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8. Summary

8.1 Summary of Main Findings 

8.1.1 Self-Concept Characteristics, Feelings of Being Under Stress, and Sense of Well-being of Pedophilic Men in General 

As a whole, the pedophilic men studied exhibit a more saluto-genically unfavorable sexual self-concept than the heterosexual control group. This negative manifestation in 
the sexual self-concept sphere is, in the first place, an expression and a result of the  serious social situation facing this extremely stigmatized sexual minority. 

As for the self-image of functional social potency, the only differences vis--vis the heterosexual control group were unimportant ones. Among pedophilic men, there is a diminished need to establish and form social contacts. This finding can be explained  primarily in terms of self-chosen isolation and a self-protective posture. There are no  indications of either a lack of empathy or de-centering ability or a general lack of social competence. 

The peculiarity of  this socially marginal group lies only in the direction of its sexuality  and its social status, which is associated with a permanently heightened demand structure and requires competent act-regulation. 

About half of the respondents exhibited functional act-regulation with reference to  heightened external and internal demand-structures. Approximately 25% of the research  participants had slight health-related impairments, and strongly pronounced clinical  symptomatology was detectable in a further 25%. The clinical symptomatology  existed  essentially of serious depressive feelings, anxiety disorders, and traumatizations. One  may proceed based on the assumption that there exists a clearly heightened Suicide rate  among the total 'dark number' population, given that one out of every four research  participants was at risk of suicide at the tine of the data collection. There was a trend  towards younger pedophilic men -- i.e., those between 25 and 38 years of age -- being more likely to be affected.

The acceptance of the underlying operational psychology conceptual framework -- that self-referencing capability concepts represent decisive act-guiding moderators for sense of well-being and feelings of being under stress -- was confirmed by the results of the study. 

Consciousness of one's control over the environment has a decisive degree of salutogenic  significance. First in pathogenic significance, on the other  hand, is consciousness of  self-control. There is a medium degree of correlation between pedophilic men's sexual self-concepts and their feelings of  being under stress and sense of well-being. For the self-concept characteristic of self-attention, a substantial relationship to pedophilic men's  feelings of being under stress and sense of well-being was only partially detectable. 

There was a trend in the direction of low "public self-attention" being associated with unexceptional feelings of being under stress and sense of well-being. Due to a markedly low intrapersonal and a very highly pronounced interpersonal potential for conflict, looking at this social group globally, the "private self-attention" component has negligible patho- and saluto-genetic importance. What is critical for the psychological health of pedophilic men is, first of all, the ability to find an individual lifestyle that makes it possible to deal with existing social demand-structures in competent ways. 

8.1.2  - Self-Concept Characteristics, Feelings of Being Under stress; and sense  of Well-being of Pedophilic Men on a Differential Level

The overall sample was divided into sub-groups based on demographic characteristics as well as general and social influence factors. These sub-groups were then  compared with
one another with regard to self-concept characteristics, feelings of being under stress, and sense of well-being. 

The demographic characteristics of "age group" and "occupational status" had clear moderating effects. Among pedophilic men, higher age and being a retiree are associated with unexceptional manifestations in the spheres of the self-concept, feelings of being under stress, and sense of well-being. Being unemployed is associated with a clearly diminished degree of consciousness of control over the environment and sense of meaning. The high number of unemployed among this marginal group is substantially tied to problems re-integrating into working life following criminal conviction for sexual offenses. Among pedophilic men, the demonstrable consequences of criminal conviction include a heightened degree of feeling sexually controlled by society and increased  paranoid ideation. 

The presence of social support is particularly important for pedophiles. Participants with sufficiently present social support evince clearly more favorable manifestations of self-referencing capability conceptions, feelings of being under stress, and sense of well-being than participants for whom social support is lacking. This is assumed to be an   interactive process. On the one hand a relatively stabile act-regulatory foundation is a  good prerequisite for strong social ties; on the other hand, the presence of a social support  network is presumed to have positive feedback effects. 

A consideration of the characteristic "therapy experience" leads one to the conclusion that,  as a rule, pedophilic men require counseling and psychotherapy only during acute crises.  Those research participants currently in psychotherapy exhibited serious impairments in  the self-concept, feelings of being under stress, and sense of well-being areas. Participants  with no psychotherapy or counseling experience were, on the other hand, absolutely  unexceptional psychologically. Among those pedophilic men who had required  psychotherapy and counseling in the past, there were slightly more favorable  manifestations of the self-concept, feelings of being under stress, and sense of well-being  spheres compared with participants who were in therapy currently. However, in relation. to pedophilic men with no counseling or therapeutic needs, the expressed characteristics  were less favorable. It would appear that the provision of adequate counseling or therapy  has a saluto-genically favorable but limited effect. 

The sexual influence factors that are significantly associated with self-concept  characteristics, feelings of being under stress, and sense of well-being include  "pedosexual experience" and the "presence of pedosexual contacts during one's 
own childhood". Among pedophiles, the characteristic of "pedosexual experience" is, in  part, tied to mental health status and the extent of social competency. Many participants  who were successful in mastering external and internal demand-structures had more  pedosexual contacts and relationships than participants who had great life-problems with  themselves and with the world. 

It is also clear that positive feedback processes flow from the presence of pedosexual  relationships, especially in the sexual self-concept sphere. Using sub-samples of  pedophilic men, it was shown -- on a small-scale empirical basis -- that  "sexual abuse" is  not only an observable but also increasingly as subjective phenomenon as well. The  characteristic "presence of pedosexual contacts during one's own childhood" is only  partially related to feelings of being under stress and sense of well-being. What is  decisive is not the existence of pedophilic contacts during their own childhoods per se,  but rather their moderation via evaluation processes as a  large and important influence.  A retrospectively negative or neutral evaluation was associated with clearly increased  clinical symptomatology among affected pedophilic men. Participants who are  retrospectively positive assessments do not differ, in terms of their sense of well-being  and feelings of being under stress, from participants with no pedosexual contacts during  their own childhoods, who are characterizable essentially as psychologically unexceptional. 

No or only very small relationships between self-concept characteristics, feelings of being under stress, and sense of well-being and the characteristics "direction of pedophilic  orientation," "recruitment source," and "use of child pornography" were able to be  ascertained. 

With reference to the "mental health" characteristic, pedophilic men differ from one another only partially in terms of the importance ascribed to more general life-spheres.  For pedophilic men as a whole, the "friends" and "sexuality/partnership" life-spheres are  of  greater importance. Participants with more competent act-regulation significantly and  nearly equally emphasize the two life-spheres of work and leisure time. Participants with  deficient act-regulatory capabilities ascribe a one-sided and strong importance to the leisure time sphere, reflecting the life-sphere of work. 

A large number of men are unable to work due to mental health-related impairments  (secondary disorder-conditioned effects debilitating to the conduct of one's life). This  finding must also be viewed in terms of the problems associated with re-integration. 

No differential distinctions were able to be made with regard to potential sexual conflict  areas. Due to the high risk of being reported, pedophilic men's primary conflict area is the  relationship with the child's parents. The areas of work colleagues and one's own family  involve intermediate conflict-potentials. The relationship with the child and in reference  to one's own sexuality are perceived as having low conflict-potential. 

Because of the high heterogeneity of this population, it is absolutely essential that studies  in the area of pedosexuality take a strongly differential perspective: There is no such  thing as "the pedophile"! 

Ina the selected two-cluster solution, however, a globally comprehensible picture of two  types of pedophilic men is in fact able to be sketched out, from which one might call  suggestions for preventive work. 

In pedophilic men who fall into the first category, there is an extremely negative sexual self-concept: He is communicatively shut off and socially  isolated, has little self-awareness, and exhibits higher intra- and inter-personal conflict  potential. Considerable impairments are present vis--vis feelings of being under stress  and sense of well-being. 
 
In the pedophilic men who constitute the second type, there is a  clearly more positive sexual self-concept. Compared with the heterosexual control group  and normative values for the general population, he portrays himself, in terms of  self-concept characteristics, feelings of being under stress, and the sense of well-being, as  having act-regulatory competence. He evinces lower intrapersonal and higher  interpersonal conflict: He has a problem not with his sexuality but rather with his  environment. 

There is no single influence factor separating the two types; instead a series of various factors play a role, which still need to be examined more precisely. The two types do not  differ substantially from one another in terms of the presence of pedosexual contacts.  Existing act-regulatory competency is not inevitably associated with increased  pedosexual practice. There is a whole series of pedophilic men who have found ways of  living in pedosexual abstinence and who exhibit average and -- in two cases  -- even  above-average senses of well-being. 

8.2 Summary of Secondary Findings 

8.2.1 Participants' Conceptions of Pedophilia 

Lautmann's (1994) results regarding pedophilic attraction to the child's nature and  outward appearance were able to be replicated herein. For the pedophilic man, the  numerical erotic/sexual age-span is to be understood only as a rough orientation. Here it is the existing pre- and early pubertal childlike nature and outward appearance that  constitute primary pedophilic attraction. Phenomenologically speaking, pedophiles are  adults who fall in love with and at the same time erotically and sexually desire boys  or girls. 

In its homosexual, heterosexual, and bisexual manifestations the pedophilic sexual form is a phenomenon in its own right, clearly distinguishable from the hetero-, homo-, and  bisexual forms that relate to teenagers or adults. The terms 'pedophile' and 'pedosexuality' are only imperfect representations of this  complex phenomenon. 

Participants' implicit causal theories reflect, in part, scientific models. Ultimately, all that  can be said is that pedophilic men do not know the cause of their sexual orientation. From  the respondents' point of view ,the pedophilic orientation initially manifests itself in  childhood, and is not amenable to therapy. A genetic cause may play a large role. From the point of view of pedophilic men, there is no deficient or pathological function  regarding their own sexuality. 

8.2.2 Sexual Influence Factors 

The overwhelming majority of the respondents had verified their sexual orientation via  experiences with men and women. The sexual socialization findings suggest, rather, that  what we have here is a primary sexual orientation, not a pathological fear of the female  gender

The sexual abuse hypothesis essentially cannot be generalized to the population of  primarily pedophilic men. At most, the postulated mechanism has the rank of a low-order  influence factor. The majority of pedophilic men have pedosexual contacts at some point  during the course of their lives. The probability of pedosexual practice is partly a  function of age. Initial pedosexual contacts take place primarily in the 25 - 38 age-range.  The existence of current pedosexual relationships, however, is independent of age-group  membership. Hard sexual practices are not a basic component of the primary form of  pedosexuality. 

Pedosexual practices essentially involve playfully-oriented petting or "sexual cuddling".  Overall, the image that emerges is one of genitally reticent adults. 

As a rule, the use of child pornography is associated with the presence of a pedophilic  orientation, and has a general psychologically compensatory function for unlived  sexuality. No statement is able to be made as to whether its use leads to diminished or  heightened pedosexual practice. There was a slight trend toward non-use by older  participants, which can presumably be explained in terms of a lack of facility with the  Internet. 

8.2.3 Mastery Strategies Among Pedophilic Men 

In the past, a large portion of the pedophilic men had attempted to lead alternative sexual  lifestyles, and had found that their sexuality could not be changed. Significant sources of  help were conversations with friends, self-help groups, Internet forums, and an  anonymous counseling center in Switzerland (the Arcados team). Psychotherapy was often experienced as helpful, especially when it was not compulsory. Four primary goals  which pedophilic men hoped to attain through counseling and therapy were: improving  general life-capabilities, finding meaning  and satisfaction, overcoming or managing  affective disorders, and dealing with their own sexuality.

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