By admin | June 18, 2012
As if Jerry Sandusky’s defense team’s assertion that the football coach was “too busy” to rape all of those kids isn’t insulting enough, they are now trying to suggest that his behavior was caused by Histrionic Personality Disorder.
Some of you may know that I’m a psych major (yeah, me and every other undergrad), so I can quite strongly denounce this defense as out right bullshit and scraping the barrel for excuses for an evil person.
The DSM IV-TR defines histrionic personality disorder as:
A pervasive pattern of excessive emotionality and attention seeking, as indicated by at least five of the following:
1) Discomfort in situations in which s/he is not the center of attention.
2) Inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior
3) Displays rapidly shifting and shallow expression of emotions
4) Consistently uses physical appearance to draw attention to self.
5) Has an excessively impressionistic style of speech.
6) Shows self-dramatization and exaggerated expressions of em0tion.
7) Is overly suggestible.
8) Considers relationships to be more intimate then they actually are.
Pedophilia is defined as:
1) Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, urges, or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children.
2) The person has acted on these sexual urges or fantasies cause marked distress or impairment.
3) Te person is at least age 16 and is at least 5 years older than the child.
*Source: Abnormal Psychology: Core Concepts Second Edition by James N. Butcher, Susan Mineka, Jill M. Hooley
So far Sandusky seems to only fit item 6 of histrionic personality disorder and um, oh yeah, ALL of the qualifications for being a pedophile.
The defense team’s use of a personality disorder to try to absolve Sandusky’s behavior is a travesty. Not only does it demean and create misleading images of individuals who actually do have histrionic personality disorder, but it undermines the use of psychology in criminal justice. To use false psychological notions to justify evil actions is to do a disservice to everyone who ever has (or will) experienced a mental health episode and creates a mockery of justice.
Let’s all hope that the jury sees through this obvious shit screen and can call Sandusky out for being the rapist that he is.
It’s Time to Acknowledge that Jerry Sandusky is a Rapist