Certainly a jarring, horrifying concept, but as unpleasant as it is, it seems to make sense from an academic, clinical and overall prevention standpoint to give this phenomenon a name/label and consider it separately as a distinct motivation for CSA. Sadly, the recent emergence, and, if the various media stories on the subject are to be believed to contain even a kernel of truth, proliferation of the stomach-churning “hurtcore” subgenre of CSEM would seem to indicate that actual sexual sadism (it itself, for its own depraved sake) directed towards children does exist as a motivating factor for offending beyond mere logistics or convenience e.g., “people killing their victims to stop them from becoming witnesses…” While I have no in-depth knowledge or information to back this up, I’d PREFER, of course, to think that it’s exceptionally rare especially as a primary motive–hopefully the rarest underlying pathology there is–so in the grand scheme of things it likely only describes “a few twisted people”, if that’s any comfort, but given how mind-bendingly horrific it is (and thus high-priority to study, understand and thwart whenever possible from a prevention standpoint), that still constitutes a sufficiently large population and significant enough phenomenon to justify the classification.
With all of that said, however, I do also suspect that it’s probably a highly heterogenous phenomenon, with many and varied psychopathological underpinnings that don’t necessarily fit a neatly consistent profile, just as both sexual attraction to children in general and CSA are. Regarding “drugs and alcohol”, I’m sure that’s correlated only insofar as drug/alcohol abuse and consumption are linked to crime overall or any type of antisocial behavior–that is, by simply lowering inhibitions and reducing conscience in the moment, so that’s really a moot point. A lot of “mysopedia” is probably just sexually sadistic psychopathy (so, associated with dark triad/tetrad traits) that just happens to be aimed at child targets for whatever reason (greater power imbalance and thus greater sense of power and control, contextual convenience, perpetrator insecurities and frustrations, etc.) rather than being completely rooted in, for example, some sort of specific hatred of children per se. In some cases (whether the “mysopedic” person is psychopathic or not) perhaps it stems from a sense of violating “the greatest taboo” there is, which could be appealing to certain types of abusers who get off on immorality, sheer depravity for the sake of itself, and dark novelty. And so forth. Based upon my understanding of abnormal psychology, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a complex mixture of different factors at play in giving rise to “mysopedia” even within the psyches of individuals for whom this concept is accurately descriptive.
For at least a subset of those people, my theory–more of a hunch–(and why I felt compelled to reply to this topic in the first place, as I don’t believe I’ve ever yet seen this speculation advanced as a possible explanation) is that, in addition to the usual suspects (antisocial PD, narcissism) this mysopedia phenomenon may be related to schizoid personality disorder traits, and if/when it is, in ways that may have more to do with children specifically (as opposed to broad sadistic psychopathy in one manifestation or wanton sexual novelty/taboo seeking a la the “libertines” of de Sade). From what I know of schizoid pathology, many schizoid types (or people with high schzoid traits, whether or not they meet the clinical criteria for a full SzPD diagnosis) can end up developing a bitter, poisonous and intense sort of misanthropy in general in addition to the apathy typical of the disorder as a result of feeling like human/social contact (which is anathema to schizoids by nature and exasperating for them) is constantly “forced” upon them. Schizoids (or people with SzPD traits) tend to resent and perceive as intrusive impositions even the mundane interpersonal interactions that make life worthwhile for most people; what’s neutral or indeed necessary for others’ mental and emotional well-being in that regard is detrimental to theirs. Where children come in is, if you think about it, children are by nature extremely “intrusive” and “imposing” in this respect (by default), would come across that way to someone with schizoid sensibilities, and the core of their very being is totally incompatible with schizoid pathology. They’re generally unreserved, uninhibitedly and enthusiastically social, high-energy, constantly in need of outward attention, care and deep/involved (rather than superficial and perfunctory) social contact with others, tend to see right through (often inadvertently, but nevertheless) the various “masks” of adults and oblivious to personal boundaries, can thus be rather ruthless/cruel or brutally honest (intentionally and unintentionally) about expressing their offhand impressions, judgments and disapproval, they’re highly capricious, emotional and emotive creatures, and so on and so forth–the epitome of everything that would upset, chafe and repulse someone with schizoid PD or strong traits thereof given the symptoms and internal issues that comprise that disorder.
So my point is that in some (a few) schizoid types, depending upon the circumstances of their lives (for instance, a covert schizoid surrounded by or who must for whatever reason be in close regular contact with young children) and with certain comorbidities in their psychopathological makeup (such as the aforementioned antisocial/psychopathic and sexually sadistic traits), I could easily imagine how that generalized resentful misanthropy I mentioned above could become strongly concentrated around children in particular, get mixed in with sexuality and result in “mysopedia”. Underlying schizoid traits are probably involved in some cases of severe neglect (don’t have statistics, again, but I wouldn’t be shocked) but I could also see how for certain schizoids with the right (or rather wrong) set of factors lined up, that kind of apathy towards the safety and well-being of children could instead become warped into a kind of active malevolence via the above psycho-emotional incompatibilities (with what most children, at least young children, are like) and severe cognitive distortions (as underlie most if not all kinds of abuse, especially as perpetrated by non-sociopaths). I have to emphasize here that in no way am I insinuating that schizoid or quasi-schizoid pathology in itself makes someone more likely to exhibit “mysopedia” or indeed any kind of abusive malevolence–most schizoids really just want to be left alone and are if anything indifferent to others–but I have noticed that many of the infamous perpetrators of crimes that are apparently driven by this sort of motive seem to end up being diagnosed via forensic psych evaluations and such as suffering from schizoid PD traits. So it could be a kind of “hidden/dark” factor as far as this mysopedia concept is concerned.
But then again, I’m not a psychologist, clinician or academic/researcher of any kind, just someone with some degree in-depth knowledge of abnormal psychology and specifically personality disorders (for reasons I’d prefer to keep private), so I could be way off the mark here. Just some food for thought and discussion.