Psychopathy and sexuality

Impersonal and exploitive

Authored by: Beth A. Visser

Routledge International Handbook of Psychopathy and Crime

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  August  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138085169
eBook ISBN: 9781315111476
Adobe ISBN:


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The current chapter reviews research on the relationship between psychopathy and sexuality and sexual conduct. Overall, the impersonal, deceptive, and exploitive sensation seeking of the psychopath is reflected in his or her sexuality. To the extent that a psychopathic individual has sexual interests around non-consensual activities, there appears to be a greater likelihood that the individual will fail to inhibit the corresponding behavior. Although the forensic literature tends to emphasize the lifestyle and behavioral correlates of these activities, it seems likely that the emotional coldness and lack of empathy plays an important role as well. There is a need for greater research into sex offender treatment for psychopaths, including how to reduce dropout rates of psychopathic participants.

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