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UBC Theses and Dissertations

High risk sexual offenders : the association between sexual paraphilias, fantasies and psychopathy Freimuth, Tabatha


High risk offenders are a complex and heterogeneous group of offenders about whom researchers, clinicians, and society still know relatively little. In response to the paucity of information that is specifically applicable to high risk offenders, the present study examined RCMP Integrated Sexual Predator Intelligence Network (ISPIN) data to investigate the relationship between sexual paraphilias, sexual fantasy, and psychopathy among 139 of the highest risk sexual offenders in British Columbia. The sample included 41 child molesters, 42 rapists, 18 rapist/molesters, 30 mixed offenders, and 6 “other” sexual offenders. The majority of offenders in this sample were diagnosed with one primary paraphilia (67%). Data analysis revealed significant differences between offender types for criminal history variables including past sexual and nonsexual convictions, number of victims, and age of offending onset. For example, offenders who victimized children (i.e., exclusive child molesters & rapist/molesters) had a greater number of past sexual convictions than did offenders who victimized adults exclusively. Further, there were significant differences between offender types for paraphilia diagnoses, sexual fantasy themes, and levels of psychopathy. For example, exclusive child molesters were significantly more likely to receive a paraphilia diagnosis, were more likely to report having sexual fantasies, and had lower Psychopathy Checklist Revised (PCL-R) scores than other offender types. Results from the current study will serve to facilitate a more refined and informed understanding of sexual offending behaviour, with important implications for future research, assessment, and treatment issues, as well as law enforcement practices when working with high risk sexual offenders.

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