A COMPARISON OF CERTAIN PERCEIVED INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS AMONG SEXUAL DEVIATES IN A CRIMINAL OFFENDER POPULATION

JEANNE BETH SCHROEDER, Marquette University

Abstract

Sexual deviancy has been under investigation for a considerable period of time. However, only recently has effort been directed in obtaining information through more rigorous scientific methods. Previous research has focused on the developmental environment of the sex offender and has described general personality characteristics of deviant groups. There has been, of late, an emphasis on the interpersonal aspect of the sexual offense. Normal sexual interaction was defined as consisting of voluntary sexual activity which involved equal, consenting partners in the context of a valued relationship. With respect to this definition, the purpose of this study was to determine if sexual offenders could be differentiated on the basis of their perception of affiliation and dominance needs in themselves, their mothers, their fathers, men-in-general, and women-in-general. Rapists, pedophiles, and exhibitionists were chosen as subjects because of the unique ways they deviated from normal sexual activity based on the above definition. This study was also designed to secure some understanding of the interpersonal character of the sexual offender as well as his perception of the character of the other figures whom he rated. The main independent variable, sexual pathology, was comprised of three groups: rapists, pedophiles, and exhibitionists. These sexual offenders were randomly selected from a population of offenders on probation and parole under the supervision of the Bureau of Community Corrections, Division of Corrections in the State of Wisconsin. A total of thirty (30) subjects was used, ten (10) in each offender group. Affiliation and dominance needs were measured on the Interpersonal Checklist (Leary, 1956b). Based on the offender's ratings of self, mother, father, men-in-general and women-in-general, a total of ten (10) dependent measures were obtained. A second set of data, difference scores, were generated from the above dependent measures to allow for inter-object comparison, i.e., between self and mother, self and father, self and men-in-general, self and women-in-general, between mother and father, father and men-in-general, and mother and women-in-general. The number of items checked per protocol was also analyzed as a means of assessing for response set. A multivariate analysis of variance technique was used to analyze the three sets of data. The results of the study demonstrated no significant differences among any of the social objects rated by the rapists, pedophiles, and exhibitionists. Inter-object differences were also nonsignificant. All three groups basically described themselves, their mothers, their fathers, men and women-in-general as dominant people. They perceived themselves, their mothers, and women-in-general as somewhat more nurturant than their fathers and men-in-general. Some noteworthy clinical differences were discussed on the basis of the unilevel profiles. The main conclusions drawn from this investigation were: (1) it was not possible to categorize sexual offenders on the basis of perceived affiliation and dominance needs in themselves, mothers, fathers, men-in-general, and women-in-general, (2) regardless of the type of sexual offense, the act of sexual deviancy was out-of-character with the sexual offender's self-perception, (3) the close identification of affiliation and dominance needs of the objects rated reflected a rather restricted sense of the components necessary to develop and maintain mutual, interpersonal relationships, and, (4) further research in the area of sexual deviancy and the sexual offender is necessary.

Recommended Citation

SCHROEDER, JEANNE BETH, "A COMPARISON OF CERTAIN PERCEIVED INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS AMONG SEXUAL DEVIATES IN A CRIMINAL OFFENDER POPULATION" (1980). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI8111868.
http://epublications.marquette.edu/dissertations/AAI8111868

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