Adult sexual orientation and attraction to underage persons


A random sample of 175 males convicted of sexual assault against children was screened with reference to their adult sexual orientation and the sex of their victims. The sample divided fairly evenly into two groups based on whether they were sexually fixated exclusively on children or had regressed from peer relationships. Female children were victimized nearly twice as often as male children. All regressed offenders, whether their victims were male or female children, were heterosexual in their adult orientation. There were no examples of regression to child victims among peer-oriented, homosexual males. The possibility emerges that homosexuality and homosexual pedophilia may be mutually exclusive and that the adult heterosexual male constitutes a greater risk to the underage child than does the adult homosexual male.

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Groth, A.N., Birnbaum, H.J. Adult sexual orientation and attraction to underage persons. Arch Sex Behav 7, 175–181 (1978).

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Key words

  • pedophile
  • homosexual
  • rape
  • sexual assault