Date: August 29, 2020
This study attempted to measure cognitions about adult–child sex by approaching the issue from a perspective of moral attitudes. We assessed ratings regarding direct and indirect harmfulness, nonconsent, exploitation, and differences in adults’ and children’s sexualities based on a description of adult–child sex without apparent child discomfort among an online sample of 120 pedohebephilic and 89 nonpedohebephilic German-speaking men. The results showed that only 7.5% among pedohebephilic men had equal or less permissive attitudes than the average control, while 4.5% of nonpedohebephilic men had equal or more permissive attitudes than the average pedohebephilic man. Both groups did not, however, differ in their appraisal that children may suffer indirect harm via stigmatization. The findings also indicate that the moral perception of adult–child sex shows little differentiation among German-speaking laypeople. We discuss the relevance of these findings for clinical practice and propose ideas for subsequent research.
We thank Dr. Alexander F. Schmidt, University of Luxembourg, for a critical reading of this manuscript and for his valuable comments.”