7. Discussion of Results
7.1 Discussion of Main Findings
First to be discussed will be the manifestations of and interrelationships among
Following that is a discussion of
7.1.1 Self-Concept Characteristics, Feelings of Being Under Stress, and Sense of Well-Being of Pedophilic Men On a General Level
184.108.40.206 Answer to the Third Question Posed [*]
Comparing pedophilic men with a heterosexual control group or normative values from the general male population shows that there are
Overall, pedophilic men evince a more "negative" sexual self-concept than heterosexual women and men
The "negative imprint" in the sexual self-concept sphere is, in pedophilic men, primarily an expression and a result of conflict between the individual and the environment (social and media attention), which is inevitably based on the mere presence of their sexua1 orientation rather than actual pedosexual behavior.
Only a small portion of respondents experienced significant intra-personal conflict with regard to their own sexuality. Self-acceptance of their own sexuality as well as a consciousness of and clarity regarding their own sexual desires and needs predominated among the pedophilic men.
As a rule, pedophilic men do not blame themselves for their sexual orientation, and accept no responsibility for the existence of their sexuality. They emphasize that they -- just like heterosexual and homosexual persons -- had not been able to choose their sexuality.
To the extent that attempts have been made to re-direct it, they have found their sexuality to be resistant to therapy (see Lautmann, 1994). A large portion of respondents exhibited a positively-tinged basic feeling -- even a certain sense of pride -- in relation to the nature and ways in which they have dealt with their own sexual needs and desires.
However overall, due to the rejectionistic attitude of society and politics, the research participants felt a great uneasiness about their own sexuality, and were extremely conscious of the impression that others got of their sexuality. They experienced increased feelings of dissatisfaction and depression in connection with their sexual lives, with a realistic add prolonged expectation that, because of criminal proceedings, their own sexual lives held out little promise of future reward.
Among pedophilic men as a whole there is a clear and pronounced fatalistic sense of external control, by which their own sexual lives are determined by luck and opportunity or by powerful and influential "persons," meaning
The sense of internal sexual control, which involves the sexual aspects of one's life being determined and being able to be regulated by oneself personally, was demonstrably absent among many of the research participants.
Participants as a whole had little sense of self-efficacy. This means that they, in part, felt that they were not in a position, due to the prevailing social situation, to see to it that their erotic-sexual needs were satisfied.
Among most of the participants, there was both
Compared with heterosexuals, pedophilic men have a clearly and demonstrably diminished incentive to be sexually active. Thoughts about self and the sexual aspects of one's life took up more space among the pedophile research participants than they did among the heterosexual control group, and can be interpreted as an expression of unfulfilled sexual yearning.
Relative to those in the sexual self-concept sphere, the differences found between pedophilic men and the heterosexual control group with regard to the "self-image of functiona1 social potency" sub-scales were substantially smaller.
With reference to general "environmental and self-control," pedophilic men as a whole did not differ from the psychologically unexceptional comparison group. This means that they believe, to a similar extent as psychologically unexceptional "average citizens," that they are able to influence and control general surrounding social conditions, and personally direct and regulate demand-situations.
Pedophilic men and the psychologically unexceptiona1 control group had nearly identical scores on the "de-centering" sub-scale. There were no indications that the pedophilic men had a diminished ability to "de-center" or a diminished capability for empathy. Research participants' perceptions were, according to the present findings, cognitively and emotionally in keeping with reality (see Fiedler, 2004).
Among a large portion of the pedophilic men, the readiness to accept and establish social contact was less pronounced than in the heterosexual control group. Due to the difficult social situation and the attendant isolation from strangers, a higher degree of mistrust, self-isolation, and mimicry is obviously necessary and advisable for self-protection.
It is due only to the presence of their deviant sexual orientation that it is necessary, out of self-preservation, for them to be more reserved and cautious in accepting and establishing social contact than persons who either do not differ from society's sexual norm or do so in a different way. (See Griesemer, 2003.)
It is noteworthy that the overwhelming majority of the respondents agreed strongly with certain items in the "communicability" sub-scale
The hypothesis that pedophilic men do not differ from a psychologically unexceptional control group in terms of the self-image of functional social potency can be conclusively confirmed
There were no striking features, compared to the normative sample of "healthy" persons, with regard to self-attention. The expression of the characteristics "private self-attention" and "public self-attention" lay in the average range.
Compared with the normative sample, the pedophilic men studied evinced, as a whole, slightly below-average scores on the TPF "mental health" and "sense of meaning" sub-scales, as well as greater variance. About half of the research participants had a diminished sense of well-being. There were, in part, significant difficulties to be overcome in terms of the general demands of life, and there was a lack of a sense of meaning; i.e., a feeling that the world makes sense and can be influenced.
Among 'dark number' pedophilic men there is,
One-fourth of the respondents were, at the time of the data collection, at risk of suicide. There was a trend in the direction of the younger participants (Age Group l and especially Age Group 2) being more likely to be effected.
Compared to a normative sample, there was more mistrust, feelings of inferiority and in part, extremely paranoid thinking among the pedophilic men, all of which is traceable to social and crimino-legal conditions. (See Griesener, 2004c).
The basic psychical stress that goes along with a pedophilic orientation is higher than the average degree of psychical stress among the general population. The number of symptoms, in which an overwhelming burden was present, did not differ from the normative sample. The intensity of the expressed symptoms was, however, stronger. This means that, whereas pedophilic men do not, as a rule, exhibit more symptoms than non-pedophiles, the symptoms which they do present with are particularly strongly pronounced.
The above statements cover approximately one-half of the population studied. About 40% of respondents did not differ from the general population in terms of their sense of well-being. Approximately eight percent of participants had a greater capability for functional act-regulation, in terms of external and internal demand-structures, than did the normal population in spite (or even because) of the presence of a pedophilic orientation, there is the potential to attain higher scores than the non-pedophile, general population with regard to "mental health" and general mastery competence.
220.127.116.11 Answer to the Sixth Question Posed [*]
The results show that significant associations exist between selected self-concept characteristics and the central variables of feelings of being under stress and sense of well-being.
The "sexual depression" and "sexual self-attention" sub-scales are of particular importance to the association between sexual self-concept and the sense of well-being and feelings of being under stress. Taken together, these two MSSCQ sub-scales were able to account for approximately 45% of the variance in the sense of well-being and feelings of being under stress.
In pedophilic men, experiencing sadness and dissatisfaction regarding their own sexual lives, as well as the ability to accept their own sexual orientation and even be able to take pride in their pedophilic orientation, is closely related to the general sense of well-being and feelings of being under stress.
Statements as to causality, however, were not able to be determined from this. This means, for example, that it is unclear whether a poor sense of well-being negatively influences pedophilic men's sexual self-concept, or vice versa. We may proceed on the assumption that there is a complex interaction between sexual self-concept and sense of well-being. All in all, among pedophilic men, a medium effect-size is detectable, in the direction predicted, between the healthy general se1f-concept variable and the central variables of sense of well-being and feelings of being under stress
With respect to the se1f-image of functional social potency, it was shown that successful regulation of the environment and oneself is of decisive saluto-genetic importance.
Successful demand-related environmental and self-regulation among pedophilic men was able to account for approximately 64% of the variance in the experience of "mental health."
In the regression model, the association between success at environmental and self-regulation and clinically significant symptomatology ("global severity index" scale) was less pronounced. The ability to self-regulate would appear to be a important, but not sufficient, prerequisite for the sense of well-being.
Closely related to it and of stronger predictive power with
respect to saluto-genesis, as well as life-satisfaction and a sense of
meaning, is success in the regulation of the environment; that is, solving
general, person-environment conflicts. On the other hand, the factor
Among research participants as a whole, a close association was detectable, in the direction predicted, between the self image of functional social potency and the central variables of feelings of being under stress and the sense of well-being
In contrast to "private self-attention" there is, among pedophilic men, a significant relationship between "public self-attention" and sense of well-being and fee1ings of being under stress. This finding makes clear that what is relevant to pedophiles sense of well-being is stress-laden, interpersonal conflict between the individual and the environment. The self-concept characteristic of "public self-attention" was able to account for
A certain forgetting of oneself with regard to one's own publicly visible actions, including in the sexual sphere, is associated with a stronger sense of well-being and diminished feelings of being under stress. Therefore it may be saluto-genically necessary for pedophiles to, for example, avoid excessive reflection on their general dealings with children.
All in all, the "public self-attention" component is only able to account for a small degree of the variance in the sense of well-being and feelings of being under stress. Among pedophilic men, there is only a partially statistically significant relationship between the self-concept characteristic of self attention and the sense of well-being and feelings of being under stress
7.1.2 Self-Concept Characteristics, Feelings' of Being Under Stress, and Sense of Well-Being Among Pedophilic Men on a Differential Level
18.104.22.168 Answer to the Fourth Question Posed [*]
The selected two-cluster solution subdivides the overall group of pedophilic men into
Approximately one-half of the pedophilic men studied exhibited a significantly more "positive" sexual self-concept than the other half on the MSSCQ sub-scales.
The substantive, significant differences within the pedophile population studied consisted of the fact that cluster 1 had
At the same time participants from Cluster 1, relative to those from Cluster 2, had
Pedophilic men from Cluster 1
Participants from Cluster 1
Although the characteristic "number/frequency of pedosexual contacts" was not considered in this study, it may represent a further important distinguishing characteristic within the pedophile population.
On the other hand, it also speaks to the fact that
a greater proportion of respondents
With regard to nearly all demographic characteristics, including general and sexual influence factors, the selected two-cluster solution is quite homogeneous
There were no differences between the two clusters in terms of, among other things, a diminished drive and desire to have a (pedo)sexual relationship, or reflecting to a greater extent on the sexual aspect of their lives.
No mono-causal explanation or reason exists as to precisely what separates the pedophile population into men with "positive" versus "negative" sexua1 self-concepts; rather, a series of various influence factors play a role in this very heterogeneous population, which still need to be examined in greater detail.
Through a comparison of Cluster 1 with the heterosexual control group, it was able to be shown that even pedophilic men with markedly "positive" sexual self-concepts still had significantly "worse" scores than heterosexual men and women on any of the MSSCQ sub-scales.
Because participants from Cluster 1 are "clear" with themselves about their sexuality and as a rule do not have other serious problems, this discrepancy between Cluster 1 and the heterosexual control group can be attribated primarily to conflict between the individual and the environment.
In Cluster 2, on the other hand, there are small subgroups with pronounced problems
that are associated with a negative sexual self-concept.
Aside from the conflict between the individual and the environment, the difference between the heterosexual control group and Cluster 2 is the result of
With regard to the self-image of functional social potency, the comparison of the two-cluster solution with the heterosexual control group showed that the differences with the studied pedophile population (Cluster 1 > Cluster 2) were greater than those between the studied pedophile population and the psychologically unremarkable heterosexual comparison group: Cluster 1 = heterosexual control group; heterosexual control group > Cluster 2.
This particularly significant finding makes it clear how heterogeneous the population of pedophilic men truly is, and how small, for the most part, the differences are relative to the "normal population."
Significant differences between research participants and the heterosexual control group were discernible only on the "communicability" and "consciousness of one's control over the environment" sub-scales (comparing Cluster 2 with the heterosexual control group).
This means that among a portion of pedophilic men, in addition to fewer contacts established, the consciousness of control over the environment is also diminished
For one thing, it is apparent where the image of the pedophilic man with an extremely "negative" sexual self-concept, who is communicatively cut off and socially isolated, and who has little self-awareness and self-confidence, actually comes from Cluster 2.
[ - - -]
For another thing, the picture emerges of an absolutely psychologically unexceptional pedophilic man who does not stand out from the general population in terms of conceptions of general social capability, sense of well-being, and feelings of being under stress. He has, for the group as a whole, a positive sexual self-concept: he has a problem not with his sexuality, but rather with his environment (Cluster 1).
Overall, no significant differences were able to be shown between the "contact-inhibited -- diminished self-consciousness pedophilic type," the "average pedophilic type," and the psychologically unexceptional heterosexual in terms of the ability to "de-center" as well as in reference to the ability to self-regulate in demand-related situations (see Fiedler, 2004).
A clearly heightened general sense of stress was present, in participants from Cluster 2. However the two-cluster solution did not differentiate with reference to the characteristic "absence of social support."
In considering the self-attention processes, it was able to be shown that participants from Cluster 2, compared to the "healthy person" norm exhibit, in part, higher scores. with regard to "private self-attention" and also public self-attention."
For participants from Cluster 1, the scores for "private self attention," even allowing for the standard deviation, lie essentially in the average, normal range, which explains why there is little intra-personal conflict.
The two-cluster solution revealed significant differences not in the "private self-attention" sub-scale, but in the "public self-attention" sub-scale. Making allowance for the standard deviations, participants with more favorable sexual self-concepts had (slightly) below-average scores on the "public self-attention" sub-scale.
They focus to a lesser degree on publicly-accessible characteristics of the self, often paying little attention to how they look, with regard to their sexuality, to those on the outside, which in turn is associated with an unexceptional sense of well-being as well as unremarkable stress-related feelings. Within the pedophile population "public self-attention," to a stronger degree than "private self-attention," differentiated between men with "positive" and men with "negative" self-concepts.
22.214.171.124 Answer to the Fifth Question Posed [*]
Homosexually, heterosexually, and bisexually pedophilic participants did not differ substantially from one another in terns of self-concept characteristics, feelings of being under stress, and sense of well-being
Overall, independent of the direction of their pedophilic orientation, pedophilic men exhibit increased feelings of being under stress and more intense depressive experiences.
Based on the "age group" characteristic, pedophilic men differ from one another in terms of self-concept characteristics, feelings of being under stress, and sense of well-being
Significant differences exist in both the individual self-concept areas as well as in the sense of well-being and feelings of being under stress, mainly between Age Group 2 and Age Group 4.
Older research participants clearly felt less discomfort with regard to their own sexuality and were less worried about their sex lives than participants from Age Group 2. Moreover, they evinced better general conceptions of social competency and differed from Age Groups 1, 2, and 3 in terms of the presence of slightly below average "public self-attention."
This means that they worried less about outwardly visible aspects of their own personhood and paid less attention to how their behavior looked from the outside and was assessed by others. Moreover, across nearly all of the TPF and SCL-90-R sub-scales, compared with the normative sample older participants can be characterized as unremarkable.
Participants from Age Group 1 exhibited significantly fewer depressive symptoms than participants from Age Group 2. In the encompassed self-concept areas as well as the sense of well-being and feelings of being under stress, within the population studied, participants from Age Groups 1 and 3 occupied a middle position between Age Groups 4 and 2.
In the sexual self-concept area, compared to middle-aged pedophilic men (Age Groups 2 and 3), participants from Age Group 1 were characterized by a decreased sense of being sexual1y controlled by society.
This finding could be associated with the reporting behavior of the parents of the effected children. Younger participants -- those in their mid-20s and under -- may be less likely to be reported for child sexual abuse than middle-aged pedophilic men because they really do not correspond to the typical image of the "child molester."
"child molester" stereotype incorporates the notion of a
violent and unsympathetic middle-aged stranger as opposed to that of a
friendly and sympathetic young man. Among older pedophilic
Through their occupational status, participants partially differentiated themselves in terms of their self-image of functional social potency, sense of well-being, and feelings of being under stress
Compared to the other occupational groups, unemployed pedophiles were found to have a clearly diminished consciousness of "environmental control." This means that many pedophiles, particularly due to their being unemployed, exhibit a diminished sense of the influence ability and control ability of the environment.
Furthermore there is among unemployed pedophiles, to a greater extent, a diminished "sense of meaning." The sense of meaning is, however, also reduced among employed pedophiles as well as pedophiles who are students, which means that factors other than occupational status must also have an influence on the "sense of meaning." Pedophile retirees represent the most psychologically unremarkable group.
Criminally prosecuted participants differed only to a small degree from participants who have never been criminally prosecuted with regard to self-concept characteristics, feelings of being under stress, and sense of well-being
Participants with criminal convictions for pedosexual contacts or for possessing or trading child pornography paid more attention to how their sexuality looked from the outside, and had a heightened sense of being sexually controlled by society.
In particular, among pedophilic men with previous convictions there was -- in contrast to pedophilic men with no convictions -- a clearly increased mistrust of others, up to and including quite pronounced paranoid ideation. No differences with regard to the self-image of functional social potency, self-attention, and well-being characteristics were present. This finding makes clear that previous criminal convictions impact a portion of the sexual self-concept, and have a primary effect along the lines of an intensified posture of paranoia.
The research participants differentiated themselves in terms of the expression of the characteristic "therapy experience" (none, previous, current) substantially with regard to sense of well-being and feelings of being under stress, and less clearly with regard to self-concept characteristics
One may proceed based on the assumption that pedophilic men seek out therapy or possibilities for counseling only during acute crises. Among psychologically unremarkable research participants there was no need, and consequently no psychotherapy was pursued. Among therapeutically experienced participants, the need presumably did exist. Oftentimes these were only partially psychotherapeutically successful; the effects were, at most, small ones.
Most participants had a sufficient degree of general social support at their disposal. Participants with "not present," partially present," and "sufficiently present" social support differed substantially from one another in terms of the self-image of functional social potency, sense of well-being, and feelings of being under stress
Participants with no or little social support had lower scores on the "communicability" and "consciousness of self-control" sub-scales relative to participants with "sufficiently present" social support.
This means that the need and the ability to establish and shape social contacts as well as the ability to personally control demand-related situations is diminished among these participants.
This finding, which is associated
with a clearly diminished sense of well-being and/or clearly increased
feelings of being under stress, would account for a portion of those
respondents with social competency difficulties. Oftentimes,
On the other hand, it is also conceivable that those participants with "sufficiently present" social support were more likely to be in a position to obtain this social support because it had a psychologically stabilizing effect on them, and therefore, better prerequisites for making further social contacts were present.
Participants with "sufficiently present" social support almost always had average T-scores on the TPF and SCL-90-R sub-scales (except for the "depressiveness" subscale). This group's increased depressiveness scores were, however, smaller than those of participants who had no social support compared with participants with "not present" social support, the expressed characteristics on the sub-scales of "mental health" and "sense of fulfillment" were also significantly higher among participants with "sufficiently present" social support.
All in all, it was able to be shown that a favorable, subjective appraisal of the presence of a functioning social support network is, among pedophilic men, associated with a greater sense of well-being and fewer feelings of being under stress.
Pedophilic men with no, previous, or current pedosexual experience differed from one another significantly in reference to self-concept characteristics, feelings of being under stress, and sense of well-being
Pedophilic men who were currently living in pedosexual relationships or had pedosexual experiences in the past had a clearly more favorable sexual self-concept than pedophilic men with no pedosexual experience. They experience a higher degree of self-control over their own sexuality, and are more satisfied with their sexuality as well as the sexual aspects of their lives. Furthermore, their readiness and ability to establish and shape social contacts is more pronounced than it is among participants with no pedosexual experience.
With regard to self-attention, there were no discernible inter-group differences. Pedophilic men with current pedosexual experience and those with pedosexual contacts in the past tended to have a greater sense of well-being and markedly fewer feelings of being under stress than pedophilic men with no pedosexual experience.
This finding suggests that psychologically unremarkable men with adequate act-regulatory capabilities evince more pedosexual experience than pedophilic men with impairments to their well-being and deficits in the area of communicative capabilities. At the same time, the existence of a pedosexual relationship is assumed to have positive feedback effects in, among others, the sexual self-concept sphere.
[Use of child pornography]
Participants who used child pornography did not differ from non-users in terms of sexual self-concept, feelings of being under stress, and sense of well-being
This result is astonishing because, in personal conversations, pedophilic men frequently report that there is a high potential for addiction associated with the use of child pornography
The question regarding the use of child pornography may have been posed too globally to be able to get at substantially significant differences. The result of the comparison between users and non-users did not produce any indications that looking at pornographic material involved saluto-genical1y negative effects. Furthermore, one may proceed based on the assumption that for pedophilic men, looking at child pornography functions as an important psychical compensation for not actually living out their sexuality.
[Experiences in childhood]
Participants who were personally approached by adults as children in part exhibit greater feelings of being under stress, as well as poorer sense of well-being than participants who have not had this experience
An important variable moderating the expression of the sense of well-being and feelings of being under stress is the retrospective assessment of pedosexual contacts, not the presence of pedosexual contacts per se.
was able to be shown that a retrospectively negative assessment of the
pedosexual contact (assessed as "sexual abuse" or "sexual
violence") was associated with clearly increased clinical
symptomatology among those concerned (nearly all SCL-90-R.
Participants who made a positive retrospective assessment did not differ from participants with no pedosexual contacts during their own childhood in terms of their sense of well-being and feelings of being under stress.
This result makes clear, firstly, that "sexual abuse" is not only an observable phenomenon but also the result of an evaluation.
Secondly, agreeably- and pleasantly-experienced pedosexual events were empirically detectable in this study, which were often embedded in pedosexual relationships of longstanding, and in which no impairment of psychological health is discernible.
The "sexual abuse debate" should be conducted in a more differential manner. It would appear to be necessary, in the assessment of pedosexual contacts, to give stronger consideration to their content -- i.e., the nature and quality of the pedophilic relationships -- than has been done up to this point.
126.96.36.199 Answer to the Seventh Question Posed [*]
Participants who were successful in regulating general external and internal life-demands in functional ways differed from participants with limited act-regulatory capabilities in that the former more strongly emphasized the life areas of work and the "material sphere," although the life area of "free time" was also not neglected.
Respondents with deficient act-regulatory capabilities attached very great importance to the free time sphere and neglected the life area of "work." The one-sidedness of this alignment could be a manifestation of reality-divergent and dysfunctional self- and environment- concepts which misjudge basic life needs.
The highest priority for both groups was their circle of friends who could potentially provide the necessary social support. The hypothesis that pedophilic men with average or above-average scores on the "mental health" sub-scale differ from pedophilic men with below-average scores on this sub-scale with regard to the importance ascribed to selected life areas was only able to be partially confirmed
As to conflict experiences due to their own sexuality, in terms of mastering internal and external demands, participants with average or above-average act-regulatory capabilities were not substantially different from participants who had such capabilities to a lesser extent.
The strongest potential for conflict lay in the interpersonal area. The relationship with the child's parents involved a particularly high potential for conflict because it was they who were most likely to make a report of child sexual abuse.
There was also high potential for conflict within their own families. This could mean that the parents of younger research participants were overwhelmed and had difficulty accepting their son's sexual orientation, to the extent that it had actually been revealed to the parents.
Relationships with co-workers were also experienced as conflict laden because it is there that, as a rule, pedophilic men 'put on an act' and 'make up stories' in order to avoid the risk of possibly serious consequences to themselves. (e.g., termination, scandal, etc.). The relationships with the children and with friends were experienced as being less beset by conflict.
Independent of the degree of "mental health," the potential for intrapersonal conflict among pedophilic men was markedly smaller than that for interpersonal conflict. This means that pedophilic men actually experience conflict in reference to particular groups of persons in their environment. Intrapersonal conflict regarding their own sexuality is not very pronounced among pedophilic men.
The erotic-sexual orientation towards boys or girls is seen as being part of who they are and is experienced as pleasant (ego-syntonic), not as ego-dystonic or disordered. Sexuality had a similarly high status along the mentally sound and the mentally less sound participants.
The hypothesis that pedophilic men with average or above-average scores on the "mental health" sub-scale differ from pedophilic men with below-average scores on this sub-scale in terms of (sexual) conflict areas was not able to be confirmed
7.2 Discussion of Secondary Findings
The secondary results of the study, which in essence consist of
will now be discussed.
7.2.1 Answer to the First Question Posed [*]
A pedophile identity was present among the overwhelming majority of participants. They accepted their own sexual orientation towards boys, girls, or boys and girls, and usually saw it as healthy, rarely as pathological. Only in isolated cases did participants have problems accepting their sexual orientation.
Overall, the picture that emerged was largely congruent with the findings of Lautmann's (1994) study, one which may be summarized as follows:
The concept of "pedosexuality" is a reductionism, placing undue emphasis on the sexual physicality of the pedophilic orientation. The concept of "pedophilia," on the other hand, attaches too little importance to sexual-erotic physicality, thereby also missing the mark.
The phenomenon can only be circumscribed, and as of this point, is not fully conceptualizable or adequately representable in terms of a single concept.
Phenomenologically speaking, when we talk about 'pedophiles', we are talking about adults who fall in love with -- and at the same time erotically/sexually desire -- boys or girls. The pedophilic sexual form is -- in its homosexual, heterosexual, or bisexual manifestations -- a phenomenon in its own right. It can be clearly subdivided into hetero-, homo-, or bi-sexual forms, and cover teenagers or adults. (Feierman, 1990)
With regard to the question of the cause of their sexual orientation, research participants provided a great number of possible explanations, which essentially involved various aspects of the "parental upbringing" and sexual socialization" spheres.
In a few cases, these subjective theories provided rough outlines for the formation of scientific models. In the final analysis, all we can say is that the cornerstone of the pedophilic orientation is obvious1y already laid down as of early childhood, and homosexually, heterosexually, and bisexually pedophilic men as a whole do not have a uniform and convincing answer to the question of causality.
The majority of the respondents even manifested explicit ignorance of -- or showed disinterest in – the question by simply skipping it. The etiological paradigm was not well-received by this sexual scene.
For one thing, it stands in the way of the pedophile emancipation movement; for another, in an analogy to homosexuality, even in the future, the etiology will presumably remain inexplicable.
A great number of internal and external factors play a role.
From the respondents' point of view, there is no deficient or pathological function regarding their own sexuality.
7.2.2 Answer to the Second Question Posed [*]
Most of the respondents had had sexual socialization experiences with same-age peers as children, as teenagers, and as adults. During childhood and the teenage years, the sexual contacts took place mainly with male peers. The overwhelming majority of the respondents verified their pedophilic orientation in adulthood through experiences with adults. (See Lautmann, 1994.)
In contrast with Lautmann (1994), whose interview partners were found to have had contacts predominantly with women, the participants in this study, in addition to exclusively heterosexual or exclusively homosexual contacts, reported higher numbers of sexual experiences involving both men and women.
The bisexual approach could, at least in a portion of pedophilic men, be a manifestation of a transitory sexual insecurity and a sexual identity discovery process of longer duration. Usually those concerned have to arrive at this on their own, since opportunities for counseling are few and far between. The impression one gets from personal conversations with them is that, as a rule, it is not until the early to mid-twenties that the process of sexual identity formation in pedophilic men is complete.
Furthermore, there was found to be a small minority of pedophilic men with either no or very limited sexual socialization experiences (13.9%), whose sexual interest in men or women may not been verified through actual practice. In commentaries attached to the questionnaires as well as in personal conversations, there were specific cases of respondents who had no sexual experiences with adults, indicating that they had always been quite certain about their pedophilic orientation. For them, testing their sexual identity with an adult would be neither necessary nor of interest.
With regard to the evaluation of sexual experiences with same-age peers, it was shown that, from childhood to the teenage years and on to adulthood, the percentage of pedophilic men reporting pleasant sexual socialization experiences continuously declined. Analogously, the percentage of participants who had accumulated neutral or unpleasant sexual experiences with male and female same-age peers continuously increased from childhood through the adult years.
This phenomenon may be explained by the fact that a pedophilic orientation manifests itself in childhood, when it is already relatively fixed.
In the questionnaires as well as in personal conversations, many respondents indicated that they had already noticed their attraction to younger children when they were of primary school age. In the further course of their sexua1 socialization, pedophilic men are increasingly exposed to sexually frustrating experiences because no -- or only very little -- erotic/sexual attraction to the pubertal or adult form is present.
Based on an assessment of the research participants' statements, a rough estimate can made that, due to an inability to get an erection, half of the respondents are either completely incapable of sexual relationships with adults, or are able to engage in them in only very limited ways.
Among the other half of the participants, the capability for sexual relations -- and for an erection -- with adults is present. Emotional attachment and a sense of being in love, however, are felt only towards boys or girls, which may be why even "potent" primary pedophiles are not satisfied with teenage or adult sexual partners.
Among primarily pedophilic men as a whole, there was no evidence to support the popular 'abused-abuser hypothesis.'
Research participants who had as children had sexua1 experiences with adults were no more likely to have themselves engaged in pedosexual practices than were research participants with no such experiences.
The majority of respondents (76.4%) had not been 'pedosexually approached in childhood. On the other hand, it must be borne in mind that 23.6% of participants did have pedosexual contacts during childhood.
Therefore the "sexual abuse quota" of the pedophile population studied is significantly higher than that of the general population.
In its universal form, this hypothesis cannot be generalized to the pedophile population. At most it operates as a lower-order influence factor, in a minority of pedophiles.
What would seem to be a more obvious explanation is that pedophilic men engage in pedosexual contacts simply because of the presence of their sexual orientation, not because they were sexually abused during their own childhoods.
Some of the pedosexual contacts in childhood were with men and some were with women, and about half were retrospectively assessed as pleasant. The other half of the participants affected evaluated their pedosexual experiences either as neutral, or as sexual abuse and/or sexualized violence.
The majority of the pedophilic men had, in the course of their adult lives, erotic-sexual contacts with boys or girls. At the time the data was col1ected, 11.1% of participants were living in a pedosexual relationship.
Only a minority renounced pedosexual relationships out of fear of criminal prosecution or due to personal ethical principles. Of the pedosexual men questioned, 29.2% had not had any pedosexual contacts in the past.
It should not be assumed that most of the participants with no pedosexual experience remain sexually abstinent over the course of their entire lives: a significant association between the characteristics "age group" and "pedosexual contact" is discernible.
About half of the younger participants --
those between 19 and 30 years old -- had no pedosexual experience. In
this sample, a significant rise in first pedosexual contacts was found
among participants in age Group 2; that is, those 31 and older. Lastly,
upon a still more detailed analysis of the age distribution, we find
that for the predominant share of pedophilic men, their first pedosexual
contacts and pedophilic
In Age Groups 3 and 4, there were only sporadic cases of participants with no previous pedosexual experience.
Because the question was not explicitly posed to the participants, no reliable statement is able to be made regarding how often pedophilic men enter into pedosexual relationships during the course of their lives.
And yet the impression one gets from examining all of the extant sources as well as typical abuse literature statements -- e.g;., that pedophilic men abuse a very high number of children over the course of their lives -- cannot be correct in such a blanket form.
On the contrary, it would seem that participants have been able to accumulate pedosexual contacts only sporadically, with the living-out of their sexuality consisting, for many years, simply of masturbation. On the other hand, it is also possible to find pedophilic men who have the high tolerance for risk and social competence required to enter into more frequent pedosexual relationships.
Based on the present findings, the existence of current pedosexual relationships is independent of the age of the participants. Only a small number of participants from all age groups reported the presence of current pedosexual relationships.
[Forms of pedosexuality]
The primary form of pedosexuality essentially consists of 'soft' sexual practices such as fondling, stroking, and licking. Almost without exception, 'hard' practices such as anal and vaginal intercourse were rejected by participants (in part for anatomical reasons) but in any case, they were not typically seen as sexually appealing. 'Hard' sexual practices are not a conceptual component of pedosexuality in its primary form.
At its core, pedosexuality is "sexual cuddling," comparable to playful-oriented petting, in the course of which different sexual scripts exist and are followed by the older vs. younger parties.
Overall, the image that emerges is one of adults who are genitally reticent in the sexual area.
Participants in the study see pedophilia as a sexual form in its own right. Pedosexual contacts should be distinguished from the sexual abuse of children.
Almost without exception, the research participants did not use any violent action in order to obtain access to boys' and girls' intimate areas, what pedophilic men strove for were mutually agreeable sexual contacts.
From an external perspective, the sexual aspects of the phenomenon (particularly in the media, but in the scientific literature as well) are greatly overestimated, and depicted in a sensational and distorted manner.
Sexual contacts, which typically unfold in a playful way, are a central -- but still only one -- component of more complex pedophilic relationships.
For the majority of pedophilic men, their view of events is not perceptually distorted but is, rather, anchored in reality.
On the other hand, taking as a basis the psychoanalytic paradigm, slight "psychodynamic peculiarities" would be demonstrable among a portion of the respondents, just as in any sexual form which deviates from the norm of compulsory heterosexuality and is viewed through a psychoanalytic lens. It would seem, however, to be beyond questionable to want to generalize empirically unverifiable psychoanalytic, depth-psychology and feminist models to the entire population.
[Use pf pornography]
The overwhelming majority of primarily pedophilic men use legal or illegal child pornography. Obviously, the use of child pornography is typically associated with the presence of a pedophilic orientation. This use is independent of pedosexual experience or the existence of a current pedosexual relationship. Pedophilic men with no sexual experience with children do not differ from pedophilic men who have had pedosexual contacts vis-à-vis the use of child pornography.
A small minority of pedophilic men do not use
any erotica or pornography depicting boys or girls. This was
particularly true for participants from Age Group 4. There were,
however, also isolated cases of younger participants -- those in Age
Group 1 -- who declined to use child erotica
The characteristics "age group" and "use of child pornography" were not mutually independent. Greater age was associated with reduced use of child pornography. A possible explanation for this phenomenon might be diminished pedosexual interest among older pedophiles. Another potential explanation is that compared to younger men, older men likely have less access to the Internet and rarely have sufficient competency with the Internet in order to obtain corresponding images.
Overall, this finding makes it clear that child pornography has a general psychologically compensatory function for a sexuality that cannot be lived out in legal ways.
Whether looking at these images leads to diminished or increased sexual contacts is a question that, in the final analysis, cannot be answered. Pedophile users of it exhibited neither increased nor decreased pedosexual experience relative to non-users. The addictive collecting behavior that is sometimes associated with this phenomenon was not explicitly addressed in this study.
7.2.3 Answer to the Eighth Question Posed [*]
Overall, it became apparent that many pedophilic men have, in the past, attempted to pursue alternative, often frustrating sexual lifestyles, and have put in place various compensation and displacement mechanisms with reference to their own sexuality.
It was shown that as young adults, many of the participants were insecure about their sexual orientation or had difficulty actually admitting their pedophilic orientation to themselves, reporting more frequent sexual experimentation with adults -- particularly women. On the other hand, there was an even larger number of research participants who obviously had no all-encompassing insecurity about their sexual orientation, had not tried out any potential alternative sexual ways of life, and had not activated any renunciation or displacement mechanisms.
The goals which pedophilic men hope to attain with the aid of psychotherapy may be subdivided into four substantive areas:
Extant experience with psychotherapy was evaluated by participants as predominantly positive. There were, however, isolated cases of extremely negative therapy or counseling experiences.
7.3 Critical Methodological Considerations
Due to the manner in which the study was constructed as well as the control scales that were employed, we have proceeded based on the assumption that, in general as well as with respect to sexuality, the participants have not depicted themselves in ways regarded by the general population as socially desirable. However the control scales do not protect against false information deliberately inserted by individual respondents. This should not, however, be assumed to be the case, given that overall, what has in fact emerged is a well-rounded portrait of this sexual minority.
Using the supplied sexual classification schemas and the proven classification criteria of intensity, direction, and duration of sexual fantasies, it became very clear that what we have here are respondents who are, exclusively, primarily pedophilic men (of both the exclusive as well as non-exclusive type).
Crimino-legally significant items relating to the presence of pedosexual contacts, the use of child pornography, and the question of the participants' sexual identity provide additional indications as to the validity of the applied selection criteria.
As a 'dark number' study, what we have here is not a completely "clean" one, there was also as assortment of sporadic "light number" pedophilic men included in the the study. This has to do with the fact that this study has also striven to compare 'light number' versus 'dark number' participants. This did not come about because less effort was expended establishing contact with the pedophilic 'dark number' than in gaining access to the 'light number.'
The latter is itself oftentimes barred by bureaucratic structures (within the Youth Protection Office), as well as an unwillingness to cooperate on the part of other institutions. Because mixing different points of entry can lead to distortions in the form of different response tendencies, future studies should focus on the 'dark number' exclusively. Statements from 'light number' participants are only of limited use.
With a sample of 72 participants, substantial statements as to the self-concept characteristics, feelings of being under stress, and sense of well-being of pedophilic men were able to be made. The procedures employed in the areas of well-being and stress (TPF, SCL-90-R), as well as the SAM questionnaire for the self-concept sphere, are psychometrically very well designed, and represent relatively current normative values.
The central, critical point actually concerns the composition and size of the heterosexual control group with regard to the MSSCQ. The psychologically unexceptional heterosexual control group consists of participants with higher levels of education than, and an age-structure comparable to, the pedophile research group
However a substantial disadvantage for the area of the sexual self-concept is the fact that the comparison group consists of both men and women; therefore, potential gender-specific differences were not considered.
An additional substantial and critical item is the fact that in the MSSCQ, what we have is a direct translation from the English. No validation of the German translation was able to be performed prior to the study. Some participants were critical, expressing their displeasure with these procedures. Various items would not have been particularly relevant to the sexuality of pedophilic men
The problem was recognized from the beginning, and participants' frustrations were deliberately taken into account. The MSSCQ was largely taken as is from the German translation, in order to be able to ensure better comparability with the control group.
Comparable procedures for capturing the sexual self-concept or particular aspects of human sexuality either do not yet exist or, due to their item-formation, are only applicable to the 'light number' (e.g., MSI). A substantial problem in evaluating the results of the MSSCQ, which must be re-thought, consists in its at mixing of sexual science and criminological spheres in reference to pedosexuality.
In the area of the self-image of functional social potency, the comparison with the heterosexual control group proved to be unproblematic because the gender-specific differences are negligible. Due to the small size of the control group, the statements concerning results from the SSF and MSSCQ procedures have less substance to them than the statements relating to the TPF, SCL-90-R, and SAM procedures. Nevertheless, the SSF and MSSCQ results can be interpreted as broad trends and can be used to provide a rough sketch of the population of pedophilic men.
In spite of what for this field was a large sample, in the differential comparison within the pedophile population there remained the problem of comparison groups that were simply too small, which is why predominantly non-parametric evaluation procedures were utilized.
Both younger as well as older participants did indeed bare their souls in this study. However, as was also the case with Lautmann (1994), what emerged was the typical picture of a large number of homosexually pedophilic participants and a much smaller number of heterosexually and bisexually pedophilic participants. Consequently the results have validity primarily for the homosexually pedophilic sphere. A larger sample of bisexually and heterosexually pedophilic men could have been obtained only through the expenditure of far more time and effort.
Furthermore, despite different recruitment sources, slight distortions also resulted from the way participants were selected. In terms of their level of education, the sample studied here would presumably not be entirely representative of 'dark number' pedophilic men as a whole.
It is realistic to proceed based on the assumption that all levels of education, age classes, and occupational groups may be found among 'dark number' pedophilic men (Leopardi, 1998).
In spite of the above-mentioned limitations, it is presumably still possible, via the present study, to roughly sketch out a not unrealistic picture of pedophilic men in society in terms of their self-concept characteristics, feelings of being under stress, and sense of well-being. Although the discussed percentage data is not automatically generalizable to the overall population, it probably does give a rough idea of the psychological and sexual realities of this population.