Advertisement

Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 423–436 | Cite as

The Utility of the Diagnosis of Pedophilia: A Comparison of Various Classification Procedures

  • Drew A. Kingston
  • Philip Firestone
  • Heather M. Moulden
  • John M. Bradford
Original Paper

Abstract

This study examined the utility of the diagnosis of pedophilia in a sample of extra-familial child molesters assessed at a university teaching hospital between 1982 and 1992. Pedophilia was defined in one of four ways: (1) DSM diagnosis made by a psychiatrist; (2) deviant phallometric profile; (3) DSM diagnosis and a deviant phallometric profile; and, (4) high scores based on the Screening Scale for Pedophilic Interest (Seto & Lalumière, 2001). Demographic data, psychological tests, and offence history were obtained and group differences were analyzed along with the ability of certain variables to contribute uniquely to the classification of pedophilia. Results indicated that few significant differences existed on psychological measures between pedophilic and nonpedophilic extra-familial child molesters regardless of the classification system employed. Finally, results indicated that the procedures used to define pedophilia were not significantly related to one another. Results are discussed in terms of the utility of the diagnosis of pedophilia.

Keywords

Sex offender DSM Pedophilia Child molesters Phallometric assessment 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was funded, in part, by a grant from the Royal Ottawa Hospital Research Fund. We would like to thank the Editor and three anonymous reviewers for their very helpful comments on an earlier draft.

References

  1. Abel, G. G., Blanchard, E. B., & Barlow, D. H. (1981). Measurement of sexual arousal in several paraphilias: The effects of stimulus modality, instructional set and stimulus content on the objective. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 19, 25–33.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abel, G. G., Gore, D. K., Holland, C. L., Camp, N., Becker, J. V., & Rathner, J. (1989). The measurement of cognitive distortions of child molesters. Annals of Sex Research, 2, 135–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Allnutt, S. H., Bradford, J. M. W., Greenberg, D. M., & Curry, S. (1996). Co-morbidity of alcoholism and the paraphilias. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 41, 234–239.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text rev.). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  5. Bahroo, B. A. (2003). Pedophilia: Psychiatric insights. Family Court Review, 41, 497–507.Google Scholar
  6. Barbaree, H. E., Baxter, D. J., & Marshall, W. L. (1989). The reliability of the rape index in a sample of rapists and nonrapists. Violence and Victims, 4, 299–306.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Barbaree, H. E., & Seto, M. C. (1997). Pedophilia: Assessment and treatment. In D. R. Laws, & W. T. O’Donohue (Eds.), Sexual deviance: Theory, assessment, and treatment (pp. 175–193). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  8. 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Buss, A. H., & Durkee, A. (1957). An inventory for assessing different kinds of hostility. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 21, 343–349.Google Scholar
  10. Cohen, L. J., Gans, S. W., McGeoch, P. G., Poznansky, O., Itskovich, Y., Murphy, S., et al. (2002). Impulsive personality traits in male pedophiles versus healthy controls: Is pedophilia an impulsive-aggressive disorder? Comprehensive Psychiatry, 43, 127–134.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Derogatis, L. R. (1980). Psychological assessment of psychosexual functioning. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 3, 113–131.Google Scholar
  12. Derogatis, L. R., & Melisaratos, N. (1979). The DSFI: A multidimensional measure of sexual functioning. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 5, 244–281.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Eccles, A., & Marshall, W. L. (1993). Pedophilia. In C. G. Last & M. Hersen (Eds.), Adult behavior therapy casebook (pp. 259–277). New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  14. Eher, R., Grunhut, C., Fruhwald, S., & Hobl, B. (2001). Psychiatric comorbidity, typology, and amount of violence in extrafamilial sexual child molesters. Recht & Psychiatrie, 19, 97–101.Google Scholar
  15. Field, A. (2005). Discovering statistics using SPSS (2nd ed.). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  16. Firestone, P., Bradford, J. M., Greenberg, D. M., Larose, M. R., & Curry, S. (1998). Homicidal and non-homicidal child molesters: Psychological, phallometric and criminal features. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 10, 305–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Firestone, P., Bradford, J. M., Greenberg, D. M., McCoy, M., Larose, M. R., & Curry, S. (1999). Prediction of recidivism in incest offenders. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 14, 511–531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Firestone, P., Bradford, J. M., Greenberg, D. M., & Serran, G. A. (2000). The relationship of deviant sexual arousal and psychopathy in incest offenders, extra-familial child molesters and rapists. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 28, 303–308.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Firestone, P., Bradford, J. M., McCoy, M., Greenberg, D. M., Larose, M. R., & Curry, S. (1998). Recidivism factors in convicted rapists. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 26, 185–200.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Firestone, P., Nunes, K. L., Moulden, H. M., Broom, I., & Bradford, J. M. (2005). Hostility and recidivism in sexual offenders. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 34, 277–283.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Freund, K., & Blanchard, R. (1989). Phallometric diagnosis of pedophilia. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 57, 100–105.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Freund, K., & Watson, R. J. (1991). Assessment of the sensitivity and specificity of a phallometric test: An update of phallometric diagnosis of pedophilia. Psychological Assessment, 3, 254–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Greenberg, D. M., Bradford, J. M., & Curry, S. (1996). Are pedophiles with aggressive tendencies more sexually violent? Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 24, 225–235.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Hall, G. C. N., Proctor, W. C., & Nelson, G. M. (1988). Validity of physiological measures of pedophilic sexual arousal in a sexual offender population. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 56, 118–122.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hanson, R. K., & Bussiere, M. T. (1998). Predicting relapse: A meta-analysis of sexual offender recidivism studies. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66, 348–362.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hanson, R. K., Cox, B., & Woszcsyna, C. (1991). Sexuality, personality and attitude questionnaires for sexual offenders: A review (Supply and Services Canada #JS4-1/1991-13). Ottawa, Canada: Solicitor General Canada, Ministry Secretariat.Google Scholar
  27. Hanson, R. K., Gizzarelli, R., & Scott, H. (1994). The attitudes of incest offenders: Sexual entitlement and acceptance of sex with children. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 21, 187–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hare, R. D. (1991). Manual for the Revised Psychopathy Checklist. Toronto: Multi-Health Systems.Google Scholar
  29. Hare, R. D., Forth, A. E., & Strachan, K. E. (1992). Psychopathy and crime across the life span. In R. D. Peters, J. McMahon, & V. L. Quinsey (Eds.), Aggression and violence throughout the life span (pp. 285–300). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  30. Hare, R. D., Harpur, T. J., Hakstian, A. R., Forth, A. E., Hart, S. D., & Newman, J. P. (1990). The revised Psychopathy Checklist: Descriptive statistics, reliability, and factor structure. Psychological Assessment, 2, 238–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Harris, G. T., Rice, M. E., & Quinsey, V. L. (1994). Psychopathy as a taxon: Evidence that psychopaths are a discrete class. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 62, 387–397.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Howell, D. C. (2002). Statistical methods for psychology (5th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Duxbury.Google Scholar
  33. Howes, R. J. (1998). Plethysmographic assessment of incarcerated nonsexual offenders: A comparison with rapists. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 10, 183–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hucker, S., Langevin, R., & Bain, J. (1988). A double blind trial of sex drive reducing medication in pedophiles. Annals of Sex Research, 1, 227–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kalmus, E., & Beech, A. R. (2005). Forensic assessment of sexual interest: A review. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 10, 193–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Konopasky, R. J., & Konopasky, A. W. B. (2000). Remaking penile plethysmography. In D. R. Laws, S. M. Hudson, & T. Ward (Eds.), Remaking relapse prevention with sex offenders (pp. 257–284). London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  37. Lee, J. K. P., Pattison, P., Jackson, H. J., & Ward, T. (2001). The general, common, and specific features of psychopathology for different types of paraphilias. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 28, 227–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Levenson, J. S. (2004). Reliability of sexually violent predator civil commitment criteria. Law and Human Behavior, 28, 357–368.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Magruder-Habid, K., Durand, A. M., & Frey, K. A. (1991). Alcohol abuse and alcoholism in primary health care settings. Journal of Family Practice, 32, 406–413.Google Scholar
  40. Magruder-Habid, K., Stevens, H. A., & Alling, W. C. (1993). Relative performance of the MAST, VAST and CAGE versus DSM-III-R criteria for alcohol dependence. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 46, 435–441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Marshall, W. L. (1997). Pedophilia: Psychopathology and theory. In D. R. Laws & W. T. O’Donohue (Eds.), Sexual deviance: Theory, assessment, and treatment (pp. 152–174). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  42. Marshall, W. L., & Fernandez, Y. M. (2000). Phallometric testing with sexual offenders: Limits to its value. Clinical Psychology Review, 20, 807–822.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Marshall, W. L., Kennedy, P., & Yates, P. M. (2002). Issues concerning the reliability and validity of the diagnosis of sexual sadism applied in prison settings. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 14, 301–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. McConaghy, N. (1999). Unresolved issues in scientific sexology. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 28, 285–318.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Meehl, P. E. (1996). Clinical versus statistical prediction: A theoretical analysis and a review of the literature. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson.Google Scholar
  46. Moser, C. (2002). Are any of the paraphilias in DSM mental disorders? Archives of Sexual Behavior, 31, 490–491.Google Scholar
  47. Moulden, H. M., Firestone, P., Kingston, D. A., & Bradford, J. M. (2006). Recidivism in pedophiles: An investigation using different methods of defining pedophilia. Manuscript in preparation.Google Scholar
  48. Nugent, P. M., & Kroner, D. G. (1996). Denial, response styles, and admittance of offenses among child molesters and rapists. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 11, 475–486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. O’Donohue, W., & Letourneau, E. (1992). The psychometric properties of the penile tumescence measures with incarcerated rapists. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 14, 123–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. O’Donohue, W., Regev, L. G., & Hagstrom, A. (2000). Problems with the DSM-IV diagnosis of pedophilia. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 12, 95–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Quinsey, V. L., Lalumiere, M. L., Rice, M. E., & Harris, G. T. (1995). Predicting sexual offenses. In J. C. Campbell (Ed.), Assessing dangerousness: Violence by sexual offenders, batterers, and child abusers (pp. 114–137). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  52. Rada, R. T. (1975). Alcoholism and forcible rape. American Journal of Psychiatry, 132, 444–446.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Rada, R. T., Laws, D. R., & Kellner, R. (1976). Plasma testosterone levels in rapists. Psychosomatic Medicine, 38, 257–268.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Seltzer, M. (1971). The Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test: A quest for a new diagnostic instrument. American Journal of Psychiatry, 127, 1653–1658.Google Scholar
  55. Seltzer, M. L., Vinokur, A., & van Rooijen, L. (1975). A self-administered Short Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (SMAST). Journal of Studies of Alcohol, 36, 117–126.Google Scholar
  56. Serin, R. C., & Amos, N. L. (1995). The role of psychopathy in the assessment of dangerousness. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 18, 231–238.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Serin, R. C., Malcolm, P. B., Khanna, A., & Barbaree, H. E. (1994). Psychopathy and deviant sexual arousal in incarcerated sexual offenders. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 9, 3–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Seto, M. C. (2004). Pedophilia and sexual offenses against children. Annual Review of Sex Research, 15, 321–361.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. Seto, M. C., Harris, G. T., Rice, M. E., & Barbaree, H. E. (2004). The screening scale for pedophilic interests predicts recidivism among adult sex offenders with child victims. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 33, 455–466.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Seto, M. C., & Lalumiere, M. L. (2001). A brief screening scale to identify pedophilic interests among child molesters. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 13, 15–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Stermac, L. E., & Segal, Z. V. (1989). Adult sexual contact with children: An examination of cognitive factors. Behavior Therapy, 20, 573–584.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Vanhouche, W., & Vertommen, H. (1999). Assessing cognitive distortions in sex offenders: A review of commonly used versus recently developed instruments. Psychologica Belgica, 39, 163–187.Google Scholar
  63. Walsh, A. (1994). Homosexual and heterosexual child molesters: Case characteristics and sentencing differentials. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 38, 339–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Ward, T., Hudson, S. M., Johnston, L., & Marshall, W. L. (1997). Cognitive distortions in sex offenders: An integrative review. Clinical Psychology Review, 17, 479–507.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wilson, R. J., Abracen, J., Picheca, J. E., Malcolm, P. B., & Prinzo, M. (2003). Pedophilia: An evaluation of diagnostic and risk management methods. Paper presented at the 22nd Annual Research and Treatment Conference of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, St Louis, MO.Google Scholar
  66. Wong, S. (1988). Is Hare’s Psychopathy Checklist reliable without the interview? Psychological Reports, 62, 931–934.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Drew A. Kingston
    • 1
  • Philip Firestone
    • 1
  • Heather M. Moulden
    • 1
  • John M. Bradford
    • 2
  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

Personalised recommendations