McGill University Researcher Solicits Online Pedophile Communities for “Child Love” Research

Reduxx has learned that a researcher at McGill University in Canada has been conducting a survey aimed at gaining insight from “child lovers” in online pedophile communities. The survey features images of naked children.

Psychology PhD researcher Julia Levitan has been collecting data from “child lovers” in an effort to ascertain data on “romantic attraction to children” in conjunction with a pro-pedophilia organization with ties to multiple Canadian universities.

On May 30, Levitan posted a call for participants on BoyChat, the surface web’s longest-running pederast forum. BoyChat caters to adult men sexually attracted to young boys, and has been operational since 1995. The site has been allowed to continue because posts are required to remain within a strict channel of legality, though the men often sign their posts with photos of themselves as children.

Men involved in the BoyChat community share tips on how to avoid law enforcement and advocate for sexual offending against minors. The terms “pro-contact” and “no contact” or “anti-contact” are used to differentiate between those who believe sex with minors should be legalized and those who claim to avoid acting on their urge to abuse.

In a recent discussion on the topic, one forum member listed his reasons for describing himself as “pro-contact,” stating: “I’m pro-contact, because I’m against so-called experts making an abuse out of hysterics, dramatic narratives, and brutal interventions. I’m pro-contact, because the physiology of many male youth make intimacy and sexual energy a most desired focus, and should not have to be done in paranoid secrecy, taking risks, and feeling guilty or shame.”

In her “introduction,” Levitan states that she is “committed to promoting and contributing to an empirically-informed understanding of people who are attracted to children.”

The following day, Levitan posted a link to the survey and encouraged BoyChat community members to “please feel free to pass this info along to other forums for child lovers, or to individual child lovers who may be interested.”

According to Levitan, the purpose of the survey is to examine “the nature and correlates of romantic attraction to persons across physical maturity stages, ranging from infants to the elderly.”

Eligible participants, Levitan says, should be “sexually and/or romantically attracted to prepubescent and/or pubescent children.” She adds that potential respondents are “encouraged” to contribute to the survey “whether you experience only sexual but not romantic attraction to children, only romantic but not sexual attraction to children, or both.”

Levitan’s survey, titled “Nature and Correlates of Romantic Attraction to Children,” asks respondents whether they identify as transgender, non-binary, or genderqueer.

Reduxx has viewed the survey and found that it inquires about sexual offending against minors while promising complete anonymity and privacy to respondents. “The data you provide will be kept confidential… All data will be kept for a period of seven years following the publication of findings from this study, after which they will be destroyed.”

The survey’s consent form urges participants to “safeguard” their privacy and offers suggestions for ways to “take additional precautions.” Recommendations include “using an incognito tab” and deleting browser history.

Regarding sexual orientation, various options are provided, including “pansexual, sexually attracted to children in general, regardless of their gender,” and “queer, sexually attracted to children in a way that does not correspond to traditional/established ideas of gender sexual orientation.”

Respondents are also asked to state at which age they became aware of their “attraction to prepubescent or pubescent children,” and provides options that begin from the age of just four years old.

In the survey, respondents are shown “semi-realistic medical illustrations of nude individuals ranging in age from infant to elderly.” The nude pictures of both males and females are accompanied by questions of attraction on a sliding scale for the men to answer.

Censorship applied by Reduxx.

On June 5, following feedback on the survey format from members of BoyChat, Levitan made a post to the forum thanking the men for their comments and explaining that “minor attracted” individuals had assisted in the creation of the questionnaire.

“Numerous researchers, as well as several MAPs, read over the entire survey and suggested changes to content, wording, phrasing, etc. The final survey content was created by a diverse team,” Levitan wrote.

In response, one forum member apologized for the negative comments, saying, “I assume that if you’ve been vetted by B4U-Act, you have generally benevolent intentions.”

Levitan replied, “MAPs have every right to be skeptical of MAPs researchers given the history, and to feel angry. I’m happy to address concerns. But it’s certainly nice to receive kind words of support as well.”

After some BoyChat members suggested that Levitan become more familiar with the community, even sending her a “MAP Starting Guide,” Levitan reiterated that she was prohibited from becoming too “chummy” with the self-described “boy lovers.” This, Levitan said, would be a breach of ethics, “as this has the potential to make members feel pressure to participate.”

To another concerned critic, Levitan remarked, “A prior study I conducted was qualitative and asked only open-ended questions asking participants to write freely about diverse aspects of their experiences of falling in love with children. Published manuscript is forthcoming, and feel I have a good grasp on the topic.”

One BoyChat member noted that he appreciated the illustrations of unclothed minors provided in the survey, commenting, “Adding the pictures of the boys was nice,” accompanied by a smiling emoji.

In her BoyChat post sharing the survey link, Levitan stated that she had previously made the survey available to participants of other pro-pedophilia communities, including Virtuous Pedophiles, before boasting that she had been credited as an “honored young scholar in the MAP research community” by B4U-Act, the group which is credited as coining the term “minor attracted person.”

In the Winter 2023 edition of B4U-Act’s Quarterly Review, Levitan is profiled positively as a member of the “new generation” of researchers promoting sympathy for “MAPs”. According to the publication, Levitan first developed an interest in “research on attraction to children” while pursuing a degree in
Psychology at the University of Guelph, where she took a seminar course on human sexuality. One lecture, it is stated, “was devoted to misconceptions surrounding minor-attracted persons (MAPs).”

“She remembers feeling profoundly curious and empathetic in response, yet surprised and frustrated to learn that the vast majority of her classmates shared opposite sentiments. Since then, she has grown increasingly committed to promoting and contributing to an empirically-informed understanding of MAPs.”

Levitan says that she “hopes to serve the minor-attracted community through her clinical work,” and has been a guest lecturer training therapists on the topic at McGill University Health Centre’s Sex and Couple
Therapy Service.

B4U-ACT was co-founded in 2003 by convicted child rapist Michael Melsheimer. Melsheimer explicitly stated that the purpose of the organization was to normalize pedophilia where the National Association of Man-Boy Love (NAMBLA) had failed to do so.

While Melsheimer died in 2010, the co-founder and current head of B4U-ACT, Richard Kramer, who uses a pseudonym to conceal his identity, also has a long history of pro-pedophilia lobbying and has admitted to having a sexual attraction to boys.

B4U-Act has has campaigned for years to change and ultimately eliminate the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) entry on pedophilia. During a 2011 symposium titled “Pedophilia, Minor-Attracted Persons, and the DSM: Issues and Controversies,” hosted by B4U-Act, Kramer used results of anonymous surveys conducted with the participation of members of B4U-Act in an attempt to establish that pedophilia is an innate identity that emerges in childhood.

Kramer also shifted blame onto the DSM for an “adversarial” position towards the desire to sexually abuse children, a stance that he says “stigmatizes MAPs” and in turn, leads children presumed to have an innate pedophile identity to attempt suicide.

Levitan has collaborated with B4U-Act since 2020, and, in the latest quarterly review, expressed her gratitude to both Kramer and another leading figure of the pro-pedophilia group, Allen Bishop, for their support. Her research is being funded by Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

B4U-Act also maintains a robust catalogue of networks within major Universities around the world. On its website, it lists institutions that have carried out research under its guidance or with its cooperation. Much of this research has to do with ending the stigmatization of “minor attracted persons.”

The University of Sheffield, for example, was partnered with B4U-Act until 2022 for a research project centered around examining “conceptualization of pedophilia [and] child sexual abuse” with the intended goal to “challenge the stigmatizing narratives about pedophilia.”

Likewise, the University of Nottingham partnered with B4U-Act from 2020 to 2022 for research on “how MAPs conceptualize and achieve self-acceptance, and to investigate the psychological and behavioral outcomes of self-acceptance, including mental health functioning, self-esteem, and attitudes towards adult-child contact.”

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Genevieve Gluck

Genevieve is the Co-Founder of Reduxx, and the outlet's Chief Investigative Journalist with a focused interest in pornography, sexual predators, and fetish subcultures. She is the creator of the podcast Women's Voices, which features news commentary and interviews regarding women's rights.

Genevieve Gluck
Genevieve Gluck
Genevieve is the Co-Founder of Reduxx, and the outlet's Chief Investigative Journalist with a focused interest in pornography, sexual predators, and fetish subcultures. She is the creator of the podcast Women's Voices, which features news commentary and interviews regarding women's rights.