Understanding and Addressing Adult Sexual Attraction to Children. A Study of Paedophiles in Contemporary Society. Sarah D. Goode.

Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon.

This book draws together a wealth of material from many different areas to form a picture of what adult sexual attraction to children means within the context of our culture and our understandings of sexuality. Information widely available in libraries or on the Internet account is covered along with online offending. The majority of the text however, is about the findings from the author’s original research between 2006 and 2008 which explores the everyday experiences and views of ‘minor-attracted adults’ (MAAs) themselves. This includes fantasies and what respondents found most attractive, with the distinction between fantasy and reality appearing to be recognised by most. Interactions with others within and outside the online paedophile community are examined. The provision and form of support is reported and findings suggest that those who have no support outside the paedophile community are more likely to agree with sexual contact with children, while those who have support available from non-paedophiles are more likely to hold ‘non-contact’ views. That support may not be with approval but with acceptance.

Issues which stop adults preventing child abuse and initiatives in addressing adult sexual attraction to children e.g Stop It Now are covered. Finally, keeping children safe with guidance is given.

The whole intention of this book has been to enable us, as a society, to understand that adult sexual attraction to children does exist and that the best way to address it is through awareness, empathy and clear boundaries, by accepting that the way to protect children is to allow us all to talk openly about our feelings, no matter what they are, while holding ourselves responsible for our actions, no matter what they are”.