Age and Adolescent Sexual Offender Arousal

Kris L. Kaemingk, Margaret Koselka, Judith V. Becker, Meg S. Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


As the demand for assessment and treatment of adolescent sexual offenders continues to grow, increasing numbers of clinicians are using penile circumference measures as an objective measure of arousal in this population. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between age and sexual arousal as assessed by penile plethysmography in adolescent sexual offenders. Since younger adolescents might have a diminished ability to inhibit erectile responses, it was hypothesized that erectile responses would be negatively correlated with age. Data were derived from 104 inner-city adolescent males, aged 13 to 17, who were evaluated and underwent assessment of erectile responses at an outpatient clinic for adolescent sexual offenders. In this group, age accounted for a significant proportion of variance in erection measures. Younger adolescents had erectile responses to a greater number of assessment stimuli and greater mean percentage full erection scores across assessment stimuli. Findings suggest that the relationship between age and erection measures merits further attention as research examining the utility, limitations, and appropriate use of the plethysmograph continues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-257
Number of pages9
JournalSexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1995


  • adolescent offenders
  • plethysmograph
  • sexual arousal
  • sexual offenders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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