Psychosexual Analysis: Effectiveness and Uses in Criminology

A psychosexual evaluation considers scientific methods of diagnosis or examination to evaluate an individual’s psychological and sexual functioning.

This examination evaluates the deviant behavior from a generally accepted sexual response that could either be abnormal or unusual and considered illegal if acted upon.

This evaluation facilitates selecting the most effective and productive way of treatment and informing the extent of risk associated with the chances of reoffending.   

Evaluating psychosexual nature is an effective tool for criminal defense attorneys. It is useful to determine if a person is unlikely to offend again. A longer follow-up period is required, and risks are also associated with interrogating the predictive validity for sexual reoffending. It is a scientific tool for evaluating on scientific grounds. It needs to be honest and open to the attorney to recommend the best possible ways for the issues one is facing (Hart-Kerkhoffs et al., 2009).

Psychosexual evaluation is needed when any adolescent or a person encounters an inappropriate behavior. This evaluation helps during plea negotiations, aids in finding out trial strategies, and could be a mitigating factor during sentencing. This helps to investigate more cases that are likely committed by the accused victim resulting in the risk of new claims.

It needs a lot of thought to decide whether a person should undergo a psychosexual examination and see how the outcomes may be beneficial for a client or a victim.

This evaluation could be used to prove that the suspect has never been a hands-on offender.

It is also helpful to rehabilitate the defendant to set the victimized person free from sentencing.

Psychosexual examinations are operated on both adults and juveniles. The evaluation is essential to both criminal and civil courtrooms.

The evaluations can also be ordered by the judge rather than just by the defense attorneys.

Generally, the mental health professionals superintend the examination. In some cases, probation employees may also evaluate.

The psychosexual evaluation entails four sections:

  1. the clinical interview
  2. the psychometric tests
  3. a psychological assessment
  4. a risk assessment

The clinical interview will be conducted to know about the client’s history and concerns.

The psychometric tests include the three different types of inventory tests.

  1. A personality inventory consisting of psychological tests to diagnose psychopathic persons.
  2. A sexual inventory comprises the assessment of the person’s sexual history and background.
  3. An IQ test purposed to evaluate the patient’s intellectual abilities and capability to maintain control over treatment’s mental demand.

The psychological assessment helps determine if the accusations are fair by performing different tests like polygraph tests.

The risk assessment deduces the risk of committing crimes.

The evaluations probably get completed over the course of an entire day rather than spill over onto the next day.

Among the other offenders, child molesters have shown higher psychosexual development rates and had an alarming history of sexual abuse. The reason could be the psychological conditions like depression or anxiety that made them vulnerable to suspecting an offense or having any reported history of personal experience of abusive acts that led to PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorders) and internalizing problems.


Hart-Kerkhoffs, L.A., Doreleijers, T.A., Jansen, L.M., Wijk, A.P., and Bullens, R.A. (2009). Offense related characteristics and psychosexual development of juvenile sex offenders. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 3(19). doi: 10.1186/1753-2000-3-19

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