The first step to supporting minor-attracted people is taking the time to learn about them, their experiences, and relevant research.
If you're just starting to support MAPs, you probably have questions. Get answers to the most pressing ones and learn more about MAPs in our short, topical blog posts about the latest research and real-world events.
One of the most important parts of supporting MAPs is learning about their experiences. Doing so will allow you to understand the challenges they face and allow you to take a stance against bigotry and discrimination.
Over the past few decades, there has been a significant increase in research about MAPs. We collect the most updated and reliable information from a variety of sources so you can keep up with the latest findings.
There are a variety of ways that you can support the fight against the stigma surrounding MAPs and their attractions.
Talk to MAPs
Due to the risk of harassment and violence in the physical world, many MAPs only interact with each other via online support groups, forums, and social media platforms. Collectively, these spaces are known as the MAP community.
Getting involved with the community can be beneficial to allies. Not only will it allow you to better understand MAPs, but it can also provide opportunities to directly support MAPs who are struggling.
If you are interested in talking directly to MAPs, the best option is to join a peer support group for MAPs. These allow MAPs to discuss their lives and experiences and feel supported by others like them. Many also allow allies to join.
Some MAPs and allies create accounts on mainstream social media platforms to correct misinformation and help struggling MAPs find support. Their susceptibility to unjust bans and suspension varies by platform, but Quora, X, and Reddit are generally popular.
Due to widespread stigma, interacting with MAPs carries some significant risks. MAPs and allies are often targeted by vigilantes and hackers who seek to expose their real identities.
While allies are slightly less at risk than MAPs, being outed as someone who supports MAPs could cause an ally to lose access to employment and housing opportunities and degrade their social circle.
Our Privacy and Security Guide has resources and suggestions to help MAPs and allies stay safe online and protect their real identity in MAP spaces.
Donate & Volunteer
Alliance between MAPs and experts
Helps MAPs find safe therapists
MAP-friendly child protection group
Public advocacy supporting MAPs is a great way to fight back against the misinformation and lack of support faced by this group.
We maintain a list of support resources for MAPs that you can share with any MAPs you encounter who are in need of support. We also dedicated pages with advice and resources for minor MAPs, friends and family members of MAPs, and people with POCD.
We have created an infographic for you to use in posts about MAP Resources, and several pages have a "Share this page" button to download a topical infographic. If you collaborate with other MAPs and allies, encourage them to share our content as well.
If someone is searching for support but doesn't feel comfortable accessing a live website, they can use our Backups to download and view the site offline.
Some groups that claim to support MAPs provide resources that contain stigmatizing language or harmful misinformation. Both of these can negatively impact MAPs' mental health.
If you are trying to determine the validity of a resource, you can evaluate it using our Content Guidelines, which are what we use to decide whether or not certain resources get listed on MAP Resources. If you find a resource that meets our guidelines and think we should add it to the website, let us know.
Spread the Word
Correcting misinformation about MAPs and minor attractions is a great way to be a supportive ally. You can use our Guide to Spotting Misinformation to identify popular false claims and misleading information about MAPs.
Once you find a misleading claim, you can use the sources and infographics on our MAP Facts page to debunk it. If the source uses inaccurate terminology, you can share our blog post about common mistakes people make when discussing MAPs.
You can also post a warning infographic to other viewers in the replies to social media posts that have too much false information to address each point individually. The graphic contains a link to a blog post with basic information about MAP activism.
Repost and Collaborate
As you get involved in the MAP community, you'll encounter other MAP activists and allies. There's strength in numbers, so reach out and coordinate your efforts, and be sure to boost their content to help them reach a wider audience.
The community is incredibly diverse, so you're likely to meet people with all sorts of skills and experience. Focus your efforts on the areas where you can be most effective and ask others for help with the rest.
If you're using a platform that allows images, you can start by posting some of our infographics, which are designed to help MAPs and non-MAPs find support, educate others about MAPs, and raise awareness of the MAP community.
Being a good ally is about more than just expressing support for MAPs. Here are some harmful mistakes that allies should avoid.
Conditional supporters use the promise of support as leverage to manipulate members of a marginalized group. For example, some people who claim to be MAP allies only support MAPs who are actively receiving professional support, effectively forcing MAPs who want their support into medical treatment they may not want or need.
Stigma on the basis of attractions is never justified, and anyone targeted by such stigma deserves a level of support for it. If a MAP is engaged in inappropriate behavior, call out and target the behavior, not their attractions, and never use stigma to control a member of a marginalized group.
Although MAPs are generally not picky about people's reason for supporting them, true allyship requires a central belief that nobody deserves to be stigmatized or discriminated against because of their attractions.
Some people, especially academics, provide support to MAPs in pursuit of other goals, such as reducing rates of child sexual abuse. While their work is undeniably beneficial to MAPs and other groups, these people would be considered supporters, not allies, as their primary goal is not to prevent stigma and discrimination.
Some MAPs use harmless sexual outlets, such as inanimate objects, fictional content, and roleplay with other adults, to explore their sexuality. You may see MAPs talking about these outlets in spaces where such discussions are permitted.
While it's perfectly normal to find outlets that don't coincide with your own attractions off-putting, remember that emotions do not dictate morality. These outlets are known to be beneficial to both MAPs and non-MAPs, and there is no evidence that they cause harm.
As common targets for bigots, many MAPs are sensitive to all forms of bigotry, even when it is not directed at them. Allies who express racist, homophobic, transphobic, or otherwise harmful views will generally not be welcome in MAP spaces.
In addition, be careful to avoid redirecting stigma onto MAPs. For example, if you are being harassed by internet trolls, it may be tempting to point out that you are only an ally. However, this implies that the harassment would be justified if the target was a MAP.
Somebody's attractions should not play a role in where they can live, who they can interact with, or what jobs they can hold. MAPs are skilled at recognizing advocacy in favor of discrimination and will likely remove any ally involved in such advocacy from their spaces.
Additionally, some people consider it acceptable to ask MAPs repeated or invasive questions about their attractions, often without provocation. While some MAPs are happy to discuss their experiences, involving someone in a sexual conversation without their consent is sexual harassment.
To avoid backlash, some people try to narrowly define the MAP community to exclude more controversial groups, such as MAPs who have offended. While we encourage you to personally avoid anyone who makes you uncomfortable, remember that identities like 'MAP' are open to anyone who feels they meet the definition.
You are a guest in a community centered around supporting a specific group of people. You can choose who you talk to, but efforts to ostracize or harass MAPs you don't like may result in you being removed from MAP spaces. If you don't like the overall culture in a MAP space, consider joining a different one.
The pro-recovery movement is an online advocacy push centered around the idea that MAPs and other marginalized paraphiles should recover from their attractions or the impacts of societal stigma.
Although the movement is designed to look supportive from an outsider's perspective, it forces MAPs to take responsibility for unchosen traits or being victims of a harmful stigma while allowing the bigots perpetuating said stigma to evade accountability.
Proponents of the recovery movement have been known to collaborate with anti-MAPs, promote conversion therapy, and harass MAPs who don't support their ideology. Many MAPs are understandably wary of anyone who uses terms or symbols associated with the movement.
A fundamental value of the MAPs community is the idea that thoughts (including attractions) are unchosen and do not carry any moral weight. This separates them from actions, which can be wrong and may necessitate accountability.
You may encounter discussions about fantasies that you find upsetting in the MAP community. Set boundaries to avoid ending up in uncomfortable conversations and remember that fantasies cannot cause harm and nobody should be judged for having them or expressing them in an appropriate space.
Certain groups of allies may benefit from supplementary resources and advice that are tailored to their role and audience.
Mental health professionals are one of the most important groups of allies, as their profession makes them uniquely suited to help MAPs in need of support.
Researchers and research institutions can greatly impact the availability of support for MAPs, as their work forms the foundation of mental health treatment.