, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 111-127

Pedophiles: Mental Retardation, Maternal Age, and Sexual Orientation

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Intellectual functioning, parental age, andsexual orientation in 991 male sexual offenders wereinvestigated. Sources of data included semistructuredinterviews, clinical charts, phallometric tests, and self-administered questionnaires. The resultssuggest two main conclusions: (i) Among pedophiles ingeneral, erotic preference moves away from adult womenalong two dimensions: age and sex. The extent ofthis movementis greater, along both dimensions,forpedophiles with lower levels of intellectualfunctioning. (ii) High maternal age (or some factor itrepresents) increases the likelihood of exclusive sexual interest in boys. Intellectual deficiency (orsome factor it represents) decreases the likelihood ofexclusive sexual interest in girls. These two factorssummate, so that a pedophile with both factors is more likely to be sexually interested inboys than a pedophile with only one.