Journal List > J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc > v.56(2) > 1017863

Kim, Choi, Yu, Lee, and Shim: Study of Factors Affecting on Evaluation of Sex Offenders' Criminal Responsibility



This study analyzed factors affecting feeble-mindedness or insanity following a forensic evaluation for sex offenders, and to present a scientific basis that can provide practical assistance on a responsibility evaluation of sex offenders.


This study analyzed retrospectively 180 mental appraisals on sex offenders among mental appraisals documented by one psychiatrist from June, 2012 to December, 2015 at the National Forensic Hospital.


Of the 180 mental appraisals, 123 people (68.3%) were found to be feeble-minded or insane, and 57 people (31.7%) were considered to be sane, i.e., competent to take responsibility. The two groups were different in IQ, occupational & marital status, victim numbers, psychiatric diagnosis, and sex offender characteristics, such as violence and intrusiveness. After evaluating the influence of variables that showed significant differences between the two groups on a responsibility assessment, sex offenders with fewer invasive sex offenses (OR=1.763, p<0.05), lower IQ (OR=1.031, p<0.01), lower numbers of victims (OR=1.349, p<0.05), and higher number of mental illnesses (OR=0.507, p<0.05) were more likely found to be feeble-minded or insane.


This study indicates that criminal responsibility may be intact in repeat sex offenders who commit invasive sex crimes, such as rape, and is without intellectual disability compared to other kinds of sex offenders. Subsequent research will be needed to improve the objectivity and reliability of mental appraisals on sex offenders in the future.

Figures and Tables

Table 1

Demographic and clinical characteristics of the sex offender and the victim


M : Mean, SD : Standard deviation, n : Number

Table 2

Characteristics of the sex offence and the victim


M : Mean, SD : Standard deviation, n : Number

Table 3

Logistic regression analysis on criminal responsibility using the variables that differed significantly between two groups


Above table shows the logistic regression coefficient (β, log OR), S.E. (S.E. of β), Wald χ2 statistic (which tests the unique contribution of each predictor in the context of the other predictors), and adjusted OR with 95% CI. OR : Odds ratio, CI : Confident interval, S.E. : Standard error


Conflicts of Interest The authors have no financial conflicts of interest.


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