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Article
August 3, 1957

THE SEXUAL DEVIANT (SEXUAL PSYCHOPATH)—CAUSES, TREATMENT, AND PREVENTION

Author Affiliations

Rochester, Minn.

From the Section of Psychiatry, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation. The Mayo Foundation is a part of the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota.

JAMA. 1957;164(14):1559-1565. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980140035006
Abstract

• Hypotheses as to the etiological factors in certain stereotypes of sexual behavior are applied to three case histories. In one, a case of incest involving father and daughter, there was frigidity in the mother and a distorted background in the father; the complaints ultimately came from the mother. In the second, a case of compulsive grasping of women's breasts, the patient's family was found to have been extraordinarily inconsistent and confused as to physical intimacies. In the third, incorrigible exhibitionism necessitated institutional care of a man whose foster parents had been extremely inconsistent as to what was forbidden and what encouraged. The mere elucidation of etiological factors in such cases has not been found sufficient to effect a cure. Therapy has proved to be a formidable undertaking; it was futile in patients who showed no compelling motivation for treatment. The authors believe that hostile seduction by parental figures underlies all the sexual deviations. A first approach to prevention would therefore consist of education of the parents, and the incidence of sexual deviations can be reduced by relatively simple efforts on the part of pediatricians and family physicians.

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