This comes from research that Mr. Looman did on the sexual fantasies of child molesters. For the child molesters, fantasies about both children and adults were examined. It was found that child molesters did not differ from the other groups in terms of their perceptions of adults in their fantasies, and the adult fantasy was perceived more positively than the child fantasy.
Child molesters were more likely to fantasize about children when in a negative emotional state than when in a positive mood, and these fantasies were likely to produce a negative mood state.
It is suggested that child molesters may fantasize about a child as an inappropriate way of coping with dysphoric moods, thus enhancing that dysphoria and leading to further inappropriate fantasies. These results suggest that sexual fantasy monitoring should become an important component in the treatment of child molesters. Research with child molesters has explored in depth the sexual arousal patterns of these men Freund, Much of the treatment of child molesters has therefore involved attempts to decrease this arousal through conditioning procedures e.
Storms , however, proposed a theory whereby one's sexual orientation is a result of an interaction between classical conditioning and social learning factors. He concluded that early masturbatory experiences lead to the eroticization of stimuli, and early fantasies serve as the basis of adult sexual orientation. This early classical conditioning is reinforced by environmental influences as the adolescent is encouraged by the peer group to develop and maintain an appropriate sexual orientation.
Similarly, Laws and Marshall use a combination of classical and instrumental conditioning processes to describe how a man may develop deviant sexual interests by pairing sexual arousal and ejaculation with an early deviant experience. This arousal may be reinforced by such social learning processes as modelling of aggressive behaviours and one's own attributions regarding one's sexuality. The deviant interest may be maintained by continued masturbation to deviant fantasies and intermittent actual deviant sexual contacts.
The notion that deviant fantasies are an important part of sexual deviance was emphasized by Abel and Blanchard , in their review of fantasy in the development of sexual preferences. They underlined the importance of treating fantasy as an independent variable which may be altered, and of the utility of modifying fantasies as a means of changing sexual preferences.
For this reason, deviant sexual fantasies have become one area of focus in the research on child molesters, as well as other sexual offender populations. Rokach also found evidence of deviant themes in sexual offenders' self-reported fantasies. The assumptions that deviant sexual fantasies play a key role in the commission of sexual offenses has had implications for the treatment of sexual offenders.
For example, Laws and O'Neil described a masturbatory conditioning treatment with four pedophiles, one sado-masochist and one rapist in which deviant arousal was lessened and appropriate arousal increased by alternating deviant and non-deviant fantasy themes.
McGuire, Carlisle and Young , exploring the development of deviant sexual interests, reported on the sexual fantasies and experiences of 52 sexual deviates. They found that the majority of their patients reported masturbating to deviant fantasies and that these fantasies were based on their first real sexual experiences. It was proposed that the fantasy of this experience had become paired with orgasm over repeated masturbatory experiences, thus sustaining arousal to it.
Abel and Rouleau summarizing the results of two earlier self-report studies involving sexual offenders also indicated that there appeared to be a significant trend toward early onset of paraphilias. Marshall, Barbaree and Eccles also found evidence that deviant sexual interest develops in childhood in a subset of their sample of child molesters.
Considering only the These men were also found to be higher frequency masturbators. To summarize, consideration of sexual fantasies is important in understanding the offending behaviours of child molesters Abel and Blanchard, Despite the acknowledgement of the importance of fantasies, little controlled research has been conducted in this area.
Research that has been conducted on the sexual fantasies of child molesters has not examined content or actual frequencies e. Many of the arousal reconditioning studies have addressed content or frequency issues, but the studies to date are poorly controlled and with samples too small to allow firm conclusions to be drawn see Laws and Marshall, for a review of the masturbatory reconditioning literature.
These authors proposed that the offender commits sexual assaults against children due to an interaction of two or more of these factors. It is hypothesized here that the process of fantasizing by pedophiles may also be explained by these preconditions. First, it is generally agreed that sexual fantasies about children are related to sexual arousal to children e.
A second and less obvious feature of sexual fantasies is related to the emotional congruence component from Finkelhor and Araji's model. Fantasies not only serve a sexual purpose, they also have a strong emotional component Singer, It follows that masturbatory fantasies not only serve to produce arousal, but that they also will satisfy some sort of emotional need for the individual. Disinhibition may also be a factor as an antecedent to inappropriate fantasies.
It can be hypothesized, therefore, that pedophiles may also be more likely to fantasize deviantly when under stress, and appropriately when things are going well in their lives. The results of Wilson and Lang provide some support for this last hypothesis. They reported that frequency of fantasies with deviant themes sadism, masochism was related to dissatisfaction in relationships among non-offender males. The present study was designed to examine the following hypotheses: One group consisted of men who had been convicted of offenses against female children 12 years of age or younger child molesters.
The second group consisted of men convicted of sexual offenses against females 16 years of age and older rapists. Only men who had female victims were used in order to facilitate matching the two sex offender groups.
As well, the men were chosen from currently running treatment groups, or from a list of men accepted for treatment, and who were admitting responsibility for the offense s for which they had been convicted. The third group consisted of men convicted of nonsexual offenses, who reported a heterosexual preference.
These men served as a "normal" control group and were volunteers chosen at random from the inmate list of their institution. One possible source of bias in this study is related to demand characteristics of the prison setting.
It is possible that sex offender subjects would report information regarding their fantasies in a manner which they believe would help their case in terms of treatment reports and early release. In order to reduce the possibility of this bias affecting results, subjects were informed in writing that participation was voluntary and confidential, and that the information they provided the researcher would in no way be shared with their therapist. They were also informed that the study was in no way related to their evaluation in terms of the program.
Data collection The data for this research were collected by means of a combined questionnaire and structured interview which was developed as part of a larger research project Looman, Each subject was interviewed by the researcher on an individual basis.
The interview consisted of 84 questions concerning the frequency and content of the offender's fantasies, the conditions emotional, interpersonal under which they typically engage in fantasizing and other relevant topics. Some of the questions required a response limited to a choice of two to six possible answers, while others were open-ended questions to which the offender was able to answer freely.
No questions regarding non-consenting sexual activity with adults were asked because the focus of this research was on fantasies about children. Permission was obtained to search subject's files for information concerning the actual offenses for each of these men.
Due to the large number of comparisons to be made, the probability of a Type I error during evaluation of the data was quite high. For this reason, a more conservative alpha level of. As expected, none of the rapists or non-sexual offenders admitted to fantasies about children under age 12 years. One of the rapists admitted to fantasies about females aged , as did 14 child molesters. Twelve child molesters admitted to fantasies about females under the age of 12 years.
Two of the child molesters denied fantasies about people under the age of 16 years and were therefore not included in later analyses. In addition, two of the child molesters admitted to fantasies about adult males, and two to males under the age of Eight of the child molesters were exclusively incest offenders, that is, they offended against only their daughter or step-daughter. Comparisons on all relevant variables were made between these men and the other child molesters.
Since no differences were found for the analyses reported below, the data from the incest offenders and other child molesters were combined.
Child molester and rapist groups were compared on the age of the adult in their fantasies. There was no significant difference found. The age of the female child in the child molester's fantasy was available for 12 of the men. The age of the child ranged from 1 to 12 years, with an average of 8. Similarly, the age of the teenaged girl in fantasies admitted to by 14 of the child molesters ranged from 12 to 15 years, with an average of The average age of the child molesters' actual victims was 8.
The age of the child molesters' victims and the children in their fantasies did not differ. Only three of the child molesters admitted to fantasies involving persuasion, and these fantasies were reported as occurring only occasionally. One of these men stated that his persuasive fantasies involved only promises of favours to gain compliance, while the other two stated that their persuasive fantasies involved restraint to gain compliance.
None of the child molesters admitted to violent fantasies. No further analysis was conducted with these data, due to the small numbers. Differences in the ratings of child and adult fantasies on the responses to questions regarding the feelings that accompany the fantasies were examined for child molesters.
No differences were found for power, mildly angry, extremely angry, desired, sexual, pleasure or anxious, with responses being distributed across the three options never, sometimes, often.
Child molesters were more likely to report feeling scared and guilty and less likely to report feeling relaxed while fantasizing about children than when fantasizing about adults. Happiness was more likely to accompany adult than child fantasies. Differences were also noted in the reported mood state preceding the fantasies of child molesters about children and adults as a test of Hypothesis 2. Child molesters reported that they were more likely to fantasize about a child than an adult if they were feeling depressed, argued with their wife or girlfriend, felt rejected by a woman or were angry.
They were more likely to fantasize about an adult if they were happy, had a good day, or were feeling romantic. The differences in moods were also examined across offender groups for adult fantasies only.
First, an examination of feelings which accompany fantasies about adults found no differences between child molesters, rapists and non-sex offenders on feelings of being: Although the differences did not reach significance at the.
The non-sexual offenders were the only group that never fantasized in a state of anger, either mild or extreme. With respect to emotional states that lead to fantasies about adults the only significant difference was that child molesters were unlikely to fantasize about an adult if feeling rejected by a woman. As mentioned earlier, there was a trend for rapists only to report a likelihood of fantasizing about an adult when angry.
Most of the remainder of these men stated that they fantasized about teenagers age as well as adults. This may reflect dishonesty in the responses of these men; a socially desirable defense strategy in the sense that reporting fantasies about post-pubescent, but young, females i.
Thus, these men may be minimizing their deviance to appear more "normal". An alternative explanation is that this may represent honest responding, and may reflect a cognitive distortion on the part of the men about their offending. It may be that child molesters see children as being older than they really are, thinking the child is a teenager when they are actually younger.
Thus, they fantasize about someone they identify as being between the ages of 12 and 16, but the acting out of the fantasy involves someone younger.