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Int J Law Psychiatry. 2013 Mar-Apr;36(2):144-56. doi: 10.1016/j.ijlp.2013.01.007. Epub 2013 Feb 8.

High-risk sexual offenders: an examination of sexual fantasy, sexual paraphilia, psychopathy, and offence characteristics.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia Okanagan, Canada. michael.woodworth@ubc.ca

Abstract

High-risk sexual offenders are a complex and heterogeneous group of offenders about whom researchers, clinicians, and law enforcement agencies still know relatively little. In response to the paucity of information that is specifically applicable to high-risk offenders, the present study investigated the potential influence of sexual fantasy, sexual paraphilia, and psychopathy on the offending behaviour of 139 of the highest risk sexual offenders in one province of Canada. The sample included 41 child molesters, 42 rapists, 18 rapist/molesters, 30 mixed offenders, and 6 "other" sexual offenders. Two offenders could not be categorized by type due to insufficient file information. Data analyses revealed significant differences between offender types for a number of criminal history variables including past sexual and nonsexual convictions, number of victims, weapon use, and age of offending onset. Further, there were significant differences between offender types for sexual fantasy themes, paraphilia diagnoses, and levels of psychopathy. For example, results revealed that offenders' sexual fantasies were significantly more likely to correspond with the specific type of index sexual offence that they had committed. Further, offenders scoring high in psychopathy were significantly more likely to have a sadistic paraphilia than offenders with either low or moderate psychopathy scores. Results from the current study provide a refined and informed understanding of sexual offending behaviour with important implications for future research, assessment, and treatment, as well as law enforcement practices when working with high-risk sexual offenders.

PMID:
23395507
DOI:
10.1016/j.ijlp.2013.01.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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