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Behavioral methods

Behavioral methods have as their goal the reduction or elimination of deviant arousal and the increase of nondeviant arousal. They are based on the assumption that sexual attraction can be modified through the application of principles developed in the early 1900ís by Ivan Pavlov in his studies of dog salivation, and B.F. Skinner in his studies of learning in rats.24

All behavioral methods are based on the idea of conditioning--associating pleasant feelings with desired behavior, and associating unpleasant feelings with undesired behavior. Thus, as applied to pedophilia and ephebophilia, the methods attempt to connect physical or emotional pain, fear, or shame to sexual attraction or behavior involving minors.25

The methods are easy to implement, and have been widely used since the 1930ís with homosexuals, exhibitionists, pedophiles, ephebophiles, voyeurs, and rapists. Although these methods are no longer used with homosexuals, they are still used with the other groups, and researchers say their implementation and effectiveness with these groups have been the same as with homosexuals.26

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24. Langevin, 1983.

25. Council on Scientific Affairs of the American Medical Association, 1987; Matson & DiLorenzo, 1984; Hall, 1996; Langevin, 1983.

26. Council on Scientific Affairs of the American Medical Association, 1987; Crawford, 1981; Langevin, 1983; McConaghy, 1999.