A small number of studies have identified minor-attracted men through means other than their commission of sex crimes--through community surveys, therapists, or pedophile groups.
- One study found that 25% of a community sample of presumably normal men exhibited sexual attraction to children at levels that equaled or exceeded their attraction to adults, but it was doubtful that such a large number acted on their feelings. Thus the authors concluded that attraction to children does not necessarily correspond to sexual behavior with them.3
- A Dutch therapist who counsels men attracted to boys reported that most of his clients remained celibate.4
- A British researcher recently began a study of such "non-contact pedophiles," noting that previous research has failed to consider them.5
Some studies have found that minor-attracted men have many different attitudes, beliefs, and feelings about children and adolescents, with sexual desire possibly subordinate among them. These men often interact with children or adolescents in non-sexual ways that are playful or affectionate, and sometimes establish close, affectionate, non-sexual friendships with them.6
University of Utrecht researcher Theo Sandfort writes that the interaction between men and boys in such relationships may be frequent, sporadic, or occur in pulses. Sometimes the man is a friend of the parents, and interaction takes place mostly in the boy's home. The mutual emotional involvement varies from relationship to relationship. Some men who are attracted to boys refrain from sexual activity because the boy does not want it or because the man believes it would involve too much risk.7