Everyone Deserves Support.
Why is it important to use the term Minor Attracted Person when you are treating individuals who are attracted to various ages of minors?
The term minor is defined as anyone under the age of 18. Therefore, someone attracted to a 14 year old is actually called an ephebephile not a pedophile. Someone attracted to a 13 year old is called a hebephile. Pedophiles are attracted to 6-12 year old children; not teens. Hence why we accurately use the term "Minor Attracted Person" when we discuss providing treatment to men and women with attractions to various ages of minors. We are not trying to "soften the term" or "rebrand" pedophilia to fit in with certain groups. We treat individuals who are attracted to various ages of minors, thus it is accurate to use the term "minor attracted person." For more information on the various Chronophilias (this indeed is a real term developed by John Money's which describes a form of paraphilia where an individual experiences sexual attraction limited to individuals of particular age ranges), we suggest you read Dr. Michael Seto's Article titled The Puzzle of Male Chronophilia, which can be accessed on our Literature page.
Let's explore a common scenario that we hear from men and women (yes, we said women) who come to our program for treatment, shall we? Mind you, in this example we are talking about a pedophile (someone attracted to 6-12 year old children not any age of a minor):
"John" was suicidal. He had been bullied by trolls on social media for most of his life for being different. The bullies were primarily people who claimed, based on their religious beliefs, that "John" was going to hell and deserved to die. They described how they would kill him on his twitter page and people supported their hate. Desperate for help, John sought treatment for his shame, depression, and suicidality. Although he was scared to share about himself with a stranger, he felt desperate for help as he had NO desire to harm anyone, ever. Once he shared about his attraction to children, his therapist told him, "I don't treat sex offenders."
First, let's be clear. "John" is actually not a child molester nor is he a sex offender. The term "sex offender" is a legal construct that one receives as the result of being found guilty and sentenced in the criminal justice system for sexually abusing someone. Instead, "John" has an attraction to children and he wants help to ensure he is safe in society. He is also committed to preventing child sexual abuse by speaking out against it and by showing his support of global child sexual abuse prevention programs on his social media. Why would "John" not deserve support via therapy? After all, isolation and depression are known to increase one's risk of doing something they might regret.
As we mentioned, we also provide therapeutic support to women who identify as anti-contact, non-offending pedophiles and like "John", they have no desire to sexually harm children. In fact, our first interview on our podcast, The Prevention Podcast™ is with "Emma" who is a woman who identifies as an anti-contact, non-offending female pedophile. Her commitment to keeping children safe by being an accountable woman in her community is inspiring.
what exactly is "Anti-Contact, Non-Offending" Pedophilia?
Have you ever heard of the following words used in the same sentence: anti-contact pedophile? How about a non-offending pedophile? Some don't believe that a person who has pedophilia can actually avoid being a child molester or a sexual predator. But, it is indeed possible. After all, this is an unchosen condition that many individuals with pedophilia report being born with. Research also indicates that someone can be attracted to a child without inevitably sexually abusing them. Prevention through providing proper avenues of support is the accurate intervention. According to Tenbergen, G., Wittforth, M. Frieling, H., Ponseti, J., Walter, M., Walter H., Beier, K.M., Schiffer, B., Kruger, T.H.C.(2015) in an article titled The Neurobiology and Psychology of Pedophilia: Recent Advances and Challenges, “From a clinical perspective, it is necessary to stress that there are pedophilic men who restrict their desire for sexual contact with children to fantasies only..." And, we will add, women. Kramer (2011), as cited in Tenbergen, G., et al (2015). addresses a point that currently many pedophilia researchers are facing: "Should we continue to classify pedophilia as a separate psychiatric disorder or as a sexual orientation, when patients harbor complaints not only of the preference but of the pressure under which they suffer?" (2015).
For more information into the minds of men and women who have pedophilia and who have no desire to ever harm a child, you may listen to our podcast, The Prevention Podcast.™ You may also learn more by reading into the mind of an anti-contact, non-offending pedophile Ender Wiggen and others who write articles about their experiences living with pedophilia on Medium.com. We share this information as a resource in hopes of educating our global community on the biological underpinnings as well as environmental factors that often appear to impact an individuals' attraction.
Again, minors include anyone under the age of 18 years of age. Therefore, some men and women enter our MAP program with distress, shame, and fear surrounding their attraction to pubescent children or post-pubescent teens. To call these individuals pedophiles is inaccurate, thus our use of the term MAP. As Dr. Micheal Seto asserts in his article The Puzzle of Male Chronophilia(2016), “A sexual interest in sexually mature adolescents, though socially sanctioned in modern Western societies if under the legal age of consent, is neither uncommon nor atypical." We provide mental health and psycho-educational support for all MAP individuals (MAP is anyone attracted to a minor- so someone under the age of 18).
Let's get back to "John" who deserves support to address his suicidality and shame surrounding his attraction and to assist him in learning healthy tools for coping in his daily life and to remain a safe member of the community. It is important that he is provided with support services instead of being shunned by society and labeled inaccurately as a sex offender. Everyone, including "John" is safer with support.
Everyone is safer with more support
Weekly Global psycho-educational call-in support group For Minor Attracted Persons:
At The Prevention Project.™ we offer weekly psycho-educational call in group for men and women across the globe who have attractions to minors with no desire to cause harm in any way. We use a specific curriculum that includes shame-reduction/resiliency, positive support networks, levels and means of on-going accountability, exploring attractions, aspects necessary to live a relatively "normal" lifestyle within one's paradigm, and more. Most participants use an alias to protect their identity. Individuals like "John" have benefitted from our global call-in group. Having the weekly support of group members who understand their situation as well as caring, non-judgmental therapists who are able to provide psycho-educational support helps everyone remain safe.
Interested in being part of our Minor Attracted Person (MAP) group? Email us!
New! web-based Partner support group! FOR PARTNERS OF MAPS
We heard your call, global community! Starting July 10th, 2018, we will be offering a weekly web-based call-in psycho-educational support group from 5:30-7:00 p.m. MDT to female partners of MAPs as well as those individuals who either have or are engaging in risky sexual behavior of which their partners need a safe forum of support! To register/sign up: email email@example.com or call our office 801-272-3500--state that you would like to be in the "partner prevention support group." Click here for link to our flier.
If you are struggling with minor attractions, including feeling scared that you may harm a child or if you have no desire to harm a child but feel depressed, isolated, shame, and/or are suicidal, there is on-going global peer support. While we offer weekly group and individual support by trained therapists, the following are on-line peer-support forums available 24/7. We know many men and women similar to "John" as well as women who are like "Emma" who have accessed the following peer support. Stay tuned for a women's only MAP peer support forum!
Virped: This is a private and confidential peer support network for MAP (Minor Attracted Persons). As stated on Virped's website, "This website is intended to reduce the stigma attached to pedophilia by letting people know that a substantial number of pedophiles DO NOT molest children, and to provide peer support and information about available resources to help virtuous pedophiles remain law-abiding, and lead happy, productive lives"(retrieved from virped.org website).
B4U-ACT peer support: This is a private and confidential peer support network for MAP (Minor Attracted Persons). As stated on B4U-ACT's website, "B4U-ACT provides peer support through a password-protected online forum where MAPs can talk with each other about issues related to their emotional well-being. These issues may include coping with stigma, fear, frustration, or secrecy, finding fulfilling relationships, working with mental health professionals, living within the law, or any other issues that may or may not be related to sexuality" (retrieved from B4U-ACT Website).
We are thrilled to have launched The Prevention Podcast. Our primary focus is on the prevention of child sexual abuse. Our podcast explores dicey topics intended to educate our global community on the necessary steps we must to take in order to prevent anymore child victims. We went viral within the first week of launching in January 2018 and have been downloaded in 62 countries downloaded on all 4 continents! You can listen to our podcast episodes by clicking on the link at the top of our website. Join us bi-weekly and let's talk about it!
Inspiring hope & change
This is a Tedmed talk by Dr. Elizabeth Letourneau who had the opportunity to meet with an anti-contact, non-offending pedophile. What she learned changed her entire paradigm as a professor and as a researcher in the field of prevention. Worth watching. Thank you Dr. Letourneau for inspiring hope & change!