Long-term follow-up of exhibitionists: psychological, phallometric, and offense characteristics.
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Exhibitionism has historically been viewed as more of a nuisance than a serious criminal justice matter. Research has demonstrated that the number of exhibitionists who are detected re-offending is a significant under-representation of the number who actually re-offend. The objective of this study was to extend a previous study conducted on exhibitionists, while attempting to solve the limitations described in that study. Two hundred eight exhibitionists were assessed at a university teaching hospital between 1983 and 1996. Archival data were derived from police and medical files. Results indicated that, over a mean follow-up period of 13.24 years, 23.6, 31.3, and 38.9 percent of exhibitionists were charged with or convicted of sexual, violent, or criminal offenses, respectively. Undoubtedly, this is an under-representation of the true rate, as we have no way of knowing how many exhibitionists re-offended and did not get caught. Nevertheless, in the present investigation, sexual recidivists compared with non-recidivists were less educated, scored higher on the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST), the Psychopathy Checklist, Revised (PCL-R), and the Pedophile Index. Violent recidivists were also less educated and scored higher on the MAST, PCL-R, and the Pedophile Index, and had accumulated a greater number of prior violent or criminal charges and/or convictions. Criminal recidivists were less educated; scored higher on the MAST, Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory (BDHI), PCL-R, and Pedophile Index; and had accumulated a greater number of prior sexual, violent, and criminal offenses. Finally, the hands-on sexual recidivists accumulated a greater number of prior violent and criminal charges and or convictions than did the hands-off sexual recidivists.
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