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NCJ Number: 201920 Find in a Library
Title: Sexual Sadism
Journal: International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology  Volume:47  Issue:4  Dated:August 2003  Pages:383-395
Author(s): Wolfgang Berner; Peter Berger; Andreas Hill
Date Published: August 2003
Page Count: 13
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the definition of sadism and the historical routes of the concept.
Abstract: The definition of sadomasochism is an entity, suggesting that in the majority of cases, both passive and active wishes (domination and submission) are combined. There is normality of some sadomasochistic elements in all sexuality. There is a differentiation between sexually arousing sadism on one side and anger and cruelty without sexual arousal on the other. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV (DSM-IV), sadism and masochism are separated diagnoses. The term sadism as diagnosis was created in Vienna about 100 years ago. Sexual sadism seems to be a decisive criterion for the tendency to repeat a sexual aggressive act. Personality traits, which reflect some pleasure in humiliating others even by joking about them, seem less important in terms of prediction of sex offenses. It seems important to look for signs of sadism in the sex lives of patients for a prediction of further sadistic acts or other sex offenses. A tendency to transgress certain borders would be the most discriminant factor for predicting relapse in sex offenses. In forensic settings the diagnosis of a sadistic character disorder is found to a much higher degree than in other clinical samples. It is implied that sadism as a paraphilia is of relevance for relapse-rates of sex offenders. Symptoms of Sadistic Personality Disorder (SPD) can be combined with sexual sadism, or occur independently. This may corroborate arguments in favor of a dimensional concept of sexual sadism. Symptoms of SPD may be a sign of generalization of sadistic traits at least in some cases. Two factors contribute to sadistic pleasure: one taking the aspect of bodily gratification by sexual-aggressive stimuli as decisive and the other taking inner representation of hostile objects into consideration. 5 tables, 4 notes, 21 references
Main Term(s): Psychosexual behavior; Sex offenders
Index Term(s): Offenders; Psychological influences on crime; Rapists; Sex offense causes; Treatment; Treatment offender matching
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