“Abused to Abuser”: An examination of new non-clinical and non-prison data.

David L. Riegel

©2005 by Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality. Posted by permission

This study examines the "Abused-to-Abuser" (AtA) hypothesis of the etiology of adult male sexual attraction to boys, which proposes that a boy who is sexually “abused” will, when older, be predisposed to become an “abuser” of other boys. An Internet survey of participants in online discussion groups and news groups oriented towards men sexually attracted to boys resulted in a convenience sample of 290 males, of whom about one quarter reported a boyhood sexual experience with an older male. Nearly three quarters of these experiences were not perceived as being negative either at the time they occurred or in retrospect. These results from a non-clinical/non-prison sample do not support the AtA hypothesis, and are consistent with similar findings from clinical/prison samples.

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