James M. Cantor (born January 2, 1966 in Manhasset, New York) is an American clinical psychologist and research scientist based in Canada and specializing in sexology, specifically on atypical sexualities. He has been called the "foremost living expert on paraphilias," being "at the forefront of neuroimaging studies of pedophiles." He is an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Toronto's Faculty of Medicine, and the Head of the Law and Mental Health Research Section of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
He is editor-in-chief of Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, and a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Sexual Aggression, The Journal of Sex Research, and Archives of Sexual Behavior.
Cantor studied interdisciplinary science at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with a concentration in computer science and minors in mathematics and physics. He obtained an MA from Boston University and a PhD in clinical psychology from McGill University with a thesis on "Reversal of fluoxetine-induced sexual dysfunction in male rats."
Research and views
Cantor's research centers on the development of sexual interests, including sexual orientation and paraphilias. His study using magnetic resonance imaging to examine the brains of male pedophiles received widespread attention. He found a significant decrease in the amount of white matter in their brains compared to control subjects, in addition to having lower IQ and being shorter than average, which was interpreted as suggesting a link to early brain development. Cantor insists however that these findings do not imply that pedophiles should not be held legally responsible for their actions thus encouraging criminal prosecution of both children and adults who engage in sexual acts currently deemed socially inappropriate and illegal.
Cantor is one of the co-authors of a 2008 paper by Ray Blanchard, which shaped the DSM-5 proposal of replacing the pedophilia diagnosis with pedohebophilic disorder, adding hebephilia as part of the definition of this disorder but at the same time differentiating it into three subtypes: pedophilic type (attracted to children younger than 11), hebephilic (attracted to children between 11–14), and pedohebephilic type (attracted to both age groups mentioned). The main argument in the paper for this addition is that the DSM-IV-TR definition of pedophilia is not sufficient to cover attraction to "physically immature persons". The proposal was completely rejected and was criticized, on the strong scientific grounds that it pathologizes reproductively valid behavior in order to uphold current social and legal standards. However, Dr. Cantor denies that he had any desire to have pedohebephilia added to DSM-5 and "that the contents of my paper were used by the committee to support the contents of their proposal. That's what's supposed to happen" He went on to say, "That does not demonstrate in the slightest that I had any desire for any aspect of any proposal.... I dislike the DSM altogether and prefer the ICD." 
Cantor has rejected any linkage between homosexuality and pedophilia, saying, "It's quite solidly shown in the scientific literature that there is absolutely no association between being a gay man and being a pedophile". He is skeptical of "shemales"—men who undergo procedures to look female and who live as women, but who do not seek sex reassignment surgery—who say they want to remain in a "shemale" state. Cantor has been quoted as saying that "[the 'shemales'] often change their stories as they come to terms with everything."
Cantor gave a speech about his personal experience of being a gay graduate student at the 1991 annual convention of the American Psychological Association.
He has written that transsexuals deserve a "bill of transsexual rights," saying that expressions of such rights are overdue. "People choose whether to transition, but one does not choose to be dysphoric about the sex they were born into."
On CNN, Cantor expressed the opinion that society should make it easier for persons who are sexually attracted to children but have never committed any sexual offenses to receive support and assistance in staying offense free. In his view, it is the sexual offenses (child molestation) and not the sexual attractions (pedophilia) that merit social sanctions. "One cannot choose to not be a pedophile, but one can choose to not be a child molester."
Cantor has said that the online group Virtuous Pedophiles, for pedophiles who acknowledge having a sexual interest in children, and whose members share the belief that sexual activity between adults and children is wrong and always will be, could help prevent child abuse.
- Blanchard, R., Kuban, M. E., Blak, T., Klassen, P. E., Dickey, R., & Cantor, J. M. (2012). Sexual attraction to others: A comparison of two models of alloerotic responding in men. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 41, 13–29.
- Lykins, A. D., Cantor, J. M., Kuban, M. E., Blak, T., Dickey, R., Klassen, P. E., & Blanchard, R. (2010). Sexual arousal to female children in gynephilic men. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 22, 279–289.
- Lykins, A. D., Cantor, J. M., Kuban, M. E., Blak, T., Dickey, R., Klassen, P. E., & Blanchard, R. (2010). The relation between peak response magnitudes and agreement in diagnoses obtained from two different phallometric tests for pedophilia. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 22, 42–57.
- Blanchard, R., Kuban, M. E., Blak, T., Cantor, J. M., Klassen, P. E., & Dickey, R. (2009). Absolute versus relative ascertainment of pedophilia in men. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 21, 431–441.
- Blanchard, R., Lykins, A. D., Wherrett, D., Kuban, M. E., Cantor, J. M., Blak, T., Dickey, R., & Klassen, P. E. (2009). Pedophilia, hebephilia, and the DSM–V. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 38, 335–350.
- Cantor, J. M., Kabani, N., Christensen, B. K., Zipursky, R. B., Barbaree, H. E., Dickey, R., Klassen, P. E., Mikulis, D. J., Kuban, M. E., Blak, T., Richards, B. A., Hanratty, M. K., & Blanchard, R. (2008). Cerebral white matter deficiencies in pedophilic men. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 42, 167–183.
- Blanchard, R., Kolla, N. J., Cantor, J. M., Klassen, P. E., Dickey, R., Kuban, M. E., & Blak, T. (2007). IQ, handedness, and pedophilia in adult male patients stratified by referral source. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 19, 285–309.
- Cantor, J. M., Kuban, M. E., Blak, T., Klassen, P. E., Dickey, R., & Blanchard, R. (2007). Physical height in pedophilia and hebephilia. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 19, 395–407.
- Blanchard, R., Kuban, M. E., Blak, T., Cantor, J. M., Klassen, P., & Dickey, R. (2006). Phallometric comparison of pedophilic interest in nonadmitting sexual offenders against stepdaughters, biological daughters, other biologically related girls, and unrelated girls. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 18, 1–14.
- Cantor, J. M., Kuban, M. E., Blak, T., Klassen, P. E., Dickey, R., & Blanchard, R. (2006). Grade failure and special education placement in sexual offenders’ educational histories. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 35, 743–751.
- Seto, M. C., Cantor, J. M., & Blanchard, R. (2006). Child pornography offenses are a valid diagnostic indicator of pedophilia. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 115, 610–615.
- Cantor, J. M., Blanchard, R., Robichaud, L. K., & Christensen, B. K. (2005). Quantitative reanalysis of aggregate data on IQ in sexual offenders. Psychological Bulletin, 131, 555–568.
- Cantor, J. M., Klassen, P. E., Dickey, R., Christensen, B. K., Kuban, M. E., Blak, T., Williams, N. S., & Blanchard, R. (2005). Handedness in pedophilia and hebephilia. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 34, 447–459.
- Cantor, J. M., Blanchard, R., Christensen, B. K., Dickey, R., Klassen, P. E., Beckstead, A. L., Blak, T., & Kuban, M. E. (2004). Intelligence, memory, and handedness in pedophilia. Neuropsychology, 18, 3–14.
- Blanchard, R., Kuban, M. E., Klassen, P., Dickey, R., Christensen, B. K., Cantor, J. M., & Blak, T. (2003). Self-reported injuries before and after age 13 in pedophilic and non-pedophilic men referred for clinical assessment. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 32, 573–581.
- Blanchard, R., Christensen, B. K., Strong, S. M., Cantor, J. M., Kuban, M. E., Klassen, P., Dickey, R., & Blak, T. (2002). Retrospective self-reports of childhood accidents causing unconsciousness in phallometrically diagnosed pedophiles. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 31, 511–526.
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- Archives of Sexual Behavior, Volume 38, Number 3
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- Archives of Sexual Behavior, Volume 39, Number 3
- Gay outrage over cardinal's child abuse comment
- Rare 'shemales' seek respect and understanding
- Toronto shemales strut their stuff, part of national quest for rights
- Being gay and being a graduate student: Double the memberships, four times the problems
- Bill of Transsexual Rights
- Do pedophiles deserve sympathy?
- Virtuous Pedophiles website