3 years ago

Sexual interest and sexual self-control in men with self-reported sexual interest in children – A first eye tracking study

Sexual child abuse is one of the most destructive events for child development. One possible approach to avert it is the preventive treatment of individuals with a sexual interest in children. The aim of the current eye tracking study was to compare people with a self-reported sexual interest in children who participate in the outpatient preventive treatment project “PsM”, pedophilic forensic inpatients, and a non-pedophilic control group. Groups were compared with respect to sexual interest and attentional control in the presence of sexual stimuli, both assessed independently of self-report. Two approaches were applied, namely the initial orientation approach for measuring sexual interest, and a sexual distractor task for measuring attentional control. Our data showed for the first time that outpatients with a self-reported sexual interest in children differed from pedophilic forensic inpatients with respect to attentional control but not with regard to sexual interest. Outpatients showed similar sexual interest in children as pedophilic forensic inpatients. They demonstrated significantly better attentional control than pedophilic forensic inpatients in the face of adult sexual stimuli, but the difference regarding child sexual stimuli did not reach significance. This might reflect a higher capacity for self-control and self-regulation in these patients. Nevertheless, child stimuli remain to be important distractors for them. Our results provide valuable additional information for the diagnosis and therapy of outpatients with a self-reported sexual interest in children. Obviously, these data are preliminary and further studies with larger groups should examine if they are replicable.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0022395617305423

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