Pedophilia pp 150-175 | Cite as

Dominance, Submission, and Love: Sexual Pathologies from the Perspective of Ethology

  • Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt


In attempting to understand adult human sexual behavior with children and adolescents, the researcher must realize that although human beings tend to associate sex with love, sex without love or tenderness also exists in humans as part of the archaic vertebrate heritage of the species. Therefore, an understanding of (a) sex without love, i.e., before love existed, in the human phylogenetic past and (b) the means by which love entered adult/adult sexual relationships during human evolution can shed light on many of the unusual and atypical aspects of sexual behavior that are found in human societies today. This chapter will take a brief look at some of the developments throughout human phylogenetic history that changed sexual relationships from ones characterized primarily by dominance/submission relations to a sexuality characterized by affiliative relations, bonding, and love. The suggestions will be made that vestiges of a sexuality based on dominance-and-submission relations without love are still present in some human sexual behaviors and that, if these sexual behaviors are not under the control of love, this dissociation may predispose some individuals to engage in one type of adult human sexual behavior with children and adolescents.


Sexual Behavior Homosexual Behavior Romantic Love Hamadryas Baboon Male Sexual Behavior 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt
    • 1
  1. 1.Forschungsstelle für Humanethologie in derMax-Planck GesellschaftAndechsFederal Republic of Germany

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