(Received 14 April 1994; accepted 19 July 1994)
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This paper compares the offender and offense characteristics of 30 sexually sadistic criminals studied by Dietz et al. with those of 29 sexually sadistic criminals and 28 nonsadistic sexual offenders from the Royal Ottawa Hospital. We examined whether the characteristics noted by Dietz et al. would be found among a less violent group of sadistic offenders and also to what extent these characteristics were specific to sexual sadism. Results suggest some offender and offense characteristic are specific to sexual sadism and that others appear to be common to sexually aggressive offenders more generally. In addition, there were a number of characteristics found exclusively among the most violent offenders described by Dietz et al. An explanation of these results in terms of a biopsychosocial understanding of sexual sadistic offenders is provided.
Director of Forensic Services, Royal Ottawa Hospital, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario
Fellow in Forensic Psychiatry, Isaac Ray Center, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, IL
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