Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 819–820 | Cite as

Why the Rush to Create Dubious New Sexual Disorders?

  • Karen FranklinEmail author
Letter to the Editor

The seven published critiques to Blanchard et al.’s (2009) study justifying “hebephilia” as a mental disorder identified numerous scientific flaws.1 These flaws demonstrate the scientifically suspect nature of the construct. My critique (Franklin, 2009) also addressed the broader implications of creating a formal psychiatric disorder that will be used to justify the civil commitment of sex offenders. In his latest salvo in this debate, Blanchard (2010) sidesteps any engagement with the substantive arguments, instead presenting a misshapen little straw man that he then easily demolishes through smoke-and-mirrors statistical machinations.

In Franklin (2009), I mentioned that heterosexual men’s sexual attraction to pubescent girls was “evolutionarily adaptive.” As Blanchard (2010) rightly notes, that term refers to adaptations that enable a species to better survive across time. Scientists regard heterosexual men’s preference for younger female partners as one potential reproductive...


Chili Pepper Civil Commitment Sexual Disorder Hypersexual Disorder Pubescent Girl 
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  1. Blanchard, R. (2010). The fertility of hebephiles and the adaptationist argument against including hebephilia in DSM-5 [Letter to the Editor]. Archives of Sexual Behavior. doi: 10.1007/s10508-010-9610-7.
  2. Blanchard, R., Lykins, A. D., Wherrett, D., Kuban, M. E., Cantor, J. M., Blak, T., Dickey, R., & Klassen, P. E. (2009). Pedophilia, hebephilia, and the DSM-V. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 38, 335–350.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Franklin, K. (2009). The public policy implications of “hebephilia”: A response to Blanchard et al. [Letter to the Editor]. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 38(3), 319–320.Google Scholar
  4. Heaton, T. B., Lichter, D. T., & Amoateng, A. (1989). The timing of family formation: Rural-urban differentials in first intercourse, childbirth, and marriage. Rural Sociology, 54, 1–16.Google Scholar
  5. Kenrick, D. T., & Keefe, R. C. (1992). Sex differences in age preference: Universal reality or ephemeral construction? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 15, 119–133.Google Scholar
  6. Rozin, P. (2000). Evolution and adaptation in the understanding of behavior, culture, and mind. American Behavioral Scientist, 43, 970–987.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.El CerritoUSA

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