Research on pedophiles has suggested that <we differ from ordinary people in a variety of non-flattering ways> . The implications of being short or left-handed are obvious and not very serious for a person's self-concept. But IQ is more central to a person's self-worth, and the claimed deficit bothers some pedophiles a great deal.
Researchers cannot locate non-offending pedophiles in sufficient numbers to support research studies, as most of us go to great lengths to stay hidden. Instead, they are limited to looking at sex offenders and comparing those who are attracted to children with those attracted to adults. We might expect criminals (and criminals who are caught) to be less intelligent than the average person, but by comparing criminals to criminals, the researchers control for that. If pedophilic sex offenders are less intelligent than teleiophilic sex offenders, then we would expect that non-offending pedophiles would also be less intelligent than non-offending teleiophiles. The burden of proof falls on those who would deny this extension to offer some relevant difference.
I have a suggestion: Pedophiles who become offenders may have an imagination deficit, and imagination is strongly correlated with IQ.
Some scientists observed that while non-human animals do sometimes masturbate, only humans seem to masturbate to orgasm. The speculation was that we humans can imagine a scenario of sex in our minds that is compelling enough to cause orgasm. There are also significant differences within humans in the ability to construct compelling images.
Next consider why people commit hands-on sex crimes. In general, a large number are explained by some form of psychopathy combined with desire and a lack of self-control. This would be true of pedophiles and teleiophiles both. That's the population that is common to both.
Consider teleiophiles who do care to some extent about the well-being of the adult women they would like to have sex with. They can usually find willing adult women partners, or can engage the services of prostitutes. They can satisfy their desire for sex directly.
Pedophiles do not have these options -- they cannot find consenting child partners, and prepubescent child prostitutes are also hard to find and carry a legal risk far beyond that of engaging an adult prostitute. Nonetheless, they have a strong sex drive, and some people will satisfy it in illegal ways.
I claim that more intelligent pedophiles will be more likely to find legal substitutes that are somewhat satisfying. They can masturbate to an imagined attractive child and be less likely to offend against a child. The offenders against children will be disproportionately those who are less intelligent.
Pornography would present an intermediate case. Teleiophiles have access to a wide variety of legal pornography, and looking at it will not make them a sex offender. Being caught with child porn will make a pedophile a sex offender. The better the imagination, the better satisfied a pedophile could be with less extreme pictures or with legal pictures. So pedophiles who get significantly more sexual satisfaction from CP than from imagination would be more likely to download it and get caught downloading it (and maybe also less likely to properly use measures like TOR). The <Diamond et al studies> suggest that the availability of CP reduces hands-on crime against children, and that would fit with this picture -- pedophiles will substitute looking at CP for hands-on offenses against children.
One of my fellow Virtuous Pedophiles members summarized my idea like this: "More child abusers on average offend because they're not intelligent enough to fantasize fulfillingly. Whereas teleiophilic rapists on average offend for some reason other than inability to fantasize, because they wouldn't have to fantasize anyway; they could just have legal sex. What you end up with is the teleiophilic offenders being on average more intelligent than the paedophilic offenders but not necessarily higher than non-offending paedophiles who would have on average benefitted from a better imagination and intelligence to help them not offend."
This hypothesis leads to a number of predictions.
One is that in studying sex offenders, a direct measure of imagination would also distinguish pedophiles from non-pedophiles and perhaps be even stronger than the IQ difference.
We might expect more remorse among child sex offenders than rapists of adult women, if there are fewer psychopaths in the mix.
If child rape went down in Japan, Denmark or Czechia when child porn became widely available, we could predict that the average IQ of the remaining child rapists would be lower, as only the least imaginative pedos were left without satisfying material (though this study would probably be impractical).
We could do a simple study of ordinary people asking for frequency of masturbation solely to fantasies in a person's mind compared to ones involving visual pornography and looking at the relationship to IQ.
We could also look for this effect in other cases where people are trying to be celibate -- teens from conservative religions, for instance. Would more intelligent ones be more likely to stay celibate? I found <this on the web>: "A 2000 Study by University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill concluded that more intelligent teenagers are more restrained about sex, and are much less sexually active on the whole than their less-intelligent classmates. In the experiment, 12,000 students between the 7th and 12th grades were polled (confidentially) about their sexual activity, and then given a basic intelligence test…."
Perhaps there are other crimes where imagination could substitute somewhat for the benefit of the crime, and we could look for an imagination difference there too.
At a subjective level, we pedophiles might observe this in ourselves too, perhaps varying over time -- feeling more temptation if our imagination fails us.
I am not especially bothered by the IQ deficit in pedophiles, and believe resolving it is a scientific question. My suggestion is made within a scientific framework, it makes testable predictions, and it can be evaluated scientifically.
The other deficits pedophiles have suggest that something went wrong in the brains of many pedophiles by an early age, and that makes an IQ deficit likely too, so I expect my hypothesis would at best explain part of the effect.