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Clin Psychol Rev. 2002 Nov;22(8):1179-207.

Sex differences in psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder. A review and integration.

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Department of Psychology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


Although the correlates and causes of psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) have been the subject of extensive investigation, researchers in this area have until recently focused almost exclusively on males. As a consequence, relatively little is known about psychopathy and ASPD in females. In this paper, we review the empirical literature on sex differences in the base rates, mean symptom levels, correlates, and factor structure of psychopathy and ASPD. In addition, we discuss the potential sex-differentiated phenotypic expressions of psychopathy and ASPD (e.g., somatization disorder [SD]) as well as sex differences in the developmental trajectories of these conditions. There is suggestive evidence that these conditions may be differentially expressed across biological sex, although further investigation of this issue is warranted. We conclude with recommendations for future research in this area, including suggestions for embedding the study of sex differences in psychopathy and ASPD within a construct validational framework.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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