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Psychol Assess. 2014 Dec;26(4):1173-83. doi: 10.1037/pas0000016. Epub 2014 Jul 28.

Validation of direct and indirect measures of preference for sexualized violence.

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Department of Psychology, Social and Legal Psychology, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn.
Department of Psychology, Social Cognition, Universität zu Köln.
Department of Psychology, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.


Individuals differ in the extent to which they are interested in sexualized violence, as displayed in the frequent but not ubiquitous sexual interest in consensual acts of violent sexual role play and violent pornographic media in the normal population. The present research sought to develop and validate a multi-method assessment battery to measure individual differences in the preference for sexualized violence. Three indirect measures (Implicit Association Test, Semantic Misattribution Procedure, Viewing Time) were combined in an online study with 107 men and 103 women. Participants with and without an affiliation with sadomasochistic sexual interest groups were recruited on corresponding Internet platforms. Results revealed that all 3 indirect measures converged in predicting self-reported sexual interest in non-consensual sexuality. Specifically, for men all indirect measures were related to non-consensual sadistic sexual interest, whereas for women an association with masochistic sexual interest was found. Stimulus artefacts versus genuine gender differences are discussed as potential explanations of this dissociation. An outlook on the usability of the assessment battery in applied settings is delivered.

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