Bergenheim 2014 Assault

Title Information

Author: Åsa Bergenheim

Title: Sexual assault, irresistible impulses, and forensic psychiatry in Sweden

Subtitle: -

Journal: International Journal of Law and Psychiatry

Volume: 37

Issue: 1

Year: January-February 2014

Pages: 99-108

ISSN: 0160-2527 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1873-6386 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century | Swedish History | Research: History of Psychiatry; Types: Child Abuse

Full Text

Link: ScienceDirect [Restricted Access]

Additional Information

Author: Åsa Bergenheim, Institutionen för idé- och samhällsstudier [Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies], Umeå universitet [Umeå University] – Wikipedia

Abstract: »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.« [Source: International Journal of Law and Psychiatry]


  1. Introduction (p. 99)
  2. Historical and legal context (p. 99)
  3. Forensic psychiatry and the sexual criminal (p. 101)
  4. From pathology to psychology (p. 106)
  5. Conclusion (p. 107)
  References (p. 107)

Added: December 14, 2013 | Last updated: January 25, 2014