Myth 2: Pedophiles and ephebophiles are violent and want power over their sexual partners.
- Studies of personality characteristics through the use of psychological assessments, such as the MMPI, on average have found low levels of aggression among both pedophiles and offenders against minors.5
- Research shows that many pedophiles and ephebophiles interact with boys in a variety of non-sexual ways and sometimes develop close relationships with them.6
- Researchers who have examined the thoughts and feelings of men attracted to boys report that many find emotional contact as important as, or more important than, sexual activity. Researchers say their feelings and fantasies resemble those of normal heterosexual men’s regarding women.7
- Both non-criminological and criminological studies of pedophiles who have engaged in sexual activity with children have found that the activity resembles sex play rather than sexual assault. It often occurs with the boy’s apparent willingness or initiative, and frequently resembles a "love affair." An overwhelming number of studies show consistently that violence, force, and aggression are rare.8
Glenn D. Wilson, University of London Institute of Psychiatry, and David N. Cox, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia:
Our results are also consistent with previous findings in failing to discover any obvious links between paedophilia and aggressive or psychotic symptoms. The majority of paedophiles, however socially inappropriate, seem to be gentle and rational.9
Paul Okami, Department of Psychology, University of California Los Angeles:
Virtually all research in this field, including studies by the victimologists under discussion, documents the low incidence of violence or forceful coercion in cases of adult human sexual behavior with children and adolescents.10
For more information, see the sections on this site about
6. Okami & Goldberg, 1992; Sandfort, 1987; Wilson & Cox, 1983.
7. Li, 1990b; Sandfort, 1987; Wilson & Cox, 1983.
8. Ames & Houson, 1990; Bradford et al., 1988; Constantine, 1981; Crawford, 1981; Hall, 1996; Howells, 1981; Ingram, 1981; Okami & Goldberg, 1992; Virkkunen, 1981; West, 1998; West & Woodhouse, 1990.
9. Wilson & Cox, 1983.
10. Okami, 1990.