Primary Health Professionals’ Beliefs, Experiences, and Willingness to Treat Minor-Attracted Persons

Journal article


Lievesley, R., Swaby, H., Harper, C.A. and Woodward, E. 2022. Primary Health Professionals’ Beliefs, Experiences, and Willingness to Treat Minor-Attracted Persons. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 51, p. 923–943. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-021-02271-7
AuthorsLievesley, R., Swaby, H., Harper, C.A. and Woodward, E.
Abstract

There is a desire and need among minor-attracted persons (MAPs) to access support within the community, and this often begins with an approach to healthcare providers working in general medical/mental health settings. However, little is known about the experiences of these non-specialist professionals in relation to their beliefs, knowledge, and decision-making processes when working with patients who disclose sexual attractions to children. Using an online survey, this study explored the knowledge, comfort, competence, and treatment willingness of 220 non-specialist healthcare providers when faced with patients who disclose sexual attractions to children. We investigated how often such disclosures were made, clinician stigma, treatment priorities, and professionals’ willingness to report MAPs to external agencies because of their sexual attractions. Some key differences were found when comparing primary medical vs. mental health professionals, including increased likelihood to view MAPs as dangerous, unable to control behaviors and that sexual attractions are an avoidable choice, in the former group. Both groups prioritized mental health treatment targets above controlling attractions and living with stigmatized attractions, although controlling or changing attractions were still relatively high priorities. Results indicated a need for further training, focusing on increasing comfort around working with MAPs, as this was associated with a greater willingness to work with this group. We identify current gaps in service provision for MAPs seeking professional support and discuss recommendations for professional training.

Keywordsminor-attracted persons (MAPs); community support ; sexual attractions to children
Year2022
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Journal citation51, p. 923–943
PublisherSpringer
ISSN1573-2800
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-021-02271-7
Web address (URL)https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-021-02271-7
http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-85123889718&partnerID=MN8TOARS
Output statusPublished
Publication dates27 Jan 2022
Publication process dates
Deposited10 Mar 2023
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