Hall, C., Hogue, T., & Guo, K. (2015). Gaze patterns to child figures reflect deviant sexual preference in child sex offenders – a first glance. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 21, 303-317.

Research on non-offending heterosexual participants has indicated that men’s gaze allocation reflects their sexual preference. In this exploratory pilot study we investigated whether naturalistic gaze behaviour is sensitive to deviant sexual preferences. We compared gaze patterns of convicted heterosexual child sex offenders (CSOs; n = 13) with female victims to heterosexual non-offending men (n = 13) in a task of free-viewing images of clothed male and female figures aged 10, 20 and 40 years. CSOs dedicated more fixations to the upper body of the female child than male child figures. The pattern was different for the control sample, whose gaze pattern to male and female figures could only be differentiated when viewing adult figures. CSOs showed significantly greater difference in their gaze towards the upper body of male and female children than non-offenders. Our findings provide preliminary evidence for eye-tracking as a potential method of assessing deviant sexual interest.

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