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Lecture 8

CRIM 316 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Rape Fantasy, Penile Plethysmograph, Dsm-5

Course Code
CRIM 316
Eric Beauregard

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CRIM316 Sadism
DSM-5 and Sadism
- most referenced clinical aid in the western world
- sadism is a dichotomous entity
- either sadist or not
- DSM def’n most widely used framework
- separates consensual sexual behaviours involving sadism from non-consensual sexual sadism
- defines sadism as…
- pleasure and sexual arousal that is rooted in fantasized or actual infliction of psychological/physical
suffering on a victim
- includes humiliation
- fantasies/behaviours must be severe and recurrent
- must last for min. period of 6 months
- behaviour must be directed towards non-consenting partners
- sexual urges/fantasies must cause marked distress/interpersonal difficulty
International Classification of Disease (ICD)-10
- defines sadomasochism as…
- preference for sexual activity where bondage/infliction of pain or humiliation is the most important
source of stimulation or is necessary for sexual gratification
- presumed to be present in some degree in normal sexual life
- only diagnosed if it is the principle source for sexual arousal/gratification
- consenting sexually coercive behaviour has also taken socially acceptable forms such as BDSM
- bondage
- discipline
- dominance
- submission
- sadism
- masochism
- describes consensual interactions in which 2 or more adults cultivate a power imbalance through…
- physical restraint
- emotional vulnerability
- role-playing
- pain
- or other intense sensations
Paraphilic Coercive Disorder
- notion of sadism is linked with the current debate on the concept of paraphilic coercive disorder (PCD)
- in PCD, coerciveness in sexual acts is experienced as sexually exciting
- causes individual to force sexual activity upon others to otherwise feel distressed by their own
- argues that it is dimensional rather than dichotomous
- sadism most extreme
- PCD somewhere in the middle
- fluidly is not recommended for DSM
Current Issues with the Diagnosis of Sadism
- several studies have pointed out that criterion related to sexual sadism is also found among
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nonclinical/criminal populations
- eg. General population studies report that…
- 1-60% men have domination fantasies
- 39-50% bondage fantasies
- 23-30% rape fantasies
Heilbrun & Seif (1988)
- men showed images of women…
- displaying positive affect
- distressed while wearing bondage
- found that majority of men were more excited y images of distressed women in bondage than by images of
smiling and cooperative women
- evidence of sadistic preference within non-clinical population
Further Issues with the DSM Diagnosis
- among clinicians and researchers…
- there is little to no consensus on the…
- def’n of sadism
- required # of diagnostic criterion
- relevance of individual criteria
- humiliation, animal cruelty, sexual mutilation, torture, etc.
- clinical evaluators agreed on diagnosis of sadism only 18% of time
Prevalence of Sadism
- these inconsistencies suggest that it is not surprising that a true prevalence of sadism is unknown
- estimates range from 5-50% of all sexual offenders
- no consistent def’n = large variability
Sadism and Sexual Homicide
- historically, sadism has been directly linked to sexual homicide
- lust murderer
- murderer motivated to carry out fantasies
- estimates are even harder to determine for the prevalence of sadism in sexual homicide
- estimates 1-5% of sadism in sexual homicide
Sadism found in Non-Sadistic Sexual Offenders
- 60% of rapists reported that humiliation and degradation of victim was primary purpose of sexual assault
- these offenders did not meet diagnostic criterion for sadism
- coercion and humiliation have also been found as regular features of non-sadistic rapes
Marshall, Kennedy, and Yates (2002)
- offenders previously diagnosed with sadism by experienced psychiatrist
- found that the offenders actually had fewer instances of beating/torturing their victims than nonsadistic
Sadism as a Continuum
- lack of specific symptoms of sadism fails to respect the logic of a categorical diagnosis (sadist/nonsadist)
which goes against the DSM
- sexual sadism likely to be found on an agonistic continuum
- ranging from severe sexual sadism to non-sadistic sexual coercion
- PCD consenting BDSM
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