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Okami P., Goldberg A.

Personality Correlates of Pedophilia: Are They Reliable Indicators?

Journal of Sex Research, vol.29, nr.3: 297-328 (1992)


This article critically reviews the literature related to personality correlates of pedophilia. It is noted that "slippage" of legal and moral constructs into operational criteria and research methodology in this field have created impediments to sound professional consensus and the accumulation of a coherent data base. When the construct "pedophile" was separated from the construct "sex offender against a minor," there were no reliable findings regarding "pedophiles." "Sex offenders against minors" were noted fairly consistently to have experienced early disturbances in mother relationships and were found for the most part to be non-violent and not aroused by sexually aggressive stimuli involving children (although a smaller portion were violent and/or were aroused by such stimuli). A subgroup of these offenders displayed the passive, lonely and shy profiles found among other types of sex offenders. With the exception of the tautological diagnosis of "sexual deviate," little clinically significant pathology was found among either "pedophiles" or "sex offenders against minors." Recommendations are made for more productive approaches for future research.

Short Reviews

Critical and extensive review of the literature.


Okami's work is interesting, and should be followed. He argues a much less negative model of pedophilia than most.



[p.302] Indiscriminate interchange of the term pedophile with terms such as child molester, etc., thus prevents the distinction between sexual behavior and sexual preference or orientation to be made.

[p.303] ". . . most data suggest that only a relatively small portion of the population of incarcerated sexual offenders against minors consists of persons for whom minors (particularly children) represent the exclusive or even primary object of sexual interest or source of arousal (Freund, Watson, & Dickey, 1991; Gebhard et al., 1965; Howells, 1981; Lang et al., 1988; Langevin, 1983; McCormack & Selvaggio, 1989; Marshall, Babaree, & Butt, 1988; Marshall & Eccles, 1991; Mohr et al., 1964; Quinsey, Chaplin, & Carrigan, 1979; Righton, 1981; Rowan, 1988; Schofield, 1965; Swanson, 1968)."