SOME CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS ON WHY DO THEY? BY PARKER ROSSMAN
The following is one of the sections of the fourth chapter of Dr. Parker Rossman’s Sexual Experience Between Men and Boys (originally published in 1976), entitled "Why Do They?", introduced here, and intended to explain why in general some men desire boys, though in practice limited in its evidence to what was then recent in countries with a Judaeo-Christian tradition.
Some Concluding Observations
- Among pederasts interviewed, we found little evidence for the common view that they turn to boys because they can’t make it with women by reason of shyness, feelings of inadequacy or impotence, although the range of opinion among pederasts as to motivation is wider than this chapter has suggested. We have omitted some naive theories and some esoteric ones, such as angel-possession. Most of the pederasts who were questioned, however, had concluded that at an age too young for them to have been personally responsible they were overcome by something which radically changed their lives.
- By omitting much data because of lack of space we have lost sight of some complicating factors, such as the difference between the fantasy experience of intellectual pederasts and the rough-play experience of the less well-educated. It is difficult to clarify the use of fantasy as a substitute for sex play as versus the extent to which fantasy triggers and stimulates actual sexual contact. Fantasy life is not so easily remembered and reported as are sex acts.
- 74 per cent of pederasts in one study were aware of their sexual interest in younger boys by the age of eighteen, indeed 28 per cent were aware of this by the early age of fifteen. Even more striking - whether one is searching for cause or for means of prevention - is the fact that 64 per cent of the pederasts had been sexually involved with a younger boy in their teenage years, and only a very small percentage of perhaps 8 per cent had their first sexual act with a boy after the age of thirty.
- Most pederasts reported consciousness of a strong erotic attraction to boys long before their first overt physical contact, and in many cases before they had any idea what form of sexual act might take place with a boy. Their first thoughts were often simply of wrestling or games - actions which might not be defined as sexual at all were it not for the accompanying fantasies which stimulated and accentuated genital pleasure.
- Masturbation plays a role in the motivation and triggering process, but there is no evidence that masturbation leads necessarily to deviant acts - indeed, for most boys it is a first step toward normal sexual behavior. Perhaps further study of masturbation fantasies would show a relationship to the progression in pederast experience from mutual masturbation to mutual sex play and games which involve real or imaginary oral or anal experimentation, and the extent to which some boys become addicted to such fantasies as a substitute for coitus.
- For many pederasts, adult involvement with boys is an effort to recapture an experience of erotic pleasure which was so powerful in young adolescence that the memory of it from time to time triggers an irresistible desire to repeat the performance. On the other hand, there are many cases in which the adolescent experience of pederasty was entirely imaginary, and adult experimentation with boys is an effort to see if what was imagined is true, or perhaps to have in adulthood the sexual experience that was denied at an earlier age.
- The factor most often reported as triggering a man to make a specific sexual overture to a boy is his discovery that the boy is sexually aroused, available and experienced - which reminds the pederast of his own sexual arousal at the same age. However, a first incident may also be quite the opposite. In situations where a pederast has great affection for a boy, he may wish to give the youngster his first orgasm and teach him how to enhance the pleasure received in masturbation. The pederast may view this as a type of sex education or as a special gift.
- As our case histories suggest, often there is no one cause for pederasty. The experience of each person is unique in some respects, with a special combination of factors often coming into play. Pederasty probably has more in common with normal heterosexuality than might be perceived at first glance. For example, the reasons a pederast becomes promiscuous are probably not essentially different from the reasons a normal heterosexual young man becomes promiscuous or an adventurer.