Sexual Sadism Essay

387 Words 2 Pages
Defining sexual sadism has been one of the more challenging obstacles in understanding sexual sadism. There appears to be a general consensus that sexual sadists are sexually aroused by either (a) some form of violent or humiliating behavior (e.g.,
Abel, 1989; Groth & Birnbaum, 1979; Knight & Prentky, 1990; Knight, Prentky, &
Cerce, 1994), (b) the victim’s reaction to this behavior (e.g., being frightened, scared, or being in pain; Marshall & Kennedy, 2003), or (c) the resulting feeling of power and control as a result of the violence inflicted (Brittain, 1970; Dietz, Hazelwood, &
Warren, 1990; Grubin, 1994; Levin & Fox, 1985; MacCulloch, Snowden, Wood, &
Mills, 1983). Some researchers have argued that the sexual sadist can be characterized
…show more content…
According to this perspective, it is not so much the violence, but the humiliation, degradation, subjugation, and suffering producing fear, terror, pain, and panic in the victim, that makes the sadist feel powerful and sexually aroused. Rada (1978) further claimed that the humiliating acts performed by the sexual sadist provide more sexual satisfaction than the actual act of sexual intercourse. It is unclear whether the humiliating acts of the offender are a specific manifestation of control and power, which is sexually arousing to the sadist, or as a sexual preference for humiliation per se. Despite these conceptual differences, there are two main methods of identifying sexually sadistic individuals. Although the
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed., text rev.; DSMIV-
TR; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2000) is the most widely used, researchers have also used phallometric assessments to identify individuals sexually aroused by acts of sadism. The proceeding sections highlight the benefits and drawbacks of the DSM and phallometric assessment in identifying sexually sadistic individuals.
DSM. Few valid and reliable clinical methods have been proposed to measure

Related Documents