The New Yorker: The German Experiment that Placed Foster Children with Pedophiles

A harrowing piece on the “Kentler experiment” in The New Yorker may interest AHP readers: “The German Experiment that Placed Foster Children with Pedophiles.” The piece details psychologist and sexologist Helmut Kentler’s “experiment”, beginning in the 1960s, in which he placed foster children with pedophiles. This continued into the twenty-first century. The piece begins,

In 2017, a German man who goes by the name Marco came across an article in a Berlin newspaper with a photograph of a professor he recognized from childhood. The first thing he noticed was the man’s lips. They were thin, almost nonexistent, a trait that Marco had always found repellent. He was surprised to read that the professor, Helmut Kentler, had been one of the most influential sexologists in Germany. The article described a new research report that had investigated what was called the “Kentler experiment.” Beginning in the late sixties, Kentler had placed neglected children in foster homes run by pedophiles. The experiment was authorized and financially supported by the Berlin Senate. In a report submitted to the Senate, in 1988, Kentler had described it as a “complete success.”

The full article can be read online here.

About Jacy Young

Jacy Young is a professor at Quest University Canada. A critical feminist psychologist and historian of psychology, she is committed to critical pedagogy and public engagement with feminist psychology and the history of the discipline.