Developmental Factors and Criminal History: A Comparison Between Rapists and Sexual Murderers

Alexandre Nicole, Universite de Montreal
Jean Proulx, University of Montreal

The aim of this paper is to compare developmental factors and criminal history of rapists and sexual murderers. Therefore, we compared rapists (n=178) and sexual murders (n=42) using K-Means cluster analysis. More than 300 variables related to the formative events that occurred during childhood and adolescence were operationalized in 6 scales and 3 binomials variables. Three distinct developmental pathways were identified. The three pathways were statistically different as to the following: physical and sexual abuse, developmental failure, academic achievement, alcohol/drug abuse and sexual fantasy. Results show that sexual murderers are characterized by a more disturbed developmental pathway whereas rapists were characterized by the least disturbed developmental pathway. As to the criminal career, sexual murderers show higher rate of violent offenses in comparison with rapists who present higher rate of property crimes.

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Updated 05/20/2006