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AB/DL Race and Ethnicity

By B. Terrance Grey

An Internet survey, presented in English, explored trends in the race, ethnicity, education, and birthplaces reported by AB/DLs. Most of the responses were from AB/DLs raised within the Western culture. This was unsurprising: Those who were not raised in diapers were not expected to tend to become AB/DLs, and those who were not functional in English were not expected to complete the survey.

The largest block of responses came from North America. Western in the use of both diapers and English, this block showed an interesting trend: AB/DLs tended to be white, suggesting either a genetic or cultural component. This component would either affect the development of an interest in diapers or babyhood, the willingness to complete the survey, or both.

This trend held true internationally, but was less significant due to the small number of responses: For example, all seven AB/DLs who reported having been born in Africa also reported being non-multiracial white.

While these results would be affected somewhat by a sampling bias, the strength of the racial and ethnic trends, especially within North America, suggests that there might be some substance to them: For some reason, the AB/DL community is disproportionately white.

Sections: Method - Results and Discussion - Conclusion and Limitations

Edit 11 Jan 2017: On 1 Jan 2017, this paper was updated as part of the tenth year standards update. Table 1 replaced a figure, and Table 2 was added, to present more information. Some tangential text was cut for brevity. Section titles were changed and text moved to match APA guidelines, and the methods section was expanded. One additional, duplicate submission was removed. On 11 Jan 2017, some additional text was deleted as tangential.

Both paraphilias and diapers are traditionally associated with Western culture: An Asian cartoon might depict a baby with a navel cover over his or her belly, without a diaper or any covering over the abdomen. Almost all AB/DLs report having been raised in diapers, and tend to prefer the predominant type during early childhood (Grey, 2009). It might stand to reason that diaper fetishism wouldn't develop in cultures where diapers were not used. Infantilists might still be expected of these cultures - they would simply desire to be dressed as a baby of their culture, without diapers.

Of course, given the mechanic of kink, interests in diapers and/or Western babyhood might still develop later in life (Grey, 2012). However, Western-style infantilism and diaper fetishism wouldn't be expected from non-Western cultures.

Exploring the demographic makeup of the AB/DL community might give a clearer picture of the causes of infantilism and diaper fetishism, or at least what conditions need to be met for them to form.


To accomplish this, a 39-question online survey was composed and posted to the Internet at the author's website, understanding.infantilism.org. Participation was voluntary and anonymous. It was announced to a number of email and web-based AB/DL communities including ADISC.org, BBIF.org, dailydiapers.com, foxtalestimes.com, fetlife.com. and twitter.com. In addition to other questions, the survey asked about birth places, race, ethnicity, and the predominant religion in the community while growing up. This survey was then announced to a number of English AB/DL Internet forums. For compatibility, the list of races was based U.S. Census data. Inclusion as an AB/DL was by self-identification (in survey 4, question #10, or S4Q10).

Due to the author's background, the survey was implemented as a web form, which emailed raw responses to the author. Responses were collected from 2011 to 2013. Responses with an incomplete birth year (S4Q3) and those that, based on the entered birth year might have been from participants under 18, were deleted. Responses that were probably duplicates were also deleted. Given the implementation of the survey, it was possible for the participant to send exact duplicate responses simply by clicking on the button to submit the response multiple times.

If necessary, the entered birth year was reformatted manually. For example, a birth year entered as "62" would have been corrected to 1962. Omitted responses were completed if obvious from present responses. For the most part, these were questions that the participant was asked to skip as irrelevant. For example, participants who had not discussed their AB/DL interests with a counselor, therapist, or other mental health professional (S4Q26) were asked to skip S4Q27, on whether the discussion was beneficial. An answer was added to the response for S4Q27 so that it could be correctly interpreted without additional correlation with S4Q26. Similar answers were added to other similar cases. Some blank values in responses were replaced with the text "blank" if necessary. Multiple-multiple-choice questions were not considered incomplete if none of the options were chosen.

Essay answers were entered into larger text-entry windows, which might not have provided the participant with spell checking or other usability features. To compensate for this, papers quoting these text will correct spelling, punctuation, and other minor errors while preserving phrasing, terminology, etc. The end of the survey included a checkbox where the participant could opt-out from being quoted.

A total of 685 responses were received for this survey, excluding responses from minors and probable duplicates. Of these, 612 self-identified as AB/DLs and completed all the relevant questions. The questions relevant to this paper are birthplace (S4Q4), race (S4Q6), and self-identification as an AB/DL (S4Q10).

Chi-squared analysis was used to check questions or pairs of questions for statistical significance. Post hoc, the Benjamini-Hochberg procedure was used to test pairwise comparisons for significance within questions or question pairs that had shown a significant contrast. A 95% confidence and 5% false discovery rate was used.

More so than other analyses, these results are sensitive to participation. Internationally, English skills as well as Internet access and the privacy to use it vary widely.

Results and Discussion

The distribution of reported birthplaces is shown in Table 1. As expected, most AB/DLs report being born into the Western culture, which often includes both the use of the English language and diapers. These areas might also have felt secure enough to be active in AB/DL communities and complete the survey, which might not have been the case in China, etc.

Interestingly, no AB/DLs reported having been born in India, which arguably might have an English-speaking population comparable in size to the United States. This might be due to a lack of suitable Internet access, a strong tendency to spend time in non-English communities where the survey wasn't announced, etc.

Table 1
AB/DL Birthplaces
  N        %
North America (excluding the Pacific Islands) 477 78%
Central or South America 6 1%
Europe (excluding Eastern Europe) or Great Britain 78 13%
Eastern Europe or Russia 4 1%
Asia (excluding Russia and India) 5 1%
Australia or New Zealand 22 4%
Pacific Islands: Hawaii, Papua New Guinea, Etc. 3 0%
India or Pakistan 0 0%
Africa 7 1%
Other 10 2%
Erratum 27 Jan 2017: For one month, the above table incorrectly presented the labels, but not the values, in order of decreasing value.

Few participants reporting being born in areas that were not predominantly Western. However, even these cases were not without a clear Western influence. For example, all 7 AB/DLs who reported having been born in Africa reporting being non-multiracial white.

Table 2
AB/DL Race
  Total   North American born
Race and Ethnicity N         % N %
White only (non-Hispanic) 549 89.7% 431 90.4%
Hispanic 19 3.1% 13 2.7%
Black or African American only (non-Hispanic) 6 1.0% 5 1.0%
American Indian or Alaska Native 2 0.3% 2 0.4%
Asian Indian 1 0.2% 0 0.0%
Chinese 3 0.5% 1 0.2%
Filipino 0 0.0% 0 0.0%
Japanese 1 0.2% 1 0.2%
Korean 1 0.2% 0 0.0%
Vietnamese 0 0.0% 0 0.0%
Other Asian 1 0.2% 0 0.0%
Native Hawaiian 0 0.0% 0 0.0%
Guamanian or Chamorro 0 0.0% 0 0.0%
Samoan 0 0.0% 0 0.0%
Other Pacific Islander 0 0.0% 0 0.0%
Some other race 1 0.2% 1 0.2%
I would prefer not to answer 0 0.0% 0 0.0%
Hispanic multiracial 0 0.0% 0 0.0%
Non-hispanic multiracial 28 4.6% 23 4.8%

Please note that these numbers differ from those presented in the summary results (S4Q6) because, in addition to including non-AB/DLs, those counted multiracial responses multiple times; once for each race or ethnicity reported. The analysis presented here counted multiracial responses singly.

Given the largely North American sample and the quality of information on the U.S. population, the following will focus on AB/DLs who report having been born in North America.

Figure 1 is a bar chart showing the race and ethnicity of North-American-born AB/DLs.
Figure 1, AB/DL Race and Ethnicity. A bar chart showing the race and ethnicity of North-American-born AB/DLs, based on S4Q4 and S4Q6. Vertical lines show the standard error. The chart also shows expectations based on the general U.S. population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2012, using 2009 data) and the general U.S. population after adjusting for home Internet access (using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 2013) and social media use (using data from Pew Research, 2012).

Figure 1 shows the racial and ethnic distribution of AB/DLs who report having been born in North America. The US Census tracks identification with the Hispanic culture separately from identification with the specific races. This analysis did not compensate for differences in the racial composition of the smaller Canadian population, relative to the U.S.

Based on survey data, AB/DLs are disproportionately non-multiracial, non-Hispanic white: Hispanic and non-multiracial black populations are both remarkably underrepresented relative to the non-multiracial, non-Hispanic white population(Χ2[3]=90.96, p<.001, post hoc Χ2[1]=51.42, p<.001 for Hispanics, 2x2 Χ2[1]=43.28, p<.001 for blacks).

A concise, although arguably not statistically significant, way to illustrate the racial contrast would be to note that the five non-multiracial, black AB/DLs born in North America were, according to the survey data, slightly outnumbered by the seven non-multiracial, white AB/DLs born in Africa.

The ethnic and racial trend suggests a genetic or cultural factor, other than English and diapers. This cultural factor might include parenting practices, detachment from diapers (which are usually white, a legacy from when cotton diapers were to be regularly bleached), differences in sex education and exploration, etc. Alternatively, it might be due to a lack of security or altruism, causing Hispanics and blacks not to complete the survey.

Conclusions and Limitations

These results, especially as they relate to other countries and cultures, are subject to sampling bias. Only AB/DLs with both English skills and Internet access would be expected to complete the survey. Others might lack the privacy or altruism to complete the survey. However, in contrast to the marginal decrease expected, a number of populations are nearly absent (e.g. North American-born blacks and Hispanics) or completely absent (e.g. India).

The responses received indicate a population that is mostly non-multiracial white, indicating a strong sampling bias, important genetic factor, and/or important cultural factor. Being born into a culture that uses diapers extensively might be a necessary condition to developing infantilism or diaper fetishism. However, diapers were not the sole gating factor. North American non-multiracial whites, non-multiracial blacks, and Hispanics are roughly comparable in the use of Diapers, English, and Internet access. However, whites were around an order of magnitude more likely to become AB/DLs and complete the survey.

Email BitterGrey[mail] Last Update: 27 Jan 2017| First: 17 April 2015

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[icon] Books and Other References:
  1. Grey, B. T. (2009)Diaper Preference among AB/DLs Retrieved January 25 2013, from http://understanding.infantilism.org/surveys/abdl_diaper_preferences.php
  2. Grey, B. T. (2012)Paraphilia and Kink among AB/DLs Retrieved November 20, 2014, from http://understanding.infantilism.org/surveys/paraphilia_and_kink.php
  3. Pew Research The Demographics of Social Media Users — 2012 Retrieved 15 April 2014 from http://www.pewinternet.org/files/old-media/Files/Reports/2013/PIP_SocialMediaUsers.pdf
  4. U.S. Census Bureau The 2012 Statistical Abstract: Resident Population by Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin Status Retrieved 15 April 2014 from http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0006.xls
  5. U.S. Census Bureau Computer and Internet Use in the United States Retrieved 15 April 2014 from http://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/p20-569.pdf

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