"An estimated 88% of child molesters and 95% of molestations (one person, multiple acts) are committed by individuals who now or in the future will also meet criteria for pedophilia. Pedophilic child molesters on average commit 10 times more sexual acts against children than nonpedophilic child molesters."
The above statistics appear quite damning at first glance. Still, like many things in life, the first glance can be misleading. I decided to track down the source of these alarming statistics. At length, I found that they could all be traced back to a single study published in 2001 by one Gene G. Abel and one Nora Harlow.
Among its findings, as could be expected from the above statistics is, "Pedophilia is the most significant cause of child molestation."
This is in stark contrast to such statements as those of of FBI sex offender expert Kennith Lanning, which state that the exact inverse is true. Until I actually located Abel's study, I had no means of reconciling this apparent contradiction, but with it, locating the source of the discrepancy was easy.
The word "pedophile" when used as a psychiatric term, refers to an adult who is primarily sexually attracted to children. Dr. Abel, however, chose to redefine the term for the purposes of his study. Rather than refer to people who's primary sexual attraction is directed toward children, Dr. Abel took the term to refer to people who had engaged in sexual behaviors with children.
Because this obviously would have constituted 100% of his child molester population (by definition), Dr. Abel took the following corrective action, "To separate admitted child molesters who fit the pedophilic diagnostic criterion that behavior must have continued 'for more than six months,' we used length of time of the continuing behavior."
So in effect, what the 88% number Dr. Abel presented actually means (once one learns his unique definition for the word "pedophile") is that 88% of child molesters molest children over a period greater than six months. The 95% figure indicates that 95% of child molestations are committed by individuals who are molesting children over a period of greater than six months. The 10 times figure, thus tells us that child molesters who molest children over a time period greater than six months commit, on average, 10 times the number of sex acts as child molesters who's activities last a period shorter than six months.
In short, Dr. Abel's statistics have absolutely nothing to do with pedophilia. Rather Dr. Abel has demonstrated through his study that child molesters who molest for greater than six months tend to perform more molestations than child molesters who molest for less than six months, and that child molesters, in the vast majority do molest children for a period longer than six months.