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, 39 (5), 465-9

Handedness, Criminality, and Sexual Offending

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Handedness, Criminality, and Sexual Offending

A F Bogaert. Neuropsychologia.

Abstract

A very large database was used to investigate whether men with a history of criminality and/or sexual offending have a higher incidence of nonright-handedness (NRH) relative to a control sample of nonoffender men. The sample (N>8000) comprised interviews by investigators at the Kinsey Institute for Sex and Reproduction in Indiana. The general offender group and a subsample of sex offenders (e.g. pedophiles) had a significantly higher rate of NRH relative to the control (nonoffender) men. In addition, evidence was found that the general criminality/NRH relationship might result from increased educational difficulties that some nonright-handers experience. In contrast, education was unrelated to the handedness/pedophilia relationship, suggesting that there may be a different mechanism underlying the handedness/pedophile relationship than the handedness/(general) criminality relationship. Finally, as a cautionary note, it is stressed that the effects are small and that NRH should not be used as a marker of criminality.

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