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Approach and Avoidance Tendencies Toward Picture Stimuli of (Pre-)Pubescent Children and Adults: An Investigation in Pedophilic and Nonpedophilic Samples

Approach and Avoidance Tendencies Toward Picture Stimuli of (Pre-)Pubescent Children and Adults:... The presence of pedophilic sexual interests is considered of high importance for predicting recidivism among individuals who have committed sexual offenses. However, objective and valid assessment methods that are robust against confounding issues such as cognitive capacity and manipulation are sparse. We applied the Approach–Avoidance Task (AAT) for detecting sexual interests in 38 pedophilic men (18 primarily attracted to boys) and 27 male nonpedophilic (11 gay) participants. The AAT relies on automatic approach and avoidance tendencies, independent of cognitive abilities such as memory capacity and intelligence. Approach–avoidance tendencies toward stimuli depicting seminude prepubescent boys and girls as well as men and women are reported. The results were consistent with previous research on the utility of the AAT: Except for pedophiles attracted to girls, the mean AAT scores (approach minus avoidance reaction time for each stimulus category) were positive only for stimuli of the preferred category. A multivariate binary logistic regression approach revealed 80% overall accuracy in differentiating pedophilic from nonpedophilic participants. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment SAGE

Approach and Avoidance Tendencies Toward Picture Stimuli of (Pre-)Pubescent Children and Adults: An Investigation in Pedophilic and Nonpedophilic Samples

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References (61)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2017
ISSN
1079-0632
eISSN
1573-286X
DOI
10.1177/1079063217697134
pmid
29188755
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The presence of pedophilic sexual interests is considered of high importance for predicting recidivism among individuals who have committed sexual offenses. However, objective and valid assessment methods that are robust against confounding issues such as cognitive capacity and manipulation are sparse. We applied the Approach–Avoidance Task (AAT) for detecting sexual interests in 38 pedophilic men (18 primarily attracted to boys) and 27 male nonpedophilic (11 gay) participants. The AAT relies on automatic approach and avoidance tendencies, independent of cognitive abilities such as memory capacity and intelligence. Approach–avoidance tendencies toward stimuli depicting seminude prepubescent boys and girls as well as men and women are reported. The results were consistent with previous research on the utility of the AAT: Except for pedophiles attracted to girls, the mean AAT scores (approach minus avoidance reaction time for each stimulus category) were positive only for stimuli of the preferred category. A multivariate binary logistic regression approach revealed 80% overall accuracy in differentiating pedophilic from nonpedophilic participants.

Journal

Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and TreatmentSAGE

Published: Oct 1, 2018

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