Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, Vol. 18, No. 1, January 2006 (
Phallometric Comparison of Pedophilic Interest
in Nonadmitting Sexual Offenders Against
Stepdaughters, Biological Daughters, Other
Biologically Related Girls, and Unrelated Girls
Michael E. Kuban,
James M. Cantor,
and Robert Dickey
Published online: 6 April 2006
This study compared the mean levels of sexual response to children produced
by four groups of men with sexual offences against prepubescent girls and two
comparison groups with other offences or no offences. All groups (N = 291)
consisted of patients referred for clinical assessment of their sexual behavior or
interests. Group assignment was determined by the victim’s age and her relation
to the patient: biological daughter; stepdaughter; other biologically related girl
(e.g., sister, niece, granddaughter); unrelated girl; adult woman; and no known
victim. The men with sexual offences had precisely one known victim each. The
patients with offences may or may not have denied the act of which they were
accused, but all patients denied an erotic preference for children. Sexual response
to children was assessed by means of phallometric testing, a psychophysiological
technique in which the individual’s penile blood volume is monitored while he
is presented with a standardized set of laboratory stimuli depicting male and
female children and adults. The results indicated that the mean level of pedophilic
response in men with offences against daughters or stepdaughters is intermediate
between that in men with offences against otherwise-related or unrelated girls and
that in men with no offences against girls at all.
KEY WORDS: child abuse; incest; pedophilia; phallometry; sexual offences.
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, College Street Site, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
To whom correspondence should be addressed at Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Col-
lege Street Site, 250 College Street, Toronto, Ontario M5T 1R8, Canada; e-mail: Ray
2006 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.