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Klaus Beier - Sexologist, Project Dunkelfeld

CSA Preventionism, sometimes referred to as (CSA) primary prevention with respect to MAPs, is a philosophy within medicine, the mental health industry and public institutions, in which targeted interventions are made to pre-empt and prevent Child Sexual Abuse.


Primary prevention of CSA remains a controversial idea as it involves a dialogue with the MAP Community, and efforts to reduce social stigmas, such as the supposition that all MAPs will inevitably "sexually assault children" and habitually deceive professionals as to their true intentions. The purgation of a highly detailed Wikipedia article on the topic in 2023 is a good example of this controversy.[1]

The idea, when applied to pedophiles and hebephiles (as in the famous German Prevention Project Dunkelfeld) is also controversial within the MAP Community. This is because preventionist philosophy appears to presuppose that attraction is the principal driver of behaviors. At the same time, we know that only a minority of child sexual offenders express preferential attractions to minors, and this number falls even further when one considers pedophilia alone. Preventionist philosophy has also been criticized as a totalizing blueprint for medical observation and control, fuelling undue suspicion. For example, Queer Theorists such as Richard Yuill and David Elliot[2] have made such criticisms in response to Sarah Goode.

Nevertheless, destigmatization of attraction to minors is one central tenet of preventionist philosophy, since MAPs have to be willing to come forward in making contact with a care provider. Preventionists will sometimes point out that their focus on self-aware MAPs owes to the willingness of such people to make contact with a therapist when compared for example, to a person who is inclined towards or at risk of situational offending.

A problem with preventionism

What researchers say about primary prevention approach.

  • Schmidt, A. F., & Niehaus, S. (2022). Outpatient Therapists’ Perspectives on Working with Persons Who Are Sexually Interested in Minors Archives of Sexual Behavior, DOI: 10.1007/s10508-022-02377-6
    “This exemplifies the–at least partly–diverging therapeutic foci between therapists and patients as therapists seem to prioritize sexual behavior regulation issues and sexual offense prevention, whereas MAPs experience problems with psychological well-being and stigmatization issues as more crucial (B4U-ACT, 2011; Levenson & Grady, 2019a). This divergence in therapeutic foci is likely among the reasons reason why MAPs are reluctant to seek professional help or report dissatisfaction with it (Levenson & Grady, 2019a).”
“In summary, our results further corroborate that MAPs’ reported fears of being stigmatized by (mental) health professionals are not unfounded (B4U-ACT, 2011; Levenson & Grady, 2019a).” [...] “In order to increase the chances of this underserved clientele finding access to professional help to deal with their considerable burden of psychological distress (Lawrence & Willis, 2021), particularly outpatient therapists who yet refuse to work with MAPs as well as future therapists in training should be made aware of the principles outlined in B4U-ACT (2020), Jahnke (2018a), and Levenson et al. (2020) who recommend guidelines to decrease stigmatization of MAPs and increase professional certainty and competences in therapeutically working with them.

Groups who advocate for primary prevention

See also

External links

Sourced primers from a preventionist perspective

Organizations and websites