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J Appl Res Intellect Disabil. 2013 Sep;26(5):471-80. doi: 10.1111/jar.12034.

'Counterfeit deviance' revisited.

Author information

1
Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, Canada. dgriffiths@brocku.ca

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The field has seen a renewed interest in exploring the theory of 'counterfeit deviance' for persons with intellectual disability who sexually offend. The term was first presented in 1991 by Hingsburger, Griffiths and Quinsey as a means to differentiate in clinical assessment a subgroup of persons with intellectual disability whose behaviours appeared like paraphilia but served a function that was not related to paraphilia sexual urges or fantasies. Case observations were put forward to provide differential diagnosis of paraphilia in persons with intellectual disabilities compared to those with counterfeit deviance. The brief paper was published in a journal that is no longer available and as such much of what is currently written on the topic is based on secondary sources.

METHOD:

The current paper presents a theoretical piece to revisit the original counterfeit deviance theory to clarify the myths and misconceptions that have arisen and evaluate the theory based on additional research and clinical findings. The authors also propose areas where there may be a basis for expansion of the theory.

RESULTS:

The theory of counterfeit deviance still has relevance as a consideration for clinicians when assessing the nature of a sexual offence committed by a person with an intellectual disability. Clinical differentiation of paraphilia from counterfeit deviance provides a foundation for intervention that is designed to specifically treat the underlying factors that contributed to the offence for a given individual.

DISCUSSION:

Counterfeit deviance is a concept that continues to provide areas for consideration for clinicians regarding the assessment and treatment of an individual with an intellectual disability who has sexually offended. It is not and never was an explanation for all sexually offending behavior among persons with intellectual disabilities.

KEYWORDS:

counterfeit deviance; intellectual disabilities; sexual offense

PMID:
23925969
DOI:
10.1111/jar.12034
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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