Journal Published Online: 27 July 2005
Volume 50, Issue 5

The Influence of Brain Abnormalities on Psychosocial Development, Criminal History and Paraphilias in Sexual Murderers



The aim of this study was to investigate the number and type of brain abnormalities and their influence on psychosocial development, criminal history and paraphilias in sexual murderers. We analyzed psychiatric court reports of 166 sexual murderers and compared a group with notable signs of brain abnormalities (N = 50) with those without any signs (N = 116). Sexual murderers with brain abnormalities suffered more from early behavior problems. They were less likely to cohabitate with the victim at the time of the homicide and had more victims at the age of six years or younger. Psychiatric diagnoses revealed a higher total number of paraphilias: Transvestic fetishism and paraphilias not otherwise specified were more frequent in offenders with brain abnormalities. A binary logistic regression identified five predictors that accounted for 46.8% of the variance explaining the presence of brain abnormalities. Our results suggest the importance of a comprehensive neurological and psychological examination of this special offender group.

Author Information

Briken, P
University Hospital, Hamburg, Germany
Habermann, N
University Hospital, Hamburg, Germany
Berner, W
University Hospital, Hamburg, Germany
Hill, A
University Hospital, Hamburg, Germany
Pages: 5
Price: $25.00
Reprints and Permissions
Reprints and copyright permissions can be requested through the
Copyright Clearance Center
Stock #: JFS2004472
ISSN: 0022-1198
DOI: 10.1520/JFS2004472