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Rape: Behavioral Aspects - Classification Of Rapists

sexual type anger factors

Sexual aggression derives from a complex amalgam of factors and typically reflects a chronic pattern of maladaptive behaviors. Those factors considered to be most importantly related to rape were reviewed by Prentky and Knight. These factors include: (a) impaired heterosexual relationships with peers; (b) relative lack of empathy; (c) poorly controlled and improperly expressed anger; (d) cognitive distortions, particularly around women and sexuality; (e) sexual fantasy that includes thoughts and images of coercion, force, and deviant or paraphilic acts; and (f) a highly impulsive lifestyle that often includes antisocial elements. Although all of these factors may be present in varying degrees, typically several of the factors predominate in a particular offender. When factors are sufficiently robust to differentiate among rapists, they may serve as the basis for classification.

To the best of the present author's knowledge, the only validated classification model for rapists is MTC:R3 (Knight and Prentky). The principal dimensions that are used for classifying rapists in MTC:R3 are (a) Expressive Aggression (nature, amount, and quality of expressed aggression in all known instances of sexually aggressive behavior); (b) Pervasive Anger (the presence of global, undifferentiated anger in the life of the offender, as reflected by a history of nonsexual assaults, fighting, and verbal aggression directed at men as well as women); (c) Juvenile and Adult Unsocialized Behavior (conductdisordered, delinquent, and impulsive antisocial behavior); (d) Social Competence (as reflected by stability and quality of interpersonal relationships with peers, and stability and level of vocational achievement); (e) Sexualization (as evidenced by high sexual drive, sexual preoccupation, strong and frequent sexual urges, evidence of compulsivity in sexual assaults, evidence of paraphilias); (f) Sadism (evidence that pain, fear, or discomfort increases sexual arousal, preoccupation with sadistic fantasies, ritualization of violence, symbolic expressions of sadistic fantasy); and (g) Offense Planning. In addition to discriminating among rapists, these major dimensions reflect temporally stable behavioral domains that are targeted by most treatment programs.

These seven major MTC:R3 dimensions are used to classify an offender into one of nine subtypes: Type 1 (Opportunistic, High Social Competence), Type 2 (Opportunistic, Low Social Competence), Type 3 (Pervasive Anger), Type 4 (Overt Sadism), Type 5 (Muted Sadism), Type 6 (Sexualized, High Social Competence), Type 7 (Sexualized, Low Social Competence), Type 8 (Vindictive, Low Social Competence), and Type 9 (Vindictive, High Social Competence). The sexual offenses of the two Opportunistic subtypes are impulsive, unplanned, predatory crimes, controlled more by situational factors and immediately antecedent events than by any longstanding, recurrent rape fantasy. The sexual assaults of the Pervasive Anger type are driven by undifferentiated anger. These offenders are, in effect, "angry at the world." They are as likely to assault men as women. Their anger is not sexualized, and there is no evidence of protracted rape fantasy. The two Sadistic subtypes evidence poor differentiation between sexual and aggressive drives, and long-standing, frequent occurrence of sexually aggressive and violent fantasies. The two Nonsadistic, Sexual types evidence frequent sexual and sexually coercive fantasy that is devoid of the synergistic connection between sex and aggression that characterizes the Sadistic types. The fantasies and offense-related behaviors of these Nonsadistic, Sexual types are hypothesized to reflect an amalgam of sexual preoccupation, distorted attitudes about women and sexuality, and feelings of inadequacy. The Vindictive types harbor focal anger at women. Their attitudes and their behavior reflect this exclusive misogynistic focus. The sexual assaults of these rapists are marked by statements and behaviors that are intended to defile, demean, and humiliate the victims, as well as to physically injure. The MTC:R3 system represents the third version of ongoing programmatic research in this area. MTC:R3 is not a final "product," and will be revised in accordance with the results of current taxonomic research.

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