PREDISPOSING FACTORS IN PEDOPHILIA
MetadataShow full item record
This was an exploratory study about the etiology of pedophilia which examined the biological, psychological, and social background variables that may predispose men to a paraphilic sexual orientation. The biological variables included were chromosomal and hormonal irregularities. The psychological variables were introversion, depression, moralistic attitudes, and aggression (MMPI scales). The social background variables were childhood losses, relationship with parents, childhood sexual victimization, familial pedophilia, incest, and violence. Data on these variables were collected from a retrospective chart review of former male patients at Johns Hopkins sexual Disorders Clinic. The patients represented six different paraphilic (sexually deviant) diagnostic categories: (a) Homosexual pedophiles (b) Heterosexual pedophiles (c) Bisexual pedophiles (d) Exhibitionists (e) sexual sadists (f) Atypical paraphiliacs. Results of a stepwise discriminant analysis indicated that there were significant demographic, biological, and social differences among these six paraphilic groups. There were also significant differences between the major groupings of pedophiles (homosexual, heterosexual and bisexual pedophiles) and non-pedophiles (exhibitionists, sadists and the atypical group). Demographically, the diagnostic groups differed with respect to age, birth order, marital status, number of children, occupation and education. Biologically, the paraphilic groups had different testosterone levels. Psychologically, the paraphilic groups did not differ. Because only 14 of the 211 subjects had been given the MMPI, however, results of the analysis of psychological variables must be interpreted cautiously. Socially, the paraphilic groups' differences included experience of childhood loss, age of first sexual involvement, use of violence, and incestuous involvement. Two path analyses were conducted to test models of correlational relationships among the variables. The path analyses were conducted first with, and second without, the HMPI scores. Results indicated that two path coefficients were significant: (a) social circumstances, and particularly having a pedophile relative, was related to childhood sexual involvement with an adult, F(4,118)=6.54, p<.001; (b) incestuous involvement with a child was related to sexual orientation, F(1,203) = 11.19, p<.001. It is concluded that although generalizations about pedophiles as a single group cannot be made, a biological predisposition (hormonal irregularities) may interact with childhood familial relationships (father-son) in the development of paraphilias. This study's limitations, suggestions for future research, theoretical and practical implications are presented.