Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 447–459

Handedness in Pedophilia and Hebephilia

  • James M. Cantor
  • Philip E. Klassen
  • Robert Dickey
  • Bruce K. Christensen
  • Michael E. Kuban
  • Thomas Blak
  • Natasha S. Williams
  • Ray Blanchard
Article

Abstract

A sample of 404 adult men underwent assessment following illegal or clinically significant sexual behaviors or interests. Patients’ assessments included: administration of a modified version of the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory; recording of patients’ phallometric (penile) responses to erotic stimuli depicting adults, pubescent children, and prepubescent children of both sexes; and a tabulation of the numbers of patients’ victims, ages 0–11, 12–14, 15–16, and 17 and older, of both sexes. In Study 1, patients’ right-handedness scores correlated negatively with their phallometric responses to stimuli depicting prepubescent children and positively with stimuli depicting adults, replicating the pattern described in a previous report (Cantor et al., 2004). Unlike the previous study, however, patients’ handedness scores did not significantly correlate with their numbers of prepubescent victims. To explore this discrepancy, Study 2 combined the patients from this replication sample with those in the previously reported sample, categorizing them by the sex and age group of greatest erotic interest to them. The odds of non-right-handedness in men offending predominantly against prepubescent children were approximately two-fold higher than that in men offending predominantly against adults and three-fold higher after eliminating those men with intrafamilial (i.e., incest) offenses. Handedness differences between men erotically interested in males versus females were not statistically significant. These results indicate that the rates of non-right-handedness in pedophilia are much larger than previously suggested and are comparable to the rates observed in pervasive developmental disorders, such as autism, suggesting a neurological component to the development of pedophilia and hebephilia.

Key Words

handedness laterality neuropsychology pedophilia phallometry sexual abuse sex offenders 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Araji, S., & Finkelhor, D. (1985). Explanations of pedophilia: Review of empirical research. Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 13, 17–37.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Ashton, G. C. (1982). Handedness: An alternative hypothesis. Behavior Genetics, 12, 125–147.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Bakan, P. (1971). Handedness and birth order. Nature, 229, 195.Google Scholar
  4. Bakan, P., Dibb, G., & Reed, P. (1973). Handedness and birth stress. Neuropsychologia, 11, 363–366.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Batheja, M., & McManus, I. C. (1985). Handedness in the mentally handicapped. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 27, 63–68.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Bishop, D. V. M. (1990). Handedness and developmental disorder. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific.Google Scholar
  7. Blanchard, R., Barbaree, H. E., Bogaert, A. F., Dickey, R., Klassen, P., Kuban, M. E., et al. (2000). Fraternal birth order and sexual orientation in pedophiles. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 29, 463–478.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Blanchard, R., Cantor, J. M., & Robichaud, L. K. (in press). Biological factors in the development of sexual deviance and aggression in males. In H. E. Barbaree & W. L. Marshall (Eds.), The juvenile sex offender (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  9. Blanchard, R., Christensen, B. K., Strong, S. M., Cantor, J. M., Kuban, M. E., Klassen, P., et al. (2002). Retrospective self-reports of childhood accidents causing unconsciousness in phallometrically diagnosed pedophiles. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 31, 511–516.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Blanchard, R., Klassen, P., Dickey, R., Kuban, M. E., & Blak, T. (2001). Sensitivity and specificity of the phallometric test for pedophilia in nonadmitting sex offenders. Psychological Assessment, 13, 118–126.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Blanchard, R., Kuban, M. E., Klassen, P., Dickey, R., Christensen, B. K., Cantor, J. M., et al. (2003). Self-reported head injuries before and after age 13 in pedophilic and nonpedophilic men referred for clinical assessment. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 32, 573–581.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Bogaert, A. F. (2001). Handedness, criminality, and sexual offending. Neuropsychologia, 39, 465–469.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Bradshaw-McAnulty, G., Hicks, R. E., & Kinsbourne, M. (1984). Pathological left-handedness and familial sinistrality in relation to degree of mental retardation. Brain and Cognition, 3, 349–356.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Cantor, J. M., Blanchard, R., Christensen, B. K., Dickey, R., Klassen, P. E., Beckstead, A. L., et al. (2004). Intelligence, memory, and handedness in pedophilia. Neuropsychology, 18, 3–14.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Casanova, M. F., Mannheim, G., & Kruesi, M. (2002). Hippocampal pathology in two mentally ill paraphiliacs. Psychiatry Research Neuroimaging, 115, 79–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Coren, S. (1994). Twinning is associated with an increased risk of left-handedness and inverted writing hand posture. Early Human Development, 40, 23–27.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Coren, S., & Halpern, D. F. (1991). Left-handedness: A marker for decreased survival fitness. Psychological Bulletin, 109, 90–106.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Cornish, K. M., & McManus, I. C. (1996). Hand preference and hand skill in children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 26, 597–609.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Davis, A., & Annett, M. (1994). Handedness as a function of twinning, age, and sex. Cortex, 30, 105–111.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Freund, K. (1967). Erotic preference in pedophilia. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 5, 339–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Freund, K., Langevin, R., Cibiri, S., & Zajac, Y. (1973). Heterosexual aversion in homosexual males. British Journal of Psychiatry, 122, 163–169.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Freund, K., Langevin, R., Wescom, T., & Zajac, Y. (1975). Heterosexual interest in homosexual males. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 4, 509–518.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Freund, K., Watson, R., & Dickey, R. (1991). Sex offenses against female children perpetrated by men who are not pedophiles. The Journal of Sex Research, 28, 409–423.Google Scholar
  24. Glueck, B. C. (1955). Final report: Research project for the study and treatment of persons convicted of crimes involving sexual aberrations. June 1952 to June 1955. New York: New York State Department of Mental Hygiene.Google Scholar
  25. Grouios, G., Sakadami, N., Poderi, A., & Alevriadou, A. (1999). Excess of non-right handedness among individuals with intellectual disability: Experimental evidence and possible explanations. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 43, 306–313.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Hanson, R. K., & Bussière, M. T. (1998). Predicting relapse: A meta-analysis of sexual offender recidivism studies. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66, 348–362.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Hardyck, C., & Petrinovich, L. F. (1977). Left-handedness. Psychological Bulletin, 84, 385–404.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Howes, R. J. (1995). A survey of plethysmographic assessment in North America. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 7, 9–24.Google Scholar
  29. Lalumière, M. L., Blanchard, R., & Zucker, K. J. (2000). Sexual orientation and handedness in men and women: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 126, 575–592.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Marlow, N., Roberts, B. L., & Cooke, R. W. I. (1989). Laterality and premature birth. Archives of Diseases in Childhood, 64, 1713–1716.Google Scholar
  31. Mendez, M. F., Chow, T., Ringman, J., Twitchell, G., & Hinkin, C. H. (2000). Pedophilia and temporal lobe disturbances. Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 12, 71–76.Google Scholar
  32. O’Callaghan, M. J., Tudehope, D. I., Dugdale, A. E., Mohay, H., Burns, Y., & Cook, F. (1987, May 16). Handedness in children with birthweights below 1000 g. Lancet, 329(8542), 1155.Google Scholar
  33. Oldfield, R. C. (1971). The assessment and analysis of handedness: The Edinburgh Inventory. Neuropsychologia, 9, 97–113.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Porac, C., Coren, S., & Duncan, P. (1980). Life-span age trends in laterality. Journal of Gerontology, 35, 715–721.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Powls, A., Botting, N., Cooke, R. W. I., & Marlow, N. (1996). Handedness in very-low-birthweight (VLBW) children at 12 years of age: Relation to perinatal and outcome variables. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 38, 594–602.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Quinsey, V. L., Arnold, L. S., & Pruesse, M. G. (1980). MMPI profiles of men referred for a pretrial psychiatric assessment as a function of offense type. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 36, 410–416.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Ross, G., Lipper, E., & Auld, P. A. M. (1992). Hand preference, prematurity and developmental outcome at school age. Neuropsychologia, 30, 483–494.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Satz, P. (1973). Left-handedness and early brain insult: An explanation. Neuropsychologia, 11, 115–117.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Schacter, S. C., Boulton, A., Manoach, D., O’Connor, M., Weintraub, S., Blume, H., et al. (1995). Handedness in patients with intractable epilepsy: Correlations with side of temporal lobectomy and gender. Journal of Epilepsy, 8, 190–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Searleman, A., Cunningham, T. F., & Goodwin, W. (1988). Association between familial sinistrality and pathological left-handedness: A comparison of mentally retarded and nonretarded subjects. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 10, 132–138.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Soper, H. V., Satz, P., Orsini, D. L., Henry, R. R., Zvi, J. C., & Schulman, M. (1986). Handedness patterns in autism suggest subtypes. Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders, 16, 155–167.Google Scholar
  42. Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (1989). Using multivariate statistics (2nd ed.). New York: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
  43. Tellegen, A., & Briggs, P. F. (1967). Old wine in new skins: Grouping Wechsler subtests into new scales. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 31, 499–506.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. von Krafft-Ebing, R. (1965). Psychopathia sexualis: A medico-forensic study (H. E. Wedeck, Trans.). New York: Putnam. (Original work published 1886)Google Scholar
  45. Williams, C. S., Buss, K. A., & Eskenazi, B. (1992). Infant resuscitation is associated with an increased risk of left-handedness. American Journal of Epidemiology, 136, 277–286.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Williams, S. M. (1986). Factor analysis of the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory. Cortex, 22, 325–326.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Wormith, J. S. (1986). Assessing deviant sexual arousal: Physiological and cognitive aspects. Advances in Behavior Research and Therapy, 8, 101–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • James M. Cantor
    • 1
  • Philip E. Klassen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Robert Dickey
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bruce K. Christensen
    • 2
    • 3
  • Michael E. Kuban
    • 1
  • Thomas Blak
    • 1
  • Natasha S. Williams
    • 1
    • 4
  • Ray Blanchard
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Law and Mental Health ProgramCentre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Schizophrenia ProgramCentre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Adler School of Professional PsychologyChicago

Personalised recommendations