Characteristics of priests and religious brothers referred for evaluation of sexual issues

Michael Joseph Mendola (1998)

This retrospective study examined archival data gathered from 277 Roman Catholic priests and religious brothers referred for psychiatric evaluation of sexual issues at a psychiatric hospital. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between symptomatology and psychopathology of priest and brother sexual abusers of minors and adults by examining the age and gender of their victims and self-reported history of sexual victimization as a child or adolescent. This research investigated three hypotheses and demographic information. Hypothesis 1 proposed that three categories (pedophile, ephebophile, and compulsive sexual) of priest and brother sexual abusers of minors and adults would obtain significantly different scores on the MMPI-2, MCMI-II, and Rorschach tests. Hypothesis 2 postulated that two categories of priest and brother sexual abusers of minors and adults organized by the gender of their victims (male and female) would obtain significantly different scores on MMPI-2, MCMI-II, and Rorschach tests. Hypothesis 3 asserted that two categories (sexual victimization or not) of priest and brother sexual abusers organized by self-reported histories of sexual victimization as a child or adolescent would obtain significantly different scores on the MMPI-2, MCMI-II, and Rorschach tests. In the demographic material, an assessment of the relationships between the categories (pedophile, ephebophile, and compulsive sexual) as formulated in hypothesis 1 and the demographic variables (age, intellectual performance, sexual orientation, use of alcohol, physical abuse as a child or adolescent, and suicidal history) was examined.