Pedophiles Identified Accurately With Implicit Association Tasks

imchrishansenVia ScienceDaily:

A combination of two tasks for implied sexual associations has distinguished — with more than 90 per cent certainty — a group of paedophilic men from a group of men with a sexual preference for adult women. In the long term this could lead to a diagnostic test, for example for men who have applied to work with children.

Psychologists at Radboud University Nijmegen have published their findings in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior (online on April 24th).

This study was the first to work with paedophilic men who were not imprisoned or confined for involuntary psychiatric treatment in a clinic. It reported a highly significant effect: the tests distinguished the paedophile group from the controls with more than 90 per cent accuracy. Furthermore, in both groups of subjects (paedophiles and heterosexual non-paedophiles) one of the tasks (the Picture Association Task, see below) indicated positive as well as negative associations with sex with either children under twelve or adult women. Stated another way: the test showed that paedophiles not only have positive associations with children and sex, but also negative associations with adult women and sex. In the control group, this was the exact opposite.

Motivation for the study

There is growing interest for measuring implicit associations in psychiatry. These are associations that occur automatically, are partly unconscious and hard to repress. The question addressed by the researchers was the following: can such a task be used to detect implicit sexual associations in paedophiles (people with a sexual preference for children) and paedosexuals (people who act according to this preference)?

Novel aspects of the study

In recent years, various studies have been conducted with incarcerated paedosexuals using tasks that measure these implicit sexual associations. The research conducted by the Nijmegen psychologists differs from these studies in two important ways: it used not one task, but a combination of two tasks, and the paedophiles who participated in the study were not incarcerated or involuntarily committed to a clinic. In any case, that was the situation at the time of the study; one of the subjects had previously been incarcerated.

Read more here.

18 Comments on "Pedophiles Identified Accurately With Implicit Association Tasks"

  1. Hadrian999 | Apr 26, 2013 at 2:35 pm |

    Do we really want to start condemning people for crimes they haven’t committed? How many people can honestly they haven’t thought about doing something awful but didn’t do it because it’s awful. If we condemn people for what they have the potential to do we are all pretty much fucked

    • Craig Bickford | Apr 26, 2013 at 3:54 pm |

      I thought one of the applications was for screening people who apply for jobs working with youth? I don’t see how this could be a bad thing. Of course I have been advocating for psychopathy/psych profiling, lie detector and drug testing for public officials and politicians for a while now, and I’m pretty fucking sure we will never see that happen. So maybe this too is a pipe dream.

      • Hadrian999 | Apr 26, 2013 at 4:16 pm |

        you dont see punishing people for crimes they might commit as a bad thing?

        • kowalityjesus | Apr 26, 2013 at 4:45 pm |

          This is the inauguration of the technologically-enhanced thought police. A test measuring the sincerity of your conviction/predisposition by measuring how quickly you associate/disassociate images with a 2-choice answer is very widely applicable.

          Think of how useful this would have been in Soviet Russia: “Do you stand with the party?” ‘sorry not fast enough answer’ *bang*

          This article actually reminds me of another tech-age test which I tried for months to get into a Disinfo submission, but much bungling resulted in its never seeing the light of day:
          Basically you can tell how crazy a person is by tracking their eye movements. scholarly article:
          yes ‘shifty eyes’ could soon be a psychological diagnostic catalyst.

          But on the subject of pedophilia and preventable encounters, yes this test would be useful in certain scenarios, if however invasive and over-lording.

    • Herp Derp McGurt | Apr 27, 2013 at 5:35 pm |

      Last time I checked, one dosen’t go to jail for failing a drug test. I don’t see it happening for this either. The worst I could see happening is them being placed on a watchlist of some sort.

      • Hadrian999 | Apr 27, 2013 at 6:23 pm |

        if you fail a drug test you have actually done something, failing this test only shows you might do something. any kind of action against someone for merely showing a predisposition is reprehensible

  2. InfvoCuernos | Apr 26, 2013 at 7:24 pm |

    So basically all you have to do to determine if someone is a pedophile is ask them if they want to have sex with underage children? I’m glad they cleared that up.

    • Skimming isn’t the best way to understand a text.

      • InfvoCuernos | Apr 27, 2013 at 9:21 pm |

        So, smarty pants, what exactly did I not understand?

        • The part about pedophiles having “negative associations with adult women and sex” and the part about implicit associations.

          • InfvoCuernos | Apr 27, 2013 at 11:44 pm |

            O, I see. So, not just that pedophiles want to have sex with children, but that they don’t want to have sex with mature women. Ya, I can see how that totally changes jackshit. Thanks for setting me straight on that point.

          • …O…kay… Perhaps we’ll talk about implicit associations and the whole methodology part of the article when you aren’t feeling so grumpy.

  3. The research can be valuable. To avoid pedophiles becoming active, individuals can identified and encouraged to enroll in programs to steer them away from activity. This approach is being pursed in Germany and northern Europe to prevent offenses. Many pedophiles report a horrible sense of isolation from society because the stigma and legal concerns force them to deal their problems without professional help.

  4. Calypso_1 | Apr 27, 2013 at 1:38 am |

    maybe we can develop a test to screen for parents that will dress their 7 year old girl in pants that say “Juicy”

  5. Lady of the Snows | Apr 27, 2013 at 7:02 am |

    This is common sense but ‘paedophile’ doesn’t equal ‘abuser’.

Comments are closed.