B4U-ACT held its ninth full-day workshop, entitled “Developing Best Practices for Working with Minor-Attracted People,” on Friday, April 28, 2017, in Baltimore, MD. Thirty-seven people attended, including minor-attracted persons (MAPs), MAP family members, mental health professionals, students, professors, and advocates. More details about the workshop are available on the workshop webpage.
Research participants required – University of Surrey
[This announcement is posted on behalf of researchers who are conducting an anonymous online survey of MAPs from the UK and Northern Ireland. As with all studies publicized by B4U-ACT, this one has been vetted to ensure that it has the potential to advance the well-being of MAPs rather than to serve social control goals. It is expected to inform researchers about MAPs’ mental health needs and the barriers they encounter when seeking services to meet those needs.]
We are researchers at the University of Surrey looking to explore the thoughts, feelings and experiences of people with an attraction to prepubescent or pubescent children / young adolescents in relation to voluntary help seeking in the U.K and Northern Ireland (e.g. seeking advice /therapy / counselling / support). We are interested in your thoughts and experiences of seeking help or support for a wide variety of reasons (ranging from seeking advice or support for managing your sexual attraction to dealing with depression/ feelings of anxiety / coping with stigma / relationships / suicidal thoughts etc.)
In this study, we will require participants to complete an anonymous online questionnaire about your thoughts, feelings and experiences around the topic of seeking help in relation to your attraction (or reasons related to your attraction) towards children or young adolescents. We are interested to learn more about your experiences in the UK in order to understand more about the availability of help and barriers to help.
You may take part if you are aged 18 and above, you self-identify an attraction towards children or young adolescents and you currently reside (or have resided in the UK & N.I).
If you would like to take part, please click on the link (or copy and paste the link) below to take you to further information and the questionnaire.
If you have further questions please contact Emma at email@example.com
This study has received a favourable ethical opinion from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Ethics Committee, at the University of Surrey.
Seeking People Interested in Being a Part of a Study about the Therapy-Seeking Behavior of Men Attracted to Minors
UPDATE: Participants may now be interviewed by email rather than voice chat if they prefer.
Male MAPs are invited to participate in a research study about understanding the help-seeking behaviors of men who are sexually attracted to minors. The study is also intended to help identify how mental health services can be made more available to those who are attracted to minors. My name is Heather Cacciatori, and I am a doctoral student of Psychology at Walden University. I am conducting this study for my PhD dissertation. The intent behind this study is to gain an understanding of the professional help-seeking behaviors of people who are sexually attracted to minors. The study will also help provide an understanding of how the decision to seek help or not has impacted your well-being. Your shared experiences will help me understand how you think about therapy, as well as how you believe you will be perceived by mental health professionals. Your experiences will be able to provide an understanding into how mental health professionals can make therapeutic services more readily available to those who are attracted to minors. Upon completion of the study, a one to two page summary of the results will be sent to the parties involved via email.
For those interested in participating, the interviews will be conducted by email or by using free internet-based software, such as Skype. If conducted by Skype, the audio will be recorded, but no video, if used, will be recorded or saved in any way. The interviews will take no more than an hour. Your identity will be protected so any data collected and reported will be anonymous.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
You may be eligible to participate in this study if you can answer YES to all of these questions:
– I am a male who is 18 years or older.
– I am attracted to minors aged 17 or younger.
– I have never sexually offended against a minor or child
– I have never used pornography that involved children.
– I have no intentions to ever offend against a minor or child
– I intend to never use pornography that involves children.
All selected participants must be 18 or over and meet the above criteria. If you would like to participate in this study, please email me at email@example.com to express your interest. When I receive your email, I will send you more detailed information on the study along with a consent form that will require your signature. Once the consent form is received, we will set up the interview.
UPDATE: The researcher has found sufficient MAPs for his interviews, and is therefore no longer seeking participants.
Mikkel Rask Pedersen is an anthropologist from Aarhus University in Denmark writing his final Master’s thesis on the relationship between how minor attracted people shape and manage their identity in resistance to societal representation and definitions of pedophilia, illness and desire. This means that he is researching how minor attracted people position themselves according to statements such as ‘It is only a matter of time before they offend’, ‘you cannot live a life repressing you sexuality’, ‘if they are attracted to minor that must mean they want to have sexual relations with them’ and, ‘minor attracted people need extensive therapy and help to not offend’.
The purpose of his study is twofold. One, to gain a better insight into the lived experience of being a minor attracted person through listening to their life stories. Two, to explore how the discourses in western societies shape, influence and restrict the ways minor attracted people are expected to act. Mikkel wishes to challenge the ways we talk about and understand sexuality and desires to create a more nuanced understanding of how people are not entirely defined by their desires, nor that desire must also mean wanting to act.
The research, therefore, does not focus on how to stop minor attracted people from offending, but how minor attracted people experience exactly such a rhetoric and discourse, always being stigmatized as a reliability. He is conducting interviews through mail and skype, maintaining the anonymity of participants.
B4U-ACT held its eighth full-day workshop, entitled “Mental Health for Minor-Attracted People: Keeping Wellness First,” on Friday, April 22, 2016, in Baltimore, MD. Approximately 35 people attended, including minor-attracted persons (MAPs), MAP family members, mental health professionals, graduate students, and professors.
B4U-ACT co-founder and board chair Russell Dick began the day with a brief history and overview of the mission of B4U-ACT, including a recognition of the contributions of dedicated board members Paul Christiano and Denise Sawyer who died this past year. Psychodramatist Steve Kopp then led an introductory activity which helped attendees get to know each other and become more comfortable discussing MAP issues.
During the first session, Richard Kramer, B4U-ACT’s science and education director, moderated a presentation and discussion of MAPs’ experiences of coming to an awareness of their sexuality and seeking wellness. Richard and another MAP told their personal stories, followed by a time for questions and comments from the audience, and discussion of factors that promote or inhibit attempts to achieve wellness. Some barriers to wellness identified by attendees included the risk averseness of the mental health profession (reflecting tendencies found in society in general) and the tendency to inaccurately think of MAPs and issues they face as being in a different category from those associated with other populations.
The purpose of the next portion of the workshop was to identify components of wellness and discuss how they applied to MAPs. Russell provided an overview of wellness from a mental health perspective, defining it as a healthy balance of mind, body, and spirit that leads to a sense of well-being. He described eight components of wellness: emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social, and spiritual. Then he described how he addressed these components in his own practice with clients, including MAP clients. This was followed by lively discussion.
After lunch, Richard provided an overview and update of B4U-ACT’s recent activities and accomplishments in four areas: MAP outreach, professional outreach, collaboration with researchers, and interaction with media.
The rest of the afternoon was devoted to actions attendees could take to address the wellness needs of MAP clients, as well as possible initiatives that could help move the focus of the profession toward these needs. Steve led an exercise to help attendees identify their strengths and discuss how they could use them to address the wellness of MAPs through therapy or in everyday relationships. Attendees identified several things that MAPs and practitioners could do. For example, MAPs could tell their stories in a way that took account of their audience’s understanding, realize they can walk away from therapists who don’t seem to be a good fit, and work on self-acceptance rather than dwelling on the unhelpful ways that society responds to them. Mental health professionals could provide acceptance, listen and meet the MAP client where he or she is, help the client define wellness and determine areas where work is needed, and inform clients about the limits of confidentiality.
The final portion of the day was devoted to identifying initiatives to which attendees could commit in order to move the profession toward a wellness focus for MAPs. Participants brainstormed a list of about 15 ideas, then narrowed the list down to four initiatives that seemed to generate the most interest: presenting at conferences held by professional organizations, developing a handbook for therapists working with MAPs, creating a therapist referral system, and carrying out an anti-stigma/publicity campaign. Attendees divided themselves into groups corresponding to these initiatives and developed initial goals and action plans. Those who were able signed up to commit to working on these initiatives and selected one person to be the initial facilitator for the group’s continued work.
On March 10, 2016, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation aired a documentary titled “I, Pedophile” (by Matthew Campea and Cogent Benger Productions, Inc.) that makes a false and damaging claim about B4U-ACT, which advocates for ethical and compassionate mental health services for minor-attracted people. The documentary, in reference to B4U-ACT, shows the following text on the screen: “Many of its members have been known to pursue sexual contact with children.” This statement is completely false. B4U-ACT does not endorse or support any activity with children that is illegal or harmful to them in any way.
B4U-ACT has been advocating for access to mental health support services for minor-attracted individuals since 2003. The charity has done this through providing educational workshops, facilitating support groups, and by building relationships with therapists, social workers, academics, researchers, journalists, and members of the general community. B4U-ACT is proud to have received funding from both the state of Maryland and private donors in order to carry out the charity’s important work of helping the extremely under-served population of individuals who identify as having a primary attraction to children and/or adolescents.
B4U-ACT will continue to work toward the goal of ensuring that there are accessible mental health services for minor-attracted persons, and will endeavor to thrive in spite of any misinformation or attacks made against it, as these mental health services are so desperately needed in Maryland and around the world.
MAPs are invited to take part in an online research study which consists of answering an anonymous survey. This study, which is part of a doctoral dissertation, is being conducted by Marc-André Goudreault, postgraduate student in the Department of Psychology at the Université de Montréal. The researchers are interested in examining the psychological and physiological traits of adult males (18 years old and older) depending on their sexual orientation.
If you are an adult male and you agree to participate in this study, you will complete a questionnaire evaluating sexual orientation as well as psychological and physiological traits. You will not be asked questions regarding your sexual fantasies or sexual behaviors specifically. This survey should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
Once the study is completed, the researchers will send a summary of their results and conclusions to B4U-ACT to be made publicly available. This should occur by the end of September 2017.
Allyson Franklin, a doctoral student at John Jay College in New York City, is conducting a study investigating issues related to mental health, stigma, abstinence, and resilience among minor-attracted individuals who have abstained from sexual contact with minors since adulthood. The goal is to understand the opinions and experiences of minor-attracted people directly through interviews. Participants will be interviewed up to three times for 60-90 minutes each, and interviews can be conducted in person, over Skype, over the phone, or through web chat; whichever format is most comfortable for the participant. No identifying information will be requested. If you are interested in participating, click here for more information about the study and how to contact the researcher.
It is with great sadness that B4U-ACT announces the death of Denise Sawyer, member of the Board of Directors, on January 5, 2016, due to complications from her fight against cancer. Denise had served on the board since the organization’s founding in 2003, and in 2011 she became actively involved in the planning of B4U-ACT’s workshops. She played a significant role in helping to shape both the organization and its events for clinicians, and was greatly appreciated for her organizational skills and her commitment to B4U-ACT’s mission. She will be greatly missed.
Brian Cash, a PhD student in the Department of Human Development at Cornell University, is working with Dr. Ritch Savin-Williams to study sexual and romantic development, specifically among minor-attracted persons. He is interested in areas such as self-identification, disclosures, and sexual and romantic preferences. His goal is to bring a perspective to the study of minor-attracted persons that highlights and respects their lives and experiences. As most research to-date has been done with individuals who have had contact with the criminal justice system, his focus is on a broader and more representative population.
His hope is to be able to use the data from this survey to publish papers that provide an alternative perspective to the clinical (e.g. brain differences) and forensic (e.g. risk assessment) work that seems to dominate this topic currently. He wants to shed light on the personal side of the attraction to children and adolescents, emphasizing how individuals with these attractions experience and evaluate their own sexuality.
The survey should take no longer than 30 minutes.
(The survey is now closed, so the link has been removed.)