The Psychology of Trauma

Sexual Abuse

Were pedophiles sexually abused as children?

There does seem to be a clear relationship between sexual abuse in childhood and the development of pedophilia in adulthood. Many studies have shown a much higher rate of childhood sexual abuse in pedophilic samples than in the general population. Moreover, pedophiles have a higher rate of childhood sexual abuse than do non-sexual criminals and even sexual offenders against adults. As we are learning more and more about how early trauma affects the brain, it is possible that early sexual abuse disturbs the parts of the brain that regulate sexuality, contributing to the later development of pedophilia in some victims.


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