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Medicina Legal de Costa Rica

On-line version ISSN 2215-5287Print version ISSN 1409-0015


SABORIO VALVERDE, Carlos. Violation and Psychopath: a study with Costarican sexual offenders. Med. leg. Costa Rica [online]. 2005, vol.22, n.1, pp.17-39. ISSN 2215-5287.

The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between psychopathy as measured by the Psychopathy Checklist Revised (PCL-R, Hare, 1991) and rapist subtype according to the Massachusetts Treatment Center Rapist Typology (MTC: R3, Knight & Prentky, 1990) in a sample of incarcerated rapists in Costa Rica. The main goals of the present study were to empirically explore the role of psychopathy in the configuration of different rape subtypes and to examine the applicability of specialized psychological forensic approaches to Costa Rican criminal populations. The proportion of rapists in this study who scored 30 or higher on the PCL-R (35%) fell somewhere in between rates reported in similar studies. The prevalence of psychopathy obtained in this sample of Costa Rican rapists selected from a medium and maximum security facility is very encouraging methodologically due to the similar distribution with other North American samples of equivalent rapists. Reliability analyses of the PCL-R were acceptable and consistent with previous findings. The interrater agreement (ICC's) and internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha) coefficients are within the range of values observed by other studies (Hare, 1991; Brown, 1994, Molto et. al, 2000). Results from the MTC: R3 produced remarkable differences between the psychopathic and nonpsychopathic rapists as hypothesized. Confirming previous findings (Barbaree et al., 1994; Brown, 1994; Brown & Forth, 1997; Prentky et al., 1997), psychopathic rapists were motivated more often by opportunity and pervasive anger than sexual factors. Additionally, it is important to underline that in general, the percentage distribution of collapsed MTC: R3 subtypes in the present study showed a quit similar pattern to that reported by Brown (1994). This probably means that when used with equivalent rapist populations, the MTC: R3 rapist typology will possibly produce analogous distributions. However, this is a preliminary estimation to a very complex methodological classification system that must be further investigated with Costa Rican criminal populations.

Keywords : psychopathic rapists; sexual offenses; sexual deviations; sexual aggression; sadism; sexual reincidence; PCL-R; MTC: R3.

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