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Childhood abuse history differentiates personality in sex offenders

Juan Antonio Becerra-García, Ana García-León & Vincent Egan

Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology

Volume 23, Issue 1, 2012



This study examines the influence of abuse in childhood in the personality of Spanish adult sex offenders. Fifty sex offenders were evaluated using the NEO-Five Factor Inventory and a brief interview for the experience of childhood abuse. Sex offenders who had experienced a abusive childhood had higher scores for neuroticism and openness, and lower scores for conscientiousness, whereas child molesters who had experienced abusive childhoods were higher in openness; sex offenders against adults who had abusive childhoods had higher neuroticism than sex offenders against adults without abusive childhoods. These findings indicate that childhood experience differentiates characteristic profiles of normal personality traits in sex offenders by their offence type. The type of childhood is a more theoretically meaningful construct than the type of sex offence committed by which to infer differences in normal personality traits among sexual offenders.





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