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Sexual assault, irresistible impulses, and forensic psychiatry in Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
2014 (English)In: International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, ISSN 0160-2527, E-ISSN 1873-6386, Vol. 37, no 1, 99-108 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

After forensic psychiatry was firmly established in Sweden in the 1930s, many rapists and individuals charged with assaulting children underwent a forensic psychiatric examination. The physicians found that most of them had not been “in control” of their senses or not “in complete control” of their senses at the time of the crime. If the court ordered a forensic psychiatric examination, the defendant had a very good chance of either being discharged or having his sentence reduced considerably. By the 1950s psychological perspectives began to dominate in forensic psychiatry. In the forensic records of the 1950s we can notice a shift from a biomedical to a socio-psychological perspective, and crime was increasingly related to conditions that were not seen as mental derangement from a legal point of view. As a result, it became less and less common, from the 1950s onwards, for sentences to be commuted or defendants discharged.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2014. Vol. 37, no 1, 99-108 p.
Keyword [en]
Swedish law, Sexual Assault, Forensic Psychiatry, Child Assault, Non-criminal-responsible
National Category
History of Ideas
Research subject
rättshistoria; History Of Sciences and Ideas
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-23347DOI: 10.1016/j.ijlp.2013.10.003ISI: 000332498000010OAI: diva2:223414
Available from: 2009-06-12 Created: 2009-06-12 Last updated: 2014-04-14Bibliographically approved

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Bergenheim, Åsa
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Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies
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ReferencesLink to record
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