The Strength of Sexual Arousal as a Function of the Age of the Sex Offender: Comparisons Among Pedophiles, Hebephiles, and Teleiophiles

  • Ray BlanchardEmail author
  • Howard E. Barbaree


Previous research has shown that sexual arousability in human males declines from its peak in early adolescence until old age. This study compared the rates of decline in three groups of males: those most attracted sexually to prepubescent children (pedophiles), those most attracted to pubescent children (hebephiles), and those most attracted to physically mature persons (teleiophiles). The participants were 2,028 patients referred to Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health from 1995 to 2004 for evaluation of criminal or otherwise disturbing sexual behavior, but not for erectile or ejaculatory problems. All underwent phallometric assessment for erotic age-preference. This is a psychophysiological technique in which an individual's penile blood volume is monitored while he is presented with a standardized set of laboratory stimuli depicting male and female children, pubescents, and adults. The experimental measure of sexual arousability was the average of the participant's three greatest penile responses to any stimulus category, expressed in cubic cm of blood volume increase. The results showed that sexual arousability was an inverse function of age, and that there were no differences between the pedophiles, hebephiles, and teleiophiles in the rate at which arousability declined.


aging pedophilia penile erection phallometry recidivism sexual offences 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Law and Mental Health ProgramCentre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada

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