Some researchers advocate curing pedophilia through reconditioning methods that alter sexual attraction or drugs that reduce sex drive (AACAP, 1999; Abel & Harlow, 2001; Crawford, 1981; Hall, 1996; Langevin, 1983; Maletzky, 1991; Cohen & Galynker, 2009; Briken, Fedoroff, & Bradford, 2014). These methods resemble conversion therapy for homosexuality, however, and are just as ineffective and potentially harmful (AMA, 1987; Freund, 1981; Hall, 1996; Langevin, 1983; McConaghy, 1999; Grundmann, Krupp, Scherner, Amelung, & Beier, 2016; Seto, 2009). While there is some evidence that these methods have been able to alter arousal patterns, they have shown to be ineffective in altering underlying sexual desires (Laws & Marshall, 2003; Marshall & Laws, 2003; Seto, 2009). The legitimacy of these studies is further cast into doubt by lack of long-term follow-ups, inclusion of control groups for comparison, valid constructs for what constitutes success (Cantor, 2014), or adequate consideration of harmful effects on the mental health of the client.
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Briken, P., Fedoroff, J.P., & Bradford, J.W. (2014). Why Can’t Pedophilic Disorder Remit? Archives of Sexual Behavior, 43, 1237-1239.
Cantor, J. M. (2014). “Gold-Star Pedophiles in General Sex Therapy Practice.” In Y.A. Binik & K.S.K. Hall (Eds.), Principles and Practice of Sex Therapy, Fifth Edition (219-234). New York, NY: Guilford Publishers.
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Grundmann, D., Krupp, J., Scherner, G., Amelung, T., & Beier, K.M. (2016). Stability of Self-reported Arousal to Sexual Fantasies involving Children in a Clinical Sample of Pedophiles and Hebephiles. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 45(5), 1153-1162. doi:10.1007/s10508-016-0729-z.
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Seto, M.C. (2009). Pedophilia. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 5(1), 391-407. http://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.clinpsy.032408.153618.