Chenier 2003 Psychopath

Title Information

Author: Elise Chenier

Title: The Criminal Sexual Psychopath in Canada

Subtitle: Sex, Psychiatry, and the Law at Mid-Century

Journal: Canadian Bulletin of Medical History - Bulletin canadien d'histoire de la médecine

Volume: 20

Issue: 1

Year: 2003

Pages: 75-101

ISSN: 0823-2105 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century | Canadian History | Prosecution: Laws; Research: History of Psychiatry

Full Text

Link: Canadian Bulletin of Medical History [Free Access]

Additional Information

Author: Elise Chenier, Department of History, Simon Fraser

Abstract: »In 1948, Canadian parliamentarians unanimously voted in favour of adopting criminal sexual psychopath legislation. An American invention that combined the force of the law with the curative abilities of psychiatry, sexual psychopath laws were the product of faith in science, and especially ";mental health,"; to solve social problems, combined with growing public anxiety about violent sexual assault, particularly against children. This mid-century medico-legal experiment has been well documented by American historians. Here, the Canadian response to the problem of ";sexual deviancy"; is examined, with particular reference to the Committee on the Sex Offender whose findings are representative of the range of ";expert"; opinion on this issue. Though the law itself was widely regarded as a failure, psychiatrists and other experts successfully claimed medical authority over certain types of sex offences, and popularized medical interpretations of sexual behaviour, including the pathologization of homosexuality.« (Source: Canadian Bulletin of Medical History)


  Sexual Psychopathy (p. 78)
  Canada adopts the Sexual Psychopath (p. 82)
  The Committee on the Sex Offender (p. 85)
  Conclusion (p. 93)
  Acknowledgments (p. 95)
  Notes (p. 95)

Added: November 30, 2013 | Last updated: May 10, 2014