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
As for the self-image of functional social potency, the only differences vis-à-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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.