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August 1978

Implications of Sex Differences in the Prevalences of Antisocial Personality, Alcoholism, and Criminality for Familial Transmission

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine and the Jewish Hospital of St Louis, St Louis (Drs Cloninger and Reich); the Institute of Criminal Science, University of Copenhagen (Dr Christiansen); and the Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (Dr Gottesman).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1978;35(8):941-951. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1978.01770320035002

• We describe three multifactorial models of disease transmission in which the prevalences of a disease differ in men and women. These models demonstrate explicitly how such sex differences may be caused by genetic factors, home environment, sociocultural, or other nonfamilial factors. Independent sets of family data about antisocial personality and alcoholism in the United States and criminality in Danish twins are analyzed according to these quantitative models. Relevant clinical and adoption data about these disorders are reviewed. The sex differences observed in the development of antisocial personality and of crime appear to be due to familial factors whereas the differences between male and female alcoholics are due to nonfamilial factors. The models and results are discussed in terms of their general implications for testing hypotheses about gender-related differences.

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