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Evaluating rapists' distorted beliefs and deviant sexual fantasies: a preliminary study

Anthony Beech (University of Birmingham, UK)
Tracey Swaffer (The Archway Centre, Lincoln, UK)
Vidyah Multra (Rampton Hospital, Retford, UK)
Dawn Fisher (Llanarth Court Hospital, Raglan, University of Birmingham, UK)

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research

ISSN: 1759-6599

Article publication date: 20 April 2009



This study sought to further develop the growing body of qualitative evidence exploring the content, duration and triggers of cognitive distortions and deviant sexual fantasies in perpetrators who offend against adult women, using grounded theory techniques. Detailed accounts of the thoughts and fantasies of 10 rapists pre‐ and post‐intervention were analysed. All participants reported having benefited from the programme. Nine participants reported that the victim‐focused work had the most impact on them. It was also found that after treatment: (a) there was a reduction in the level of cognitive distortions around victim blaming, other justifications for offending (such as alcohol use) and the acknowledgment of the impact that their offences has had upon their victims; (b) reductions in denial of fantasising about the offences prior to their offences. The implications of this study, for the improvement of intervention programmes for this group of offenders, are discussed.



Beech, A., Swaffer, T., Multra, V. and Fisher, D. (2009), "Evaluating rapists' distorted beliefs and deviant sexual fantasies: a preliminary study", Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 25-35.



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Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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