The sexual life of men with psychopathic traits

Journal article


Zara, Georgia, Bergstrom, H. and Farrington, David P. 2020. The sexual life of men with psychopathic traits. Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice. ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print). https://doi.org/10.1108/jcrpp-04-2020-0036
AuthorsZara, Georgia, Bergstrom, H. and Farrington, David P.
Abstract

This paper explores the sexuality of individuals with psychopathic traits. Sexuality is not only a physiological need, it is a way by which people connect to others. According to a Darwinian perspective, psychopathic traits are seen as adaptive responses to environmental conditions, and as a nonpathological and reproductively viable life history strategy, although superficial emotionality and a detached interpersonal style characterise individuals who are high on psychopathic traits.
Data from the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development are analyzed. This is a prospective longitudinal study of 411 London males, with face-to-face interviews from age 8 to age 48.
Men who are high on psychopathic traits were likely to drift from one relationship to another, without a particular attachment to any of them, to be sexually promiscuous, and they never used contraception, which increased their likelihood of having several children from different partners.
Findings provide:
▪ An insight into the non-criminal sexual behaviour of males with high psychopathic traits.
▪ Evidence on a pattern of unsafe/risky sexual relations by males with high psychopathic traits.
▪ Information on targeting risk factors to prevent the intergenerational transmission of psychopathy.
These findings are significant in highlighting the impact of psychopathic traits upon interpersonal and family dynamics in community samples, since detecting the impact of problematic intimate relationships is difficult in the absence of evident criminality. Rather than completely neglecting their children, men with psychopathic traits spent time with their sons but not with their daughters.

Keywordslongitudinal study; risk; assessment; community safety; training/professionalisation; intimate relationships; life history; psychopathic traits; sexual history; sexual promiscuity
Year2020
JournalJournal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice
Journal citationahead-of-print (ahead-of-print)
PublisherEmerald
ISSN2056-3841
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1108/jcrpp-04-2020-0036
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/625809
https://www.emerald.com/insight/site-policies
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
hdl:10545/625809
Publication dates03 Aug 2020
Publication process dates
Deposited04 Jun 2021, 15:35
Accepted29 Jun 2020
Rights

Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International

ContributorsUniversity of Turin, University of Cambridge and University of Derby
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