Vorige Start Omhoog Volgende

3.2.4 Horst Vogt, Pedophilia 
The Leipziger Study of the Social and Psychical Situation of Pedophilic Men 

Pabst Science Publishers, Lengerich, 2006  

This is a translation of 
Pädophilie; Leipzicher Studie zur gesellschaftlichen und psychischen Situation pädophiler Männer -
ISBN-10: 3-89967-323-9; ISBN-13: 978-3-89967-323-4.

The translation will gradually be given here on the Ipce website

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-genetically [*] 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. 

[* 'saluto-genetic', a neologism for 'health benefiting', versus (later in the text) 'patho-genetic', a neologism for 'illness stimulating' - Ipce.]

As for the self-image of functional social potency, the only differences vis-ā-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 time 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 saluto-genetic  significance. First in patho-genetic 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-genetically 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-ā-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. 

9. Conclusions and Recommendations

The stated goal of this pilot study was to capture the self-concept characteristics, sense of  well-being, and feelings of being under stress of pedophilic men from general as well as  differential perspectives using quantitative and qualitative methodologies. 

The results  make it clear that the social status of primarily pedophilic men is, in the long run, an  untenable situation, which is presumably even more brutal than that which faced  homosexuals in the 1970s. Although sexual science's theoretical viewpoint on and  assessment of the phenomenon are quite different matters, many authors have called for a more constructive social approach with this marginal group. In the final analysis, with any change in approach the highest priority would be given to the presumed well-being of  the child, which would be the decisive factor. 

(Stöckl, 1998; Seikowski, 1999;  Bundschuh,  2001;  Dieth, 2004)

The conceptual framework underlying this study, that of operational psychology, suggests that pursuing an exclusively interventionist approach -- moving away  from making improvements in act-regulatory capabilities and general well-being -- is  inadequate. If they are to be taken more seriously, it would of course be a good idea to  provide locally-based and anonymous offers of therapy to pedophilic men. Albeit slowly,  the first steps toward this have already been taken (Berlia's pilot project at Charité). 

A more effective and constructive approach with this marginal group would, however,  only be possible if the social circumstances were also addressed, and the conditions of  isolation were overcome. Both pedophilic persons as well as -- indirectly -- the effected  children would thereby be helped. Implicit in the operational psychology conceptual framework is an assumption that because it is too much for him or her, a child can  potentially be primarily or secondarily harmed by a sexual advance as well as the circumstances surrounding it (the child becomes the bearer of secrets). 

Under current conditions, the risk of secondary harm to children is presumably such  higher that it would be if the phenomenon were dealt with in a more objective and  intercessory manner (e.g., extra-juridical resolution, mediation). This point of view is also  increasingly present in the English speaking realm. The argument is typically along the  lines that because there would thereby be greater controllability, the best prevention  would be the social integration of this minority. (Silverman & Wilson, 2002). 

In the author's opinion, it is incumbent upon a humanistic-oriented sexual science to  contribute to the de-demonization of persons with this sexual orientation. Important  starting points for this endeavor lay in the areas of teaching, research, and politics. 

In the several years of a psychologist's training, university curricula should devote at least  a few hours to considering the phenomenon and its attendant social problems from  various perspectives. Insofar as it is possible, it would be a good idea to invite those  concerned to be interview partners in these sessions, so that each student can also get a  personal impression of these individuals. To the extent that it actually has been  addressed, chiefly by psychology faculties in Germany, there has not been one word as to  the differentiability of this sexual science topic. 

It would be helpful to have additional empirical research whose stated aim is to provide  discernible benefits to effected children as well as pedophilic men. The finding of the  present work suggest that it would be interesting to classify a larger number of pedophilic men who are living abstinently in terms of their sense of well-being and  feelings of being under stress and then compare them, via interview, with reference to  individual mastery-styles. Such a research plan would encompass ideas relating to  prevention, while simultaneously supplying important suggestions for counseling or  therapy directed towards the population of pedophilic men. This could provide an  answer to the question of which abstinent, individual lifestyles, under what conditions , are more likely to be saluto-genetically favorable or unfavorable. 

A clear improvement in the life-situation. of pedophilic persons can be attained  chiefly trough a de-pathologization of the phenomenon on the sexual-political level. (APA, WHO) When the point of reference is the norm of compulsory heterosexuality and the psychoanalytic paradigm, there are among pedophiles --  just as with gays and lesbians -- real psychodynamic peculiarities in the sexual sphere, with important psychical functions. In the sexual sphere they are simply differently and immutably oriented. 

As Rauchfleisch (1996) makes clear, a pathologizing approach leads to exclusion and stigmatization. This should not be the psychologist's job. For purely pragmatic reasons, the deletion or de-listing of the primary form of pedophilia (the same applies to transsexuals) in the international diagnosis system ICD-10 and DSM-IV-TR is to be demanded (See Green 2002). 

Whether it is a form of pathology or not cannot, in the final analysis, be answered by supposedly 'objective science'; rather, it is, as in the analogy to homosexuality, a morally and ethically influenced values question which is socially constructed. It has simply become politically correct to not declare homosexuals disordered on the basis of their sexual orientation. The same should apply to persons with a pedophilic orientation. 

Furthermore, given the fact that most of those effected find them helpful, the question arises as to what extent pedophile self-help groups are worthy of social support (e.g. making space available, club memberships, etc.). In the media, pedophile self-help groups are sometimes categorically characterized as criminal rings. Based on the author's experience, there are some serious pedophile self-help groups which incorporate expert psychological care (e.g. in Frankfurt) that certainly do not constitute criminal organizations, and which are worthy of support. This is also Dieth's (2004) impression. 

Partly due to the pedophile emancipation movement, the demand for sex with children has been brought out into the open with a vengeance. Such demands are counterproductive and are likely to foster prejudice against the pedophile minority, making the former even stronger. There is no doubt that the inner views of a major portion of pedophiles are simply not comparable to those of the average citizen. 

It should be emphasized that there is no general perceptual disorder among those affected. In personal conversations, respondents were clearly in a position to recognize potentially harmful aspects for the children; among 'dark number' pedophilic men, there is no lack of reflective ability per se. The SSF results also speak to this. 

However, when criminally convicted pedophiles are considered part of this 'clear number' -- which is normally the case -- additional aspects such as the 'perpetrator-responsibility defense-system' (Deegener, 1995) and 'self-exchange actions' (Berner, 1985) must also be considered when assessing perception. Under these conditions, a pedophile would not behave any differently from any other sexual delinquent ('of course they wanted it'), which has to do with justification pressures. 

Pedophilic men's inner view -- that sexual contacts with children do not automatically  lead to detectable harm to the boy or girl -- is in fact anchored in reality. 

(See. e.g., Sandfort, 1986; Rind, Tromovitch and Bausermann, 1998

A different approach to this subject will strike many people as provocative, and will  obviously arouse strong fears about the decline of moral values. (Jenkins, 1998*) Due to  the high degree of downright hatred directed towards this minority, great significance  must be attributed to projective mechanisms. 

[* For Jenkins, go to < http://www.ipce.info/ipceweb/Library/reg_j.htm > and scroll to "Jenkins".]
(Hauptmann, 1975; Bornemann, 1985; Griesemer, 2004c)

Phallometric studies show that there is a large number of men with secondary  pedophilic tendencies. (Berner, 2002) Moreover, a large number of female victims exist. Both  influence factors bolster this assumption. 

What in more recent times has become a classic example of the manifestation of a panic  over the decline of traditional values are the reactions in the United States to the large  meta-analysis by Rind, Tromovitch & Bauserman (1998). This study, adjudged 
by peer reviews to be scientifically correct, which was published in the American  Psychological Association's (APA) respected technical journal Psychological Bulletin, was  demonized by the American Congress, on the basis of moralistic value judgments, 
as untrustworthy. In the United States, Republican politics combined with moralistic  judgments arrogate to themselves the right to decide which research is scientifically  proper and which is not. Obviously the only scientific results approved by  politics are those which are in accord with its own particular image of the world. 

Those reactions can be explained in terms of mechanisms and assumptions which Jenkins (1998) and -- above all -- Jost et al. (cited in Stöcker, 2003), describe, 'particularly in a  strongly Christian-imprinted country with a real and palpable tendency towards  encroaching religious fanaticism (Chomsky, 2004). 

On July 3rd, 2003 in the German parliament, a proposed law to strengthen reporting  requirements, which would have criminalized scientific studies in the area of  pedosexuality, was rejected. 

It is the view of Grandt & Jamin (2002) that the nature and ways in which sexual offenses  are dealt with governmentally, in research in this area, and in media reports represents a 
great challenge for every social community. Constructiveness in dealing with this  difficult subject would, in the final analysis, be a good indicator of how well a society  grasps the notion of democracy. 

Differences in the understanding of democracy between  the U.S. (see, e. g. , "Megan's Law") and 'Old Europe' are still discernible. However, there  is, in our country [Germany], also the following problem: Researchers who do not condemn this phenomenon from the very beginning make themselves targets and have in  the past sometimes been slandered by colleagues, which has not contributed to  a constructive discussion of the topic. Perhaps it might be necessary and sensible  to establish definite rules for dealing with one another via the [German] Professional Association of Psychologists (RDP). 

At present, as far as the subject of pedophilia is concerned, it would appear that sexual  science has been turned into the "whore of politics." (see Gigi 1/2006.) A discussion aimed  at improving the social situation of pedophilic men and the children effected  can, moreover, only be conducted constructively if the demand by representatives 
of pedophilic interests for the legalization of pedosexual contacts is tamped down. In the  current Zeitgeist this has shown itself to be fruitless, leading to a dead end. 

Even if harm is not always empirically detectable, it will, with great certainty, remain a  utopian dream to believe ,that pedosexual contacts would ever be legalized at  such-and-such time or place. The pedophile minority really has scarcely any chance of  crawling out of the air completely. Clinging to this Utopia is, however, obviously  important to many pedophiles, while at the same time also constituting -- looking at it in 
a different way -- a kind of tragedy. 

A more humane and constructive approach to this marginal group should be developed.  The author concurs with the option of Schmidt (1999), who writes of the tragedy of  pedophilic men: 

"Pedophilia is exactly like the love that homosexuals or heterosexuals have  for others of the same or the other gender, with the difference that whereas one  is permitted, the other  -- pedophilia -- is fundamentally prohibited, its  realization scarcely even possible. Because of this burden, and the imposition  of not being able to live out their love and sexuality, they deserve respect, not  contempt; solidarity, not discrimination." (pg. 139)

Vorige Start Omhoog Volgende