Here's something I've been wondering: how far back in history does the occurrence of ABDL and related tendencies stretch? Has it always been around in some form or is it largely a more recent phenomenon? Of course, the love of "diapers" as such can only go as far back as the invention of the diaper, but I wonder if there weren't people running about in the Greco-Roman period who were unusually found of being cared for like a child.
Bittergrey's research (which can be found here) suggests that there was boom around the 80's, and that prior to the 80's, the number of ABDLs was far lower. In fact, there were nearly no ABDL's reported in the study who were born earlier than 1940 (but then again, how many 70+ year olds are perusing the internet for ABDL sites?).
If nothing else, ABDLism seems to have gone under the historical radar, much in the same way that it seems to have largely gone under the medical radar. The internet really has made way for the relative proliferation of the ABDL awareness that we now have. So maybe there were ABDLs even back into the 19th century, but we've no way of finding out about them.
Thoughts? Maybe someone who's better versed in history can chime in. I just think it would be cool to find out that even long ago, there were people like us indulging the same interests.