Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 395–407 | Cite as

Physical Height in Pedophilic and Hebephilic Sexual Offenders

  • James M. CantorEmail author
  • Michael E. Kuban
  • Thomas Blak
  • Philip E. Klassen
  • Robert Dickey
  • Ray Blanchard
Original Article


Adult men’s height reflects, not only their genetic endowment, but also the conditions that were present during their development in utero and in childhood. We compared the adult heights of men who committed one or more sexual offenses and who were erotically interested in prepubescent children (pedophilic sexual offenders; n = 223), those who were erotically interested in pubescent children (hebephilic sexual offenders; n = 615), and those who were erotically interested in adults (teleiophilic sexual offenders; n = 187), as well as men who had no known sexual offenses and who were erotically interested in adults (teleiophilic nonoffender controls; n = 156). The pedophilic and the hebephilic sexual offenders were significantly shorter than the teleiophilic nonoffender controls. The teleiophilic sexual offenders were intermediate in height between the nonoffenders and the pedophilic and hebephilic sexual offenders and not significantly different from any of the other groups. This suggests that—regardless of whatever psychological sequelae might also have followed from the conditions present during early development—pedophilic and hebephilic sexual offenders were subject to conditions capable of affecting their physiological development.


Anthropometry Height Morphometry Pedophilia Sexual abuse Sex offenders Phallometry 



This research was supported by Canadian Institutes of Health Research grant 79276 to James M. Cantor. We are grateful to Drs. Meredith Chivers and Carolyn Abramowitz for their comments on an earlier version of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • James M. Cantor
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michael E. Kuban
    • 1
  • Thomas Blak
    • 1
  • Philip E. Klassen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Robert Dickey
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ray Blanchard
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Law and Mental Health ProgramCentre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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