International journal of law and psychiatry

Androgen deprivation therapy of self-identifying, help-seeking pedophiles in the Dunkelfeld.

PMID 22420933


Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is considered an effective strategy in sexual offender treatment. However, the evidence base concerning its effects on sexual arousal control is limited. Past research has focused almost exclusively on men in forensic contexts. The present retrospective observational study provided data on ADT in a sample of self-identifying, help-seeking pedohebephilic men applying for a one-year group therapy program. Factors possibly influencing the readiness to take up or discontinue ADT were presented. Effects of a combination of ADT and group psychotherapy program on changes in paraphilic sexual behavior and associated psychological factors were examined. The proportion of men having taken up ADT was rather small (n=15). Greater awareness of potentially risky situations to commit child sexual offenses and self-rated uncontrollability of sexual urges were identified as characterizing men resorting to ADT. Additionally, these men were initially more open to include medical treatment. Examination of the effects of ADT and psychotherapy was limited to a sample of six men providing complete data sets. Descriptive data demonstrated a reduction of paraphilic sexual behaviors, an increase of risk-awareness and self-efficacy, and a decrease of offense-supportive cognitions and self-esteem. The present study underlined the importance of careful education and monitoring of self-identifying, help-seeking pedohebephilic patients interested in ADT concerning the effects and side effects of the treatment in a clinical context.

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