One’s attraction to minors is often an important part of an MAP’s identity, in some cases being the most important aspect of their sexual identity (Cash, 2016; Pedersen, 2017). For some, it is divorced from any traditional understanding of sexual orientation or attraction (Walton & Duff, 2017), and suppressing or being unable to divulge it can lead to feelings of loneliness or social isolation (Cacciatori, 2017; Goode, 2010; Freimond, 2009; Cash, 2016). With no guarantee that coming out in real life will be anything but disastrous, many MAPs take to the internet instead, where they can connect with like-minded others (Durkin, 1997; Goode, 2010). Pedophiles use various platforms, be they social media or dedicated forums, in order to provide support and reassurance to one another, creating a sense of solidarity and a refuge from mainstream society where they feel reviled (Goode, 2010; O’Halloran & Quayle, 2010; Holt, Blevins, & Burkert, 2010), as well as to receive and provide support where they may otherwise never get it (Freimond, 2009). These communities and subcultures may become part of a person’s MAP identity, too.

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Cacciatori, H. (2017). The Lived Experiences of Men Attracted to Minors and Their Therapy-Seeking Behaviors (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Walden University, Minneapolis, MN.

Cash, B.M. (2016). Self-Identifications, Sexual Development, and Wellbeing in Minor-Attracted People: An Exploratory Study (Master’s thesis). Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Durkin, K. F. (1997). Misuse of the Internet by pedophiles: Implications for law enforcement and probation practice. Federal Probation, 61(3), 14.

Freimond, C.M. (2009). Navigating the Stigma of Pedophilia: The Experiences of Nine Minor-Attracted Men in Canada (Master’s thesis). Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, CA.

Goode, S. (2010). Understanding and Addressing Adult Sexual Attraction to Children: A study of paedophiles in contemporary society. Oxford, UK: Routledge.

Pedersen, M.R. (2017). The Politics of being a Pedophile: An anthropological exploration of political engagements and narratives among minor attracted people (Master’s thesis). Aarhus University, Aarhus, DK.

Walton, J.S. & Duff, S. (2017). “I’m not homosexual or heterosexual, I’m paedosexual”: exploring sexual preference for children using interpretive phenomenology. Journal of Forensic Practice, 19(2), 151-161.