This Master Class explores the creation and validation of typological systems for sexually aggressive individuals. It argues that typological analysis of any clinical domain is an essential tool for identifying and classifying the individual differences experienced in assessing and making disposition decisions about the individuals encountered. Such analyses are, however, fraught with biases that must be checked with the empirical validation of hypothetical constructs. The class presents a scientific, programmatic approach to such exploration and validation. It presents the application of this programmatic approach to the generation of models for rapists and child molesters. It presents the reliability and validity data that support the viability of the most recent versions of these typologies, relates these typologies to recently generated speculative models generated form qualitative research, and illustrates the utility of the models in the assessment of sexually aggressive individuals and the identification of treatment targets for them.
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.