Malón (Arch Sexual Behav 44(4):1071–1083, 2015) concluded that the usual arguments against sexual relationships between adults and prepubertal children are inadequate to rule out the moral permissibility of such behaviour in all circumstances. Malón (Sex Cult 21(1):247–269, 2017) applied virtue ethics in an attempt to remedy the postulated deficiency. The present paper challenges the virtue ethics approach taken in the second of Malón’s articles by: (1) contesting the view that sex is an exceptional aspect of morality, to which a virtue approach needs to be applied; (2) contesting the view that virtue ethics succeed, where other arguments fail, against the moral admissibility of child–adult sexual relations; (3) proposing that such relations can be seen as virtuous in the context of an alternative view of what constitutes virtue. (Thomas O’Carroll, Springer Nature, US, April 20, 2018)
A meta-analysis of all seven relevant phallometric studies reveals that 22% of normal men show greater or equal sexual arousal to child stimuli (individuals up to 13 years old) than to adult stimuli. Combined results of two of these studies reveal male prevalence rates of about 3% for pedophilia (mostly sexually aroused by prepubescents) and about 16% for hebephilia (mostly sexually aroused by pubescents). Details of these studies are described, and implications of the results for sexual science and society are discussed.