Understanding the Dynamics of Abusive Relationships

Abusive relationships are fairly simple. They are driven by insecurity, fear that feeds that insecurity and an expectation of inconsistency, both real and perceived.

An abuser is morbidly insecure. S/he (yes, potentially, she) has little sense of his/her own social value and makes an effort to gain or re-gain some semblance of that value through domination and control. The fear that feeds that insecurity has two fronts: fear of not being lovable, and fear of appearing weak. The paradox here is that the abuser is, in fact, weak, which is why s/he abuses -- to maintain a sense of control -- in the first place. The perceived inconsistency on the part of the abuser by the victim is that the victim is not submitting to the abuser's domination.

The victim is also morbidly insecure and for surprisingly similar reasons. S/he...

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Association Of Criminal Convictions Between Family Members: Effects Of Siblings, Fathers And Mothers

Abstract

Crime runs in families. Previous research has shown the existence of intergenerational transmission of criminal behaviour. The aim of the present study was to investigate the extent to which variation in criminal convictions may be explained by the criminality of siblings and by the intergenerational transmission of criminal behaviour. Data from the Dutch Criminal Career and Life-course Study (CCLS) were used to analyse cross-tabulations and to conduct multi-level logistic regression analyses. The results indicate that criminal convictions of other family members are indeed correlated with individual conviction risk. The criminal history of siblings is most strongly correlated with the convictions of focal respondents. Results furthermore show that parental convictions only account modestly for the association of criminal convictions between siblings. These findings indicate that a direct influence between siblings is plausible, providing support for learning or imitation theories...

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An Analysis of Interpersonal Manipulation

Abstract

The term ‘manipulation’ is frequently employed but rarely discussed or defined in psychiatric circles. This paper reviews previous conceptual analyses of the term by philosophers and psychiatrists, and examines its use in ordinary discourse. A series of characteristics which comprise the conceptual core of the term when it is unambiguously applied in interpersonal settings are proposed. Manipulation is contrasted with other behavior control methods such as rational persuasion and coercion, with emphasis on the role played by deception and the communicative context in which the manipulative transaction occurs. It is argued that manipulative behavior is fundamentally intentional, and the usefulness of the concept of ‘unconscious manipulation’ is questioned. Though the proposal that Manipulative Personality Disorder be formally recognized as a new diagnostic category is rejected, it is urged that the concept of manipulation receive wider attention and discussion within the mental health community...

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Rape Fantasies As A Function Of Exposure To Violent Sexual Stimuli

Abstract

Twenty-nine male students, classified on the basis of questionnaire responses as sexually force oriented or non-force oriented, were randomly assigned to exposure to rape or mutually-consenting versions of a slide-audio show. All subjects were then exposed to the same audio description of a rape read by a female. They were later asked to create their own fantasies. Penile tumescence and self-reports of arousal indicated that relatively high levels of sexual arousal were generated by all of the experimental stimuli. No differences in arousal during the exposure phase were found as a function of the manipulation in the content of the slideaudio show. Sexual arousal during the fantasy period, assessed by means of self-reports, indicated that those who had been classified as force oriented created more arousing fantasies after having been exposed to the rape version of the show, whereas those classified as non-force oriented created more arousing fantasies following the mutually-consenting version...

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“The End Could Be Just the Beginning”: The Study of Relationship Termination through the Performance of Literature.

Noting that breaking off romantic relationships can be traumatic even when the end is welcome, this paper describes the strategies and stages of relationship termination and suggests ways for instructors of oral interpretation and/or interpersonal communication classes to illustrate such relational decay. The first section deals with relationship termination strategies, identifying M. J. Cody's five general strategies: behavioral de-escalation, identity management, justification, de-escalation, and positive tone. Examples of statements made by persons using each termination strategy are included, but not examples of specific situations. The second part of the paper looks at M. L. Knapp's five stages of relationship decay: differentiation, circumscription, stagnation, avoidance, and termination. The paper notes that stages are said to be useful, but as with the strategy list, a lack of specific examples reveals a need for something more. In the third section, oral interpretation of literature is suggested as a means for providing...

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Sexual Murder: Definitions, Epidemiology and Theories (From Sexual Murderers: A Comparative Analysis and New Perspectives,

Abstract:   Ressler, Burgess, and Douglas (1988) consider a murder sexual if at least one of the following is involved: the victim is found totally or partially naked; the genitals are exposed; the body is found in a sexually explicit position; an object has been inserted into a body cavity; there is evidence of sexual contact; or there is evidence of substitutive sexual activity or of sadistic sexual fantasies. The main obstacle to labeling a homicide as sexual is the failure of some police officers to use these features of a crime scene as evidence of the sexual nature of a homicide, as well as the lack of specific definitions for sexual murder in criminal codes. In Canada between 1974 and 1986, there were 305 sexual murders (approximately 23 murders annually). In the United States between 1991 and 1995, sexual murders accounted for only 0.9 percent of all murders; however, there was no difference...

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Narcissistic Rage and the Sense of Entitlement

While the manic phase in what is commonly known as ‘bipolar disorder’usually involves manic flight into grandiose fantasy and impulsive behavior, on occasion it leads to rage, violence, suicide and even murder.  The DSM-IV refers to this as “dysphoric mania” or a mixed state, where manic and depressive symptoms occur simultaneously.  Outbursts of rage also occur in other disorders:  they feature in Intermittent Explosive Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder and various types of narcissistic behavior; anyone dominated by feelings of shame may be prone to occasional outbursts of rage, which are often an intense form of blaming, one of the primary defenses against shame.  While the DSM-IV defines these disorders as unique categories of mental illness, with individual diagnosis codes, they actually exist along a spectrum and have much in common.  Most of the clients I’ve seen who demonstrated features of Borderline Personality Disorder or presented with Bipolar Disorder...

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Abuse of Corpse

Recently, the bones of a nearly complete skeleton were discovered in the home of a 37-year-old Swedish woman. Allegedly, she was using them as sex toys. Along with the bones was a CD labeled “My Necrophilia,” which supposedly provided the evidence. Apparently, photos depict this woman licking skulls. Among her effects were documents about people who enjoyed having sex with corpses. She was charged with “violating the peace of the dead.”

Here in the States, we call this abuse of corpse. This can range from corpse mutilation or rape, to corpse storage to mere exploitation. A man in Cincinnati, Ohio, for example, convinced morgue workers to allow him to take photographs of corpses posed with objects like sheet music and syringes. Into the hands of a deceased young girl he placed a copy of Alice in Wonderland.

When I was writing Cemetery Stories, I found plenty of material on the erotic...

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When Self-Pleasuring Becomes Self-Destruction: Autoerotic Asphyxiation Paraphilia

Abstract

Autoerotic asphyxia is presented in literature review form. Etiology, prevalence statistics, and a profile of AEA participants is provided. The author identifies autoerotic asphyxia as a form of sub-intentional suicide. Warning signs of AEA are presented. Possible sources of mis-information are given. Prevention and education recommendations for administrators, faculty, and parents are provided. A suggested reading list is provided. A part time computer programmer and full-time mother comes home from the office early on Friday afternoon to share a video and a pizza with her 15 year old son, Lance. His bedroom seems unusually quiet on this afternoon. Absent is the din of his favorite Smashing Pumpkins CD. She saunters down the hallway while calling his name, pushes open his bedroom door and then collapses on the floor in a flood of emotions launched by a graphic scene displayed in the room before her. Lance's lifeless, semi-nude, bluish-white body hangs b...

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Anne Frank: Finding the Truth (and Lies) in Diary-Writing

“You betrayed millions of readers.” With these words, Oprah confronted the author who had aroused a storm of controversy in the literary world. His name was James Frey, and, in four short months, his new best-selling memoir, A Million Little Pieces, had come under extreme scrutiny. The problem was that James Frey’s memoir was not a memoir at all—he had dramatized large sections of his life, in one instance expanding his hours in jail to three months. Frey fueled an already fiery debate over artistic license and dramatic rendering in the “non-fiction” genres of memoir and autobiography. How rigidly can and should authors adhere to the facts when recounting their life stories? By examining The Diary of Anne Frank as an emblematic work of the genre, it becomes clear that the faithful recounting of one’s own life is extremely difficult, if not impossible.

The world of self-narratives is often chaotic and blurry....

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An Illustrated Guide to Methods of Murder in Musical Theatre

A tour through the madness and mayhem in ten killer musicals.

Rumor has it Benjamin Walker is racking up a high body count in American Psycho over at the Schoenfeld Theatre, but he’s not the first madman to bloody up the Great White Way. From women with powers to men with blades, the New York stage has seen its fair share of mayhem. Playbill takes a look at some methods of murder in these killer musicals.

Marie Christine, Broadway 1999 Loosely based on Medea, Michael John LaChiusa plops his woman scorned, Marie Christine, among the world of voodoo in turn-of-the-century New Orleans. Armed with spells of paralyzing fear and cursed gifts that burn rivals alive, Marie causes quite a bit of damage wherever she travels. She may not have laid hands on all of her victims, but she definitely has a hand in every murder in this musical—even casting spells causing others to do her bidding. Though she’s responsible...

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Theatric Revolution: Drama, Censorship, and Romantic Period Subcultures 1773-1832

This chapter discusses the complex array of provincial and metropolitan dramas arising out of a contemporary sex murder. Mary Ashford’s death in Warwickshire in 1817 aroused both local and national controversy. The availability of a demonstrably popular print culture ensured that the circumstances of her murder — and the acquittal of Abraham Thornton — were nationally distributed. Two Warwickshire playwrights wrote dramas countering each others’ perspective. Ludlam’s Mysterious Murder made Ashford a sexually independent, yet naïve, victim. The anonymous Murdered Maid took a much more patrician line (befitting its probable vicar author). As the case became ever-more legally complex (trial by battle was invoked to re-indict the acquitted Thornton), both dramas were quickly followed by their London equivalents, including Barrymore’s Trial by Battle for the opening night of the Royal Coburg. The chapter demonstrates that provincial drama could initiate metropolitan drama....

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Multiple Stabbing In Sex-related Homicides

Abstract

It is possible that sexually driven homicides are the consequence of sexual deviation, but more often than not the main cause of such homicides stems from a non-paraphilic person's emotional component. It is known that homicides which involve multiple stabbing are very often the result of the assailant's highly expressed affect. This study tries to establish whether such homicides are essentially related to the sexual motives of the murderer. This paper is conducted through a retrospective autopsy study that includes 766 cases of homicides. These were reviewed and analysed according to the motive of the homicide, as well as by method, age, and gender of the victim, and the relationship between the victim and the assailant. The motives of homicides are classified as non-sexual and sexual, including homicides related to rape, jealousy, amorous affairs outside of an established relationship, deviant sexual behaviour of psychiatric patients, paraphilia, and disturbed emotional relationships...

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Psychological Traits Underlying Different Killing Methods Among Malaysian Male Murderers.

Abstract

Murder is the most notorious crime that violates religious, social and cultural norms. Examining the types and number of different killing methods that used are pivotal in a murder case. However, the psychological traits underlying specific and multiple killing methods are still understudied. The present study attempts to fill this gap in knowledge by identifying the underlying psychological traits of different killing methods among Malaysian murderers. The study adapted an observational cross-sectional methodology using a guided self-administered questionnaire for data collection. The sampling frame consisted of 71 Malaysian male murderers from 11 Malaysian prisons who were selected using purposive sampling method. The participants were also asked to provide the types and number of different killing methods used to kill their respective victims. An independent sample t-test was performed to establish the mean score difference of psychological traits between the murderers who used single and multiple...

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The Knife Crime Phenomenon – A Psychological Perspective On Youth Knife Culture

Vivid stories of young people stabbing each other and of pupils bringing knives into school have attracted the attention of the media and of central policy makers in the recent past. Statistics released by hospital emergency rooms suggest that ‘youth knife crime’ reflects more than just a media phenomenon or a political catch phrase. The number of hospital stabbing admissions where the victims are under 18 years of age has doubled in the past five years [1]. In response to such figures a variety of measures have been initiated, aimed at tackling the emerging ‘knife crime’ and ‘knife culture’, seemingly without first acquiring a comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon. Such measures include the introduction of metal detectors in schools, frequent ‘Stop and Search’ actions, and longer maximum sentences for possessing a bladed instrument (i.e. knife). This briefing has been prompted by the belief that Psychology (in particular its specialist areas of developmental, clinical,...

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An Information Processing Model of a Police Organization

Abstract

A model has been developed to study economic decision making in police organizations. The conceptual viewpoint taken is that police organizations are information processing systems, with activities connected in a communication network. The resulting model is process-oriented, and organizational decisions are analyzed by studying how the police force senses, learns about, and solves a stream of criminal events. Search theory is used to model the information processing activities and to study the value of unit memory, communication between units and the coordination of two or more units. A computer model links the units and activities in a simulation of the police force organization. Examples based on a municipal police force are used to highlight the concepts of the model building approach. The implementation of the computer model using police force data is reported...

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Boundaries, Blackmail, And Double Binds: A Pattern Observed In Malpractice Consultation.

Abstract

A scenario common to several boundary violation/sexual misconduct cases is reviewed and discussed. Common features include an articulate patient whose high functionality concealed more primitive dynamics that arose in the therapy; boundary problems, often on an “attempted rescue” basis; and eventual litigation in some form. The patient's high functioning appeared to cause the therapists to underestimate the severity of the patients' disturbances. Drawing on forensic experience, the author analyses the cases and suggests risk management approaches.

In malpractice prevention and risk management consultation, boundary questions are a very common concern among consultees. Such questions account for a considerable portion of legal and ethics-related difficulties for clinicians. The subject has been extensively discussed in the professional literature (see, for example, Refs. 1–10).

Over time, a particular pattern has emerged that seems to pose repeated problems and create familiar pitfalls for the therapists involved. This review lays out the pattern and indicates...

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