Minor-attracted person (Wikipedia archive)

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Template:Pp-semi-indef Template:Short description Template:About Template:Wiktionary Minor-attracted person (abbreviated to MAP) is an umbrella term that covers a range of minor-related chronophilias,[1] including pedophilia and hebephilia.[2][3][4][5] The inclusion of ephebophilia under this category is controversial among some academics.[3][6]

This term, as well as its variants,Template:NoteTag has been used in some scientific publications as a replacement for the words "pedophile" and "hebephile", as well as a catch-all for any group of people who feel sexually attracted to minors under the age of 17.[2] Further reasons for its usage include the lesser amount of negative connotation attached to it compared to other similar terms,[7] as well as the need of some mental health professionals and researchers to address persons who are attracted to minors in a way that does not imply that they have committed a sexual offense.[2][4]

Minor-attracted person has been used by some academics,[2][8][4] psychiatrists,[4] anti-child sexual abuse organizations[8][7] and online communities for people who are sexually attracted to minors.[9] This term has rarely been used in popular discourse.[10][7]

The usage of minor-attracted person has been the cause of multiple online commotions[8][4] and anti-LGBT hoaxes.[11][12] In 2018 and 2019, several news outlets and social media posts falsely claimed that a flag attached to this label was associated with a supposed "rebranding" and inclusion of pedophiles into the LGBT community.[8][13][11][12]

Etymology and usage

The term minor-attracted person was adopted by the mental health nonprofit B4U-ACT in 2007.[14][15] It was derived from the term minor-attracted adult, which in turn was first used by Heather Peterson, an independent journalist covering interfaith issues, in a 1998 article.[16][17][15]


Variants of the term minor-attracted person include minor-attracted adult and minor-attracted man. The rarer usage of youth-attracted person has also been observed among research subjects,[2] and has been controversial.[18]

The label non-offending minor-attracted person (abbreviated to NOMAP) has been used to refer to people who are attracted to minors, but are committed not to engage in criminal actions.[8][19] Some social media users have used the label anti-contact (non-offending) minor-attracted person (abbreviated to ACNOMAP) to denote that they oppose the idea of adult-minor sexual contact. Other users have labeled themselves as pro-contact or pro-choice to denote the opposite.[20][21]

Minor-attracted person has a been used as a less stigmatizing replacement term for the words "pedophile" and "hebephile".[2][22][7] According to Richard Kramer, this is a term that empathises attraction rather than behavior.[5]

Counting from the first year that the term was used in academia, minor-attracted person and its variants have been used in 21 academic articles from 2017 to 2021. Researchers have used this term sometimes as a substitute for "pedophilia" and "hebephilia", and other times as an umbrella term for all groups of people who are sexually attracted to minors under the age of 17, including those at late-puberty and post-puberty. Common themes in those articles included the stigma surrounding sexual attractions to minors and obstacles to help-seeking behaviors among pedophiles, as well as child sexual abuse prevention.[2]

Usage among persons sexually attracted to minors

People who are sexually attracted to minors have used the label minor-attracted person to describe themselves on both online forums (such as Virtuous Pedophiles)[2] and social media websites (such as Tumblr and Twitter).[20][8]

In two studies conducted to samples of persons sexually attracted to minors to evaluate their label preferences, one from 2013 and another from 2020, some participants used the term minor-attracted person to refer to themselves, which they described as an improvement over the term pedophile. Participants of the latter study often found minor-attracted person less stigmatizing, but also more vague and "clunky".[2]

In another 2020 study where 306 participants recruited from online communities for people who are sexually attracted to minors were told to choose one or more preferred labels to describe themselves, the majority selected "child lover" (52%), followed by "pedophiles" (51%) and "minor-attracted persons" (40%). A 2022 study conducted among members of pedohebephilic support groups (such as Virtuous Pedophiles, among others) found that 34% of participants labeled themselves as minor-attracted persons or variants.[2]

On social media, the term minor-attracted person has been used by people who are sexually attracted to minors but have chosen not to commit sexual offenses. This label has also been used by internet trolls posing as self-described MAPs. B4U-ACT co-founder Russell Dick told the Agence France-Presse that online trolls have "posed as MAPs" in order to paint a negative picture of legitimate persons who do identify with the label.[8]

Usage among other groups

Minor-attracted person has been used by some anti-child sexual abuse organizations, such as the Global Prevention Project, and mental health nonprofits such as B4U-ACT. Due to past criticism, the former stated on their website that "to reiterate, this is not a term we invented, NOR is it a term used to rebrand pedophiles OR link them to the LGBTQ community” [sic].[8]

Some psychiatrists have used the label minor-attracted person to distinguish between persons who are sexually attracted to minors but have not commited a sexual offense and convicted or suspected child sexual abusers.[4]


The usage of the term minor-attracted person was criticized by Sunday Independent columnist and professor emeritus of psychiatry at the UCD School of Medicine Patricia Casey as an attempt to rename pedophiles and normalize pedophilia. In the article, she falsely accused the European Commission of using this term.[4]

In a 2021 episode of Tucker Carlson Tonight, Tucker Carlson criticized a university assistant-professor for using the term minor-attracted person. The segment's headline was titled "The Left's Depraved New Low".[23][24]

Former Democratic House Representative Tulsi Gabbard, in her speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) 2023, stated that the Biden Administration was “trying to tell us paedophilia is normal because minor-attracted people are acceptable”.[25] Lauren Boebert, while sharing a Libs of TikTok video clip where a former assistant-professor from the Old Dominion University used the term minor-attracted person, stated that "every person who uses the term MAP needs to be ostracized from civil society".[26]

A 2022 survey conducted by Preply reported that 45% of Democrats and 52% of Republicans felt annoyed by this term.[15] In that same year, the previous usage of minor-attracted person by Jacob Breslow at a 2011 mental health symposium, as well as its usage by two American educators and a sex therapist caused multiple social media controversies.[27][28][29][30]


2021 Old Dominion University controversy

In November 2021, then-assistant professor at Old Dominion University (ODU) Allyn Walker used the term minor-attracted person in an interview with a child protection organization. A short clip of the interview was shared by Libs of TikTok on Twitter with the description "they are coming for your kids". The clip went viral on social media and caused a public Change.org petition for ODU's administration to remove Walker from office.[31][32][33] After violent threats were made against Walker and the university campus, Walker was placed on administrative leave. In a joint media statement published by Old Dominion University president Brian Hemphill, the institution said that "decisions were made to protect the life and safety of faculty members and others on campus and beyond".[33]

During the controversy, a public letter signed by over 60 professors of fields related to sexual abuse was issued in support of Walker's scholarship.[33] Another letter was issued by ODU's American Association of University Professors (AAUP), in which the association stated that "we lament the loss of our dear colleague and call for explicit and immediate improvements in communication, due process, and protections of academic freedom by the administration leading Old Dominion University."[34]


In May 2022, Walker was hired as a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University's Moore Center for Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse.[35]

2022 Police Scotland controversy

In mid-2022, two Police Scotland annual reports used the term,[36] while referencing a proposal for a project funded by the Horizon Europe EU funding initiative.[37] Their use of the term was condemned by several politicians, who called it a "watering down", or said the term risked normalizing pedophilia.[38][39][40] Some falsely claimed that the European Commission had officially adopted the term, though the Commission is not responsible for the language used in EU project proposals.[4] In September 2022, Police Scotland successfully lobbied for the term to be removed from the project proposal, and told media outlets that "the term was entirely unacceptable in describing someone either involved in sexual offending against children or who has indecent thoughts towards them".[36]

False associations between minor-attracted people and LGBT pride

File:Tumblr user who created the map flag 2018 (cropped).jpg
Social media post where the flag was first published.

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On June 13, 2018, an anonymous Tumblr social media user published the artwork of a flag for people who labeled themselves as non-offending minor-attracted persons. Further on, the flag was also used by some Twitter users who also identified with the label. Despite false social media claims that followed the publication of this icon, there is no evidence that this flag was created as a campaign to normalize pedophilia or include it under the LGBT umbrella. Furthermore, it has not been verified whether its author was a legitimate user of the label minor-attracted person or an internet troll.[8]

After the flag was published, multiple anti-pedophile social media call-out posts about the MAP flag were made in the pride months (June) of 2018 and 2019. Further on, many news websites, such as The Daily Caller and LifeSiteNews published multiple articles falsely claiming that pedophiles were attempting to be included into the LGBT community. According to social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle, those articles were shared over 20,000 times on Facebook.[8][13]

Aside from the false claims that were spread online regarding this flag and its supposed connection to LGBT pride, multiple other social media campaigns were also made as an attempt to promote the unfounded theory that the LGBT community was attempting to normalize and legitimize pedophilia.[13]

See also




Further reading