Archive for March, 2009

THE SEXUAL PSYCHOPATH: THE SEXUAL PSYCHOPATH AS A SEX OFFENDER

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Taking up first the matter of repeated sex offenses, one must always bear in mind the occasional age differences between the sexual psychopaths and the other offenders. Among the offenders vs. children the two groups are of the same age and have essentially the same number of sex-offense convictions, the average being 2.1 for the sexual psychopaths and 2.0 for the other offenders. Among the aggressors vs. adults the average number of convictions is 2.3 for the sexual psychopaths and 1.9 for the other offenders, even though the latter are an older group. We suspect that this reflects an attitude which we encountered in some clinicians—that rape of an adult female is indicative of serious psychological disturbance only when repeated several times. Among the incest offenders the sexual psychopaths had slightly fewer sex offenses, 1.5 vs. 1.8 on the average, but they were also slightly younger; hence the difference may be discounted. Among the homosexual offenders vs. minors the same situation prevails, the sexual psychopaths being younger and having somewhat fewer offenses (2.3 vs. 2.5). Among the exhibitionists the sexual psychopaths averaged 3.2 offenses whereas the other exhibitionists averaged 4.7. Most of this large difference may be attributed to the great age difference, the sexual psychopaths being on the average ten years younger. In a decade an exhibitionist can easily accumulate a number of convictions. Among the homosexual offenders vs. children there is a substantial difference in the average number of sex offenses, the sexual psychopaths having fewer (1.8 vs. 2.7). An age difference of three years exists, but this is insufficient to account for the discrepancy. An even larger age gap, nearly five years, exists among the homosexual offenders vs. minors, yet the average number of sex-offense convictions is very similar for the sexual psychopaths (2.3 convictions) and the other offenders (2.5).

Except for the aggressors vs. adults, it would appear that repetition of sex offense is not employed consistently as a criterion in judging sexual psychopathy.

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THE OBJECT OF THE OFFENSE: AGE.

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Since 12 of the present offense categories are based on age of the offender’s victim or partner, at first thought any further analysis of their ages may appear superfluous. However, when a closer inspection is made of the age distribution within the groups, particularly among children and minors, some variations worth noting can be found.

The four median ages show a range of 1.6 years, and while this is not a strong difference, it suggests that the pedophilic heterosexual offenses and aggressions are committed against somewhat younger children than are the incest and homosexual offenses. One finds that about twice as many heterosexual offenses and aggressions were committed against children under seven than were incest and homosexual offenses. On the other hand, it is also clear that pedophilic homosexual offenses show the strongest tendency to group in the oldest age-category—between nine and eleven years. This doubtless reflects a greater concern with sexual techniques in these offenses rather than with simple fondling, which is more typical of the heterosexual pedophilic offenses. The differences in sexual practices in the various offense categories are presented later in the chapter.

The youthfulness of some of these children is rather surprising, and an inspection shows six were age three, all girls; 17 girls and two boys were age four; and 35 girls and six boys were age five. With children of these ages being involved, there can be little surprise at the typical community response and distress, even though the physical contact may have been minimal.

The present data on the ages of persons subjected to exhibition are spotty, but in the sample of 288 total offenses there were two cases of children age three, one age four, one age five, and four age six, all females.

To the extent that data are available, 69 per cent of the heterosexual offenses vs. adults, 88 per cent of the incest offenses vs. adults, and 63 per cent of the homosexual offenses vs. adults involved objects from sixteen through twenty years of age. Here can be sensed the concern of the law-enforcement arm of society with persons it feels are still under a legal age, whether they are subjected to duress or not. That the incest cases vs. adult daughters are drawn from a group that is even more exclusively under twenty-one is due probably to other factors. Daughters over twenty-one who can be coerced into or are interested in an incestuous relationship are rare, and the incidence at even nineteen and twenty drops off rapidly. In the homosexual offenses vs. adults the large proportion of sixteen-year-old partners and the small proportions of older partners probably reflect society’s concern more than age preference.

From an over-all comparison of ages, the following conclusions seem apparent. Heterosexual pedophilic offenses are committed against somewhat younger persons than are aggressive, incestuous, or homosexual pedophilic acts. In the offenses vs. minors, nonforce heterosexual offenses tend to cluster at the top of the age-bracket 12-15, but this is less evident in aggression, incest, and homosexual offenses. Among the offenses vs. adults reporting bias tends to inflate the figures for the sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds in the heterosexual nonforce offenses, but this does not hold for the aggression offenses in which the distribution is even. The emphasis on youth in the homosexual offenses vs. adults is largely the result of selectivity in arresting, while in the incest cases youthfulness of partner is almost assured by the situation.

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SEX OFFENDERS: ANIMAL CONTACT

Monday, March 30th, 2009

The term “animal contact” is so loose as to require a more precise definition before discussing incidence and frequency. In the first place, we limit animal contact to activity occurring after the onset of puberty with living vertebrates other than human. Secondly, we limit the term to unequivocal and specifically sexual activity entered into with sex gratification as the prime motive. We exclude, for example, the masturbation of dogs which is a not infrequent experiment by juveniles prompted by curiosity or humor. Likewise, we exclude such incidental experiences as having a penile erection from the weight and warmth of a pet seated on one’s lap. Consequently, for the purposes of this study, we have by definition limited animal contact to instances in which the penis of the human was inserted into the vagina, anus, vent, or mouth of the animal, or (much less often) where the penis of an animal was taken into the mouth or anus of a human male. Penile penetration of the body is the criterion. This gives a clear and simple definition at the cost of only a few borderline cases.

The majority of animal contact is with either domestic mammals (cattle, horses, pigs, sheep, and dogs chiefly) or with chickens. Obviously it happens more often among rural males than among urban, and this factor has been taken into account in our comparisons. Animal contact also tends to be a monopoly of youth—usually occurring between puberty and the late teens. In most cases it is also a transitory phenomenon, which vanishes forever as true sociosexual activity is established.

In many ways one can legitimately view animal contact as simply another technique of self-masturbation, using an animal for stimulus rather than a part of one’s own body or an inanimate object. Groups that exhibit high masturbatory frequencies tend also to include relatively large numbers with experience in animal contact.

Since animal contact is a minority phenomenon and usually restricted to a few occasions over a short period of time, statistical treatment is inevitably hampered by small sample size.

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PREMARITAL HETEROSEXUAL PETTING: FREQUENCY OF PETTING TO ORGASM

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Reaching orgasm with a companion of the opposite sex without coitus is, as we have demonstrated in previous volumes, a not uncommon phenomenon in the United States. Nevertheless, it is a relatively unimportant one in terms of frequency and interest, since from an occasional interest in reaching orgasm by fellation, the vast majority of males seek orgasm from coitus rather than from petting.

The median frequency for those who experienced orgasm through premarital petting ranges, between puberty and age twenty-five, only from 3 to 5 orgasms per year. With such a narrow range comparisons are not profitable.

In mean frequency the range is wide enough for comparisons, extending from about 3 a year to once every one and one-half weeks, but the picture is one of confusion. Some groups, such as the homosexual offenders vs. adults and the control group, maintain an essentially uniform frequency between puberty and twenty-five, yet fluctuate widely in rank-order position; other groups reveal increases or decreases or both.

The number of orgasms obtained by premarital petting is small in all groups, never exceeding 4 per cent of the total outlet. While we have not routinely asked the married men bow often they reached orgasm with their wives through, means other than coitus, our impression is that the proportion of total outlet constituted by petting to orgasm may be as great or greater in marriage than before marriage because of the greater frequency of mouth-genital contact.

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FAMILY AND GENERAL BACKGROUND: INTERPARENTAL ADJUSTMENT

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Every person interviewed was asked how his parents (or surrogate parents) got along together when he was in his middle teens. The responses to this question provide a fascinating picture, for one finds that the four groups with the best interparental adjustment are, in order, the heterosexual offenders vs. adults, the heterosexual offenders vs. minors, the control group, and the prison group. These are the groups whose sexual behavior is least taboo. Conversely, those sex offenders who used force, who were involved with girls under twelve, or who were convicted of homosexual offenses, all occupy the lower portion of the rank-order.

Beyond this, certain other trends may be seen. Whereas nearly all tripartite sex-offender groups have at least one of their subgroups far from the other two in the rank-order, the three homosexual-offender subgroups tend to form a more closely knit unit typified by poor interparental adjustment. The incest offenders vs. children, those who have broken not only the incest taboo but also the age taboo, present the worst picture of all.

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PROCTOCOLITIS, PROCTITIS, AND ENTERITIS: WHAT ARE THEY?

Friday, March 27th, 2009

incidence: common

cause: bacteria, viruses, protozoa; varies depending on the location of the infection

symptoms: rectal pain, discharge, diarrhea

treatment: directed at the underlying cause

WHAT ARE THEY? Proctocolitis, proctitis, and enteritis are intestinal syndromes caused by infection with bacteria, viruses, or protozoa that can be transmitted sexually as well as by nonsexual means. Proctocolitis is an infection and inflammation of the rectum as well as the colon. It is usually caused by shigella, salmonella, Campylobacter, Entamoeba histolytica, ox lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) infections. Proctitis is an infection and inflammation of the rectum, lower than in proctocolitis, which is usually caused by gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, or syphilis. Enteritis is an infection and inflammation of the small intestine, which is usually caused by giardia or hepatitis A. In persons with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, enteritis may also be caused by cytomegalovirus Mycobacterium avium complex, isospora, salmonella infections.

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STD: HOW TO PROTECT FROM HERPES

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Finding that may hold promise for couples trying to prevent herpes transmission is that people with herpes who take antiherpes medications (acyclovir, famciclovir, valacyclovir) on a regular basis (or suppressivefy; see later discussion) have fewer outbreaks. In addition, there is evidence that the level of shedding of the virus is significantly lower when people take acyclovir on a suppressive basis. Studies are investigating whether the newer medications also suppress shedding of the virus. People taking these medications may have a lower likelihood of transmitting herpes to their partners, and studies are also under way to see if this is true. If so, these medications may provide an option for couples who want to do something more to prevent transmission.

Extensive research is being performed to find a vaccine to prevent people from ever becoming infected with herpes viruses. If it is proven effective, a herpes vaccine could join the already available hepatitis A and B vaccines in the prevention of sexually transmitted infection.

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STD: HOW ARE FUNGAL INFECTIONS TRANSMITTED?

Friday, March 27th, 2009

It is not clear where yeast comes from or how people become infected. What we do know is that fungal infections are not sexually transmitted, because those who are not sexually active can contract fungal infections of the genital area—although, as noted earlier, people who are sexually active seem to get them more frequently. We also know that the bacterium normally found in the vagina, Lactobacillus, offers women protection from yeast infections, because when the relative population size of this bacterium is disturbed yeast infection is more likely. And we know that treating the sexual partners of someone who has a yeast infection does not help the person with the infection.

Women who have sex only with women may pass yeast back and forth through the use of sex toys, although there is no scientific evidence for this theory. It has also been suggested that yeast colonization occurs in the gastrointestinal tract in most people and that reinfection of the genital area occurs from this source. However, studies have produced conflicting results: some women with recurrent vaginal yeast infections do not appear to have yeast colonization in the gastrointestinal tract, and treatment of gastrointestinal yeast has not affected the recurrence rate of vaginal yeast infections.

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WHAT IS “SAFE SEX”?

Friday, March 27th, 2009

ost people are aware that having unprotected sex with a partner carries a risk for infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other sexually transmitted diseases. Nevertheless, twelve million people in the United States are infected with an STD each year. Why is this? Are they misinformed about STDs and how they are spread? Do they think they are not in a risk group? Do they deny the risk in the heat of the moment? Do they not understand what “safe sex” is and what it isn’t? All of these reasons and more explain why there is an epidemic of STDs in this country even in an age of increased media attention to the problem.

Eighty-five percent of people diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection are between the ages of fifteen and thirty. Since adolescence is a time when experimentation with sexuality begins, teenagers don’t have much chance of avoiding infection with an STD unless someone talks with them clearly and accurately about sexually transmitted infections and about exactly how to have safe sex. As earlier discussions in this book have made clear, the health and other consequences of STDs range from minor nuisances to major threats, even death. To protect yourself from infection is the first step. Acting on that understanding by only having sex that is safe is an investment in your future health, your ability to have children, your relationships, perhaps your livelihood, and even your life.

First a word of caution about what follows. Some of it may be overwhelming. As I have said before in this book, having sex always involves some risk, if not for a sexually transmitted infection, then an emotional risk. But it would be absurd to suggest that people should avoid sex altogether, for it is a natural part of life for most people. Rather my intent is to teach those who are sexually active how to recognize the symptoms if they have an STD, how to obtain appropriate testing and treatment to maintain sexual health , how to communicate about sex in a way that will help protect them from getting an STD, and, in this chapter, how to practice safe sex (or “safer sex,” as it is often called—which really means, things people can do to lower their risk of acquiring an STD.

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PROSTATE CANCER: A WORD ON THE DIGITAL RECTAL EXAM

Friday, March 27th, 2009

This is the part of the physical men would rather do without. It’s uncomfortable, but it doesn’t hurt, is generally brief, and it can provide essential information that simply can’t be gotten any other way. You may be asked to stand next to the examining table and bend forward slightly, or your doctor may prefer that you kneel on the table or lie on your side. Note: If what you’re feeling goes beyond the obvious discomfort of having someone’s finger in your rectum and is clearly pain, this could be an important signal of another problem, such as prostatitis. If the exam is painful, tell your doctor.

Many men dread having this test for another reason—their doctor’s bedside manner, or lack thereof. Some men even put off going to the doctor because they don’t want to deal with someone who is rude, gruff, disrespectful, uncommunicative, or generally unpleasant, and this is a terrible shame. Good doctors know how to make their patients feel at ease. They talk to their patients, and treat them with respect. If your doctor’s unfortunate bedside manner is keeping you away from this or any other exam, find another doctor. There are plenty of good ones out there. It’s your money—and more importantly, it’s your health!

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