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Prediction of Recidivism in Exhibitionists: Psychological, Phallometric, and Offense Factors

NCJ Number
Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment Volume: 14 Issue: 4 Dated: October 2002 Pages: 329-347
Sharon R. Rabinowitz Greenberg; Philip Firestone; John M. Bradford; David M. Greenberg
Connie Isaac
Date Published
October 2002
19 pages
This study examined the predictors of recidivism in exhibitionists and the differences between those recidivists who subsequently committed hands-on versus hands-off sexual offenses.
Exhibitionists are generally considered harmless, hands-off, or nonphysical contact offenders who do go on to commit more serious sexual offenses. There are relatively few studies on the recidivism or dangerousness of exhibitionists. This study examining phallometric assessment measures as predictors of recidivism among exhibitionists included a sample of 221 male exhibitionists assessed at the Royal Ottawa Hospital Sexual Behaviors Clinic between 1983 and 1996. The assessment measures used included alcohol abuse, hostility, sexual functioning, psychopathy, sexual arousal, criminal offense histories, and statistical treatment of the data. The results of the study suggest that exhibitionists are not a benign group of offenders. A significant number go on to perform other sexual and violent offenses and a wider variety of general criminal offenses. The sexual offending patterns of these men seem to escalate to hands-on sexual offenses. The best predictors for violent and general reoffending seem to be the same factors that predict general criminality among nonsexual criminals, such as psychopathy and previous offenses.


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