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Arch Sex Behav. 1992 Feb;21(1):1-15.

Sadism and other paraphilias in normal controls and aggressive and nonaggressive sex offenders.

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  • 1Alberta Hospital Edmonton, Canada.


Penile circumference responses (PCRs) to a visual age/gender erotic preference battery were analyzed from 60 normal controls and 227 sexual offenders. Sixty offenders were classified as sexual aggressives on the basis of their behavior and damage to their victims. The mean PCR to sadism slides (visual portrayals of nonsexual violence against fully clothed females) was significantly larger for the sexually aggressive group compared to the sexual nonaggressive offender and normal control groups. There were no significant differences in mean victim damage scores between the sexual aggressives who responded significantly to the sadism slides and those who did not. Thus, PCRs were not useful in identifying more from less dangerous sexual aggressives. The incidence of a clinically significant PCR to any of the four paraphilic categories included in the assessment battery was 28, 60, and 65% in the normal controls, sexual nonaggressives, and sexual aggressives, respectively. For sadism, it was 5, 8, and 45% respectively, for these groups. Pedophilia had a low incidence of co-occurrence with other paraphilias whereas sadism, transvestism/fetishism, and the courtship disorder paraphilias had a high incidence of co-occurrence.

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