21 february 2020
Few studies of pedophilia or hebephilia have included questions about romantic attraction. We conducted an anonymous online survey of 306 men who self-reported as sexually attracted to children. The majority (72%) of participants reported they had fallen in love with a child in their lifetime. Participants reported greater feelings of attachment to children than feelings of infatuation. Though sexual attraction and falling in love were strongly correlated, they were not synonymous. Participants who reported pedohebephilia (defined in this study as attraction to prepubescent and pubescent children) were more likely to have fallen in love with a child than participants who reported pedohebe-ephebophilia (defined as attraction to prepubescent, pubescent, and post-pubescent minors). Also, participants with an exclusive attraction to children were more likely to have fallen in love with a child than participants who were equally attracted to children and adults. The results of this study were consistent with the suggestion of Seto (2012) that pedohebephilia could be considered a form of sexual orientation for age, which includes both sexual and romantic attraction.
Martijn, F. M., Babchishin, K. M., Pullman, L. E., & Seto, M. C. (2020) Sexual Attraction and Falling in Love in Persons with Pedohebephilia. Archives of Sexual Behavior, vol. 49, p. 1305–1318. DOI: 10.1007/s10508-019-01579-9
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