Sexual Orientation, Sexual Motivation, and Erotic Target Identity Inversions in Male Adult Baby/Diaper Lovers

Kevin J. Hsu, J. Michael Bailey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Adult baby/diaper lovers (AB/DLs) enjoy role-playing as babies and/or wearing diapers. They also engage in other related activities, such as urinating or defecating themselves and having an adult care for them. Previous surveys have revealed that AB/DLs commonly report sexual motivation, a finding that is corroborated by case reports in the psychiatric literature and some media interviews. The fact that AB/DLs change their appearance and behavior to become more like babies raises the possibility that they have an erotic target identity inversion (ETII). In ETIIs, a person’s external erotic target is inverted into the self, resulting in sexual arousal by the fantasy of being a member of the target class or by imitating one. If AB/DLs are sexually motivated by an ETII, they should experience both sexual attraction to babies and sexual arousal by the fantasy of being a baby. We surveyed 207 male AB/DLs recruited from the Internet about their sexual orientation, sexual motivation, and sexual interests for a primarily quantitative analysis. Consistent with past research, a substantial minority of participants reported non-heterosexual identities (42%), and a large majority reported some degree of sexual motivation for being AB/DLs (93%). Wearing diapers and urinating or defecating oneself were rated as especially sexual. Even though 40% of participants reported sexual arousal by the fantasy of being a baby, only 4% reported sexual attraction to babies. This pattern of results is contrary to predictions from the concept of ETIIs. Instead, participants indicated that physical or mental pain, humiliation, and an adult woman were important to their sexual fantasies of being a baby. Masochism appears to be a promising alternative to an ETII for explaining the sexual motivation of AB/DLs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2385-2401
Number of pages17
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Volume52
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology

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