MAPs 101 (r/map_reddit archive)

What is a MAP?

 

“MAP” means “minor-attracted person”. It’s an umbrella term used to describe anyone who experiences a sexual or romantic attraction to minors who are significantly younger than them. 

 

The term includes people with different “ages of attraction” who are otherwise known by different chronophilias (attractions to specific age ranges). They go as follows: nepiophilia (0-4), pedophilia (3-11), hebephilia (10-15), and ephebophilia (14-17). There are other chronophilias as well, but these are just the ones that are considered attraction to minors. Others include: teleiophilia (18-40), mesophilia (35-60), and gerontophilia (60+). All of these age ranges are just approximations because obviously no two people of the same age look or act the same. 



Do MAPs sexually abuse kids?

 

According to one study, 91.3-95.2% (0.99 CI) of minor-attracted persons (MAPs) have not sexually abused a child (https://doi.org/10.1037/abn0000213).[1]  Most MAPs recognize that child sexual abuse is harmful, so they choose to refrain from it. And, conversely, according to one study, 76.5-92.0% (0.99 CI) of persons who actually have been convicted of child sexual abuse are not MAPs (https://doi.org/10.1016/S0924-9338(14)77731-4).[1] So, blaming MAPs for child sexual abuse literally means that you’re ignoring 76.5-92.0% of the problem. 

 

Contrary to popular belief, child sexual abuse rarely has anything to do with sexual attraction to children; it is often about power, domination, and manipulation (the same reasons why people sexually abuse adults). When it isn’t, it’s often related to drug or alcohol abuse or sexual dysfunctions like compulsive sex addiction. Non-MAPs often target children because they are “easy” or “convenient” targets (i.e., they are more-vulnerable to manipulation). 

 

Many MAPs use the term “anti-contact” to explain their belief that minor-adult sex is fundamentally morally wrong. Some other MAPs use the term “pro-contact” as a way to explain their belief that minor-adult sex is “fundamentally” okay, but that it is still harmful to the child due to other factors like dysfunctional family environment or societal stigma; pro-contact MAPs often support their belief by misinterpreting and extrapolating data (https://psycnet.apa.org/buy/1998-04232-002) that showed family environment to be a better predictor of harm than child sexual abuse is. Still, even most pro-contact MAPs choose to refrain from actually engaging sexually with a child because they recognize that sexual contact can lead to harm, even if it is harm caused by society and not the sex itself. 



Who are MAPs?

 

Some estimates show that less than 5% of men and 4% of women are pedophiles (https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1037/11639-000); other estimates show this number to be between 1% and 3% (https://doi.org/10.1037/14191-000; https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-016-0799-y; https://doi.org/10.1037/0000107-000). However, these figures only represent pedophiles, not all MAPs. This distinction is especially important in this scenario because, according to the same sources, pedophilia is likely much less common than hebephilia or ephebophilia, which are both also part of minor attraction. This means that the number of MAPs is likely much higher than the 1-5% estimates of just pedophilia. Speculation has suggested that it could be as high as 10%. 

 

Literally ANYONE can be a MAP. There are MAPs of all genders, races, ethnicities, religions, etc.

 

Unpublished data from the Virtuous Pedophiles forum (https://virped.org) has shown that the average age for MAPs to realize their sexual orientation is when they’re about 13-14 years old. This makes sense due to pubertal hormone changes during this age range. Some MAPs discover long before then, and others don’t discover until much later in life.



Is it a mental illness?

 

No. Minor attraction is not a mental illness. According to the American Psychiatric Association, pedophilia is not a mental illness unless the individual either experiences clinically-significant distress as a direct result of their attraction to children or if they sexually abuse a child (https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596). The same can be assumed for the other chronophilias as well; therefore, minor attraction is not a mental illness. However, some MAPs may still struggle with self acceptance, depression, anxiety, etc., so support from a MAP-informed therapist can sometimes be beneficial (see: https://justpaste.it/map_reddit_2)



Can it be changed?

 

Never in history has there ever been a scientifically documented case of someone changing their sexuality. Anyone who claims that they can “cure” MAPs is likely fabricating it for personal benefit (such as promoting their business or gaining media publicity). According to our best research, minor attraction is innate and unchangeable (https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-016-0799-y).



Are MAPs trying to be part of LGBTQ+?

 

No! The MAP community has never tried to be part of LGBTQ+. That was simply a hoax spread by trolls on Tumblr to discredit the LGBTQ+ community. For more information, view the fact-check here on Snopes: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/maps-pride-flag/

 

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[1] These studies both contain methodology deficits that could affect the accuracy of their results. Both are also in reference only to pedophiles, the statistics for all MAPs may be different. 

 

MOD NOTES: work in progress; may be updated

edit 07/05/20: spelling

edit 07/06/20: added detail prevalence of MAPs

edit 07/16/20: added LGBTQ+ hoax

edit 07/26/20: archived from r/map_reddit

edit 08/03/20: removed GL/BL/CL; revised unchangeable

edit 08/03/20: archived from justpaste(dot)it/map_reddit_1

edit 08/04/20: revised proportion of offenders among MAPs

edit 10/11/20: added new sources for proportion of offenders among MAPs; added link to Virped; revised LGBTQ+ hoax