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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.