Every fifth boy and man is pedophilic or hebephilic

Schuster, Filip; Sep 24 2014
Type of WorkResearch overview


A meta-analysis of all seven relevant phallometric studies reveals that 22% of normal men show greater or equal sexual arousal to child stimuli (individuals up to 13 years old) than to adult stimuli.

Combined results of two of these studies reveal male prevalence rates of about 3% for pedophilia (mostly sexually aroused by prepubescents) and about 16% for hebephilia (mostly sexually aroused by pubescents). Details of these studies are described, and implications of the results for sexual science and society are discussed.


According to existing phallometric studies, approximately one in every five men is pedophilic or hebephilic.

While many might find this surprising, individuals with sexual interest in children nowadays are motivated to hide it, and thus the occurrence of pedophilia and hebephilia appears to be much lower than it actually is.

A similar historical phenomenon is seen regarding homosexuality: around 1860 it was believed by an expert that approximately one man out of 10,000 was homosexual (Herzer, 1987). Today we know that the figure is closer to one man out of 30, and many more are bisexual (Savin-Williams, 2006).