Childhood Sexual Victimization, Pedophilic Interest, and Antisocial Orientation


  • Anna T. Pham
  • Kevin L. Nunes
  • Sacha Maimone
  • Sandy Jung


According to the sexually abused-abuser hypothesis, childhood sexual victimization (CSV) among males increases the likelihood of later sexual offending against children. Why CSV is related to sexual offending against children, however, has yet to be determined. To explore mechanisms that may link CSV to sexual offending, we tested the relationship between CSV and the two main risk domains: pedophilic interest and antisocial orientation. In four studies, men convicted of sexual offences against children under 15 who reported experiencing CSV were generally more sexually interested in children—especially male children—and were more antisocial than those who did not report experiencing CSV. A meta-analysis of the results across our four studies showed that CSV was moderately associated with greater antisociality, but less so with pedophilic interests. Future research should test the extent to which pedophilic interest and antisocial orientation explain the relationship between CSV and sexual offending against children among convicted sexual offenders.