Investigative Significance of Fantasy Sex Crimes

By Geberth, Vernon | Law & Order, September 2004 | Go to article overview

Investigative Significance of Fantasy Sex Crimes


Geberth, Vernon, Law & Order


Human sexuality is a complex dynamic comprised of three components. The three components of the human sex drive are biological (instinctive), physiological (functional), and emotional (psychosexual). The emotional or mental component is the manifestation of the culmination of our psychosexual and psychosocial development coupled with parenting, modeling, culture and environment. Basically, the integration of cognitive, emotional, sensual and behavioral experiences of the individual provide for a unique personal pattern of sexual activities that formulates a template or "roadmap" of an individual's sexual behavior, desires and fantasies.

According to experts, the psychosexual or emotional component is the strongest of the three, accounting for approximately 70% of the human sex drive. Since emotions are controlled by the mind, it follows that, "The mind controls the act." Hence, if the mind has constructed a roadmap of deviant psychosexual means of expression the actions of the individual will be equally dysfunctional. Fantasies, which are conjured up in the mind based on our psychosocial and psychosexual development are a "normal" consequence of our human sexuality.

All human sexual activities are initiated through fantasies, which are mental images usually involving some fulfilled or unfulfilled desire. Fantasy plays a major role in everyone's sexual behavior. It is the drive factor for sexual expression. Sexual fantasies normally consist of imaginations and/or a series of mental images that are sexually stimulating. The contrast of these "normal" fantasies would be the aberrant development of bizarre mental images involving grotesque unnatural distortions of sexual imagery.

For the sexual predator: 1) the underlying stimulus oftentimes is expressed through sexual aggression, domination, power and control; 2) sexual fantasies constructed around such themes begin to develop shortly after puberty; 3) the individual becomes aroused with thoughts and fantasies of sexual aggression; 4) clinically speaking, the subject has developed a Paraphilic Lovemap where lust is attached to fantasies and practices that are socially forbidden, disapproved, ridiculed or penalized.

The Psychology of Signature

This Paraphilic Lovemap becomes resilient through repetition illustrated by the use of sadistic pornography and fantasy stories featuring sexual sadism. The "Signature" aspect is the end result of a number of biological, psychological and psychosocial factors that have combined to influence how an individual seeks sexual satisfaction or is able to sexually perform.

The nucleus of the "Signature" element begins at an early age and is reinforced through repetitive fantasy, masturbatory activity and situational "acting-out" of these themes in various non-criminal scenarios. "Acting out" these themes with consenting partners coupled with masturbatory activities eventually formulates the subject's "template" or "roadmap" which we refer to in law enforcement as the "signature" of the offender.

In many cases, the offenders used their girlfriends or prostitutes to "actout" their sadistic fantasies. Interestingly, from an investigative perspective, the sexual crimes committed by the offender and the activities they engaged in with their consenting partners were almost mirrorimage scenarios.

The signature aspect of a violent criminal offender is a unique and integral part of the offender's behavior. This signature component refers to the psychodynamics, which are the mental and emotional processes underlying human behavior and its motivation.

The individual who is aroused with thoughts and fantasies of sexual aggression oftentimes incorporates elements into his life, which serve to enhance the fantasy in the form of engrams. An engram is a "mind picture" which is conjured up in the imagination and/or fantasy. Or, it may be predicated on a mental re-creation of an actual event.

The author has investigated, supervised, consulted on, assessed and researched numerous cases in which photographs, drawings, video tapes, books, pornography in men's magazines, women's lingerie, and clothing along with anatomically correct dolls were employed by offenders and/or persons who died as a result of autoerotic fatalities to stimulate themselves. …

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