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October 28, 1950

The Sexual Criminal: A Psychoanalytical Study

JAMA. 1950;144(9):806. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02920090080046

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One of the more sordid aspects of medical practice is that related to the treatment of men, women and children who are victims of sexual criminals. "Beast" would seem to be a more appropriate term for some of these persons but psychiatric and other studies are revealing some of the causes for such abnormalities. The sexual criminal poses a perplexing problem for society and the medical profession. Knowledge of his habits and motivations are important. Although criminal attacks usually arouse more desire for retaliation than for treatment, penal institutions probably will not solve these problems.

The author presents case reports and explanatory comments which reveal in detail the aberrant actions of the sexual criminal. It is difficult to read such a book without resultant disgust, and yet such reports must be studied carefully if the problem is to be controlled. Dr. de River has presented vividly some of his experiences.

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