Navigating the Stigma of Pedophilia: The Experiences of Nine Minor-Attracted Men in Canada

Date created: 
2013-10-29
Identifier: 
etd8167
Keywords: 
Pedophilia
Minor-attracted adults
Sexual identity
Moral panic
Queer studies
Stigma
Abstract: 

This thesis presents findings and analysis arising from semi-structured qualitative interviews with nine minor-attracted men (i.e. men who are primarily attracted to children and/or adolescents) in Canada. The central research question is “how do minor-attracted people understand and manage their stigmatized identities?” I situated the participants' experiences within a broader social context by reviewing relevant academic literature, laws, and dominant cultural attitudes. Utilizing a symbolic-interactionist approach, and drawing on Goffman's concept of “stigma,” this thesis illustrates the unique challenges facing minor-attracted people. The study reveals that minor-attracted people become aware of their sexuality at an early age, experience stress caused by real or perceived societal rejection, and encounter both positive and negative reactions upon disclosing their identities. The conclusion underscores the need for a new approach to dealing with minor-attraction in contemporary Western society. I offer eight recommendations for instituting a strategy which incorporates empathy, education, and anti-discrimination measures.

Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
Copyright remains with the author. The author granted permission for the file to be printed and for the text to be copied and pasted.
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Robert Menzies
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.
Statistics: