To the Editor: In their article about pedophilia,
Dr Fagan and colleagues1 described this
behavior at the interface of medicine and law. There are many theories and
much speculation about the cause of pedophilia, but nothing is known of its
biology. It should be possible to study brain activity in response to relevant
stimuli. For instance, a recent study using magnetic resonance imaging mapped
brain activy and measured penile tumescence while subjects viewed relaxing
scenes, sports highlights, and sexual scenes.2 With
several hundred convicted pedophiles behind bars in the United States, it
is surprising that there have been no imaging studies of their brains.
Renshaw DC. Medical Research in Pedophilia—Reply. JAMA. 2003;289(10):1243–1244. doi:10.1001/jama.289.10.1243-a
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.