Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment [saj] PL251-227444 September 11, 2000 15:34 Style ﬁle version Nov. 19th, 1999
Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, Vol. 13, No. 1, 2001
Phallometric Assessments Designed to Detect
Arousal to Children: The Responses of Rapists
and Child Molesters
and W. L. Marshall
The phallometric responses of child molesters and rapists were assessed using two
assessments of sexual arousal to children. Groups responded to both audiotaped
depictions of sexual activity with children and to a set of slides of nude adults and
children. Analyses revealed that the audiotaped child sexual violence assessment
was as effective as the slide assessment in discriminating child molesters from
rapists. It was also found that rapists displayed some degree of deviant response
to both stimulus sets.
KEY WORDS: rapists; phallometric assessment; sexual offending.
Audiotaped assessments of deviantsexual preferences in child molesters have
become increasingly popular in recent years due, in part, to ethical issues related
to the use of nude pictures of children in sexual preference assessments (see Laws,
1996, for a discussion of these issues). Although the ability of slide assessments
to discriminate child molesters from nonsexual offenders as well as rapists is well
established (see for example,Malcolm, Andrews, & Quinsey, 1993), there has been
little research examining the ability of audio assessments to discriminate rapists
from child molesters. Such discrimination is necessary to determine whether or
not the assessment is truly detecting a sexual preference for children, or simply a
more generalized sexual deviance.
Regional Treatment Centre, Correctional Service of Canada, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Psychology, Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6.
To whom correspondence should be addressed at Regional Treatment Centre, Correctional Service of
Canada, 555 King Street West, P.O. Box 22, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 4V7.
2001 Plenum Publishing Corporation