Psychopathy, Sexual Deviance, and Recidivism Among Sex Offenders
The relationships between psychopathy, sex offender type, sexual deviance, and recidivism were examined in 156 federally incarcerated sex offenders in a 10-year follow-up study. The rapists and mixed offenders demonstrated higher psychopathy scores than did the child molesters and incest offenders (total scores and Factor 2 scores on the Psychopathy Checklist—Revised [PCL-R]; R. D. Hare, 2003). Factor 1 scores were approximately the same in all groups. The PCL-R was a weak predictor of sexual recidivism but consistently predicted nonsexual violent recidivism and general recidivism (mainly via Factor 2). Sexual deviance measured by a structured rating scheme predicted sexual recidivism. Sexual deviance, so rated, was a stronger predictor of sexual recidivism than psychopathy but the two interacted significantly suggesting that psychopathy could potentiate sexual recidivism. Although psychopathy was a strong positive predictor of general nonsexual recidivism, sexual deviance was inversely related, and no interaction was observed between psychopathy, sexual deviance, and nonsexual recidivism.