Determinants of Punitive Attitudes Toward People with Pedophilia: Dissecting Effects of the Label and Intentionality Ascriptions…


Date: August 30, 2017

01) Determinants of Punitive Attitudes Toward People with Pedophilia: Dissecting Effects of the Label and Intentionality Ascriptions

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Recent research has established marked punitive attitudes against people sexually interested in children. These negative attitudes are even more pronounced when such sexual interest is labelled as pedophilia, but are attenuated to the extent that such sexual interest is perceived as beyond one’s own control (unintentional). We explored these effects in more detail by separately manipulating the label (pedophiles vs. people with sexual interest in prepubescent children) and degree of intentionality (pedophilia or sexual desire as malleable vs. not malleable). Participants recruited via an online platform (N = 423) were randomly assigned to the experimental conditions and asked to rate degree of intentionality, dangerousness, deviance, and punitive attitudes toward people sexually interested in children. As expected, participants expressed stronger punitive attitudes when the label was present. The manipulation of intentionality, however, was not successful. Further analyses explored whether participants found the notion that sexual interest cannot be altered at will more credible than the opposite, particularly in presence of the pedophilia label. The results are discussed with regard to the significance of and potential intervention against the markedly strong public stigma against people with pedophilia.”


6 thoughts on “Determinants of Punitive Attitudes Toward People with Pedophilia: Dissecting Effects of the Label and Intentionality Ascriptions…

  1. Yure

    There was that boy, on 8 Chan, who wrote a essay about how society will let go of the moral panic in this century. He advised us to change the way we call ourselves and suggested to use “kindness” in place of “pedophilia”, much like “gayness” in place of “homosexuality”. This study shows that people are more open to discuss the subject and relativize things if the word “pedophilia” is written out. If another word was used instead, our chances of being heard would be higher. The word “pedophilia”, despite being the correct term, became something completely different from what it is in a medical context. People often call “pedophilia” the act of having sex with someone past age of consent if you are much older than them. It’s completely wrong. People don’t know what pedophilia is, but speak as if they knew and are unwilling to change their mind. I don’t like the idea of dropping the word entirely, but sometimes it does look like a tempting option.

    1. eqfoundation Post author

      I’m receptive to “kind”…

      If you check out the current eighth track on my audio message forum [near the top of the blog], you’ll hear me mention this term, at the tail end of the recording.

      …But, I’ve also been out here for about twenty years…as a Child Lover…as a BoyLover…as a Minor Attracted Person…

      There are volumes of my writing, and homemade media, in existence…and I’m not editing or re-doing those.

      To my mind, “pedophile” is a very important term, as it clarifies my sexual orientation, as opposed to a hebephile, or ephebophile…or a nepiophile…and so on…

      I use the word by it’s true, clinical definition…and without shame…and I think more people should set an example, by using these words correctly.

      I’m happy to use the identifier “kind”, or “kinder folk”, or “kind folk”, etc…But I’m an old dog, trying to find a place for “a new trick”, when it comes to changing my style like that…I’m very deeply invested, in the identifiers and ideas I’ve already aligned myself with.

      Welcome to Our Love Frontier, Yure…and Thank you for your comment!

      I do appreciate what is being done with the term “Kind”…I’m just not convinced that it matters in this current era, being concerned with our labels, so much as speaking plainly about our issues.

      Instead, I take what is out there…like the word “pedophile”, and I lay personal ownership to it…so to speak.

      To my mind, “today” is not about convincing the masses…It’s about building a bedrock on which sexually disenfranchised groups can exist and unite.

      I don’t write or speak, for the people who would freak out over the things I write and say…

      …I write and speak for the people who can already see past the stigma…and who can comprehend exactly why I need to be writing and speaking these things.

      1. Yure

        Very well. I’m working with something, along with Hikari. In the DSM conference, Tromovitch made a very disturbing presentation on how most males are probably or already have been attracted to children, concluding that the attraction is normal. What I find disturbing isn’t the conclusion, but the numbers, which are well past 50%. That got me wondering: “why aren’t they part of the movement?” And I quickly remembered who I was before May 2017. The misinformation on pedophilia affects pedophiles. We are taken to believe we are (or most of us are) something that we are not. If people could see that it’s not inherently bad, a possible movement that could spawn from it would be quite big. Throw in the mix hebephiles, nepiophiles and minors themselves, who feel that age of consent pose a problem to their relationships. I agree that making everyone work together and make more people accept themselves to join us could spawn a movement that could rivalize with LGBT. I mean, some people say that the amount of pedophiles in general population ranges from 1% to 5%, but others say that hebephilia is more common than pedophilia. Putting those together in a single movement is a rather tempting goal!
        But, to do that, people need to be informed on what they actually are. Not only MAPs, but also the general population. So I’m working on a text to get things straight for MAPs in first place and general population too. Once it’s ready, I may submit it to my blog or make an own blog for that text and related things (since my blog isn’t focused on attraction to minors). Would you review it, if you have time?

      2. eqfoundation Post author

        Of course I’ll review it.

        You’re correct…hebephilia is enormous…and it is where the bulk of our numbers rests…But it’s also the great taboo…a massive elephant in the room, almost nobody will acknowledge.

        Pedophilia is far larger than most people imagine…as is the case with childhood and teen sexuality…Most of which is not afforded any status of social legitimacy.

        If we could organize, and build our own national organizations…they couldn’t get away with doing to us, what they do to us today…We’d be able to force accountability upon aggressors…We could actually start taking some social power, and stop being victims to the whims of social moral panic.

        On a personal note…I don’t know exactly why I came out of the fog, in regards to the social stigma and brainwashing surrounding my pedophilia…

        …But I think the fact that I am an introvert, probably made a huge impact in deflecting that poisonous paradigm…rejecting it, so that it could not have anymore injurious impacts on me.

        We have the numbers…The biggest hurdle is psychological, within individual “pedophiles”…It’s getting them to see things, for what they honestly are.

  2. feinmann0

    On the topic of punitive attitudes toward people with Paedophilia, perhaps a tad obliquely, I notice ( that a judge in the US claims the public sex offender registry in Colorado to be “cruel and unusual punishment.” The Colorado Bureau of Investigation posts a list of registered sex offenders required under the law. It contains names, pictures, addresses, descriptions and more and readily available to anyone on the internet. But now, Federal Judge Richard Matsch has found that to be a violation of the U.S. Constitution. He wrote that the public has been given the “power to inflict punishments beyond those imposed through the court.”

    Alison Ruttenberg, the attorney for the sex offenders, said they were often scarred for life because of all the public information available on the convicted criminals, making them at risk for vigilantes’ action to have their houses burned down, beaten up or even killed … that is cruel and unusual punishment. She added: “There’s not a single crime in Colorado that has been solved because of the sex offender registry. Sex offenders have probably the lowest recidivism rate of any felon and to single them out for this type of public ridicule and registration is irrational. It doesn’t do anything to keep our community safer,” she said.

    Ruttenberg’s observation on the uselessness of the registry in combating crime is an interesting one, and it would be valuable to gather registry efficacy data for all other states in the US to quantify just how punitive and discriminatory the law is in this area, particularly towards those jailed originally for the victim-less crime of being found in possession of child erotica.

    1. eqfoundation Post author

      There’s been, essentially, the same thing going on in Michigan.

      I don’t recall if I’ve blogged about it, nor the specifics…But, there was a judge somewhere in the state, that made the same type of ruling…I’m pretty certain it’s being appealed.

      This sort of thing has to happen.

      Maybe I have too much optimism in humanity…but, I think the public registers have got to be abolished, if the constitutions [state and federal] are to be upheld.

      …Mind you…of course, someone out there will try to amend any constitution, that gets in the way of these registries…Facts about them be damned.


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