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8. Causes of attraction to minors

The cause of adult attraction to minors is unknown; in fact, the development of normal heterosexual and homosexual attraction to adults is not understood.29 A large number of theories involving psychoanalysis, hormonal influences, genetics, evolutionary processes, negative socialization, poor parental relationships, and childhood sexual experiences have been proposed, but most have not been tested scientifically, and none are supported by reliable evidence.30

In particular, there is no evidence to support the common belief that sexual attraction to children or adolescents in adulthood is due to childhood sexual abuse,31 or to narcissism, psychosexual immaturity, low intelligence, aversion to adults, psychopathology, neurosis, or any personality disorder. Relationships between these characteristics and minor-attraction have been assumed to exist, rather than being tested scientifically.32

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29. Hall, 1996; Freund & Kuban, 1993.

30. Hall, 1996; Howells, 1981; Langevin, 1983; Li, 1990a.

31. Garland & Dougher, 1990.

32. Langevin, 1983; Okami & Goldberg, 1992; Sandfort, 1987; Wilson & Cox, 1983.