Hunting for Snarks: A Reply to McPhail (2019a)

  • Nicholas LongpréEmail author
  • Raymond A. Knight
  • Jean-Pierre Guay
  • Massil Benbouriche
  • Glenn D. Walters
Letter to the Editor

In 2018, we examined the latent structure of sexual sadism and published our results in Archives of Sexual Behavior. Because sadism is treated as a disorder that one does or does not have, sadists have been conceptualized as fundamentally different from non-sadists, and research is directed at a very specific subgroup of offenders (Longpré, Guay, Knight, & Benbouriche, 2018). Sadism has, however, been plagued with an absence of pathognomonic symptoms, and many symptoms supposedly identifying sadism have been found among non-sadistic offenders and non-delinquents (for more details, see Longpré et al., 2018). Based on the results obtained in Longpré et al., but also on the convergence of results across studies and samples, we concluded that sexual sadism is distributed as a dimension. These results are not only in stark contrast to the categorical orientation that has been and continues to be supported in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(e.g., American...


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Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of RoehamptonLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyBrandeis UniversityWalthamUSA
  3. 3.École de CriminologyUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada
  4. 4.Département de PsychologieUniversité de LilleLilleFrance
  5. 5.Department of Criminal JusticeKutztown UniversityKutztownUSA

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