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Annotated bibliography: Theoretical and methodological problems

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Feierman, J., "Introduction and A Biosocial Overview," in Feierman, J. (ed.), Pedophilia: Biosocial Dimensions, New York: Springer-Verlag, 1990a, pp. 1-68.

Jay Feierman of the University of New Mexico discusses the narrow anthropocentrism, ethnocentrism, and chronocentrism of much research that precludes accurate understanding of adult-minor sexual interaction. He also addresses several methodological problems, including the almost exclusive use of non-representative samples, the assumption that correlation implies causation, and confusion between pedophilia and ephebophilia and between sexual preference and behavior. Finally, he argues for research into the development of pedophilia and ephebophilia in childhood, and for historical, anthropological, and biological research into adult-minor sexual behavior.

Jones, G., "The Study of Intergenerational Intimacy in North America: Beyond Politics and Pedophilia," Journal of Homosexuality, vol. 20, nos. 1-2, 1990, pp. 275-295.

Gerald Jones of the University of Southern California discusses problems that have prevented research from adding to the professional knowledge regarding adult-minor sexual relationships, including a narrow focus on sexual contact, a reliance on assumptions that contradict well-established scientific findings, the use of legal definitions rather than scientific ones, and the purposeful abandonment of science by some researchers. He also addresses the current cultural climate that makes objective research virtually impossible.

Kilpatrick, A., "Childhood Sexual Experiences: Problems and Issues in Studying Long-Range Effects," Journal of Sex Research, vol. 23, no. 2, 1987, pp.173-196.

Allie Kilpatrick discusses methodological problems which render the findings of many studies useless: failure to use comparison groups, reliance on biased clinical or criminal samples, failure to consider or control for other possible causal factors, and the use of inconsistent, vague, or overly-broad definitions of abuse based on age differences rather than effects on the child. She writes that as a consequence, researchers make invalid generalizations and buttress existing social norms rather than conduct scientific investigations, representing a conflict of interest.

Okami, P. & Goldberg, A., "Personality Correlates of Pedophilia: Are They Reliable Indicators?", Journal of Sex Research, vol. 29, no. 3, 1992, pp. 297-328.

UCLA psychologists Paul Okami and Amy Goldberg explain how the practice of basing theories, definitions, and methodology on moral and legal concerns rather than on empirical ones have led to misleading or invalid conclusions. They describe "definitional chaos" related to the term "pedophilia" and note failures by researchers to distinguish between prepubescent children and adolescents.

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