CausesPrint/save versionPrevious pageNext page

Isolated minority syndrome

Danish sociologist Agner Fog takes a different approach to the understanding of pedophilia, and the paraphilias in general. He writes that traditional sexology finds the paraphilias difficult to understand because it ignores sociogenetic (anthropological and historical) and phylogenetic (sociobiological and ethological) factors.

A broader approach would take into account the structure of society and the evolutionary history of humans. The benefits of such an approach, he argues, have already been seen in society’s improved understanding of homosexuality.

Based on this approach, Fog introduces the isolated minority syndrome, which he says explains the situation of a person whose sexuality is not accepted by the surrounding society. Due to his isolation from others like him, such a person cannot learn the most appropriate way to live with his sexuality. As a result, his sexual behavior becomes extremely stereotypical, inflexible, and uncontrolled.

Suppression of feelings, frustration, low self-esteem, social stigmatization, and isolation may lead to substance abuse, non-sexual crimes, suicide, projection of the deviant impulses onto other persons, violence against the sexual object, or an outburst of uncontrollable sexuality. Fog proposes that these symptoms are often believed to be characteristic of the paraphilias themselves, but are in fact secondary symptoms of the social suppression.14

Print/save version Previous Next
14. Fog, 1992.