Grade Failure and Special Education Placement in Sexual Offenders' Educational Histories

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A sample of 701 adult men underwent assessment following illegal or clinically significant sexual behaviors or interests. Patients were categorized on the basis of phallometric (penile) responses in the laboratory to erotic stimuli depicting adults, pubescent children, and prepubescent children; histories of sexual offenses; and self-reported sexual interests. Comprising the categories were men sexually interested in prepubescent children (pedophiles; n = 114), men sexually interested in pubescent children (hebephiles; n = 377), men sexually interested in adults and who had committed a sexual offense against an adult (teleiophilic offenders; n = 139), and men sexually interested in adults and who had no known history of any sexual offenses (teleiophilic nonoffenders; n = 71). Patients' assessments included IQ testing and self-reported academic history, which included any grade failures and assignment to special education classes. Relative to the teleiophilic offenders, both the pedophilic and the hebephilic groups showed approximately double the odds of failing a grade or being enrolled in special education, both before and after covarying IQ. No significant differences were detected between the teleiophilic offenders and the teleiophilic nonoffenders. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that an erotic age preference for children sometimes results from a perturbation of neurodevelopment occurring early in life.

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