We know from science and clinical experience that there are individuals out in the world who acknowledge an attraction to children, also known as minor attraction.
What do we really know?
The most recent science about minor attraction suggests that the age of the people we are attracted to is influenced by our brain structures and, thus, not a choice. Many people who have this attraction also have NOT engaged in any behavior with a child as they realize that acting on their attraction is never appropriate.
If these folks want help to ensure that they never act on these attractions or to process their feelings about the attraction, where do they go?
Struggling with excessive sexual thoughts, urges, or activities that are causing you distress? Take the free, online Sexual Symptom Assessment Scale (SSAS) and get a link to share with your therapist.
Where can they go?
Most of the time they do not seek help for fear of what may happen if they disclose this attraction. The fear of stigmatization is a real and justified fear.
Many therapists not only are not trained to help others process this form of sexuality, but they outright refuse to do so. There have been a few scientific studies of therapists that have found that they hold the same stigma against pedophilia that the general public does. So much for non-judgmental!
Where might someone go for treatment who wants to process their minor attraction. While there are therapists out there who are trained to help people process this attraction, these resources are few and far between.
Preparing a sentencing report for a minor attracted person? Get the data you need, quickly, with Mitigation Aide.
Enter: Troubled Desires
Doctors at The Institute of Sexology and Sexual Medicine at Charite-Universitatsmedzin Berlin created Troubled Desire specifically for this purpose. The website provides an anonymous online self-management program for individuals who experience an attraction to children. The University acknowledged that there was a great need for services for individuals who could not find a suitable therapist near them.
By providing resources and support for individuals who are attracted to children who have not offended, they are practicing primary prevention, meaning helping people not offend against children in the first place, as opposed to secondary prevention. Unfortunately, the normal state of affairs is that we engage in secondary prevention, helping someone not offend AGAIN, after they already have done so.
If you or someone you know may be struggling with minor attraction or has questions about their attraction to children, we suggest they check out the free, anonymous online course from Troubled Desire.
Have you found yourself in legal trouble due to your sexual behavior? Seek assistance before the court mandates it, with Sexual Addiction Treatment Services.
Do you feel your sexual behavior, or that of someone you love, is out of control? Consult with a professional.
Are you looking for more reputable data-backed information on sexual addiction? The Mitigation Aide Research Archive is an excellent source for executive summaries of research studies.