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State of research

Many studies have attempted to show that pedophiles fit a typical personality profile characterized by such traits as social inadequacy, tendency toward anxiety or depression, low intelligence, excessive religiosity, puritanical attitudes, narcissism, gender pathology, psychosexual immaturity, aversion to women and adult sexuality, and lack of aggressiveness.1

These studies have suffered from numerous flaws:

Reports of personality characteristics of pedophiles are often unreliable.

One flaw that characterizes almost every study is the use of incarcerated offenders or clinical populations (those who have received psychological treatment). These studies often overlook the potential dishonesty of offenders.9 Even more importantly, criminal and clinical samples are most likely not representative of pedophiles or ephebophiles in general.10

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1. Okami & Goldberg, 1992.

2. Okami & Goldberg, 1992.

3. Campbell, 1993a*.

4. Langevin, 1983.

5. Langevin, 1983.

6. Okami & Goldberg, 1992.

7. Bradford et al., 1988; Campbell, 1993a*.

8. Langevin, 1983; Okami & Goldberg, 1992; Wilson & Cox, 1983.

9. Langevin, 1983.

10. Campbell, 1993a*; Langevin, 1983; Howells, 1981.

11. Ames & Houston, 1990; Freund, 1981; Okami & Goldberg, 1992.

12. Okami & Goldberg, 1992.

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