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Assessment of sex offenders using standardized slide stimuli and procedures: A multisite study

Faculty Advisor




assessment of sexual offenders, plethysmographic assessment, pedophiles, sexual offending

Abstract (summary)

Thirty sex offenders were assessed for age and gender preference with a set of standardized erotic slides and an assessment protocol which specified each step in the procedure. This procedure was intended to be a normative study to be carried out at multiple sites in the United States and Canada. It was hypothesized that (1) the procedure would discriminate child molesters as heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual, (2) the procedure would differentiate child molesters from normal subjects, and (3) both of these hypotheses would be confirmed at all sites. Data are reported here for 20 of the 30 subjects tested in groups labeled heterosexual pedophilia, homosexual pedophilia, heterosexual incest, and rape. Although the groups were quite small and measured response levels were low, good discriminations were obtained between groups and stimulus categories. It was concluded that the obtained data confirmed Hypothesis 1 and partially confirmed Hypothesis 2. Although the assessment protocol had to be altered to suit local conditions, it proved adequate and could serve as a guide in future standardization studies. Of particular interest was the finding that a 30-sec slide exposure was effective in producing discriminations in the critical categories related to the tested hypotheses.

Publication Information

Laws, D. R., M. J. Gulayets, and R. R. Frenzel. (1995). “Assessment of Sex Offenders Using Standardized Slide Stimuli and Procedures: A Multisite Study.” Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment 7(1): 45-66.


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