Paraphilia and sexual aggression

Recent epidemiological studies estimate that between 10-20% of children are sexually abused since the age of eighteen, about 10-20% of adult women are victims of sexual assault, and about 4-7% of adult male accept that they have attempted rape. All these data suggest that deviant and aggressive sexual behavior is very common and may produce many psychological, social and financial problems. Paraphilias are psychiatric disorders that cover the major part of these behaviors and are characterized from repeated, socially non-accepted sexual thoughts, fantasies, tensions, and practices. Psychological studies have shown that the factors psychopathy, aggression, and impulsion are highly correlated with paraphilias. The co-existence of compulsive and addictive behavior supports the hypothesis that sexual offenders is an heterogenous group. Furthermore, cultural factors, cognitive distortions, and early psychological or sexual trauma may complicate the pathogenesis of these disorders. Biological research have shown the importance of hormones, particulary testosterone, while the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine is an interesting field of research. Finally, the investigation of androgen receptor seems to open a new field in the study of sexual behavior, as well as in the understanding of sexual deviation and aggression.