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In the present, pilot study, 72 primarily pedophilic men, nearly all of whom are part of the 'dark number' of those woo have never come to official or public attention, are questioned in reference to

self-concept characteristics,
feelings of being under stress, and
sense of well-being.

This is in pursuit of the goal of making available empirically grounded, basic information concerning the psychological characteristics of this extremely stigmatized sexual minority. Such an undertaking would appear to be urgently necessary, given the fact that in controversies within sexual science regarding pedophilia, an empirical foundation is lacking.

The personal goal connected with this work was to establish
a grounded opinion of my own regarding this complex subject. On the basis of the scientific literature and media reports alone, without establishing personal contact with those who constitute the “dark number,” this fundamentally iconoclastic expert opinion would never, in fact, have formed.

Pedophilia/pedosexuality is a sphere of research all to its own which, for various reasons, was rarely pursued in the past. There exist in this area only a handful of useful empirical studies, though we are talking about a complex subject with sociopolitical relevance. In the final analysis it basically comes down to the following questions:

How is intergenerational eroticism and sexuality between adults and children to be assessed? Is sexual consent possible?
How should a sexual minority, demonized by the media and to some extent also by science, as well as affected children, be treated by society?

A series of scientifically oriented authors have characterized – relatively independently of their basic assessment of intergenerational eroticism and sexuality -- the social situation of pedophilically oriented persons, and even the affected children, as scandalous. As of this point, society still has no significant interaction with the phenomenon of pedophilia and the persons involved in it, insofar as it has really not dealt with them outside of criminal proceedings.

The author has endeavored to portray the subject objectively, and moreover to keep legal, moral, and clinical perspectives separate.

This approach to the subject of pedophilia/pedosexuality is not an obvious one. As it was in the past, current literature, still adhering to the sexual abuse paradigm, is frequently permeated with mora1istic indignation.

Meanwhile, in the '90s there was a push, though not reflected in the research, to seek to depict the distinguishing features of this population more fairly (i.e. objectively).

What is noteworthy about the current study is that it established that a -- for this field -- very large number of participants can in fact be reached. This was successful because, among other reasons, an attempt was made to approach these people openly and without pre-conviction or disparagement. Moreover, contact was established with persons who work on a professional basis with pedophilic men, within the scope of outpatient counseling/therapy.

In the introductory, theoretical portion, the underlying sexual-science perspective on pedophilia is initially presented, which involves treating an adult's sexually-tinged love-interest in a child phenomenologically.

What follows is a determination of notions relating to health, illness, and self-concept, within the context of the underlying psychological mechanism framework, as it applies to the social situation of the pedophile minority.

In the empirical portion there ensues a detailed demographic description of the participants and a comprehensive presentation of findings.

A discussion of the results immediately follows the posing of the primary and secondary questions.

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