Lack of psychopathic character (Rorschach) in forensic psychiatric rapists.

Research paper by Anna M AM Dåderman, Carin C Jonson

Indexed on: 09 Jul '08Published on: 09 Jul '08Published in: Nordic journal of psychiatry


Previous research using Rorschach is sparse in rapists. The aim of this study of 10 violent male forensic psychiatric rapists was to describe them on a set of Rorschach variables, which are assumed to reflect psychopathic character, in order to increase our understanding of rapists. The participants were involved in a long-term psychodynamic sexual offender treatment program. They were previously assessed on dyslexia and ADHD, and the results showed an over-representation of these disorders in this sample. Compared with normative samples, the participants scored significantly lower on three of the Rorschach variables--Lambda, WSum6 and Afr. The participants did not meet criteria for psychopathic character. Although the generalization of the results from 10 rapists is severely limited, our results suggest helplessness in managing emotionally laden situations and hint at the problems experienced by this sample of forensic psychiatric rapists. Clinicians should be aware of the lack of psychopathic character in some rapists and that effective treatment programs should focus on training this type of rapists to be able to react appropriately to emotional stimuli.