Laura Russell, Ph.D., Archive  

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can men recover from sexual abuse trauma?


A. Lolita: What motivates men who are attracted to little girls? 


Q. My friend unfortunately married a man that persuaded her to run away from home at thirteen and they marry him when she was sixteen and seven months with child. At the time of their meeting and the seduction process, he was twenty-eight. Why would he be attracted to a thirteen year old girl instead of a woman nearer his own age? 

A. There are various explanations of this in the literature. They can be summed up as follows: 

  1. Sinfulness 

  2. Abnormal sexual experiences in early life 

  3. Failure in the normal sexual developmental process 

  4. Media images 

  5. History of molestation 

  6. An abnormal need for power over others 

  7. A pleasure response to another person’s fear 

My own answer was previously given in the answer to the “Why” question. It doesn’t really matter what the reason for their behavior is. What is important to realize is that pedophiles are different from you and I. I usually tell my clients that you cannot really understand the person who has hurt you. It is more important to recognize that they are the way they are. Their motivations are so foreign to normal people as to be incomprehensible. 

It is a real mistake to apply psychotherapeutic ideas to pedophiles. When we do this, we misunderstand them. We also take the responsibility for their outrageous behavior from them. Then we make a new mistake: Thinking that they can be cured with psychological treatment. This leads to pedophiles being released from prison to hurt additional children. 














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