On sexual violence

Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2006 Sep;19(5):527-32. doi: 10.1097/01.yco.0000238483.34894.68.


Purpose of review: Sexual violence is a multidimensional concept that is not completely understood even within forensic psychiatry. Violent sexual behaviour such as sexually sadistic homicides would be included within the definition, but it is commonly defined more broadly as any deviant sexual behaviour. In this review, the broadest definition of sexual violence is used in order to facilitate the most comprehensive review of scientific articles in the field.

Recent findings: This review covers sexual violence from the extreme of sexually motivated homicides to sexual violence in Internet crimes. The review can be divided into four subject areas. The first relates to extreme sexual violence such as sexually motivated homicide, the second area refers to Internet sexual offending, the third relates to studies on the characteristics of the perpetrators of sexual offending behaviour and the fourth relates to risk evaluation and the prevalence of sexual violence.

Summary: Significant advances have been made in relation to sexual sadism. Deviant sexual behaviour using the Internet is being studied. Significant research advances continue in understanding clinical characteristics of various types of sexual offenders. Other important areas of research relate to meta-analytical studies of sexual offenders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Homicide / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data
  • Prevalence
  • Sadism / epidemiology
  • Sex Offenses / psychology*
  • Sex Offenses / statistics & numerical data
  • Violence / psychology*