Developmental Factors Related to Coercive and Non-Coercive Sexual Behaviors in Child Molesters

Patrick Lussier, University of Montreal
Eric Beauregard, University of Montreal
Jean Proulx, University of Montreal

Deviant sexual peferences assessed phallometrically have been shown to be related to characteristics of the sexual offense of the child molesters. However, very few studies have investigated the relationship between deviant sexual preferences and developmental factors. A total of 147 child molesters were included in this study. All subjects were imprisoned in a penitentiary, permitting assessment of their correctional risk level and their treatment needs. The assessment was carried out at the institution and consisted of the following categories: 1) formative events such as physical and sexual abuse, family functioning and parental adjustment; 2) individual factors (such as the onset of sexuality, presence of deviant sexual fantasies prior to age 18, etc.); 3) modus operandi characteristics (premeditation, strategy to carry out the offense, etc.); 4) victim characteristics (age, gender, etc.). Moreover, sexual preferences were assessed phallometrically. Statistical analysis were performed to identify: 1) developmental factors related to a sexual preference for non-coercive sexual interactions involving a child; 2) developmental factors related to a sexual preference for coercive sexual interactions involving a child. The results of this study will be discussed in light of the theories of sexual aggression of children as recent literature regarding phallometric assessment of child molesters.

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Updated 05/20/2006