Understanding and Addressing Sexual Attraction to Children: A Study of Paedophiles in Contemporary Society

Goode, Sarah D.

Attached is the full text of Sarah D. Goode, Understanding and Addressing Sexual Attraction to Children: A Study of Paedophiles in Contemporary Society, Routledge, 2009, ISBN: 9780415446266

  • Click on the link to the attached .PDF-file below this introduction

Paedophiles exist and we must develop ways of living with this fact while ensuring that children are kept safe. This ground-breaking book demystifies the field of adult sexual attraction to children, countering the emotionality surrounding the topic of paedophilia in the popular media by careful presentation of research data and interview material.

Addressing how we can work together to reduce sexual offending in this population, Understanding and Addressing Adult Sexual Attraction to Children bridges the gulf in understanding between those who want to protect children and those who feel sexual attraction to children – and recognises that they are sometimes the same people.

Sarah D. Goode [*] provides an overview of the topic by defining the term ‘paedophile’ and discussing how many adults there may be in the general population who find themselves sexually attracted to children. She looks at how the Internet has acted as an enabler, with an explosion of child pornography and ‘pro-paedophile’ websites.

Drawing on data from a sample of fifty-six self-defined paedophiles living in the community, she explores themes including self-identity, the place of fantasy and the forms of support available to paedophiles.

Her research highlights the scale of debate within the ‘online paedophile community’ about issues such as the morality of sexual contact with children and encouragement to maintain a law-abiding lifestyle. Throughout, she draws careful distinctions between sexual attraction to children and sexual contact with children.

The book concludes with a valuable discussion on how adult sexual contact harms children and examples of a range of initiatives which work to protect children and prevent offending.

Suitable for all professionals who work with children or sexual offenders, this book gives clear guidance on what one needs to know and do to ensure children are kept safe. It will also be of interest to students studying child protection, paedophilia and child sexual abuse within other social science disiplines.

  • Sarah D. Goode, a qualified occupational therapist, holds a doctorate in sociology from the University of Warwick and is Director of the Research and Policy Centre for the Study of Faith and Well-being in Communities and a Senior Lecturer in Social Care and in Community Development at the University of Winchester, UK.