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Forensic Sci Int. 1990 Dec;48(2):113-21.

A comparison of typical death scene features in cases of fatal male and autoerotic asphyxia with a review of the literature.

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Department of Histopathology, Adelaide Children's Hospital, Australia.


Autoerotic asphyxia is an increasingly recognised syndrome in which accidental death occurs during solitary sexual activity due to failure of an apparatus that was designed to produce hypoxic augmentation of the victim's sexual response. Evidence of repetitive, secretive behaviour utilizing ropes and ligatures characterizes cases involving either males or females. Here the similarity in reported cases ends with males tending to utilize a far greater range of elaborate devices and props, often designed to cause real or simulated pain with pornographic material and evidence of cross-dressing and fetishism. Females, on the other hand, have usually been found naked with only a single ligature and no unusual or bizarre equipment. To further clarify the similarities and differences between typical cases involving males and females and to assist in the diagnosis of less obvious cases, the literature is reviewed and characteristic findings in both sexes compared and contrasted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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