Grade Failure and Special Education Placement in Sexual Offenders’ Educational Histories
A sample of 701 adult men underwent assessment following illegal or clinically significant sexual behaviors or interests. Patients were categorized on the basis of phallometric (penile) responses in the laboratory to erotic stimuli depicting adults, pubescent children, and prepubescent children; histories of sexual offenses; and self-reported sexual interests. Comprising the categories were men sexually interested in prepubescent children (pedophiles; n = 114), men sexually interested in pubescent children (hebephiles; n = 377), men sexually interested in adults and who had committed a sexual offense against an adult (teleiophilic offenders; n = 139), and men sexually interested in adults and who had no known history of any sexual offenses (teleiophilic nonoffenders; n = 71). Patients’ assessments included IQ testing and self-reported academic history, which included any grade failures and assignment to special education classes. Relative to the teleiophilic offenders, both the pedophilic and the hebephilic groups showed approximately double the odds of failing a grade or being enrolled in special education, both before and after covarying IQ. No significant differences were detected between the teleiophilic offenders and the teleiophilic nonoffenders. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that an erotic age preference for children sometimes results from a perturbation of neurodevelopment occurring early in life.
KEY WORDS:academic achievement neuropsychology pedophilia phallometry grade failure sexual abuse special education sex offenders.
The authors thank C. Crimmins for her assistance in locating background information and Meredith Chivers for her comments on an earlier version of this paper. This research was supported by the Canadian Institute of Health Research grant 94205 to Ray Blanchard.
- Biederman, J., Monuteaux, M. C., Doyle, A. E., Seidman, L. J., Wilens, T. E., Ferrero, F., et al. (2004). Impact of executive function deficits and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on academic outcomes in children. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 72, 757–766.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Cohen, J., & Cohen, P. (1983). Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Déry, M., Toupin, J., Pauzé, R., & Verlaan, P. (2004). Frequency of mental health disorders in a sample of elementary school students receiving special educational services for behavioural difficulties. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 49, 769–775.Google Scholar
- Faraone, S. V., Beiderman, J., Lehman, B. K., Spencer, T., Norman, D., Seidman, L. J., et al. (1993). Intellectual performance and school failure in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and in their siblings. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 102, 616–623.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Frank, B. (1931). Mental level as a factor in crime. Journal of Juvenile Research, 15, 192–197.Google Scholar
- Glueck, B. C., Jr. (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
- National Center for Education Statistics. (1997). Dropout rates in the United States: 1995 (NCES 97-473). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.Google Scholar
- Offord, D. R., & Lipman, E. L. (1996). Emotional and behavioural problems. In Human Resources Development Canada & Statistics Canada (Eds.), Growing up in Canada: National longitudinal study of children and youth (pp. 119–126). Ottawa, Ontario: Human Resources Development Canada and Statistics Canada.Google Scholar
- U.S. Department of Education. (2002). Twenty-third annual report to Congress on the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
- von Krafft-Ebing, R. (1965). Psychopathia sexualis: A medico-forensic study (H. E. Wedeck, Trans.). New York: Putnam. (Original work published 1886).Google Scholar