The Modification of Sexual Preferences

  • Vernon L. Quinsey
  • Christopher M. Earls
Part of the Applied Clinical Psychology book series (NSSB)


The modification of inappropriate sexual preferences is of central concern in many treatment programs for sex offenders (Abel, Becker, Cunningham-Rathner, Rouleau, Kaplan, & Reich, 1984; Borzecki, & Wormith, 1987; Griffiths, Quinsey, & Hingsburger, 1989; Marshall, Earls, Segal, & Darke, 1983; Quinsey, Chaplin, Maguire, & Upfold, 1987). This focus on inappropriate sexual interest follows from repeated observations that sex offenders, such as child molesters, rapists, and sadists, frequently report ruminating over sexual fantasies involving the types of behaviors in which they engage; moreover, the relative amount of sexual arousal elicited by deviant and nondeviant cues in phallometric assessment more consistently differentiates sex offenders from other males than any other measure yet tried (see Earls & Quinsey, 1985; Quinsey, 1984a, 1986, for reviews). The clinical importance of inappropriate sexual preferences is reflected in the definition of sexual deviations or paraphilias in DSM-III-R as disorders characterized by intense sexual urges or sexually arousing fantasies involving inappropriate objects or coercive sexual activities (American Psychiatric Association, 1987).


Sexual Preference Sexual Arousal Sexual Interest Sexual Fantasy Child Molester 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vernon L. Quinsey
    • 1
  • Christopher M. Earls
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MontrealMontrealCanada

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