The tendency of some sexual offenders against children to display an exaggerated cognitive and emotional affiliation with childhood has been labeled “emotional congruence” by Finkelhor (1984) and as overidentification with childhood by others. This study consisted of an evaluation of emotional congruence in 194 men—homosexual and heterosexual pedophiles (N's = 41 and 31), heterosexual nonpedophilic incest offenders (N = 62), sexual offenders against women (N = 27), and nonsexual offender criminals (N = 33). A revised version of the Child Identification Scale (CIS-R) was used in combination with a semistructured interview (SSI) also intended to measure the construct. Maximum-likelihood factor analysis of the CIS-R generated eight factors. All subjects, particularly the nonsexual offenders, scored high on a factor indicating a wish to restart their lives. With respect to emotional congruence, results showed that only the homosexual pedophiles' scores indicated a preference for interacting with children on the child's level, while the incest offenders seemed to prefer to elevate their victims to adult status rather than fixating on the child role themselves. The group of heterosexual pedophiles, however, seemed to be motivated more by sexual gratification than by an emotional or relationship interest in their victims or children.
Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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