Child pornography offenses are a valid diagnostic indicator of pedophilia

J Abnorm Psychol. 2006 Aug;115(3):610-5. doi: 10.1037/0021-843X.115.3.610.


This study investigated whether being charged with a child pornography offense is a valid diagnostic indicator of pedophilia, as represented by an index of phallometrically assessed sexual arousal to children. The sample of 685 male patients was referred between 1995 and 2004 for a sexological assessment of their sexual interests and behavior. As a group, child pornography offenders showed greater sexual arousal to children than to adults and differed from groups of sex offenders against children, sex offenders against adults, and general sexology patients. The results suggest child pornography offending is a stronger diagnostic indicator of pedophilia than is sexually offending against child victims. Theoretical and clinical implications are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Erotica*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pedophilia / diagnosis*
  • Pedophilia / epidemiology*
  • Sex Offenses / statistics & numerical data*