Wednesday, 24 August 2011


Pink News 16th August 2007 13:35
Article available here

Jacob Breslow - My Journey from Scared Teen to Gay Activist

The first time I came to the UK, I was amazed by its history, architecture and bustling cities.

Now, over ten years later, I have come back to experience this amazing place once again.

As a third year student from the University of California Santa Cruz, I am currently doing a full time internship with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) History Month and Schools OUT.

Coming to the UK to do LGBT work has been truly refreshing.

I feel I have come at an opportunistic time, shortly after a change in government and shortly after national laws that prohibit discrimination against LGBT people have passed.

I have been an advocate for the LGBT community since I came out when I was 14.

My commitment to our community has led me to work with government, police and schools.

Growing up as an out gay kid in my community was torture.

For a long time, I was the only out student, let alone person, at my school who was open about their sexuality.

The community that I grew up in was concerned with two things: getting into a prestigious university and making a lot of money.

Clearly, being gay didn't fit into this plan.

Although I knew that my parents would be supportive, I dared not come out to them in fear that one of my brothers found out and spread it to my school.

With no one to talk to and no support from my school or my community, getting through each day became a battle. Eventually, I gave up.

Leaving the hospital after my second suicide attempt, I became determined to prove to my community and my school that I was more than their expectations.

It was my goal to make sure that no one went through the isolation and harassment that I experienced.

I quickly joined youth groups and raised awareness of LGBT people at my school.

Six years on, I have worked with five LGBT youth organisations, most of which are aimed at improving the environment for LGBT youth in schools.

My passion for community work has also influenced my current studies, as I am focused on learning about the culture and oppression of LGBT people.

This year, I was awarded by the Point Foundation for my commitment to my academics and to our community.

The foundation is the largest publicly-supported organisation granting scholarships to LGBT students of merit in the US.

They have given me this amazing opportunity to come to the UK and do my work for Schools OUT.

It is really exciting to be working in a country that legally recognises the lives of LGBT people.

It is because of this recognition that organisations like Schools OUT and LGBT History Month have been able to create such substantial change.

This is the fourth year for LGBT History Month, which happens every February in the UK.

We are celebrating with a pre-launch at the Royal Courts of Justice this November.

The work of the LGBT History Month is important because it makes visible the contributions of LGBT people to our world.

By celebrating our past we can create a greater future.

I am really excited to see where the internship takes me.

My current plans are to finish undergraduate and then continue on with graduate studies in queer theory or feminist studies.

I am truly grateful to everyone who gave me this opportunity and I am really excited about continuing my work in the UK.

For more information about LGBT History Month click here.

For more information about Schools Out click here.

For more information about The Point Foundation click here.

Brief Descriptions of Presentations at:
Pedophilia, Minor-Attracted Persons, and the DSM:
Issues and Controversies
B4U-ACT Symposium
Baltimore, MD, August 17, 2011
Fred S. Berlin, M.D., Ph.D.
Understanding Pedophilia and Other Paraphilias from a Psychiatric Perspective
John Z. Sadler, M.D.
Decriminalizing Mental Disorder Concepts — Pedophilia as an Example
Lisa J. Cohen, Ph.D. and Igor I. Galynker, M.D., Ph.D.
Identifying the Psychobiological Correlates of Pedophilic Desire and Behavior: How Can We Generalize Our
Knowledge Beyond Forensic Samples?
Renee Sorrentino, M.D.
The Forensic Implications of the DSM-V’s Pedohebephilia
Nancy Nyquist Potter, Ph.D.
“Is Anybody Out There?”: Testimony of Minor-Attracted Persons and Hearing versus Listening to their Voices
Richard Kramer, Ph.D.
The DSM and Stigma
Andrew Hinderliter, M.A.
Can the Medicalization of Sexual Deviance ever be Therapeutic?
Jacob Breslow, B.A.
Sexual Alignment: Critiquing Sexual Orientation, The Pedophile, and the DSM V
Brief descriptions of presentation at:
Pedophilia, Minor-Attracted Persons, and the DSM: Issues and Controversies
B4U-ACT Symposium, Baltimore, MD, August 17, 2011
Understanding Pedophilia and Other Paraphilias
from a Psychiatric Perspective
Fred S. Berlin, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
The word “Pedophilia” is a diagnostic term employed by the psychiatric community to designate a specific type of
mental disorder. However, today that term has taken on a different meaning in society’s collective consciousness;
serving as a demonizing pejorative that ostracizes those manifesting the condition. This conceptual review is
intended to bring enhanced clarity to the matter of how one should understand Pedophilia from a psychiatric
perspective, its cultural context, and its treatment. The presentation will also give an overview of other paraphilias
as well.
The review addresses (1) the nature of Pedophilia, differentiating it from disorders of character, (2) etiological
contributory factors, (3) whether those with it are deserving of treatment, (4) why treatment is even needed, (5)
psychosocial and medical interventions, (6) treatment outcome, and (7) recent legislative initiatives related to the
condition. From a mental health perspective, it is important to appreciate that Pedophilia is meant to designate a
diagnosable, and potentially treatable, psychiatric condition, rather than a “criminal mind-set;” a mind-set reflective
of a disregard for society’s values.
Brief descriptions of presentation at:
Pedophilia, Minor-Attracted Persons, and the DSM: Issues and Controversies
B4U-ACT Symposium, Baltimore, MD, August 17, 2011
Decriminalizing Mental Disorder Concepts — Pedophilia as an Example
John Z. Sadler, M.D.
Professor of Medical Ethics and Psychiatry, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX
“Vice” is the term I have used in prior work as a technical term to refer to morally wrongful and/or criminal
conduct. In prior work, I have argued that particular categories in DSM-IV-TR and draft DSM-5 categories and
criteria are “vice-laden”, which means that wrongful/criminal conduct is intrinsic to the meaning of some diagnostic
criteria. In my view, vice-laden diagnostic categories are problematic for several reasons: they cast
psychiatry/mental health care into police-like social roles, wrongful conduct as diagnostic criterion institutionalizes
and perpetuates stigma for all mental disorders, and vice-laden disorders confound public policy about the respective
roles of mental health, religious and educational institutions, and criminal justice institutions in the regulation of
individual conduct. Of the subgroup of DSM categories that are vice-laden, the paraphilias, especially those that
involve transgression behavior with others, are deeply vice-laden as currently described in DSM categories. I present
a nosological procedure that, if implemented, would minimize vice-laden diagnostic criteria and the consequent
vice/mental disorder confounds in research, practice, and policy. The procedure is based upon key distinctions in
moral philosophy, which separate two kinds of values: moral values, whose meanings involve concepts of good/evil
and right/wrong. The other kind of value relevant here, nonmoral values, include a range of meanings relevant to
illness and disorder concepts: incapacity, pain, suffering, impairment, to name a few examples. Most cases of
disorder criteria are easily identified as involving moral or non-moral values. Disease and injury in physical
medicine (myocardial infarctions, pneumonia, fractured femurs) universally involve nonmoral values in their
defining concepts. Most mental disorder concepts in the DSM are based upon nonmoral values as well. However,
some categories, including trangressive paraphilias, involve moral values in their diagnostic criteria. My basic
prescription for the DSMs is that all DSM disorders should be PRIMARILY based upon nonmoral negative values:
pain, suffering, disability, impairments, and incapacities of various kinds, consistent with the rest of medicine.
Categories such as Pedophilia are problematic because the diagnostic criteria describe little in the way of nonmoral
negative values; once trangressive molestation of minors (in fantasy or action) is removed from Pedophilia
diagnostic criteria, there is almost nothing left of the disorder phenomenology in the current diagnostic criteria. Such
impoverishment of the Pedophilia phenomenology raises at least two questions:
(1) Should Pedophilia be considered a mental disorder at all, if it is based primarily upon fantasied or actual criminal
conduct? (2) If Pedophilia and related categories are to be preserved as legitimate, nonmorally value-laden disorders,
then they require a preponderance of nonmorally-value-laden diagnostic descriptors in their diagnostic criteria. I will
illustrate these concepts with concrete examples from DSMIV-TR and current DSM-5 proposals, and describe in
more detail how vice-laden disorders may be “rehabilitated” within a scientific psychiatric nosology.
Sadler, J.Z. 2008. Vice and the diagnostic classification of mental disorders: A philosophical case conference.
Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology 15(1):1-17
Sadler, J.Z. 2005. Values and Psychiatric Diagnosis. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Brief descriptions of presentation at:
Pedophilia, Minor-Attracted Persons, and the DSM: Issues and Controversies
B4U-ACT Symposium, Baltimore, MD, August 17, 2011
Identifying the Psychobiological Correlates of Pedophilic Desire and Behavior:
How Can We Generalize Our Knowledge Beyond Forensic Samples?
Lisa J. Cohen, Ph.D. and Igor I. Galynker, M.D., Ph.D.
Director of Research for Psychology and Psychiatry, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Beth Israel Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, NY
Objective: At present the DSM definition of pedophilia is highly rudimentary, consistent with significant limitations
in our scientific knowledge about sexual attraction to prepubescent children. A solid understanding of the
psychobiology of pedophilia is critical to inform treatment, prevention and public policy. Likewise, development of
effective diagnostic systems, as in DSM V, is dependent on comprehensive research. However, the vast majority of
research on pedophilia has relied on samples from forensic populations. This results in a skewed understanding of
the phenomena of pedophilia and pedophilic desire, such that the specific correlates of pedophilic feelings are
conflated with the traits of individuals who commit illegal acts. The purpose of this talk is twofold: 1) to present
data from a research program studying the psychological correlates of pedophilia and 2) to consider future research
directions in order to separate the factors contributing to the existence of pedophilic desire from the factors
contributing to the acting on such desires. Elucidation of such factors should support the development of more
precise and clinically meaningful diagnostic systems.
Background: Pedophilic urges and behavior may be attributed to either aberrant motivation, inadequate inhibition or
a combination of the two. The classification of pedophilia into true vs. opportunistic subgroups (also known as
fixated vs. regressed or preferential vs. situational) may reflect the centrality of either motivational or inhibitory
difficulties, respectively.
Methods: A total of 51 subjects with pedophilia recruited from an outpatient center specializing in the treatment of
sexual offenders, 53 opiate addicted individuals serving as patient controls, and 84 healthy controls were evaluated
in a series of studies assessing personality traits, neuropsychological function and phallometry. Opiate addicted
individuals were included as patient controls as we were interested in the concept of sexual addictions.
Psychobiological and historical traits potentially associated with aberrant motivation include traits related to social
anxiety and altered sexual history and function, including history of childhood sexual abuse (CSA), lowered sexual
arousal threshold, and reduced erotic differentiation. Traits putatively associated with impaired inhibition include
impulsivity, propensity towards cognitive distortions, and psychopathy.
Results: Our findings supported increased prevalence of CSA along with elevated propensity towards cognitive
distortions and psychopathy in individuals with pedophilia vs. healthy controls. Pedophiles did not differ from
controls in impulsivity. Compared to opiate addicted individuals, individuals with pedophilia had higher rates of
CSA, more schizoid traits, and lower impulsivity and behavioral psychopathy scores. Pedophiles did not differ from
opiate addicts on social anxiety measures, but did score higher than controls. On phallometry, individuals with
pedophilia showed higher erectile response overall but no evidence of reduced erotic discrimination, with clear
preference for pedophilic vs. adult female stimuli.
Discussion: Individuals with pedophilia drawn from an outpatient forensic sample showed elevations both in traits
related to aberrant motivation and to impaired inhibition, although there was less evidence of elevated impulsivity.
Heterogeneity among these traits may reflect the degree to which pedophilic urges and behavior pertain to either
aberrant motivation or impaired inhibition. Future research could evaluate a non-forensic population, particularly
individuals with pedophilic desires who have never acted on their desires, in order to determine what
psychobiological correlates can be linked to pedophilic desire in the absence of inhibitory failure.
Brief descriptions of presentation at:
Pedophilia, Minor-Attracted Persons, and the DSM: Issues and Controversies
B4U-ACT Symposium, Baltimore, MD, August 17, 2011
1. Cohen LJ, Galynker II: Psychopathology and Personality Traits of Pedophiles: Issues for Diagnosis and
Treatment. Psychiatric Times, 26(6), 25-30, 2009.
2. Cohen LJ, Nikiforov K, Watras-Gans S, Poznansky O, McGeoch P, Weaver C, Gertmenian-King E, Cullen K
Galynker I. Heterosexual male perpetrators of childhood sexual abuse: A preliminary neuropsychiatric model.
Psychiatric Quarterly. 73(4):313-335, 2002.
Brief descriptions of presentation at:
Pedophilia, Minor-Attracted Persons, and the DSM: Issues and Controversies
B4U-ACT Symposium, Baltimore, MD, August 17, 2011
The Forensic Implications of the DSM-V’s Pedohebephilia
Renee Sorrentino, M.D.
Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA
Medical Director, Institute for Sexual Wellness, Quincy, MA
The influence of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in the mental health field is clearly significant. The
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is considered the “Bible” for professionals making
psychiatric diagnoses. The DSM, however intended or unintended, has influenced the legal and social policy arenas
by identifying and outlining behaviors and thoughts which are labeled “disordered.” The DSM V has proposed
several diagnostic changes in the subject area of the paraphilias. For example the diagnosis of Pedophilia has been
revised to Pedohebephilia.
In this presentation the question of whether Pedohebephilia should be considered as a psychiatric disorder will be
discussed. The theoretical foundation and scientific evidence for the inclusion of Pedohebephilia comes from
abnormal and persistent sexual interests, behavioral patterns, self-reported sexual fantasy and laboratory tests. This
evidence will be examined outlining the limitations and possible errors in research.
The DSM V proposed revisions and science of Pedohebephilia will then be applied to the field of forensic
psychiatry. The forensic implications of creating this modified paraphilic disorder will be reviewed with respect to
recent sexual predator legislation, criminal responsibility, child custody evaluations, disability eligibility and
dangerousness in the workplace.
In conclusion, the response of forensic psychiatrists to the addition of new paraphilias, including Pedohebephilia
will be presented. Two recent votes at the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law conference (October
2010) outline important professional considerations related to the inclusion of Pedohebephilia in the DSM.
Blanchard R. "The DSM Diagnostic Criteria for Pedophilia," Archives of Sexual Behavior (April 2010): Vol. 39, No.
2, pp. 304–16.
Hall RC. "A Profile of Pedophilia: Definition, Characteristics of Offenders, Recidivism, Treatment Outcomes, and
Forensic Issues," Mayo Clinic Proceedings (April 2007): Vol. 82, No. 4, pp. 457–71.
Frances A, First, Michael: Hebephilia Is Not a Mental Disorder in DSM-IV-TR and Should Not Become One in
DSM-5. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law 39:78-85, 2011.
Zander TK: Adult sexual attraction to early-stage adolescents: phallometry doesn’t equal pathology. Arch Sex
Behav 38:329-30, 2009.
Brief descriptions of presentation at:
Pedophilia, Minor-Attracted Persons, and the DSM: Issues and Controversies
B4U-ACT Symposium, Baltimore, MD, August 17, 2011
“‘Is Anybody Out There?”: Testimony of Minor-Attracted Persons and Hearing
versus Listening to their Voices
Nancy Nyquist Potter, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY / President, Association for the Advancement of
Philosophy and Psychiatry
Genuine listening is a virtue, and one that is necessary if the voices of those attracted to minors are going to
participate in the construction of the new DSM. Such participation is required in order to ensure that we have good
science and ethical grounding that can go forward for diagnosis and treatment, while minimizing stigma and damage
toward minor-attracted persons.
To this end I make a distinction between ‘hearing’ and ‘listening’ and argue that those creating DSM-V need to
cultivate a virtue in order for genuine listening to occur. This paper has three parts. First, I will argue that:
1) Hearing but not listening amounts to doing an injustice to minor-attracted persons. 2) Listener injustice (what I
will refer to as ‘testimonial injustice’) is a result of prejudice, assumptions, and biases against the social identity of
the speaker. 3) Testimonial injustice impedes scientific theory and practice that harms all involved in concern for
and about minor-attracted persons. 4) Prejudice against speakers can be corrected by cultivating a virtue—a virtue I
call ‘giving uptake.’
In the second section, I will set out the idea of ‘uptake’ as a kind of genuine listening and explain why it is a
corrective to testimonial injustice. Consider a familiar sort of exchange:
‘How did the council meeting go? Were they receptive to your ideas?’
‘No, it was like talking to a wall. I didn’t get any uptake at all.’
This common linguistic use of ‘uptake’ disguises the depth and complexity of uptake as a virtue—yet most people
have a grasp of its intuitive sense. I unpack the philosophical idea of ‘uptake’ as it applies to minor-attracted persons
and explain how giving uptake will strengthen the construction of the DSM-5 as well as result in more ethical
treatment of minor-attracted persons.
Of course, speakers have to have certain virtues too—namely, that of accuracy and sincerity, and in the third part I
discuss the responsibility of speakers to be trustworthy to their audiences. This paper is designed to open up the
space for the appropriate giving of uptake, most immediately at the conference itself.
Brief descriptions of presentation at:
Pedophilia, Minor-Attracted Persons, and the DSM: Issues and Controversies
B4U-ACT Symposium, Baltimore, MD, August 17, 2011
The DSM and Stigma
Richard Kramer, Ph.D.
Director of Operations, B4U-ACT, Inc., Westminster, MD
This talk will present an analysis of ways in which the DSM has contributed to the stigmatization of people who are
attracted to minors (MAPs), discouraging them from seeking mental health services when they are needed. This will
proceed in four parts.
First, I will note the important role the DSM has in professional discourse about MAPs. Even though many MAPs
may not meet the diagnostic criteria for pedo(hebe)philia (as given in either DSM-IV-TR or the proposed DSM 5),
the only description of attraction to minors found in the dominant professional literature is that devoted to
pedophilia. That literature frequently repeats the information found in the DSM (e.g., no author, 2010). Therefore,
the DSM provides the sole official definition of minor-attraction endorsed by, and disseminated to, the mental health
Second, I will examine those features of the DSM entry for pedo(hebe)philia that stigmatize MAPs. These include
specific claims, found in the DSM-IV-TR's accompanying text (APA, 2000), about the behavior and motives of
people with pedophilia. These claims are based on forensic samples and include inferences about motives. They
suffer from the absence of any description of MAPs who do not violate the law, scientific support for claims
regarding motives, and recognition that MAPs may have a variety of motives similar to those who are attracted to
adults. As a result, the text provides a distorted and needlessly stigmatizing portrait of MAPs.
The overarching problem with the DSM is its predominant focus on legal violation, thus defining MAPs solely as
criminals. While the DSM 5 diagnostic criteria do not require illegal behavior, in practice such criteria have been
interpreted as illegal behavior, and the literature review used to justify the proposed revisions (Blanchard, 2010)
suggests that this is the intent. The review focuses on illegal behavior, and a new legal criterion has been added: use
of child pornography. There is little or no discussion of non-criminological aspects of or behaviors related to
Third, I will present results from surveys of MAPs that demonstrate the process of stigmatization due to the DSM.
These results show that large numbers of MAPs believe that MAPs could benefit from mental health services but are
afraid to seek them. Their fears include those of being perceived as criminals or potential criminals whose feelings
must be reported to others in their social sphere, and fears that professionals will make incorrect assumptions about
their behavior and motives suggested by the DSM. These results will also show the extent to which MAPs perceive
the DSM and related literature to focus on social control rather than therapeutic goals, further alienating MAPs from
the mental health professions.
Fourth, I will suggest ways in which MAPs, researchers, and clinicians can work together to transform the DSM into
a document that more completely and accurately portrays MAPs and focuses on mental health goals. This includes
involving MAPs in the revision process, basing research on non-forensic samples, and involving non-forensic
researchers from a wide variety of disciplines and perspectives--advice the APA itself advocates, but the paraphilias
subworkgroup has yet to heed. Unless the DSM radically changes its focus, MAPs are unlikely to voluntarily seek
mental health services from clinicians who take the DSM seriously.
American Psychiatric Association (APA). (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IVTR
Fourth Edition. Washington, DC: Author.
Brief descriptions of presentation at:
Pedophilia, Minor-Attracted Persons, and the DSM: Issues and Controversies
B4U-ACT Symposium, Baltimore, MD, August 17, 2011
Blanchard, R. (2010). The DSM diagnostic criteria for pedophilia. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Sept. 16 [Epub
ahead of print]. DOI 10.1007/s10508-009-9536-0
No author. (2010). Pessimism about pedophilia. Harvard Mental Health Letter. July, 2010. Retrieved May 22, 2011
Brief descriptions of presentation at:
Pedophilia, Minor-Attracted Persons, and the DSM: Issues and Controversies
B4U-ACT Symposium, Baltimore, MD, August 17, 2011
Can the Medicalization of Sexual Deviance ever be Therapeutic?
Andrew Hinderliter, M.A.
Graduate Student in Linguistics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL
Making compassionate mental health care available for MAPs and promoting and disseminating accurate
information about them are important goals. In this presentation, I argue that the diagnosis of Pedophilia can
probably never accomplish these pragmatic goals, and thus build on my previous work (Hinderliter, 2010) arguing
for the declassification of the paraphilias.
First, the DSM’s clinical significance criteria for pedophila says that a pedophilic orientation is a disorder
only if the person acts on it or is distressed because of it. Using this as the basis for research on pedophilia (or
hebephilia) systematically excludes well-adjusted, law-abiding individuals, thereby promoting research that
reinforces negative stereotypes. The alternative is recruiting from MAP organizations (i.e. websites), and would
require gaining member’s trust, a serious challenge for mental health professionals, given that they—along with
journalists—are seen as the two main groups in promoting negative stereotypes about MAPs (B4U-ACT, 2011). An
illuminating example from fall 2010 will be discussed, which suggests that individuals on these sites would likely be
extremely hostile to anyone trying to research them from a psychopathological perspective.
Second, as a branch of medicine, psychiatry should be fundamentally committed to the well-being of
patients, and not a branch of the criminal justice system masquerading as medicine. To be a disorder, something
must involve something negatively valued (“harm”). When the relevant “harm” is primarily toward the individual,
the focus of treatment is their well-being; when it is harm to others (real or imagined), the well-being of the
individual is too easily sacrificed in the name of “protecting society.”
In DSM-III-R, the paraphilias were mental disorders if the individual was distressed about their sexual
interest or had acted on it, with this second part being inconsistent with the DSM’s claim that sexual deviance is not
a mental disorder (Gert, 1992). If it is only a disorder if it causes distress, then the diagnosis is, in practice,
restricted to individuals wanting clinical help. “Or acted on it” enables diagnosis in the context of sex-offender
treatment and SVP commitment regardless of whether the individuals wants it or not, making it medical coercion
permitted in a context where the individual is mentally capable of giving/withholding informed consent (if necessary
information is given).
In DSM-IV, the paraphilias were made consistent with the DSM’s definition of mental disorder (Gert & Culver,
2009), by making them disorders only when they causes distress or disability, although this was an accident (First &
Halon, 2008). Many people/groups opposed to the declassification of homosexuality used this change in DSM-IV to
raise panic, and the APA caved to political pressure changing the account of (some) paraphilias in DSM-IV-TR.
This reaction was not caused by concern for the well-being of MAPs but to promote a narrative that the
declassification of homosexuality inevitably leads to acceptance of child-molesting, showing that one of the primary
reasons that pedophilia is now a mental disorder is that it inspires feelings of repulsion and disgust, a basis
fundamentally inconsistent with the role of physicians as healers.
B4U-ACT (2011). The B4U-ACT Survey.
First, M. B., & Halon, R. L. (2008). Use of DSM paraphilia diagnoses in sexually violent predator commitment
cases. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatric Law, 36, 443-454.
Gert, B. (1992). A sex inconsistency in DSM-III-R: The definition of mental disorder and the definition of
paraphilias. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 17, 155–171.
Brief descriptions of presentation at:
Pedophilia, Minor-Attracted Persons, and the DSM: Issues and Controversies
B4U-ACT Symposium, Baltimore, MD, August 17, 2011
Gert, B. & Culver, C M. (2009). Sex, Immorality, and Mental Disorders. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 34,
Hinderliter, A. C. (2010). Defining paraphilia: Excluding exclusion. Open Access Journal of Forensic Psychology,
2, 241-272.
Brief descriptions of presentation at:
Pedophilia, Minor-Attracted Persons, and the DSM: Issues and Controversies
B4U-ACT Symposium, Baltimore, MD, August 17, 2011
Sexual Alignment:
Critiquing Sexual Orientation, The Pedophile, and the DSM V
Jacob Breslow, B.A.
Graduate Student in Gender Research, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK
The Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders is currently under its sixth revision, and the current
proposed changes put forth major revisions on how pedophilia is defined, diagnosed and understood. This paper
approaches these revisions from within the critiques made by queer youth activism as well as feminist and anti-racist
scholarship, framing the upcoming changes to the DSM with apprehensive praise and critical ambivalence. Within it
I shall challenge normative assumptions about sexuality, personal and political identity, and childhood, both within
the DSM and within wider society.
One of the major changes attempts to establish a clear distinction between pedophilia as a non-diagnosable
ascertainment, and pedophilic disorder as a diagnosable, distressing and non-normative disorder that requires
psychiatric intervention. Allowing for a form of non-diagnosable minor attraction is exciting, as it potentially creates
a sexual or political identity by which activists, scholars and clinicians can begin to better understand Minor
Attracted Persons. This understanding may displace the stigma, fear and abjection that is naturalized as being
attached to Minor Attracted Persons and may alter the terms by which non-normative sexualities are known.
Furthermore, this paper argues that this distinction is potentially another step towards the complete re-thinking of
paraphilias within the DSM – a step that follows historically and theoretically from the removal of homosexuality.
However, when approached with the queer and feminist lenses of mis-recognition and unintelligibility, the
positive prospects of this division become quite muddled, exposing their entrenchment in problematic discourses of
sexual ontology and deviance. Far from arguing for a total embrace of the upcoming changes, this paper works
through the DSM’s struggle to understand “the pedophile” through an investigation of the highly questionable and
deeply assumptive clinical, empirical and theoretical studies it cites (Blanchard, 2009). These studies, some of which
are the basis for the upcoming revisions, ignore or disregard their own limitations, and yet continue to make claims
to truth and objectivity through problematic frameworks. Many tend to begin with the linkage of pedophilic desire to
harmful and abusive relationships and acts, and end up proliferating, rather than questioning, normative gendered
and sexual intelligibility.
Finally, this paper frames the upcoming changes through a theory of sexual alignment – critiquing the DSM
for theoretically and empirically forcing connections between the blurry lines that connect (and separate) acts,
desires, fantasies, and understandings of the self (Ahmed, 2006). The primary lens of critique for this paper is an in
depth textual, discursive and theoretical critique of the DSM and its surrounding body of knowledge on children and
pedophilia, focused on exposing the ways in which sexual acts and identities gain meaning and become known.
Blanchard, Ray. 2009. “The DSM Diagnostic Criteria for Pedophilia.” in Archives of Sexual Behavior, 39.
American Psychiatric Association.
Ahmed, Sara. 2006. “Orientations: Toward a Queer Pehenomenology” in GLQ 12:4. Duke University Press:
Durham, NC.
University of California, Santa Cruz
Community Studies and Feminist Studies
For Jacob Breslow, being the only openly gay student as an eighth grader in his middle school in the Walnut Creek, CA was torture. Surrounded by hateful speech and ignorance, Jacob began to lose his self worth. Although his family was supportive, the anguish he internalized from the every day hate-speech at school caused him to attempt suicide twice. After leaving the hospital, Jacob became determined to work for positive change so that no one would have to go through what he went through. Jacob has since worked for numerous queer-rights organizations in the East Bay and in Santa Cruz, where he is currently double majoring in Community and Feminist Studies. Jacob is an avid public speaker and has led many anti-homophobia trainings in schools, correctional facilities and community groups. This summer, Jacob will embark on a six-month field study in the UK to study queer subjectivity and create a curriculum focused on queer positive representation. Upon graduation, he plans to attend graduate school to get his PhD and become a professor of queer theory. Jacob is dedicated to making education safe for all youth and looks forward to being an active and supportive educator.


London School of Economics

Gender Institute

Graduate Student
Recent Updates
Jacob started following the work of 4 people.
3 months ago
.Research Interests (6)

1 comment:

Zoompad said...

Yes, vicars do lie, and they also get their wives to cover up for them as well.

I have been lied to by vicars, and in my experience the topic that they are most likely to lie about concerns child abuse.