New research finds one in six men sexually attracted to children

As published in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Disturbing research into the extent of child sexual abuse has found almost one in six Australian men have sexual feelings towards children and teenagers, and almost one in 10 acknowledge having committed child sexual offences, despite few being caught.

One in 15 men admit they would have sexual contact with a child aged 14 or younger, if no one would find out.


The research by the University of NSW and Jesuit Social Services involved a nationally representative random survey of more than 1900 men aged 18 to over 65. The findings are consistent with peer-reviewed comparative studies from the US and Britain, and previous research on survivors.

The lead author, UNSW Associate Professor Michael Salter, will present the research on Monday to an audience of about 80 police, public servants, survivors and psychologists in Sydney.

Salter said this was the first Australian study to focus on undetected offenders, and his goal was to improve prevention and early detection of child sexual abuse.

“The aim of this study was to flip the script and really bring to visibility the men in the community who are harming children who never come to the attention of the criminal justice system,” Salter said.

The profile of the undetected offender was “the classic person who you’d never suspect”, Salter said. In the anonymous survey, one in 20 men had sexual feelings towards children and admitted to offending, and they were more likely than other men to be married, earn higher incomes and work with children.

Despite superficial success, the men were more likely to report anxiety, depression and binge drinking, and to have had adverse experiences in childhood. They were also more likely to be active online, including on social media, encrypted apps and cryptocurrency, and to consume pornography with violence or bestiality.

Read the full piece here.

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  • Caitlin Roper
    published this page in News 2023-12-02 10:29:16 +1100

You can defend their right to childhood

A world free of sexploitation is possible!

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