MSc Dissertation - Forensic Psychology: Paraphilia and Sexual harassment: Prevalence in the General Population and How Deviant Sexual Preferences Moderate Perceptions of Harassment

  • Emily Snow (Participant)
  • LONGPRE, N. (Director of Studies)

Activity: Other activity typesResearch degree supervision


Sexual harassment is a prevalent problem in society across the world and can have devastating consequences for those who are victim to it. Although it is a wide-spread problem that affects many, there is a lack of research regarding the relationship between harassment and risk factors such as rape myth cognitions and sexual devi-ance, particularly in the general population. The current study explores the relation-ship between rape myth cognitions and perception of harassment, with deviant sexual preferences as a moderator. Additionally, the prevalence of paraphilic interest in the general population is explored. Analyses indicate that there is a strong relationship be-tween rape myth cognition and harassment, which is slightly moderated by deviant sexual preferences. Frequency analyses of paraphilic behaviours and fantasies show that masochism is the most prevalent paraphilic interest in the general population and that approximately half of the sample have engaged in at least one paraphilic behav-iour. This study has important implications for treatment and intervention, highlight-ing that cognitions may be a more significant predictor for sexual offending than devi-ance and thus a key focus for prevention and intervention methods. Furthermore, the current study also shows that paraphilic preferences are becoming more common in society, indicating that the boundaries between normophilic and paraphilic interests should be redefined.
PeriodOct 2021
Held atRoehampton University, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Sexual Harassment
  • Rape Myths
  • Paraphilias
  • Cognitions
  • Deviant Sexual Preferences