Peer Support and Professional Mental Health Services for Boy-Attracted Pedosexual Males

©2008 by David L. Riegel.

Males who are sexually attracted to boys younger than themselves may be reluctant to utilize the commonly available professional mental health services for fear that their orientation may become an issue. Prior to the advent of the Internet, these males were largely isolated from one another and unable to communicate, but in the last decade or so there has been a growing number of "peer" electronic web pages, forums, news groups, mailing lists, etc., which purport to offer fellowship and counsel. This paper reports on an Internet survey designed to evaluate the attitude of these males toward mental health services, as well as to examine the self-perceived nature and usefulness of electronic interchanges, the extent to which these lead to "real-life" friendships, and the associated benefits and problems. There were N = 192 respondents to the survey; some understanding of the extent, nature, benefits, and problems of on line and real life relationships was gained, and the hypothesis of avoidance of professional mental health services was supported.