and Mental Health Courts in reducing recidivism and other related problems, this thesis moves towards providing a solution to the problem. An argument is formed in support of a more nuanced, scientifically-informed understanding of PD that can be mirrored in a similar approach to mental health law. The limitations afforded by the general lack of representative and conclusive research on PD and the difficulties associated with such an interdisciplinary perspective are addressed, and suggestions for future research that could fill these gaps are provided.
... Data were collected between 2005 and 2014 as part of an ongoing project offering diagnostic assessment and therapy to men with a problem awareness of their sexual preference for children to prevent primary or recurrent CSA as well as CAI (re-)offences. With the help of a media campaign, men in the general population feeling sexually attracted towards children were offered anonymous and confidential diagnostic expertise and cognitive-behavioural therapy free of charge Schaefer et al., 2010). Those who entered the project underwent a multistage diagnostic procedure consisting of clinical interviews and assessments via questionnaires to collect information on the individual's sexual preference, sexual history (including lifetime and recent offending behaviour (CSA and/or CAI)), as well as the manifestation of DRF. ...
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The risk for using child abuse images (CAI) is difficult to assess, especially as it mostly remains undetected by legal authorities. The present study investigates the association of aspects of sexual preference and dynamic risk factors with CAI only and mixed offending (CAI and child sexual abuse) over lifetime and within six months prior to assessment. A sample of 190 undetected, self-identified pedo- and/or hebephiles was investigated. Multinomial logistic regression analyses revealed that sexual preoccupation is of great importance, especially for recent CAI only and mixed offending, as well as lifetime mixed offending. Although inconclusive, a sexual preference for early-pubescent children seems to be of interest for recent and lifetime offending. A sexual preference for prepubescent children, additional paraphilias and sexualised coping have shown some, although no statistically meaningful association with lifetime offending. Gender preference, exclusivity of pedohebephilia and offence-supportive attitudes did not show any significant relation with offending behaviour.
Chapter
Recent growth in the public’s awareness of child sex trafficking has been accompanied by the spread of misinformation about the nature of this and related offenses. This chapter places trafficking within the larger context of child sexual abuse and exploitation (CSA/CSE) and highlights the ways that many of the crimes underneath this umbrella are connected. The author begins with the definition and clarification of terms that are central to understanding these issues, including grooming, trafficking, sextortion, and child sexual abuse material. Research is presented on prevalence rates of CSA/CSE, factors associated with children’s vulnerability to becoming a victim, and common psychological consequences for those who do. The chapter concludes with information on recognizing and responding to CSA/CSE along with descriptions of approaches currently being utilized to prevent these crimes.
Article
In order to treat individuals with pedophilia ¹ who are at risk of committing offenses, disclosure of the attraction must first take place. The aim of this study was to understand processes of initial recognition of pedophilic attraction, disclosure, and help-seeking. We conducted a qualitative content analysis of online posts from self-identified individuals with pedophilia, finding four categories: (1) Awareness and Initial Self-View (with emotions including denial, shame, and fear), (2) Disclosure (typically made to family, friends, or therapists, but also done online in an anonymous way), (3) People’s Reactions to Disclosure (ranging from rejection to support), and (4) Current Self-View (including minimization, distortions, despair, resignation, and non-offending/anti-contact commitment). Our findings highlight the internal process experienced by individuals with pedophilia when first recognizing their attraction to minors, what is involved in disclosure, the importance of others’ reactions after disclosure, and the factors that can reinforce a non-offending commitment. Clinical and social implications are discussed.
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Preventing child sexual abuse (CSA) requires comprehensive multi-agency criminal justice and public health approaches. Yet, marginal attention has been given to secondary prevention strategies that target “at risk” populations. Thus, we carried out a scoping review examining secondary prevention interventions for people at risk of sexual offending by considering their effectiveness, challenges and barriers. We identified N = 43 sources and completed a qualitative analysis. Our appraisal found five themes: (a) essential features needed for secondary prevention programmes (plus summary of interventions); (b) barriers to examining, implementing and accessing secondary prevention programmes; (c) methodological limitations; (d) the ethical justification; and (e) economic benefits for preventing abuse before it occurs. Over the last two decades, sources report greater public tolerance to the notion of tackling CSA using public health prevention approaches. Thus, we call for policy makers to embrace this positive shift and invest resources to further examine this area. Practice impact statement Advancing clinicians’ and therapists’ practice is critical for those working with people at risk of harm. This review aims to strengthen current knowledge and inform practice. Further, policy makers and funders are essential to the development and progression of prevention strategies; by providing this contemporary review, we hope to assist the decision-making process for allocating resources and strengthening confidence in advancing policy that builds comprehensive prevention approaches.
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A key problem associated with adequate knowledge generation in pedophilia is that theories and studies predominantly examine abusive pedophilia. Acting abusively in relation to children—even where pedophilia is present—is likely to involve a different set of processes to those involved in the underlying concept of pedophilia itself. What is required is a consistent definition of pedophilia, as well as an explanation of its composition, to promote insight into the etiological mechanisms underpinning pedophilia independent of abusive behavior. In this manuscript, I critically review both the concept of pedophilia and existing pedophilia theory. Then, using the Phenomena Detection Method of Theory Construction (PDM-TC; Ward & Clack, 2019), I generate a compositional explanatory theory of pedophilia (CEToP). The CEToP examines the composition and possible causes of pedophilia via an overarching framework that specifies two key pathways as being responsible for the central clinical features of pedophilia and reconciles biological and environmental explanations of pedophilia. I examine this new theory according to key evaluative components associated with theory construction and conclude by highlighting the CEToP’s potential application for research and practice with individuals experiencing pedophilia.
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Background In 2012 the Swedish Helpline project PrevenTell, targeting men and women with self-identified out-of-control and paraphilic sexual behavior, was launched by ANOVA, Karolinska University Hospital. The overall purpose was to reach the target group and via a telephone-contact encourage further on-site assessment and treatment. Aim To describe men and women contacting PrevenTell during the first 7 years by delineate sexuality-related risk-factors for sexual violence, gender differences, and age- and gender-preferences when reporting a pedophilic interest. Method A 52-item semi-structured telephone interview was conducted by experts in sexual medicine with individuals who contacted the helpline. The interview covered sociodemographic characteristics, problematic sexual behavior(s), and mental health and based on the information reported, interventions included recommending an appointment at ANOVA, supporting other appropriate healthcare, or motivation of individuals still ambivalent to treatment. Results Data collection took place between March 2012 and October 2019. A total of 1573 respondents in the main target group (1454 men and 119 women) gave informed consent for participation. Compulsive sexual behavior was reported by 69% of respondents and 56% described at least one paraphilic interest. The prevalence of concomitant compulsive sexual behavior and a paraphilic interest was high, varying between 65% and 83%. Significant gender differences were found in socioeconomic and mental health variables, in which women showed fewer positive and stable life factors compared to men. A sexual preference for minors was reported by 24% of respondents. In this group, 63% reported use of child sexual exploitation material and 15% committed child sexual abuse. Respondents were offered anonymity, however 55% disclosed their identity and were enrolled for further assessment and treatment at ANOVA. Clinical Implications The result of this study is of substantial relevance when developing secondary preventive initiatives targeting sexual violence in the community. Strengths and Limitations This is the first study to present data from a national helpline targeting both men and women with a wide range of self-identified problematic sexual behaviors. Limitations include the lack of diagnostic confirmation on-site, hence, presented data provides only an indication of clinical conditions. Furthermore, the main objective of the interview was to motivate participants to seek further treatment, sometimes necessary to prioritize this over adherence to the semi-structured questionnaire, explaining the relatively high absence rate in some variables. Conclusion Men and women at risk of committing sexual crimes can be reached through a national helpline service and motivated to undergo further assessment and treatment.
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According to police statistics, 12,019 cases of child sexual abuse with 14,051 victims were recorded by police in Germany in 2016 (Bundeskriminalamt 2017). Those cases that are brought to the attention of the judicial authorities and are located within the so-called Hellfeld (lit. “light field”), however, represent merely a fraction of the actual magnitude (Beier et al. 2015d). By and large, there is little willingness on the part of those affected to report to the police (between 11.7% and 18%); this has however increased in recent years. Abusive acts with vaginal, anal, or oral penetration and those that have taken place over a long period of time have the greatest likelihood of being reported (Bieneck et al. 2011). It is estimated that the number of unreported cases is up to 30 times higher than those included in police crime statistics (Stoltenborgh et al. 2011). Of the participants at the Berlin location of the Prevention Project Dunkelfeld (Präventionsprojekt Dunkelfeld [PPD]), 43% admitted to having committed child sexual abuse, the significant majority of which (83%) were unknown to the judicial authorities (Kuhle, Kossow and Beier 2015). A similar picture emerged from the Juvenile Prevention Project (Präventionsprojekt Jugendliche [PPJ]): 45% of the 12- 18-year-olds who expressed interest in the project admitted to having committed child sexual abuse. Approximately 60% of these cases were unknown to the judicial authorities (Schlinzig et al. 2017).
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Sexual attraction to children who are in the stages of physical development before the onset of puberty (Tanner stage I) or in an early stage of puberty (Tanner stages II and III) has increasingly become the focus of scientific research in recent years. Even if the etiology of these non-normative sexual particularities has not yet been sufficiently explained, their existence can nonetheless be verified both physiologically and neurobiologically (Freund et al. 1972; Banse et al. 2010; Ponseti et al. 2012). Meta-analytical studies were able to demonstrate the significance of a corresponding sexual preference in the prognosis and treatment of sex offenders (Hanson and Morton-Bourgon 2005).
Article
Background Despite debates on what should constitute sexual interest in children in terms of definition and diagnostic criteria and its strong association with individuals who commit sexual offences against children, research in this area has shown that sexual interest in children is also commonly seen in the general population. Studies in this field have investigated its prevalence and its correlates. However, most research on this topic has focused on men and most particularly sex offender populations. When investigating the general population, again the vast majority of studies used male samples and students. Objective This systematic review aimed to critically evaluate previous research on the prevalence of sexual interest in children across populations and to examine its correlates. Methods A search of relevant databases was conducted as well as a hand search of selected journals to identify eligible papers. Studies meeting the inclusion criteria had their data extracted and were assessed for risk of bias, with a second rater to establish inter-rater reliability. Results A total of 30 studies were reviewed and results indicated a mean prevalence rate of sexual interest in children between 2 %–24 %. Findings also indicated correlates such as the presence of mental health problems and adverse childhood experiences. Most studies showed poor external validity, with the majority of them scoring high on risk of bias. Conclusion Overall, the findings indicate inconsistencies in terms of methodology and definition/diagnostic criteria of sexual interest in children. Further research in this area using recommended methodology to avoid biases is recommended.
Article
Risk factors for men becoming sexual perpetrators against underage victims were identified using data provided by 1,556 respondents who had been guaranteed unbreakable anonymity. Early behaviors occurring while the respondents and their partners were both under the age of 18 increased the risk that the respondents would begin masturbating using images of the same sex as their early partners. Masturbating using images of underage children and early experiences with children and adolescents increased the likelihood that the respondents would become adults who preyed on partners who were of an age and sex similar to those early underage partners and images.
Article
This study explored the viability of preventive treatment services for individuals with sexual interest in children, in jurisdictions without mandatory reporting but where risk-related disclosures to authorities are permitted at therapists’ discretion. Health professionals ( N = 112) were surveyed regarding their comfort, confidence, knowledge of relevant legal provisions, and personal disclosure thresholds, in relation to a hypothetical scenario of a client confiding pedophilic interest to seek help. Findings were mixed regarding implications for prevention service viability. Despite the complexities of the legal and ethical context of the study setting (New Zealand), predictions regarding professionals’ uncertainty in relation to their legal and ethical duties, and displaying a bias toward disclosing information to authorities when permitted, were not fully borne out, although pervasive knowledge inaccuracies and associated training needs were revealed. Instead, general tendencies among respondents were toward comfort, confidence, and the inclination toward maintaining client confidentiality. Yet, widespread variance within the sample, and individuals’ thresholds appearing rather unpredictable on the basis of demographic or professional variables, highlights likely barriers for potential clients in feeling safe enough to come forward. Given that preventive treatment viability in this context relies on self-referral, it is suggested that a purpose-designed preventive treatment service, with clear accessible confidentiality and reporting policies that are well within the law, could be the best way forward for viable preventive treatment in discretionary reporting contexts.
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This chapter describes the current challenges facing public heath approach in preventing child sexual abuse. It specifically considers what primary prevention involves within such a framework and the empirical and theoretical challenges that child sexual abuse presents to prevention efforts. It then outlines what, in keeping with a public health approach, may be the ways forward to address these issues.
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In this chapter, Christiansen and Martinez-Dettamanti compliment the previous chapter by providing an applied overview of actual prevention work and practices over the years. This includes the history and development of well-known prevention initiatives to date, such as Prevention Project Dunkelfeld and the Stop It Now! campaign. These initiatives encompass prevention education, clinical and crisis interventions, support groups, and online forums for individuals with risky or problematic sexual behaviour. Along with this, an introduction to and history of the non-offending paedophile population is provided. The development of organisations and communities available to support such individuals, both online and in person, is also explored.
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Objective: Comparison of pedophilic individuals who do and do not refrain from sexually engaging with children may offer critically important information regarding the differential contributors to pedophilic attraction versus behavior. This study compared 5 traits that are potentially contributory to pedophilic attraction or behavior in both minor-attracted persons (MAPs) who refrain from sexually engaging with minors (nonacting MAPs) and those who have acted on pedophilic attractions and subsequently entered the criminal justice system (forensic MAPs). Methods: Subjects included 195 nonacting MAPs, 50 forensic MAPs, and 60 healthy controls. Data on nonacting MAPs were drawn from an online survey, and data on the other 2 groups were based on prior in-person evaluations. Measures included the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-II (MCMI-II), Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11), the MAP Questionnaire, and the Sexual History Questionnaire (SHQ). Results: Both MAP groups scored higher than healthy controls on the domains of socially inhibited personality traits, propensity toward cognitive distortions, and subjects' own childhood sexual abuse (CSA). Forensic MAPs scored higher than nonacting MAPs on the CSA domain, but the 2 MAP groups differed little on the other 2 domains. Forensic MAPs also scored higher than the other 2 groups on the antisocial domain, whereas nonacting MAPs did not differ from controls on this measure. Nonacting MAPs scored higher than controls on impulsivity. Conclusions: Antisocial personality traits may be a primary driver of pedophilic behavior that is unrelated to pedophilic attraction. Socially inhibited personality traits and propensity toward cognitive distortions are associated with pedophilic attraction, although the direction of causation is not clear. CSA seems to increase the risk of both attraction and behavior.
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Die sexuelle Ausbeutung von Kindern und Jugendlichen umfasst ein breites Spektrum sexueller Missbrauchshandlungen. Aber auch durch die Verbreitung und Nutzung von Abbildungen dieser Handlungen (sog. Missbrauchsabbildungen) werden Kinder sexuell ausgebeutet. Zur Darstellung kommen Häufigkeiten, strafrechtliche Bewertung und Opferfolgen dieser Handlungen, die zum größten Teil im sog. Dunkelfeld stattfinden, d. h. den Ermittlungsbehörden bzw. der Justiz nicht bekannt werden. Zur Beschreibung dieses fremdschädigenden Verhaltens wird das Konzept der Dissexualität eingeführt sowie ein Einblick in verursacherbezogene Erklärungsmodelle für sexuellen Kindesmissbrauch und die Nutzung von Missbrauchsabbildungen ermöglicht. Hieraus ergibt sich, das sexuelle Interesse an Kindern im Sinne einer Pädophilie bzw. Hebephilie im Rahmen eines multimodalen präventiven Behandlungsansatzes als stabilen Einflussfaktor maßgeblich zu beachten.
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Dargestellt wird der aktuelle Wissensstand zur Häufigkeit und den klinischen Erscheinungsformen der sexuellen Ansprechbarkeit für das vorpubertäre Körperschema (i. e. Pädophilie) bzw. das frühpubertäre körperliche Entwicklungsstadium (i. e. Hebephilie), die als sexuelle Präferenzbesonderheiten im Spektrum der menschlichen Sexualität zu verstehen sind. Nach einer ausführlichen Besprechung gegenwärtiger Modelle zur Ätiologie wird zudem der Kenntnisstand über neurobiologische Aspekte und Komorbiditäten der pädophilen und hebephilen Sexualpräferenz referiert. Abschließend wird auf die kulturell unterschiedlichen gesellschaftlichen Bewertungen der Pädophilie eingegangen, was für die unterschiedlichen Prävalenzen sexuellen Missbrauchs von Kindern genauso von Bedeutung ist wie für die Möglichkeiten einer Etablierung verursacherbezogener Präventionsangebote.
Article
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The present study compares community-based minor attracted persons (MAPs) with and without histories of sexual activity with children. MAP-Actors (N = 342) were significantly older than Non-Actors (N = 223), with longer duration of pedophilic attraction, more antisocial traits, greater attraction to boys, greater difficulty controlling their attraction and more positive attitudes towards adult-child sexual activity. Additionally, more MAP-Actors reported prior mental health treatment, nonsexual offenses, and childhood sexual and nonsexual abuse. Over 1/3 of the whole sample reported chronic suicidal ideation. These findings support the existence of MAPs who successfully refrain from sexually engaging with children, identifying multiple protective and risk factors.
Article
Die Pädophilie ist als eine anhaltende oder dominierende sexuelle Präferenz für präpubertäre Kinder definiert. Weniger als die Hälfte aller Kindesmissbrauchstäter erfüllt die diagnostischen Kriterien der Pädophilie und ein noch geringerer Anteil ist ausschließlich sexuell auf Kinder ausgerichtet. Die Behandlungen von Pädosexuellen erfolgen ambulant und stationär in Kliniken der Forensischen Psychiatrie, Sozialtherapeutischen Anstalten und im Regelstrafvollzug und entsprechen unterschiedlichen Präventionsformen. Dunkelfeldprojekte sind spezielle Einrichtungen der primären oder sekundären Prävention. Im vorliegenden Beitrag werden die unterschiedlichen Behandlungsstrukturen vorgestellt. Behandlungsziel ist die Prävention sexuellen Missbrauchs durch die Reduktion und Kontrolle der individuell maßgeblichen Risikofaktoren.
Article
Zusammenfassung In der Studie wurden die Rückfälle von Kinderpornografienutzern und Kindesmissbrauchern (N = 5.318) anhand der Analyse von Bundeszentralregisterauszügen im Zeitrahmen von fünf Jahren nach Paragraphen systematisch untersucht. In allen untersuchten Gruppen wurden niedrige Rückfallquoten bei Sexualdelikten an Kindern festgestellt. Kindesmissbraucher mit Indexdelikt nach § 176 StGB wiesen höhere Rückfallquoten bezüglich Kindesmissbrauchsdelikten nach § 176 StGB auf als alle anderen untersuchten Tätergruppen. Die mittlere Rückfallzeit bei sexuellen Rückfällen betrug 2,75 Jahre. Höhere Rückfallquoten bei nichtsexuellen Delikten als bei sexuellen Delikten wurden festgestellt, aber ohne signifikante Unterschiede zwischen den untersuchten Gruppen.
Article
Im vorliegenden Artikel wird die Behandlung von Sexualstraftätern im Maßregelvollzug (MRV) nach § 63 StGB und von Personen mit einem selbstberichteten sexuellen Interesse an Kindern, die in der Ambulanz „Prävention sexueller Missbrauch“ (PsM) in Göttingen vorstellig, diagnostisch untersucht und behandelt wurden, verglichen. Diagnostische und therapeutische Besonderheiten der ambulanten Prävention sowie erste Evaluationsergebnisse des Göttinger Therapiemanuals werden vorgestellt und von gängigen Behandlungsprogrammen des MRV abgegrenzt.
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The contribution describes a German prevention approach which aims at improving proactive strategies to protect children from sexual exploitation by online offenses, such as the consumption and/or distribution of child abuse images (so-called “child pornography”), and hands-on contact child sexual abuse. Prevention strategies include research on individuals at risk to commit primary or recurrent sexual offenses against children, while at the same time offering diagnostic assessment and preventive treatment. The project goal is to help individuals gain control over their behaviors in order to prevent the sexual abuse of children. As it is acknowledged that many offenders against children remain undetected by legal authorities in the “Dunkelfeld” (literally ‘dark field’) and are therefore not included in any official statistics, this program focuses on those who admit a longstanding sexual interest in children, self-motivated by the distress experienced due to their sexual preference. The German Dunkelfeld approach started off at the Institute of Sexology and Sexual Medicine at the Charité—Universitätsmedizin in Berlin (Germany) in 2005 with the launching of the Prevention Project Dunkelfeld (PPD) aiming at adults above the age of 18 years. In 2014, and due to the success of the PPD, another project was launched, the Berlin Project for Primary Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse by Juveniles (PPJ) focusing on adolescents between the age 12 and 18 years. The first evaluation of the PPD revealed that it reduces risk factors for child sexual abuse, prevents sexual offending against minors, and reduces the number of contact offenses as well as frequency and severity of child pornography offenses. First results from the PPJ also confirmed that the group of juveniles with a sexual preference for pre- and/or early pubescent minors exists as a target group for preventive measures.
Article
The population of potential child abuse offenders has largely been unstudied. In the current study, we examine whether a six-component model used for primary diabetes prevention could be adapted to child sexual abuse pre-offenders, whereby individuals who are prone to sexual abuse but have not yet committed an offense can be prevented from committing a first offense. The six components include: define and track the magnitude of the problem, delineate a well-established risk factor profile so that at-risk persons can be identified, define valid screening tests to correctly rule in those with the disease and rule out those without disease, test effectiveness of interventions-the Dunkelfeld Project is an example, produce and disseminate reliable outcome data so that widespread application can be justified, and establish a system for continuous improvement. By using the diabetes primary prevention model as a model, the number of victims of child sexual abuse might be diminished.
Chapter
The contribution describes a German prevention approach which aims at improving proactive strategies to protect children from sexual exploitation by online offenses, such as the consumption or distribution of child abuse images (so-called “child pornography”), and hands-on contact child sexual abuse. Prevention strategies include research on individuals at risk to commit first or persistent sexual offenses against children, at the same time offering preventive assessment and treatment. As it is acknowledged that many offenders against children remain undetected by legal authorities in the “Dunkelfeld” (literally “dark field”) and are therefore not included in any official statistics, this program focuses on those who admit a longstanding sexual interest in prepubescent and/or early pubescent children, so-called pedophiles and hebephiles, self-motivated by the distress experienced due to their sexual preference (cf. www. dont-offend. org). It will be shown that these groups are reachable (given that they can rely on anonymity and the professional pledge of confidentiality) in order to improve the prevention of child sexual exploitation, because sexually deviant interests have been identified as a major risk factor for first or persistent sexual offending against children. Therefore, public health services have a real chance of encouraging the concerned persons to seek professional help before any kind of sexual offense against children is committed.
Article
In der Studie wurden die Ruckfalle von Kinderpornografienutzern und Kindesmissbrauchern (N = 5.318) anhand der Analyse von Bundeszentralregisterauszugen im Zeitrahmen von funf Jahren nach Paragraphen systematisch untersucht. In allen untersuchten Gruppen wurden niedrige Ruckfallquoten bei Sexualdelikten an Kindern festgestellt. Kindesmissbraucher mit Indexdelikt nach § 176 StGB wiesen hohere Ruckfallquoten bezuglich Kindesmissbrauchsdelikten nach § 176 StGB auf als alle anderen untersuchten Tatergruppen. Die mittlere Ruckfallzeit bei sexuellen Ruckfallen betrug 2,75 Jahre. Hohere Ruckfallquoten bei nichtsexuellen Delikten als bei sexuellen Delikten wurden festgestellt, aber ohne signifikante Unterschiede zwischen den untersuchten Gruppen.
Article
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According to a literature review by Marshall (1996), presently available data have not clarified the proportion of sexual offenders who would meet diagnostic criteria for addictive problems. Our own literature review failed to find published studies comparing sexual offenders to nonsexual violent offenders on standardized measures of substance abuse. Our study is a preliminary investigation of the differences between sexual offenders (rapists: N = 72; child molesters: N = 34) and nonsexual violent offenders (n = 24) on measures of alcohol and drug abuse. The findings indicate that sexual offenders were more likely to abuse alcohol than were nonsexual violent offenders. Nonsexual offenders were significantly more likely to have had a history of other forms of substance abuse. The results are considered in terms of theories of alcohol's contribution to aggressive behavior and sexual aggression. Implications for assessment and treatment of sexual offenders are discussed.
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This section includes eighty-six short original essays commissioned for the inaugural issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly. Written by emerging academics, community-based writers, and senior scholars, each essay in this special issue, “Postposttranssexual: Key Concepts for a Twenty-First-Century Transgender Studies,” revolves around a particular keyword or concept. Some contributions focus on a concept central to transgender studies; others describe a term of art from another discipline or interdisciplinary area and show how it might relate to transgender studies. While far from providing a complete picture of the field, these keywords begin to elucidate a conceptual vocabulary for transgender studies. Some of the submissions offer a deep and resilient resistance to the entire project of mapping the field terminologically; some reveal yet-unrealized critical potentials for the field; some take existing terms from canonical thinkers and develop the significance for transgender studies; some offer overviews of well-known methodologies and demonstrate their applicability within transgender studies; some suggest how transgender issues play out in various fields; and some map the productive tensions between trans studies and other interdisciplines.
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Effective intervention with sexual offenders requires the targeting of appropriate risk factors. In this study, information on dynamic (changeable) risk factors was collected through interviews with community supervision officers and file reviews of 208 sexual offense recidivists and 201 nonrecidivists. The recidivists were generally considered to have poor social supports, attitudes tolerant of sexual assault, antisocial lifestyles, poor self-management strategies, and difficulties cooperating with supervision. The overall mood of the recidivists and nonrecidivists was similar, but the recidivists showed increased anger and subjective distress just before reoffending. The dynamic risk factors reported by the officers continued to be strongly associated with recidivism, even after controlling for preexisting differences in static risk factors. The factors identified in the interview data were reflected (to a lesser extent) in the officers' contemporaneous case notes, which suggests that the interview findings cannot be completely attributed to retrospective recall bias.
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A psychometric battery of measures, assessing a range of problem areas, was completed by 140 convicted untreated child abusers. Measures were adjusted for social desirability. Cluster analysis of the data identified men on the basis of deviancy (levels of pro-offending attitudes and social inadequacy) and denial (self-reported levels of offending behaviors). Examination of offense histories found that high-deviancy men, compared to low-deviancy men, were more likely to have been convicted of a previous sexual offense; to have committed offenses against boys, or both boys and girls; to have committed extra familial, or both extra- and intrafamilial, offenses; and to have had many victims. A method of identifying deviancy, which showed good cross-validation, also was derived. Although low-deviancy men were much more likely to be incest offenders than were high-deviancy men, nearly 40% of high-deviancy men were found to be intrafamilial offenders, suggesting that identifying deviancy level may be a useful adjunct to any risk assessment.
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This article will present data gathered by the authors through structured clinical interviews of 561 paraphiliacs regarding demographic characteristics, frequency and variety of deviant sexual acts, and number and characteristics of victims. Results show that nonincarcerated sex offenders (1) are well educated and socioeconomically diverse; (2) report an average number of crimes and victims that is substantially higher than that represented in the current literature; and (3) sexually molest young boys with an incidence that is five times greater than the molestation of young girls. The relevance of these findings is discussed.
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It is unclear whether intrafamilial and extrafamilial child molesters differ in their sexual interest toward children and adults. Some authors have reported that both intrafamilial and extrafamilial offenders show sexual interest in children; others have found that intrafamilial offenders evidence little interest in children. The authors compared the phallometrically measured sexual interests of 19 intrafamilial heterosexual child molesters, 20 extrafamilial heterosexual child molesters, and 18 heterosexual nonoffender men recruited from the community. Stimuli consisted of 27 audiotapes describing either consensual sex with an adult partner, sexual contacts with a child using different degrees of force and violence, nonsexual aggression against a child, and neutral interactions. Nonoffenders showed a clear preference for adult stimuli; intrafamilial and extrafamilial child molesters did not discriminate between the adult and child categories and showed very similar arousal patterns.
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This study extended research on birth order and erotic preferences by examining birth order in a sample of pedophiles. Charts of 338 pedophiles, assessed from 1980-1994 in the Behavioural Sexology Department of the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry in Toronto, were reviewed for family-demographic information. In total, 170 (57 heterosexual pedophiles, 68 homosexual pedophiles, and 45 bisexual pedophiles) of these men had sufficient sibling information to be included in the analyses. The results indicated that homosexual-bisexual pedophiles had a later birth order than heterosexual pedophiles and that this effect was primarily the result of the homosexual-bisexual group being born later among their brothers. The results extend previous findings that homosexual men, regardless of sample composition, have a later birth order than comparable groups of heterosexual men. The results also challenge some existing theories on the nature and origins of pedophilia.
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The present study examined the comparability of data obtained by telephone and face-to-face interviews for diagnosing axis I and II disorders. Sixty young adults from the community were interviewed face-to-face and over the telephone regarding axis I disorders; another 60 subjects were interviewed twice regarding axis II disorders. The order of interviews was counterbalanced, and subjects with a history of disorder were oversampled. Agreement between telephone and face-to-face interviews was contrasted with interrater values, which were obtained by having a second interviewer rate a recording of the original interview. Interrater reliability was excellent. Agreement between telephone and face-to-face assessment was excellent for anxiety disorders and very good for major depressive disorder and alcohol and substance use disorders; agreement was problematic, however, for adjustment disorder with depressed mood. Strong support was shown for the validity of the axis II telephone assessment format. Small but consistent trends were noted for lower rates of psychopathology reported in the second interview. This is the first study in which telephone and face-to-face assessments of axis I and II psychopathology were conducted with the same subjects assigned to conditions in a counterbalanced manner. The present findings provide qualified justification for the use of telephone interviews to collect axis I and II data. The apparent concerns do not appear sufficient to override the economic and logistic advantages of telephone interviewing.
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The primary purpose of this research was to assess the rates of axis I and axis II psychiatric disorders, as defined in DSM-IV, in a group of pedophilic sex offenders. Forty-five male subjects with pedophilia who were participating in residential or outpatient sex offender treatment programs were recruited to participate. Subjects were interviewed by using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV. Ninety-three percent of the subjects (N = 42) met the criteria for an axis I disorder other than pedophilia. The lifetime prevalence of mood disorder in this group was 67%. Sixty-four percent of the subjects met the criteria for an anxiety disorder, 60% for psychoactive substance use disorder, 53% for another paraphilia diagnosis, and 24% for a sexual dysfunction diagnosis. Axis I and II comorbidity rates are high in this population. Untreated comorbid psychiatric disorders may play a role in treatment failure and recidivism.
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According to a literature review by Marshall (1996), presently available data have not clarified the proportion of sexual offenders who would meet diagnostic criteria for addictive problems. Our own literature review failed to find published studies comparing sexual offenders to nonsexual violent offenders on standardized measures of substance abuse. Our study is a preliminary investigation of the differences between sexual offenders (rapists: n = 72; child molesters: n = 34) and nonsexual violent offenders (n = 24) on measures of alcohol and drug abuse. The findings indicate that sexual offenders were more likely to abuse alcohol than were nonsexual violent offenders. Nonsexual offenders were significantly more likely to have had a history of other forms of substance abuse. The results are considered in terms of theories of alcohol's contribution to aggressive behavior and sexual aggression. Implications for assessment and treatment of sexual offenders are discussed.
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In many sex offender treatment programs, the examination and replacement of deviant fantasy use with appropriate fantasy use is a well-established practice. This practice is based on the assumption that sexual offenders use deviant masturbatory fantasies prior and after committing sexual offenses, but the data available to support this assumption is fairly limited. This study attempted to test the validity of this assumption by finding out whether a majority of exhibitionistic offenders and child molesters used deviant masturbatory fantasies prior and/or after their first offense. Data analysis from 57 child molesters and 25 exhibitionistic offenders indicate that a majority of these offenders used masturbatory deviant fantasies before and after their first offenses, but they tended to use significantly more deviant fantasies after they engage in their first actual offense. Content of deviant fantasies was examined in relation to victim specificity. There were no significant differences between the number of deviant fantasies reported about a specific victim versus the number of fantasies reported about a nonspecific victim. We found a significant positive correlation between the number of deviant fantasies reported and the number of months spent in treatment by child molesters, but not by exhibitionistic offenders. Some tentative explanations for these findings are offered, but further elucidation is necessary.
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The German National Health Interview and Examination Survey (GHS) is the first government mandated nationwide study to investigate jointly the prevalence of somatic and mental disorders within one study in the general adult population in Germany. This paper reports results from its Mental Health Supplement (GHS-MHS) on 4-week 12-month, and selected lifetime prevalence of a broad range of DSM-IV mental disorders, their co-morbidity and correlates in the community. The sample of the GHS-MHS (n=4181; multistage stratified random sample drawn from population registries; conditional response rate: 87.6%) can be regarded as representative for the German population aged 18-65. Diagnoses are based on fully structured computer assisted clinical interviews (M-CIDI), conducted by clinically trained interviewers. 12-month prevalence for any DSM-IV study disorder is 31% (lifetime: 43%; 4-week: 20%) with anxiety disorders, mood disorders and somatoform syndromes being the most frequent diagnoses. Retrospective age of onset information reveals that most disorders begin early in life. Co-morbidity rates among mental disorders range from 44% to 94%. Correlates of increased rates of mental disorders and co-morbidity were: female gender (except for substance disorders), not being married, low social class, and poor somatic health status. Health care utilization for mental disorders depended on co-morbidity (30% in 'pure', 76% in highly co-morbid cases) and varied from 33% for substance use disorders to 75% for panic disorder. Results confirm and extend results from other national studies using the same assessment instruments with regard to prevalence, co-morbidity and sociodemographic correlates, covering a broader range of DSM-IV disorders [i.e. somatoform disorders, all anxiety disorders (except PTSD), mental disorders due to substance or general medical factor, eating disorders]. Intervention rates were higher than in previous studies, yet still low overall.
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A meta-analysis of 82 recidivism studies (1,620 findings from 29,450 sexual offenders) identified deviant sexual preferences and antisocial orientation as the major predictors of sexual recidivism for both adult and adolescent sexual offenders. Antisocial orientation was the major predictor of violent recidivism and general (any) recidivism. The review also identified some dynamic risk factors that have the potential of being useful treatment targets (e.g., sexual preoccupations, general self-regulation problems). Many of the variables commonly addressed in sex offender treatment programs (e.g., psychological distress, denial of sex crime, victim empathy, stated motivation for treatment) had little or no relationship with sexual or violent recidivism.
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A total of 461 male sex offenders were compared on their histories of alcohol and street drug use. The Drug Use Survey, Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST), and Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST) were examined to provide measures of 1) type and frequency of substance use, 2) mood on alcohol and drugs, and 3) alcoholism and drug abuse. Most sex offenders had used alcohol and they had tried a wide range of street drugs. Over half of the sample had tried at least one street drug, including minor tranquilizers, amphetamines, barbiturates, cocaine, narcotics, phencyclidine, hallucinogens, and solvents. Marijuana was used most. Over one half of the sex offenders were alcoholics, based on the MAST. Results of the DAST suggested that less than a fifth of the sample had a drug abuse problem at the time of examination. Although the majority experienced positive affect in conjunction with alcohol and drug use, between one fifth and one half experienced depressed affect. Use of alcohol and amphetamines were most often associated with hostile feelings. Amphetamine and hallucinogen use were associated most with paranoia. Respondents felt most 'out of control' with cocaine and hallucinogens. Results are discussed in terms of the role of substance abuse and violence in sex offences.
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The aim of this research project is to offer preventive therapy to individuals who are sexually attracted to children and seek help in remaining offence free without being mandated by the legal system. The superior objective of the project is to prevent child sexual abuse by establishing qualified preventive therapy to potential sexual offenders and sexual offenders in the "Dunkelfeld" (sexual offences not reported to the legal system). By May 2006 over 365 persons had inquired about the project. Special attention is required in the differential diagnostics of pedophilia because reported sexual fantasies and socio-sexual behaviour are often contradictory. According to the results of the psychological examination, the participants come out to be above average introverted, depressed, anxious and paranoid.
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One hundred twenty-nine outpatient child molesters (91 nonfamilial and 38 father/daughter offenders) were assessed and interviewed regarding various aspects of their deviant sexuality. Of our total sample, 29% reported having deviant fantasies prior to age 20, and this was most pronounced (41.1%) among those who molested the sons of other people. Fourteen percent of the nonfamilial offenders against boys, 11.8% of the nonfamilial offenders against girls, and 7.9% of the incest offenders had one or more paraphilia additional to their index offense; only three of the total sample reported more than two additional paraphilias. These data differ from those reported earlier by Abel and his colleagues (1985) and by Freund (1990). The results are discussed in terms of these discrepancies.
Article
This study attempted to empirically validate the fixated-regressed typology used in the child sexual abuse literature. The sample consisted of 136 consecutive cases of convicted child molesters tried in Pima County, Arizona, over a 2-year period (1984-1985) for whom case history, MMPI, presentence reports, and police report data were collected prior to sentencing. Application of the criteria defining fixated versus regressed status yielded a unimodal and continuous distribution of child molesters rather than the bimodal distribution predicted by theory. In a multiple regression analysis, two independent variables (i.e., whether the victim and offender were related and an offender's prior non-sex-criminal record) significantly predicted an offender's degree of regression, and a third independent variable (i.e., offender age) approached significance. Alternative conceptualizations to the fixated-regressed typology are described, and implications for understanding child molesters are discussed.
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The purpose of this study was to differentiate between three types of child sexual offenders—pedophiles, hebophiles, and incest offenders. The sample consisted of 168 convicted sex offenders. The data for the study were gathered from presentence investigation reports used by the court for sentencing proceedings. Using multiple discriminant analysis, eight independent variables were found to significantly discriminate between the three types of sex offenders almost 90% of the time. These variables were sexually victimized as a child, prepubertal victim, seduction motive, age-appropriate relationships, stress, own child as victim, social facade, and anger. Suggestions were made to probation and parole officers in the use of this information.
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This article critically reviews the literature related to personality correlates of pedophilia. It is noted that the “slippage” of legal and moral constructs into operational criteria and research methodology in this field have created impediments to sound professional consensus and the accumulation of a coherent data base. When the construct “pedophile” was separated from the construct “sex offender against a minor,” there were no reliable findings regarding “pedophiles.” “Sex offenders against minors” were noted fairly consistently to have experienced early disturbances in mother relationships and were found for the most part to be non‐violent and not aroused by sexually aggressive stimuli involving children (although a smaller portion were violent and/or were aroused by such stimuli). A subgroup of these offenders displayed the passive, lonely and shy profile frequently thought to be associated with the pedophile, although such tendencies were not clinically significant and were similar to profiles found among other types of sex offenders. With the exception of the tautological diagnosis of “sexual deviate,” little clinically significant pathology was found among either “pedophiles” or “sex offenders against minors.” Recommendations are made for more productive approaches for future research.
Article
Sexual coping, general coping and cognitive distortions were investigated in 25 rapists, 36 child molesters and 25 violent offenders. Rapists did not report more support for rape-supportive distortions than the violent offender comparison group. Child molesters scored higher than the other groups on the measure of molestation-supportive distortions, although mean scores were at the low end of the scale. Consistent with previous research, all offender groups reported ineffective coping styles and child molesters reported using more emotion-oriented coping than the non-sexual offenders. Child molesters but not rapists scored higher than violent offenders on deviant aspects of sexual coping, although mean scores were at the low end of the sub-scales. Evaluation of these comparisons was aided by effect sizes. The effect sizes reveal that there may indeed be differences between rapists and the comparison group with respect to cognitive distortions and sexual coping. Modest correlations were found between deviant sexual coping and cognitive distortions. The findings are interpreted in terms of etiological development and the sexual offence process.
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The Berlin Prevention Project Dunkelfeld (PPD) aims to prevent child sexual abuse (CSA) by targeting men who fear they may sexually abuse children, and who seek help without being mandated to do so. This article aims to demonstrate that a pedophilic or hebephilic sexual preference is very common among these men, to show how these men can be reached, and to document their determination to find help. The target group was informed of the project and encouraged to respond via a media campaign. A telephone screening was conducted over the first 18 months. Of the 286 who completed the screening (60.1% of the respondents), 84.3% (N = 241) were interviewed by a clinician. Of the interviewees, 57.7% (N = 139) and 27.8% (N = 67) expressed a sexual preference for prepubescent and pubescent minors, respectively, and 10.8% (N = 26) for mature adults. The remaining 3.7% (N = 9) could not be reliably categorized. As (potential) child molesters with a respective sexual preference can be reached via a media campaign, efforts to prevent CSA ought to be expanded to target this group.
Article
In the present study we analysed to what extent the categories used in empirical child molester research were sociolegal (based on offence types) or psychopathological (based on nomological systems of psychological types or mental disorders). Based on a systematic Medline and PsycInfo search, 714 empirical studies on child molesters from 1972 to 2004 were analysed with regard to the categories and diagnostic procedures used. The majority of studies used a grouping procedure based on an offence-orientated criterion (child molesters versus others), whereas only a few referred to diagnoses and, hence, to nomological systems utilized in clinical psychology and psychiatry. The results also indicated the presence of extensive classification pluralism and a dominance of publication in specialized forensic journals. Critical consequences of this research practice are discussed with regard to comparability of studies, heterogeneity of study groups, theory development and, particularly, the generalizability of child molester research. Finally, we propose a research strategy that is grounded more profoundly in methodological considerations and a more interdisciplinary orientation in sexual offender research.
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In discussing the psychopathology and theories associated with pedophilia, this chapter specifically addresses: diagnostic issues raised by and presented in various editions of the DSM; epidemiology; associated features; juvenile/developmental issues; forensic issues; theories of etiology; and future directions. The author suspects the major stumbling block to continued progress in this field to be the problem of the heterogeneity of child molesters. Therefore, future research ought to focus on reducing this heterogeneity to manageable proportions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
A total of 461 male sex offenders were compared on their histories of alcohol and street drug use. The Drug Use Survey, Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST), and Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST) were examined to provide measures of 1) type and frequency of substance use, 2) mood on alcohol and drugs, and 3) alcoholism and drug abuse. Most sex offenders had used alcohol and they had tried a wide range of street drugs. Over half of the sample had tried at least one street drug, including minor tranquilizers, amphetamines, barbiturates, cocaine, narcotics, phencyclidine, hallucinogens, and solvents. Marijuana was used most. Over one half of the sex offenders were alcoholics, based on the MAST. Results of the DAST suggested that less than a fifth of the sample had a drug abuse problem at the time of examination. Although the majority experienced positive affect in conjunction with alcohol and drug use, between one fifth and one half experienced depressed affect. Use of alcohol and amphetamines were most often associated with hostile feelings. Amphetamine and hallucinogen use were associated most with paranoia. Respondents felt most out of control with cocaine and hallucinogens. Results are discussed in terms of the role of substance abuse and violence in sex offences.
Article
The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of specific psychiatric disorders in adolescents who have sexually molested other children. Twenty-two adolescent males (aged 13 to 17 years) who sexually molested a child at least once were evaluated with structured clinical interviews for DSM-III-R axis I disorders. All subjects met lifetime DSM-III-R criteria for pedophilia (with the exception of the age requirement), 21 (95%) for two or more paraphilias, 18 (82%) for a mood disorder (12 [55%] for a bipolar disorder), 12 (55%) for an anxiety disorder, 11 (50%) for a substance use disorder, and 12 (55%) for an impuls-econtrol disorder. Also, 12 (71%) of 17 subjects were diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and 16 (94%) with conduct disorder. We conclude that some adolescent child molesters may have pedophilia or other paraphilias. Other axis I disorders with impulsive features, especially conduct, attention-deficit/hyperactivity, bipolar, and substance use disorders, may also be found in these adolescents.
Article
This paper critically appraises the criteria for DSM diagnoses of the paraphilias relevant to sexual offenders. It is concluded that these criteria leave a lot to be desired and that a more helpful approach would be to rate the features of each type of sexual offender along dimensions ranging from normal to seriously problematic. Next consideration is given to the evidence on the incidence of multiple paraphilias and comorbid disorders. It is not yet completely clear from this evidence that sexual offenders typically have multiple sexual outlets although some obviously do. What is clear is that incidence of comorbid disorders is sufficiently high to warrant concerns about how to effectively address these additional disordered aspects of sexual offenders in treatment. Finally, suggestions are offered about how to address in treatment both multiple paraphilic offenders and those with associated comorbid disorders.
Article
Little is known about factors that distinguish men who act upon their self-identified sexual interest in prepubescent or pubescent children from those who do not. Even less is known about pedophiles or hebephiles who are not involved with the criminal justice system. In this study, a sample of 155 self-referred pedophiles and hebephiles was recruited from the community. All participants met DSM-IV-TR criteria for pedophilia (or paraphilia not otherwise specified for those who were sexually attracted to pubescent children). Two sets of group comparisons were conducted on sociodemographic variables and measures of dynamic risk factors. The first set was based on recent activity and compared men who had committed child pornography only or child sexual abuse offenses in the past six months with men who remained offense-free during the same period. The second set was based on lifetime offense history (excluding the most recent six months) and compared child pornography offenders with child sexual abuse offenders and men who had committed both kinds of offenses. Overall, there were more similarities than differences between groups.
Article
This is a report of a cross-sectional study on paraphilia-associated sexual arousal patterns (PASAP) among men in a metropolitan city in Germany, EU. To determine the prevalence of PASAP during sexual fantasies, fantasies accompanying masturbation, and real-life sociosexual behavior. In a cross-sectional study, self-reported sexual history data were collected by questionnaire from 367 volunteers recruited from a community sample of 1,915 men aged 40-79 years. The Derogatis Symptom Checklist-Revised (SCL-90-R) and the Life Satisfaction Questionnaire (LSQ; German original, Fragebogen zur Lebenszufriedenheit, [FLZ]) were administered to obtain a general subjective health measure and a measure of general as well as sex life satisfaction. The Questionnaire on Sexual Experiences and Behaviour was administered to comprehensively assess all relevant sexo-medical data. Results.  The percent of men that reported at least one PASAP was 62.4%. In 1.7% of cases, PASAP were reported to have caused distress. The presence of PASAP was associated with a higher likelihood of being single (odds ratio [OR] 2.6; 95%; confidence interval [CI] 1.047-6.640), masturbating at least once per week (OR 4.4; 95%; CI 1.773-10.914), or having a low general subjective health score (OR 11.9; 95%; CI 2.601-54.553). Pedophilic PASAP in sexual fantasies and in real-life sociosexual behavior was reported by 9.5% and 3.8% of participants, respectively. The findings suggest that paraphilia-related experience can not be regarded as unusual from a normative perspective. At the same time, many men experience PASAP without accompanying problem awareness or distress, even when PASAP contents are associated with potentially causing harm to others. In view of the relevance for sex life and relationship satisfaction, presence of PASAP should be assessed in all sexual medicine consultations. Future research should focus on conditions in which PASAP reach clinical significance in the sense of mental disorders.
Article
Although there is substantial evidence in the historical and anthropological record of the sexual use of children by adults, surprisingly little is known about the etiology of pedophilia or its relation to other forms of sexual aggression. After briefly reviewing the research on pedophilia, we argue that one major difficulty in conducting or interpreting such research lies in the different definitions "pedophilia" has received. Most important, much of the research has accepted a legal definition of pedophilia, treating all offenders convicted of "child molestation" as pedophiles, regardless of the age or appearance of the victim. We argue that a distinction should be made between biological children and sociolegal children. Laws governing child molestation reflect sociolegal childhood, regardless of its discrepancy with biological childhood. "True" pedophiles should be identified by their preference for biological children. By using legal classifications, researchers may well be confusing two distinct types of offenders, child molesters and rapists, and confounding attempts to understand pedophilia.
Article
This article reviews the research literature on sexual fantasy, a central aspect of human sexual behavior. Topics include (a) gender similarities and differences in the incidence, frequency, and content of sexual fantasies and how they relate to sociocultural and sociobiological theories of sexual behavior; (b) the association between frequency or content of sexual fantasies and variables such as age, sexual adjustment and satisfaction, guilt, sexual orientation, personality, and sexual experience; and (c) "deviant" sexual fantasies (i.e., what they are, whether they play a role in the commission of sexual crimes, and whether they can be modified). The article ends with a summary of major findings and suggestions for future research.
Article
Surveys of child sexual abuse in large nonclinical populations of adults have been conducted in at least 19 countries in addition to the United States and Canada, including 10 national probability samples. All studies have found rates in line with comparable North American research, ranging from 7% to 36% for women and 3% to 29% for men. Most studies found females to be abused at 1 1/2 to 3 times the rate for males. Few comparisons among countries are possible because of methodological and definitional differences. However, they clearly confirm sexual abuse to be an international problem.
Article
Large-scale mental health surveys have provided invaluable information regarding the prevalence of specific mental disorders and service use for mental health reasons. Unfortunately, because vast surveys conducted face to face are very costly, many countries and provinces do not embark upon this path of research, thus depriving themselves of a rich source of data useful for service planning. As an alternative, the authors undertook a telephone survey with a sample of 893 residents from a Montreal catchment area. Mental disorders were assessed by the Composite International Diagnostic Interview Simplified (CIDIS), an instrument especially designed to be used in mail or telephone surveys. Service utilization was measured by an instrument similar to those used in recent large Canadian or American surveys. The prevalence rate for any mental disorder was lower in this study than in some large-scale epidemiological surveys reviewed. This could be explained by methodological differences, such as number of disorders covered and period of reference. With regard to specific mental disorders, results appeared very similar to those of other studies. Concerning service utilization, rates tended to be higher than in other studies, and this finding could reflect real differences between Quebec and other Canadian provinces or the United States. Aside from being lower in cost, telephone surveys can yield results comparable to those obtained in large-scale epidemiological surveys conducted by means of face-to-face interviews.
Article
In terms of identifying socially-dysfunctional forms of sexuality--regardless of the legal valuation--dissexuality is defined as "an expression of social failure in sexual behavior." This failure was the subject of a longitudinal analysis of 186 expert-appraised pedophile sexual delinquents at the University of Kiel from 1945 through 1981. Of the child molesters 121 were followed up between September 1990 and September 1992 and 100 were personally contacted. The goal was to empirically develop prognosis criteria, given knowledge of the former delinquents' social development as well as sexual/dissexual practices, which could be of both forensic and interdisciplinary use. Among the bi- and homosexually-orientated pedophiles, the number of offenders for which the act is one of "compensation" was half of the initial collective. In contrast, this number was three-quarters for the heterosexually-orientated perpetrators. Correspondingly, the other half of the bi- and homosexually-orientated pedophiles were either exclusive-type or non-exclusive-type pedophiles (the so-called "true" pedophiles). Among the heterosexually-orientated offenders, the number was only one-quarter. According to the empirical data, we may expect a biographically continuing potential of dissexual behavior for only the exclusive and the non-exclusive type of pedophilia. Most of the relapsed dissexual activities showed up a long time after the expert's report. This is true for both the heterosexually- and the bi- and homosexually orientated groups. The present evaluation of the results allows assignment of behavior for certain delinquent typologies restricted to life phases or lifelong dissexual behavior.
Article
To increase understanding of the relationship between sexual violence and mental illness, the authors assessed the legal histories and psychiatric features of 36 males convicted of sexual offenses. Thirty-six consecutive male sex offenders admitted from prison, jail, or probation to a residential treatment facility received structured clinical interviews for DSM-IV Axis I and II disorders. The participants' legal histories, histories of sexual and physical abuse, and family histories of psychiatric disorders were also assessed. The participants' mean +/- SD age was 33+/-8 years. They had been convicted a mean of 1.8+/-1.4 times (range, 1-9 times) for sexual offenses and incarcerated a mean of 8+/-6 years (range, 0-22 years). Participants displayed high rates of lifetime DSM-IV Axis I disorders: 30 (83%) had a substance use disorder; 21 (58%), a paraphilia; 22 (61%), a mood disorder (13 [36%] with a bipolar disorder); 14 (39%), an impulse control disorder; 13 (36%), an anxiety disorder; and 6 (17%), an eating disorder. Participants also displayed high rates of Axis II disorders, with 26 (72%) meeting DSM-IV criteria for antisocial personality disorder. In addition, subjects reported experiencing high rates of sexual (but not physical) abuse and high rates of Axis I disorders, especially substance use and mood disorders, in their first-degree relatives. Compared with subjects without paraphilias, subjects with paraphilias displayed statistically significantly higher rates of mood, anxiety, and eating disorders, as well as significantly higher rates of childhood sexual abuse. Recognition and treatment of major psychiatric disorders among sex offenders may increase chances for successful rehabilitation, reduce recidivism and public victimization, and produce significant public health and economic benefits. More studies in this area appear warranted to search for more effective interventions for this severe public health problem.
Article
The purpose of this study was to confirm a previous finding that homosexual males with older brothers weigh less at birth than do heterosexual males with older brothers. The subjects comprised 250 feminine boys referred to a child psychiatry service because of extreme cross-gender wishes or behavior and assumed, on the basis of previous research, to be prehomosexual, plus 739 control boys and 261 control girls referred to the same service for reasons unrelated to sexual orientation or gender identity disorder and assumed, from base-rate probabilities, to be preheterosexual. The feminine boys with two or more older brothers weighed 385 g less at birth than did the control boys with two or more older brothers (P = 0.005). In contrast, the feminine and control boys with fewer than two older brothers did not differ in birth weight. This finding suggests that the mechanism by which older brothers increase the odds of homosexuality in later-born males operates prior to the individual's birth. We hypothesize that this mechanism may be immunologic, that antimale antibodies produced by human mothers in response to immunization by male fetuses could decrease the birth weight of subsequent male fetuses as well as increase their odds of homosexuality.
Article
Sexual maltreatment is one of the most common forms of child abuse. To identify risk factors for sexually abusive behaviour by adults, we prospectively assessed childhood experiences and personal characteristics of male child victims who became abusers in later life. In a longitudinal study (7-19 years duration), we included 224 former male victims of sexual abuse. Risk factors contemporaneous with the abuse, and putative protective influences, were identified from social service and clinical records. Evidence of later criminal acts was obtained from a nationwide search of official records. Of the 224 former victims, 26 had subsequently committed sexual offences (victim-abusers), in almost all cases with children, mainly outside their families. Risk factors during childhood for later offending included material neglect (odds ratio 3.4, 95% CI 1.2-9.7), lack of supervision (3.0, 1.1-8.3), and sexual abuse by a female person (3.0, 1.1-8.7). Victim-abusers had more frequently witnessed serious intrafamilial violence (3.1, 1.0-10.0). Six (29%) of 21 victim-abusers on whom we had relevant data had been cruel to animals (7.9, 2.0-31.4). No single putative protective factor, nor a composite protective index, significantly reduced the risk of paedophilic behaviour. Most male victims of child sexual abuse do not become paedophiles, but particular experiences and patterns of childhood behaviour are associated with an increased risk of victims becoming abusers in later life. Our findings have implications for the design of selective interventions with a vulnerable subgroup of male victims, aimed at reducing the risk of paedophilic behaviour in later life.