2018 Symposium: Expanding the Focus of Research on MAPs

Event details

  • Saturday | September 22, 2018
  • 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Baltimore, MD

Theme: Expanding the Focus

This day-long symposium will facilitate 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. The symposium will address 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.


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 will offer a summary of research describing what MAPs tell us about their therapeutic needs and the barriers to help-seeking. A framework will be 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:

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

Optional Post-Symposium Event on Sunday, September 23

In the past, many attendees have said that there wasn’t enough time to discuss all of the issues raised during the formal program. For that reason, there will be an informal and unstructured time for further discussions as well as networking and socializing on Sunday for those who are interested. This will be held at the same location as the Saturday symposium, and is scheduled for 10 am until approximately 4 pm, depending on the schedules of those participating. Like an “unconference,” the focus of this time will depend on the interests of participants; it could range from conversations that help us get to know each other better to discussions of ideas for potential new initiatives. Participants will be free to attend all or part of this event according to their interest and convenience.

Continuing Education

Social workers and psychologists who attend the Saturday symposium will receive 6 CEUs.


The symposium will be held at a conference hotel approximately ten miles from downtown Baltimore, convenient to BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. Details will be sent to attendees upon acceptance of their registration.


Continental breakfast, lunch, and snacks are provided on Saturday and included in the registration fee.


The registration deadline has passed.

Contact rdick@b4uact.org or or call (410) 871-8156 to see if there are spaces still available for registration, or if you already registered and have questions.