Author`s name Olga Savka

Society's tolerance to violence generates more sex maniacs

These days, Russia and the US are focused on two similar trials on sex fiends
It is much spoken about the American sex fiend in the US media, while in Russia publications on the issue are not yet abundant. It is for sure that Russian media will soon write a lot about the Russian maniac and these publications will certainly cause response in the society. But it is awful that people are no longer shocked with sexual assaults and abduction.

In Russia, the Rostov regional court is considering a case of Alexander Zhukov charged with sexual assault, killing and dismembering the body of a ten-year girl. The charge also includes six assaults of other children. The accused undergoes a psychiatric expertise now. 

In the US, recidivist Joseph Edward Duncan III, 42, is charged with killing Brenda Groene, 40, her boyfriend Mark McKenzie, 37, and the woman's 13-year-old son at their home. The man kidnapped the woman's daughter Shasta Groene, changed one motel for another together with the girl and regularly assaulted her. Before the crime, the man was convicted of similar crimes and was released on bail for good behavior.

Such crimes are committed regularly since the world learnt about Russian maniac Andrey Chikatilo, and psychologists state that these crimes are mostly typical of the US and Russia. And this happens not only because both Russia and the US are big countries where different nations inhabiting them. Psychologists explain that the frames of mind and cultures of both countries have similar peculiarities: both nations have too militarized conscience and consequently they are aggressive.

Where do these sexual criminals come from? What is the type of a mother that gives birth to such a man? In Russia and the US, researchers give similar answers to the questions. In 1982, Duncan was diagnosed as approaching what is called "sexual psychopathy". Russian doctors call it "sexual drive pathology"; the accused in the Russian city of Rostov is likely to be diagnosed as suffering from the pathology. 

American neuropsychologists study the conscience of sexual fiends and find out some deflections in the limbic brain structures, the oldest ones that are responsible for self-identification, emotions and emotional memory. These injuries may result from genetic mutations when a baby is still in the womb; appear after some diseases or traumas, including psychic ones. At that, thousands of people with these problems never become sexual fiends or killers. The pathology easily develops with such patients when the injuries are also aggravated with severe childhood, cruel parents (especially a despotic mother), physical punishment, physical and other defects at which other children mock and with unhappy first sexual experience.

Head of the forensic sexology laboratory at the Serbsky Social and Forensic Psychiatry Research Center, Doctor of Medicine Andrey Tkachenko says the Center expertizes people charged with pedophile contacts, exhibitionism and so on. Experts of the Center are to define whether these crimes were committed because of a disease or not, if criminals were aware of what they were doing or not.  Andrey Tkachenko adds that the notions of sanity and disease are not the same. Often, serial killers are absolutely aware that they are committing a crime, they choose the site and the time of a crime, afterwards covering up the tracks carefully. This may also mean that such conduct is explained with some mental disorder.
Doctor Kent Kiehl from the Neuropsychiatry Research Center in Hartford (Connecticut) says that psychopaths know perfectly well what is good and what is bad. But in fact, they do not care about it.

American researchers believe that psychopaths are impulsive, concentrated on their own desires; they are unaware of compassion, fear and guilt. They feel pleasure while manipulating people and exploiting them; such people as a rule ignore the social behavior norms. Researchers also state that people may become psychopaths as a result of authoritarian family upbringing, early cruelty towards animals and then to equals, susceptibility to conflicts and ignorance of the social norms.

Andrey Tkachenko is sure that medicine can help many of people suffering from such problems. Unfortunately, psychical correction programs are not popular and consequently are not financed in this country. Even doctors are rather cautious towards such patients in Russia.

While researchers are working on the problem, the society still loves to read publications and books, watch movies demonstrating details of bloody crimes committed by various maniacs and killers. This makes the society less susceptible to outrageous crimes and sexual assaults.

Andrey Tkachenko is sure that it makes no sense reading booklets explaining how to behave when attacked by a maniac. He is sure that it is impossible to predict how such a criminal may behave; it is difficult to escape from him. But the expert warns that the society must not remain indifferent toward such crimes and criminals otherwise shocking crimes may serve good examples and provoke those who are inclined to committing sexual crimes but have not yet committed any.