The drive to commit sexual offences against children remains largely unknown. In this paper we set out a neurobiologically inspired model which shows how problematic parent-offspring attachment processes can lead to a series of psychological problems which ultimately result in a predisposition to paedophilic acts. The model focuses on the functions played by the neuropeptides, oxytocin and vasopressin, in the brain. We are currently testing hypotheses generated by the model including assaying the neuropeptide levels in convicted sex offenders.

Ian J. Mitchell & Anthony R. Beech (2011) Towards a neurobiological model of offending. Clinical Psychology Review 31: 872–882

See the paper on the PubMed site.