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Sexual Attraction to Corpses, in Review

1989 was a standout year for reviewing (for research purposes) officially documented cases of necrophilia:

Sexual Attraction to Corpses: A Psychiatric Review of Necrophilia,” J.P. Rosman and P.J. Resnick, Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 1989;17(2):153-63. The authors, at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital, Ohio, report:

“The authors review 122 cases (88 from the world literature and 34 unpublished cases) manifesting necrophilic acts or fantasies. They distinguish genuine necrophilia from pseudonecrophilia and classify true necrophilia into three types: necrophilic homicide, “regular” necrophilia, and necrophilic fantasy. Neither psychosis, mental retardation, nor sadism appears to be inherent in necrophilia. The most common motive for necrophilia is possession of an unresisting and unrejecting partner. Necrophiles often choose occupations that put them in contact with corpses. Some necrophiles who had occupational access to corpses committed homicide nevertheless. Psychodynamic themes, defense mechanisms, and treatment for this rare disorder are discussed.”

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