Thursday, January 19, 2012

The debate about paraphilic coercive disorder is mostly ideological and going nowhere

Balon, R. (in press). The debate about paraphilic coercive disorder is mostly ideological and going nowhere. Archives of Sexual Behavior. (link)

(no abstract)

DSM-5 paraphilic diagnoses and SVP law

Tucker, D. & Brakel, S. J. (in press). DSM-5 paraphilic diagnoses and SVP law [Letter to the Editor]. Archives of Sexual Behavior. (link)

(no abstract)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Paraphilia NOS, Nonconsent: Not ready for the courtroom

Frances, A & First, M. B. (2011). Paraphilia NOS, Nonconsent: Not ready for the courtroom. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 39, 555-561.

Sexually violent predators (SVP) constitute a serious potential risk to public safety, especially when they are released after too short a prison sentence. Twenty states and the federal government have developed a seemingly convenient way to reduce this risk. They have passed statutes that allow for the involuntary (often lifetime) psychiatric commitment of mentally disordered sexual offenders after prison time is up. In three separate cases, the Supreme Court has accepted the constitutionality of this procedure, but only if the offender's dangerousness is caused by a mental disorder and is not a manifestation of simple criminality. The idea that paraphilic rape should be an official category in the psychiatric diagnostic manual has been explicitly rejected by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-III, DSM-III-R, DSM-IV, and, recently, DSM-5. Despite this, paraphilia NOS, nonconsent, is still frequently used by mental health evaluators in SVP cases to provide a mental disorder diagnosis that legitimizes psychiatric commitment and makes it appear constitutional. This commentary will show how the diagnosis paraphilia NOS, nonconsent, is based on a fundamental misreading of the original intent of the DSM-IV Paraphilia Workgroup and represents a misuse of psychiatry, all in the admittedly good cause of protecting public safety.

Commentary: Hebephilia—A would-be paraphilia caught in the twilight zone between prepubescence and adulthood

Prentky, R & Barbaree, H. (2011). Commentary: Hebephilia—A would-be paraphilia caught in the twilight zone between prepubescence and adulthood. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 39, 506-510.

This commentary addresses the controversy surrounding the proposed Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Revision (DSM-5) diagnosis of pedohebephilia. We examine adult male sexual attraction to young pubescent females and whether such attraction is deviant and constitutes a mental disorder, and, independent of that question, whether there is any defensible basis for asserting that hebephilia is a legitimate paraphilia. We conclude our analysis by looking at three profiles: adults with sexualized interest in pre- and postpubescent children, adults with sexualized interest in adult and pubescent adolescent women, and adults with exclusive sexualized interest in young pubescent women. We suggest that in the third instance of exclusivity, the Criterion B requirement of impairment may become critical to legitimizing a diagnosis of hebephilia.


This paper is a commentary on Fabian's "Diagnosing and Litigating Hebephilia in Sexually Violent Predator Civil Commitment Proceedings."

Diagnosing and litigating hebephilia in sexually violent predator civil commitment proceedings

Fabian, J. M. (2011). Diagnosing and litigating hebephilia in sexually violent predator civil commitment proceedings. Journal of the American Academcy of Psychiatry and the Law, 39, 496-505.

In recent years, state and federal legislative initiatives have heavily emphasized punitive laws to combat sexual crime. These statutes include indefinite civil commitment, which is the ultimate infringement on sexual offenders' civil liberties. Many of these committed offenders have repeatedly offended against prepubescent children (pedophiles), and many have committed nonconsensual sexual offenses against adults (rapists). A substantial number of sex offenders have offended against postpubescent adolescents and teenagers outside the age range of pedophilia (commonly referred to by some clinicians and researchers as hebephilia). The use of the term hebephilia has recently received heightened scrutiny in sexually violent predator civil commitment proceedings. Specifically, experts debate whether hebephilia is recognized within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) and whether it is a generally accepted diagnosis within the field of sexual offender assessment. Scholars and practitioners question how hebephilia pertains to sexual deviance and one's risk of reoffending and whether it ultimately meets the legal mental abnormality threshold of civil commitment through DSM diagnostic criteria. This article addresses these questions and provides recent federal case law that attends to hebephilia in sexually violent predator proceedings.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Natural order of disorder: Pedophilia, stranger danger and the normalising family.

Chenier, E. (in press). The Natural order of disorder: Pedophilia, stranger danger and the normalising family. Sexuality & Culture. DOI: 10.1007/s12119-011-9116-z. (link)
Abstract: Over the past two decades critics have challenged the validity of pedophilia as a mental disorder and have implored us to think differently about child sexuality as well as incidences of sexual contact and intimacy between adults and children or adolescents. This growing literature provides compelling evidence against using a medical framework for understanding and responding to pedophilia, yet most people in the English-speaking world still cling to a post-World War Two construction of the pedophile as a dangerous stranger, pathologically unable to control his insatiable sexual desire for young people. This article aims to address this particular dilemma. Drawing on the work of Ann Laura Stoler, it argues that the construction of the pedophile is a vector of normalisation processes, “a tactic in the internal fission of society into binary oppositions, and means of creating ‘biologized’ internal enemies, against whom society must defend itself”. As a social construction, the pedophile persists because it plays an important ideological function in modern society: it affirms the white, middle-class, ‘traditional’ heterosexual family as the ideal site for the production and reproduction of social and political norms.

The errors of Karen Franklin’s Pretextuality

Cantor, J. M. (in press). The errors of Karen Franklin’s Pretextuality [Letter to the Editor]. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health. (An unofficial preprint can be downloaded here)

No abstract.