Chapter Writing: Theodore Millon Position Statement on Personality Theorist

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[. . .] Towards this end, therefore, it is clear that the behavior of pedophiles matches the highlights of this particular domain of psychopath conduct.

The cognitive approach when it comes to the phenomenological domain is, according to Craig (2005), reported as being ‘deviant.’ It is important to note that those who harbor antisocial tendencies tend to have a different perspective of events from that of normal persons. Their morals as well as beliefs tend to be manifestly unusual, unconventional, and in most cases perverse. With this in mind, it is important to note that the conduct and behavior of pedophiles is not only bizarre, but also anomalous. Their desires and resulting actions could be termed deviant. It is this cognitive deviancy amongst pedophiles that links their behaviors to the descriptors of antisocial personality disorders. Next, we have ‘debased’ as the term used when describing antisocial object representation domain. In this case, the representation of other people in the mind of an antisocial tends to be diminished. It is this same diminished perspective of children that pedophiles tend to have. In that regard, therefore, they use the child to satisfy their sexual desires without any regard to the emotional and/or physical pain the said child experiences. The fifth domain is the self-image. Here, the general domain description according to Craig (2005) is ‘autonomous.’ Antisocial persons in this case do not feel bound by expectations as a consequence of longstanding relationships, friendships etc. They desire a free and unconfined nature and do not feel the need for personal loyalties or allegiances. Pedophiles have been shown to have no respect for boundaries and the fact that there have been instances where they have exploited their own relatives, friend’s children, etc. is a clear indication of this fact.

The intrapsychic and morphological domains could also be matched to pedophile descriptors – with the former domain postulating that that the antisocial is likely to ‘act out’ and the former pointing towards an ‘unruly’ behavior. With regard to ‘acting out’, there is little or no restraint when it comes to the adaptation or modulation of thoughts and/or behavior. Pedophiles demonstrate little or no constraint in the attunement of their offensive thoughts as well as actions. ‘Unruly’ behavior, on the other hand, has got to do with the demonstration of quite a low threshold for behaviors as well as thoughts that could be seen as being intolerant and unfortunate. Those who abuse children sexually could be said to be having an unhealthy inclination towards pervasive behavior. Lastly, there is the biosocial domain, which according to Craig (2005) describes those exhibiting antisocial behavior as being cold-hearted, unfeeling, and callous. They are also unlikely to display any contrition or sorrow. This is consistent with the tendency of pedophiles to exhibit unacceptable behavior towards children - with their actions fitting the description of callous and cold-hearted. Lack of remorse makes their behaviors habitual.

In the final analysis, it should be noted that the fact that there is an overlap of sorts between the personality traits of pedophiles and the domains put forth by Millon offers us an opportunity to tackle the child abuse monster in our contemporary society. This is despite the fact in this case, two spectrum disorders are being examined. A discussion of this nature is not only timely, but also relevant, especially given that the problem cuts across all cultures and its impact spreads across many generations. Given the psychopathic-like characteristics of pedophiles, Millon’s domains could be used to understand the modus operandi of a pedophile so as to design the most effective intervention measures. This is more so the case given that as Millon and Davis (1996) point out, psychiatric disorders “may be better understood as dimensions of general personality functioning rather than as discrete illness categories.”


Craig, R.J. (Ed.). (2005). New Directions in Interpreting the Milton Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Kiehl, K. (2014). The Psychopath Whisperer. London: One World Publishers.

Millon T, & Davis R. (1996). Disorders of Personality, DSM-IV and Beyond. New York: Wiley Interscience

National Children’s Alliance (2018). National Statistics on Child Abuse. Retrieved from [END OF PREVIEW]

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