The virtual people set : developing computer-generated stimuli for the assessment of pedophilic sexual interest

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Dombert B, Mokros A, Brückner E, Schlegl V, Antfolk J, Bäckström A, Zappalà A, Osterheider M, Santtila P
Publication year: 2013
Journal: Sexual Abuse
Journal acronym: Sex Abuse
Volume number: 25
Issue number: 6
Start page: 557
End page: 582
ISSN: 1573-286X


The implicit assessment of pedophilic sexual interest through viewing-time methods necessitates visual stimuli. There are grave ethical and legal concerns against using pictures of real children, however. The present report is a summary of findings on a new set of 108 computer-generated stimuli. The images vary in terms of gender (female/male), explicitness (naked/clothed), and physical maturity (prepubescent, pubescent, and adult) of the persons depicted. A series of three studies tested the internal and external validity of the picture set. Studies 1 and 2 yielded good-to-high estimates of observer agreement with regard to stimulus maturity levels by two methods (categorization and paired comparison). Study 3 extended these findings with regard to judgments made by convicted child sexual offenders.

Last updated on 2019-13-12 at 03:35