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AB/DL Surveys

By B. Terrance Grey

Surveys have led to a much more detailed picture of AB/DLs overall. While it would be easier to assert some one archetype as typical of all AB/DLs, this would be an oversimplification. Instead of telling the AB/DLs who they ought to be, the surveys ask them who they are. This has shown a number of trends, but also exceptions to every rule.

Data collection for the final survey in the series is complete. However, analysis of this and prior data sets is ongoing.

Surveys By Others, 1980-2004

Thomas John Speaker's 1980 Masters thesis, Sexual Infantilism in Adults: Causes and Treatment, explored the social and medical context of what would later be called paraphilic infantilism and/or diaper fetishism. In it, he argued that paraphilias were seen as debilitating because mental health professionals only saw individuals with serous problems. To make this point, Tom Speaker contacted a number of ordinary AB/DLs, many without serous problems. He expanded this work in his doctoral dissertation Psychosexual infantilism in Adults: The eroticization of regression.

From 1998 though 2004, Dave's Diaper Survey gathered responses online over email. The results were hosted at geocities, but now remain available as archives mirrored at the Wayback Machine.

Much less formal attempts to estimate the size of the AB/DL population have also occurred. One undertaken by Enfant Mel is notable, but mainly due to its age.

2006-2008: ABs, DLs, Etc.

The goal of this survey was to get a better idea of how alike AB/DLs were and how they fit into the larger fetish and BDSM communities.

Summary results: the basics, important aspects, joys texts, childhood, events texts, struggles, messages texts, roleplay, sex, and election

Distributions: Beyond documenting some 'average' AB/DL, three sets of analyses explored the distributions. The Range Between AB and DL explored how the interests in wetting/messing, roleplay, regression, and sexuality vary among AB/DLs. Mapping Paraphilic Infantilism and Diaper Fetishes attempted to visualize the populations based on the importance of themes such as control, babyhood, and sexuality.

Cause and Effect:Three sets of analyses sought to display differing causes by contrasting the effects. AB/DLs in Diapers Already showed that AB/DLs who were in diapers due to extended bedwetting, etc., were not that different from those who weren't. Girls, Boys, and Diapers showed that girls whose desires developed early were similar to males in specific ways. In contrast, women whose desires developed latter differed; notably, they tended not to be interested in diapers. Trauma and Exposure Among AB/DLs displayed a marked contrast between AB/DLs who reported "always" having their desires, and those who associated the start of their desires with exposure to AB/DL stories, pictures, etc. Together, these studies suggest a common pool of causes for most AB/DLs, but clearly not a singular cause for all AB/DLs.

2008-2009: Diapers and More

This survey explored one thing central to AB/DLs, and some things that aren't.

Summary results: the basics; birth order; siblings texts; masochism, crossdressing, furry fandom, fetishism; interests texts; associated conditions; conditions texts; changes over time; changing aspects texts; diapers, diapers, diapers; and fantasy diaper texts.

Two studies showed that the desires of AB/DLs are influenced by, but not determined by, their childhood. Diaper Preference among AB/DLs showed that the type of diaper that an AB/DL prefers in fantasy isn't necessarily the type he or she wore as a baby. Birthorder of AB/DLs explored reasons why AB/DLs might come from large families, but showed that the probability of an only child becoming an AB/DL were higher.

A third study, Other Conditions Prevalent among AB/DLs showed that paraphilic infantilism and diaper fetishism were not the only influences on the desire for diapers and/or babyhood for a minority of AB/DLs. Incontinence was explored, as was Asperger's syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder.

A fourth study, Paraphilia and Kink, documented that the importance of various aspects of AB/DL games, scenes, and fantasies can change over time, and that new interests can be developed. Taking this a step further, Primacy of Diapers among AB/DLs showed that paraphilic infantilism and diaper fetishism might both be the result of a single condition, causing an initial diaper impulse which is then obscured by those changing interests.

2009-2011: Practices

This survey took a first step into the exploration of AB/DL practices.

Summary results: Basics; favorite media; media (texts) partners; coming out; coming out (texts) needing diapers; needing diapers (texts); significant others; significant others (texts)

Data from this survey showed that the favorite pictures, stories, and videos of AB/DLs include women the AB/DL wants to be with, as well as men and babies the AB/DL wants to be like, but are not limited to these two modes.

2011-2013: Odds and Ends

The fourth and last survey of the series covered a number of big and little items, rounding out the other surveys.

Summary results: basics; memories; ways to help(texts); life outside; practices and paraphernalia; the giant practices lists(texts); favorite items and activities(texts);

Data from this suvey showed that those who became AB/DLs and completed the survey were disproportionately white and raised within the Western culture.

2014: Dr. Zamboni and Beyond

Just as the AB/DL survey project built on the work of others, it is helping other projects. One particular example is the 2014 doctoral dissertation of Rhoda J. Lipscomb, which is shared with permission (also available in PDF).

The late Dr. Brian Zamboni and colleagues also ran a survey in 2012, resulting in a number of papers and dissertations. This includes six papers authored or co-authored by him, which are collectively the most significant study of AB/DLs in medical literature to date.

Email BitterGrey[mail] Last Update: 22 July 2023| First 7 June 2006

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