We may never have the exact answer what specifically drives offenders, and no two predators think and act alike. While pedophiles are specifically driven by sexual-attraction to children, non-pedophilic perpetrators may be motivated by:

  •  A sense of excitement and satisfaction in grooming and manipulating not only the child they’re abusing, but even in deceiving the parents and community at large. Some may even qualify as sociopaths.
  • Low self-esteem, stress, or unmet emotional needs for intimacy & affection, using sexual gratification with a child as a means of coping with it. They may acknowledge that their behavior is wrong, and may even stop if the child resists, but if the abuse continues they may rationalize their behavior and minimize the abusive nature of their actions.
  • An unchecked sense of entitlement that they are above others and have a “right” to do what they want without reproach and seek to dominate others.
  • Sexual deviancy a desire to explore a variety of sexual experiences and may exhibit an addiction to sex & pornography.
  • Social Isolation – some offenders are considered eccentric, awkward loners, that don’t socialize well with others and may exhibit what many would consider abnormal behavior. Such offenders may choose to sexually abuse children because they are less-threatening than their peers.

This is something that confuses many people – if they’re not sexually attracted to children, why would they want to engage in sexual contact? A pedophile is sexually attracted to the physical form of a prepubescent child. Many abusers however are not necessarily drawn to the child’s physical attributes but are seeking a sexual relationship that they can control. They often have sexual relationships with adults as well. Why do they choose to abuse children as well?  A child is easier to manipulate, easier to control, easier to keep silent. For some it’s simply a matter of being trusted with children and taking advantage of the opportunity, for others – specifically sociopaths, it’s about domination, taking pleasure in abusing people.



Sections on this page have been adapted from TheMamaBearEffect.



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