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Is a Separate Diagnostic Category Defensible for Paraphilic Coercion?

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 41 Issue: 2 Dated: March/April 2013 Pages: 90-99
Date Published
April 2013
10 pages

This article examines the arguments being made for the inclusion of paraphilic coercive disorder (PCD) as a separate category in the DSM-5 and presents the results of a study to develop a model that includes both PCD and sadism.


This article examines the arguments being made by practitioners that paraphilic coercive disorder (PCD) should be listed as a separate category in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). PCD has been defined as a distinct sexual preference for the coercive elements of sexual interactions, and that this preference can be evaluated as a distinct disorder different from sexual preference for violence, harm, and injury. The article begins with a review of phallometry measuring and how it is used to determine the difference between PCD and sadism. This is followed by a discussion on a study conducted by the authors aimed at observing a covariance between PCD and sadism. Data for the study were obtained from a sample, n=529, of adult sexual offenders who completed the self-report measure Multidimensional Assessment of Sex and Aggression (MASA), an inventory tool used to obtain demographic, socioeconomic, developmental information of participants. The developmental information includes items dealing with behavior management problems, impulsive acting out, aggression, and numerous sexual situations. Analyses of the data indicate that a pure category for PCD does not exist, but instead is highly correlated with sadism. This finding suggests that PCD should not be listed as a separate category in the DSM-5. Implications for policy and research are discussed. Figures, tables, and references

Date Published: April 1, 2013