The Primary Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse
Stopping child sexual abuse... before it can happen.

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Supporting Pedophiles And MAPs

In case you are unaware of the distinction between a pedophile and a MAP, a pedophile is someone with an attraction to prepubescent children, while a MAP is someone attracted to minors in general. MAP stands for Minor Attracted Person(s).

Believe it or not, the majority of those who harm children sexually are not attracted to them. In fact, one study showed that one-third of sexual abusers of children have pedophilia while two-thirds do not, a Dutch study (p. 65-66) found that 20% of sexual abusers of children have minor attraction (not just pedophilia), while Michael Seto's estimate is that 50-60% of those who sexually offend against children (any offense) have pedophilia. While determining precise numbers is difficult due to underreporting, it is clear that a significant number of sexual crimes against children are perpetrated by someone with a sexual attraction to children.

Anti-Contact Vs. Pro-Contact

Within the pedophile community, there are two main groups: Those that are against sexual contact with children, and those who are for sexual contact children, anti-contact and pro-contact, respectively. The best course of action is to support the anti-contact community, and encourage them to have peer support. Why, you ask? By giving more attention to the anti-contact community, and ignoring the pro-contact community, pedophiles who are against sexual abuse will naturally become the louder voice. In doing so, they will attract pedophiles who are young or do not yet have an opinion on their attractions. By doing this, we can encourage pedophiles to avoid harming children, either through imagery or with a contact offense.

What The Experts Say

This idea is not new. In fact, three major experts in preventing sexual harm answered questions about this recently during a special I-AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on Reddit in December. Maia Christopher is the Executive Director of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, Karen Baker is the director of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, and Michael Seto is one of the foremost experts on pedophilia and editor of Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment. The overwhelming opinion in the professional sexual violence prevention community is that helping pedophiles by offering peer/professional support is the best way to ensure that pedophiles do not harm children, and suggest that reducing the stigma against pedophilia (the attraction) will help this endeavor and protect children.

For every pedophile that gains a community of like-minded peers that are dedicated to remaining law-abiding, they have social support from people that understand them. For every pedophile that gains professional help, they have the potential of finding a community to support them. In doing so, they lessen the risk factors like depression, anxiety, and self-hate that can lead to acting out against a child, or themselves. We can also help them avoid the pro-contact community and the damaging ideas they espouse. When a pedophile can get support without harming a child, it is not only a win for the pedophile, but also for preventing sexual abuse.