03 January 2019

Dear Dr. James: How can pedophiles find someone to talk about it with?

Dr. Cantor,

My name is Peter, I am 55 years old, and I am so very tired of being sexually attracted to teenage boys.  There, I said it.  I also want to say right up front that I am not a danger to myself or others.  I am not suicidal, and I am not an offender.

My entire life, I have been cursed by this attraction / orientation / compulsion / obsession / perversion.  Make no mistake, it is a curse, akin to vampirism or lycanthropy, and I want to help science solve it.  End it.  Learn to treat it.  Something along those lines.

I have friends, but no one really knows me, no one knows what I keep locked and chained in the basement of my mind.  I work, pay my bills, sometimes clean my house.  But I cannot wait until my workday is over, and I can race home, lock the door, and be safe.  I made up my mind to find someone to talk to about this, but there’s no safe way to do this, so I googled “therapy for pedophiles” and found your name and email address.

I really want to know the “why” behind my sexuality, and it is a terrible burden to realize that I most probably will never get this answer.  I feel like I live outside of normal human society.  I feel like an alien.

I would like to find someone in whom I could share my story, all of it, in the hopes that something could be learned about how this sickness takes hold.  And I’d like to donate my brain to science when I die, so that it can be researched and perhaps help in finding a key to the disease or (hoping against hope) a path towards some kind of effective treatment or cure for future people cursed with the same affliction.

I can’t talk with anyone in religion, because I refuse to believe in an invisible, imaginary, supernatural being who would ever create a life as painful and lonely as the one I have lived.  I cannot go to a local therapist because of mandatory reporting laws.  I cannot disclose this to a friend because, well, because I can’t afford to lose the few bits of human contact I have been able to nurture over the years.

I know it is folly to ask but can you help me?  Not treat me, or analyze me, or anything like that.  I know that there is no cure, only abstinence.  But help me tell my story, and maybe add a little information to the puzzle that is deviant sexuality.

At the very least, I’ve done what I promised myself I would do in 2019 – I’ve reached out.

Thank you for your time, and thank you in advance of any help you can provide.

Hello, Peter.  Congratulations on finally expressing it.  My own coming out (as gay) was hard enough, all I can do is imagine how much harder it is for you and others in your position.

The very best group I can send you to are the Virtuous Pedophiles at www.virped.org.  In case you have not already heard of them, they are other people who have come to appreciate that they are attracted to kids and support each other in remaining celibate (in some cases) or still maintaining a romantic relationship with another adult (in other cases).  You and they would all benefit from each others’ stories.  I am also posting it here (changing your identifying information) to help remind others in your position that none of you is alone.

Thank you very much for your generous (too small a word!) offer.  Unfortunately there does not yet exist a brain bank (or funding) for a project using actual brains.  I hope very much to be able to help establish such a thing.  It could be an amazing benefit to the generations that will follow you and me.  I certainly cannot not make any promises, but if I (or another scientist I find out about) ever does start such a thing, I will most certainly be doing everything I can to publicize it, including on my website, twitter account, and so on.  

I wish you the best of luck.


  1. You seen this paper about WHR?


    They found that girls about 15-19 have the lowest and most attractive WHR. Though I think this is probably partly an artifact of the statistical analysis. They should analyse it year by year instead of 5-year brackets. Girl change enormously between the ages of 10 and 14 often going from flat-chested sticks to curvy women with the whole package, so it makes little sense to put 10 and 14 in the same bracket. The true peak is probably about 13-17.

    This is more evidence that most men prefer teens and pubescents. Please stop pushing this PC, biologically ignorant nonsense that most men are "teleiophiles" who prefer women in their 20s and 30s. That is simply not how the human mating system works. Men have evolved to prefer females who can give them the most offspring over the long-term which means young teen girls who haven't started reproducing yet and still have all their reproductive years remaining.

  2. So is it true that menarche doesn't actually mark the beginning of a girl's fertility?

    1. Yes.

      As noted already, multiple large-sample studies consistently find the current average age of menarche to be between age 12.3 and 12.9 years (Euline et al., 2008; Finer & Philbin, 2014; Herman-Giddens et al., 1997). It is an error to refer to this age as being the onset of human female fertility, however: Despite that the menstrual cycling has begun, the cycles are typically anovulatory—they contain no ovum and no possibility for the girl to become pregnant. Reliable (adult pattern) ovulation increases slowly and reaches adult reliability by about year five of menses, on average: Apter (1980) followed 200 healthy girls, using blood tests to measure hormone levels. During the first year of menstruation, approximately 20% of cycles actually contained an ovum, by the third year, approximately 50% did, and by year six, 90% of cycles were ovulatory. Metcalf et al. (1983) similarly followed a sample of 209 healthy girls, assessing them regularly with urine tests for hormone levels. The proportions of reliable ovulation in the first, second, and third years of menstruation were 22.9%, 25.0%, and 44.8%. Adult level reliability was not achieved until after the fifth year postmenarche. Endocrinological assessment shows that human fertility starts at this pubertal low point, increases to its peak during the 20s, and then decreases again during the 30s (Ellison, Panter-Brick, Lipson, & O’Rourke, 1993).

  3. Do you know of any species where the males prefer the immature females over the adults?

    There's no law of evolution or biology that says males must prefer the fully developed females. The only thing that matters in evolution is reproductive success. If the males in a species can achieve greatest reproductive success by going after the immature females they will evolve to do exactly that.

    1. Where does the idea that preferences for fully developed adults must be the norm come from anyway?

      It's got a kind of Freudian feel to it. The idea that preferences for the final adult stage of development *must* be the norm and that a preference for a stage before that represents a failed development or "regression".

      But that's simply not demanded by evolutionary logic. Males will evolve a preference what whatever stage of development leads to the greatest reproductive success, and that depends on the mating system a species uses.

      As an example there are species of Stoats in which the females are only sexually receptive during infancy. The males go down into the nest when the mother goes out and copulate with the little pink baby females. The females store the sperm inside of them until adulthood when they use it to fertilise their eggs. In this species a preference for fully developed adults would not lead to reproductive success since they are no longer sexually receptive and can't accept sperm. Seems strange to us but that's just how their mating system works.

    2. Do you think being gay makes it difficult for you and Blanchard to understand normal male sexuality or do you kid yourselves that it gives you a better, more objective understanding?