Victimisation, limbic system irritability and sociomoral reasoning in male sex offeders

In the  Journal of Sexual Aggression. Published 2016 – Taylor & Francis.


This study used Narvaez’s (2010) Triune Ethics Theory to examine the victim-to-perpetrator hypothesis. The study surveyed 68 sex offenders from the New York State Sex Offender Registry to investigate correlates of physical and sexual abuse, and to analyse associations between victimisation, limbic system irritability, and sociomoral reasoning. Surveys were mailed to sex offenders and analysed using correlation and multivariate analysis of variance. Post hoc analysis of Sexual and Physical Abuse Questionnaire and Limbic System Check List-33 scores showed a significant relationship between physical and sexual abuse and limbic system irritability. Using the Sociomoral Reflection Measure-Short Form, sex offenders were found on average to reason at the Transitional stage 2(3). Predicting self-report abuse history resulted in a 35% correct classification rate based on within-group correlations between predictors and discriminate functions as well as standardised weights.

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