B4U-ACT conducted an online survey of minor-attracted people over a six-week period in March to April, 2011. The survey asked respondents about their awareness of their sexuality during their youth, suicidal thoughts or behaviors, and efforts to find mental health assistance. Responses were received from 193 people. Major findings are given below. Click on each finding for supporting details.
Result: Of 192 respondents answering this question, the most common age of first attraction was 12. Eight-five percent began to experience the attraction while still minors themselves.
Result: Of 190 respondents answering this question, the most common age of first realization was 14. Sixty-six percent began to realize they had the attraction while still minors themselves.
Result: Of 171 respondents, 45% answered yes.
Question: Did you plan a method for ending your life?
Result: Of the 171 responding to the question about suicidal thoughts, 32% answered yes to this.
Question: Did you carry out an attempt to end your life?
Result: Of the 171 responding to the question about suicidal thoughts, 13% answered yes to this.
Result: Of 79 respondents answering this question, the most common age of first suicidal thoughts was 16. Of those respondents with suicidal thoughts, 42% percent began having them while still minors.
Question: Were you able to talk to another person about these thoughts?
Result: Of 85 respondents, 67% answered no.
Result: Of 22 respondents answering this question, the most common age of first suicide attempt was 14. Of those respondents who have attempted suicide, 36% did so while still minors.
It may seem counter-intuitive that the most common age of first suicide attempt is lower than the most common age of first suicidal thoughts. This may be explained in a number of ways. It is possible that those with such thoughts at a lower age may experience them more intensely and may be more prone to carry them out. On the other hand, it is possible that those who carry out an attempt at an older age are more likely to succeed, and to therefore no longer be available to respond to our survey.
Result: Of 159 respondents, 40% answered yes.
Question: Do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?
Result: Of 175 respondents, 82% agreed.
Result: Of 176 respondents, 59% disagreed.
Result: Of 176 respondents, 88% disagreed.
Result: Of 177 respondents, 54% disagreed.
Result: Of 177 respondents, 62% disagreed.
Result: Of 177 respondents, 46% disagreed.
Result: Of 177 respondents, 51% disagreed.
Result: Answers given by 175 respondents:
75%: General societal attitudes
67%: Articles or other materials written by mental health personnel
67%: Public statements in the media made by mental health personnel
66%: Knowledge of other minor-attracted people’s experiences with mental health care
61%: Personal experiences with mental health care
43%: Beliefs of other minor-attracted people
Result: Of 168 respondents answering this question, 42% said yes.
Result: Of 71 respondents answering this question, therapy related to their minor attraction was typically not obtained until well into adulthood.
Question: How satisfied were you with the care?
- I learned a lot about myself.
- My counselor was very understanding and accepting, and I got the impression he knew what my feelings were about.
- The first three that I went to didn’t know a thing about attraction to minors and were just going by the media etc. But then I got to this guy who stayed with me for two years. He was very non-judgmental and very nice to talk to.
- It took years of self-education and becoming comfortable with the therapeutic process to advocate for myself and demand the type of health services that I needed; something that someone in a vulnerable state would typically have a difficult time doing.
- The treatments centered around addressing pedophilia that I received all seemed to be based on a sex offender model, i.e. a pedophile who molests a child. That wasn’t my issue.
- It was all geared towards making sure I understood how bad of a person I am.
- The “information” they shared was not even accurate — not in conformity with scientific research. Also I was not asked to tell my story. I was told how I was to tell my story. Also was forced to submit to and pay for a lie detector test — and had to say I was doing this voluntarily.
- I felt that the methods used to “cure” me of my attraction towards children were invasive of my dignity & privacy.
Result: Of 169 respondents, 27% answered yes.
Question: Have you ever received mental health care for a reason NOT related to your attraction to boys or girls, but that attraction prevented you from getting adequate care?
Result: Of 171 respondents, 18% answered yes.
- With threats of civil commitment and lengthy incarcerations for people who are honest about their issues, it is hard to discuss what is really going on and who can be trusted with information.
- The energy you waste dancing around issues you can’t reveal takes away from the dialogue… It’s vastly counterproductive, and yet I never had any reason to believe that revealing my attractions would’ve been anything less than catastrophic, either.
Age: Of 193 respondents:
3%: Under 18
2%: 70 or over
Locale: 190 responses came from 22 countries:
48%: United States
7%: United Kingdom