No classic profile of the pedophile offender has been identified, other than that most pedophiles are heterosexual males and are known to the victim (Murray, 2000; Salter et al., 2003). Child molesters cover the spectrum of social class, educational achievement, intelligence, occupation, religion, and ethnicity. Evidence suggests that many pedo­phile offenders, especially those who are prosecuted, are shy, lonely, poorly informed about sexuality, and moralistic or religious (Bauman et al., 1984; Hall & Hall, 2007).

Many are likely to have poor interpersonal and sexual relations with other adults and may feel socially inadequate and inferior (Dreznick, 2003; Minor & Dwyer, 1997). However, it is not uncommon to encounter pedophiles outside the legal system who are well educated, socially adept, civic-minded, and financially successful (Baur, 1995). They often pick their victims from among family friends, neighbors, or acquaintances (Murray, 2000). Relating to these children sexually may be a way of coping with pow­erful feelings of inadequacy that are likely to emerge in sociosexual relationships with other adults.

Other characteristics of some child molesters include alcoholism, severe marital prob­lems, sexual difficulties, poor emotional adjustment, and various brain disorders (McKibben et al., 1994; Mendez & Shapira, 2011). Many of these offenders were sexually victimized themselves during their own childhood (Bouvier, 2003; Seto & Lalumiere, 2010).

Like pedophiles, perpetrators of incest are primarily males who cannot be easily identified or categorized by a classic profile. Rather, "they are a complex, heterogeneous group of individuals who look like everyone else" (Scheela & Stern, 1994, p. 91). How­ever, the incest offender does tend to share some of the traits of many pedophiles. He tends to be economically disadvantaged, a heavy drinker, unemployed, devoutly reli­gious, and emotionally immature (Rosenberg, 1988; Valliant et al., 2000). His behavior might result from general tendencies toward pedophilia, severe feelings of inadequacy in adult sexual relations, or rejection by a hostile spouse; his actions can also be an accom­paniment to alcoholism or other psychological disturbances (Lee et al., 2002; Rosen­berg, 1988). He also tends to have certain distorted ideas about adult-child sex. For example, he may think that a child who does not resist him desires sexual contact, that adult-child sex is an effective way for children to learn about sex, that a father’s relation­ship with his daughter is enhanced by having sexual contact with her, and that a child does not report such contact because she enjoys it (Abel et al., 1984).