Profiles of psychopathy in incarcerated sexual offenders

Stephen Porter, David Fairweather, Jeff Drugge, Hugues Hervé, Angela Birt, Douglas P. Boer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

179 Citations (Scopus)


The authors investigated whether psychopathy would contribute to the understanding of the heterogeneity of sexual violence. Using the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised, presence of psychopathy, callous personality (Factor 1), and chronic antisocial conduct (Factor 2) were examined in a diverse sample (N=329) of incarcerated sex offenders and nonsexual offenders categorized according to the nature of their crimes. Mixed rapist/molesters and rapists were more psychopathic than child molesters, although all sex offender groups showed elevated Factor 1 scores. A high proportion (64%) of offenders who had victimized both children and adults were psychopathic, indicative of a criminal whose thrill seeking is directed at diverse sexual victims (appropriately called a sexual psychopath). Furthermore, there were different factor scores and an interaction between factor scores and offense type. These profiles have implications for treatment and a comprehensive theory of sexual violence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-233
Number of pages18
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes


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