This Master Class explores the etiology of sexually aggressive behavior. It presents the best empirically validated models of sexually aggressive behavior. It argues that the most effective prevention and intervention models should focus on traits that are causal and not simply correlates of sexual aggression. Using the best empirically validated models available, it explores the causal latent traits in the models, examining their core components and the research that examines the basic processes underlying each, focusing on the best ways to assess each. It relates these core traits to the current correlates of sexual aggression and the treatment literature on offense pathways. It also presents an overview of the developmental antecedents of these core components. Finally, it relates etiological and life course to effective prevention and intervention programs.
Raymond Knight, PhD is the Mortimer Gryzmish Professor of Human Relations in the Department of Psychology at Brandeis University. Past President of both the Society for Research in Psychopathology and the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, Dr. Knight has conducted seminal research over the past four decades on the etiology and life course of sexually coercive behavior, the typological differentiation among sexual abusers, and the assessment of dynamic treatment targets. A leading authority on the prediction of both aggressive and adaptive outcomes, he is the author of over 135 articles and book chapters. He is currently on the Executive Boards of the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy and the Massachusetts Association for the Treatment of Sexual Offenders. He has been honored with awards for his teaching, his mentorship of students, and his research contributions.