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Online-Issues » 1-2017 » Janssen

John Money's "Chronophilia": Untimely Sex between Philias and Phylisms

Diederik F. Janssen
Nijmegen, The Netherlands

[Sexual Offender Treatment, Volume 12 (2017), Issue 1]


Pursuing a number of fashionable but irredeemably divergent scientific tangents, John Money's 1980s through 1990s work contains a protracted but ill-fated attempt to capture erotic age orientation in broader than strictly forensic-psychiatric frames. Money bemoaned "medicalization" and pseudo-science but also advanced a speculative, grand opponent-process theory for what he called "the paraphilias". If Money's ad hoc term and taxonomical concept of "chronophilia" has remained unassimilable both culturally and (until very recently) academically, this historical outcome is not without significance and invites pondering by any contemporary practitioner burdened by the inheritance of the nineteenth-century medicalization of untimely sex Money was struggling to make his own.

Keywords: chronophilia, history of psychiatry, history of sexuality, John Money (1921-2006)

Despite various post-WW2 intellectual interventions, the dualism of normal and abnormal sexual interests has historically been crucial to twentieth-century Western clinical psychologists dealing with matters sexual. Where the parameter of sex/gender has long been the prime target for this modern dichotomy, forensic-cultural medicalization of sexuality has for decades been shifting from sex/gender to age/maturity, where binaries are conceptually more problematic. Age/maturity can readily be considered one dimension of multidimensional sexual orientation but dictionaries and policy documents tie the latter expression to gender (its parity or disparity), rarely to anything else, and never to age.

Side-stepping these ossified semantics, sexual diversity theorists have on occasion made provisional room for what psychologist Deborah C. Stearns (1995) once dubbed chronosexuality and what her colleague Sari M. van Anders (2015) has more recently christened age-related sexualities (a gesture applauded by others, e.g., Chivers, 2016). Neither concept received much elaboration, definitely so in forensic contexts, but Van Anders perceptively tunes in on the ways age-inflected sexual maturity, in fact across a number of operationalizations ("secondary sexual characteristics", to begin with), substantially mediates gender as a focus of purportedly "primary" (any "normal") attraction. This problematizes the key post-1970s cultural dichotomy between gender-based "sexual orientation" and age-delimited "paraphilias", and draws the medical historian's attention to the medico-political schism between the two constructs. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the term sexual orientation in strict terms of gender preference, tracing the term back to 1931. It occurs earlier, however, for instance in a 1913 clinical article that ventures that most of women's allure lies not in the primary, but in the "full development and accentuation of the secondary sexual character" (McMurtrie, 1913, p. 172). "Gender" here translates to female sexual maturity delivered, at this occasion, to the adult male gaze. This rather elementary issue was pondered by many nineteenth-century theorists of both sexual orientation and sexual allurement such as Havelock Ellis (1894, pp. 19-20), Carl Heinrich Stratz (1898, pp. 43-48) and others including Friedrich Salomon Krauss. According to Ellis writing in 1894, for instance, "we may perhaps define a human secondary sexual character as one which, by more highly differentiating the sexes, helps to make them more attractive to each other" (p. 19). Thus, "From the first the secondary sexual characters have been a far more widespread method of sexual allurement than the primary sexual characters, and in the most civilized countries to-day they still constitute the most attractive of such methods to the majority of the population" (Ellis, 1905, p. 163).

The acute ties between sex/gender and age/maturity Ellis here highlights were duly discussed already by the very first theorists of sexual orientation (Janssen, 2016). How to name, classify and appreciate outlying age/maturity-informed erotic interests has been a transdisciplinary problem ever since. For one example, Brazilian physician, hygienist and pioneer of legal medicine Júlio Afrânio Peixoto's (1876-1947) questionably phrased term chrono-inversions (instances of "inversion of time or age; different sexes, but disparate, non-conforming ages": Peixoto, 1910; 1916, p. 227) covered the eventualities of "young men who love elderly women, young women who love elderly men: gerontophilia". Peixoto's books were never translated, however, and the taxonomical-terminological gesture, which alluded to an analogy with the historical trope of "sexual inversion", remains largely unknown even in Portuguese-language sexological literature.

Slightly more familiar is Johns Hopkins University medical psychologist John Money's (1921-2006) more recent concept of chronophilia, coined independently of Peixoto but having a comparable denotation. The notion merits commemoration as having voiced one major twentieth-century sexologist's attempt to deal with "chronosexualities" as a taxonomical-clinical problem (Stearns did not cite Money, incidentally). Money's term and concept were recently resuscitated by Seto (2017, with roundtable commentaries), an exercise seeking to open up a research area but one that steered clear of acknowledging any historical context (Janssen, 2017a) and oblivious to extant historical research (e.g., Janssen, 2015). Significantly, Seto (2017) appropriates Money's neologism for his own purposes but does nothing with Money's actual work on chronophilia.

Regardless, the cultural negotiation paraphrased by these respective ungainly neologisms is ongoing and open-ended. As suggested below, medical psychology at times reflects a specific socio-historical context more than it manages to lay bare an inner-psychological intrigue. Money's theories enjoyed little following, to be sure: before the current publishing year, the term and concept of chronophilia were hardly ever cited beyond texts by Money himself (some ten in number). Yet in its taxonomical idiosyncrasy, neologistic quirkiness and ultimate marginality in medical history, Money's chronophilia concept does an excellent job in capturing the way in which twentieth-century Western culture, and the biomedical sciences in particular, have grappled with age as a dimension - indeed precisely as a problematic fixture - of erotic intrigue. Himself specifically interested in medical history as well as etiology (notably contra the trend advertised by the 1980 DSM-III), Money's approach was a unique, eclectic and theory-driven admixture of human ethology, quasi-psychodynamic theory, evolutionary psychology, social anthropology, and culture critique. Where in 1911 Magnus Hirschfeld had nominated sexuelle Ethnologie as one of the pillars of the newly named discipline of Sexualwissenschaft, Money coined the comparable term transcultural sexology in two papers he co-authored in 1986 and 1987, and in this timeframe championed an anthropological, historical, and culture-relativist view to benefit what he called pediatric or developmental sexology (e.g., Money, Prakasam & Joshi, 1991).

The notion of chronophilia is hard to extend across cultural and historical lines, however, and neither Money nor others ever worked toward such an extension. Still, by the time Money pondered "chronophilic relationships", North American classicists and sociologists paid increasing attention to the idea that "homosexualities" came in categorically different flavors. North-American sociologists writing in the 1980s and 1990s established that most of the ancient through early modern, not to mention near through far Eastern as well as Oceanic, experience of same-sex intimacy had been of the "age-stratified" type (Janssen, 2017b). I suggest elsewhere (Janssen, 2017b) that the gesture is interesting precisely as a cultural-historical event, indeed in a way that refutes claims that one can fully appreciate such a typology of "sexualities" without appreciating its cultural-historical contours and constraints.

While most anthropologists duly avoided and in cases specifically warned against psychiatric language or models, Money agreed that here were forms of culturally "institutionalized pedophilia" (Money, 1987a, pp. 384-385; 1988a, p. 10; compare 1990b, p. 410) that had stories to tell about sexual orientation - stories that might elucidate the causation and the very concept of homosexuality - but clearly also about the increasingly heavily politicized life-timing of sex: the complexly psycho-medico-legal affixation of sexual agency to age and to notions of maturity. How, then, did Money (among others in this timeframe, such as anthropologist Gilbert Herdt) reconcile these very different gazes: the diagnostic-therapeutic gaze and the anthropological-interpretative gaze?

The very limited purpose of the following is a review and medical-historical appraisal of Money's concept of chronophilia. I am not interested in an evidence-based dissection or critique but rather in the scientific-historical frames for Money's introduction of the term and concept. Where their subsequent elaborations remained largely theoretical in Money's work, I ask for this finding's historical significance. Extensive critical commentary on Money's concept of paraphilia is available elsewhere (see especially Downing, 2015; Gijs, 2001, pp. 173-220; Goldie, 2014) though tellingly little specific reflection has been offered on chronophilia. This, too, is an interesting finding in the light of the history of sexual orientation and its research briefly introduced above.

Below I briefly review very much interrelated topics, focusing specifically on their historical underpinnings: (1) Money's efforts to define and delineate "chronophilia" as a "paraphilic" subdivision; (2) his larger psychological frame for the paraphilias, specifically as they pertain to "chronophilia", and a discussion of his few clinical case studies; (3) the ultimately problematic place of age preference in his pivotal, inclusive conception of lovemaps; and finally (4) his intellectually competing ethological and anthropological approaches to untimely, and timely, sex. I follow up with an appreciation of Money's work with attention to the particular timeframe (early 1980s through late 1990s) of his chronophilia work.

Naming and Defining "Chronophilia"

Chronophilia was an etymologically unfortunate1, quasi-clinical and confused term that never caught on, and that in Money's own work raised more questions than it facilitated answering. Coined in 1986, it was to cover the terrain previously covered by Money's classificatory nudges at "fixation on age disparity" and "age-discrepancy paraphilia" (1981a, pp. 97-98; 1984; 1986a, p. 471; 1986b, pp. 23-25, 69-72, 216; 1988a, pp. 137, 143; 1990a; 1992a, p. 187; 1994a, p. 206; 1995, p. 122; 1997, pp. 91, 252; 1999a, pp. 188, 240-243; 2003, pp. 31-32). Money located chronophilia in the extended, if hitherto sparsely populated, realm of "paraphilia", a term he was happy to see introduced to the APA's 1980 DSM-III.

Chronophilia would be in evidence when "the paraphile's sexuoerotic age is discordant with his/her actual chronological age and is concordant with the age of the [preferred] partner" (1986, p. 260). The defining mark of a fixed and exclusive age-preference other than to one's peers, combined with a concomitant age-disparity in sexual relationships, to Money, made chronophilia not a dimension of sexual orientation but "a group of paraphilias of the eligibilic/stigmatic type" (1990a, p. 459 et passim), certainly when complicated by an underlying intrigue of a discordant "sexuoerotic age", as he postulated. In said group of "paraphilias", some form of stigma is required to make the partner eligible for lust. Such forms would include disparateness across a curiously extensive range of areas - "religion, race, color, nationality, social class, or age" (1988a, p. 137; 1990a, p. 454; 1993) - though Money's favored example, all the more curiously, was amputee-worship ("apotemnophilia").

What should count as worthy of the term "age-disparate", Money wrote, is an empirical problem (1988a, p. 135), as would be the psychologies of chronophiles and their love-objects. Leaving this up to research was contra the APA's notion of pedophilia, incidentally, which was arbitrarily defined in terms of a 10-year (DSM-III) or 5-year (DSM-III-TR) age gap between diagnosed person and preferred target. Included in Money's chronophilia were the known entities of pedophilia, ephebophilia, and gerontophilia. Money actively probed beyond this small chronophilic spectrum, however, coining infantophilia/nepiophilia (also in 1986, denoting attractions to the life stage of diapers) and he repeatedly complained about the absence of terms such as twentiophilia, thirtiophilia "and so on" (2003, p. 31; compare 1990a, p. 452). Such terms would enrich "nosology" and inform "diagnosis" of people's "lovemap", their "developmental representation" of the ideal lover and love act. The latter philias, Money speculated, would silently "underlie broken relationships, homosexual as well as heterosexual, and divorces of many couples in the decades of middle adulthood" (2003, pp. 31-32).

Even in 2003, however, Money did not cite extant studies, nor had he himself offered data, to back up this remarkable claim. Moreover, sociological studies of age-gaps and age-preferences in love and sex essentially never cite Money and essentially never label these phenomena paraphilic (with the rare exception of pedophilia). Money's hallmark penchant for Greco-Latin-ish neologisms merits some etymological reflection, as even into the 1960s the usage and definitions of terms like paraphilia and pedophilia varied, both in the Anglophone or European literature (e.g., Janssen, 2017c). Although he never explicitly reflects on this, Money inherited the existing neo-Greek terminology of age preferences from the godfather of pre-Nazi-era clinical sexology Hirschfeld, who had in turn collected them from late-nineteenth-century texts by French homosexuality-researcher Georges Saint-Paul and Austrian nestor of sexual psychopathology Richard von Krafft-Ebing. Hirschfeld combined and redeployed their tentative age-specifying terminology, first in 1906 and 1914 texts, to sub-classify homosexuals (Janssen, forthcoming 1).

Unlike contemporaneous engagement with said categories by his Prague-Toronto contemporary Kurt Freund (1914-1996), Money's multi-disciplinary takes on age preferences were in fact significantly comparable to Hirschfeld's insofar as both came to the topic via a career-making focus on the psychoendocrinology of what Money, in the mid-1950s, came to call gender identity. At this date, as in Hirschfeld's and Freund's early days, homosexuality was still a criminalized form of "pathologic sexuality" - albeit increasingly criminalized only when involving minors. As Hirschfeld and (in the 1960s) Freund, Money wrestled with possible analogies between gender and physical maturity as dimensions of both sexual "habitus" and erotic allure. And as Hirschfeld's homosexuality-typology, Money's gender-neutral subdivision of chronophilia was precariously suspended between legal, relational, and rather ad-hoc theoretical ramifications that, empirically speaking, never proceeded beyond the level of clinical case studies (for Hirschfeld's case see Janssen, forthcoming 1). Most of both Hirschfeld's and Money's published case studies were complicated by endocrinological issues, and both studied outcomes of especially biological treatments in forensic cases (castration in Hirschfeld, chemical castration in Money).

But as Hirschfeld, Money had very limited clinical experience with "homosexual pedophilia or ephebophilia" per se, and the experience that he had mostly revolved around chemical castration, combined with counseling, of sex offenders, more than half of whom "chronophiles" (Money & Bennett, 1981, p. 125; Money, 1983a, p. 253). In 1986 Money postulated the existence of chronophilia-corresponding forms of erotic age-role-play or age-"impersonation" (infantilism, juvenilism, adolescentilism, gerontilism) suggestive of an analogy with phenomena Hirschfeld had called transvestitism and cisvestitism (in 1910 and 1914, respectively) and what later (1989) came to be called autogynephilia. But as in Hirschfeld's, in Money's work these allusions to an extensive analogy between gender and age/maturity remained theoretical and unelaborated.2

Theorizing and Case-Studying the Chronophile

Unlike Hirschfeld, however, Money was no outspoken proponent of a biological, or (in Hirschfeld's terms) "constitutional", concept of paraphilia. While up to the 1970s Money considered "paraphilic" sex offenders as being in the same forensic league as temporal lobe epileptics, in the early 1980s he increasingly postulated an interplay between ontogeny and phylogeny (Money, 1981a; an earlier version of this article would be written already in 1970, however: p. 104n1). In 1988, Money could report of pedophilia's neurobiology only that it was still "unascertained" (1988a, p. 138).

On the ontogeny side, Money's etiological typology of "the paraphilias" reflected two different and competing strands of ideas with considerable intellectual traction in the 1960s and 1970s: learning theories, especially opponent-process theory, and ethology/sociobiology. On the one hand, Money considered "the paraphilias" the outcome of "erotosexual imprinting" or "fixation", or to reflect a more intricate entanglement of innate behavior patterns. In later work, they would rather reflect six, eventually seven, "grand stratagems by which to salvage sinful lust from its antithesis with saintly love" (Money, 1999a, p. 122; 1986b, p. 39). In his own summation: "Even though each paraphilic lovemap bears a personal signature, paraphilic lovemaps fit into a sevenfold classification based on the stratagem with which the lovemap confronts in ideation, imagery, or action, incompatibility between concupiscent sexuality and romantic sexuality - i.e., between lust and love, vice and virtue" (Money, 2003, p. 30).

Money's psychological angle faintly recalls 1970s progressive psychoanalytic work on "perversion" by, for instance, UCLA psychiatrist and gender theorist Robert Stoller, who, as Money and eventually the APA, signaled that said term was "becoming passé" (Stoller, 1975, p. ix). Money's work is largely without footing in psychoanalytic literature (as notes Goldie, 2014, p. 86; compare Downing, 2010 and 2015, pp. 56-60) and instead loosely builds on an opponent-process theory of motivation. The latter had spawned a hitherto barely researched suggestion that "love is an addiction phenomenon characterized by habituation to the presence of the loved one and intensified aversion in the absence of the loved one" (Solomon & Corbit, 1974, p. 144). Money rather pins "becoming positively addicted to what was negatively aversive" (1986, p. 38) to abnormal love, to "the paraphilic triumph over tragedy". This foregrounded Money's own observation (ibid.) that "paraphilic" and "normophilic" attraction are strongly equivalent, to the point of rendering their distinction problematic other than by recourse to law, consensus and historical convention.

Money himself discussed few chronophilic cases after 1986 and cited no research that would establish the construct validity of (any) chronophilia or, for that matter, any "paraphilic stratagem". Money's pertinent case studies were etiologically atypical and apparent clinical diagnoses, when held against contemporaneous DSM definitions, were arguable. Money, Annecillo and Lobato (1990) discuss one arguable "pedophile" (whose diagnosis as such is based on alleged incidents at age 16.5) and one highly arguable female "gerontophile" (reported as having a "lifelong fascination" by men aged thirty, "to the exclusion of males of her own age", as her natal father had been when he remarried). Both would have been instances of "child abuse dwarfism" (stress-induced growth retardation). One "pedophile" also had mental retardation and Klinefelter's syndrome (Herzog & Money, 1993). One arguable "pedophile" (at some point attractions to girls "as young as 14") was extensively covered in Money's Vandalized Lovemaps (with Margaret Lamacz: 1989, p. 57 et seq.), a case also complicated by syndromal anomalies, in this case congenital hypothyroidism. The patient later expressed his dismay at being made into a case study, and filed a formal complaint (Colapinto, 2000, pp. 240-244). Another patient (in fact the first case of paraphilia treated with Depo-Provera dating back to the mid-1960s) had an atypical history of "pedophiliac homosexual incest" ("2 episodes of genital fondling of his juvenile son"), continued incest ("ephebophilia"), "autonepiophilia" and transvestitism. The case lent itself for a rare 40 years of follow-up (Lehne & Money, 2000, 2003) - a witness to five consecutive DSM instalments.

Money may have seen few other "chronophiles" beyond these arguable and clinically intricate ones. Money reported that in 1972, after two decades of operation, the psychohormonal research unit of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and School of Medicine had only five "pedophiles" (and no other "chronophile") on file (Money & Ehrhardt, 1972, p. xi). In an 1983 article Money could cite only six youths, all male, with a history of involvement in a "chronophilic" relationship (Money & Weinrich, 1983/1993, p. 205 et seq.) and could report on only two. In sum: on "chronophilia" and related chronosexualities Money remained remarkably Hirschfeldian, or even Krafft-Ebingian (compare Downing, 2010, p. 279, who compares Money to another major degenerationist, Cesare Lombroso). The historical record suggests, however, that both Hirschfeld and Krafft-Ebing had more clinical experience with chronophiles, avant la lettre, than would Money. Moreover, Money's limited empirical work on chronophilic "relationships" is notably insulated from contemporary strands of inquiry, both forensic and non-forensic. Of the eight texts cited by Money and Weinrich (1983) all are authored by Money himself. The same can be said of much of his other case study work on paraphilia and sex offending (e.g., Money, 1983a; Money & Lehne, 1983; Money & Simcoe, 1984).

Lovemap and Age

Largely ignoring then-emergent psychological constructions and typologies of "the pedophile" in clinical terms of, for instance, "emotional congruence with children", "fixated versus regressed offenders", and "cognitive distortions", Money postulated an inner-psychological sexuoerotic age (1986, p. 69-75), or lovemap age, that would, by definition, match one's preferred partner's calendar age. It recalled the mid-1950s quasi-psychodynamic concept of felt psychosexual age, a concept already at that time invoked to explain erotic age preferences in sex offenders (Hammer, 1954, and contributions to Hammer, 1958) but never developed beyond this theoretical invocation. The cited texts discussing the concept were never cited by Money, who at the time was working on gender, but not paraphilia. The underlying idea of "psychosexual maturity" hints at a more extended psychodynamic ancestry, but clear-cut applications in early psychoanalysis to erotic age preference have remained minimal beyond hints dropped by Sigmund Freud in 1910, by Isidor Sadger in 1921, and later by Otto Fenichel (invariably in discussions of homosexuality; see Janssen, forthcoming 2).

"Sexuoerotic age" also recalled interrelated concepts of psychosexual precocity and psychosexual infantilism variably probed by, among many others, Freud and Hirschfeld, and eventually Money himself (e.g., Money, 1961). Money notably but briefly invoked the term and concept of psychosexual age in a 1974 article on pubertal timing disorders, where he subsumes it under the rubric of psychosocial age (Money & Clopper, 1974, p. 174). But like this more psycho-endocrinological notion of psychosexual age, Money's eventual term sexuoerotic age would remain unused beyond the specific theoretical problem of chronophilia.

In mid-1990s texts Money toyed with the term agemap, suggestive of an elaborate analogy with the intricacies of gender identity/role, laid down in what he had come to call a person's gendermap and first helped conceptualize forty years earlier (Money, 1994a, p. 43; 1995, pp. 97, 122; 1997, p. 84); but he never elaborated such an analogy and he hardly defined the term. Moreover, Money never considered how the notions of "chronophilia" or "agemaps" might speak to his taxonomical concept of "lovemaps" as being "subsumed within the gendermap" - a relationship he himself elsewhere qualifies in already significantly less discerning (in any case less gender-centric) terms of "overlap" (Money, 1995, p. 96; Money & Pranzarone, 1993). This apparently shifting accountancy of love's parameters is hardly trivial. As highlighted above, the organizing role of gender in constructions of love and sexuality is acutely cross-cut by notions of maturity, and it is duly criticized beyond what makes procreative sense. How love, age and gender and other dimensions intersect and how they end up in clinical taxonomies is pristinely important to historians of sexuality, but neither the theorist Money nor the clinician Money in the end offers much evidence-based consolation.

This returns us the problems of definition and demarcation. Money never studied "normophilic" erotic age preferences. He only ever implicitly defined normal either as parity between a lover's sexuoerotic, and his or her own calendar, age, or in terms of its purportedly concomitant outcome, as life-long parity in age - and by psychodynamic implication, in "psychosexual maturity" - of lovers. Normality, in other words, is the absence of "lovemap mismatching" (1986, p. 24; 1991b, p. 148) and specifically of "agemap ["lovemap age"] mismatching" (1995, p. 122). Money's normal, thus, lay simultaneously within and between lovers. Incidentally, Money allowed that a chronophile and his love object - a pedophile and a child, say - could by theoretical implication make for a compatible love ("sexuoerotic") match, or at least that this was a possibility (1988a, p. 135). Already in 1980 Money rated "genuine erotic reciprocity ... in gerontophilia, ephebophilia, and pedophilia", though on the whole rare in the realm of paraphilia, as "more common than conventionally believed" (1980, p. 84).3 But as argued, later concepts of agemaps did little to substantiate this hunch.

"Assortment" and the "Rule of Age-Avoidancy"

Early 1980s texts did demonstrate that Money conceptualized pedophilia, in tune with "progressive" sexological ideas at the time, in mild terms of a problematic form of "pairbonding", a "relationship ... destined to be time-limited" (Money & Weinrich, 1983, p. 49; Money, 1980, p 84).4 Money's still evolving terminology rendered pedophilia at the same time an "inclusion paraphilia ... insofar as affection and behavior ususally [sic] typical of the parent-child relationship become included in the pedophile's erotosexual relationship" (Money & Weinrich, 1983, p. 39). He later speaks of a "discordance" or (yet elsewhere) "translocation between the phylisms for parent-child and lover-lover affectional bonding" (1986b, p. 98), or still elsewhere, a "merger" (1988a, p. 138), "hybridization" (1987b), or "transposition" (2002, p. 86) between parental love and erotic love.

How this, developmentally speaking, would relate to other chronophilias, or to coeval concepts of "traumatized lovemaps" (or later ones such as of "agemaps", discussed above), or to incest, or finally to any gender preference, or any general "age homophily" (age-preferential bonding), remains largely unclear. Unlike many pre-DSM-III definitions, Money's early definition of "pedophilia" had it sound resolutely naturalistic, even primatological (affecting "prepubertal juveniles": Money, Gaskin & Hull, 1969, p. 234). Elsewhere he extends it to the "early pubertal boy or girl" (1980, p. 220). But how exactly parental bonding may become enmeshed with eroticism, whether within or beyond the nuclear family and whether before or after pubescence, Money does not say. He illustratively invokes the possibility of an attenuated Westermarck effect for intrafamilial situations (paraphrasing: 1986b, p. 98) but problematically has it pertain to parents, and parent-child dyads, not to co-reared siblings.

This lack of extension and of extendibility of theoretical inferences, from pedophilia to its variants and onward to "the chronophilias", may express how little cultural and intellectual urgency there was, in this timeframe, to such extensions. Late-1970s sexual abuse experts complained that "The psychology of pedophilia remains pretty much an enigma" (Groth, 1978, p. 6), a situation that did invite theories (such as Money's) and offender typologies that would make sense of this newly urgent cultural menace. But for decades the new sexual abuse literature remained uninterested in diversifying this menace in such terms as infantophilia, hebephilia, or ephebophilia. For instance, Money himself invokes the term hebephilia not earlier than 1988, and only as a synonym for ephebophilia (Money, 1988a, p. 197).

There was also little interest, too, in Money's in part self-styled ethological angle, which he somehow had to weigh against anthropological concepts of socio-sexual regulation such as taboo. A term Money coined in a 1983 article theorizing autism (1983b), a phylism would be a "rudimentary building [block] of behavior that belong to all members of the species and are phylogenetically transmitted, not ontogenetically inculcated" (1997, p. 316). Thus, a second "phylismic" complication would arise, beyond the phylismic catastrophe of pedophilia, in cases of failed avoidance of incest - complicating not least in light of the ethological factoid that "In many of its expressions the bonding of lovers recapitulates mother-infant bonding" (Money, 1999b, p. 277). Producing even more confusion, yet elsewhere, Money alluded to incest as a possible outcome of a "subrogation/understudy stratagem" of paraphilia (1990a, pp. 455-456).

Chronophilia or the notion of a particular "age eligibility" (Money, 1988a, p. 137; 1992a, p. 187; 1994a, p. 206) of partners, alluded to the familiar biosocial problems of "human assortive mating" on the one hand and of "sexual avoidance" on the other. Both were encoded, if in neuropsychological "maps", then clearly also in social taboos, laws and related blueprints of social structure. Money specifically speaks of "the rule of age-avoidancy" (1980, p. 45; 1981b, p. 390/1991b, p. 143; 1982, pp. 3, 9), a term he claims to borrow from "anthropological parlance" but which does not occur anywhere in the literature. Regardless: "Age matching, like male/female matching, is a routine social norm of erotic eligibility" (Money, 1985a, p. 145), something that Yale University cross-culturalist George Murdock (1949, pp. 318‐319) already pinpointed when speaking of a "positive gradient of appropriate age" in mate choice. It was an effective norm, too; as one prominent evolutionary psychologist (as Murdock, not cited by Money) estimated in 1985, "Age is probably the variable for which assortment - or similarity with one's mate - is the strongest" (Buss, 1985, p. 47).

How original was Money's evolutionary psychological angle, given his lack of citation of earlier and coeval authors commenting on age assortment? Money's mid-1970s classifications of paraphilia (e.g., Money, 1977a, 1977b) postdated a little known 1963 article by forensic psychiatrist Werner Tuteur, who already included pedophilia in a phylogenetic theory of perversion. However, they prefigured late-1970s concepts such as Kurt Freund's "courtship disorder" - which however did not pertain to "the chronophilias". They more importantly echoed much earlier suggestions for a role for imprinting in "the paraphilias" (including an arguable link between pedophilia and fetishism that goes back to Krafft-Ebing and notably went on to be criticized in the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, by Freud himself; see Janssen, forthcoming 2). Money cites none of these sources in this early paraphilia writings; indeed he cites no sources on paraphilia in his earliest conceptual contributions. On "the chronophilias", even his later work remains synoptic, jargon-driven and essentially uninformed by ongoing theoretical and research work. It remained in the domain of medical hypotheses, with the further warning that there was "no satisfactory hypothesis, evolutionary or otherwise, as to why they [pedophilia and ephebophilia] exist in nature's overall scheme of things" (Money, 1987b).

Not surprisingly, Money increasingly stressed the cultural regulation of "assortment", which increasingly foregrounded his cultural-regulatory definition of what counts as a paraphilia. For instance: in 1994 Money names "age" the first of "ten general principles, or constants, that lovemaps all over the world share in common [sic]", clarifying that "Lovemaps specify the ideal partner's age or age range, which may or may not be condordant with one own's age" (1994b, p. 375). A decade onward he lists age rather as the second of ten "constants of sexual doctrines [in Christendom, at least]", writing that "Procreatively, it makes sense that age matching should prevail over age mismatching in social doctrines of courtship and mating" (Money, 2004, p. 1307). But Money warned that even "age-matched sexual rehearsal play [may be] abusively penalized" (ibid.). Postulating the universality of age as a parameter of assortment, then, Money alternatively refers to the sphere of human (or even primatological) nature and that of what he identifies as partially anti-natural social doctrines.

The concepts of paraphilia and chronophilia, accordingly, name both articulations of, and engagements with, strong norms. Unpacking this riddle, Money went on to deny that one could speak of mental pathology per se, and captured the then rapidly changing predicament of pedophiles in concomitant terms of an only ever cultural "imposition of norms": "part of the discussion of ideological norms" (Money, 1991a, p. 7). The criteria for normophilia (Money's perhaps most telling of reifying neologisms), after all, "are not absolute but are variable, statistically, transculturally, and ideologically [...] imposed by those in power, be it parent, peer, clergy, or police" (Money & Pranzarone, 1993). To complicate this, elsewhere Money wrote that "paraphilia" arises specifically either where lust is dissociated from love or rather where the former is actually rescued by being dissociated from the latter - a duality, in any case, he also attributed to Judeo-Christian society in general (e.g., Money, 1986, p. xvii; 1994b, p. 374). A chronophilic relationship was by definition paraphilic, at the same time, where it precluded "reciprocity". All the same, even pedophilia, in Money's two 1983 Johns Hopkins case studies, could be characterized as combining "devotion, affection, and limerence", "comradeship with a touch of hero-worship" - ultimately as "harmless ... in most instances" (Money & Weinrich, 1983, pp. 42-43, 46, 53). If anything, then, culture's "rule of age-avoidancy" was both variable and negotiable.

Untimely Sex: Historicizing Money's Chronophilia

As observed at the outset, gender remains the Anglophone world's dictionary parameter of sexual orientation. Money introduced the word into clinical psychology in the mid-1950, advancing beyond an earlier, largely sociological parlance of sex roles. What has been reviewed above is Money's much later (mid-1980s) nomination of erotic age preference as one of the subsidiary, or "other", but always imminently "paraphilic", dimensions of human sexual attraction.

In beginning to appreciate the gesture, one notes an evident dearth of critical attention across the humanities and the social sciences. Reasons for this may seem culturally intuitive given what Money signaled to be an increasingly aggressive moral, legal and medical circumscription of age disparity and "age-inappropriateness" across all sexual matters and terrains in the Anglosphere, especially since the nineteenth century and with considerable urgency since the late 1970s. This development has intriguingly dovetailed with the gradual demedicalization and decriminalization of "consenting adults", begging the question of chronophilia's (the term and concept's) resonance, and especially its dissonance, in the more extended contemporary history of sexuality (Janssen, 2017a).

Today's psychologists can be seen coercing Money's chronophilia into an ahistorical, empirical, inner-psychological question (Seto, 2017; Hsu & Bailey, 2017). Most psychologists will, by arguable definition, congratulate this delimitation of scope. But there is an arguably much more urgent set of cultural-conceptual-political questions touched upon, increasingly over the decades, in medical psychologist Money's own work. Re-reading the latter, it can be said to invite a number of historical questions. Money's invitation was to look at pedophilia in the broader, cultural purview of sexuality's timetables. He spelled out in 1994 that inclusion of pedophilia in the DSM-IIIR was "historically legal and, for the most part, criminological, not scientific, logical, or systematic", in any case representing "the medicalization of behavior" (1994c, p. 41). In 2002 both Money's prominent contemporary Thomas Szász (1920-2012) and co-member of the DSM-III Psychosexual Disorders Advisory Committee Richard Green (b.1936) would make similar calls. To all of the above but certainly to Money, sexual transgression required not just psychology but ongoing reflection on the acute, and many, tensions between culture, law and the psychological sciences (e.g., Money, 1983a, 1999b; Money & Lehne, 1983).

Self-nominated "developmental sexologist" Money frequently located himself at the end of an extended historical line-up of what he dubbed sexosophists: theologians, masturbation-curers, puritans, psychoanalysts, victimologists (the last of whom he considered recyclers of Freud's seduction theory, although this pertained largely to post-1970s American developments).5 Money was consistently occupied with etymology and jargon, a self-consciousness over the fit and the availability of words, types and constructs that has much to say about the diversifying and professionalizing scope of sex research and sexuality studies in the 1980s. Money's search for words and theories in grappling with non-normophilic desire in the immediate aftermath of the declassification of homosexuality, reflects how much clinical interest in and left-liberal public opinion on the nexus of age and sexuality have been shifting, indeed precisely as of the late 1970s and in directions that Money (among others) tirelessly lamented and tried to moderate with an unrelenting appeal to and belief in medical science. Yet where Money stated in a May 1990 interview that "You literally can't even do research on paedophilia any more" (Money, 1991a, p. 5), he was clearly referring to changing times that were fast precluding not research per se but surely much of his free-ranging, interdisciplinary frame for sex of the "stigmatic" type in this arguable aftermath of the circum-Atlantic sexual revolution. Thus, even in the late 1990s, "all that parents have to go by is pediatric folk sexology that is derived from a faulty prescientific ideology of the sexuality of childhood, puberty, and adolescence" (Money, 2000, p. 4).

Moreover, and in part already to the author himself, Money's ethological allusion to an "inclusion" of parental, in "pedophilic", grooming patterns ("entrainment of sexuoerotic phylisms": Money, 1990a, p. 446) warranted historical circumspection. During the 1970s and early 1980s the grand universal kinship taboo against incest, became effectively refigured and professionalized as a type of child abuse.6 The cultural ubiquity of the term pedophilia in the English-speaking world did not arise until this precise timeframe. This importantly entailed the latter term's perusal beyond the clinical sciences, indeed soon by anyone from legislators, journalists, psychohistorians and feminists to conservative watchdogs, and from homophobes (seeking to smear gays) to LGBT activists (advocating rank-closing by "consenting adults"). In the historical backdrop of this were still ongoing identifications of gay men as seducers and "recruiters" of minors (Janssen, 2017c). Money's 1983 article in fact appeared to have been occasioned by this still uncertain context: it was notably to show that boys involved with male pedophiles may grow up to be perfectly "heterophilic" (not-"queer"). At the same time it bemoaned mandatory reporting laws and emergent forms of legal retaliation that impeded study of human sexuality's "natural course", especially as it pertained to "juveniles" (for Money's strong criticisms of victimological sexology and what he called its driving "antisexualism", see e.g. Money, 1985b and 1988b, pp. 8-9; an early call for sex offender law reform can be found in e.g. Money, 1992b). This was timely: many professionals agreed that mandatory reporting laws had grave implications both for therapeutic and research contexts (e.g., Miller & Weinstock, 1987).

Money saw unfold in the daily news the mid-1980s, erratic fallout over supposed preschool and "satanic ritual abuse". As a score of commentators have sketched, in this period, circum-Atlantic sexual culture became marked by important, even fundamental, shifts in the parametric entanglement of sexuality's gender, generationality and kinship. It even became thinkable that medicalizing, reifying and "othering" concepts such as pedophilia might be the mirror image, or projection, of what Theodor Adorno, prophetically in 1963, called society's Minderjährigenkomplex: its peculiarly charged investment in the minor's minority. Articulating these shifts and intrigues, Money's chronophilia names one tenured clinician's attempt to translate concomitantly new clinical and cultural sensitivities around childhood innocence and an fledging ethic of sexual diversity into a scientific taxonomy, psychology and etiology of bad sex and "sexual trauma". Updating Sándor Ferenczi's (1933) concept of "confusion of tongues", for instance, Money formulated a more social psychological concept of developmental sex trauma as necessarily involving a "Catch-22" between telling and not-telling, knowing and not-knowing, doing and not-doing. But the trope required a cultural context, a pervasive sex-negativity, to really make sense. Money notably applied it to any age-appropriate and any otherwise non-traumatic age-inappropriate sex (Money & Lamacz, 1989, p. 196; Money, 1995, pp. 105-106; 1997, p. 98), rendering "catch-22" simultaneously the etiological crux of bad sex and a kernel operative in (Western, modern) sexual culture.

Hence, Money's "chronophilia" was an awkward gesture of sexological moderation eponymously and self-referentially symptomatic of recalibrated sexual mores. It made for a self-conscious and ambivalent psychologizing gesture. The superordinate term paraphilia, too, proved increasingly awkward terminology for a clinician who in the course of the 1970s and 1980s had grown highly sensitive to the medicalization and politicization of sex - awkward certainly if it was to extend to a preference for 20-somethings by, say, 40-somethings, or to an abused woman "in search of a father-lover" (Money, Annecillo & Lobato, 1990, p. 124). With "forty-odd clinically identified paraphilias" (Money & Simcoe, 1984, p. 44) he tabularized on more than a dozen occasions, with chronophilia, and with his culture-critical theories of vandalized lovemaps, Money was clearly expanding the scope of paraphilia way beyond the DSM and derived classifications of "mental disorders". A member of the DSM-III Psychosexual Disorders Advisory Committee, Money claimed to have been responsible for the APA's terminological switch from sexual perversion to paraphilia during the late 1970s (in an interview: Mass, 1980). Serving aside Money on the DSM-III Psychosexual Disorders Advisory Committee, Robert Stoller opined that "perversion" had up to then largely been the domain of "superficial case reports with a buckshot spray of etiological theories, veneered with pseudoscience" (1975, p. xiii). Stoller, as most psychoanalysts, defended continued use of perversion (1991b, pp. 31-50), however, while Money, in a 1976 review of Stoller's 1975 book, advocated paraphilia, naively, as "scientifically impartial and morally nonstigmatizing and nonpejorative" (Money, 1976a). As child abuse therapists and activists in this timeframe, Money laid out a psychological-developmental frame for making scientific sense of the many ethical and moral strictures in this area and era.

Money's texts on paraphilia show that he was consistently well aware of the fact that these strictures precluded obtainment of elementary data or even a movement toward testable hypotheses. Although he was a continent away from Michel Foucault (who passed away in 1984 and is remembered for radical views on age-of-consent laws in France), Money was aware of sexology's vulnerability to becoming the manifesto of a sexual culture figuring forth the phenomena it could then persecute on its own terms. Voicing a psychologist's determination, Money's often giddy terminological gestures were to have the benefit of extending the bourgeois medicolegal concept of "sexuality" into the arguably more interpersonal, fuzzier, more fluid, and ultimately more humanizing terrains of "sexuoeroticism", "pairbondance", "limerence", and "lovemaps". This liberal extension, unwittingly honoring the historical intent behind the 1903 coinage of the term Paraphilie, sought to expand and humanize the scope of consecutive DSM/ICD delimitations of paraphilia (delimitations in such narrow individualizing and increasingly physiologizing and psychologizing terms as sexual "excitement", "urges", "arousal", "activity", "fantasy" and "interest"). But Money's interventions were largely lost on the psychiatric establishment. For instance, searching for love in the 2013 DSM-5 will end one up only with "delusional disorder, erotomanic type", the loved ones of the mentally ill, and the unfortunate lovers of people with personality disorders. To the APA, if anything, love is the obverse of "paraphilic disorder" - with the full force of the new pleonasm. "Paraphilia", hence, comes to mean bad sex, not unrequited, or unworkable, or "mismatched", love.

Chronophilia has come to name an ultimate battleground for these largely North American turns of phrase. Money's ethological focus contrasted sharply with then-emergent forensic psychological concepts of the paraphilic bond deployed, not to render "paraphilia"-burdened relationships open to ethological and evolutionary understandings, but to denounce, to dehumanize and finally simply to end, any "predatory grooming". Despite these sharply diverging takes on the human animal, Money was comfortable in seconding victimologists' newly scientific investments in the mental soundness of strict "synchrony of lovemap age in reciprocal sexuoerotic rehearsal play" among "juveniles" (Money, 1986, p. 24; 1989, p. 147) - i.e., sex play among kids - to which he famously attributed a primatological universality and overriding developmental importance.

"Pedophilia" as well as the new mood of its stigmatization, in Money's reading, were ways in which Judeo-Christian culture errs in dealing with the child who, not least during the 1960s and 1970s, had been progressively burdened with a "sexuality" of its own.7 Unlike Foucault, Money only ever saw this burdening as the sober accomplishment of science and as such, the sole and final antidote to unhealthy "taboo". In the mid-1970s Money was indeed one of the most ardent proponent of what Foucault (1976) was calling "the repressive hypothesis": the mobilizing idea that bourgeois society was suppressing sexuality, and that it was the sexologist's urgent task to undo this. Sexology would cure culture-wide sexual debility by introducing a transparency into human, and especially childhood, nature (Money, 1976b). No more taboos!

"Victimologists" subscribed to the exact same philosophy. In his own estimation, however, Money's intellectual flamboyance barred him from siding with the up-and-coming victimologist whose universe was divided much too tidily into abuse and non-abuse. Moreover, here was a new brand of sexology "habituated to the mythology of innocence and the latency period" (Money, 1985c, p. 486). In the end, as a corrective to the new research and therapy "industry" (Money, 1992b) around child sexual abuse of the time, Money's "chronophilia" proved too much of a stretch across a number of fronts. It interfaced poorly with just about any concurrent research context of erotic age orientation, in which the focus was variably but progressively being narrowed to sex offenders' erectile responses (in work by Kurt Freund and co-workers), cognitive distortions (in work by Gene Abel and co-workers), or brain abnormalities (in work by Fred Berlin among others). Money's interdisciplinary sexology impractically combined an anthropological patience with pre-scientific and anti-scientific taboos (domestically imposed social conventions), an at times lyrical appreciation of the predicament of persecuted lovers, and a diagnostics of intrapsychic "tragedies" that were all-too-human yet at the same time corollaries specifically of Western "antisexualism". Although his intuition of cultural overdrive was being voiced by many others during the 1980s and 1990s, it is clear on hindsight how little chance Money's scientific gestures stood, individually or in combination, of pleading with the New Victimology.


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1The term had sociological uses that Money seems not to have been aware of. The non-sexological term chronophilie was used incidentally in late-1960s French texts and was re-coined by U.S. communications theorist Thomas J. Bruneau (1940-2012), originally in 1978, to denote a "manic", obsessive interest in time-keeping. It figured in Bruneau's larger scope of chronemics, "the study of the concepts and processes of human temporality, or connections with time, as they are bound to human communication interactions" (Bruneau, 2009).
2Theoretical notions picking up from Money's autonepiophilia (1984), which he classified as a form of fetishism, and sexuoerotic age discrepancy (1986, p. 70), such as "autopedophilia" (Knecht, 2002, p. 544), remained without case studies. A recent study suggesting "fantasizing oneself as a child" would be "common" in "pedophile" online respondents did not cite Money (Hsu & Bailey, 2017).
3This perverse potential equally informed coeval forensic psychological qualifications of pedophiles as "psychosexual immature", "emotionally congruent with victims", or "regressive". It should be noted that this goes back to the historical phantasm of the seducing adult male homosexual, of whom it was once ubiquitously conjectured that "The impulse to seduce is, like homosexuality itself, characteristic of arrested development" (editorial to Psychiatric Quarterly, 1951, pp. 156-157).
4Compare an article of that same year by a Dutch author probing "the viability of the pedophile relationship as an alternative lifestyle for children" (Sandfort, 1983, p. 182). Another text that can be cited here is anthropologist Gayle Rubin's well-known 1984 essay (originally a 1982 conference paper), in which she locates "individuals who prefer cross-generational encounters" outside the "charmed circle" of "Good, Normal, Natural, Blessed Sexuality".
5The term victimology had been advanced in the late 1950s to name a discipline with roots in the 1940s seeking to understand victim-offender dynamics, and whose adepts would negotiate new and controversial probes into child sexual abuse in the 1970s (specifically what was dubbed "the participating victim") and 1980s (specifically the concepts of "the abused abuser" and "sexual grooming"). An early text is that of Lafon et al. (1961).
6This translation, in the U.S. context, has been probed largely by literary critics, and lacks a comprehensive social historical account of evident changes in clinical thought, praxis, and parlance. See especially Harkins (2009).
7Hence, intergenerational marriage with girls as young as 12-13 could be seen in cultures allowing children sexual freedom - but not "abnormal sexual behaviour, like homosexuality, and the other paraphilias [sic]" (Money et al., 1970, p. 399). In this timeframe, Money (1971-2, p. 346) opined with reference to a growing child that "pornographic representations of the paraphilias can be capitalized on as the best way to steer him [sic] in the direction of heterosexual normalcy".

Author address

Diederik F. Janssen, MD
Independent Researcher
Nijmegen, The Netherlands




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