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Pedophilic Sexual Interests and Psychopathy in Child Sexual Abusers Working With Children

NCJ Number
Child Abuse and Neglect Volume: 38 Issue: 2 Dated: February 2014 Pages: 326-335
Daniel Turner; Martin Rettenberger; Lena Lohmann; Reinhard Eher; Peer Briken
Date Published
February 2014
10 pages
This study examined the extent to which child sexual abusers who work professionally or voluntarily in the provision of services to children (CSA-W) differ from intra-familial child sexual abusers (CSA-I) and extra-familial child sexual abusers (CSA-E) in terms of static risk factors, indicators of pedophilic sexual interests, and indicators of psychopathy.
The study findings suggest that CSA-W offenders compose a distinctive subgroup among child sexual abusers based on their lower levels of psychopathy and high level of pedophilic sexual interests. Out of 248 men imprisoned in Austria for having sexually abused a child between 2001 and 2007, 15 percent had committed their offenses at their workplace or while working with children in some type of program. Most were either working as priests or schoolteachers, or were employed by a church or school. More CSA-W offenders had at least 12 years of education than offenders in either of the other two CSA groups (CSA-I and CSA-E). CSA-W's were older than those in the other groups at the time of their conviction. Similar to findings from other studies, the current study also found that CSA-W had substantially less previous convictions for a sexual or violent offense than the other groups, and had spent less time in prison. In addition, the CSA-W offenders were less likely to have drug and alcohol problems compared to the other two groups of offenders; and the CSA-W offenders had less psychopathic traits. They were also less likely to be impulsive and antisocial. On the other hand, CSA-W was more likely to have a higher number of victims and a higher frequency of male victims. The CSA-W group had the highest prevalence (63.2 percent) of pedophilia as measured by DSM-IV-TR criteria. Regarding their risk for sexual recidivism, the CSA-W group was somewhere between CSA-E and CSA-I. 4 tables and 59 references