Untangling sexual homicide

Ross Bartels

In this post, I argue that the classification system commonly used to determine if a murder is sexual in nature has led to a muddled view of what sexual homicide (and a sexual homicide offender) is. In the past few years, there have been numerous studies published on the topic of sexual homicide. Compared to other forms of sexual offending, sexual homicide is rare. Nevertheless, it does happen. Therefore, some clinicians will have to assess and treat sexual homicide offenders. Given this, and the severity of the crime, sexual homicide is an important topic of study. A big problem that sexual homicide researchers face, however, is the apparent difficulty in defining sexual homicide.

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