The Relevance of Sexual Biographies in Individuals Convicted of Child Sexual Abuse Offenses for the Development of Pedosexual Interests and Sexual Recidivism


  • Lisanne Breiling
  • Martin Rettenberger
  • Daniel Turner


In the literature concerning the etiology of pedosexual interests, the potential role of early sexual experiences in childhood and adolescence has been discussed. Several studies demonstrated a link between own sexually abusive experiences in childhood and sexual offending later in life which tends to be even stronger for pedosexual offenders. Furthermore, some findings indicate associations between other developmental factors and deviant sexual interests in adulthood. For the present study, sexual biographical data of N = 223 imprisoned men convicted of sexual offenses against children from Austria was analyzed to retrospectively examine whether own sexually abusive experiences and non-abusive forms of early sexual experiences and behaviors are linked to subsequent pedosexual interests and to sexual recidivism. Previous findings concerning the link between own sexually abusive experiences during childhood and subsequent pedosexual interests could partly be replicated. Furthermore, early masturbation behavior characteristics as well as non-abusive prepubescent sexual experiences were linked to indicators of pedosexual interests and also to sexual recidivism. Exclusively pedophilic men showed the strongest accumulation of early sexual experiences and behaviors. Implications of the findings for theory and risk assessment are discussed.