A few researchers are continuing the encouraging trend of recognizing and studying the harmful stigma that MAPs face. A study published in the January 2015 issue of the premier sexology journal Archives of Sexual Behavior documents what MAPs already know: that there are “high degrees of punitive attitudes” toward MAPs regardless of their behavior, and that these attitudes are increased by “the clinical label pedophilia.” The report’s author also points out that “unlike any other stigma we know of,” the public sees it as particularly socially desirable to condemn MAPs. Unfortunately, the author overlooks the fact that his own use of the unnecessary and derogatory word “deviant” contributes to stigma. In spite of this shortcoming, the study makes an important contribution to the scientific literature on MAPs.
The report, entitled “Punitive Attitudes Against Pedophiles or Persons With Sexual Interest in Children: Does the Label Matter?” by Roland Imhoff, can be found here.