ArticlePDF Available

Are Sex Drive and Hypersexuality Associated with Pedophilic Interest and Child Sexual Abuse in a Male Community Sample?


Abstract and Figures

Although much is currently known about hypersexuality (in the form of excessive sexual behavior) among sexual offenders, the degree to which hypersexual behavior is linked to paraphilic and especially pedophilic interests in non-forensic populations has not been established. The purpose of the present study was to elucidate the associations between total sexual outlets (TSO) and other sex drive indicators, antisocial behavior, pedophilic interests, and sexual offending behavior in a large population-based community sample of males. The sample included 8,718 German men who participated in an online study. Hypersexual behavior as measured by self-reported TSO, self-reported sex drive, criminal history, and pedophilic interests were assessed. In moderated hierarchical logistic regression analyses self-reported contact sexual offending against children was linked to sexual fantasizing about children and antisociality. There was no association between aggregated sex drive, and sexual abusive behaviour in the multivariate analyses. In contrast, self-reported child pornography consumption was associated with sex drive, sexual fantasies involving children, and antisociality. Nevertheless, in convicted sexual offenders antisociality, sexual preoccupation (like hypersexuality), and pedophilic interest are important predictors of sexual reoffending against prepubescent children. Therefore, in clinical practice an assessment of criminal history and pedophilic interests in hypersexual individuals and vice versa hypersexuality in antisocial or pedophilic men should be considered.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Are Sex Drive and Hypersexuality Associated
with Pedophilic Interest and Child Sexual
Abuse in a Male Community Sample?
Verena Klein
*, Alexander F. Schmidt
, Daniel Turner
, Peer Briken
1 Institute for Sex Research and Forensic Psychiatry, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf,
Hamburg, Germany, 2 University of Luxembourg, Institute for Health and Behaviour, Integrative Research
Unit: Social and Individual Development (INSIDE), Health Promotion and Aggression Prevention,
Walferdange, Luxembourg
Although much is currently known about hypersexuality (in the form of excessive sexual
behavior) among sexual offenders, the degree to wh ich hypersexual behavior is linked to
paraphilic and especially pedophilic interests in non-forensic populations has not been
established. The purpose of the present study was to elucidate the associations between
total sexual outlets (TSO) and other sex drive indicators, antisocial behavior, pedophilic
interests, and sexual offending behavior in a large population-based community sample of
males. The sample included 8,718 German men who participated in an online study. Hyper-
sexual behavior as measured by self-reported TSO, self-reported sex drive, criminal history,
and pedophilic interests were assessed. In moderated hierarchical logistic regression anal-
yses self-reported contact sexual offending against children was linked to sexual fantasizing
about children and antisociality. There was no association between aggregated sex drive,
and sexual abusive behaviour in the multivariate analyses. In contrast, self-reported child
pornography consumption was associated with sex drive, sexual fantasies involving chil-
dren, and antisociality. Nevertheless, in clinical practice an assessment of criminal history
and pedophilic interests in hypersexual individuals and vice versa hypersexuality in antiso-
cial or pedophilic men should be considered as particularly antisociality and pedophilic inter-
est are important predictors of sexual offending against prepubescent children.
In recent years, there has been an increasing amount of literature providing empirical evidence
for a link between hypersexuality and paraphilic interests in sexual offenders [1, 2]. Hypersexu-
ality is used as an umbrella term to describe excessive sexual behavioral pattern in research
and clinical practice. Kinsey et al. [3] coined the term total sexual outlets/week (TSO) in
order to assess the frequency of sexual behavior. TSO was defined as the sum of the orgasms
derived from the various types of sexual activity in which that individual had engaged
PLOS ONE | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0129730 July 6, 2015 1/11
Citation: Klein V, Schmidt AF, Turner D, Briken P
(2015) Are Sex Drive and Hypersexuality Associated
with Pedophilic Interest and Child Sexual Abuse in a
Male Community Sample?. PLoS ONE 10(7):
e0129730. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0129730
Editor: Ulrich S Tran, University of Vienna, School of
Psychology, AUSTRIA
Received: January 9, 2015
Accepted: May 12, 2015
Published: July 6, 2015
Copyright: © 2015 Klein et al. This is an open
access article distributed under the terms of the
Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits
unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any
medium, provided the original author and source are
Data Availability Statement: All relevant data are
within the paper.
Funding: This research was supported by funding
from the German Federal Ministry of Family Affairs,
Senior Citizens, Women, and Youth.
Competing Interests: The authors have declared
that no competing interests exist.
([3], pp. 510511) during a week including sexual behaviors such as sexual intercourse and
masturbation. Typically, TSO is characterized by a left skewed distribution and shows a peak
for the age group between 15 and 25 years. Furthermore, TSO seems to be testosterone depen-
dent and relatively independent from the individual relationship status [4]. In earlier research,
Kafka [5] propos ed seven orgasms per week over a period of six months as a criterion for
hypersexual behavior. Further part of the definition was spending at least 12 hours per day
with sexual behavior.
Possible prevalence estimations used the TSO/week 7 cut-off as a behavior al indicator for
hypersexual behavior in non-clinical community samples of males. In the Kinsey et al. [3]
study 7.6% out of 5,300 men reported a TSO/week 7 over the last five years. Masturbation
was the most frequently reported sexual practice in the sample. Atwood and Gagnon [6] found
that 5% of male high-school students and 3% of male college students masturbated once a day
(N = 1,077). A large survey on sexual behavior in the United States identified daily masturba-
tion in 3.1% of the male sample (N = 3,159). Furthermore, 7.6% of the men reported sexual
intercourse at least four times a week [7]. In a population-based Swedish community sample
(N = 2,450), 12.1% of male participants were identified as being hypersexual [8]. In the latter
study high rates of impersonal sexual activity were associated with health problems such as
substance abuse and gambling as well as with paraphilic interests in terms of voyeurism, exhib-
tionism, sadism, and masochism.
In sexual offender populations paraphilic interest has been meta-analytically established as
the most important risk factor [9, 10]. Hypersexuality (or sexual preoccupation, high sex drive)
is also found among the most important risk factors for sexual offending [11] and was identi-
fied as a possible contributing risk factor for sexual and violent reoffending in sexual offenders
[12]. Furthermore, hypersexual behavior patterns seem to be more likely in sexual offenders
than in community controls [13, 14]. In addition, high sex drive has been reported to be associ-
ated with sexual coercive behavior against women [15]. Pornography consumption understood
as a behavioral pattern possibly related to hypersexual behavior was associated with recidivism
in a sample of 341 high-risk sexual offenders against children. Additionally, sexual deviant con-
tent of pornography was a risk factor for reoffending in this sample [16]. One obvious limita-
tion to most of these studies is the fact that they were based on exclusive samples of sexual
offenders. However, in a young Swedish community-sample sexual preoccupation (defined as
sexual lust almost all time) was identified as risk factor for self-reported sexual coercive behav-
ior [17]. Notably, research on sexual aggression and hypersexual behavior is not altogether
consistent. In a study by Malamuth et al [18] sexually aggressive men against females reported
a higher preference for impersonal sexual activity (e.g. masturbation frequency, attitudes
toward causal sex) but did not indicate higher frequency of orgasms per week and sexual inter-
course. Hence, high sex drive did not contribute to sexual aggression in their sample. To the
best of our knowledge, the study by Långström and Hanson [9] is the only study demonstrating
an association between hypersexuality and paraphilic interests in a communit y sample.
Present Research
Our research question connects the findings about hypersexuality among sexual offenders to
the link between hypersexual behavior and paraphilic, especially pedophilic interests, in non-
forensic populations. Therefore, the first aim is to explore the association between pedophilic
sexual interests/ sexual offending behavior and TSO/sex drive indic ators in a large population-
based community sample of males. Furthermore, due to a lack of research in community sam-
ples, only little is known about possible criminological factors and their putative associations
with hypersexual behavior in males. Therefore, the second purpose of the pres ent study was to
Sex Drive, Hypersexuality, and Pedophilic Interests
PLOS ONE | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0129730 July 6, 2015 2/11
elucidate the asso ciation between TSO, other sex drive indicators and antisocial behaviour
including sexual offending against children. Moreover, most studies on TSO in community
samples have neglected the amount of time spent with sexual fantasies and urges [1]. Thus, the
present study also aimed to examine the relationship between TSO and the amount of time
spent with sexual fantasizing and pornography consumption.
Materials and Methods
The reported data are part of a large population-based online study on German males sexual
interest in prepubescent children [ 19]. The study was part of a research project funded by the
German Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women, and Youth. A German
market research institution was authorised to collect data via an online panel. Participants
were informed beforehand in an email about the topic of the study. They provided an online
consent form at the beginning of the survey by clicking the online consent form accept but-
ton. In addition, it was possible to withdraw from the study at any point simply by leaving the
survey´s web page. At the end of the survey an option was offered that prevented individual
data from being included into the analyses. Complete anonymity and confidentiality was
assured to potential participants. Therefore, a university server was used to store the collected
data whereas a separate server coded participation status in order to ensure participant com-
pensation via the market research institution. Furthermore, due to this procedure, it was
impossible to identify individuals in cas e legal authorities intended to prosecute men who
admitted criminal behavior. The participants were informed about this procedure so that they
might answer honestly and received a monetary reward of 20 . The ethics committee of the
German Psychological Society approved the study protocol and the consent procedure.
In total, 17,91 7 men ( 18 years of age) were contacted by the market research institution
in order to be representative of the German male population in terms of age and education lev-
els. In consequence, the link has been accessed 10,538 times and data were collected for 10,045
participants. Because of missing data in the individual surveys the effective sample was reduced
to 8,718 participants (48.7% of the initially contacted men; 82.7% of participants actually
accessing the link). Participants mean age was 43.5 years (SD = 13.7, range 1889). Concerning
their professional status most of the participants were employed (71.5%, n = 6,179) or retired
(13.1%, n = 1,143), 5.6% (n = 488) of the participants were unemployed and 9.7% (n = 836)
were in professional training at the time of data collection. The majority of participants (56.4%,
n = 4,874) had a school leaving examination taken at the end of the 13
year, 30.3% (n = 2,618)
finished school with a high-school diploma, 12.7% (n = 1,104) with a secondary modern schoo l
qualification, 0.3% ( n = 24) had no graduation, and 0.3% (n = 28) were still in school. Partici-
pants differed from the German male population in terms of age and education levels as there
was an overrepresentation of higher education and the age range of 3049 whereas lower edu-
cation and men over 65 were underrepresented [19]. For detailed results concerning self-
reported prevalences of sexual interest in prepubescent children refer to [19].
TSO was measured with the following question: Please think of a typical week in the last year:
How many orgasms did you have on average no matter how the orgasm was achieved (e.g., mas-
turbation, sexual encounters, wet dreams )?. In addition, sex drive (Please think of a typical
week in the last year: How strong was your desire for sexual activity?) and the amount of time
spent with sexual fantasies, sexual urges, and sexual behavior (Please think of a typical day in
the last year: Please estimate the amount of time you spend with sexual fantasies, sexual urges,
and sexual behavior.) as well as with pornography consumption (Please think of a typical day
Sex Drive, Hypersexuality, and Pedophilic Interests
PLOS ONE | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0129730 July 6, 2015 3/11
in the last year: Please estimate the amount of time you spend viewing pornography (e.g., naked
genitals) in order to be sexually aroused?) were assessed. Sex drive was rated on a 100-point
slider scale. The amount of time spent with sexual fantasies, sexual urges, and sexual behavior
as well as with pornography was assessed using an open answer format (hours and minutes per
day). Sexual fantasies and behaviors directed at prepubescent children were assessed with a
shortened 12-item version of the Explicit Sexual Interest Questionnaire (ESIQ) [20]. The
ESIQ has been shown to be a reliable and valid measure of adult and pedophilic sexual interests
[2022]. The items of the shortened version referred to four sexual target categories (prepubes-
cent boys or girls 12 years and women or men) and consisted of each three items describing
sexual fantasies (I find it erotic to see a .. .s body through the clothes, I get excited when I
imagine that a ... stimulates me, I find it erotic to imagine having sex with a ...) and sexual
behaviors (I have sexually caressed a..., I have tongue kissed a ..., I have enjoyed getting
my private parts touched by a ...). Participants had to indicate on a dichotomous scale (true/
false) whether they had experienced the corresponding sexual fantasies and behaviors as adults
(> 18 years). The reliability (internal consistency) of the aggregated ESIQ subscales was good:
sexual fantasies involving girls (α = .81), boys (α = .86), women (α = .90), and men (α = .92).
Child sexual fantasy items were used as indicators of pedophilic interest whereas child sexual
behavior items were used as indicating sexual offenses against children. Child pornography
consumption was assessed with the following item: Have you ever watched pornographic
depictions of children, e.g., the nude genitals of children, to get sexually aroused after you were
18 years of age? [true/false]). Again, children were anchored to represent prepubescent stages
of sexual maturity. In order to examine participants antisocial behavior and criminal history
they were asked to answer the following three forced-choice questions: 1. Have you ever been
convicted of an offense against property (etc. larceny, burglary)?;2.Have you ever been convicted
of a violent offense (etc. bodily injury)? ;3.Have you ever been convicted of a sexual offense (etc.
sexual coercion, rape, sexual abuse)?
Statistical Analyses
In order to robustly identify outliers the median absolute deviation (MAD) [23] was calculated
for TSO, amount of time spent with sexual fantasies, urges, and behavior as well as amount of
time watching pornography. The MAD analyses yielded cut-offs for outliers of TSO 10,
165 minutes for daily sexual fantasies, urges, and behaviors, as well as 95 minutes for daily
pornography consumption. Correlational analyses were conducted to verify the association
between absolute TSO (i.e., as a dimensional construct), subjective sex drive, amount of time
spent with sexual fantasies and viewing pornography. Further correlations were calculated to
examine the relationship between TSO or sex drive indicators and pedophilic interests, sexually
offending behavior, and criminal history. In order to elucidate the impact of the categorical
cut-off for hypersexuality, participants were divided in two groups: low and high self-reported
hypersexuality as based on the proposed cut-off value TSO 7 by Kafka [5]. Because frequency
of sexual activity and sex drive on average declines with age in so far as younger individuals
report more sexual outlets per week [7] we conducted additional analyses utilizing partial cor-
relations controlled for age. Finally, we conducted moderated hierarchical binary logistic
regression analyses [24] to test for possible interaction effects of sex drive indicators, antisocial-
ity, and child-related sexual fantasies on contact child sexual abuse and child pornography use.
Overall, the mean TSO/week was 3.46 (SD = 2.29). On average the participants spent 45.2 min-
utes/day (SD = 38.1) with sexual fantasies and urges. The mean score of sex driv e was 59.7
Sex Drive, Hypersexuality, and Pedophilic Interests
PLOS ONE | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0129730 July 6, 2015 4/11
(SD = 21.4) and the reported daily duration for consuming pornography was 13.1 minutes
(SD = 19.3). The non-hypersexual group consisted of 7,339 males (87.9%), whereas 1,011
males (12.1%) were classified into the hypersexual group according to the classical cut-off
value TSO 7. Sex drive and TSO positively correlated with time consuming sexual fantasies
and urges. Furthermore, a significant positive correlation occurred between TSO and sex drive
with the amount of time spent with pornography consumption. Partial correlations corrected
for possible age and education effects showed a very similar pattern of results (see Table 1). As
all measures indicating sex drive were positively intercorrelated we calculated an aggregated
sex drive index consisting of z-standardized TSO/week, subjective sex drive ratings, as well as
amount of time spent viewing pornography and fantasizing about sexual content (α = .66). In
addition, an antisociality index was determined by aggregating self-reported preconvictions
(violent, property, sexual). As sexual preconvictions could overlap with self-reported sexual
victimization of children we also calculated an aggregated antisociality index leaving out sexual
Zero-order correlations
In order to verify the relation between TSO and pedophilic interests, correlation analyses were
conducted. Sex drive, TSO, and TSO 7 were positively associated with sexual fantasies
involving children and child pornography consumption. Additionally, aggregated sex drive
positively correlated with self-reported sexual offending behavior in the past. Concerning anti-
social behavior, TSO and TSO 7 were positively related to a history of property and violent
offences in the past, whereas no association with sexual offending was found. Aggregated sex
drive showed a positive correlation with all offending categories. However, effect sizes were
small (Table 2).
Logistic regression analyses
Hierarchical logistic regression analyses revealed that self-reported contact sexual offending
against prepubescent children was associated with child sexual fantasies and antisociality
(without sexual preconvictions). In addition, a significant interaction between antisociality and
sexual fantasies involving children emerged corroborating a moderation effect (Fig 1): For men
who reported no preconvictions in the sample no link between sexual fantasizing about chil-
dren and contact sexual offending against children emerged. However, the likelihood to report
Table 1. Overview of sex drive intercorrelations (above diagonal zero-order correlations, below diagonal partial correlations corrected for age and
Age -.28 -.14 -.15 -.12 -.15 -.24
.06 .02 .06 -.02 -.02 .02
1. TSO (absolute value) - .74 .42 .30 .25 .72
2. Hypersexuality Group
.72 - .21 .15 .15 .47
3. Sex Drive .41 .19 - .37 .24 .74
4. Time spent with sexual fantasies .27 .13 .36 - .39 .74
5. Time spent with pornography consumption .23 .15 .21 .37 - .68
6. Aggregated Sex Drive Index .69 .43 .72 .72 .64 -
Higher values indicate at least high-school diploma level;
Higher values indicate TSO 7 (Hypersexuality). Bold correlation coefcients p < .05.
Sex Drive, Hypersexuality, and Pedophilic Interests
PLOS ONE | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0129730 July 6, 2015 5/11
contact sexual abuse of children significantly increased for men who had reported prior convic-
tions for criminal offences from two different categories (violence, property). Notably, aggre-
gated sex drive showed no association with contact sexual abuse and no further interaction
effects emerged ( Table 3). Similar logistic regression analyses with self-reported child
Table 2. Overview of zero-order child sexual abuse risk factor intercorrelations.
Age .01 -.02 -.01 -.01 -.00 -.02 -.05 -.04 .40
-.09 -.09 -.01 -.11 -.11 -.02 -.01 -.01 -.07
TSO (absolute value) .03 .03 .01 .04 .04 .00 .07 .08 -.10
Hypersexuality Group
.03 .03 .01 .04 .02 .00 .07 .07 -.08
Sex drive .02 .04 .02 .04 .04 .04 .06 .10 -.01
Time spent with sexual fantasies .05 .07 .04 .08 .08 .07 .06 .08 -.02
Time spent with pornography consumption .06 .02 .03 .06 .05 .08 .12 .14 -.12
Aggregated Sex Drive Index .06 .06 .04 .08 .07 .07 .11 .15 -.09
1. Prior conviction violent offending (n = 304) - .26 .21 .74 .74 .14 .07 .07 .00
2. Prior conviction property offending (n = 193) - .13 .82 .84 .08 .07 .05 .01
3. Prior conviction sexual offending (n = 36) - .42 .21 .32 .22 .23 .00
4. Aggregated Antisociality Index - .98 .20 .13 .12 .01
5. Aggregated Antisociality Index (w/o sex. offences) - .14 .09 .08 .01
6. Contact sexual offending against children (n = 132) - .36 .44 -.03
7. Child pornography (n = 209) - .50 -.06
8. Aggregated Pedophilic Fantasies (Maximum) - -.06
9. Ever lived with a lover for at least two years (n = 7115) -
Note. Bold correlation coefcients p < .05.
Higher values indicate at least high-school diploma level;
Higher values indicate TSO 7 (Hypersexuality).
Fig 1. Probability of contact child sexual abuse as a function of self-reported amount of child sexual fantasies (+ 1 SD vs.-1SD) and antisociality
(aggregated non-sexual preconvictions; average of the sample [low] vs. two different preconvictions [high]).
Sex Drive, Hypersexuality, and Pedophilic Interests
PLOS ONE | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0129730 July 6, 2015 6/11
pornography consumption as criterion identified three independent links to sex drive, sexual
fantasies involving children, and antisociality excluding sexual preconvictions. No further
interactions were revealed.
Although, the moderation explained statistically significant shares of criterion variance the
net increments were practically irrelevant as they accounted for only a 1% increase in explained
variance. However, the independent multivariate main effects ranged between odds ratios from
1.1 to 2.0 (Table 3) for antisociality, sexual fantasies involving prepubescent children, and sex
drive (the latter only in case of self-reported child pornography use).
The present study provides clinically relevant insight into the actual paraphilic and criminolog-
ical correlates of hypersexual behavior in a large non-clinical male community sample. Etiolog-
ical models and theories on sexual offending against children consider paraphilic sexual
interest and antisociality as import contributing risk factors for sexual abusive behavior [9, 25].
The present results are in line with this notion. In multivariate statistical analyses antisocial
behavior and sexual fantasies involving children, an indicator for paraphilic interests, were
associated with contact child sexual abuse. Moreover, the significant interaction between anti-
sociality and sexual fantasies involving children in logistic regression analyses may indicate
that the probability of contact sexual abuse markedly increases in men with particularly high
Table 3. Summary of hierarchical logistic regression analyses for child sexual abuse as a function of sex drive, antisociality, and sexual fantasies
involving children.
Contact Child Sexual Abuse Child Pornography Use
Predictor R
ß Exp(ß) CI
ß Exp(ß) CI
Step 1 .37*** .37***
Sex Drive (SDR) .11 1.11 0.911.36 .35*** 1.41 1.201.67
Antisociality (AS) .39*** 1.47 1.331.63 .21*** 1.24 1.121.37
Sexual Fantasies Children (SFC) .67*** 1.96 1.832.10 .69*** 2.00 1.882.13
Step 2 .38*** .38***
SDR .24 1.27 0.961.67 .43*** 1.53 1.251.87
AS .29*** 1.34 1.161.55 .18* 1.20 1.031.39
SFC .69*** 1.99 1.842.15 .71*** 2.03 1.882.18
SDR x AS -.10 0.90 0.791.03 -.11 0.90 0.791.02
SDR x SFC -.04 0.97 0.911.03 -.03 0.97 0.921.03
SFC x AS .12** 1.13 1.041.22 .06* 1.07 1.001.14
Step 3 .39*** .38***
SDR .23 1.26 0.961.66 .43*** 1.53 1.251.87
AS .28*** 1.33 1.131.56 .18* 1.20 1.041.37
SFC .69*** 2.00 1.84
2.16 .71*** 2.03 1.882.18
SDR x AS -.04 0.96 0.831.11 -.12 0.88 0.771.02
SDR x SFC -.04 0.96 0.901.32 -.03 0.97 0.921.03
SFC x AS .17** 1.19 1.071.32 .05 1.06 0.981.14
SDR x AS x SFC -.06 0.93 0.881.01 .01 1.02 0.951.08
Note. N = 8595;
*** p < .001;
** p < .01;
* p < .05
Sex Drive, Hypersexuality, and Pedophilic Interests
PLOS ONE | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0129730 July 6, 2015 7/11
rates of self-repor ted amount of sexual fantasies involving children and antisocial behavior in
the past. In contrast, neither sex drive as such nor in combination with pedophilic fantasies
showed an association with contact sexual abuse. Hence, the present results indicate that the
effects of sex drive in general and specifically hypersexual behavior as measured by the TSO on
self-reported contact sexual abusive behaviour with children are rather small on the level of
zero-order correlations and completely vanish once entered into multivariate analyses.
Current research provides evidence for child pornography consumption as predictor for
sexual interest in children [26]. Among pornography users, Ray et al [27] found that child por-
nography users were also more likely to report interest in sexual contact with children. Further-
more, an association between child pornography consumption and sexual coercive behavior
was identified in a sample of young Scandinavian men [28]. Consistent with previous results,
in the present sample child pornography consumption was positively related to contact sexual
offending against children and sexual fantasies involving children. In addition, aggregated sex
drive, antisocial behavior, and sexual fantasies involving children were identified as risk factors
for child pornography consumption. Hence, for all three constructs there seem to be substan-
tial independent links to child pornography consumption. In the literature several explanations
for child pornography consumption are discussed. The underlying motivational aspects to
engage in the consumption of child porn ography seem to be sexual interests in children and/or
thrill-seeking behavior as a result of habituation to mainstream pornography [27, 28]. Pornog-
raphy dependence is a common sexual behavioral pattern in hypersexual men [1, 2]. Therefore,
the association between sex drive and child pornography consumption may be explained by
the fact that frequent pornography consumption and a wide-spread interest in all sorts of (a)
typical pornography can be seen as indications of increased sex drive. Accordingly, in a sample
of male juveniles, Svedin et al [29] identified a relationship between frequent pornography use
and child pornography consumption. Hence, it seems possible that persons who frequently
engage in pornography consumption have an increased risk of getting in contact with child
pornography [30]. Similarly, in a further study the variable frequent sexual lust predicted child
pornography use [28]. Still, it remains unclear whether sex drive leads to pornography use, or
vice versa. Also a circular reinforcing process in which the availability of pornography on the
internet serves as a strong reinforcer for hypersexual behavior seems possible. Therefore, a
non-correlative (i.e., ideally longitudinal) examination of the causal extent to which hypersex-
ual behavior/sex drive impacts the use of atypical pornography use should be aimed for in
future research.
The known association between antisocial behavior and testosterone [31] has not been
investigated in its relationship with sexuality related aspects. In the present study a relation
between high TSO and indicators for antisociality were found. However, these findings are lim-
ited by small effect sizes. Future research should therefore examine more closely the interplay
between the level of testosterone, TSO, and antisociality.
Limitations and Outlook
There is a lack of research on the association between the amount of time spent with sexual
fantasies and urges with TSO in community samples [1]. In the present study, TSO and sex
drive were associated with higher rates of time consuming sexual fantasies and pornography
use. This finding was expected and suggests that the amount of time spent with sexual activities
may be important for the definition of hypersexual behavior [5]. Nevertheless, for the defini-
tion of a clinical disorder not only symptomatic behavior but psychological distress and/or
maybe also the criterion of causing harm to non-consenting others should be taken into con-
cern. In the consequence, the present study is limited by the lack of information on clinically
Sex Drive, Hypersexuality, and Pedophilic Interests
PLOS ONE | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0129730 July 6, 2015 8/11
relevant characteristics caused by hypersexual behavior or high sex drive, even if the potential
criterion causing harm to non-consenting others was considered. Further research on hyper-
sexual behavior should address clinical distress as criterion beside the amount of orgasms and
time spending with sexuality-related issues.
Several limitations of this study need to be acknowledged. First of all the data are based on
self-report and results are limited to the German population. Moreover, the effect sizes in sta-
tistical analyses particularly in the interaction terms were rather small. This study was also lim-
ited by its cross-sectional correlational design. In addition, it is important to note that in the
present study hypersexual behavior and sex drive were based on self-report and should not be
confused neither with constructs which are used in sexual offender risk assessments such as
sexual preoccupation in the Stable-2007 [32] nor with the diagnostic criteria of hypersexual
disorder [1]. Furthermore, quest ions about total sexual outlets, sex drive, and sexual fantasies/
urges were asked in the form of "a typical week or typical day in the past year". This kind of for-
mulation could be more vulnerable to recall bias than asking about the past week, where the
week is "randomly selected" and thus might be construed as more representative of the past
year. Also the operationalization of antisocial behavior as preconvictions can be deemed a
rather conservative criterion. Further studies could measure antisocial behavior by asking if the
person had ever stolen, committed assault, or other antisocial acts. Another aspect to be added
to future research is the distinction between intercourse/sexual activity within relationships
and impersonal sexual activity. This can be hypothesized to be particularly important, because
sexual activity in a stable relationship on average is associated with positive mood whereas high
rates of imperson al sexual activity are often related to negative mood states [7, 8]. In order to
examine possible intimacy problems that may correlate with hypersexuality, further studies,
which take the proposed distinction between sexual outlets into account, will need to be under-
taken [2].
The results of the present study suggest that the association between hypersexual behaviour
as measured by the TSO, sex drive, and contact sexual abusive behaviour in our community
sample of men was lower than expected. In contrast, an association occurred between sex drive
indicators and child pornography consumption. An implication of these findings is that in the
assessment of hypersexual individuals atypical pornography consumption should be taken into
account. Nonetheless, in clinical practice (and particularly in forensic populations) an assess-
ment of criminal history and pedophilic interests in hypersexual individuals and vice versa
hypersexuality in antisocial or pedophilic men should still be considered.
Author Contributions
Conceived and designed the experiments: PB AFS VK DT. Analyzed the data: AFS VK. Con-
tributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: VK AFS DT PB. Wrote the paper: VK AFS DT PB.
1. Kafka MP Hypersexual disorder: A proposed diagnosis for DSM-V (2010) Arch Sex Behav 39: 940949.
doi: 10.1007/s10508-009-9483-9 PMID: 19308715
2. Kingston DA, Firestone P (2008) Problematic hypersexuality: A review of conceptualization and diag-
nosis. Sex Addict Compul 15: 284310.
3. Kinsey AC, Pomeroy WB, Martin CE (1948) Sexual behavior in the human male. Philadelphia: W.B.
Saunders Company.
4. Kafka MP (2012) Hypersexual Disorder: DSM-5 current status and contemporary controversies. Paper
presented at the 12
International Association for the Treatment of Sexual Offenders. Berlin: Germany.
5. Kafka MP (1997) Hypersexual desire in males: An operational definition and clinical implications for
males with paraphilias and paraphilia-related disorders. Arch Sex Behav 26: 505526. PMID: 9343636
6. Atwood JD, Gagnon J. Masturbatory behavior in college youth (1987) J Sex Educ Thera 13: 3542.
Sex Drive, Hypersexuality, and Pedophilic Interests
PLOS ONE | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0129730 July 6, 2015 9/11
7. Laumann EO, Gagnon JH, Michael RT, Michaels S (1994) The social organization of sexuality: Sexual
practices in the United States. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
8. Långström N, Hanson RK (2006) High rates of sexual behavior in the general population: correlates
and predictors. Arch Sex Behav 35: 3752. PMID: 16502152
9. Hanson RK, Morton-Bourgon KE (2005) The characteristics of persistent sexual offenders: A meta-
analysis of recidivism studies. J Consult Clin Psychol 73: 11541163. PMID: 16392988
10. Mann RE, Hanson KR, Thornton D (2010) Assessing risk for sexual recidivism: Some proposals on the
nature of psychologically meaningful risk factors. Sex Abuse 22: 191217. doi: 10.1177/
1079063210366039 PMID: 20363981
11. Hanson RK, Harris AJR (2000) Where should we intervene? Dynamic predictors of sex offense recidi-
vism. Crim Just Behav 27: 635.
12. Kingston DA, Bradford JM (2013) Hypersexuality and recidivism among sexual offenders. Sex Addict
Compul 20: 91105.
13. Marshall LE, Marshall WL (2008) Sexual addiction in incarcerated sexual offenders. Sex Addict Compul
13: 377390.
14. Marshall LE, Marshall WL, Moulden HM, Serran GA (2008) Prevalence of sexual addiction in incarcer-
ated sexual offenders and matched community non offenders. Sex Addict Compul 15: 271283.
15. Knight RA, Sims Knight JE (2003) The developmental antecedents of sexual coercion against women:
Testing alternative hypotheses with structural equation modeling. Ann N Y Acad Sci 989: 7285.
PMID: 12839887
16. Kingston DA, Fedoroff P, Firestone P, Curry S, Bradford JM (2008) Pornography use and sexual
aggression: The impact of frequency and type of pornography use on recidivism among sexual offend-
ers. Aggress Behav 34: 341351. doi: 10.1002/ab.20250 PMID: 18307171
17. Kjellgren C, Priebe G, Svedin CG, Långström N (2010) Sexually coercive behavior in male youth: popu-
lation survey of general and specific risk factors. Arch Sex Behav 39: 11611169. doi: 10.1007/
s10508-009-9572-9 PMID: 19888644
18. Malamuth NM, Linz D, Heavey CL, Barnes G, Acker M (1995) Using the confluence model of sexual
aggression to predict men's conflict with women: A 10-year follow-up study. J Pers Soc Psychol 69:
353369. PMID: 7643309
19. Dombert B, Schmidt AF, Banse R, Briken P, Hoyer J, Neutze J, et al. (2015) How common is males
self-reported sexual interest in prepubescent children? J Sex Res in press.
20. Banse R, Schmidt AF, Clabour J (2010) Indirect measures of sexual interest in child sex offenders: A
multimethod approach. Crim Just Behav 37: 319335.
21. Schmidt AF, Gykiere K, Vanhoeck K, Mann RE, Banse R (2014) Direct and indirect measures of sexual
maturity preferences differentiate subtypes of child sexual abusers. Sex Abuse 26: 107128 doi: 10.
1177/1079063213480817 PMID: 23524323
22. Schmidt AF, Mokros A, Banse R (2013) Is pedophilic sexual preference continuous? A taxometric anal-
ysis based on direct and indirect measures. Psychol Assess 25: 1146
1153. doi: 10.1037/a0033326
PMID: 23815115
23. Leys C, Ley C, Klein O, Bernard P, Licata L (2013) Detecting outliers: Do not use standard deviation
around the mean, use absolute deviation around the median. J Exp Soc Psychol 49: 764766.
24. Cohen J, Cohen P, West SG, Aiken LS (2003) Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the
behavioral sciences. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.
25. Seto MC (2008) Pedophilia and sexual offending against children: Theory, assessment, and interven-
tion. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
26. Seto MC, Cantor JM, Blanchard R (2006) Child pornography offenses are a valid diagnostic indicator of
pedophilia. J Abnorm Psychol 115: 610. PMID: 16866601
27. Ray JV, Kimonis ER, Seto MC (2014) Correlates and moderators of child pornography consumption in
a community sample. Sex Abuse 26: 52345. doi: 10.1177/1079063213502678 PMID: 24088812
28. Seto MC, Hermann CA, Kjellgren C, Priebe G, Svedin CG, Långström N (2014) Viewing child pornogra-
phy: Prevalence and correlates in a representative community sample of young Swedish men. Arch
Sex Behav.
29. Svedin CG, Åkerman I, Priebe G (2011) Frequent users of pornography A population based epidemio-
logical study of Swedish male adolescents. Journal Adolesc 34: 779788.
30. Seigfried-Spellar KC, Rogers MK (2013) Does deviant pornography use follow a Guttman-like progres-
sion? Comput Hum Behav 29: 19972003.
Sex Drive, Hypersexuality, and Pedophilic Interests
PLOS ONE | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0129730 July 6, 2015 10 / 11
31. Yildirim BO, Derksen JJ (2012) A review on the relationship between testosterone and life-course per-
sistent antisocial behavior. Psychiatry Res 200: 9841010. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2012.07.044
PMID: 22925371
32. Hanson RK, Harris AJR, Scott TL, Helmus L (2007) Assessing the risk of sexual offenders on commu-
nity supervision: The Dynamic Supervision Project (Report No. 200705). Ottawa: ON: Public Safety
and Emergency Preparedness Canada.
Sex Drive, Hypersexuality, and Pedophilic Interests
PLOS ONE | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0129730 July 6, 2015 11 / 11
... Building on this premise, fantasies concerning the perpetration of sexual violence tend to correlate with related behaviour, ranging from weak to strong (Noorishad et al., 2019;Williams et al., 2009). Sexual fantasies also share positive associations with historical sexual offences (Bondü & Birke, 2020;Klein et al., 2015) and sexual recidivism (Hudson et al., 2002;Kenny et al., 2001). The correlational nature of these data prevents causal and directional inference such that sexual behaviour may be experienced before sexual fantasies. ...
... Such perspectives can range from the deliberate use of sexual fantasies to facilitate planning, rehearsal and refinement of a desired event to implicit offence planning secondary to sexual fantasy use for emotional regulation (Hazelwood & Michaud, 2001;Pithers, 1990). Other literature illustrates the importance of trait-based factors as possible moderators of the fantasy-behaviour relationship, including scores on measures of psychopathy (Williams et al., 2009), antisociality (Klein et al., 2015), sexual preoccupation (Knight & Sims-Knight, 2003) and sex drive (Seto et al., 2021). Collectively, evidence suggests that trait-based factors can variably influence the likelihood of sexual fantasy translating into overt behaviour, as may age, self-esteem, social and personal beliefs, attachment styles and sexual offence history as well as situational factors such as drug use. ...
... The consistency of non-significance for emotional intensity may suggest reduced affectivity associated with antisocial traits commonly found in individuals aroused by rape (Klein et al., 2015;Knight & Sims-Knight, 2003;Williams et al., 2009). The prominence of fantasy sensations in the transition from interest to behaviour may allude to specific fantasy perceptions, such as dominance and power (Bondü & Birke, 2020;Renaud & Byers, 2005), encouraging researchers to investigate this aspect of sexual fantasy phenomenology in the future in conjunction with personality trait influence. ...
Background: Sexual fantasies and memories are aetiological considerations in the perpetration of sexual violence, but fantasy-memory-behaviour relationships may be influenced by various factors, including sexual fantasy and memory phenomenology, that are the properties of mental imagery. Aims: To investigate differences in sexual fantasy phenomenology and sexual memory intensity in men who report a history of harmful sexual behaviour compared to those who do not. We also investigated whether the likelihood of reporting harmful sexual intent was related to sexual memory intensity, independently of age and harmful sexual behaviour history. Methods: An online cross-sectional survey design was used, focusing on men aged ≥18 years who were recruited from the general population via social media. The survey prompted participants to envisage a favoured sexual fantasy, then obtained data on fantasy phenomenology, including vividness and sensations, and arousal level. In addition, information was requested about sexual memory intensity and harmful sexual behaviour history and intent. Results: A total of 322 men completed the survey. Multiple Welch's t-tests showed that men self-reporting one or more harmful sexual behaviours, such as rape or child sexual abuse, gave significantly higher ratings of sexual fantasy phenomenology but not fantasy frequency or masturbation. They were also more likely to report higher sexual memory intensity. Although the significance of fantasy phenomenology varied between subgroups, binary logistic regression indicated that age, history of harmful sexual behaviour and sexual memory intensity were each independently associated with harmful sexual intent. Conclusions: Our findings provide new insights into the importance of fantasy phenomenology, demonstrating nuanced differences between those with and without a history of harmful sexual behaviour and illustrating that memory intensity is associated with harmful sexual behaviour intent. Further research into these differences in the context of assessment and intervention for sexual violence perpetration is warranted.
... • Third, we aim to assess whether there is an association between excitation transfer and normative sexual functioning. Normative sexual functioning is assessed by means of self-reported sexual outlet [43,45,46] and the genital response to sexual stimuli in the neutral block. We hypothesize that larger excitation transfer effects are related to decrease normative sexual functioning. ...
... Sexual outlet is assessed using the following questions: "in the last month, how many orgasms did you have each week?", "in the last month, how many hours did you invest in sexual activity each week?", and "in the last month, how long were you involved in sexual activity before you reached orgasm?" Additionally, we asked about sex life satisfaction, and frequency and function of pornography use [43,45,46]. ...
Full-text available
Background: Sexual deviance is regarded as an important risk factor for sexual offending. However, little is known about the development of deviant sexual interests. The transfer of arousal between emotions, i.e., excitation transfer, could attribute sexual salience to stimuli that would otherwise not be sexual in nature. As such, excitation transfer could contribute to the very beginning of unusual or deviant sexual interests. The current protocol proposes a study to investigate to what extent excitation transfer occurs, i.e., to what extent genital and subjective sexual arousal to sexual stimuli is higher in an emotional state than in a neutral state. Following a prior pilot study, several adjustments were made to the study protocol, including a stronger emotional manipulation by using 360-degree film clips and the inclusion of a larger and more sexually diverse sample.
... Depending on the study, there are different definitions and measurements of sexual preoccupation, often including the frequency of orgasms, sexual intercourse, or masturbation. Since pornography consumption may be understood as a behavioral pattern potentially related to hypersexuality (Klein et al., 2015), it is worth mentioning here as well. There are findings that sexual deviant pornography content (e.g., child abuse material, depictions of violence) is related to child sexual abuse perpetration (e.g., Bourke & Hernandez, 2009). ...
... Nevertheless, high sexual activity indicated via the response category "masturbating several times a week" does not directly correspond to the aforementioned hypersexuality or sexual preoccupation from male research. Furthermore, there are different ways to measure hypersexuality/ sexual preoccupation (Klein et al., 2015). ...
This study aimed at assessing the extent to which factors associated with male child sexual offending may also be applicable to women with a self-identified sexual interest in children. Participants ( n = 42) took part in an anonymous online survey covering questions about general characteristics, general sexuality, sexual interest in children, and previously-perpetrated contact child sexual abuse. Group comparisons between women who reported committing contact child sexual abuse compared to those who had not were conducted in terms of sample characteristics. Furthermore, the two groups were compared regarding the factors of high sexual activity, use of child abuse material, indication of ICD-11 pedophilic disorder diagnosis, exclusivity of sexual interest in children, emotional congruence with children, and childhood maltreatment. Our results revealed that high sexual activity, indication of ICD-11 pedophilic disorder diagnosis, exclusivity of sexual interest in children, and emotional congruence with children were associated with previous contact child sexual abuse perpetration. We recommend further research on potential risk factors relating to child sexual abuse on the part of women.
... General Sexual Functioning. Conforming with the original study, sexual outlet (Kafka & Hennen, 2003;Klein et al., 2015) and general sexual functioning were assessed with the following questions reflecting on the past month: (1) How many orgasms did you have each week (<1 per week, 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12, 13+); (2) How many hours did you invest in sexual activity each week (<1 per week, 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12, 13+); (3) How long were you involved in sexual activity before you reached orgasm (never reached orgasm, <5 minutes, 5-30 minutes, 30 minutes-1 hour, 1-2 hours, >2 hours); and (4) How satisfying was your sex life (extremely unsatisfying, very unsatisfying, unsatisfying, satisfying, very satisfying, extremely satisfying). The following questions reflected on their general sex life: (1) When you feel more stressed or unhappy than usual, are you… (more, equally, less likely to masturbate/have sex); (2) Compared to most people, do you think that your actual sex life is… (boring, normal, somewhat adventurous, very adventurous/kinky); (3) How often do you watch porn (never, once a month or less, once a month to once a week, more than once a week but less than daily, daily); and (4) Watching pornography primarily helps you to… (get aroused, stay aroused, achieve orgasm). ...
A previous study found a variety of unusual sexual interests to cluster in a five-factor structure, namely submission/masochism, forbidden sexual activities, dominance/sadism, mysophilia, and fetishism ( Schippers et al., 2021 ). The current study was an empirical replication to examine whether these findings generalized to a representative population sample. An online, anonymous sample ( N = 256) representative of the Dutch adult male population rated 32 unusual sexual interests on a scale from 1 (very unappealing) to 7 (very appealing). An exploratory factor analysis assessed whether similar factors would emerge as in the original study. A subsequent confirmatory factor analysis served to confirm the factor structure. Four slightly different factors of sexual interest were found: extreme, illegal and mysophilic sexual activities; light BDSM without real pain or suffering; heavy BDSM that may include pain or suffering; and illegal but lower-sentenced and fetishistic sexual activities. The model fit was acceptable. The representative replication sample was more sexually conservative and showed less sexual engagement than the original convenience sample. On a fundamental level, sexual interest in light BDSM activities and extreme, forbidden, and mysophilic activities seem to be relatively separate constructs.
... "My sexual activities interfere with aspects of my life, such as work or school", Reid, Stein, & Carpenter, 2011). Klein, Schmidt, Turner, and Briken (2015) were able to confirm the threefactor model in an online sample of 1749 men and women using a translated German version of the HBI-19. Reid, Stein, and Carpenter (2011) found excellent two-week test-retest reliability (subscale correlations from r 5 0.88 to r 5 0.90). ...
Full-text available
Background and aims: Hypersexual disorder is characterized by recurrent and intense sexual fantasies, sexual urges, or sexual behaviors that can lead to clinically relevant levels of distress and adverse consequences for affected individuals. Earlier research has established a connection between sexual phenomena, such as compulsive sexual behavior, and personality features. The aim of the present study was to gain further insights into the associations of personality maladjustment and HD. Methods: The present study applied the dimensional approach of personality maladjustment presented in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) to connect compulsive sexual behavior to personality maladjustment. We investigated 47 men suffering from HD (age: M = 36.51, SD = 11.47) and 38 matched men without HD (age: M = 37.92, SD = 12.33) regarding personality maladjustment using a 100-item version of the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5-BF). Results: The men with HD showed higher levels of personality maladjustment regarding all PID-5-BF domains (negative affect, detachment, psychoticism, antagonism, and disinhibition) and significantly differentiated from men without HD in the level of subordinate facets. However, no domain of personality differentiated significantly between groups using a binary stepwise logistic regression analysis. Discussion and conclusions: In sum, the findings of the study underline the extent of personality maladjustment in men with HD. Interpersonal difficulties which men with HD frequently experience can contribute to clinically relevant levels of distress and adverse consequences reported by affected individuals.
... Overall, factors, including sexual interest in children, should never be considered in isolation as sexual offending is multi-factorial in nature, and upwards of 50% of sexual offences against children are perpetrated by those without sexual attraction to children (Seto, 2018). More research is needed to better elucidate the true prevalence of sexual offending in this population, and risk factors for onset of situational sexual offending against children in community samples, with antisociality highlighted as an important candidate risk factor identified in community samples (Klein et al., 2015). Notes 1. ...
Psychologically meaningful risk factors are central to understanding why certain individuals commit sexual violence and to the provision of effective clinical service. The present study examined whether risk factors and other clinically relevant factors distinguished those with sexual interest in children who have (n = 39) and have not sexually offended (n = 172), and a community control group (n = 65). Participants completed several established measures of risk factors (e.g. hypersexuality), answered questions about the nature of their sexual interest, and reported their history of adverse childhood experiences. The overarching finding was that individuals with sexual interest in children had elevations in various risk factors in comparison to community controls. Although there were fewer significant differences between those with sexual interest in children with and without an offending history, effect sizes across many of these analyses were moderate to large. Several clinically relevant factors distinguished all three groups. PRACTICE IMPACT STATEMENT There is some evidence that psychologically meaningful risk factors and other clinically relevant factors (e.g. adverse childhood experiences) identified in the wider literature on sexual offending distinguish those with sexual interest in children who have offended, have not offended and a community control group. These findings underscore the importance of identifying the presence of these specific factors via a comprehensive assessment, which would be important to consider in treatment.
... We anticipate statistical modelling choices informed by three taxa will improve the ability of these programs of research to detect biopsychosocial processes involved in pedohebephilia. For instance, examining effect size estimates derived from this sample, past research using dimensional modelling statistics (i.e., correlations; Klein et al., 2015) produced estimates of the link between pedohebephilic interests and sexual contact with children that were approximately 25% smaller than the values reported here. For instance, modelling pedohebephilic interests as trichotomous increases predictive accuracy of indicators of pedophilic interest (McPhail et al, 2021). ...
Full-text available
The latent structure of individual difference constructs is a core concern in psychological science. Understanding latent structure has wide-ranging implications for measurement practices, statistical modelling choices, clinical/applied practice, and research examining etiology and causation. Most constructs in psychological science tend towards dimensional latent structure and can be accurately characterised as continua. One exception to this general rule is human sexual attraction. Within this area of psychological science, the status of sexual preference for children over adults is contested, with different studies suggesting varying latent structures. Using a large sample of males living in the community (N = 8,776), the current research aims to provide a robust evaluation of the latent structure of sexual maturity interests. Evidence for a three-taxa latent structure was confirmed in the sample. This study demonstrates human sexual maturity preference is populated with categorical constructs and has wide-ranging implications for future research in this area.
Full-text available
Sexual motivation, the interest in sexual activity, affects people's thinking, feeling, and behavior. Common scales used to assess sexual motivation suffer from drawbacks that limit their validity and applicability. We therefore developed and validated the Trait Sexual Motivation Scale (TSMS), a brief, theory-driven self-report scale, over the course of four preregistered studies (Ntotal = 2,083). Results indicated good model fit, high internal consistency and stability of the second-order (i.e., trait sexual motivation) and first-order (i.e., cognition, affect, behavior) factor scores, and scalar measurement invariance for gender and relationship status. The TSMS correlated as expected with sexual and non-sexual constructs and predicted sexual outcomes cross-sectionally and prospectively in everyday life. Overall, the TSMS emerged as an economical, reliable, and valid measure of sexual motivation.
Objective Despite the growing body of research on individuals convicted of child sexual exploitation material (CSEM), relatively little is known about the prevalence of mental disorders in this population. The aim of the present study was to describe the prevalence of mental disorders among individuals convicted of CSEM offenses. Methods This cross-sectional study examined data from 66 individuals serving a sentence for CSEM offenses in the Austrian prison system who underwent a clinical assessment between 2002 and 2020. Diagnoses were based on the German version of the Structured Clinical Interview for Axis I and Axis II disorders. Results In the total sample, n = 53 individuals (80.3%) were diagnosed with a mental disorder. Twenty-seven individuals (40.9%) had an Axis I disorder and n = 47 (71.2%) had an Axis II disorder. More than two-thirds of the sample, n = 47 (71.2%), had a personality disorder diagnosis, with cluster B personality disorders being the most frequent mental disorders. More than half of the sample, n = 43 (65.2%), had a diagnosis of pedophilic disorder, of which n = 9 (13.6%) were of the exclusive type. Twenty-eight persons (42.4%) showed evidence of a hypersexual disorder. Conclusions In line with previous research, the present sample of convicted CSEM offenders showed a comparatively high prevalence of personality disorders and paraphilic disorders, particularly pedophilic disorders. Additionally, the rate of hypersexual disorder symptoms was considerably high. These findings should be considered for the development of successful risk management strategies for this population.
Full-text available
This session will introduce participants to CSBD. Our session is structured to include audience participation and debate throughout. We will do this by incorporating cases in a stepwise fashion, introducing new information at the beginning of each section of the presentation and posing questions and discussion at specified points during the presentation to maintain audience engagement. The presentation will start off by exploring the current literature on the prevalence and etiology of CSBD, including its genetic and neurological underpinnings (e.g., Schmidt et al., 2016), relationship to obsessive-compulsive disorders (e.g., Fuss, Briken, Stein & Lochner, 2019) and its relationship to substance and behavioral addictions. We will then discuss treatment considerations (both pharmacological and psychological). We will comment on forensic implications of the diagnosis, with specific but brief attention paid to its potential misuse by states with sexually violent predator laws. Presenters will offer tangible considerations for treatment and evaluation of cases that may involve CSBD as well as ways in which providers can educate their patients and other entities about this diagnosis.
Full-text available
We tested a model describing the characteristics of sexually aggressive men that may also be useful for understanding the causes of other antisocial acts against women. This model hypothesizes that sexual aggressors can be identified by two sets of characteristics, labeled hostile masculinity and impersonal sex. To test this model, we followed up a sample of men 10 years after first studying them when they were young adults. We sought to predict which men would be in distressed relationships with women, be aggressive sexually, be nonsexually aggressive, or some combination of these. These behaviors were measured not only by questioning the men themselves but also by questioning many of the men's female partners. Some couples' videotaped conversations were also analyzed. The data supported the ability of the model to predict behavior 10 years later. We also developed the model further and identified the common and unique characteristics contributing to sexual aggression as compared with the other conflictual behaviors studied. The data supported the usefulness of hierarchical modeling incorporating both general factors that contribute to various interpersonal conflicts as well as specific factors uniquely pertaining to dominance of women.
Full-text available
Consistent evidence exists for sexual interest in children in non-clinical/non-forensic male populations. However, prevalences for community males’ self-reported sexual interest in children involving prepubescent children have been based on indiscriminate definitions including postpubescent individuals, age-restricted samples, and/or small convenience samples. The present research assessed males’ self-reported sexual interest in children (including child prostitution and child sex tourism) on community level and examined the link between strictly defined sexual fantasies and behaviors involving prepubescent children. In an online survey of 8,718 German males 4.1% reported sexual fantasies involving prepubescent children, 3.2% sexual offending against prepubescent children, and 0.1% a pedophilic sexual preference. Sexual fantasies involving prepubescent children were positively related to sexual offending against prepubescent children. Sexual interest in children was associated with subjectively perceived need for therapeutic help. In contrast to findings from forensic samples, men who exclusively reported child pornography use were identified as a subgroup differing from contact sexual offenders against prepubescent children and men who committed both child pornography and contact sexual offenses against prepubescent children. The empirical link between child-related sexual fantasies and sexual victimization of prepubescent children and high levels of subjective distress from this inclination underscore the importance of evidence-based child sexual abuse prevention approaches in the community. Findings are discussed in terms of their relation to pedophilic disorder.
Full-text available
Most research on child pornography use has been based on selected clinical or criminal justice samples; risk factors for child pornography use in the general population remain largely unexplored. In this study, we examined prevalence, risk factors, and correlates of viewing depictions of adult-child sex in a population-representative sample of 1,978 young Swedish men (17-20 years, Mdn = 18 years, overall response rate, 77 %). In an anonymous, school-based survey, participants self-reported sexual coercion experiences, attitudes and beliefs about sex, perceived peer attitudes, and sexual interests and behaviors; including pornography use, sexual interest in children, and sexually coercive behavior. A total of 84 (4.2 %) young men reported they had ever viewed child pornography. Most theory-based variables were moderately and significantly associated with child pornography viewing and were consistent with models of sexual offending implicating both antisociality and sexual deviance. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, 7 of 15 tested factors independently predicted child pornography viewing and explained 42 % of the variance: ever had sex with a male, likely to have sex with a child aged 12-14, likely to have sex with a child 12 or less, perception of children as seductive, having friends who have watched child pornography, frequent pornography use, and ever viewed violent pornography. From these, a 6-item Child Pornography Correlates Scale was constructed and then cross-validated in a similar but independent Norwegian sample.
Full-text available
Although there is strong meta-analytical evidence that deviant sexual interest in children is a major risk factor for recidivism in child sex offenders, the assessment of deviant sexual interest with self-report or phallometric measures is problematic. As an alternative approach for assessment, the Explicit and Implicit Sexual Interest Profile (EISIP) is introduced. It features direct self-report and indirect latency-based measures (Implicit Association Tests [IATs] and viewing time measures) of sexual interest in adults and children. The reliability and validity of the EISIP was investigated using a selected sample of child sex offenders (n = 38) and offender (n = 37) and nonoffender (n = 38) controls. Among the indirect measures, viewing time measures showed higher reliability and convergent and criterion validity than the IATs. However, the IATs independently accounted for criterion variance in multivariate analyses. The combined indirect measures showed good discriminative validity between child sex offenders and controls.
A number of areas of investigation are relevant to the consideration of adolescent and young adult masturbatory practices. First it is necessary to determine the incidences and rates of the activity. Currently there is a genuine lack of data on masturbatory incidences and frequencies and thus a need to do some “social accounting.” How common is masturbation among contemporary youth? How frequently do they masturbate? These are the principle questions addressed in this paper. In addition to incidences and rates, we examine trends in masturbatory conduct: do the incidences and frequencies of the activity change over time? The specific time periods that are examined are (1) retrospectively reported high school masturbatory behavior and (2) masturbation during each year in college.
This study compares pornography users who report child pornography (CP) consumption with those who do not on demographic characteristics (age, ethnicity, and education level), psychological characteristics (e.g., loneliness, attachment style, anxiety, and sensation seeking), frequency of pornography use, and intentions to engage in contact sexual abuse. Participants were recruited on the Internet to complete an online anonymous survey about "problematic pornography use." Approximately, one fifth of the recruited male pornography users (21%, n = 37) reported consuming CP. The two groups were similar on all demographic and psychological characteristics. However, the probability of CP consumption was the greatest among men scoring high on a measure of sensation seeking who reported frequent pornography use (i.e., statistical moderation). CP consumers also reported a greater interest in engaging in sexual contact with a minor than non-CP consumers.
A survey revealed that researchers still seem to encounter difficulties to cope with outliers. Detecting outliers by determining an interval spanning over the mean plus/minus three standard deviations remains a common practice. However, since both the mean and the standard deviation are particularly sensitive to outliers, this method is problematic. We highlight the disadvantages of this method and present the median absolute deviation, an alternative and more robust measure of dispersion that is easy to implement. We also explain the procedures for calculating this indicator in SPSS and R software.