Goals and strategies in behavioral treatment of homosexual pedophilia: Comments on a case study

Gerald C. Davison, G. Terence Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Offers a critical evaluation of a case report by R. J. Kohlenberg (see PA, Vol 52:Issue 5), in which a homosexual adult pedophile male learned to respond sexually to other adult males and less to male children. Kohlenberg's ethical decision to work toward a homosexual adjustment for his client is supported; however, the strategies adopted reflect an inadequate behavioral analysis of the client's problem. In particular, the initial decision to employ aversive procedures is questioned, given that the client's problems included anxiety in approaching male adults. It does not seem necessary to interrupt a prepotent pattern of sexual behavior before attempting more positively to instate another set of feelings and responses, and the apparently favorable outcome of the in vivo exposure regimen lends support to this view. It is hoped that publication of this unconventional case study will contribute to open debate of the social values that underlie decisions by clinicians as to their goals in therapy. (21 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-198
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Abnormal Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1974
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


  • in vivo desensitization, 34-yr-old male homosexual pedophiliac, critical evluation of R. J. Kohlenberg's case report


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