The Self-fulfilling prophecy is a regular factor in negotiating the pitfalls of MAP activism. We see self-fulfilling prophecies in three main areas:
- Trauma and mental illness among MAPs and people (particularly girls) with a history of adult-child sex. In the latter case, the scarring (absent actual physical or psychological coercion) is caused by prior and retrospective social conditioning/iatrogenic harm. In turn, the cause of these harms, is a belief system that holds MAPs and Minor-Adult sex in low regard.
- Boldness, stubbornness and sometimes insanity among some of the more visible/activist MAPs (the Jack McClellan effect). By definition, if a mental or behavioral habit is reviled so widely by society, only the bravest, and some would say most insane will ever consider making themselves known on a voluntary basis.
- Low quality interactions, fetishization and poor self-control among the wider sample of people who engage in unlawful sex with a minor (regardless of MAP orientation). Again, if society despises and pathologizes the acts themselves, said acts are more likely to be committed by those who lack intelligence, self control or even fetishize the deviancy of their own acts. These individuals are far less likely to act with affection or respect for the other party. For example, well-publicised incidents involving recent migrants to Europe, whose behavior would violate any definition of a western sexual assault law, regardless of legal age for sexual activity.
All of these phenomena were once highly visible among homosexual men, and in turn, used to justify their continued pathologization.
It is thought that higher visibility of MAPs will go some way towards addressing some of these imbalances.
One flip-side of the self-fulfilling prophecy, is the fact that while overall levels of offending are low, pro-contact and anti-contact pedophiles are thought to exhibit no difference in their levels of offending (see Bailey for example). This is most probably because stridently anti-contact beliefs are associated with generally higher levels of conditioned guilt. Conditioned guilt is in turn related to lower levels of self control. It could then be speculated that the number of pro-contact individuals who philosophically justify what they see as an ethical form of offending, is roughly matched by the number of stridently anti-contact individuals whose beliefs represent a psychological reaction against their lack of self-control, hence their propensity to act.
- Debate Guide: All child molesters are pedophiles
- Research: Prevalence
- Research: Pedophiles in the criminal population
- Research: Association or Causation - Self fulfilling prophecy of harm.
- Research: Secondary Harm - Self fulfilling prophecy of harm.
- Incest: The Last Taboo - Self fulfilling prophecy of incest harm.