Volume 38, Issue 2 (March 1993)
A Comparison of Sexual Victimization in the Childhoods of Pedophiles and Hebephiles
The association between perpetration of sexual abuse and the offender's own victimization as a child has been well documented in the literature. Various researchers have examined this relationship by assessing the exclusiveness of the sexual abuser's behavior, the gender of his victims and the gender of his own childhood abuser. This study was designed to assess the differences between pedophiles and hebephiles in features of their own childhood victimization. Subjects were 135 pedophiles and 43 hebephiles who admitted to their offences. A total of 42% of pedophiles and 44% of hebephiles reported being sexually victimized in their own childhoods. Pedophiles reported being molested at a younger age than hebephiles. Both groups appear to chose their age specific victims in accordance with the age of their own experience of sexual victimization. Although the cause of child molestation remains undetermined these results support social learning and modeling theories.