MRIs link pedophilia to problems in brain development
TORONTO, Nov. 28 /CNW/ - Pedophilia might be the result of faulty
connections in the brain, according to new research released by the Centre for
Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). The study used MRIs and a sophisticated
computer analysis technique to compare a group of pedophiles with a group of
non-sexual criminals. The pedophiles had significantly less of a substance
called "white matter" which is responsible for wiring the different parts of
the brain together.
The study, published in the Journal of Psychiatry Research, challenges
the commonly held belief that pedophilia is brought on by childhood trauma or
abuse. This finding is the strongest evidence yet that pedophilia is instead
the result of a problem in brain development.
Previous research from this team has strongly hinted that the key to
understanding pedophilia might be in how the brain develops. Pedophiles have
lower IQs, are three times more likely to be left-handed, and even tend to be
physically shorter than non-pedophiles.
"There is nothing in this research that says pedophiles shouldn't be held
criminally responsible for their actions," said Dr. James Cantor, CAMH
Psychologist and lead scientist of the study, "Not being able to choose your
sexual interests doesn't mean you can't choose what you do."
This discovery suggests that much more research attention should be paid
to how the brain governs sexual interests. Such information could potentially
yield strategies for preventing the development of pedophilia.
A total of 127 men participated in the study; approximately equal numbers
of pedophiles and non-sexual offenders.
The Kurt Freund Laboratory at CAMH was established in 1968 and remains
one of the world's foremost centers for the research and diagnosis of
pedophilia and other sexual disorders.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is one of the leading
addiction and mental health organizations in North America and Canada's
largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital. Integrating clinical
care, scientific research, education, policy development and health promotion,
CAMH transforms the lives of people impacted by mental health and addiction
CAMH is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization
Collaborating Centre, and is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.
For further information:
For further information: or to arrange interviews please contact Michael
Torres, Media Relations, CAMH at (416) 595-6015