Gunter Schmidt (born 22 November 1938) is a German sexologist, psychotherapist and social psychologist. Born in Berlin, Schmidt has written extensively on the sociological status of pedophilia in modern society. He regularly published with German researchers Volkmar Sigusch and Eberhard Schorsch.
Schmidt wrote the foreword ("The Debate on Paedophilia") to the famous scholarly compendium on "Intergenerational Intimacy" (1991), published as a special issue in the Journal of Homosexuality. There, he wrote:
- A person's age, or the difference in age between the partners, says too little about the nature and quality of their relationship to justify making laws against such partnerships merely on the strength of this information... Each individual case must he looked upon on its own merits and, for this reason, the threat to make all pedophile acts punishable by law can barely be labeled civilized; on the contrary, it is unjust, for it implies that discrimination and persecution of a minority and should he abolished.
By 2002, Schmidt came to less 'radical' conclusions. He faced extensive discussion and criticism of his arguments about harm in intergenerational relationships, and the struggle / need to respect and tolerate the male pedophile, articulated in English in "The Dilemma of the Male Pedophile",. In a public debate with an opposing article by Dr. Richard Green on whether pedophilia (preferential attraction to pre-pubescents) should be considered a mental illness, their two articles inspired a large number of replies from many of the most famous figures in sexual science: Robert Spitzer (the father of the modern DSM), Fred Berlin, Michael Seto, Bruce Rind, Paul Okami, and Vern Bullough. Their responses were collected and published in a single article entitled Peer Commentaries on Green (2002) and Schmidt (2002). Green published a short reply to these commentaries in a "Rejoinder" article (2002), and Schmidt published his own reply to critics entitled "Is There Nothing Special About Adult–Child Sex?".
Schmidt was the director of the centre for sexual research in the clinic of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (Eppendorf). He started many projects for research over sexuality and biographies. He was a director of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sexualforschung (DGfS) and president of International Academy of Sex Research (IASR).
He is the director of a research project Pregnancy and Abortion by Young Women and a member of the board of directors for the organisation pro familia, an NGO for sexual and reproductive health and rights in Germany. Together with Martin Dannecker and Volkmar Sigusch, he is editor of Beiträge zur Sexualforschung (87 editions which is published by Psychosozial-Verlag). Schmidt is also co-editor of the magazine Zeitschrift für Sexualforschung in the Georg Thieme Verlag.
- Photo taken from Schmidt's 1989 interview with Paidika.
- Schmidt, The Debate on Paedophilia (1991). (Non sci hub DOI)
- "Intergenerational Intimacy" (1991) special issue.
- The Dilemma of the Male Pedophile (2002). Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol. 31, No. 6, December 2002.
- Green, R. (2002). Is pedophilia a mental disorder?. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 31, 2002.
- Peer Commentaries on Green (2002) and Schmidt (2002). Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol. 31, No. 6, December 2002, pp. 479–503.
- Green, R. (2002). Rejoinder. Arch Sex Behav 31, 505–507.
- Schmidt, G. Reply: Is There Nothing Special About Adult–Child Sex?. Arch Sex Behav 31, 509–510 (2002).