Sexual offending and antisocial personality: Exploring the link

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This paper explores the link between sexual offending and antisocial personality. Drawing on previous research, it illustrates that sex offenders with an antisocial personality are a heterogeneous group, differentiated by several factors. They victimise children, adults or both, those who victimise adults or adults and children are more psychopathic. They are motivated primarily by non‐sexual factors like opportunistic impulsivity or generalised anger, and violence is a source of erotic pleasure in some cases. A small group of men, however, are driven to offend by sadistic sexual fantasies of a serious nature, which develop over time and later form the basis of their violent predatory assaults. Varying definitions of antisocial personality confuse the research, and diagnostic co‐morbidity means that pure psychopathic types are probably rare.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-30
JournalJournal of Forensic Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2007


  • Psychopathy
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Sexual offending


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