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Recent developments in the assessment of pedohebephilic interest

Alexander F. Schmidt


Empirical problems in the assessment of categorical pedophilic disorder diagnoses will be outlined. Based on the distinction between absolute sexual interests and relative sexual preferences, it will be argued for the advantage of using relative differences between sexual interests in children and adults in (forensic and clinical) assessment. It follows an overview of the (dis)advantages of different measurement approaches of pedophilic preferences. It will be focused on indirect latency-based measures such as the Explicit and Implicit Sexual Interest Profile (EISIP, Banse, Schmidt & Clarbour, 2010) and more recent crime scene behavioral scores as indicators of pedophilic interest in populations of individuals who have sexually offended. Implications from recent studies on test-retest reliabilities as well as taxometric analyses utilizing direct and indirect sexual interest measures in non-offending men with and without sexual interests in children will be discussed. The presentation closes with recommendations for improved (applied) diagnostic practice.


Alexander F. Schmidt is a Senior Lecturer at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany where he teaches forensic psychology. He has an approbation as cognitive-behavioral psychotherapist for adults. His research interests include sexual behavior and criminal psychology with a focus on indirect latency-based measures of (paraphilic and atypical) sexual interests and how these are linked to sexual offending. Alexander has published extensively on sexual offending against children and forensic evaluations of sexual offenders as well as other forensic expert assessments. He serves as an expert witness on paraphilic interests in family and criminal court proceedings and has been working with offender and non-offending psychotherapy populations. He serves as an associate editor of the Archives of Sexual Behavior and is member on several editorial boards. He has been awarded with the Young Scientist's Best Dissertation Award from the Legal Psychology Division in the German Psychological Society (DGPs) for his PhD thesis on criminal responsibility assessment.