Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 111–127 | Cite as

Pedophiles: Mental Retardation, Maternal Age, and Sexual Orientation

  • Ray Blanchard
  • Mark S. Watson
  • Alberto Choy
  • Robert Dickey
  • Philip Klassen
  • Michael Kuban
  • Donald J. Ferren


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.



Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abe, K., and Moran, P. A. P. (1969). Parental age of homosexuals. Br. J. Psychiat. 115: 313–317.Google Scholar
  2. ACSF Investigators. (1992). AIDS and sexual behaviour in France. Nature 360: 407–409.Google Scholar
  3. American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed., APA, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  4. Barbaree, H. E., and Seto, M. C. (1997). Pedophilia: Assessment and treatment. In Laws, D. R., and O'Donohue, W. (eds.), Sexual Deviance: Theory, Assessment, and Treatment, Guilford Press, New York, pp. 175–193.Google Scholar
  5. Bem, D. J. (1996). Exotic becomes erotic: A developmental theory of sexual orientation. Psychol. Rev. 103: 320–335.Google Scholar
  6. Billy, J. O. G., Tanfer, K., Grady, W. R., and Klepinger, D. H. (1993). The sexual behavior of men in the United States. Fam. Plann. Perspect. 25: 52–60.Google Scholar
  7. Blanchard, R. (1997). Birth order and sibling sex ratio in homosexual versus heterosexual males and females. Ann. Rev. Sex Res. 8: 27–67.Google Scholar
  8. Blanchard, R., and Bogaert, A. F. (1996a). Biodemographic comparisons of homosexual and heterosexual men in the Kinsey interview data. Arch. Sex. Behav. 25: 551–579.Google Scholar
  9. Blanchard, R., and Bogaert, A. F. (1996b). Homosexuality in men and number of older brothers. Am. J. Psychiat. 153: 27–31.Google Scholar
  10. Blanchard, R., and Bogaert, A. F. (1997a). Additive effects of older brothers and homosexual brothers in the prediction of marriage and cohabitation. Behav. Genet. 27: 45–54.Google Scholar
  11. Blanchard, R., and Bogaert, A. F. (1997b). Drs. Blanchard and Bogaert reply [Letter to the editor]. Am. J. Psychiat. 154: 137.Google Scholar
  12. Blanchard, R., and Bogaert, A. F. (1998). Birth order in homosexual versus heterosexual sex offenders against children, pubescents, and adults. Arch. Sex. Behav. 27: 595–603.Google Scholar
  13. Blanchard, R., and Klassen, P. (1997). H-Y antigen and homosexuality in men. J. Theoret. Biol. 185: 373–378.Google Scholar
  14. Blanchard, R., and Sheridan, P. M. (1992). Sibship size, sibling sex ratio, birth order, and parental age in homosexual and nonhomosexual gender dysphorics. J. Nerv. Ment. Dis. 180: 40–47.Google Scholar
  15. Blanchard, R., and Zucker, K. J. (1994). Reanalysis of Bell, Weinberg, and Hammersmith' s data on birth order, sibling sex ratio, and parental age in homosexual men. Am. J. Psychiat. 151: 1375–1376.Google Scholar
  16. Blanchard, R., Zucker, K. J., Cohen-Kettenis, P. T., Gooren, L. J. G., and Bailey, J. M. (1996). Birth order and sibling sex ratio in two samples of Dutch gender-dysphoric homosexual males. Arch. Sex. Behav. 25: 495–514.Google Scholar
  17. Bogaert, A. F., Bezeau, S., Kuban, M., and Blanchard, R. (1997). Pedophilia, sexual orientation, and birth order. J. Abn. Psychol. 106: 331–335.Google Scholar
  18. Fay, R. E., Turner, C. F., Klassen, A. D., and Gagnon, J. H. (1989). Prevalence and patterns of samegender sexual contact among men. Science 243: 338–348.Google Scholar
  19. Freund, K., and Blanchard, R. (1989). Phallometric diagnosis of pedophilia. J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 57: 100–105.Google Scholar
  20. Gebhard, P. H., Gagnon, J. H., Pomeroy, W. B., and Christenson, C. V. (1965). Sex Offenders: An Analysis of Types, Harper & Row, New York.Google Scholar
  21. Hare, E. H., and Moran, P. A. P. (1979). Parental age and birth order in homosexual patients: A replication of Slater' s study. Br. J. Psychiat. 134:178–182.Google Scholar
  22. Johnson, A. M., Wadsworth, J., Wellings, K., Bradshaw, S., and Field, J. (1992). Sexual lifestyles and HIV risk. Nature 360: 410–412.Google Scholar
  23. Lalumiè re, M. L., Harris, G. T., Quinsey, V. L., and Rice, M. E. (1998). Sexual deviance and number of older brothers among sexual offenders. Sex. Abuse: J. Res. Treat. 10: 5–15.Google Scholar
  24. Mohr, J.W., Turner, R. E., and Jerry, M. B. (1964). Pedophilia and Exhibitionism, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.Google Scholar
  25. Quinsey, V. L., Chaplin, T. C., and Carrigan, W. F. (1979). Sexual preferences among incestuous and nonincestuous child molesters. Behav. Ther. 10: 562–565.Google Scholar
  26. Slater, E. (1962). Birth order and maternal age of homosexuals. Lancet 1: 69–71.Google Scholar
  27. Sulloway, F. J. (1996). Born to Rebel: Birth Order, Family Dynamics, and Creative Lives, Pantheon Books, New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ray Blanchard
  • Mark S. Watson
  • Alberto Choy
  • Robert Dickey
  • Philip Klassen
  • Michael Kuban
  • Donald J. Ferren

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations