Date of Award


First Advisor

Anne O'Dwyer

Second Advisor

Nancy Bonvillain


This research aims to provide greater understanding and awareness about the experiences of minor-attracted persons (MAPs), especially in online MAP-focused communities and spaces. The study included interviews of eight MAPs and a survey of MAP communities on Twitter and Mastodon. The MAPs interviewed acknowledged struggles with anxiety, suicidality, and finding healthy outlets for their libido. Unconditional positive regard and early intervention in high-risk individuals during puberty could have much value in 1) reducing negative mental health outcomes, 2) preventing offending in MAPs who have not yet offended, 3) reducing rates of recidivism in offenders, and 4) offering MAPs an alternative to an often stressful and unproductive internet echo chamber.

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