Abnormal Psychology Research Paper

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Stephanie Quinn
April 2, 2012
Abnormal Psychology
Dr. Azar Dickens
Diagnostic Evaluation

Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer
Born on May 21, 1960
Date of evaluation: 1992 sometime before the trial

Background Information:
Jeffrey Dahmer was a sex offender and serial killer mainly between the years 1978 and 1991. He is well known for his severely atypical behaviors. Among his outward manners that are recognized as abnormal are paraphilia-specifically necrophilia and sexual sadism. Jeffrey Dahmer’s victims, whom were boys and men, suffered from rape, violence, dismemberment and finally their murders. Dahmer’s slow progression of killings soon turned into an obsession, which would later land him in prison with a sentence for fifteen life terms or a total of 957 years in prison.

Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer was born to Joyce and Lionel Dahmer in Wisconsin, and eight years later moved with his family to Ohio. In his younger years, between the ages of ten and fifteen, Jeffrey became more and more antisocial; he was very quiet and socially distant from his family members and had signs of anhedonia (loss of interest in hobbies and interactions with people). Discovered later, this behavior may have been caused by peers at school consistently mocking Jeffrey without him putting up any defense for himself. His fetishes and discoveries of unique hobbies began in a biology class in 9th grade where Jeffrey and his classmates dissected a fetal pig. At the end of the class, Jeffrey collected the remains of the pig and returned to the house, deciding to keep its skeleton. Dahmer’s fascination with this initial incident began to grow and carry over to other animals, such as dogs and cats. In an interview with Stone Phillips Dahmer says, “There may have been some violence involved, some underlying subconscious feelings of violence...I just...it was a compulsion, it became a compulsion. As this continued throughout his teenage years, Jeffrey Dahmer began to consume alcohol regularly. In the same interview he admits, “I was drinking a lot during that time and just, I don’t know, looking for some way to find some fulfillment, some pleasure and I acted on my fantasies and that’s where everything went wrong.” Soon, his alcoholism, too, got out of hand and he became an alcoholic while still finishing high school. Jeffrey Dahmer attempted to attend college at Ohio State University, but his lost of interest in attending classes combined with his heavy consumption of alcohol caused him to drop out after only a quarter of a semester. During this time, his parents, Joyce and Lionel got divorced. Jeffrey’s father made him join the Army after dropping out of Ohio State, but after a couple years, his alcohol problem again caused him to be removed. After being discharged from the Army, Dahmer decided against facing his father so he decided to live in Miami, Florida where the majority of his time was spent in a hospital. In 1981 Jeffrey Dahmer was first arrested for public intoxication. In 1982, Jeffrey went back to Wisconsin to live with his grandmother. Late nights, alcohol binges, and belligerent behavior characterized his time living there. His grandmother was tolerant of his peculiar behavior at first, which included several strange incidences: she had found a male mannequin dressed up in Jeffrey’s closet, a .357 Magnum under his bed, and she could recall many instances where awful smells would waft from the basement. Dahmer once claimed that the terrible smell was from a squirrel that he had caught, killed, and dissolved with chemicals. (Dahmer’s father was chemist, and this claim was made from Jeffery to his father; it seems as though Jeffery told his father so that he would be proud of him). Jeffrey was arrested again in 1982 and in 1986, both times for indecent exposure. The second offense that he was arrested for in 1986 was for masturbation in front of two young males. It was only two years later that...
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