Expanding the Focus of Research on Minor-Attracted People

Saturday, September 22, 2018, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Baltimore, MD

This day-long symposium facilitated the exchange of ideas among researchers, scholars, mental health professionals, minor-attracted people, and others who have an interest in research on people who are attracted to children or young adolescents (MAPs). A growing number of researchers and practitioners are realizing the inadequacy of common perceptions of MAPs and the importance of studies that move beyond abuse prevention toward understanding the development and well-being of MAPs. This symposium addressed critical issues regarding the mental health of MAPs, treatment approaches that go beyond prevention, and educating practitioners and students in the mental health, human sexuality, and related fields. Social workers and psychologists who attended received 6 CEUs.

Keynote Talk

Beyond Beliefs: Changing the Dialog about Minor-Attraction
We don’t choose our sexual interests, but we choose what we do and how we think about our identity. This talk offered a summary of research describing what MAPs tell us about their therapeutic needs and the barriers to help-seeking. A framework was offered for reducing stigma, changing the dialogue, and improving access to ethical, relevant, competent, and compassionate clinical services best suited to help MAPs with their unique mental health needs and counseling goals.

Paper Presentations

(Click on the title to download the slides that were presented.)

Help-Seeking Among Minor Attracted Persons
Melissa Grady, PhD, MSW, LICSW, The National School of Social Service, The Catholic University of America
Shelley Kavanagh, MSW, LCSW, School of Social Work, Barry University
George Mesias, MSW, LCSW, The Catholic University of America

Experiences During Adolescence in a Sample of Individuals with Attraction to Children
Maggie Ingram, MHS, Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins University

A Major Gap in Education: Future Mental Health Practitioners’ Attitudes toward MAPs
Allyson Walker, PhD, MSW, Pennsylvania State University Wilkes-Barre
Erin Nichols, MSW, College of Social Work, University of Utah

Lay Perceptions of Non-Offending Pedophilia
Aravis Walters, Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia

Roundtable Discussions

Epistemic Injustice through a Minor Attracted Lens
Finlay Smith, MAP

Constructing a Brief Intervention to Reduce Stigma Towards Minor-Attracted Persons
Crystal Mundy, MA, Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia
Maia Rae Terran, Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia

A New Agenda for Research on MAPs
Richard Kramer, B4U-ACT

In addition to the paper presentations and structured discussions listed above, an informal and unstructured time for further discussions and networking occurred on Sunday from 10 am until approximately 4 pm.