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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 82443 Find in a Library
Title: Sex Crimes Related to Arson
Author(s): M J Oliva; J R DeMent; C W McDonald; S E Wieger; J C Richardson
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 8
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This research paper discusses the evidence which links pyromania-motivated arson to sexually motivated crime; social and psychological characteristics of the pyromaniac are emphasized.
Abstract: Some researchers believe that the average pyromaniac is either a frustrated female or an impotent male. These people find it difficult to obtain sexual gratification through normally accepted avenues and, as a result, resort to arson to satisfy their sexual needs and desires. The adult male pyromaniac usually comes from a mother-dominated environment. Often, a hatred or fear of women is exhibited as well as a history of social and sexual maladjustment. Sensual gratification is often expressed as a result of the firesetting. Thus, the pyromaniac resorts to setting fires as a release of suppressed sexual impulses. Few studies focus on the female pyromaniac because of the lower arrest record for females generally and the lack of interest in firesetting exhibited by female children. The juvenile firesetter is fascinated by lighting matches and will gradually light larger and more frequent fires. The juvenile firesetter will usually enter adulthood with an advancing psychological problem. A 1951 study reported that 15 to 20 percent of adult firesetters in the sample had some record of sexual delinquency. The McKerracher and Dacre study revealed that 30 percent of the male arsonists in the sample had previously committed sexual offenses compared to 56 percent of the nonarsonist males. It is concluded that some degree of correlation exists between sex crimes and arson. Eight footnotes and six bibliographical references are provided.
Index Term(s): Arson; Arson investigations; Arsonists; Psychological research; Sex offenders; Sex offenses
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. Fire/Arson Investigation Research Paper, January 5-22, 1982
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