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During the last decade and a half, a major focus of my Lab has been the study of the various components of an etiological model of rape that we originally proposed in the 1990s. We have explored the specification of the early developmental antecedents and attempted to identify the most salient components of early experience that contribute to later sexually aggressive behavior. We have investigated the subcomponents of hypersexuality, examined what seem to be the most potent forms of impulsivity for predicting rape, and probed the interrelation between hypersexuality and impulsivity. Finally, we have restructured and broadened the notion of sadism, exploring its relation to other components of the model, and probing hypotheses about its underlying mechanisms. The present talk summarizes the results of our investigations and elaborates on their theoretical and practical implications.”


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Upon completion of this educational activity, learners should be better able :

  • To understand a hypothetical model of the developmental antecedents of rape;
  • To identify the subcomponents of hypersexuality, to understand their differential relation to types of impulsivity, and to identify the assessment and treatment consequences of these relations;
  • To describe the structure of the Agonistic Continuum (i.e., the paraphilic coercion/sadism dimension) and to discuss the theoretical and practical implications of this revised construct of sadism.


Raymond Knight, Ph. D.

Raymond Knight, Ph. D.

Professor Emeritus, Brandeis University

Dr. Knight is Professor Emeritus at Brandeis University. He has been researching sexual violence for over four and a half decades.  He has published more than 165 research papers and chapters on sexual aggression, sexualization, psychopathy, and psychopathology. He is the co-creator of the Multidimensional Inventory of Development, Sex, and Aggression (MIDSA).  Dr. Knight’s research interests include the classification, etiology, and prognosis for multiple forms of psychopathology, the assessment and disposition of individuals who have sexually aggressed, and the etiology of rape and child molestation. He has received both the Lifetime Mentorship and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Society for Research in Psychopathology, the Significant Achievement Award from the Association for the Treatment and Prevention of Sexual Abuse, and the Louis Dembitz Brandeis Prize for Excellence in Teaching.