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December 1970

Female Criminals: Their Personal, Familial, and Social BackgroundsThe Relation of These to the Diagnoses of Sociopathy and Hysteria

Author Affiliations

St. Louis
From the Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1970;23(6):554-558. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1970.01750060074007

AMONG convicted male felons, the prevalence of sociopathy, alcoholism, and drug dependency is increased.1,2 An increased prevalence of these same conditions and of hysteria is found among the felons' first-degree relatives: hysteria in the female relatives, and the others predominantly in the male relatives.3 On the other hand, family studies of women with hysteria show an increased prevalence of hysteria in the female relatives, and of sociopathy and alcoholism in the male relatives.4,5 In addition, Robins6 reported that 20 of 76 girls referred to a child guidance clinic between the ages of 12 and 16 because of antisocial behavior received a diagnosis of hysteria as adults. Finally, Forrest7 noted that some patients with hysteria, as defined in this study, would in Great Britain be diagnosed as hysterical psychopaths or psychopathic personalities. He presented data indicating significant antisocial behavior and alcohol or drug abuse in such

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