Separating behavior from attraction is essential. It is generally assumed that those who commit child sexual abuse (CSA) are MAPs by extension; contrary to this belief, they often are not (Bailey, Bernhard, & Hsu, 2016). In most samples, they make up the sizable minority, not majority, of offenders (Beech & Harkins, 2012).

Estimates of preferential attraction for children among those who offend are often in the ballpark of 25% to 50% (Beier, 2015; Seto, Cantor, & Blanchard, 2006; Schaefer et al., 2010; Maletzky & Steinhauser, 2002; Seto & Lalumière, 2001). Bailey, Bernhard, & Hsu (2016) found that of the 1,102 MAPs they surveyed, 85% had never been arrested for or convicted of sexual offenses, though they also noted the figure may have been elevated due to potential unknown offenses. Evidence suggests that non-offending MAPs actually have better inhibitory control abilities than offending MAPs on both a neurobiological and behavioral basis (Kärgel et al., 2016; Jorden et al., 2018). Studies also report pathological symptoms or personality disorders as important correlations with sexual offending (Cohen et al., 2002; Gerwinn et al., 2018; Neutze, Seto, Schaefer, Mundt, & Beier, 2010). Overall, these point to other concrete factors as predictors of sexual offenses against children than minor attraction itself (Massau et al., 2017; Mitchell & Galupo, 2016).

References

Bailey, J.M., Bernhard, P.A., & Hsu, K.J. (2016). An Internet Study of Men Sexually Attracted to Children: Correlates of Sexual Offending Against Children. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 125(7), 989-1000.

Beech, A.R. & Harkins, L. (2012). DSM-IV paraphilia: Descriptions, demographics and treatment interventions. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 17, 527-539.

Beier, K.M. (2015). The German Dunkelfeld Project: Proactive Strategies to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and the Use of Child Abusive Images. Paper presented at the 8th Annual International Forum 2014 within the German Congress on Crime Prevention. Mönchengladbach, DE: Forum Verlag Godesberg GmbH.

Cohen, L.J., Nikiforov, K., Gans, S., Poznansky, O., McGeoch, P., Weaver, C., … Galynker, I. (2002). Heterosexual Male Perpetrators of Childhood Sexual Abuse: A Preliminary Neuropsychiatric Model. Psychiatric Quarterly, 73(4), 313-326.

Gerwinn, H., Weiß, S., Tenbergen, G., Amelung, T., Födisch, C., Pohl, A. … Kruger, T.H.C. (2018). Clinical characteristics associated with paedophilia and child sex offending – Differentiating sexual preference from offence status. European Psychiatry, 51, 74-85.

Jorden, K., Fromberger, P., Müller, I., Wernicke, M., Stolpmann, G., & Müller, J.L. (2018). Sexual interest and sexual self-control in men with self-reported sexual interest in children – A first eye tracking study. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 96, 138-144.

Kärgel, C., Massau, C., Weiß, S., Walter, M., Borchardt, V., Krueger, T.H.C. … Schiffer, B. (2016). Evidence for Superior Neurobiological and Behavioral Inhibitory Control Abilities in Non-Offending as Compared to Offending Pedophiles. Human Brain Mapping, 00(00), 1-13.

Maletzky, B.M. & Steinhauser, C. (2002). A 25-Year Follow-Up of Cognitive/Behavioral Therapy With 7,275 Sexual Offenders. Behavior Modification, 26(2), 123-147.

Massau, C., Tenbergen, G., Kärgel, C., Weiß, S., Gerwinn, H., Pohl, A., … Schiffer, B. (2017). Executive Functioning in Pedophilia and Child Sexual Offending. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 23, 1–11.

Mitchell, R.C. & Galupo, M.P. (2016). Interest in child molestation among a community sample of men sexually attracted to children. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 22(2), 224-232. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13552600.2015.1056263.

Neutze, J., Seto, M.C., Schaefer, G.A., Mundt, I.A., & Beier, K.M. (2010). Predictors of Child Pornography Offenses and Child Sexual Abuse in a Community Sample of Pedophiles and Hebephiles. Sexual Abuse, 23(2), 1-41.

Schaefer, G.A., Mundt, I.A., Feelgood, S., Hupp, E., Neutze, J., Ahlers, C.J., … Beier, K.M. (2010). Potential and Dunkelfeld offenders: Two neglected target groups for prevention of child sexual abuse. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 33, 154-163.

Seto, M.C. & Lalumière, M.L. (2001). A Brief Screening Scale to Identify Pedophilic Interests Among Child Molesters. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 13(1), 15-25.

Seto, M.C., Cantor, J.M., & Blanchard, R. (2006). Child Pornography Offenses Are a Valid Diagnostic Indicator of Pedophilia. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 115(3), 610-615.