Deirdre McLaughlin Talks About Compassion and Dignity for MAP — Minor Attracted Persons
This episode is about dignity.
Welcome! Today is a special episode where I have a conversation with Deirdre McLaughlin about dignity and compassion for people who are attracted to minors.
We explicitly are not talking about people who perpetrate sexual abuse against children. We are in no way conflating child sexual abuse with persons who are attracted to minors.
And we would like to ask you to consider this.
There are people in our midst who have been dealt a hand where their sexual orientation is attraction to minors and we believe our society could use some support in learning how to talk about this with dignity and compassion.
I am going to present here the list of resources Deirdre put together for this conversation, and leave it at that. Our conversation, in my humble opinion, is grace-filled, caring, and well worth your hour. We pause for somatic grounding throughout, and have been very careful to provide a model for how you might have a conversation about extending compassion to this group where — well where society does not readily extend compassion.
Yes, trigger warning.
But this conversation is therapeutic in nature. We have constructed it as a map of sorts — a way forward. How to have a compassionate, caring, careful, dignified conversation.
Resources for MAP — Minor Attracted Persons
"Child sexual abuse (CSA) is possibly one of the only offenses where people collectively 'feel the response before they deliberately consider the issue.'"
~ Jennifer Parr and Dominic Pearson, Non-Offending Minor-Attracted Persons:
Professional Practitioners’ Views on the Barriers to Seeking and Receiving Their Help
m.a.p.: minor-attracted person
pedophile (a simplified definition): one who is sexually, emotionally, or romantically attracted to children
child molester: a sexual offender who has committed either intra-familial sexual offense (incest) against a child victim, or extra-familial sexual offenses against a child victim, or both
Our Mission: To publicly promote professional services and resources for self-identified individuals (adults and adolescents) who are sexually attracted to children and desire such assistance
● To educate mental health providers regarding approaches needed in
understanding and responding to individuals (adult and adolescents) who are
sexually attracted to children and who either seek or are referred for services
regarding issues identified by such persons or by those referring them for
● To develop a pool of health care providers who agree to serve individuals
(adults and adolescents) who are sexually attracted to children, utilizing the
therapeutic approaches advocated by the organization
● To educate the public regarding issues faced by individuals (adults and
adolescents) who are sexually attracted to children
● To undertake other projects, programs, and activities as the need to do so
Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA)
Grounded in restorative justice principles, Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA)
reduces sexual victimization by assisting people who have committed sexual offenses to lead responsible, constructive, and accountable lives in their communities.
The Prevention Podcast
The Prevention Podcast is dedicated to addressing controversial topics related to sexual violence prevention, education, and outreach. With this podcast hosted by Candice Christiansen, you will learn from leading experts in the field of juvenile and adult sex offender research and treatment, explore dicey topics including the biology of pedophilia, and the truth about anti-contact pedophiles, and hear about various sexual violence prevention programs around the world. We believe that prevention IS the intervention and that accurate assessments and treatment interventions are key to a safe society.
Virtuous Pedophiles, the organization:
● offers support and companionship to pedophiles and other minor attracted people
in a peer-group setting
● seeks to educate the public about pedophilia, including the fact that having
pedophilia does not entail committing crimes
● helps pedophiles never to abuse children and supports law-abiding behavior
● campaigns for better mental health support for pedophiles, including pedophile
● argues against stigmas that create unjust discrimination against pedophiles
supports research that creates a better understanding of pedophilia
● believe that sexual activity between an adult and a child is always wrong, and
oppose legalizing it or making it in any way more accepted
● believe that material that records abuse and exploitation of real children is always
wrong and oppose its production, distribution, legalization and use
Statistics and Facts
(taken from B4U-ACT’S RESEARCH SUMMARY, 2020)
It is estimated that from one in five to most men exhibit some attraction to children or pubescent adolescents, and that for 0.5% to 5% of all males, this attraction is preferential.
(*However, there is no solid data to support these figures. For perhaps obvious reasons, it is difficult to get clear data on this population. Fear of stigmatization prevents many non-offending pedophiles from seeking help or speaking up. Most research has been conducted on those who have offended.)
Though researchers have sought to determine psycho-dynamic, neurobiological,
environmental, and genetic bases for pedophilia, results are usually weak and
correlational rather than causal.
What is certain is that minor attraction follows a developmental arc similar to the more common sexual orientations: It is stable, often realized before or during puberty, and encompasses a clear preference in sexual and/or romantic partners for each individual.
Many MAPs become aware of their attraction before they are fifteen years of age.
Pedophiles and child molesters are not the same thing. In most samples, pedophiles
make up the sizable minority, not majority, of offenders. Estimates of preferential
attraction for children among those who offend are often in the ballpark of 25% to 50%.
In other words, one can be a pedophile and not a child molester, and far more child molesters are not pedophiles at all.
There is a persistent stereotype that those who have broken a sex law are prone to do it again, despite evidence suggesting that they are as or less likely to do so than those who commit other crimes.